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ombre cards

How to add ombré effect color to the edges of your business cards and extra tips to add the perfect content to them

business cards with pink and turquoise edges

In this post, I am going to share a simple way to add extra flair to your business cards by coloring the edges. I am also sharing a video in case you like that format better!!

One of the very first things I did when starting my business was to create business cards, in a world of Internat it feels so nice to be able to handle cool business cards and hopefully make whoever receive it, remember YOU each time they see it.

Whether you have a business, blog or just need to hand your phone number, business cards are a must!

degrade of color business card

Over the years I’ve had my business cards printed in so many places. I’ve tried the super economical options for large quantities, I’ve tested super deluxe letterpressed options, and pretty much everything in between.

This year I wanted to do something a little different, I wanted to save while printing the cards, but I also wanted to WOW everyone that received one and thought painted edges could do the trick.

ombre painted edges

In order for this to work, pain the edges painted (and see the color). You will need a thicker than average card. This is the most important thing when painting edges, the cards HAVE to be thick, otherwise, you can still paint them, but the color will not be very visible.


Where to print thick business cards

I know thick business cards do not come cheap, but thankfully there are many companies that have deluxe paper. And you will already be saving a ton by DIY the edges instead of having them professionally painted – prices for this extra service usually start at $150+ on top of the printing (ouch!)

card thickness examples from zazzle


print your business cards at Minted

When I look for deluxe paper, Minted was always my to-go place. Their DoubleThick Paper option is 240 lb., 35 point thickness. (The thickness I am using in this tutorial) And additionally, they also introduced TripleThick™ Paper, this one is 360 lb., 54 point thickness. I have not tried this one but just by how awesome the double is, this one has to be insane!

Minted also has premade business card designs by Indie designers, so I always love to support another artist when I don't have the time to design something.


Print business cards on deluxe paper at Zazzle

For this project, I wanted to save money, and Zazzle was running a 50% sale on business cards, so going with them was the obvious choice this time.

One of the cool things about Zazzle is that they have great sales going pretty much year long (different products and discounts each week, so check them out ofter or subscribe for their Newsletter to be notified when business cards go on sale)

If you are patient and wait until their business cards are on sale you can get up to 60% off the printing of the cards. That's a pretty sweet deal!

Zazzle also has tons of premade designs that you can customize if you don't have a design already made.



My business cards

For mine, I designed a super clean and simple double-sided card in black and white, I kept the information centered for the back and played with the angle of my logo on the front.

I wanted them in black and white because I wanted the edge of the card to be the pop of color! I selected Zazzle‘s Premium Thick paper business card, it's 32 pt thickness/ 240 lb weight, Eggshell white finish, soft cotton texture.

They feel so deluxe and heavy!

Black and white business cars




The information in your business card is the essential and most important part of the design. So we should not take it lightly!

So before we start making them extra pretty, with the painted edges, I wanted to take some time to talk about the information you should and should not have in them

  1. Name and business logo: And when placing them remember about hierarchy, you want the most important thing (either your logo or name) to be the biggest thing, and then go smaller for less important information. If you are looking for a logo consider LOGOJOY or CREATIVE MARKET, for easy and affordable starter option.
  2. Contact information: I know, who would forget to add this information? But some people can go to the other extreme and fill out their cards with unnecessary information. Don't overdo it!Think about the people that will receive your card and how you want them to contact you. How will they use your card? In my case I prefer email to phone and a mailing address is not necessary when I meet people interested in my work. So an email and my website are more than enough.
  3. Ditch the domain!: If you already have a domain for your website or blog, ditch the default email server (, or whatever email provider you use) Set up an account with Google Suite (it’s super affordable and you can try it for free here) and have Gmail power your custom domain.In the backend, it would look just like any other Gmail email, but you can use your custom domain, as an example, my email [email protected] is powered by Gmail with Google Suite. And you can’t tell all =]
  4. One or two words are easier to remember: While on the subject of emails, and websites, if you don’t have a domain and website, please make your username as short and easy to write as possible, remember that whoever receives your cad will have to type your information, so you want to make it as easier for them.Also, when picking a domain, you want something easy to remember, short and memorable. You can always check available domains below. and if you need hosting for your website, I recommend you to check Siteground or Bluehost. They both always have promotions and are the leaders in starter hosting plans.
  5. Social media is king!: If you are a freelancer or business always add social media information, if possible try to keep all of your social handles with the same username, that makes it easier for you to list in the card and also less confusing for whoever is reading your cards and needs to finds you in a specific social media platform.

lettered business cards with painted edges



ombre painted edges

Are you ready to paint those edges??!

Let's get started!


list of materials


materials for painted edges


If you'd rather just watch a video where I show the whole process, scroll down!


1 Clamp the cards together, if you have more than 400 cards, you probably would want to make different batches.

I would suggest only clamping 100 to 200 cards only, depending on the thickness.

If your cards don’t have extra top and bottom (Zazzle provides 2 extra production cards – they have your order information- that you can use for extra protection) cut 2 pieces of cardboard or thick paper on the exact size of your cards.

Clamp with business cards

Align them together on a flat surface and using the clamp to secure them with the long sides to the side.

The extra cards will protect from paint accidentally getting on the front and back and it will also protect from the clamp damaging the tops.

2 Paint the edge of your business cards, If you are using only one color you can just add a little paint to your plate, dip your brush and text the color and amount of paint on a piece of paper towel.
Americana paint
You want to have just a little bit of paint so that it doesn't run down the cards. Also when you dab the edges, I suggest pressing them to prevent any paint from bleeding in the card surface.

sponge brushes

If you want to create an ombre effect, I suggest you start with one side, paint both solid colors first, and then blend the color edges, this way you will have more control over the paint and shades.

clamp with business cards

3 Dry and separate, is really important for the edge of the cards to not touch anything while drying, so a good trick is to use the clamp as a prop to keep all edges in the air.

clamp with business cards

Depending on the kind of paint you are using, drying times might be different, so allow at least 10 minutes for the paint to dry before separating and laying flat.

Once they are dry, separate them gently, as long as you don't use too much paint, there should be almost no bleed and they should come apart fairly easy.

close up of painted business cards

4 Pass them along! Now that you have some super awesome cards there is no excuse to not sharing them every chance you get!

Go spread some color!


Business cards printed at Zazzle

I hope you guys can spice your business cards up with this tutorial and happy creating!



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Joy Kelley is a Chilean Designer & lettering Artist. Mom to 3 little boys. Crafter. Pattern lover. Color obsessed. Lemon pie dependent. And the hand behind the HowJoyful Studio & HowJoyful Shop. Read more about her & the blog here →

2 replies
  1. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    Thank you for the tutorial Joy! I just ordered my cards and saved the post to try it as soon as they are here. I am so excited to try this with metallic paints!!

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