Handmade Card Ideas To Say Thank You

There are many ways to work art into our daily lives. I found one last night, when I was thinking about a small token of appreciation I want to give to a few people that have not only been advocates for me and my creative endeavors, but have enthusiastically agreed to humor me in a side project.

Mixed media art
From Lesley Riley’s Inspirational Quotes Illustrated.
The quote is “We grow neither better nor worse as we
grow old, but more like ourselves,” from May
Lamberton Becker. The art is untitled (collage and
paint on wrapped canvas, 8×10) by Paula Guerin.
“Pin” this.

I was recently asked to be a part of a local fundraiser event for an art/maker’s space (a little personal tidbit—I hoop dance in some of my spare time). I didn’t want to just pick a song and have people watch me rock out to it, so my gears began to turn. It’s not that different from any other act of creativity … we have to ask ourselves things like, “Why am I making this?” and “What do I want to say?”

I decided to tell a story of movement arts and aging, and how we change. I would have a child hooping with me (a talented daughter of a talented friend), as well as an older woman (a respected and inspirational friend). We would take turns, representing three life stages as we danced with our hula hoops. Next, I needed a song. How would I find a song to emotionally match this message? I put on some random music, and then a perfect song came on within minutes. It was a gift, and I accepted it. Everything was lining up. Inspiration even found me while I was working at the office, when I came across a page in Lesley Riley’s Inspirational Quotes Illustrated (at right) that spoke perfectly to this project. The art and the quote serendipitously kept me inspired as I planned.

Rehearsal was amazing; everyone brought unique ideas that expanded upon my original concept. They’re not just spinning a hula hoop—they’re each contributing to a performance piece, visual art that will ideally make our audience think about their own experiences of changing and perhaps leave feeling a sense of celebration of their own abilities.

These friends are taking the time and making the effort to help me pull this off, and I want to thank them for it. I thought about buying something for each, but with the holiday, I’m kind of burned out on shopping in stores. Then it came to me—I would make each of them a handmade card with a personal message. I’m pleased with how they turned out, so I want to share the simple steps with you (find mixed-media art techniques here so you can expand on this process).

Handmade greeting cards
This is the handmade card I painted for the child in my project. Twyla Tharp is a dancer whom I’ve admired for years. Click here to “pin” this to your quote board on Pinterest, and see my other handmade cards here

How to Make a Handmade Card
I used an X-acto blade to cut three pages out of my heavy-duty spiral sketchbook. Then I folded each page in half. I used watercolor to paint the front of each card. When they were dry, I used markers to write quotes that are meant to inspire each friend (my older friend, the child, and the child’s mother). I punched a hole in the side of each card, and used hemp strings to tie them closed with little bows. I’ll write a personal thank-you message on the inside of each card before the actual performance, and will put each in a little gift bag with a couple of chocolate truffles. (Hopefully they’ll read this after the show!)

So there you have it. If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you’d like to give a truly personal gift, use your talent and creativity to make a card. I know it’s in you.

Wish me luck,


Blog, Easy Gifts to Make, Paper Art and Zen Doodle


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