Thursday, April 17, 2014

Studio 5: Card Maker's Cure

Making cards is a win-win hobby.  It gets your creative juices flowing and you'll have a constant supply of cards to give away for holidays, birthdays, celebrations, thanks and more.  The money you would spend on store-bought cards can easily keep you in card making supplies... so it's affordable too!The only problem is what to do with all those cards!

Today, I'm offering the cure...

Creative display and organizational solutions!

It starts slowly...a few cards that you have a hard time parting with.  Before you know it you have shoe boxes filled with your hard work and creativity.  It's a shame.  Cards are meant to be seen and used!

I'm not knocking shoe boxes.  They are quite perfect for storing cards, but at least we can paper craft it!  My biggest tip to stay organized with shoe boxes, depending on how many cards you're organizing is to have dedicated shoeboxes for themes, or create file tabs to separate those themes in one box.

Despite that, your cards are still hidden and easily forgotten.  There are some better options.

I'm in the midst of an office/craft room renovation and am looking for solutions for my 1000s of is are some solutions.

1.  Pretty & Practical

Let's face it.  Shoeboxes are not pretty (unless you've decorated if of course).  If the goal is to keep your cards out where you can see them you need to look for something you don't mind looking at everyday.

First find the place where you'd like to keep your cards.  A kitchen counter?  An office.  Bedroom.  Book shelf?  Look for someplace that you see regularly.  It's also nice to keep them where you can write in a card, put it in an envelope, place a stamp on it and then place in the mailbox.  Yes, those are the four steps!  I can't tell you how many times steps 2, 3 and 4 snag me up!  For my situation the office is best, it's where I spend most of my time.  But if you're a busy Mom, the kitchen might be best.

Keep measurements in mind or a small tape measure in your purse.  Most cards measure at most 6 " x 6".  Maybe you always do the standard 5 1/2" x 4" size, either way, you'll want to make sure whatever you do find will fit your cards.

 This was my first attempt at a card file.  about 10 years ago.  And if you looks closely, you can see the effects of those 10 years.  I was going to re-do it for you, but decided I wanted you to see it just the way it is!

It works!  I have kept this basket out where I can see it and it's my go-to file for birthday cards.

2.  Think outside the box.

You're still looking for boxes, or box shapes (because cards are square or rectangular for the most part), but they don't have to be in the organizational part of the store.   I found these decorative drawers in the home decor section of Hobby Lobby. 

Large enough to fit all sizes, they were perfect for all the cards I made for Paper Crafts Magazine over the years.  I won't be using these cards, but they are nice to have out, to remember all my hard work and for instant inspiration.

I found this at Hobby Lobby as well.  I love the chalkboard front panel, so I can mark what's inside the box.  No file tabs necessary for this one because I have that many Christmas cards!

Here's a non-box idea that I love!  I found this practical but decorative solution at Michaels craft store.  Chalk board at the top and shutters at the bottom.  This is a huge birthday card file!  Each month, mark the birthdays you need to remember, make sure you have enough cards in the slots and you'll never forget another birthday!

Even without the chalkboard top, the shutter idea is perfect for cards.  Find an old shutter, adhere a panel to the back to keep the cards from falling out and you'll have room for lots of cards.

Another find at Michaels was a decorative box that fit large square cards perfectly.  This would also make a beautiful set of cards you could give as a gift.

Look everywhere you go!  Hardware store, department store, home decor store, office supply store, grocery store or the jewelry, wedding, sewing section etc...  of a craft store.  Or repurpose boxes you get with other purchases that you can paper craft and alter (like a shoe box :)

3.  Homemade Card files/organizers

You don't have to buy something however, there are many options for papercrafting cute files with just paper and some chipboard (for strength).

This was a class I offered a few years ago.  It's based on a die-cutting template (Cricut Artiste Cartridge) for a mini magazine file.  Here, I've attached three together and made birthday cards for kid, gals and guys.

You could make just one and it would make a really set of cards for a gift.

Or you could attach even more for more themed options.


I created this calendar/card file for a class in 2010.  it was a way to record (with thumbnail pictures) birthdays you want to remember, with envelope pockets between each page for place for cards.

There is a lot of inspiration for home made card files on the internet and pinterest.

4.  Card Display.

Maybe you don't have that many cards to organize, or maybe you just like to keep what you've made, it is after all, your creative endeavor and isn't much different (just smaller) than a scrapbook page.  It deserves to be seen and often is so pretty that it can easily integrate into your home decor.

Here are a few solutions for displaying your cards.

This card (I created for Cricut magazine) needed a special place all by itself.  It was a lot of work!  I found this little doll chair (somewhere, I can't remember, just wish I had bought more!) and is perfect for highlighting just one card.   Be patient and keep your eye out for little card display treasures like this one.

A trendy way of displaying just one card is a floral frog.  These are heavy metal piece with medal needles sticking up.  It was designed for floral arranging, but works really well for keeping cards upright in place.  They come is all sorts of sizes and shapes.

Sometimes a card has a special memory.  Those need a spot all to themselves!  Frame it!  I found this frame with cork at Hobby Lobby.  Enough room to display not just the card but the accompanying photo as well.  I like the cork because I can interchange what I have on display.

If you take card making classes (like mine!), it's often such a good feeling getting those done, you want them on display until the next class.  I found this wire Eiffel tower at Hobby Lobby.  Perfect display a collection of cards.  Look for metal home decor pieces, they are great for displaying cards, you can either tuck them in (like I did here) or attach them with a mini clothes pin or magnet.

Speaking of magnets, wow, how cool is the bird cage display piece.  This was designed specifically for displaying cards as it comes with cute bird magnets that are surprisingly strong.  I found this at Michaels as well.

5. Practical, but not so pretty.

Ok, so you don't have the space or inclination to do something pretty, but you still want to be organized.  That's fine and there are SO many options.  I recommend visiting an office supply store, a craft store and Ikea.  I found lots of organizational options there.

{This is housing some of my Studio 5 projects!}

This plastic organized is a photo file from Michaels, but fits a standard sized card perfectly.  This would be a good option when you are making duplicates of several cards, as each box holds several smaller hinged boxes.

Whichever way to go, I hope you'll enjoy having those handmade cards just a little nearer & dearer.


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"The art of being
HAPPY lies in the
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