How to Start a Greeting Card Business From Home

Updated on July 9, 2018
viking305 profile image

L.M.Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She creates numerous crafts that sell well at craft shows.

How to Earn Money With a Card Business

If you can take good quality photos then you will be able to make very nice greeting cards to sell at craft shows and online. This is a very profitable home- based card business.

I show you

  1. How to make greeting cards from start to finish.
  2. Where to get the materials needed to create cards you can sell at a profit.
  3. How to make a card that can be used for birthday, Christmas or Valentine day.
  4. Where to sell these handmade cards.
  5. Advice and tips about taking photos specifically for greeting cards.
  6. How to use the Photo Printing Service available.

Step by step instructions with videos and photos so it is very easy to follow.

How to Make Cards
How to Make Cards | Source

Items You Will Need

  • Blank cards and envelopes
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Dry clean cloths
  • Digital Camera or a phone which takes good quality photos
  • Laptop or computer
  • Good photo software
  • USB Memory Stick
  • Pencil or pen

If you live near a good craft shop then you can buy your blank cards and envelopes there. I do not so I buy them online. I find these great value and of good quality.

Making Photo Cards

Making Greeting Cards to Sell

Spend time preparing your work surface. You are working with photos and they are very easy to damage with excess glue left behind on the table or wet hands.

Get this right and you will not waste any of those precious photos

  1. Prepare a space on a table
  2. Place some clean paper on the flat surface.
  3. Have some smaller clean sheets of paper ready too.
  4. Place 4 small sheets onto the larger piece
  5. Select the photos you plan to work with.
  6. Separate those for landscape and those for portrait cards.
  7. The packets of blank cards come flat so they need to be folded
  8. Fold ten of the cards
  9. This should be done carefully making sure to join the edges correctly.
  10. Have your glue and pen or pencil ready
  11. Place your first photo onto a blank card and position it evenly as possible
  12. When you are happy take the pen and mark a small spot under each corner.
  13. Do it as close as you can to the edge but never over it.

It is important to take the time to do this correctly. You do not want the photo prints uneven or crooked on the card. Once glued it is impossible to remove without damaging it.

I always do this part on ten cards before I do any gluing. It is repetitive and concentration is important.

Making Your Own Greeting Cards

  1. Take one marked card and photo and place in the centre of the work surface.
  2. Turn the card over and add the glue.
  3. There are two ways you can do this so use whichever you are more comfortable with.
  4. I use a bottle of glue and squirt along the sides.
  5. It is important not to go too far to the edge.
  6. Then I use a paint brush to smooth the glue towards the edge of the photo.
  7. This must be done carefully so as not to have too much glue on the edge.

Using the Glue

This prevents the glue from spilling out onto the card as you stick the photo onto it. You will learn how to do this quickly and expertly once you have done this a few times.

The second way to add the glue is to place some in a container and use the paint brush to directly add the glue to the back of the photo. There is one very important thing that must be done correctly here.

When you are gluing the photos on to the card please check and double check that it is the correct way up.

  1. Place the photo carefully onto the card.
  2. You only get one chance at this so use the marks you made earlier.
  3. Use a dry clean cloth to smooth down the edges.
  4. Do not use your fingers.
  5. You may think they are clean but there is bound to be some dirt on them.
  6. Put the card away and do the same for the second card.
  7. Place both of these on a flat surface and add an A4 clean sheet of paper on top
  8. Place a book or other heavy object on top of this.
  9. As you make more cards remove the book and add these to the other two.
  10. Then place another A4 sheet of paper on these and put the book on top.
  11. Do this for the next six cards.

Handmade Cards
Handmade Cards | Source

Photo Prints

The best and cheapest way to use a Photo Printing Service. The more photos you get printed the cheaper it is. But it is best to pay the extra money to print only one copy of each photo first. It is surprising how some photos do not work on the card.

There is sometimes a problem with the photo when it is printed too with the edges of the subjects being lost. I had to fix the photo of the deer because when it was printed the antler on the deer at the left was missing.

It was fine on the laptop. I went back and moved the space a little bit on the photo to show more grass. When I returned to print it out again it was perfect. It would be very annoying to pay to get 100 of these photos printed if it was not correct. This is why the extra time and expensive of printing each individual card first is worth it.

There are Photo Print machines in most large stores. They are self service and easy to use. Once you have picked the photos you think may work on the cards and added them to a USB Memory Stick bring it to a store where they have a photo printing service.

  1. Start the machine and follow the easy instructions and print your photos. .
  2. Take them home and see if they look good on the cards.
  3. Choose the photos you want to use for the greeting cards and how many of each.

You can have as many different photos as you like as long as they come to the 200. It is easier to have each photo printed the same amount of times. So to have 10 of each photo printed would give you 20 different ones. Give the stick to the person behind the counter and they will be ready in 24 hours.

Once your are making and selling these greeting cards you can up these numbers to make it even cheaper to print them in bulk

Price of Photo Print Service in UK and Ireland

  • I photo print – 25p each – wait of 24 hours
  • I photo print – 35p each – instant print
  • 200 photo prints 5p each - wait of 24 hours

Cost

  • Card and envelope - 10p
  • Photo print - 5p
  • Glue etc - 1p
  • Total cost - 16p

Card Making for Beginners

Time must be spent in preparation of the work surface and applying the photo correctly. Taking the photos to use for the cards needs a decent camera and many photos to come up with just a few that can be used successfully. It is a lot of fun though.

Good Photo Software

You will have to teach yourself how to use a good photo software application. This too is essential with this card craft. There are many excellent photo software on the internet you can download and use free. I find Picasso the best. This is free and easy to use. I will be writing a step by step guide on how to use photo software soon. I will leave a link here when it is done.

