A Year of Cards: Just Because

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Birthday Card

Send more cards - make hearts happy.

We do so much of our communicating over email, through social networks and with our phones. It makes it easy to quickly deliver words of thanks, birthday wishes and get wells, but to me, the words don’t feel as meaningful if they don’t come inside a lovely card. This year, I’ve committed myself to making and sending more cards.  Each month I will tackle a different reason or occasion for a card, and hopefully inspire you to do the same. Isn’t it always a thrill to receive something special in your mailbox?  Doesn’t it make you feel good?


I thought I would start off by creating a set of note cards so I can have a few on hand to say a quick “thank you” or “hello”. This set was inspired by the Crazy Quilts my grandmother created. Her quilts were made from random bits and pieces of fabric she collected and saved. Her use of color was odd, but always extraordinary.


There are many quilters in my family, but I’ve never felt I’ve had the sewing skills or precision to take on such a project. I feel much more comfortable and in control when working with paper. I certainly understand the appeal of gathering fabrics and playing with patterns and color - this card set mimics this process.




Begin by cutting several five-inch squares with your favorite Fiskars paper trimmer. Randomly run over-lapping stripes of washi tape across the squares. Trim away the excess with a detail knife.


Cards layed out with thread


Cut an assortment of 5" squares from coordinating patterned paper with your paper trimmer.


Cards being cut on table


Neatly stack four squares and place them on your cutting board. Use your detail knife and ruler to cut random triangles and shapes from this square stack. Work precisely, and after each cut you make, re-align the stack. If you don’t take the time to do this, when you reassemble the squares, your pieces won’t fit neatly back together. 


Cut card


When you’ve completed cutting up your stack of, take a couple of pieces from each color and pattern, and reassemble the squares.


Cut cards


Next, cut a 5" x 10" piece of cardstock. Mount two of these squares side by side on the cardstock using paper glue. Once the glue has dried, fold your card in half and crease the seam.


Cut quilt cards


Create several sets of these. With each edition, mix up the papers and try cutting new patterns.


It’s always nice to have a place to display the cards you receive, so I created this simple display, too! 


Take an old wooden picture frame, and run a row of thumbtacks, two inches apart, along the vertical sides. Don’t push them in too deep yet, leave a small gap between the tack head and the wood.


Cut cards


Select a spool of sturdy twine or string, and tie the end to one of the top thumbtacks. Zigzag the string across the frame back and around the thumbtacks, working your way down the frame. When you reach bottom, tie off your string around the last tack and push the tacks deeply into the frame.




Hang your cards over the strings and secure with a tiny clothespin or clip. Sit back, enjoy the cards you received, and think of the people that sent them and the words they shared inside.


Strung cards


Supply List

For Cards:

Card stock

Patterned papers

Washi tape

Paper Glue


For card display:

Wooden picture frame

String or twine


Tiny clothespins or clips