Wednesday, April 15, 2009

DIY business cards

I am a huge advocate for branding....personal and business. I honestly believe in it. Most of the time, the company (or the employee) who has devoted energy and time to brand themselves end up on top. I would be willing to bet that it is the reason I have gotten the majority of the jobs I have had in my life. I am sure there have been plenty of times where I was under-qualified for a position but was hired simply because I understood the importance of branding myself.

I did some searching around on Flickr and came up with several DIY/handmade alternatives to the traditional printed business card. If you are in need of some cards but don't have the budget to hire a designer and/or to have them printed, you have come to the right place.

The examples below can all be made from supplies found at a craft store or by ordering a custom stamp (just look in your local phone book for "stamp supplies" - the turn around time is usually only a few days and the cost is surprisingly low).

There are plenty of alphabet stamp sets in the scrapbooking section at places like Micheals, Hobby Lobby and even Walmart. The stitching above was done with a sewing machine but how cool would it be to add some simple hand-embroidery? Image found here.

The cards above were cut out of old menus using decorative scissors and typed with an old typewriter. Find the designer, Contrary, here.

The black cards above are so simple yet so powerful. Cut up some card stock and stamp away. Found this in a great portfolio set on Flickr.

Very cool. Very simple. Very handmade. Found here.

The cards above were actually intended to be table seating cards but they could easily be used as business cards. Found them here.

The cards above were hand stamped but you could also print your cards on your home printer and use a hole punch to add interest. Image above found here.

A few posts ago I wrote about my first attempt at carving my own stamp. It was very rewarding but it certainly requires patience. Found the image above here.

Go big. Very cool stamped cards above found here.

The cards above were screenprinted. I know we don't all have access to screenprinting materials but I thought they were too cool to leave out. There are plenty of resources online for creating your own screenprinting methods. Found the cards here.

The cards above are by far my favorite. They were made completely out of materials the designer had on hand. Image found here.

I really love this card. Found it here.

Many of the cards above were made out of materials you might already have in your craft room or office. I challenge you to look around at what you already have and see what you come up with. If this post inspired you to create your own business cards please share! I want to see!

Have fun!!!

EDIT: I just realized that I instructed you to look in your local phone book for stamping supplies. Why on earth would I do that??? I don't even own a phone book! Let me change my suggestion...you can check out yellowpages.com for local stamping supplies or you can google "custom stamps" and you will find a ton of resources for ordering online. Sorry for the silly suggestion.

45 comments:

  1. Those look great! I've never thought of making my own before! I always go to VistaPrint! I have been thinking about the personal branding thing a lot lately. I need to figure that out! Thanks for sharing!!

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  2. Wow! Thank you so much for this! I've been struggling with how to do my business cards and have been very dissatisfied with what I've come across on the web. I'm not a graphic artist at all so my designs sucked as much as the stock designs on most sites!

    Looks like I'll need to find some fun cardstock and stamps and get to work! Handmade is SOO much better anyways ;)

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  3. Wow...fantastic ideas here. LoveandLust gave you a great shout-out in the Etsy forums, so thought I'd better check it out.. it never occurred to me to make my business cards, but these all look amazing. I might have to consider this when mine run out! Thank you.

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  4. This is just about the coolest thing I've seen! I'm going to toss my computer designed / laser printed cards out the window!

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  5. Very cool card designs! Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  6. Thank you so much for this post! I really need to get going on making my own business cards. My favorite is definitely the one made with found materials around the house. I like the idea of each individual card being a little different from the next and being handmade.

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  7. Guess I should have warned I'd be linking to your blog - hope you don't mind!

    It has been an inspiration to many! Here is the thread I started
    http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6119202&page=3

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  8. I am so glad to see that this post was helpful! Thank you everyone!

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  9. Very cool, and inspiring they look amazing!

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  10. Ashley - Thank you for the kind words on my last post :D

    You work here is definitely appreciated! I read your blog often and it is always entertaining and full of great ideas.

    I'm making some fab business cards this weekend - I'll be sure to post them on the blog when their done so you'll have to check 'em out and see what you have inspired!

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  11. Thanks! what a great bunch of ideas :)

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  12. Fab, I need to redo mine, food for thjought

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  13. This is a great collection you've come up with. The gold stamping looks great, and I love the stitching idea!

