DIY painting business card edges

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

My close friends know that when I'm into something, I'm really into it. As in, I'll care more about a little detail than anything least for a while. When I got my new business cards a few weeks ago, I was dead set on having some that stood out. I purchased the thick, luxe edition business cards from, but I wasn't crazy about the colors for the exterior edges that they offered. I have a deep love for cool business cards (think Brad Goreski's or these), so I wanted mine to stand out!

I decided to paint the edges myself since I didn't have the money for professionally painted ones and's options weren't my favorites. I used this tutorial and they ended up great! I've received compliments on these every time I hand them out!

For this project, you'll need time to set the cards out, separately, to dry once they're done. Like the original post said, I left my cards over night and they all were perfectly dry by morning!

Otherwise, you'll need:

  1. Two heavy duty clamps. I used what my dad had in his garage, but you can easily go to Home Depot or Lowes and get the exact same thing.
  2. RISO paint. I used this vendor from Etsy and they were great! Don't let the fact that they're out of Japan scare you off - the paint was absolutely what I was looking for and they arrived a week or so after I ordered.
  3. Some sort of painting sponge brush. I used one that we had from ages ago and it worked fine. A circular sponge brush may work better if you're looking to concentrate the paint more.
  4. Your fine ass business cards! Need to be thick card stock, so if they're not then order some thick ones and get started!

To start, take a handful of your business cards and make sure that they're all perfectly even around the edges. I can't stress this enough! Take extra time, since it's key to not messing up any of the cards. Accept the fact that you will lose two cards - the bottom and top - in this DIY, since they will get paint on them. I know. It's sad.

Once you've got the cards squared away, put a clamp on one of the short edged sides, making sure not to move any of the cards. Once you've got that down, you're ready to begin!

Take the paint and put a dab bigger than you would expect onto a stack of paper. Don't put it directly on the sponge or the cards, since that will make it harder to evenly spread. Dab with the sponge and lightly dab the paint onto the cards to evenly distribute it. I tried painting stokes down the edges, and the paint came out streaky (just like the original DIY said...duh), so stick to dabbing and filling the paint in until it looks even. I also pressed down on each side with my fingers as I painted so that the paint wouldn't get between the cards.

Once you've done that to the three sides without a clamp, take your second clamp and clamp down the opposite side of the cards from where the original clamp is. When you do that, make sure not to touch the paint on its edges, as that will mess them up and you'll have to go back and paint again. Once you've clamped that side down, you can take the other clamp off and paint that side!

As for the waiting time, this is the least fun and most annoying part of the project. You just have to let the cards sit there. I did this project around 4:00 in the afternoon and left the cards in a bunch for around 20 minutes. Next, I took the clamp off and (carefully as I could) separated them individually onto sheets of paper to dry longer. I left them there for the night and in the morning my cards were dry and pretty!

I'm so happy I painted mine and I love the way they've turned out! I get compliments on them all the time, but it's such a simple project. The edges pop inside wallets or on the side of a table, so you really do see the work that was put in.

Let me know if you (have or will) paint your business cards! I'd love to see some!


  1. Oh my gosh how beautiful! I have always wondered how people add the gold themselves..need to add this to my DIY to do list!
    xo Nan
    Simply Elegant Blog

  2. I love these! I'm hoping to do the same for mine!!

  3. Emily, these are so great! I need to do some of my own, and you've inspired me.

    xo, katie