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DIY Fabric Cards

The holidays are right around the corner and its time to start prepping those handmade gifts! Today we wanted make some handmade fabric cards. Homemade gifts from the heart are always perfect for ANY occasion! We’ll be making cards out of cardstock decorated with fabric for that hand made feel and also one of only custom printed fabric.

Card Size

To start we have to figure out what size of card we want to make. Below we have put together a chart with several measurements on it for your reference

  • Popular Card Sizes
  • Workspace size, for when creating in Canva
  • Final Print Size

We referenced Canva. What is that? Canva is a free & easy to use online graphic designs website. There are TONS of free to use designs and templates, but keep in mind that there are also even more available that require their paid membership to access. These will be viewable when picking through their selection and there will be a watermark on them if you attempt to use them. If you don’t want the membership, don’t worry they have PLENTY to choose from without it, so just keep looking.

NOTE: You can use whatever graphic design software you are most comfortable with (Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkscape, Gimp, ect.), but the “Workspace Sizing” noted below is only for working in Canva. When working in any other software, your workspace sizing should actually be the “Final Print Size” (shown in the image below) but make sure the DPI/Resolution is set to 150dpi. This is important in ALL designs submitted for printing at My Fabric Designs as this is the MAIN reason we see designs come in smaller or bigger than originally intended, as the dpi is usually set to be either 72dpi or 300dpi.



Set-Up Canva Workspace

Once you have chosen a size for your card, you will need to set up a workspace that reflects this size. When creating designs in Canva for custom fabric printing you will need to DOUBLE the size of workspace needed. This is because they work in a DPI different that what is needed for fabric printing.

You can see below how we set up this sizing for our workspace by clicking on the “Create A Design” button in the upper right hand corner and then choosing “Custom Dimensions”. We decided we wanted a 5″ by 7″ card, which means for the front of back of the card we will need a total print size of 10″ by 7″. For Canva, like mentioned before, we will need to this measurement to DOUBLE the “Final Print Size” (shown in the chart above), so that comes to 20″ by 14″.

Note: There will need to be another sizing adjustment done when uploading to, but don’t worry its EASY and we’ll show you how (later in the post)!!!


Add Background Color

Once the workspace for your card is open, you can now insert a background or card color. You can do this by going to the “Elements” menu and choosing a square from the premade shapes available. You will then stretch the shape to fill the workspace. Click on the Colored block at the top of the work space, this will open the Color menu. You can choose from the preset colors available or Click the New Color option to choose ANY color!

NOTE: The color on your screen is a close representation of what you will receive on your fabric. As all screens/monitors are calibrated differently, the colors seen will not be exact to what is printed. For a better color match, we suggest ordering a Color Guide or Color Matrix from our site. The Color Matrix or Guide are both fabrics with printed color chips and their associated color codes.  The difference being, the Color Matrix is printed on a yard of your chosen fabric and the Guide (seen here) is a smaller 8″ square sample size with limited colors printed on Basic Combed Cotton.

You will use these by choosing a color chip and entering the associated code, located underneath the color chip, into either areas shown below.


(Optional) Add Guidelines

Drawing guidelines are great way to keep track of your spacing. As you can see in the image below, we have drawn in a line where the center fold of the card will be and we also drew in lines about 1/2″ from the edge all the way around. This helps to make sure our words and decorations won’t get cut off by being too close to the edge. It also makes a great visual reference to be sure our images are neither too small or too big for the space.

NOTE: These will eventually be removed from the card so that they are not printed on the final product


Front or Back?

When creating cards getting the layout correct is important or you could put all this work into the perfect sizing and color choices, then print it and find your card is all backwards and topsy turvey. Yikes! Below we have drawn a diagram for you to use as a reference of the front & back of the card. Once folded along the center guideline you will see how everything falls into place.



Now its time to decorate the outside of your card! Personalize it with names, photos, personal family sayings, ect. Using different pictures available in the “Elements” Menu or adding “Text”, you can easily add a wide variety decorations from their premade selection!

NOTE: They have so many options to choose from but keep in mind when working with Canva, some of their designs have Watermarks on them that can only be removed by signing up for their Pro membership. Don’t be discouraged, they have plenty of options available without going Pro. Items with the small crown on them will be items only available with the pro membership.



