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Card Sets!

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Card Projects by Sharon M. Reinhart

Making handmade card sets is a project that any level of card maker can accomplish. Part of the beauty is that you can use any technique you desire or even combine several techniques. Another wonderful thing about making card sets is that, besides making use of your card-making skills and supplies, they also make great gifts! Use them as tokens of appreciation for teachers, coaches, children, friends or that gracious host/hostess. It's also a wonderful way of welcoming a new co-worker or neighbor; the list of possible recipients is endless. Who wouldn't appreciate a handmade gift that can be used throughout the year?

Card sets can be made in standard greeting-card size as shown in our free project, Card Set for Teacher, or mini and teeny size. In this update we will be focusing on the mini- and teeny-size card sets. Let's get started!

On more than one occasion I have found myself enclosing a small handwritten note in a gift bag, with a food or beverage gift, putting it on a desk of a co-worker, placing it in a neighbor's mailbox, or tucking it into a suitcase of a loved one who is traveling. I find that a scrap of paper just doesn't leave the effect or feeling that I wish to convey. That is the time when I reach for a handmade mini note card and cross my fingers that I actually have some left! So while you are making some to give away, remember to give yourself a gift as well.

Mini cards can be made in any size that you desire. If you do not wish to make envelopes, choose a card size that envelopes are readily available for. I have had great luck with making 3-inch-square note cards and using a 3 1/4-inch envelope which I have found regularly stocked at Michaels. You can use leftover cardstock from other projects, or if you use a 12-inch-square sheet of cardstock, you can generate eight mini note-card bases from one sheet. Cut the sheet in half to 6 x 12 inches and then cut it into 3-inch-wide strips. Score each 3 x 6-inch strip at 3 inches and fold it in half. Voila! Your card bases are done!

The other option here, and one which can be time-saving, is to use the premade cards by Studio G for the bases. These note cards are already cut, scored and folded, and the bonus is that they include envelopes too. Some even have scalloped edges! These cards may be lighter weight than some of the cardstock you might normally use, but if you are layering papers to them they can become quite substantial.

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The floral set shown below is a wonderful example of how, with just a little bit of layering, pressure embossing, border punching and stamping, a plain little card can be transformed into a delightful mini card. Each card can be exactly the same, or you can use the same basic supplies but switch up the design a little. It is always nice for the recipient to have a variety of sentiments to cover different occasions, so either change the sentiments on each card or stamp a variety and include a note on how they can choose and attach the sentiment as needed.

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Scallop-edged cards add another design element, and by using the premade scallop-edged cards there is no labor at all, making it very quick and easy! Using a border punch or decorative-edged scissors will also provide the same results. Just add some paper layers, a greeting and a ribbon accent, and you are done. Don't forget to carry a little bit of the card design to the envelope for a truly finished card!

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Some of my favorite little cards, and I mean little, are these teeny lunch-box notes. They really are teeny; these particular ones are no bigger than 1 3/4 inches square. But if you choose meaningful words for the inside, they can pack a big punch. I guess it is true that good things come in small packages after all! These little lunch-box notes are perfect for tucking into a lunch-box, briefcase, backpack or even a pocket. Stash them throughout your house and your housemates will truly know how much you care. How about tucking them in packing boxes for a student who is going away to school? What a nice surprise for them to find a little love from home! This is a great project for making use of all your leftover pieces from previous projects. It is possible to make envelopes for teeny cards; however, you may not even require them.

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Part of the fun of making card sets is also coming up with the perfect packaging. There are many die templates that work very well for packaging card sets. Some of my favorites for this use are pillow, fry-box or matchbox templates. If you do not have access to die templates, check out your local dollar or craft store. I found this cute little bag for the floral card set in the wedding section at a dollar store. All that I had to do was to fold the flaps and decorate the front. Organza drawstring bags are another option, and again, these were found at my local dollar store. Try stamping the same design on a paper bag and then wrap it with a pretty ribbon. Check out wedding-favor containers and purchase them when they are on sale. The 1 3/4-inch lunch-box notes fit perfectly in a little, clear acrylic wedding-favor box. Even the original cellophane packaging that premade cards are packaged in can work beautifully!

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As I am sure you can see, you have many options when it comes to creating the cards and determining the type of packaging. Deciding is going to be the hardest part! I hope that you have been inspired to create and will give some of these ideas a try, and spread some joy in the process!

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