Make a Crisp Fold in Paper and Cardstock

How to Fold a Greeting Card

Making a crisp fold in a piece of cardstock
Kate Pullen

One of the things that often lets a handmade greeting card down is the way that it is folded. A crisp fold in a greeting card will make it look professional and will allow it to stand up straight when displayed. This is one part of cardmaking that often gets overlooked. If you think of the fold as being the backbone of the card, you will realize how important it is. If you are going to put a lot of time and effort into making a card, then make sure you have a neat clean fold to really make the card look its best.

Why the Fold Matters

Getting a good crisp fold not only looks nice,​ but it also helps the card to stand up straight. A card that is loosely folded or has a wobbly fold will not stand as firm as a well-folded card.

Although it is possible to buy card blanks, many card makers like to make their own cards from sheets of cardstock. This is the ideal way to get the perfect card, as you have complete control over the color and size of the card. This can also be extremely cost-effective.

One of the keys to making handmade cards from a piece of folded cardstock is ensuring a crisp and firm fold. A fold that is not central or is not straight will result in a card that does not stand correctly. This means that however good the decoration is on the front of the card, the end result will always lack a professional looking finish.

Folding a piece of paper or cardstock is simple to do. Don't rush this stage of cardmaking as it is key to the overall look of the finished card.

Materials Needed

  • Paper or cardstock
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder or dull knife
  • Eraser

Measure the Center of the Card

Using a ruler and pencil to mark the center of the card
Kate Pullen

Use a ruler to measure the center of the card at the top and the bottom. With a pencil, lightly mark these points and draw a straight line between them.

Score the Card

Scoring the card with a bone folder and ruler
Kate Pullen

Use the bone folder to score the card. This will make folding the card easier and ensure a crisp smooth fold. If you don't have a bone folder, try using a dull knife such as a butter knife. Use a soft eraser to rub away the paper marks.

Flatten the Fold

Flatten the fold with the bone folder
Kate Pullen

Carefully fold the card along the scored line. Use the bone folder or another flat implement to flatten the fold. Press firmly but not so hard that you mark the cardstock.

Other Ways to Fold Cardstock

This may seem long-winded, but in practice, it only takes a few minutes and the results are worth it. There are other ways to fold cards which also give good results. Another popular way is to carefully hand-fold the two sides of the card, holding the card at the edges away from the fold. Place these edges against a ruler to keep them straight, and press the fold flat. While this is quicker to do than measuring the card, it will take a little practice to get perfect results.