I looked at my calendar today and realized that May—and graduations—are just a few days away. That means congratulatory cards are in order for at least four graduates I know. I could go to the greeting card aisle to purchase some cards, but with all of the designer card stock, embellishments and paper crafting tools I have, I think that would be a sin. I decided to challenge myself by not purchasing a single item to add to these cards, but instead to use what I have on hand. My starting point consists of these black, white, taupe, silver and gray printed papers, a package of black Petaloo flowers, some graduation stickers I purchased previously a year or two ago, and a package of charms. Let’s see where we go with these raw materials.

Starting Raw Materials

First, I visited Pinterest and entered the search term “graduation card ideas.” Obviously, I have different materials than what the cards on Pinterest show, but what I was actually looking for was some layout ideas. I sketched some layouts that appealed to me. As you can see, these are pretty rough, as I sketched them pretty quickly.

Layout ideas

When I was finished with my cards, the only materials I added to the original set were some ribbon and Neenah Bright White 65-pound card stock to form the foundation of the cards. All cards are A2-sized (4.25 x 5.25 inches), which will make it easy to make envelopes. But that will be another day.

For the first card, I used a top-fold landscape orientation. All papers for this card are from Doodlebug Design. The solid black is Beetle Black Sugar Coated Cardstock, which left little sparkles all over my work and had to be cleaned up afterward with a dryer sheet. The polka dot paper is one side of a double-sided paper called Classic, while the “ribbon” and “Achievement” file tab stickers come from the Fancy Frills collection. I printed “Class of 2015” with my printer on Neenah Bright White card stock. The lock-and-key charms were part of a five-piece Blue Moon Beads packet. I used the Stub side of a We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper to punch the corners of the layered papers.

Graduation 2015 - A

For the next card, I did a portrait side-fold. I used the same Doodlebug Design Beetle Black Sugar Coated Cardstock for the bottom layer of paper. On top of it is a double-sided sheet of card stock from Imaginisce, simply numbered #400239. I suspect it’s no longer in stock, since it came out in 2013. The ticket stubs are stickers from Doodlebug Design’s Fancy Frills collection. The stickers are a tiny bit askew, but I’m afraid they are they to stay, as they are pretty firmly affixed. The charm comes from the same Blue Moon Beads packet I described for the first card, and once more I used a Corner Chomper to punch decorative corners for the layered papers.

Graduation 2015 - B

The third card is top-folded in a portrait orientation. The bottom paper is the same Classic polka dot paper I used for the first card. The scallop border and “Success” file tabs are stickers from Doodlebug Design’s Fancy Frills collection. The diploma paper is one side of a double-sided design called Cap & Gown from Doodlebug Design, while the silver paper is the back side of a card stock called Black Swirl on Silver from The Paper Company.

Graduation 2015 - C

The fourth and final card also has a top-fold portrait orientation. My camera didn’t take a very good picture of the Flora Doodles flower from Petaloo in the upper left corner, but I hope you’ll take my word for it that the flower looks better in person than it does below. The bottom layer of paper is Beetle Black Sugar Coated Cardstock from Doodlebug Design, followed by #400239 from Imaginisce. The next paper is the back side of the polka dot card stock and is called Elegance by Doodlebug Design. The “Congratulations” paper was created by me on my computer. If you would like to download this printable that includes the “Class of 2015” rectangle, just click on Graduation 2015. It’s a PDF file, so you’ll need to have the most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it.

Graduation 2015 - D

Well, there you have it. I probably could have gone to the store and back several times in the time it took me to make these graduation cards, but I suspect it wouldn’t have been half as fun. And it sure looks like I have a lot of leftover paper for future graduation cards, based on how little I used from the stash in the first photo—probably enough for the next 10 years!

© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “It’s graduation season”

  1. Your graduation cards turned out great! And the little key charms will be great keepsakes. No grandkids graduating this year — and I’ll miss the UNL graduation because we’ll be heading to MN that week for a memorial service for Jerry’s very special Aunt Helen.

  2. Fun cards! I always tend to use black and white for graduation cards as well. So far we only have 2 to attend, but I do need to get some cards made.
    I love that you used pieces from your stash for these. Great work.

  3. Nice! I really should make or buy some graduation cards. My sister graduates college in a couple weeks and my brother in law (still kind of a weird concept to me!) is finishing high school (there’s a big age gap between my husband and his brother).

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