Handmade... Is this really a postcard?

Here is the obligatory topic about “Is this art or does it belong in the trash?”

Are handmade cards only real postcards if they show a certain level of skill?
Food package cards - funny or just cheap?
“No handmade please” - good idea or repulsive?
Let us hear your opinion!

Here you can all vent and argue to your heart’s content!
Please remain civil, don’t call names, remember the forum rules.



Like i said in the sandbox , the message in the card is what matters to me . As long as the message is polite and it makes me happy the physical beauty of the card doesnt matter to me .
Some might like to recieve any type of card while others like to receive store bought cards.
But every person has their own preference and tastes so we cant judge a person by the fact whether he likes a store bought card or a handmade card.
Also a lot of time and effort goes to make a handmade card by the maker and that just makes it more special to me than a store bought card .


I love making and receiving handmade cards. I think these cards give a more personal insight into the topic and memories the writer/crafter wants to share. I am part of the handmade round robin, and it is impressive how different people interpret the prompts or execute their designs.


I don’t mind handmade if they are crafted well. I don’t even mind food packaging ones; but I don’t look forward to them. If it is related to my wishes, it’s okay! If not, okay I guess. I have to say that I have received one very nice handmade one and one okay food packaging “postcard”

The text on backside means more for me than actual postcard :slight_smile:


What makes Postcrossing beautiful is that there are so many different people and so many different ideas that all come together in a super harmonious way (or, at least, I hope we are mature enough to respect each other’s differences). So what’s trash to one person might be super valuable to another. Many people seem to be looking for the abstract, metaphysical concept of a “perfect” postcard… but it simply doesn’t exist, because we all have different tastes and preferences!

So, personally, I don’t mind badly glued pieces of paper that are falling apart, or drawings that are printed off Google Images and then coloured with the colouring skills of a 3-year-old… I’m just happy to see that someone put time and effort into making me a gift, and I always appreciate it. I also see many profile descriptions that explicitly ask for food packages etc. Who are we to say that their tastes are inferior? It would be extremely pretentious and kind of snobbish! And I’d be super happy to send food packages myself, although I’d only send them to those who explicitly request them.

Also, seeing handmade cards as a lesser form of postcard isn’t really even justified… We would be unjustly elevating some “non-handmade” postcards that actually belong in the trash! Lo and behold, here’s a picture of the abominations you can find in Italian coastal towns:

(Lol, I cringe whenever I see these glittery monsters)


I completely agree with you! This has been my Postcrossing “philosophy” since I subscribed to the site back in 2016… I spend lots of time decorating the back side of my postcard, because that’s the most important part, as it is 100 times more personal than the image on the front! A beautiful postcard with just “Hi” on its back is way less interesting than an average postcard accompanied by a super long and personal message… After receiving a postcard, I often favourite it just based on its message – the picture itself isn’t always important!


A bit off topic, but I love the Italian glitter monster postcards! :heart_eyes:

About handmade cards, as long as they can be sent via mail and are not as thin as a normal piece of paper, I’m fine! They may be prettier or less pretty, just like any other card. I once received a sewed card, that was awesome. And one user made a Slipknot postcard just for me, that was so kind. But I also received flimsy pieces of normal paper with a picture on them, that was not so nice.


I make my own greeting cards and once in a while throw in a handmade postcard. I think “effort” in this matter also counts. I am not a fan of the “piece of cardboard, wonky cut magazine clipping stuck with glue stick” kind of card. But I participated in food package postcard swaps, and made sure to cut out interesting pieces of the package, not the ingredient list, if you get what I mean… So yeah, when it shows effort, and that doesn’t have to be very complicated, I don’t mind a handmade postcard.


If someone goes through the effort to create a handmade card, all my respect and gratitude to them. I personally have zero creativity, so I only send store bought, but I’ve received some masterpieces that I truly appreciate.


i think we all have received nice (with effort) handmade cards as well as crappy (no effort) ones …i do not think a card can even be called “a handmade card” if it´s just a cover of a package or a cut-out picture or photo glued to a cardboard :grimacing: instead there should be something unique, personal, creative in style/techniques to make it interesting, handmade :upside_down_face:


When does a card cease being a handmade card?

Today we started making Christmas cards at a museum printing place that we hope to sell and get some money for the museum.

I would send those out as handmade cards, as I made them myself. But as soon as someone buys it - they won’t send it off as a handmade card, but as a very unique card they bought somewhere. :thinking:
What do you think about that?


A handmade card for me is a card that a person creates - one by one (no matter if the sender made it themself or bought it). But I don’t count printed cards from personal photos (or artworks) as handmades either (the crafting process was done before with the original, but not for the card itself).

