How to Create Deckled Edge Place Cards

Have you been wondering how to create beautiful deckled edge place cards? Well, so was I. Keep reading to see how you can create a beautiful product with just a few tools that you may even have laying around at your house already!

Deckled Edge Place Cards Are Gorgeous!

I didn’t know what “deckled” actually was until I started reading a little bit for this post. Apparently, the term comes from when paper was first handmade with a tool called a “deckle.” The deckle was used to shape the paper into form, and often left the ragged edge look, which is often seen in antique books. For our purposes, the deckled edge is the feathery, uneven edge often found on handmade or art papers. This look is delicately beautiful and is very lovely when used with art pieces and place cards. Obviously, I was very excited to try out this method when I had a client request this style recently. Keep reading to see the process!

Creating the Cards

In this case, I’m starting with some tools that I have hanging around my house: a stainless steel ruler with a cork back, your watercolor paper of choice, a mechanical pencil and a paper cutter or scissors.

Supplies that will be used to create deckled edge place cards sitting on a table. Supplies include a stainless steel ruler, mechanical pencil sitting on top of strathmore watercolor paper and an xacto guillotine paper cutter
The supplies!

For this project, I need to create a standard 2 x 3.5 inch place card. To begin, I take my 9 x 12 inch paper and cut it in half vertically, giving me two 4.5 inch x 14 inch halves.

watercolor paper on guillotine paper cutter. The paper is cut in half vertically at the 4.5 inch mark
Cut the paper in half vertically

Past experience has shown me that I need at least an extra 0.5 inches of paper in order to have enough to grip and tear– less than this becomes difficult for me to rip with some degree of accuracy. After these pieces are cut, I take my ruler and mark each end 0.5 inches from the edge.

hand holding watercolor paper and marking the edges 0.5 inches in with a mechanical pencil
Marking 0.5 inches in from the edges

Then, I move my paper to the edge of my table. I want my paper to hang about 0.5 inches off of the side of the table and have the ruler resting exactly on the edge of the table right where my pencil marks are. Next, I start at the top of the paper and start ripping. During this process, I try to keep good pressure on the ruler and keep the paper steady.

Hand holding watercolor paper with ruler and ripping the edge with. theother hand
Lets start ripping!

I repeat this process on the other side of the paper, so now I have both of the vertical edges ripped.

Watercolor paper with deckled edges on vertical sides with pencil sitting on top and ruler to the side
Halfway done!

After this process is complete, I then turn the page horizontally and cut the paper into 3 inch sections.

Watercolor paper with deckled edges on vertical sides being cut in 3 inch sections on paper cutter.
Cutting the small pieces

Then, I repeat the process of marking and cutting with the smaller pieces. As with the first pieces, I’m leaving 0.5 inches on each side for me to grip while I rip.

Marking the edges of small watercolor place cards with a mechanical pencil using a stainless steel ruler
Marking 0.5 inches on each side

I then repeat the process with the small cards. I hold the card on the edge of the table and stabilize it using the ruler.

Hand holding watercolor place cards with stainless steel ruler on the edge. of a table and ripping the edge
Last rips!

And Voila! I now have three 2 x 3.5 inch deckled edge place cards all ready for calligraphy!

All done and ready to calligraph!

Want To Watch The Process?

The Final Product! Beautiful Deckled Edge Cards!

The finished product!

So what do you think? Let me know in the comments! And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out new designs in the shop! If you would like to talk about a quote for pointed pen calligraphy designs or place cards, please contact me to discuss your project!

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