Sometimes those greeting cards on the shelves at the local big-box store are too impersonal for your tastes, and you want something a little more unique and customized. A handcrafted greeting card is a fantastic option, but many of these cards bring with them a new issue: staying intact and in good shape between when you send a card and when the recipient gets it. You don't have to avoid all handcrafted cards that don't look exactly like the ones in those big-box stores, but you should be aware of how to keep them in great shape.
Raised Designs and Embellishments
The biggest issue is that so many handmade cards have embellishments on them that are raised. From quilled paper designs to flowers to gift charms, these embellishments can be crushed in the mail and can result in the card being mangled as it goes through the postmarking and sorting machines. If you do want to choose a card like this, either present it to the recipient in person or go to the post office and speak with the clerks about how to send and keep your card intact. The card will likely have to be hand-stamped (to get a postmark), and it may need special handling.
Glitter and Confetti
Sometimes these cards are covered in glitter or have a lot of confetti inside, waiting for the recipient to open the card and receive a surprise. Loose confetti and glitter can act like raised embellishments to an extent, making the surface of the card and envelope uneven. And if the envelope rips, then the glitter and confetti can get all over everything around the envelope. If you really want to give someone a card with either glitter or confetti in it, hand it to them in person. And make sure they're not standing in a windy area or near electronic equipment, which glitter can damage.
One more issue with some handcrafted cards is that they are often non-standard sizes or shapes. If a card is too small — the post office requires pieces of mail to be within a certain size range — then the sorting machines will have trouble handling it. To send a card that isn't a typical size, you may have to package it in another, larger envelope.
Note that all of these situations are solvable; at worst you have to place a card into a larger package or hand it to the person yourself. That means a world full of unique cards is waiting for you. For more information about sending handcrafted greeting cards, reach out to a local artisan.
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