How to Create a Greeting Card

by Mindy on August 20, 2012

in 52/52 Challenge, How-To, Photoshop, Watercolor Tips

Start with the Finished Product

"Kohlrabi" Original Watercolor Painting #29 – Mindy Lighthipe ©2012

Would you like to reproduce your artwork onto a greeting card? I have had many of my students over the years ask me the best way to go about doing this. There are many different ways to make a greeting card. It depends on the following things:

  1. How many cards do you want/need to make?
  2. What is your computer knowledge?
  3. What editing software do you have?
  4. What is your budget?
  5. When do you need the cards finished?
  6. Is this a job you can hire someone else to do?

If you have NO computer experience, it is still possible to create a descent quality greeting card. I am going to go through the beginning of the process and as time goes by I will add more information about how to create your own greeting card in future posts.


  I can not stress this step more. Let's say that I want to make a series of greeting cards out of my Kohlrabi and Heirloom Tomato paintings. The finished product size is going to be a 5" x 7" folded card. My painting must fit into this proportion or parts of it will be cut, cropped off, or have too much white space around it.

The Kohlrabi painting is 10" x 14". I did this intentionally because I wanted a 5" x 7" card. The painting is exactly twice the size of the card I want to make. The reason I did it this large is that I knew that I would not be able to paint all the detail in a 5 x 7 so I multiplied the width and height by 2 and got the exact proportions I needed for a 5 x 7 card.

The Heirloom Tomato painting is 8" x 8". I was not thinking about what my finished card would be. Here is an example of some of the troubles you can run into if the proportions are not the same.

In example A. I scanned the tomato into my computer and placed it into a 5 x 7 format. As you can see part of the tomato as well as the banner is cut off. The card will look awful if I printed it this way. 

In example B. I made the image smaller using an editing software program called Adobe Photoshop Elements (I will explain more about Photoshop and simple things to do in another lesson.) I then placed the tomato into the 5 x 7 format and found that the tomato had so much white space around it that the tomato was floating. It looked lost to me and I wasn't crazy about the look of it.

In example C I dropped a red background into the card and placed the tomato on top of it. This is the one that I liked the best. However, it doesn't look like the kohlrabi. If I put a colored background around the kohlrabi I will have to crop off some of the painting. So I now have 2 cards that look good, but they do not work as a set.

What could I have done? What should have I done? I should have decided that I was going to do a series of 5 x 7 cards and created every painting in a 10 x 14 format. I probably would have added another tomato or some leaves to make the card more substantial and match the complexity of the kohlrabi.

I hope that this beginning step will help you in the process of creating your own greeting cards. I will talk about  different options for printing the cards from going to a local office supply store, ordering cards online, creating one of kind hand made cards and more. If you have any questions please post on the blog. I will answer your questions and get you going. Perhaps there is a holiday card in your future before 2012 is over????




{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

jacqui August 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Hi Mindy
This is all very helpful stuff and I love the way you have added the text to the art. Very nice.  I make my own cards from my art using photoshop to edit and then publisher to create.  I am thinking of changing to a macbook soon so not sure what program I would use then.  I love the way you dropped in the wine coloured background for the tomato in PS, but I am wondering how strong the colour would come out in the actual print? It looks great on the screen but will it print as bold?
I just love love your work Mindy and you inspire me so very much!
Id love you to do a post on time management for artists! as there never seems to be enough of it in my days. You seem to achieve so much and must be super organised!

Jacqui :)))

Gail August 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Very Cool! I am looking forward to your step by step process! Thanks!

Mindy August 22, 2012 at 8:27 am

Thanks Jacqui! I am glad that you find it useful. I have made so many mistakes that I try to help others…. saves time and money!!!!

Mindy August 22, 2012 at 8:28 am

You are welcome Gail! I will be posting more so check back or subscribe for updates!

Tori Bell August 22, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Thank you Mindy, this is very helpful. I love your blog – beautiful!

Mindy August 26, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Oops! Tori…. So sorry that I didn’t see your comment until now. I am glad that this is helpful and that you are enjoying my blog. I am working on post #2 for the greeting card. Should be up tomorrow.

Anita October 25, 2012 at 6:37 am

Hi Mindy, I love the idea of the colored background to help make a drawing fit the dimensions of a card. I’ve often had that problem myself, and wonder why I didn’t think of it myself. Thanks!!! :-)

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