11 Creative Ways to Decorate Handmade Cards

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Once you get hooked on card making, you'll soon realize that simple paper-and-glue designs are really just the beginning. A dimensional, mixed-media approach takes cards to the next level, making your missive a true work of art.

When cards get this creative, you could say the card IS the gift!

Mail with Care!

Many of these embellishments add some bulk, so you might want to consider hand-delivering your creation, or mailing it in a padded envelope. And don't forget to have the right postage — your super fancy card may well need more than one stamp.

1. Stickers

Stickers are kind of a no-brainer, but they've come a long way since we were in grade school — especially when you pair 'em up with other cool elements. Alphabet stickers in particular are a perfect way to add a sweet sentiment that really stands out.

2. Sequins

We love sequins because they're inexpensive, they sparkle and they're one of the flattest things you can add to your projects. Just stick 'em on with a strong liquid adhesive to make sure they stay put.

3. Gems

A little bling is totally our thing. Most of the gems you'll find at craft stores are actually stickers, so your work is basically done. Just make sure to get the placement right — once these beauties are stuck, there's no going back.

4. Wood

Wood is so unexpected on a card! It adds a natural, earthy touch to your project and adheres with hot glue or strong liquid adhesives.

5. Ribbon + Trims

Ribbon's just classic. You can tie cute bows for some dimension, or place it flat to keep your card mail-able. And it's easy to secure the ribbon with hot glue, fabric glue, stitching or with a dry adhesive strip.

6. Felt + Fabric

Pre-made felt and fabric flowers are a pretty shortcut (no judgment!), or you can get extra fancy and make your own accents. If you're into sewing, this is a clever way to use up bits and pieces left over from other projects. Felt and fabric can be stitched on by hand or with a sewing machine, or even glued down if sewing's not your thing.

7. Metal

Charms and tokens really up the ante here, and they often have a little hole that you can use to tie them to your card. Brads and eyelets are a good choice if you like the look of metal but don't want to add to much bulk. Set them into the paper with a paper piercer or a special eyelet tool.

8. Buttons

Ah, a classic. Secure them with hot glue or stitch 'em on with jute twine or thread. So cute — and you probably have some already lying around your house!

9. Chipboard

Chipboard is pressed paperboard that's not corrugated — it's a solid, thick paper that comes in pre-cut shapes or sheets for die cutting. Chipboard shapes can be painted, inked, covered with glitter or patterned paper... you name it. Stick 'em on with hot glue or liquid adhesive.

10. Paper Flowers

Paper flowers are just right for a romantic, feminine project. Create your own using die cuts, or you can buy them pre-made. Try adding ink, mists or glitter to give them that extra oomph.

11. Resin Shapes

Resin decorations add so much character to a design! Because they're made of polymer and have quite a bit of mass, you'll need a strong adhesive (like hot glue) to secure them.

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11 Creative Ways to Decorate Handmade Cards