Once to create a few of these greeting cards with your own photos you will be delighted with the effect. I sell a lot of these as the customers appreciate them as unusual greeting cards to give to friends and family.

Christmas Show
Christmas Show | Source

Do Not Limit Sales

Why I Do Not Add a Greeting to the Front of the Card

Have you noticed that there are no birthday, Christmas, Valentine greetings above or below the front of the cards above? There are very good reasons for this!

By adding a greeting to the card you are limiting the customers’ choice. This in turn limits your sales. They may like a particular photo but not want it for that holiday or celebration. Make the card suit all purposes where possible.

I make some cards with greetings inside and some I leave blank. This practice allows me to cater for many more customers. A birthday or get well card could have a greeting inside that says ‘Have a lovely day’ or ‘I am thinking of you on this special day’, ‘May all your hopes and dreams come true’ etc.

Listen To Your Customers

Once you start to make and sell the greeting cards you will get feedback from customers. Make sure you listen to them and create the cards that will attract more buyers the next time. The photo print on the card is positioned perfectly in the centre. It looks pleasing to the eye and gives the impression that it is framed.

To add a greeting like Happy Birthday or Merry Christmas you will have to move the photo either up or down on the card. It does not look good and you have a lot more trouble and time involved to create it.

Selling The Cards at a Craft Show

This was a surprise to me when I first began to sell these at a craft fair. Many potential customers were lost because I had added a greeting to the front of the card. Why? People liked the cards because of the photos.

The fact that the photo had the edge around it made it perfect as a gift of a photo and it was a shame the greeting was there to spoil it. I listened to my customers and from then on I made them without the greeting. This was so much easier for me too because it saved a lot of time.

My Own Photo Prints
My Own Photo Prints | Source

How to Start a Greeting Cards Business

I find this is an interesting way to earn money from making crafts at home. Once you get used to taking photos for this purpose you will enjoy it too. When I am out, always with my camera by the way. I would see something and think yes that would make a perfect photo for my cards.

They can be made easily enough and the rewards are great. You can use a photo printing service that will print the photos cheaply and quickly. You can get on with the business of creating beautiful cards that will sell very well at craft fairs.

Questions & Answers

Comments

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have seen these cards in the Farmers' Market but I did not realize it is quite profitable. I see how you take your pictures. They work.

    • profile image

      Debbie 

      7 months ago

      I love your article thank you! People keep telling me how amazing my photos are and I should sell them. This is a great way to try.

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      8 months ago from Ireland

      Hello Edwige, All the details you need to know are in the article above. Good Luck

    • profile image

      Edwige 

      9 months ago

      I'm very interested of making my own greeting cards and to sell them to make a income out of it this seems to be a great job I love Designing and art I like making my own things so please send me any details about it

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      10 months ago from Ireland

      Hello Susan

      The photos are size 4 to 6 inches and the note cards are 5 to 7 inches. Good luck and enjoy

    • profile image

      Susan M Felt 

      10 months ago

      Thanks for this article !! I can't wait to get started. Can you tell me what size note cards to order and what size photos work best? Thank you so much :-)

    • profile image

      Mary Norma Moreby 

      18 months ago

      Can anyone tell me the best way to get a greeting put on the inside of a card am new at this. Have a lot to learn!

      Thank you

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      yes vocalcoach, making greeting cards to sell is a good small business to set up. I sell a lot of them at the craft shows I attend.

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for sharing

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I had to come back again and read your wonderful hub. Your tips and information are so very helpful. Thanks again and I will share.

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      3 years ago from Ireland

      It is fun making the cards and if done in bulk it can become a nice little earner too.

      Thank you Jackie and Itaya for taking the time to leave a comment

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      3 years ago from Topeka, KS

      This article makes me want to start taking interesting photos and making my own greeting cards! Love your tips to consider regarding putting text on the front of the cards.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Excellent info here and very well done. ^+

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      I love taking photos so this craft idea is perfect for it. The greeting cards look very good too and can be used for family and friends as well as to earn money.

      Thanks prasetio30 for the shares and votes, much appreciated.

      Sgbrown I hope you were able to get lots of good photos in the snow

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love this hub very much. You have a great tips here, including the step by step instruction. The photos you included are the best. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

      Prasetio

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      We are finally expecting some snow. Tomorrow night and Christmas Day, we are supposed to get 4-6 inches! My camera and I can't wait! :)

    • viking305 profile imageAUTHOR

      L M Reid 

      5 years ago from Ireland

      Yes making greeting cards with your own photos is easy to do and very enjoyable too. sgbrown when you are out and about this Christmas you can look around for good photo opportunities to take photos for next years cards. Thanks for the comments and vote.

      vocalcoach thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, vote and share I appreciate it.

      learner365 I agree that these cards will always be unique and stand out on the stall at craft fairs. I do enjoy taking photos all year round and have great fun looking for ideas for the cards. Thanks for sharing and your votes

    • learner365 profile image

      Saadia A 

      5 years ago

      Very interesting ideas and so easy to follow. The greeting cards made this way will always stand out as something very unique and having an individuality of their own.

      Thank you for sharing. Voted up and awesome !!!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      You haven't left out a thing! Excellent step-by-step instruction with beautiful photos. Thanks so very much and voted up, useful and awesome. Will pass this on as well.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      5 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Very interesting idea! I love taking pictures and would like to use some of them for greeting cards, I just haven't taken time to do it. This really sounds fairly easy and such a novel idea! Thanks for sharing this information. Voted up and useful! :)

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