Howdy Do It – Week 8

photo by monda loves

In a few days I’ll be heading to Salt Lake City for Alt. If you haven’t heard of Alt, here’s the deal: it’s a conference for design and lifestyle bloggers, business who want to blog, businesses who want to meet bloggers, etc. I signed up about 3 weeks ago, and then realized I’d need to come up with business cards. Like, yesterday. First I thought I’d be really fancy and get some letterpress cards, but the more I thought about it the more I started having serious commitment anxiety. They’re expensive, so I wanted to love them, but I didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend on designing them, I’m considering a re-brand, and, oh yeah, they’re expensive. So I started exploring DIY options, and came up with some fun ones (which I’ll share tomorrow on Mint after I photograph them).

That leads me to today’s post. If you’re a designer, you know how hard it is to design for yourself. So much pressure! But, when you need cards in a pinch (or have multiple business that need cards), maybe the best thing to do is something fun. Something that was fun to make and looks fun in the end, not so perfectly letterpressed or offset or diecut or whatever. A small run, something you can switch up next time. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Myf Kemp made these cards using recycled envelopes.
Eugene Radomski used cardboard and (I’m assuming) a rubber stamp or screenprint.

Sassen used rubber stamps, and what I love about these is that they’re designed to be easy to print without worrying about registration.

The Rabbit & the Duck pulled out the sewing machine to make these cards.

Of course, if you have a screenprint or gocco set up, it’s easy. But these, by Gold Lunchbox, could have been made with a rubber stamp and a circle punch.

Dailey Crafton used cereal boxes and his Epson.

Michael Faber’s business cards weren’t DIY, but the edge painting was! He pulled out an orange highlighter and just went at it.

For more ideas, check out my Mint post on hand-stamped cards, and this post on DIY stamped hangtag business cards on Design Sponge. Lena Corwin’s book Printing by Hand is a good resource for making your own stamps, and she did a quick online tutorial here. Brendan and I are going to be spray painting some cards tomorrow for OK Great to use at Alt, and we’ll let you know how those turn out, too. If you’ve got some handmade cards to share, we’d love to see them!

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Howdy Do It came from “how do you do It,” the question Ellie & Margot found themselves asking about their freelance lifestyles, and so Howdy Do It was born, a weekly column about the things we do to keep ourselves organized, inspired and on track. Ellie will be here each Monday, and Margot will be over on Mint at the same time.



Oooh! Nice tips Michael! I just did painted edges on my cards too, but with a yellow paint marker. I should’ve used the stamp pad though instead of coloring them all myself. Way cleaner and faster with the pad. Sweet blawg too.

tara - scoutie girl

ellie – great inspiration here! for my very first business cards last year, i (gasp!) order some very plain ones from a mass-market printer with just my name, url, and email – then i stamped by biz name across the top after they arrived.

i need to work on the third generation now, though…

anyhow, i’m loving the stitching you featured. i’ve seen it elsewhere on other cards. maybe a trend? what simple & fabulous DIY touch!

Handmade Business Cards « The Craft Begins

[…] I always get made fun of for having business cards but they really are invaluable in a lot of situations.  They’re easy to get printed but doing something handmade makes you really stand out from the crowd.  Check out the bottom two designs and more at Pitch. […]


Oh my gosh! I JUST posted on this same topic (inspired by design*sponge)! And tested out DIY cards a couple nights ago–I’m planning to shoot my results tomorrow morning and put ’em up. Thanks for all of the other fantastic sources.

I read your blog nearly every day, and love it!


my DIY trick is to use a word document, print out roughly 9 cards at 2 x 3.5in at a time on pretty paper and hand cut them. it’s not glamorous but i enjoy the non-commitment part… they are really easy to change as well. in my last bunch i used a thumbnail of a drawing i did, gettin fancy!

thanks for these great ideas!


This is awesome, I’ve actually designed my cards to be made this way as well! I have my rubber stamps off getting made right now!

Rabbit & the Duck

Thanks for featuring my cards! I must say, although they take me some time to make, I get so many comments on them. Mostly along the lines of them being too nice to throw away, which is want you want in a business card isn’t it? : )

Amma Brown

These are so amazing, I just had to try it out. I’m about to graduate from college with my BFA so I thought it was time to start thinking about the future. I must say that not only are these good for making a small batch quickly they are so inexpensive, which is right up my alley. My emphasis is printmaking so on the back of each card I thought it would be cool to have its own little monoprint. Check it out if you would like
Thanks a bunch for the inspiration.


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