A Vintage Handmade Patriotic Card

Vintage Patriotic Card

Why a patriotic card?

Well, why not? Sending cards for patriotic holidays isn’t as common as sending them for Christmas or birthdays, but why is this? Paper crafters love making cards, and people love receiving them, especially handmade cards. So let this be the year you start a new tradition by sending this vintage handmade patriotic card to a lucky recipient. I promise it won’t get lost in the tangle of other cards most holidays produce.

4th of July card showing vintage treatment
Lots of things happening on this cute vintage card

Making vintage cards is easy with the right papers and techniques

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If you’re a sucker for vintage papers and images, this card will be right up your alley. Featuring a cute, vintage image from The Graphics Fairy along with textiles and (of course) some sparkly accents, this card will satisfy your need to embellish and decorate. It’s interactive, too, which is always a fun little surprise for the recipient. I’ll show you more about that in a moment.

These Rustic Patriotic Papers are my own designs and are available in my Etsy shop. There are eight papers and two bonus collage sheets featuring tags, text, card fronts and even a couple of cute stars-and-stripes accent pieces in muted, vintage colors. The projects you can make with these papers are limited only by your imagination, and they’re instant downloads, so you can be on your way to a cute patriotic card in minutes! For more ideas using these papers, check out my vintage gift tags post.

So why would you send a card for a patriotic day? There are only a couple of such holidays, right?


There are actually nine patriotic holidays and observed days in the U.S. Granted, they’re not all celebrated with barbecues and days off from work, but they’re important nevertheless. And while some of these days are more commonly known than others, who says we can’t send special handmade cards for the lesser-known holidays as well? 

The benefits are two-fold: you’ll have more opportunities to create cards (and aren’t we always looking for more opportunities to get glue-y and glittery?), and you’ll knock someone’s socks off when you send a card that they’re completely not expecting. 

Patriotic Holidays in the U.S.

  • Washington’s Birthday or President’s Day – 3rd Monday in February
  • Memorial Day – last Monday of May
  • Flag Day – June 14
  • Independence Day – July 4
  • Patriot Day – September 11
  • Constitution Day – September 17
  • Columbus Day – second Monday in October
  • Election Day – “the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November”
  • Veterans Day – November 11

There you have it – nine reasons to make a cute, patriotic handmade greeting card.  And nine reasons to delight someone on your card-giving list. Especially “Election Day,” because these days, that’s kind of a tense day to begin with. Why not perk someone up instead?


Supplies for vintage card

These are only some of the supplies – I add as I go on most cards

Note: you may wish to change this list as you go along. You can see I started out with few supplies because I tend to “build” a card as I go. You might wish to do the same.

That vintage look is all about the edges

It’s easy to add vintage appeal to your handmade cards. Most of the time it merely involves treating the edges of your papers. Here are four ways I did it on this card:

Step 1:

I inked all of the edges of all of the paper layers. That right there adds instant vintage charm. I used Vintage Photo Distress Ink and went around the edges of all of them, including my “wonky stars” blue base layer, the music layer, the Bingo card and the card-top layer with the little girl image. Everything but the deep red cardstock base.

Vintage Patriotic Card
No edge left untreated (inked or glittered – or both!)

Step 2:

I tore the edges of the music sheet. You can use any music, but I printed this from The Graphics Fairy (there are several to choose from). I tore the edges first and inked them afterward.

Step 3:

I curled one of the corners of the music paper. Curling a corner of paper ALWAYS gives a vintage look to the piece, plus it adds some cool depth and texture, too. I then inked that corner so it wouldn’t glow bright white.

Torn and curled corner of the music paper
A variety of edge treatments

Step 4:

As a final inky touch, I inked the striped ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon. Bonnie has a great collection of patriotic grosgrain ribbons. I slid a piece of ribbon across the same Vintage Photo Distress Ink that I used on the paper edges, pressing down with a finger sponge dauber so I wouldn’t totally ink a finger instead (see Supply list). I didn’t want the ribbon too distressed, just a little.

As a side note, I also inked the cream cardstock inside the card where the message will go. (You can see a tiny bit of it in the photo at the top.)

More embellishing with a vintage flavor… (plus a little glitter)

Of course I added more embellishments. Of course. Here’s how I did it:

  1. I decorated the little girl’s dress on the card top layer with bits of Cornflower Blue and True Red Art Glitter. This is the finest, lightest, most sparkliest glitter I’ve ever used. To get into the itty bitty spaces, I used Art Glitter’s Designer Dries Clear glue with the ultra-fine metal tip (see Supply list).
Close up of glitter detail
Vintage buttons

I also glittered the edges of this same card top layer (after first inking it). To do this, I pressed each edge into The Essential Glue Pad (see Supply list) and then sprinkled it with some Fauna Art Glitter.

2. I heat embossed the edges of the Wonky Stars layer with copper embossing powder after first inking the edges.

Lots of vintage edge treatments

3. I edged the text boxes with Stickles in Mercury Glass.

4. I wrapped the ribbon around the Wonky Stars layer; then I tied a tiny bow before adding the remaining paper layers.

5. Finally, I adhered some authentic, vintage buttons as the perfect finishing touch.

A small bow and vintage buttons to finish this vintage card

And there you have it – a lovely patriotic card loaded with color, texture and wonderful vintage charm. 

But wait, what about that “hidden tag?”

I’ve started making more of my projects “interactive,” much to the delight of the recipients. Little secret messages are so fun to find, and they add an extra little “oomph” to the projects. (This Just Because” Card and Vintage Valentine PIllow Box are good examples.)

This card contains an extra little hidden tag at the top left corner. I decorated Uncle Sam’s beard with clear glitter, and I heat embossed the edges of the tag with copper embossing powder. (After first inking those edges – details count on even the smallest elements.)

I finished the tag with a snippet of linen twine in keeping with the vintage flavor of the card. What a sweet surprise.

Are you sending a patriotic card this 4th of July? Will it be vintage or something else?

Do come and share with the G&B community over on the G&B Facebook page. And tag me on Instagram if you post it there, too.  And if you use my Vintage Patriotic Papers, share the details and closeups! We want to see every little smidgen of vintage goodness!

Note: for a more modern take on patriotic holidays, you might try this star-studded greeting card. I made it for a graduation, but you could easily turn it into a cool patriotic card, changing only the colors and greeting.

Craft on!

More examples of vintage greeting cards and projects

Vintage Printable Patriotic Gift Tags
DIY Vintage Valentine Gift Box
Christmas Side-Step Card
A Shabby Chic Thank You Card
Vintage Look Holiday Christmas Blocks

Want to read this later? Pin it!

Pinterest cover for vintage patriotic card

1 thought on “A Vintage Handmade Patriotic Card”

  1. Super cute card. I definitely want to make some of them. I love the Graphics Fairy too. I also love your new digital papers. They are gorgeous.

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