(Making your own greeting cards has exploded in popularity over the last few years, mainly through the advent of stamping. But we sometimes forget that making your own greeting cards has been popular for decades. As a bookseller I have the privilege of coming across a wide variety of books; my latest treasure I just discovered on my shelves is “How to Make and Have Fun with Greeting Cards” by Joseph Leeming published in 1960. Now Mr. Leeming didn’t have access to the same technology and materials that we do (computers, specialty papers and accessories, colored inks and stamps, for example), so he had to be, in my personal opinion, much more creative in his ideas.)
In this article I will describe how you can use fabric to create and decorate your greeting cards. (Be sure to iron your fabrics so that you are working with a smooth surface.)
The easiest way to make effective fabric pictures is to simply cut out designs from patterned fabrics and glue them onto a paper mat, then glue the mat onto the greeting card. By using fabric in place of paper you will add that nice touch of texture to your card.
If you want to try something a bit more challenging, a fun kind of fabric card you can make is what I’m going to call the doll fabric greeting card. First draw, trace or stencil a human figure on the card. Decide what parts of the figure you want to cover with fabric, make a simple paper pattern for each part, and choose what fabrics you want. Rather than trying to cut the fabric free hand, pin the simple paper pattern pieces to your fabric and cut out your pieces. Glue the pieces to your doll figure and you have your basic card design. (If you want to make several greeting cards of the same style, be sure to keep your pattern pieces and fabric scraps for later cards.)
To finish your doll fabric card consider coloring or painting the hands, arms, faces, and hair, as well as drawing the details of the faces in black ink. You can add real buttons, eye lashes from the bristles of brush, hair ribbons, or small chicken feathers and sequins to decorate your hats. If your doll is female, you can even consider adding nail polish for those tiny nails.
You can spruce up the greeting card’s background by mixing and matching textures of papers and fabric, for a more decoupage or collage look. If you feel doing a doll fabric greeting card is too ambitious to start with, you might want to try a simple landscape card made from cutting different kinds of fabrics into basic geometric and flowing shapes.
Joseph Lemming. How to Make and Have Fun with Greeting Cards