DIY / HOW TO / CRAFT
Giant Greeting Cards DIY: Make and Mail in 6 Easy Steps
You've probably noticed that we like to play with scale. With Mother's Day coming up we thought it was the perfect opportunity to send giant greeting cards to the important women in our lives. Read on to learn how easy it is to make and mail giant greeting cards through the Postal Service for just about any occasion.
When to Send Giant Greeting Cards
I took a quick break from the World’s Smallest Post Service this week to experiment with what we've taken to calling the World’s Largest Post Service. My mom lives far away and we can't always see each other for Mother’s Day. I figured a huge greeting card was the next best thing to showing up in person. She's probably expecting a new tiny letter to add to her collection, so this will be the perfect surprise. These big greeting cards are also great for any occasion: birthdays, well wishes, congratulations, graduations, or anniversaries. This would be a great way to surprise a pen pal, or even just for the simple reason to put a smile on someone's face.
One of the best things about making your own giant greeting card is that it'll cost you less than a single store bought card. The materials are cheap and besides, the best cards are always the handmade ones. Making your own card allows you to be whimsical, or witty, or sincere, or just plain silly. And plus, when your card is two feet tall, there's plenty of room for all of the above!
Gather Supplies & Get Ready
- Poster Board: Three (3) large pieces (22 x 28 inches).
- One (1) for your card and two (2) of another color for your envelope.
- Ruler: The longest one you can find!
- Scissors: The biggest pair you have!
- Clear Packing Tape: The cheap stuff will work just fine
- Pencil: Any one will do!
- Art Supplies for Decorating: Things like photos, magazines, ink stamps, glitter, washi tape, stickers, wrapping paper, paint, markers. Let your imagination and creativity run wild.
- Optional: Giant vintage postage stamp and airmail sticker. Click on the small image below to open it in a new tab and save.
Step 1: Fold Your Giant Greeting Card in Half
Take the chosen poster board for your card and fold it in half so that it measures 14 x 22 inches. Wait to decorate it until after you make the envelope. You’ll see why soon.
Step 2: Fold & Crease Your Envelope
Keep in mind that we are making an envelope similar in design to a typical 8.5 x 11" manila or document envelope. Only ours is for giant greeting cards so it will be much bigger!
Take one of the two poster boards you've set aside for the envelope. Measure 8 inches in from both the left and right sides. Draw two straight vertical lines down the length of your poster board. One will be 8 inches from the left edge and the other 8 inches from the right edge. In the photo I made my lines bold so you can see them. Yours don't need to be so dark.
Fold in the left edge and the right edge, so that the edges of the poster board meet their respective lines. Give it a good crease the length of the poster board. It helps to have the blank card in there to guide you while you're folding.
Don't snug the card in there too tightly. Make sure there is a bit of wiggle room. Giant greeting cards don't like to get stuck in their envelopes!
Now unfold your poster board and turn it 90 degrees so it's horizontal. Measure 8 inches in from the left and only 2 inches from the right side. Draw two straight vertical lines down the length of your poster board. One will be 8 inches from the left edge and the other 2 inches from the right edge. These will become the closing flaps for your envelope. One closing flap is larger than the other to allow you to slip your giant greeting card in before sealing it up. And that's how the lucky recipient will get it out too!
Again, fold to each edge to each line and give it a good crease. Place your card inside as a guide to make sure it fits snug but not too tight.
Step 3: Make The Envelope Flaps
Unfold the poster board. You'll notice a grid of creases resembling a giant hashmark. Take your scissors and cut out all four small corners of the poster board. These corners to remove are marked with an "X" in the image below. Then also slightly trim the top and bottom flaps at an angle, along the dotted lines shown below. This will give your envelope a touch of authenticity as it will better resemble a real envelope!
Step 4: Finish Your Envelope
Now take your other piece of poster board and cut a 7 inch strip off the short end so that you end up with a small piece that's only 7 x 22 inches.
Take that 7 x 22 inch piece and slide it underneath the two long vertical flaps on your half made envelope. First fold the bottom (smaller) horizontal flap up to cover the edge of the 7 x 22 inch strip. Use the clear packing tape to attach the bottom flap to the inserted strip. This will secure the bottom flap down and hold the strip in place to complete the back of the envelope.
The blue strip in the photo below is my card. I slid it in there as a place holder to keep things lined up and make sure my envelope wasn't too small.
Tape down both vertical side flaps, all the way from bottom to top. Make sure the middle piece stays in place and that the tape lays down smooth. Your envelope is now assembled!
Step 5: Decorate & Write Your Giant Greeting Card
Decorate your giant greeting card! I don’t have great drawing skills so I used images from old calendars to create a collage. Emily went to town with gold glitter. You can hand this over to your kids to decorate on their own or go a million different directions with your creativity. Use old family photos. Or print out brand new Instagram shots. You're only limited by the extend of your beautiful imagination.
Regardless of who it's for (your mom, your aunt, your role model, etc.), just remember it's the thought that counts. And the fact that you actually made a giant greeting card!
For inspiration on Mother's Day greetings and more ideas of what to write inside, check out Hallmark's long list of suggestions. Just don’t forget to remind her that she is loved!
Step 6: Prep Your Envelope to Send in the Mail
Affix the giant vintage postage stamp in the upper right hand corner. Glue on the Air Mail sticker for added flair. Write your recipient's address large and legible so the United States Postal Service can get it to the right place.
Pile on the real stamps (next to your fake giant one) until it adds up to your required postage. We found that our card and envelope weighs around 8 ounces which costs $3.54. That's eight (8) regular stamps at $0.49/ea. We always have random postage around the studio, so we got there by combining $0.70 stamps and $0.01 stamps and some others. Maybe someday we'll try it with 354 penny stamps just for fun!
Anything under 13 ounces can go First-Class Mail with regular stamps. If you're short on time, US Priority Mail will get it there in around 2 days and costs $7.85 for anything 1 pound or less. If you want to confirm postage or you want to see how much it will cost to send internationally, visit the USPS Postage Calculator.
You can also decorate the envelope as Emily chose to do in the photo below. That's a giant greeting card that can't be missed!
Insert your card and seal up the envelope. Use decorative tape or glue or whatever other fancy method you can devise. Make sure it's secure enough for travel, but also easy enough for your recipient to open.
You are all set! All that's left to do is drop off your giant greeting card at your local post office. Or hand it to your friendly neighborhood mail carrier. Don't forget to watch for the look on your carrier's face when you hand it over!
Now you too are a part of the experimental World's Largest Post Service. Have fun making and sending giant greeting cards. If you figure out any new tricks or tips, let us know in the comments below. If you want to share a photo of your big card with other Leafcutter folks, upload it here or share it on our Facebook page.