01 of 09
Card Making for Beginners - Card Folds
If you are just starting to make your own cards, knowing how to fold cards from single sheets of cardstock is a useful technique to learn. Folding the cardstock in different ways will create a variety of different looks and styles for your cards. Learn about different ways to make cards from standard size paper along with fold plans on the following pages.
Make a wide variety of card styles by simply varying the way that you fold your paper or cardstock. Many different styles and types of handmade cards can be created from standard sizes of paper and card stock such as letter or A4 size paper. The different styles of card each provide different design opportunities and very different looks can be achieved by changing the fold or orientation of your card. Learn more about some of the basic folds for making handmade cards, as well as tips for making cards on the following pages.
Remember, whatever type of card you make, achieving a good crisp fold is essential to getting a professional looking result.Continue to 2 of 9 below.
02 of 09
Portrait Fold Card
The portrait fold is one of the most basic card folds and it is easy to make two cards from a standard sheet of letter or A4 sized paper.
A simple portrait card is one where the height of the card is longer than the width. This is a very simple type of card to make and can be folded from standard pieces of card and paper. The long layout makes a portrait card ideal for many designs. The name originates from the fact that portrait orientated paper was ideal for displaying a head and shoulders portrait. This means that this style of card, with the height longer than the width, is ideal for photos or a central feature with a sentiment stacked below or above it.
How to Fold a Portrait Card
Two portrait orientated cards can be made from a single piece of letter or A4 paper by cutting the paper in half first. The fold line should go through the center of the narrow width of the card.
Continue to 3 of 9 below.
- A piece of letter sized paper (8.5 x 11") folded in two to make a portrait orientated card will make a card that measures 8.5 x 5.5".
- Half a piece of letter paper folded in two will make a card sized 4.25 x 5.5".
03 of 09
How to Make Landscape Cards
A landscape fold card is ideal for displaying photos. This is also easy to make from standard sized paper.
A landscape card is one where the width of the card is longer than the height. The fold can be at the top or the side of the card. The term landscape originated from the fact that this orientation is better for displaying wide images such as landscapes. For handmade cards, this style is ideal for displaying a photo, or a feature image and sentiment presented side by side.
How to Fold a Landscape Card
Two Landscape orientated cards can be made from a single piece of letter or A4 paper by cutting the paper in half first. The fold line should go through the center of the narrow width of the card.
Continue to 4 of 9 below.
- A piece of letter sized paper (8.5 x 11") folded in two to make a Landscape orientated card will make a card that measures 8.5 x 5.5".
- Half a piece of letter paper folded in two will make a card sized 4.25 x 5.5"
04 of 09
How to Make a Gatefold Card
A gatefold card has many uses and is particularly good for invitations.
On this page, we are looking at making a simple gatefold card from a piece of letter or A4 sized paper. You can also create a simple gatefold card from 12 x 12" paper. Details and a folding plan can be found on the following page.
A gatefold card is slightly different from other basic cards. Instead of having a single fold, a gatefold card has two folds, each forming a flap that meets in the center on the front of the card. This is an interesting style of card and presents many opportunities for creative ideas. In addition to decorating the two cover panels, the inside of the card is also ideal for decorating. Both the inner panels and the inside back of the card can be decorated in a complementary style. An additional design flourish can be added to a gatefold card by creating a closure or overlapping panel to sit on the front of the card to hold the two cover flaps together.
A gatefold card is a versatile type of card that can be used for many occasions. It is particularly well suited to a wedding or party invitations where the inside of the card can be used to provide important information about the event.
How to Fold a Gatefold Card
while a gatefold card is a little different to look at, as with the portrait and landscape style cards, two card blanks can be made from a single sheet of letter or A4 sized paper. This will make a card sized 4.25 x 5.5".
Tips for Making and Using a Gatefold Card
Continue to 5 of 9 below.
- Try placing the folds in different places to alter the look and the symmetry of the card
- Design the card so that a special design or photograph is revealed when the front panels are opened
- Score the paper or card before folding to make sure you have good crisp folds, this is particularly important with multi-fold cards as an uneven fold can spoil the look of the card
05 of 09
Make a Gatefold Card from 12" x 12" Paper
Gatefold cards can also be folded from 12 x 12" paper or cardstock. This is useful if you want to make a card from scrapbooking paper.
A gatefold card, created with two panels that fold into the center of the card can be used in many ways. This card is simple to make from standard sized paper making this a great project for beginners.
