Making Vintage Handmade Cards a Man Will Love

Posted by on Aug 07, 2015

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Today’s guest post is by Lesley Stevens of Lesley has 30 years of experience as a textile and surface pattern designer and now runs a highly successful handmade card company in the UK. 

Making a card that a man will like is a distinct challenge, since most aren’t fans of the standard decorations like flowers and hearts. I’ve found that many men appreciate a retro image such as the typewriter I used for an Antique Typewriter handmade card. Continuing with the "Antique Office" group theme, I’m going to use an antique telephone as my next subject. You can replicate these steps to make a card with various types of images.

creating a greeting card for men
Bitmap the Photo
I love this tall telephone picture and I bitmapped the image in Photoshop, which divides the subject into separate layers of color. To give the image a little more of an aged finish, I removed a layer. You can also use a simple image by drawing and painting it yourself.

retro-style greeting card
Make a Pinboard
Again using Photoshop, I made a bulletin board taking a simple picture frame and cutting a square from a textured cork background the exact size of the inside of the frame and putting it in place. Using an image of pins on a board, I separated then and added them onto the cork. Not everyone who makes cards uses Photoshop and Illustrator, and this card can also be made by creating your own bulletin board with a square of real cork, fabric or paper.

drawing elements for greeting card
Draw What You Need
When I cannot find a suitable image for a design, I usually draw it myself. The calendar pad in this card is an example. After a quick sketch, I re-drew and shaded it with a soft brown pencil using a touch of black line on a textured watercolor paper. I like the mix of media, and the perfect text created in Illustrator sits well on this hand-drawn image. To make the bulletin board look more realistic, I added an invitation card and created a taxi card -- again a bit-mapped photograph of a vintage car using only one layer of color.

square handmade card
Assemble the Pieces
The calendar and reminder note will be added after the main card is printed, attached with sticky foam pads so they stand out for dimension. The images are printed separately and cut out ready to mount. The card I chose is 6" square (150mm) -- an ideal size to create the composition without too much crowding.

making a greeting card for men
Attach Details
I attached the reminder note “Call Dad Today!” with the foam pads, and a dull gold sequin is added to resemble a gold drawing pin. The calendar is glued on the right-hand side at the bottom of card.

making a men
All Finished
The finished card makes an interesting office scene. Inside the card I added another note pad with a message, 'Happy Birthday Dad. Have a great day!' Make certain images from the card are separate, which allows it to be easily personalized, both for the date and recipient. You can see this card on my website here.

The Finished Piece
This card will also be for sale as a Father's Day card, and can be changed to read Brother, Husband or Son. I’ll be continuing with the Antique Office theme, adding more cards as I go along on the Decorquecards blog, so please take a look to check out my next subjects.

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