Create Note Cards Starring Your Petcomments (4) February 9th, 2009
When I heard that February was pet month on CraftStylish, I thought to myself, “Aw, nuts.” I had to put my cat to sleep a few weeks ago, and I was not exactly jazzed by the idea of focusing on pet projects.
But then the juices started percolating.
I thought it might be nice to honor Mac Daddy by creating packets of note cards for his many admirers, friends who also mourn the loss of my fat cat. With a few favorite photos and some lighthearted text to accompany them, I was able to celebrate the many faces and moods of my big boy.
- Printer-friendly 4-1/4 x 5-1/2-inch note cards (ones that fold to these dimensions or flat cards)
- Printer-friendly matching A2 envelopes
- Computer with Microsoft Word
- Photos of your favorite beast
- Scanner (if your photos aren’t digital)
- White computer paper
Step 1: Pick your paper. Most craft and paper stores have computer-friendly cards, along with corresponding envelopes. I like a bright-white sheet that is at least a 65-pound stock. Look for a flat card or a card that can be folded down to an A2 (4-3/8 x 5-3/4 inches) envelope. (I got my cards at the Paper Zone; they are PZ facets, A2 rounded-corner flat cards in an 80-pound cover stock)
Step 2: Select six photos (I like to create a set of six cards). If you have digital pictures of your furry companion, great. Think about how you’d like them to appear on the card and crop them accordingly, using the software that comes with your camera or scanner. Maybe you just want to focus on your cat’s eyes or dog’s tail for one card. If you have traditional photos, scan a few choice ones to convert them to a digital format that you can crop and manipulate (it’s fun to play around with color techniques too, such as converting them to black and white or sepia tone).
You can also use one of the six photos and the same design treatment on the matching envelope.
Step 3: Turn on your computer. Open a new document in Microsoft Word and customize the dimensions under “page setup” by inputting the measurements of your note card.
Play with your design. Think about the recipient’s style. If they are traditional and classic, go for a serif typeface (fonts with flourishes at the beginning and end of strokes) like Times or New Century Schoolbook; if they are urban and modern, opt for a san serif typeface (fonts that do not have any extra flourishes) like Arial, Helvetica, or Verdana. Whichever fonts you fancy, limit the number of typefaces you use, please. For these cards, I selected American Typewriter Light (a serif font) for all the cards and added three colored bullets under each sentiment for a little added punch.
When it comes to placing type on the cards, I tried to keep it small and simple, using a 12-point type (except for my “dream big” card, where I bumped up “big” to 20 points for emphasis). I think small type has more impact and crispness than using a boldface italic font in a giant point size. I played with alignment so that everything wasn’t just centered. I thought it looked more modern. When using color for your text, use a neutral dark color such as black or dark brown; it will pop off the page and not steal any attention from your pet photos.
Step 4: When you have a working design, print out a test run. Before running any of your cards or envelopes through the printer, print your design-in-process on plain paper so you can eyeball a hard copy and tweak accordingly. Once you are happy with your design, carefully feed your stationery and envelopes through the printer, following the printer’s instructions. I have an inexpensive inkjet printer and I thought it wise to feed the paper one sheet at a time, since it’s a heavier stock.
Step 5: Bundle up the note cards with a piece of fancy ribbon.
Alternately, you could use scalloped scissors to trim the edge of a note card. Affix a photo of your beast to the card with foam dots to give the card a bit of dimension.