5 Tips for Writing Your Next Creative, Spunky, Heartfelt Card Message

Let's set the scene:

You’ve got a birthday coming up, maybe it’s an anniversary. There’s been a death in the family; maybe you just miss your college BFF.

Whatever the case may be – you buy the gift, order the flowers, you’re ready to send, then get to the card message…and want to turn around and say “hmm…ok let’s just forget it.”

Buying the gift is easy; coming up with the right words makes it a bit tricky.

That’s why we’re here to break it down, down to the deepest heartfelt sentiment (and don’t worry, we’re even covering sympathy card messages).

Maybe you’re gazing down endless aisles of birthday cards or reading through countless Valentines’ card messages in desperation, unable to find one that is: 

  • A – not the corniest thing you have ever read 
  • B – not ridiculously overpriced.

Maybe your goofball of a best friend is getting married, and the funny wedding card messages just aren’t up to par.

The solution?

Write your own!

We promise, once you’ve got these steps under your belt, you’ll look forward to writing card messages just to show off your skills.

If you’re ready to never stress about writing a card message again… go ahead and get your scroll on! 

We’re talking:

  • card messages – a brief history & cool timeline
  • personalization 
  • cheesy poems
  • quote inspiration 
  • meaningful compliments – because who doesn’t like to be buttered up a little bit
  • condolences

Get ready for writing tips, inspiration tips, and plenty of examples!

The Card Message - A Brief History

Although it seems like greeting cards have always existed (it’s pretty hard to imagine a world without them, right? No Hallmark? How did they survive?), there is, in fact, quite the history nestled behind them.  

Card messages date all the way back to the ancient Chinese who exchanged messages of kindness to celebrate the ringing in of a new year!  

The early Egyptians actually used papyrus scrolls to send greeting messages to friends and loved ones. 

Hmm, go figure! It would seem card messages have sort of been around forever. 

Here’s a quick little timeline:

1400’s: Europeans begin selling handmade greeting cards – including Valentine’s Day cards in 1415

1775: Second Continental Congress appointed a Postmaster General for the United Colonies, creating the U.S. Post Office Department 

1800’s: Valentine’s Day cards become affordable and widely available (click here for a photo of these 19th-century cards!) 

1843: First known Christmas card published in London 

1866: By this time, Prang perfected the color lithographic process, as shown in his reproductions of famous paintings, surpassing the quality produced by craftsmen in the U.S. and England.

1941: A small group of publishers, under the leadership of George Burkhardt of Burkhardt-Warner, established the Greeting Card Industry, the predecessor of today’s Greeting Card Association.

Time to Write

In the words of William Wordsworth:

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”

We know a blank page is often daunting, so try and view it as a clean slate with endless opportunities. 

Remember: If you write something and it sucks, throw it away! No one has to know about it. Nope! It never even happened.

Throw on your best English Professor getup and shake off that creative anxiety:

Here are 5 tips to help guide you through writing a creative, spunky, loving, heartfelt, sentimental card message!

1. Personalize

Think of a personal moment you’ve shared: Whether it be good, bad, happy, or sad. This is a sure-fire way to show them you care. The best part? There’s no need for details or explanations, which means less writing but more meaning. 

Some examples: 

  • A fun trip you went on together 
  • That one time you went out to eat and laughed so hard water came out your nose
  • When a massive wave absolutely took you out at the beach, and you ended up with your swim trunks around your ankles. 

You get the picture!

Pro-tip: Inside jokes are always a hit! 

2. Write them a cheesy poem

You know the kind of poem we’re talking about here: 

“Roses are red, pizza sauce is too, I ordered a large, and none of it’s for you. But...here’s a bouquet of flowers.”

Make it as ridiculous, silly, or cringy as possible. Bonus points for rhyming but no pressure, some of the greatest poetry didn’t rhyme, even Shakespeare hardly wrote in rhyme!

3. Quotes

Use one of your favorite quotes: Not only is it personal, but it can also be used as a source of inspiration. It can be from a favorite book, a favorite show, favorite movie, you name it! Make it as funny, serious, or romantic as the occasion calls for.

Some examples: 

“‘I’d give you a hug, but my shirt smells pretty weird today.’

– New Girl – 

Happy Birthday to my college roomie! Wish I could be there! I hope your night is as fun as you are.” 

 

“‘I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.’ – John Keats – 

Thank you for another beautiful year spent with the most beautiful woman, inside and out. Happy Anniversary.” 

Looking for some more romantic quotes? Check out some of these Romantic Quotes to Share With Your Sweetheart!

4. A little buttering up never hurt anybody...

Give a compliment: Tell them about something they do that makes you smile! 

It could be as simple as, “Thank you for always checking up on me, it never goes unnoticed.” 

Or feel free to go full-on Shakespeare if you’re really feeling it! We’re writing from the heart, remember? Go on! Dig deep!

5. Condolences

Don’t worry, we couldn’t forget the most challenging card message to write. 

Writing sympathy cards is hard. Emotions are raw, and you’re often stuck battling between wanting to show them how sorry you are and how much you care, but also wanting to be sensitive of their emotional and mental state.

 So how do we write these messages? 

  1. Cherishing the lost: Acknowledge the great life they lived, and how wonderful a person they were. Throw in a fond memory you have with the person who has passed. This will help bring positive memories to the forefront of the recipients’ minds and help them focus their thoughts on the positives instead of how down they may be feeling. 
  2. Support: Offer your support, let them know that you are here for them, whatever they may need.

Pro tip: When writing a sympathy card, it’s best to steer clear of “I know exactly how you feel.” Even if you have gone through a similar situation, it’s usually not what someone wants to hear while grieving, even though it may seem helpful from your side. 

Looking for some more examples? Take a look at these 40 meaningful, thoughtful messages for a sympathy card by lovepopcards.com! 

Congratulations! We know pronounce you a card message writing machine! Go forth & gift on!

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