Postcards are in the midst of a trend revival. Millennials are 55% more likely than their parents to send postcards.
And it is not because they’ve suddenly been locked out of their Instagram accounts either!
Postcards are special, unique, and thoughtful in a way that social media posts or emails aren’t. They are a fun surprise to receive in the mail, and give someone something to hold onto or display. So in addition to being fun to send, they’re certainly lovely to receive.
This is even truer when it comes to a DIY postcard. It’s hard not to feel special when your friend has taken the time and effort not only to write to you but to create a personalized postcard.
So whether you’re on vacation or just want to brighten someone’s day, we’ve got the postcard inspiration you need. Check out these ten great ideas for custom postcards you can make yourself.
DIY Postcard Idea #1Homemade Coloring Book Postcards
Remember the adult coloring book craze? This version is a lot more fun!
All you’ll need is cardstock and a black pen. Draw out an illustration. Make sure to just do the outlines. You want your friends to be able to color as much in as possible.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at drawing. In fact, bad drawings can make the whole thing funnier and more unique.
If you’re traveling, try drawing a place you visited. You can use your travel photos as a reference. Otherwise, draw a silly image of your friends, an inside joke, or anything else you can think of.
If you want to take your postcards up a notch, you can create your drawing, scan it, and have it printed. This way you can send it to multiple people. Then, have them compare their coloring results the next time you all get together.
DIY Postcard Idea #2Quilted DIY Postcard
Make a unique DIY postcard using fabric instead of paper. This makes for a unique keepsake.
This takes a bit of sewing know-how. But if you’ve got the materials and the willingness to give it a shot, there are a ton of fabric postcard tutorials to help get you started.
Just remember you might need to check the postage. Fabric adds a lot more weight and thickness than paper does. It might cost you a bit extra in stamps.
DIY Postcard Idea #3Create a DIY Postcard From Travel Scraps
When you travel, there are all sorts of little scraps of paper that you pick up along the way. Train tickets, museum guides, tickets from concerts, and receipts from restaurants.
As you go, hold on to these. They can make for a great collage postcard. And if you’re taking your dream trip through Europe, you’ll have a really nice memento to remember it by.
Look over your scraps to find the ones that do the best job representing your trip. Brochures are useful because they usually have great-looking images. You might even be able to include a picture of your favorite piece.
Accent these images with things such as travel tickets, especially if they have recognizable names.
DIY Postcard Idea #4Create a Photo Challenge Series
What better way to send mementos of your travels than with postcards made from your own photos?
From your phone or laptop, you can make custom postcards from your best pictures.
Start a photo challenge to provide you with some inspiration, or challenge yourself to take one really great photo every day on your trip. Turn each photo from your challenge into a DIY postcard.
Send them one by one, and let the recipient know about your photo challenge. They will end up with a really cool series of photos that go together. You can even create the series, and then send them one piece on every special occasion: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries.
Plus, you’ll challenge yourself to take better pictures!
If you’re not too confident in your photography abilities, brush up on these tips. You’ll be amazed at how much you improve over the course of your challenge.
DIY Postcard Idea #5Make a Postcard From Your Travel Map
While you might do most your travel planning from an app on your phone, a paper map is a useful backup to have. Plus, you can use it to make great postcards later.
Circle all the places you went in a day or two, and draw out your route with a brightly colored pen. Add some notes to really give a feel of the place.
For example, you can point out where you had a really great lunch by writing what you ordered. List your favorite sight in a museum or art gallery. Include a silly joke or something that happened to you or your travel companion. For example, “Here’s where I wiped out on some centuries-old stairs.”
Keep in mind that most postcards are 4×6 inches, so you won’t be able to fit an entire city map! Just include the most important section, such as the heart of the downtown.
Cut out your marked up map and glue it to a 4×6 piece of cardstock. You can scan it and have it printed if you want to send it to multiple people, or want to be sure it won’t fall apart in the mail!
This helps people really get an idea of your trip, and the things you enjoyed. A DIY postcard says a lot more than some photo postcard that you found in a gift shop!
DIY Postcard Idea #6Go Minimalist With Kraft Paper and String
To make a statement by going understated, grab some kraft paper, string, and tacky glue. You can use any color string or just plain brown for a more rustic look.
Glue your kraft paper to a piece of 4×6 cardstock on both sides. Before you start crafting, write the message that you want to include on the postcard. It’ll be a lot harder to write once you’ve made a string design on the other side!
On paper, draw out your design. Keep it simple, but be creative. You can write a short word or phrase, or draw simple shapes like flowers or hearts.
Then, recreate the design on your kraft paper postcard with the glue. Put the string down in the glue and press it down to make sure it sticks well.
In just a few minutes, your string postcard is ready to go!
DIY Postcard Idea #7Fabric Scrap Collage
This is an easier version of the quilted postcard that we talked about before. This DIY postcard lets you use fabric without any sewing required.
You’ll need some sturdy cardstock, fabric scraps, and glue. The scraps can be of any size, but smaller is better since you’re making a collage.
Glue the scraps on one at a time, covering the cardstock and layering them over one another. Make sure that you leave time for it to dry in between layers.
Also, keep in mind the thickness and weight of your fabric. Too much layering will make it too heavy to mail.
DIY Postcard Idea #8Watercolor Postcards
A really easy DIY postcard trick is to use watercolor paints. Cut a 4×6 piece of watercolor paper. You can write on one side and paint something on the other.
Just don’t write your message until you are done painting and it has dried completely. Otherwise, the ink may run and become unreadable.
If you’ve got a knack for painting, you can get as creative as you like. However, if watercolors are not your forte, you can still create a beautiful postcard with the following technique.
Pick a few colors that are close together on a color wheel. For example, try two shades of blue and a shade of green. Then, with a large brush, wet one side of your postcard.
Before it starts to dry, paint a thick line on one side with the dark blue, a parallel line down the middle with the light blue, and a line down the other side with the green.
If the paper is wet enough, the paint will run and blend on its own. With your brush, you can blend it more. You’ll end up with a really pretty gradient DIY postcard.
DIY Postcard Idea #9Go Bold With Yarn Art
This one is for crafters who don’t mind an ambitious project. Get sturdy cardstock and cut it into a 4×6 piece.
You’ll also need glue and some colorful yarn. The more colors, the better!
Check out this tutorial for some inspiration and instruction. Basically, you are gluing down the yarn to make bold, fun patterns.
Unlike our string and kraft paper tutorial, this time you will be trying to fill all the empty space. You want to keep the strands of yarn as close together as possible so that the cardstock doesn’t show through.
DIY Postcard Idea #10Postcard Memory Book
This last tip isn’t about making a DIY postcard. It’s a DIY project to make a great keepsake using your postcards.
While you are traveling, send yourself a postcard each day. Write about the things that you did and saw that day.
When you get home from your trip, take all these postcards and bind them together to make a book. Now you’ll have a beautiful travel diary, with memories from each day of your trip.
Sending a DIY postcard is a really nice way to create an original, unique memento. Whether you are traveling or just want to let someone know that you’re thinking of them, these postcards go the extra mile.
The results are so nice that they will want to hang onto the postcard as a keepsake. Don’t be discouraged if your initial results don’t turn out like you hoped. You will get better with practice!
Looking for more DIY crafts? Check out our tutorials for some more inspiration and get crafting!