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  14. These are lovely! I really like the ones done on the sewing machine, I might have to try that. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  15. I had a custom stamp made from:
    http://www.etsy.com/profile.php?user_id=5160878
    And it's done me well. I got it on a recommendation from another crafter who said the stamp she bought from that person had lasted a few years so far. I use mine for stamping paper bags with my contact info and jewelry boxes with my logo.

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  16. What an inspiring post! I just ordered 5000 of my business cards and I'm so bummed! I have so many great ideas now from your post. Maybe I can translate it to postcards or something. Anyways, really love it. Thanks for your comment on my blog. I linked to this post because it's so great:)

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  17. Great post! So many awesome ideas - love the first one most - with the stitching - so unique!

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  18. These are great cards. Great ideas. Thanks for the hints!

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  19. BTW, I posted about you on my little "stuff" blog, because I think people should get to know you. You've got great ideas.
    http://smallandheartfelt.blogspot.com/2009/04/cool-ideas-by-ashley-over-at-31.html

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  20. What a great idea for a post! I think the idea of handmade business cards is a good one, but one trend I noticed is that many of these do not identify what it is they actually do. I once had a very wise business owner tell me that if your card doesn't identify what it is that you do/services offered, it can get lost in the stacks of other business cards.

    Anyway, you put together a great post and really got me thinking about making my own business cards. Have a Happy Weekend.

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  21. ashley I just found you through the "class"! You have a fantastic blog. What great ideas for business cards, very creative, thanks

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  22. Thanks for the inspiration! I will definately be using some of these ideas in the future.

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  23. I love these cards!!...having just been thinking about revising my current ones (seen the ones on our blogging class that belong to Holly) I think if I combine some of her suggestions and some ideas here, I will have a real winner.

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  24. I was very much inspired by this post and made some! Check it out at my blog if you would like to see.

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  25. these are absolutely amazing! thanks for writing this inspiring post!!

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  27. Hey Ashley - this posting inspired me to try my hand at DIY blog cards! I'm going to redo the photos, but thanks for the inspiration!

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  29. this is so inspirational i love it great post!

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  30. great post i linked you @ the end of my own post :D
    http://loveclayblog.blogspot.com/2009/07/diy-business-cards.html

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  31. Thanks for the post, we will post your business card blogspot.com article. I will post for our customers to see your articles on your blog.business card supplier

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  32. So many amazing cards! I make my own business cards, but I simply design them on the computer and print them out. Maybe next time I'll be more creative and actually make my cards by hand! :)

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  33. HI! this is my card! (the last one) thanks for posting it on your blog!

    I got the stamper at Office Depot or max or whatever. I don't usually like to promote big box stores, but don't know where else to get items like this. You can put the little rubber letters on the platen yourself, and re-do it anytime you need to! I use chipboard form my recycling bin and scraps of pretty-ness that I find around here and there. Sometimes I staple stuff on, some times I glue, sometimes I sew stuff on, or tie bits of string, ribbon, etc. If you like this, check out my wedding invites!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/becktesch/4506337666/in/set-72157621045507936/

    Hand sewn with vintage wrapping papers, wallpaper samples and etc.

    I'd gladly make these cards for others! email me: bec.tesch@gmail.com

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  34. I think the DIY cards are amazing, but I think they are all missing something important. Usefulness. After reading around a lot I realized that no one makes their cards useful. This just leads to cards being thrown away as soon as they are out of the wallet.

    I took the DIY idea and made a useful business card (useful to the small business owners I target). I'd love to be on this list just for that, but in any case, take a look at my new cards. I think they are the bees knees!

    http://jic-designs.com/2010/11/27/new-diy-business-cards/

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  35. DIY business cards: Business cards is the most important element of your visual identity. It's the first thing people see when they meet you.
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  36. Mahmood you are rite DIY business cards are so important element of your visual identity.But i think all business cards are important fo any business.
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  37. Do you think that brand must needs a proper business card?

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  38. Your cards are awesome. Cards are necessary for any business. I also need plastic business cards for my new business. Your idea will help me so much.

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  41. Wow, that is really really cool! I love how sometimes when things don't go as planned, new ideas have a chance to blossom like this:)
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  43. Fantastic job i really appreciate your job what kind of Ink Print Cartridges you use during your printings it must be quality and heavy stuff for such a marvelous thing.

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