Friday, July 16, 2010

How to Make a Personalized Garden Card

A few months back I had a post about the Postcarden that had just come out. A pretty nifty gift there, perfect for a girlfriend of mine, but discovered too late for her birthday.

So I just had to start constructing one from scratch. Inspired the by the above version of the Postcarden I decided to make one that looked like her home. Yeah, I'm sort of new to planning an organized post, and it didn't occur to me to document the process until halfway though...sorry.

So here is the practice mock-up. Knowing I was bound to screw up since I just jumped right in without a plan :D I started with scratch paper. First I took measurements of the Priority Mail box it was gonna have to fit into, I think it came out to 8"Lx4"Wx1.5"H. I wrote down the dimensions of each piece directly on it so I wouldn't lose anything in translation.

The base is a large piece, about 8"x7", that make the floor and the two longest fences by folding up 1.5" on each of the long sides. The two short end fences I made with flaps to glue to the base and adjoining fences (5"x2"), the flaps were 1/2" on 3 sides. The walls of the house I cut the full height of the house (4.5") so they could be glued the full depth of the fence to be very strong since they had to be folded down to fit the box. The two walls making the front and back of the house (4.5"x5", 4.5"x4" for the edge wall) I added 1/2" flaps to the upper portion to eventually be glued to the other two walls (by the recipient after opening). I lightly scored the walls where they needed to fold at the top of the fence so it would be clean. The wall down the center of the garden card - I made with a 1/2" flap to glue to the base and it just fit laying flat on the base when folded (5"x4"). The roof was one piece (5"x4.5") folded along the center lengthwise, I did not make any attachment flaps for the roof since it is optional (if you grow sprouts inside the house portion they will need light). For the growing trays I cut the bottoms off of two 1 quart sized milk jugs to a height of 1.25", they happened to fit perfectly!

base, fences and walls taped during testing, milk trays in place

full test mock-up

mock-up in folded position for the box

mock-up folded and inside gift box :)

now that I know the dimensions of each piece I carefully marked up the final pieces on tinted cardstock paper

by now Felis silvetris catus "Gojira" has decided I have been paying too much attention to something 'not-me'

I used two colors of cardstock - one for the base, fences and roof; another for the walls

Here you can compare the final garden card to the mock-up. I only screwed up on the final garden card once so the hour spent on the mock-up was well worth it. In the back are the reference photos of my friend's house and "Gojira" now that she's finally interested in what I'm doing.

I pencilled on fence slats, wall boards, doors, posts, windows, etc. I also cut out the windows for fun. The mini-clothes pins are from Michael's, they are extremely cute and useful for gluing small things. Here they are holding the fence pieces in place as their glue dries. The ones on the walls are just so I can see the progress, they are not glued since the walls need to fold down later. I'm using the trays from the mock-up for the final.

the final Garden Card with roof before being folded and packed into the box
1 hr mock-up, 30 min cutting & assembling final, 15 min appeasing "Gojira", 1 hr decorating final & gift box = 2.75 hrs total

the opened Garden Card

I also ended up creating a 8"x4" backdrop piece with sky and trees for everyone who chipped in on the recipient's other gift to sign. Included with the garden card are two snack size zip baggies with seed starting soil and a packet of baby greens seeds to grow. I wanted to have lemon or wheatgrass seed since I think that would work better, but I couldn't find any in time.

Anyway, the Gin Master loved her card and immediately recognized it as her own home. Big smiles for both of us :)

Now go make your own!


  1. This is so awesome. I never would've thought to make my own.

  2. This is so awesome! Right down to the cat helper, I can do this! :)

  3. Wow, now I get to see how you made it! I'm going to start the lettuce in Sept after I get back from the Netherlands.

    Thanks again for such an awesome B-day gift. You made it look just like my house!

  4. This is so awesome! Right down to the cat helper, I can do this! :)


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