I started out making cards by pasting 4 by 6 glossy prints onto cards designed for that purpose (Strathmore makes a line of these). It is easy to do, in part because you need no folding or cutting. The cards are ready to send as soon as the print is attached (and your sentiments written inside, of course. I've always made cards that are blank inside). You don't actually paste the photo; you use little squares of double-sided tape. Quick and easy.
But I was never completely happy with that method. The cards look like what they are: two-piece constructions. Over time the photos can warp. There's no control over the paper or border; you get what the manufacturer provides. You are stuck with a 4 by 6 aspect ratio, too. Susan asked a question that led me to a better method: "Could you make a borderless card?"...meaning, cover the entire front of the card with the image.
Objections flooded into my mind. How do I print all the way to the edge of the paper? This isn't a trivial task with the Epson printers I've used: they insert a border if you don't have the settings right. The card printing templates provided by Red River Paper (an otherwise great source of papers and tips) didn't seem to do borderless. All just too fiddly, I thought.
And what about the paper itself? The reverse side of most photo papers isn't designed for handwriting. Some have brand names or other markings on the reverse; some have surfaces that resemble newsprint or feel like plastic. Not the best thing for your jottings.
After fooling around a bit, I settled on a borderless method. First, I use Epson's double-sided Premium Presentation Matte paper. Both sides have a nice surface and most images print attractively on it. It's heavy enough for a card (48 lb), if not quite as heavy as typical commercial cards. It's not very expensive. I usually print two images per sheet. Second, I don't try to print to the edge. I use a paper cutter to trim each card just where I want it.
|Scoring printed images|
|Close-up of score line|
|Creasing the folded card|
|Trimming the folded card|
|Add info on the back|