Covered in Doilies: DIY Mono-printed Business Cards

I figure if I’m going to be serious about things I should have some business cards. And if I’m going to have business cards they should say something about my work. Mass produced, from the printer business cards don’t seem the right choice for my work. I want something that feels hand-made yet does not come across as crafty. Nothing against crafts, it’s just not what I’m going for.

I stated with a simple text design to satisfy my need for order then began playing with fonts narrowing it down to Courier New and papyrus. The papers I choose were two scrapbooking sheets with a beautiful motif. A light iridescent white on plain white card stock and a pearlized off-white with slightly darker motif. Even with the addition of a bit of blackberry dyed string they were not  quite capturing the right essence.

After a some time spent googling business cards I jotted down a little list of ideas. Below are my tests from this weekend and a couple of links to sites with fun cards. 
The Craft Begins

I don’t think they are quite there yet but I was really happy with the process and will incorporate it into some paintings (actually I already did but I’m not ready to share those yet. That will be a post for the summer once I’ve worked out a few more things.) I’m more than a little surprised that I didn’t think of this before.

DIY: Doily & Lace Prints


  1. With painters tape tack down your sheet to a clean flat surface. If you care what the border looks like make sure that the tape is down evenly so that you have a consistent border. If you are using printer business card sheets, just make sure that the tape does not overlap the perforations. With the back of a spoon or your finger nail, lightly press down the inside edge of the tape to prevent paint from bleeding through.
  2. Trim your lace to desired size, probably either the width or height of your sheet but this is all up to you and depends on the design you want. If you want the lace to cover edge to edge, cut the piece a little longer than the paper. If you are using doilies don’t cut them as they will unravel & fall apart.
  3. Apply paint (I used acrylic) to one side of the lace/doily. Play around with the thickness and amount of paint applied as they will produce different results.
  4. Carefully lay the lace or doily, paint side down on your paper surface. Once it is down, don’t move it.
  5. Lay a clean sheet of scrap paper over the lace/doily and rub gently. You can use either your hand, a rolling-pin or print roller to do this but if you opt for a roller be carefull that neither the lace nor the scrap paper shift as this will make for a messy transfer. Depending on how thick the paint is, the amount you rub will produce different results.
  6. Carefully remove the scrap paper and lift up the lace/doily.
  7. Voila! you have made a print. repeat the above to add texture or patterns. The same lace and doily can be re-used.

6 thoughts on “Covered in Doilies: DIY Mono-printed Business Cards

  1. Anastasia this is a great solution. Not only does it epitomise your art practice succinctly; but, when you’re giving a card out you’re also giving a little work of art. The fact that each card is unique and hand crafted is so fitting. And one thing I’m wondering is – can you get the monoprint card backs to have an actual texture to them using natural dyes. Maybe it wouldn’t work, but what about pulped paper being rolled through the doilies instead of paint? Then again, maybe it would get too “crafty”. Keep at it!

    • Thanks, Natalie. The one-of-a-kind card as a little piece of art is exactly what I’m hoping for. I’m liking the natural dyed paper idea… I may need to explore this, if not for cards then for something else. Have you made paper before? Any pointers.

      Oh, how I need a bigger studio!

  2. I haven’t made paper in ages! But I suspect a trip to Opus art supplies or Granville Island would get you enough information on how to do it. The main thing I remember is how lovely it was to watch the paper change over time. Just like newsprint, it changes colours – especially if you have natural plants, flower petals, that sort of thing in it. Handmade paper and natural dyes that can be added to it have such a lovely “life” to it. That’s was fascinates me. When working with natural pigments as you do, you get this added evolution of the work.

    As for a bigger studio – we can all dream!

    • I’m still mulling over what to do with papers. I recently picked up a book on handmade paper baskets. Combining weaving, papermaking and natural dyes is rather enticing. I think I need more space.

  3. Pingback: Happy Half Birthday! « Anastasia E White

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