Here we look at making a gatefold card from a piece of 12 x 12" paper or cardstock. One sheet of paper will make two 6 x 6" cards. This style of card is also simple to make from a standard letter or A4 sized card. More information and a folding plan can be found on the previous page.
How to Fold a Gatefold Card
While a gatefold card is a little different to look at, as with the portrait and landscape style cards, two card blanks can be made from a single sheet of 12 x 12" paper. This will make a card sized 6 x 6".Continue to 6 of 9 below.
06 of 09
How to Fold Cardstock to Make a Square Card
A square fold card is a versatile shape that also works well as a gift card.
Here we look at making a square card from a piece of 12 x 12" paper or cardstock. One sheet of paper will make two 6 x 6" cards. While a square card can be cut from any piece of paper or cardstock, using a sheet of 12 x 12" paper is an efficient way to get the most from your paper or cardstock. This is particularly useful if you have several cards to make. This is useful if you want to make a card using your favorite scrapbooking or decorative papers. You can also make a 6 x 6" gatefold card from the same size piece of paper. See the gatefold card from a 12" x x12" paper page for more information and a folding plan.
A square shaped card is versatile and easy to make. Square cards are a particularly good shape for beginner card makers as attractive looking cards can be made by creating a central feature, such as a stamped image or photograph. If you don't want to use a piece of decorative or scrapbooking paper or card to make your entire card, try making the card blank out of basic card and adding a feature panel made from your favorite paper.Continue to 7 of 9 below.
07 of 09
How to Make Tri Fold Cards
A tri-fold card offers plenty of opportunity for creative designs.
The term tri-fold originates from the fold used to create leaflets from a sheet of paper. A tri-fold creates uses two folds to create three panels. In card making the term tri-fold can be used to describe a variety of card types. At its most simple, the term tri-fold could be used to describe a card that is folded into three 'Z' style. However, the term could also be used to describe an aperture card or one of more complex tri-fold designs that are popular with card makers.
Simple tri-fold cards are versatile and are a great way to present information in an attractive way. They are ideal for invitations where the front of the card can be decorated and the other panels used to present important information.
Tips for Making and Using Trifolds Cards
- Get creative with the folds and cut of the card, for instance, cut the card diagonally so the panels graduate in size
- Use scrap paper to work out your designs before transferring this to good paper as the different panels offer plenty of scope for decoration
- Simple tri-fold cards are typically long and thin and are ideal for tall images and designs
- Note that tri-fold cards may not fit in a standard sized envelope, therefore consider making your own envelopes
Tri-Fold Card Sizes
Continue to 8 of 9 below.
- A piece of 12 x 12" paper cut into two and folded into a simple tri-fold shape will create a card that measures 6 x 4"
- A piece of letter sized paper, cut in half lengthwise will create a simple tri-fold card that measures approximately 3.8 x 4.25"
08 of 09
How to Make Aperture Cards
An aperture card is folded so a design or photo is framed within the front cover of the card.
An aperture card can also be known as a window card. The front of the card has a central window. This is used to make a feature of an image or photograph. An aperture card is often a tri-fold card, which is made from a single piece of card that is folded in three. The aperture or window is in the center panel, the left panel folds back over this to provide a back to the window. To add decoration to an aperture card, either stamp or add decorations directly to the inside of the panel or create your design on a separate piece of paper and attach this to the card. Use double sided tape or adhesive to adhere the front panels of the card together.
Aperture cards can be used in many ways and offer plenty of scope for decoration. In addition to using the window or aperture to display a photo or image, you can also decorate the front of the card. This can create an attractive frame for your photo or central image.
Tips for Making and Using Aperture Cards
- Use the window to showcase something special such as a piece of cross stitch, a photo or a piece of original artwork
- Aperture cards can be placed in a frame and this makes a great card that doubles as a gift
- When buying aperture cards look for simple shapes to showcase intricate designs as a very detailed shape such as a star or flower may detract from the finished design
- If you are planning to post the finished card remember to allow for any extra bulk and weight that may be the result of the card design (this may also include using a larger sized envelope)
Buying Aperture Cards
While it is possible to create your own aperture cards by cutting a window in a piece of card, unless you have access to a die cutting machine it is likely to be more convenient to buy aperture cards ready cut. These are widely available with apertures cut in a variety of sizes and shapes.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09
More Card Making Tips for Beginners
Looking for more information about making cards? Check out these pages for more reading: