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How can I Make Postcards?

By Jessica Pestka
Updated Feb 16, 2024
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Since the time of their first use in the late 1800s, postcards have been an economical and creative way to send a greeting. Postcards can be made out of just about any thick paper as long as they conform to the United States Postal Services requirements for mail. In order to send a postcard using the inexpensive postcard rate within the United States, the card must be at least 5 inches (12.7 cm) wide, 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) tall and 0.007 inches (.018 cm) thick, but no larger than 0.016 inches (.041 cm) thick, 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) high and 6 inches (15.2 cm) wide.

If a postcard falls outside of these specifications they can still be sent but may require a first class letter stamp in place of a postcard stamp. Postcards sent internationally are subject to the regulations of the country to which they are being sent. These postcards, whether for personal or professional use, can be made using simple, readily available materials.

How to make postcards with items in the home:

Create a template to use as a guide when making postcards. A simple template can be made from an 8.5 by 11 inch (21.59 by 27.94 cm) sheet of paper cut into even fourths will produce four postcard templates that will be 5.5 inches (13.97 cm) wide and 4.25 inches (10.8 cm) tall.

Use the template to make postcards from poster board or card stock paper, both of which are available at craft or office supply stores.

Recycle greeting cards by cutting the front cover of the card off. Greeting cards are often the proper size, thickness and shape for making postcards. Do not use portions of the card that contain writing or any cards that have embellishments that may get caught in postal sorting equipment.

How to make postcards using a computer:

Purchase card stock that is within the specifications the printer being used can accommodate. Check the printer information booklet or contact the manufacture for these specifications.

Using the computer’s word processing program design a postcard that fits the desired dimensions. Many word processing programs include a variety of templates that will make postcards. Free postcard templates can also be downloaded from the Internet by searching for “free postcard templates."

Print the postcard design onto card stock. Follow the printer instructions for printing on both sides of the card stock.

Cut the postcards using a straight edge and a craft razor to give the end product a finished, professional look.

These basics provide a starting point for making low-cost, creative postcards at home. Original, artistic or personal details added to any postcard made at home will make a homemade postcard stand out from the normal bills and junk mail.

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Discussion Comments
By anon129310 — On Nov 23, 2010

Making postcards bring happiness and excellent creative ideas within my hectic life. My idea is to create very smart postcards for my close friend and my very special one. I just want to use the color papers, colorful hard papers and some other accessories.

By cupcake15 — On Sep 11, 2010

Sunshine31-I would love to make postcards from photos. I really want to try to make holiday postcards this way.

I already have a digital camera and I would like to send out the photographs of my kids to my sisters up north.

I know that Etsy has great tips on how to make postcards online from imported photographs. If that does not work, I can always get a program to make postcards.

By sunshine31 — On Sep 11, 2010

It is really easy to make your own postcards. You can make your own postcards from buying the blank postcard templates at an art supply store.

The other day I went to Pearl’s Art Supply and they had a bunch for sale. These were part of a watercolor painting set.

The idea was to create a watercolor mini painting on the front of the postcard. I think postcard making is easy and fun.

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