How to Print and Fold Your Own Cards, Invitations, or Announcements
- Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Step 2: Choose the Card Size
- Step 3: Format the Artwork for Printing
- Step 4: Check the Artwork
- Step 5: Print the Card
- Step 6: Trim the Card
- Step 7: Score the Card
- Step 8: Fold the Card
A Message to Our Museo Customers
When we discontinued our Artist Card series at Museo, we received a lot of feedback from our loyal Museo customers. The decision to discontinue the Artist Card series was not an easy one for us to make at Museo. This difficult decision was based on information we collected from our technical support team.
Museo technical support had received a high number of support tickets over the years related to Artist Card printing issues. Our customers loved the Artist Cards, but they frequently had issues with paper jams and print alignment. The high cost of wasted paper when they had printing issues was also a problem.
We stopped production of the Artist Card series on January 1, 2020. We immediately received calls and emails from all of you. We listened, took notes and decided we needed a plan to help you continue creating custom cards. This tutorial was created based on the feedback from our loyal Museo customers.
A customized card is certain to make an impression on anyone that receives it. You can think of a customized card as a miniature canvas for your artwork or photography. It’s the perfect way to get your creativity out into the world and give others a chance to see your work for the first time.
Our tutorial will teach you how to print, score and fold MUSEO paper to create a memorable card. The steps are easy to follow and the techniques you learn will produce beautiful cards. Are you ready to begin? Great! We’ll break down the steps here and offer some tips to make you an expert.
We’ll start by gathering up the supplies we need to create the finished card. You may already have some of the supplies, since most of them are standard items. Anything you are missing can be purchased online or at a local store.
Here is what you need:
- MUSEO MAX250 Paper
- Paper Trimmer
- Bone Folder
- Soft Eraser
- Inkjet Printer
- Design Software
- Scoring Board
Let’s take a moment to talk about the MUSEO paper we recommended in the supplies list. MUSEO MAX250 is a 100% cotton rag paper designed to extract bold, bright colors from your printer. The paper features a smooth, elegant finish that produces prints with fine, crisp details. This means you can produce exceptional cards with almost any aqueous printer that accepts fine art paper.
You can purchase sheets of MUSEO MAX250 on our ecommerce website. Click/Tap Here to PURCHASE NOW.
It’s important to know this paper is printable on one side. We’ll use the printable side to showcase your photo or artwork. The other side can be used to stamp, or hand write your message.
Choose the Card Size
Common greeting card sizes include 4 ¼ - by - 5 ½ inches, 4-by-6 inches and 5-by-7 inches. It’s a good idea to create your card at one of these sizes to ensure you can purchase envelopes that fit them.
We are going to create the card in this tutorial at 4 ¼ - by - 5 ½ inches. We chose this size because it’s easy to print on a standard printer, since the unfolded measurement of the card is 8 ½ - by - 5 ½ inches. This is half the size of a standard sheet of 8 ½ - by – 11 inch paper. This means we can print two cards per sheet!
Format the Artwork for Printing
You can choose to format your card using any design software that is available and familiar to you. There is a variety of online programs and downloadable programs to select. We chose to format the artwork for our card using the very popular Adobe Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop is an application for editing images or retouching photos on Windows or MacOS computers. Photoshop is widely accepted by artists and photographers. It features tools for editing, image manipulation, and retouching image and video files.
There are a few versions of Photoshop available on the market. Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop CC. Photoshop is available as a single subscription from Adobe or it is included as part of the entire Creative Cloud suite.
- Download the 4 ¼ - by - 5 ½ inch template for this tutorial HERE.
- Open the file in PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements. Navigate to Image>Resize>Image Size. The page size is the size of the flat, unfolded card (listed below). Set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch. Close the dialog box and return to the template.
- Open the image in PhotoShop or PhotoShop Elements and make any desired edits, once finished go to Image>Resize>Image Size and set the resolution to 300 pixels/inch.
- Resize the image to the desired size.
- Example: The cards in our tutorial are 8.5” x 5.5” when flat. The front panel will be 4.25” x 5.5”. The template has a ¼” border. Resize the image to 3.750” x 5.000” to fit the template exactly.
- Rotate the image to the same orientation as the card to make it easy to drop into the template.
