A couple of years ago, I shared this post about an incredible resource for printing vintage botanical art prints – Botanicus – the free, Web-based encyclopedia of digitized botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library. When I found that resource, I couldn’t believe how many incredible and totally free images were just out there on the web to be printed and framed. It’s a budget decorator’s dream! I really didn’t think it could get any better – BUT IT JUST DID!
Creating a shop on Etsy is free, however, each listing that is posted in the shop costs $0.20. Each listing will remain on the shop's page for a maximum of 4 months, or until someone buys the product. The prices of products are set by the shop owner, but Etsy claims 5% of the final sale price of each listing. Shop owners are sent a bill at the end of every month detailing the fees Etsy has charged them, and they have until the 15th of the following month to pay the fees. Sellers can choose which payment options to offer buyers; including credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal, among others.
Velvet guestbooks. Paper bow-ties. Raw stone cufflinks. “Unexpected materials are a clever way to really draw friends and family into your celebration,” says Dayna. Keep guests guessing with a range of surface textures and finishes in unanticipated presentations—like this custom leather bouquet wrap, which serves as the ultimate rugged complement to any romantic flower arrangement. Tactile details that beg for a closer look (and maybe even a hands-on touch) encourage attendees to stay engaged in the moment—because there’s nothing wrong with snapping a picture, but some things are best experienced IRL.
Adobe Spark Post is a free card maker that allows you to create something truly memorable for a loved one. Choose from a selection of sizes, design options and backgrounds to make a greeting card that definitely won’t be found in stores. Whether you’re creating a card for a birthday, wedding, anniversary, or a new baby's arrival, you can easily send a heartfelt message that will never be replicated.
Marketing and promoting the business, creating new designs, sourcing products, and administration are the other aspects of running a business that will eat into the time available. You will need to allow for over half your time to be spent on the business side of things. You will also need to think about how you will handle the business if you decide to take a vacation, if you get ill, or managing extremely busy periods. This is why good planning is essential. It will help you avoid any nasty surprises later on.
One of our favorite games to play, giddy in our seats, while awaiting a bride’s first steps down the aisle is “guess the veil.” And if last year was all about glittery, jazzed-up versions that can affectionately be described as “extra,” this year brides are switching things up yet again, often opting to forgo veils entirely. “Brides are turning traditionalism on its head—literally—and rethinking the classic veil with showstopping modern alternatives,” says Dayna. From bridal hats to feathered headpieces, there’s a fresh head-topper for every bridal style.
While it’s convenient to be able to find, upload, edit and incorporate images into your designs all in one space, none of the programs we reviewed have the full package of tools we looked for. As such, if you’re a dedicated Mac user, we recommend choosing greeting card design software based on the quality and style of its graphics rather than on its photo editing tools. If you also have a PC, you can check out our reviews of the best Windows-compatible greeting card programs, which have a better balance of editing tools and graphics.
“As the world becomes increasingly eco-conscious, couples are choosing stylish and sustainable solutions for their weddings,” says Dayna. “Incorporating biodegradable floral confetti, vintage decor and even reusable straws are just a few ways to bring earth-friendly values into your big day.” And going green doesn’t have to mean skimping on personalized details. Case in point: this super customizable (and thoroughly charming) cake topper made from recycled cardstock.
When a buyer views a product, they can choose to view the positive percentage feedback of each seller to determine the reliability of the shop. Once a buyer finds a product they would like to buy, they click "Add to Cart", and that product is added to their virtual "Shopping Cart". The buyer may then either continue shopping, or purchase the selected item. In order to purchase items, buyers do not have to have an account with Etsy, and can instead register with a Facebook or Google account.
As we tested each program, we evaluated the quantity and quality of the graphics and templates it includes. To check clip art quality, we flipped, rotated, resized and recolored images. Both during the design process and after we printed our final designs, we made sure the graphics retained their shape and that they didn’t pixelate or have jagged edges. We also uploaded our own pictures to create personalized designs and to make sure the programs didn’t distort or corrupt our files.
Before starting a handmade card business that uses artwork from another designer, be it in a stamp form or ready printed, check whether this artwork comes with a commercial use license or if you have to pay for the licensed image (once or every time it's used)? If you do have to pay for the image, make sure that cost gets factored into your pricing formula as you determine the per-unit cost of your cards.
Canva is the best place to design greeting cards if you have a Mac, but you can also use it to create hundreds of other projects, including business cards, flyers, book covers and infographics. In addition to being stylish, Canva’s images are high quality – you can move them around and resize them to fit your design without causing pixilation or creating jagged edges. And if you can’t find the right graphic in its huge library or you want to share a personal photo, you can upload your own. However, Canva is missing some basic photo editing tools, including a cropping tool and a red-eye remover, so you need to edit your images before you upload them. Also, it doesn’t have templates for traditional multi-fold cards like those you find in stores. Instead, it has templates to create flat, postcard-style cards. Another potential drawback is Canva is a subscription service. However, it’s easy to cancel your membership, so depending on the scope of your projects, it can end up costing less than some of the other programs we tested. There is also a decent free version, though it includes limited access to graphics. The service’s excellent support pages make it easy to figure out which membership is right for you or your business – its support information is searchable and detailed.
If you are starting a business for the first time there's a wealth of support and information available including online groups. If you plan to sell on Etsy, you will find many tutorials available to get you started. You'll also find a wide selection of books published on the subject of running a successful handmade business. When looking at books, make sure you find books that are up to date. The market for selling handmade cards and other products is constantly changing. Another great option is online training and workshops.