The last few years I have been trying to make a bunch of blank cards around January when I am filling in my new calendar. That's when I notice birthdays and it seems like the perfect time to go through old images, postcards, scraps, and clippings I have saved up from the previous year and make them into cards. I always think this will be an organized and tidy stack of cards—perfect for all occasions and easy to find. In reality, I usually put the cards in such a special place, I lose them, but am thrilled when I find them again mid-summer.
One of my favorite sources for making cards are Camilla Engman's calendars. They are too beautiful to not use again. This one is from last year.
To make the cards, I cut out white cardstock, fold into a notecard, and smear the front side of the cardstock with a glue stick all the way to the edge. Then I position this face down on the back of the artwork. I press it down really hard and cut off the excess of the artwork, creating a perfectly flush edge with the cardstock. This is much easier than trying to cut the artwork out the exact size and center it perfectly on a blank card. I do this not only with calendars, but anything I love and feel horrible not using again—like letterpress cards of all sorts, wrapping papers, pages from foreign books, postcards, magazine photos—all that. I used to feel a bit bad about cutting off the pretty part of a card someone had sent me and reusing it, but after I have hung it up for a year or so, it seems silly not to pass it on.
Having said this, as someone who sells cards, and loves to support card sellers—I like to buy new cards too! But I also get a huge thrill out of making cards from images I already have stashed away. I feel so good about using up clippings from one of my many many piles of papers.
If I am making a card with artwork (as opposed to some other ephemera) I write "artwork by‚—" on the back of the card, so people know who made the lovely image. Regarding re-using this particular calendar, I did get a thumbs up from Camilla first because it would just be weird to not ask her permission before I posted about it. You can buy her amazing 2010 calendar (and re-use it for cards next year!) right here.
**In no way do I advocate using other people's artwork to make cards to sell. Nor do I advocate scanning, and making multiple copies for personal use, ad infinitum. This is all about reusing what I already have, one time, and sending it off into the world with proper credit.