- Select the entire image and copy it (Edit>Copy).
- Return to the template file and paste the image (Edit>Paste). PhotoShop will drop the image in the center of the template.
- Use the move tool to move the image to the correct place using the guidelines. If the image does not fit the border, leave extra blank space on the bottom of the card.
- Add any desired text using the text tool. Use the move tool to move the text to the desired placement.
- Click on the eyeball next to the template name in the layers palette to turn it off.
- Go to File>Print. Choose your printer from the dropdown menu. Click print settings. Choose “manage custom sizes” from the dropdown menu. Click the + to create a new size. Save and rename for future use.
- Rotate the card so that the image panel prints out first. Most printers will not print on the last ½” of the trailing edge coming out of the printer since it needs some paper to kick the card out.
- Make sure the resolution of all images, logos, etc. are set to the correct resolution.
Check the Artwork
We have an old saying in the print industry, “Check twice, print once!”. Let’s take a moment and check over our file setup before we print it. It will give us a chance to catch spelling errors, alignment errors and make image adjustments. Here are some tips to ensure you are ready to print your design.
- Double check your spelling if your chose to include text on the front or back of the card.
- Make sure any text or images are placed at least ¼ inch away from the edges of the card.
- Check the resolution of your image. Make sure the details are preserved.
- Print out one copy on a plain sheet of printer paper. This will help you avoid wasting a sheet of fine art paper if something is wrong.
If you are confident that your design is ready to print, set your printer to the correct settings for fine art paper. Here are some suggestions for popular brands of fine art printers.
Select the Ultra Premium Photo Matte profile. Alternatively, select the Enhanced Matte or Archival Matte Paper profile.
All profile settings should be set to high quality.
Select the Fine Art Premium Matte Paper, Heavy Weight Fine Art Paper, Other Fine Art Paper 1 or Special 10 profile.
All profile settings should be set to high quality.
Print the Card
Fine art paper will usually require a different loading procedure than plain paper. Check your printer’s user manual for the correct steps and load your MUSEO MAX250 paper in the printer.
Now press the keys Crtl + P on your keyboard to open the print dialog box. Click on the print button in the dialog box.
- MUSEO MAX250 will be facing print side up when you remove the lid on the product box. Please make sure you load the paper in your printer with print side facing the correct direction. Check your printer user manual for details.
- It’s good practice to allow some time for the ink to dry before handling
Trim the Card
In this tutorial we are using a basic guillotine style trimmer to cut our printed card. Operation is simple. You lift the handle up, pull it down and cut the paper.
Our card size designed in the tutorial is sized at 4 ¼ - by - 5 ½ inches. We were able to fit two cards side-by-side on the paper, so this will make it easy to trim our cards. We will only need to make one cut to separate the cards.
Place the printed cards on the surface of the trimmer with the handle in the up position. Align the short edge of the paper at the 5 ½ inch mark on the trimmer. Double check to make sure the paper position is correct and aligned for a straight cut.
Keep one hand on the paper clear of the cutting blade and grab the handle of the blade with your other hand. Pull down on the blade handle to cut the paper. Now your ready to score and fold!
Score the Card
Scoring the paper for our cards will prevent the paper from cracking when we fold it. A paper score is simply a crease in the paper. We’ll need our pencil, ruler, eraser and the bone folder for this part of the tutorial.
Place the cards print side facing up on a flat surface. Use the ruler to measure the center of our printed cards at the top and the bottom. Take the pencil and make a very light mark at each of these points on the print side. Now draw a light, straight line between them.
We are going to use the bone folder on the printed side to score the card. You can use the ruler as an additional guide. Press firmly into the paper with the bone folder to create the crease in the paper.
Now you can remove the pencil marks with a soft eraser. Rub lightly to avoid marking the paper.
Fold the Card
Carefully fold the card along the scored line. The correct way to fold the card is to fold into the raised side.
Use the bone folder to flatten the fold. Press firmly but not hard enough to leave a mark on the paper.
Now We are Finished
Great job! You will be impressed by the quality of the finished card. We recommend using a high-quality pen to write your message inside the card. You can also use a water-based stamp inside of the finished card. Once the cards are ready, place them in an envelope and send them on their way.