Monday, June 02, 2014

DIY Gilded Note Cards

Revisit the pleasure of note writing with hand-drawn cards. BY INA AMOR MEJIA

AFTER CATCHING MALEFICENT last Saturday, we picked up a canvas for Caroline and a gold marker for myself. I've been meaning to do this after being inspired some time ago by this genius DIY by Ez Pudewa of Creature Comforts. I needed to replenish my stash of custom note cards so I thought I'd use the marker for that purpose.

I have a lot of card stock and envelopes from when I used to make stationery as a hobby. I still have the imported, recycled, archival card stock that I used for wedding suites. Thick, tactile, and beautiful on it's own, I made many very special invitations using this paper. Because the stock is already beautiful, I thought simple note card designs would work. More out of necessity. Because I'm really only good at drawing triangles.


You will need
Gold metallic marker
thick card stock (color of your choice)
some courage

1. Cut your card stock to the size you need. I had some A2 envelopes (about 4 3/8 by 5 3/4 inches), so I cut the card to fit snugly into them. The card should be about a quarter of an inch smaller than the envelope on all sides. You can always cut these cards using scissors, although the thicker the card the more muscle you'll need. I have a guillotine cutter/paper trimmer which makes cutting so much easier and better, and I strongly suggest you get one if you plan on making a lot of your own stationery. Handle with care and always keep the cutter out of the reach of children.

2. Once your cards are ready, start practicing with the marker. Use leftovers of the card and draw designs and patterns freehand. Get to know your marker and get a feel of the flow of ink. This will give you a good idea of how much pressure you should apply when drawing to get the amount of ink you want, and to get the gilded look you want.

3. Before working on the cards, think about the designs or patterns that you might like. Because the marker drew a thick line, I thought some simple yet bold designs would be best, and easiest. A simple line or two, a frame (my favorite), a scallop pattern, triangles, polka dots. Feel free to use a ruler as a guide when drawing lines, or maybe small round objects like a coin. You can also draw with a pencil first. Or you can be brave about it and just draw straight away with the marker. I thought the imperfections gave the cards their charm. And the great thing about working with gold is that it gives the simplest things a touch of grand. But those of you with a wider repertoire beyond triangles and dots please feel free to be more creative! I also made some round envelope seals by cutting circles (using a small rotary cutter) and drawing a matching pattern. This one's for the scallop design...

And using some leftover craft card, I made some folded notes, and gave them the polka dot treatment. The craft board took the ink differently and looked very subtle.

Finally I made some envelope liners using light aquamarine paper and again drew some dots.
Final notes *
Choose good card stock. The paper is really half the story, especially since the designs will be simple. Choose paper that's thick, matte, and has a bit of texture. You can always pick out whatever color you like, but I think the gold ink really stands out against lighter colors. 

Mind the flow of the marker. While working on one card I failed to notice that the ink was pooling on the marker's tip. Suddenly this golden blob appeared on my nearly finished card. Have that leftover card nearby so you can blot the marker there if you think it's too wet. Also make sure you don't touch your design while still wet as the gold ink could smudge and turn black or grey.
It's great to have unique, custom-made stationery on hand for when a note is called for. Sometimes I get a little tired of texting or PM-ing well-wishes or feelings, don't you? These cards are so simple, and special at the same time, which are what notes should be. So unless you've made a whole bunch of these cards (I have a dozen), you'll want to choose wisely: what you write and who they're written to. And finally, use a crisp black sign pen or a fine-tipped gold pen to write those golden words.

Write notes again, and thanks for reading.

* Photos by Ina Amor Mejia    


  1. He y you leftie, I think I can only manage the dots haha. The cards look amazeballs. What a sweet idea, thanks you! Sara, NY

  2. Thank you Sara! You can make a confetti design with those dots too ;)


Thank you for your kind comments.


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