Paper Crafts Artist Trading Card Swap

Published on May 2nd, 2010 | by Julie Finn


DIY Business Cards: Crafty, Thrifty, and Eco-Friendly

DIY business cardsThe summer craft fair season is nigh upon us! My first craft fair of the year is next Saturday, and I’ve been pressure-washing the EZ-UP, sewing up products in multiples, and rethinking improvements over last year.

For the small-time crafter, the one thing that can almost always be improved upon is the business card. And without a lot of extra cash to throw around for swag, it can be tempting to wimp out on cheap, boring, run-of-the-mill cards- trust me, I know.

But we’re in a creative business, our business cards need to have flair! They still need to be done on the cheap, and if we can highlight our eco-friendly practices in the process, it’s all for the better.

The following business card projects may require a little more effort and handiwork than your average business card (think DIY!) but what you’ll end up handing out to audiences will be well worth it:

  1. Crafting a Green World first debuted this tutorial for brown paper bag seed packet business cards over three years ago, but it’s remained VERY popular, and for good reason! It’s a project that highlights recycling and the use of natural materials, which hits both fronts of the green crafting movement, and it’s highly DIY, including a template to help you print your cards on your own printer.
  2. If you’re not dead-set on a single business card design, Design Sponge has a tutorial for using a store-bought stamp kit to stamp your business card info onto anything. Seriously, anything. Can you imagine the possibilities? To give a specific look to your business card info, check out the listings for custom stamps on Etsy, and spread some of the love out to another indie crafter.
  3. If what you sell leans more toward the art side of craft, consider forgoing business cards altogether and replacing them with Artist Trading Cards. Whenever you’re working on your other art, create a few ATCs, write your business info on the back, and soon you’ll have a nice selection to hand out. Or delegate this to the underlings. At Strange Folk last year, my daughters created the ATC business cards AND handed them out. It was helpful to me and a big hit with the customers.
  4. Photojojo’s 12 Awesome Photography Business Cards tutorial focuses on business cards most suited to professional photographers, but much of the stellar advice here can be applied to any crafter. Pay special attention to the section entitled The Basics.
  5. This handmade business card cut from recycled paper is a terrific example of how customizable a DIY business card can be. Instead of paying for printed company-made business cards, pay for super-nice handmade paper, something with wildflower seeds embedded in or made from elephant poo, etc., and do all the printing and stamping and pressing and cutting yourself.

What are your business cards going to look like this season?

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About the Author

I’m a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I’m interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it’s manifested–making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.

13 Responses to DIY Business Cards: Crafty, Thrifty, and Eco-Friendly

  1. TeresaR says:

    Always a pleasure to read Julie’s posts: I learn something every time.

  2. TxTrish says:

    What wonderful ideas!
    Have a nice day…..

  3. Jenny says:

    There are some great ideas here. I use old playing cards to make my business cards. I wanted something cheap, green & handmade but that also looked professional. This is what they look like if you’d like to see!

  4. skeptis says:

    I also make my own business cards using vintage childrens book or other upcycled paper I find at the thrift shop. I use corner punches for decorative effects and a custom made stamp of my logo. Easy peasy:)

  5. tremundo says:

    Great Ideas! I’ve been upcycling various papers and book pages, printing digital collages or artwork on in the ATC size for biz cards. I also use this as part of my packaging. Customers seem to like the uniqueness of handmade biz cards.

  6. I tried to go as eco-friendly as possible. I opted to reuse instead of recycle. I am most using food packaging such as cereal boxes. I have a custom stamp which stamps on the inside. Still working on finding greener ink. Here’s what I did.

  7. Julie Finn says:

    I’ve just about decided that custom stamps are where it’s at for business cards–it opens us up to so many more DIY options. I’m currently working on a solarplate experiment to make a custom business card stamp. I’ll keep you posted…

  8. Like many of the other commenters, I’ve gone down the custom stamp from a local small supplier route and made business cards & comps slips from all sorts of waste materials. I don’t have the time to custom make cards from scratch but the ones I make with the stamp are still personalised, memorable and green.

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