Pardon the dust. Here’s a quick greeting-card tutorial.

I’ve decided this blog has outgrown its theme, so over the next couple of days, I’ll be making some changes. Excuse me if anything looks completely wrong. It’s probably not what I intended. Although, given my design sensibilities, you never know. It’s also likely I’ll keep manipulating things until I’m satisfied with them, so please forgive my perfectionistic, obsessively frequent changes. In the meantime, here’s a quick tutorial: ridiculously simple handmade greeting cards.

These were another DIY “station” at my birthday party, and they were easy enough for even the most, um, indulgent of party-goers. They’re a great use for extra Japanese-print paper, origami or otherwise.

You’ll need:
• A blank greeting card or cardstock to fold your own
• Decorative paper at least twice the width of your card folded open (I used printed origami paper)
• Scissors, paper cutter, or X-Acto knife
• Ruler
• Pencil
• String (I used cotton crochet thread — but any kind, including embroidery floss, will do)
• Needle
• Awl or 1/16″ hole punch

Step 1: Make your card (if it’s not pre-made)

If you don’t have a blank card on-hand, it’s easy to make one. Just cut out a piece of your cardstock and fold it in half equally.

Step 2: Make the paper overlay

Measure your card. Then, from the patterned paper, cut a piece 1/4″ less tall and 1/4″ less wide than your card. Fold the paper in half in the same direction your card is folded (see above).

Here’s another thought: If you’re planning to become a veritable card factory and make several of these, cut out a quick cardboard pattern for your overlay and use it to trace and cut out the overlay measurements onto each piece of patterned paper.

Step 3: Line up patterned paper on outside of card

Unfold both the paper and the card and align their center creases. There should be about a 1/8″ border on the top, outside, and bottom of the card.

Step 4: Punch holes to run string through

Use either your awl or 1/16″ hole punch (the tiniest hole punch you can find) to punch two holes in the crease of both your card and your paper overlay. (Punch both holes at once to ensure they line up.) I put the holes about 1 inch from the top and bottom.

Step 5: Sew your layers together

Thread your needle, but don’t tie a knot at one end. Starting on the inside, run your thread through both bottom holes to the outside, leaving a 6″ tail on the inside. Keep going around from outside to inside until you’re short on thread, finishing on the inside. (Both ends should be on the inside of the card.)

Step 6: Tie off ends

On the inside of the card, knot together the ends of the thread and clip the ends to about equal length. Ta-da! Now all that’s left is to write your message inside and ship off to a lucky birthday boy or girl, mom, dad, or (my favorite) an unsuspecting grandma.

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