Thursday, September 27, 2012

simple handmade sympathy card

Lately, I have been making my own sympathy cards rather than buying them at the store.  I find this works better for me for a few reasons--I don't have to go to the store to look for one--one less obstacle in the way of my good intentions; I can make it say what I want it to say; I can keep it simple.

I love buying cards at the store (I love it when I have the time to browse without hurry), but I usually have a hard time finding a sympathy card that feels authentic to me.  I know that good sympathy cards exist (I have been the recipient of some myself), but I guess it just takes a little longer to find the right one.

So I still keep an eye out for the good ones, but when I do not already have an appropriate card on hand for a situation, I make my own.

Because I am the type that can spend hours on a single card, though, I have to keep it super simple so that it actually gets done.   This combination has been working well for me lately:

a large flower stamp + a plain card + a lined envelope.

First, stamp the outside of the card and set it aside to dry.  (I tell myself to leave well enough alone--no writing or stamping a word or phrase on the outside--just the flower.)

While the image is drying, line the envelope.

Once that is done, write your message on the inside of the card.

I have used cream/charcoal, navy/gold, and kraft/cream for different cards.  I think the kraft color is a little casual for a sympathy card for someone grieving a death, but it could be appropriate for reaching out to someone who is dealing with an extended illness or something similar.

These cards may be too simple for some, but they work well for what I want out of a sympathy card--that it be respectful and pretty.  Keeping the design simple allows me to focus more on the message that I write on the inside (which is, after all, the most important part of a sympathy card).

I would love to know--what do you do when you need to write a sympathy card?  
Do you make your own or buy one?  
Do you find yourself going back to a certain line or brand of cards or an online seller? 
I always love finding new stationery shops and sources.


  1. Since I buy up packs of unused loose greeting cards at thrift stores, I often have at least one or two in the mix that are sympathy cards, so I use those if I have them. If I don't have any in my stash when I need one, I usually just use a blank notecard with a simple image, like you make, of a flower or something else natural, and focus on the note. (Though that's usually pretty simple too; I just let the recipient know that I am sorry for their loss and am thinking of them.)

    1. Yes, a simple message with a simple note is the best way to go with sympathy cards, I think. I love how well-stocked you are with your stationery. I need to keep an eye out at thrift stores. I would love to find unused vintage ones--they seemed so much more graceful back then. :)

  2. I'm a papercrafter ( if you would like to visit) so I try to make all of my cards. I mostly use rubber stamps for decorating the cards. I have some rubber stamps with sympathy-appropriate Bible verses or quotes that I either use on the front or inside. I also include a handwritten greeting inside expressing my sympathy.

    I like your simple but elegant cards.

    1. Hi, Donna! I love using rubber stamps on cards too! I would love some more stamps with words on them . . .

      Thanks so much for saying hello and leaving a comment. I really appreciate your kind words. :)


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