Introduction: How to Create a Handmade Greeting Card "Factory."

About: For over a decade I published my own line of cards and serviced over 2,000 accounts including Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods and Papyrus. Two years ago I went into licensing where I now have over 200 product desi…

You can actually make a living constructing and making handmade cards at home.  I did this by servicing over 2,000 stores for about 15 years making cards this way. Of course, after awhile I paid other people to make the cards.

Here is an example of how I set up my manufacturing process for my card business.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Gather all materials you need for your card. This task requires I have glue, cardback, envelope, cello bag, card text square, and image square. I will assemble them all and make a card.

Step 2: Layout Multiple Cards

Lay them all out in a row and start adding glue. It goes a lot faster.
Overlap the cards in areas that are not going to be glued. You can get more cards on the table that way.

Step 3: Glue

Notice I added glue on the cards, but I didn't glue anything on it yet.

Since the glue takes awhile to dry, I know I will have time to lay down the pieces before it dries.

Partially dried glue is ideal, because when you place something on it, it has more "stick" to it than fresh runny glue. Runny glue tends to let things slide around too much.

Step 4: Glue in This Order

The pieces are placed down starting with the top row. Note the order and direction of both gluing and placing the pieces.

Drawing a circle of glue is a whole lot faster than a square shape, and it sticks just the same. Note also the card has a pre-printed black frame, to help the cardmaker guide where the glue should be placed.

Step 5: Do Another Layer

Is it time to remove the cards from the table to glue another set?

Don't remove anything. Put a second stack on top. I can make this stack go about 10 levels high.

Step 6: Assemble Your Envelope and Bag

This is not a good way to set up your workspace for bagging.

Put the cards and envelopes in locations on your work table so that you never cross one arm over another. This is very inefficient.
Also, if you are throwing away paper scraps every minute, make sure the garbage can is on the same side of the table as the hand that is throwing the scrap away.

Step 7: Arrange Materials in Easy Locations

This is a better set up. The pieces are near the hand that will pick it up.

Step 8: Stocking Finished Cards

The most efficient way to store cards is in long envelope boxes, which resemble shoe boxes. Allot an entire box per card style. You might notice the blue paper clips and the red post it's. I used the paper clip to warn me the card style is running low, and the red post it's to remind me I am going to drop this card, and to not remake anymore.

Group cards into 6's or 12 when putting them in the box, (that's the way card are usually sold). You can do this by rotating every 6 cards.

Don't store cards in damp areas. Dampness can cause the envelopes flaps to stick to themselves. Also, don't pack cards too tight if you use cellophane. It has a tendency to stick to itself since it is biodegradable. Bags need to "breath."