How To Make Embellishments For Greeting Cards and Journals

How To Make Embellishments For Greeting Cards and Journals main article image
Posted on May 8, 2021 by Julie Richards

You don’t need a vast array of craft supplies to make beautiful embellishments for greeting cards and journals. Some of the cutest greeting card or journal embellishments are simple designs that are easily made from things you probably already have on hand.

I have about seven craft ideas that are easy to make and require no prior knowledge about complex machines, tools or supplies. Each of these items looks good on a greeting card or journal page. You may want to make quite a few so you have a stash of embellishments for your greeting cards and journals.

Items You Need:

  •  Paper (plain, decorative, tea stained, etc.)
  • PVA glue
  • Scissors (regular and/or decorative)
  • Ruler
  • Paperclips
  • Bulb or gourd pins *
  • Lace or fabric strips
  • Various colored markers or pencils
  • Assorted paper punches *
  • Rubber or silicone stamps and ink pad *
  • Gems or beads *
  • Needle and thread
  • Brads (small) *
  • Mounting tape *
  • Distress ink*


Lace Flowers and Paperclips

Lace Floweres

  1.  To make a pretty lace flower or paperclip you need 12 inches of lace that is about ¾ inch wide. You also need a needle and thread.
  2. Thread the needle and tie a knot at the end.
  3. With the lace in one hand, run the needle run a straight stitch, from front to back, along the length of the top edge of the lace.
  4. Pull the thread tight so the lace forms a ruffle. Join the two ends of the lace and sew the ends together to form a ruffled circle and tie a knot in the thread to hold the “flower” shape.
  5. Decorate the center of the flower with a gem or bead in the color you desire.

To make the lace paperclip, cut six inches of lace and fold it in the middle over one section of a paperclip. Sew the paperclip to the back of the lace flower to hold it in place. You can run the paperclip side to side or up and down on the back of the flower, depending on how you want the flower to sit on your card or journal page.

lace flower paperclip

Paper Version

  1.  Cut a section of paper eight inches long and one inch wide.
  2. Starting at the bottom, fold the paper accordion style from one end to the other.

    Paper Flower Fold

  3. Connect the two ends to form a circle.
  4. Embellish the center with a gem, bead or small paper circle.
  5. Cut a circle from paper that is slightly smaller than the paper flower.
  6. Glue the circle to the back of the paper flower so the flower holds its shape.
  7. Cut two leaves in the desired shape and glue to the back of the flower so they show on the front.
  8. Paper Flower

Paper Buttons

This is one of my favorite items to make ever since my friend Lynn Phelps sent me four of her beauties. Thank you Lynn for getting me hooked on these lovely embellishments for greeting cards and journals.

LP Paper Buttons

To make paper buttons, you need paper circles and cardboard circles of the same size, something to make a hole and thread or twine.

  1. Cut a circle from decorative paper and a matching one from thin cardboard. (a cereal box works well)
  2. Glue the cardboard circle to the back of the decorative paper.
  3. Poke two or four holes to resemble the holes on a clothing button.
  4. Run the thread or twine through the holes as many times as you desire and tie or glue the thread securely to the back of the paper button.

(Stamp on large buttons for added interest)

Paper Buttons

Easy Faux Stamps (two ways)

Process #1

  1. Cut a piece of card stock or paper, with pinking shears or decorative-edge scissors, into a square in the size you desire.
  2. Stamp or draw an image onto the faux stamp.
  3. Add a price like 5¢ to one side of the image
  4. Distress the edges of the faux stamp by running the side of a marker tip along each edge of the stamp.

Process #2

  1. Decoupage a colorful napkin onto a piece of card stock and let it dry.
  2. Cut the card stock into squares with pinking shears or decorative-edge scissors.
  3. Distress the edges of the faux stamp by running the side of a marker tip along the edges of the faux stamp.

Faux Stamps

Word Jewelry

  1. Print, type or write words or phrases onto a sheet of card stock or paper.
  2. Cut each word or phrase from the paper or card stock, leaving about 1/8 inch on either side of the words.
  3. Distress the edges of the words using the tip of a marker, running it along all the edges of the cut-out words, if you desire.
  4. Punch a hole on one side or the other of the words.
  5. Run a bulb pin, paperclip or twine through the hole.

Word Jewelry

(optional: reinforce the hole with an eyelet and then secure the pin, paperclip or twine.)

Stamped Image Embellishment

This is a layering technique you can do with stamps you do not normally use to create embellishments for greeting cards and journals.

stamps 2

  1. Stamp an image on card stock, paper or light colored fabric.
  2. Color the paper or card stock with alcohol inks, distress inks or watered-down paint.
  3. Glue the stamped image onto a piece of card stock.
  4. Add beads or gems with glue as you desire.
  5. Distress the edges with a marker.
  6. Add a decorative border with a fine tipped marker, if you desire.
  7. Add a charm or string of seed beads with a bulb pin or paperclip to the embellishment, if you choose.

Stamped embellishments

All of these embellishments for greeting cards and journals are easily transformed into many different sizes. For instance, you can make a paper flower using only ½ inch-wide paper. These embellishments can also be made without the rubber or silicone stamps. You can use an image from a book or magazine if you prefer. Use your own images if you have a talent for drawing.

The pictures I have added are just a sampling of how you can decorate or what you can do. As you can see, I turned one of the faux stamps into a tag. I hated to cut the image down.

You may know about some of these embellishment ideas. While other ones might spark an idea that gives you the inspiration to put a twist on the design. Either way, it’s always fun to sit down at the craft table and create a group of embellishments for greeting cards and journals. I hope you give these ideas a try and if you have any questions, please leave a question in the comments.

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Fernanda Rafagnin

May 13, 2021

Those look beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Julie Richards's profile picture
Julie Richards

May 13, 2021


Thank you for your kind comment. I am so glad you like them!

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