Now to create an inside panel for your card! This is done the same way as the outside. You will need to open a new tab to work in and create your design. We will be using a copy and paste method to insert the guides we made in the first page into the second page we open. Below is the step by step written instruction and a video you can use for reference if you need added visual instruction. This video is best watched from a tablet or computer at full screen.

    1. DO NOT close the Outside Decoration page, open a new browser/tab/window
    2. Go to Canva & open a new works space like previously done
      1. Same dimensions 20″ by 14″
    3. Click over to the previous page
      1. Click and drag a box to select ALL objects on that page
      2. Right click, and select Copy
    4. Go back to the new page we made
      1. Right click, Paste
    5. Delete
      1. all decor, leave the guides
    6. Decorate the RIGHT side OR both sides



Appliques are great ways to add that wonderful handmade feel to any card. We created appliques with family photos AND with cute little decorative character with frames. Below is written instruction and a couple video clips for your reference on how we achieved this.

  1. Create a new workspace, set up like in the previous steps
    1. open a new window/tab
    2. go to Canva & create a new workspace 20″ by 14″
    3. copy and paste guides
      1. Use the guides for making sure your appliques are appropriately sized
  2.  Choose from a variety of photo frames & resize to fit as desired
    1. insert image
  3.  Choose a characters  & frames from the “Elements” menu
    1. Resize as needed
  4. Repeat


Set-Up to Print on Fabric!

NOTE: Canva is unable to create workspace to the dimensions of a yard BUT you can combine your cards to fit within Fat Quarters. Which may be all you need. We were able to fit 3-4 cards and 5-6 appliques into a single fat quarter! WOW! 

  1. Open new workspace to the dimensions of a “Fat Quarter”
    1. As each fabric has a different printable width, these dimension will differ based on which fabric you have chosen to work with. Use the Chart above for reference of what your print size should be. Keep in mind, what ever your print size is, DOUBLE IT for Canva.
  2. Our next step will be to gather ALL designs into this new workspace so that you are able to print multiple cards & appliques in a single yard.
  3. Select ALL items from 1 card
  4. Copy & Paste into new “fat quarter” workspace
  5.  Repeat for all other cards & appliques until all designs are gathered into ONE workspace.
  6. Once done, Click Download-PNG

Upload to My Fabric Designs to Print!

  1. Click Upload in center of page at
    1. Select your newly made design file with all your card pieces. If you have not moved it, it should still be in your Downloads folder
  2. Resize image using the “Set Designs DPI” button
    1. A new box will pop up allowing you to set the DPI to 192

Assembling your Card

So you’ve received your custom print fabric, now what? Below we’ll go over a couple different ways to use the pieces we made to create your fabric cards!


All-Fabric Card

PREP: Cut out inside, outside, and double sided fusible interfacing to size. We used Pellon 805 Wonder Under.

  1. Fuse double-sided interfacing (as directed by product instruction) to the center of the WRONG side of outer card fabric
  2. OPTIONAL: we decided to add an applique to inside fabric
    1. Using the double sided fusible, we cut it to the size of our applique
      1. following previous direction, apply back of applique and fuse.
    2. Pull off backing paper
    3. Find desired placement
    4. Fuse to card
    5. Edgestitch or zig zag stitch along edges
    6. Admire!
  3. Peel paper backing off of fusible from main card fabric
  4. Fuse to WRONG side of the inner card fabric, make sure to line up appropriately
  5. Sew a 1/4″ seam all the way around
  6. Sew a seam down the middle of card to reinforce the layers and create an natural fold line for the card.
  7. Using pinking sheers, cut edges to create a decorative look
  8. Press in half


Fabric Covered Card

  1. Cut card stock to size
    1. we cut our cardstock 1/4″ smaller all the way around. This is because we wanted a frayed fabric edge on this card
  2. Spray adhesive in place
  3. Stitch with the LONG stitch length, 1/8″ in from the edge of the cardstock and down the fold line
    1. We set ours to about a 4 in the machine stitch length
  4. Pull at the loose fibers to fray fabric edges
  5. Write personalized message on inside

And that’s it, time to take all of this knowledge and create your very own custom fabric cards for your next holiday! Valentines day, birthdays, graduations etc…!

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