L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many DIY articles online. Learn how to make the numerous crafts she creates from home.
How to Start a Successful Greeting 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.
In This Article
- How to make and sell greeting cards from start to finish
- Where to get the materials needed to create cards you can sell at a profit
- How to make a card that can be used for birthday, Christmas or Valentine's Day
- Where to sell these handmade cards
- Advice and tips about taking photos specifically for greeting cards
- How to use the photo-printing services
Items You Will Need
- Blank cards and envelopes
- 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 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.
How to Make Greeting Cards That 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
- Prepare a space on a table.
- Place some clean paper on the flat surface.
- Have some smaller clean sheets of paper ready too.
- Place 4 small sheets onto the larger piece
- Select the photos you plan to work with.
- Separate those for landscape and those for portrait cards.
- The packets of blank cards come flat, so they need to be folded.
- Fold ten of the cards.
- This should be done carefully, making sure to join the edges correctly.
- Have your glue and pen or pencil ready.
- Place your first photo onto a blank card and position it evenly as possible.
- When you are happy, take the pen and mark a small spot under each corner.
- 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.
Concentration Is Key
- Take one marked card and photo and place it in the centre of the work surface.
- Turn the card over and add the glue.
- There are two ways you can do this, so use whichever you are more comfortable with.
- I use a bottle of glue and squirt along the sides.
- It is important not to go too far to the edge.
- Then I use a paintbrush to smooth the glue towards the edge of the photo.
- 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 paintbrush 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.
- Place the photo carefully onto the card.
- You only get one chance at this, so use the marks you made earlier.
- Use a dry clean cloth to smooth down the edges.
- Do not use your fingers.
- You may think they are clean, but there is bound to be some dirt on them.
- Put the card away and do the same for the second card.
- Place both of these on a flat surface and add an A4 clean sheet of paper on top.
- Place a book or other heavy object on top of this.
- As you make more cards, remove the book and add these to the other two.
- Then place another A4 sheet of paper on these and put the book on top.
- Do this for the next six cards.
Read More From Toughnickel
The best and cheapest way is 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 expense 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.
- Start the machine and follow the easy instructions and print your photos. .
- Take them home and see if they look good on the cards.
- 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 you 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
- 1 photo print: 25p each, wait of 24 hours
- 1 photo print: 35p each, instant print
- 200 photo prints: 5p each, wait of 24 hours
- Card and envelope: 10p
- Photo print: 5p
- Glue etc: 1p
- Total cost: 16p
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 you 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.
Do Not Limit Sales
Here’s why I do not add a greeting to the front of the card. Have you noticed that there are no birthday, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day 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 to 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.
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.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: Where can I buy the cards and envelopes in bulk at a low price?
Answer: I buy the blank cards and envelopes on Amazon. They are a really great value
Question: Which cards and envelopes on Amazon do you recommend? Strathmore?
Answer: There is no need to spend extra money buying a named brand of cards and envelopes online. I find the ones I have a link to on the article are of great quality and are value for money. You must always keep in mind your profit margin when running a successful home business.
Question: What kind of glue do you use to create greeting cards?
Answer: The glue I use to stick the cardboard and materials to the cards is white paper glue in liquid form. It comes in a squeezy bottle and is cheap and easy to use.
Question: I have amazing pictures of my kitties, they're always hugging in cute positions and I want to create blank cards. I have a nice ink jet printer and the ink is very affordable. Do I need to have my photo cards patented?
Answer: You own the copyright to your own photographs. You may do with them as you wish.
Question: What size greeting cards do you find sell best?
Answer: The best selling cards for me are 7 x 5 inches, 13 x 18 cm.
Question: Would you choose a gloss or matt finish on the photos for greeting cards?
Answer: I prefer the matt finish. It makes the cards look much more professional
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on October 15, 2019:
Hello Vlad, yes there are many ways to make the cards online these days. I use lots of different methods. Making greeting cards to sell has become quite easy with the free tutorials too.
Vlad on August 20, 2019:
I find myself using many times an online service, usually Pixteller, and create a rough design to have an idea of how I want the card to look. Then print it and start crafting. I'm terrible otherwise.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 19, 2018:
I use a laser printer but either is fine. It is the cost of the ink that I research before I buy a new printer. If you print your own cards at home I believe it would be too costly for resale. Ink is very expensive.
Why not design them and then upload to a memory stick. That way you can have them printed in stores. They will cost a fraction of the expense if you did them yourself. The more you get printed the cheaper they are. Good luck with your new business.
Mrs Reed on November 15, 2018:
I am starting my own greeting card business online and would like to design and print them at home. What kind of printer do you recommend inkjet or laser?
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 13, 2018:
It is done automatically by Hubpages. But only if a hub is on a niche site
Binoy from Delhi on November 13, 2018:
How do you make QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS capsule in your hub?
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 11, 2018:
Hello Freddie, The best way to sell any crafts to a much wider audience is to sell them online. You can create your own Etsy store or set up a Facebook Business Page. I have written an article that explains the process is a much more detailed way. Click on this link for more information.
Mrs Freddie Roberts on October 22, 2018:
Make my own cards using dies bought with full Angel policy so no infringements. How do I sell these to a wider audience? I buy all my crafty stash on line at Create and Craft, Hochanda and only use named brands for quality.
L M Reid from Ireland on August 03, 2018:
Debbie if you are a good photographer this would be the way to go if you are looking to make money from a home business.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 17, 2018:
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.
Debbie on November 29, 2017:
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.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on October 25, 2017:
Hello Edwige, All the details you need to know are in the article above. Good Luck
Edwige on October 18, 2017:
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
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on August 24, 2017:
The photos are size 4 to 6 inches and the note cards are 5 to 7 inches. Good luck and enjoy
Susan M Felt on August 24, 2017:
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 :-)
Mary Norma Moreby on January 11, 2017:
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!
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 24, 2014:
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
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on November 17, 2014:
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.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on November 09, 2014:
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
Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on August 27, 2014:
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 from the beautiful south on June 16, 2014:
Excellent info here and very well done. ^+
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on March 12, 2013:
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 from malang-indonesia on March 11, 2013:
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!
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 23, 2012:
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! :)
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on December 23, 2012:
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
Saadia A on December 23, 2012:
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 !!!
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on December 22, 2012:
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.
Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on December 22, 2012:
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! :)