MAKE: Paint-dipped & hand-stamped business cards

Gal and Fellow Brand Identity DIY Paint Dip & Stamp Business Cards

I’ve always liked the idea of incorporating handmade elements into business stationery. It somehow feels more human, provides greater scope for experimentation and – with the minute imperfections – helps the items stand out from the (let’s face it, often quite bland) competition.

With this in mind, I decided to get my hands dirty and create paint-dipped and hand-stamped business cards as part of Gal & Fellow’s new branding. It was great fun. Here’s how you do it:

Firstly, have your company logo and the information you want included on the card made into a stamp. Depending on whether you want a single or double-sided card, you could get away with just having one stamp made. For this project I had two done by these guys. The stamps were high quality and affordable, and the service was fab.

Next, buy a pack of pre-cut business cards (you can of course attempt to cut normal card down by hand, but I’d advise against this). There are masses of card stocks and weights available. Have a sniff around the Web and choose the type that you feel is the best fit for your business. I found all I needed at UK Card Crafts.

Next up: choosing paint type and colour. Again, what you go for should be based entirely on personal preference and the effect you’re trying to convey. Watercolours give you a beautiful translucent finish, whereas heavier paints or ink provide a more solid base. I opted for a water-based acrylic paint that I diluted slightly with water.

You’ll need to be careful not to overly dilute or use a paint that is too runny, especially if you’re using a thinner card stock. These will buckle since they absorb too much moisture. Have a few tester cards to hand while you’re diluting the paint, to make sure it’s still holding enough pigment to colour the card sufficiently.

Once you’ve dipped all your cards, hang them on the washing line (if you’re not a fan of spotty grass, you can easily create a makeshift indoor drying area using an old cardboard box and some wire).

Gal and Fellow Brand Identity DIY Paint Dip & Stamp Business Cards
Gal and Fellow Brand Identity DIY Paint Dip & Stamp Business Cards
Gal and Fellow Brand Identity DIY Paint Dip & Stamp Business Cards

Make sure the cards are completely dry before you start stamping. With smaller stamps I find it easier to hold the ink pad still in one hand and then gently press the rubber stamp on to it. Be careful not to press too hard as this might cause some of the ink to go in between letters, creating a bleeding effect later. Check the stamp is covered evenly with ink, and that your cards are aligned and on a firm surface, and slowly bring the stamp down – hovering and adjusting just before contact is made to make sure it’s straight. You don’t need to press down too hard. I tend to roll the stamp front to back and side to side ever so slightly to make sure the edges are also properly coated.

And voila! There you have it – your own customised business cards that can’t help but stand out in a client’s pocket or wallet. As well as looking fab, the joy with these cards is that when you run out you can quickly stamp some more, rather than waiting for new stock to be printed and arrive.

Good luck!

Gal and Fellow Brand Identity DIY Paint Dip & Stamp Business Cards
Gal and Fellow Brand Identity DIY Paint Dip & Stamp Business Cards