So in this case - for me - they would be handmade :slight_smile:

Of course digital drawings are sort of handmade, too. But it’s different. Handmade = Crafted (and unique, even when you craft the same motif multiple times, all are slightly different)


Oh wow! These are extremely beautiful! Are you selling them on the museum’s behalf (i.e. the revenue goes back to them), or is the museum yours? I saw a similar printing place when I went to Nuremberg back in 2016… It was a beautiful city, by the way.

Yes, your question is actually very interesting. Many other users here are saying that they don’t count food packages or photos glued to cardboard to be “handmade”… But isn’t this technically the very definition of the word “handmade” (i.e. made by hand, not by machine)?

My conclusion is that there’s a great variety of handmade postcards – some of them are almost universally and objectively good cards (even better than their machine-printed counterparts), whereas some others might not be the best postcards ever. Then, the distinction we have to make isn’t whether handmade cards are good or not, but what types of handmades are deemed to be sendable.

I think that the handmade/non-handmade split doesn’t do justice to the “handmade” part, which is extremely diverse and heterogeneous! It’d be good for postcrossers to be more specific – what handmades do you not want? Polaroid pictures badly stuck to a piece of paper and milk carton cut-outs? By being more specific, you won’t rule out users who send beautiful watercolours, which also count as handmade.

By the way, here’s my super humble attempt at doing watercolours for a Jackie Chan fan in Mainland China: click here! (It’s always my first time doing watercolours since the painful art lessons at elementary school!) I have to say that it’s kinda satisfying to craft these postcards! :sweat_smile:


I don’t have anything stated on my profile about handmade cards for the same reason i don’t have specific wishes on what i don’t like. I love to be surprised and get to know new things. So i’ve received quite a few wonderful creative cards. Some made by the senders friends or students and some made by themselves.
Recently i received this one, i love it.

And this one a while ago

I really admire peoples creativity, i wish i had a talent like that. The one’s i’m a bit less fan of is people sending the same own made photo to everyone. Might also have to do with the fact that the ones like those i’ve received all have a short, general text on the back.


We are selling them on the museum’s behalf. Luckily the museum isn’t mine…


This is one of my favorite ever received cards:

Made by @Pigglet

It’s basically just a cut-out of a paper plate and it is a few years old by now and has become spotty because it was displayed on my wall and in the sun all the time but I still love it. Always makes me smile when I look at it :smiley:

Veeery good question! I don’t know the answer. It seems to be different, depending on who you ask :wink:


So do I, as long as it is a pure rectangular shape and nothing else. Because crafting is creating something new (and as I already said above: for me a handmade card is a crafted card). So if anyone cuts out a food package and adds something it would be crafting (in my personal definition). When I have a sheet in A4 format and cut it in two halves… it’s not crafting. But if I cut out a shape… well, then I made something new / different from the material.

But really… it’s a personal definition.


:star_struck: Still alive :star_struck: there are simple and easy handmade postcards and some which someone put way more effort in it. I do both. And both counts for me :slight_smile: I am not able to judge how crafty a person is. Sometimes they just start and found here a nice spot to try out or, as myself, they struggel with motoric problems. So why should there be restrictions about it :wink: If someone takes a moment to create something, I personally, will always value it. So why is there this discussion any way?! :slight_smile:


The christmas cards are stunning!

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It will only seize to exist if it ever falls apart completely :stuck_out_tongue:

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I made this a few month ago from an cardboard packaging for an IKEA cake.

Do I consider this to be trash? Yes, recyclable.

Jokes aside, it didn’t take me a lot of time to get it done, but it did take me a lot of effort to get it right. I need to compose the final image (pens and ruler to determine what to keep and where to cut to fit the card in A6 form factor), use a desktop paper cutter (not a flimsy craft knife or box cutter) to precisely cut out the card.

Is it really a postcard? Of course it is. What else do you think “a piece of thin cardboard with a stamp on it that is permitted to be transferred through the postal system without an envelope which ends up in your mailbox” is?

But is it art tho? Well at least the recipient thinks it is great. To me, it’s me being lucky that the graphic designer at IKEA was a genius and I was just the guy who made the cut (pun intended), and if she said so, then yes. So long as it is visually pleasing or borderline interesting, it is art, regardless what medium it was made from.

Am I against handmade card? No, but certain people’s monstrous creation (I once received an Earl Grey box with uneven edges and lots of brown stain) has gave the term “handmade” card a bad reputation. But then again, no one would turn down a well crafted card.

I think one line on my profile pretty much sums up everything:

“Hand-made, self-drawn or home-printed cards: highly appreciated if they are made with love and confront to postal standards.”