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Thoughts on Masculine Cards

Thoughts on Masculine Cards
By Marion Davis, Artistic Guide


Before we begin I will apologize for bending the rules a tad in my photos. First of all, there's a lot of them, and I haven't included stamp credits since they came out of my "masculine" stash.  Secondly, not all the cards even have a stamp on them.  I know we are all stampers and we normally emphasize stamping, however as an instructor I frequently will leave a card without embellishment so the students may see the full effect of a technique, Also, as a card maker, I use many skills or crafts, and stamping is just one of them. The point of this article is more about thinking  about what makes a card masculine, than any particular technique or skill.

Recently I had to create some masculine cards for a Father’s Day class so I began to think about what made a card masculine. I also went back into my stash to see what I had done in the past that would qualify. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it really depends on the guy. Like snowflakes, they are all different.

So, here we go!  First of all I would start with the theme, matching it to the interests of the men in your life. Are they passionate about fishing, hiking, cycling, boating, particular sports, and so on? Matching the  theme to their passions makes the card very personal. Remember this holds true for feminine cards as well. The card I did for the June 2011 project "Guy Cards" was for my son when he participated in his first Trek Across Maine – a 180 mile 3 day trip to raise funds for the American Lung Association. Click here to see that card.  

Also consider that the male who has a passion for gardening would probable appreciate the use of some botanical stamps.

Secondly, color gives a tone of masculinity to your work. Earth tones are particularly popular as are monochromatic color schemes



Patterns are usually in a smaller scale. Traditionally stripes, plaids and geometrics are used for men.

This card was done by one of my students, Miriam Baker, during a class.

Look in your guy’s closet. What patterns has he chosen for his clothing? Don’t forget to look at the ties (if they own any). Ties are very personal and can give you an idea of what he would choose.

When putting colors together you are always safe with the greens, browns, blues, greys and a punch of color.


Keep ribbons and embellishments very textural using twine or velvet rather than satin and organdy. Metal embellishments add a touch of the masculine, as do wood and rougher textures.

Keep the layout sleek with definite elements and distinct layers.

Here is a brainstorm of ideas for themes to start you off:
The great outdoors:

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Scenic stamping
  • Water
  • Boating (sailing, dinghies, or anything that floats)
  • Fishing
  • Hunting or just animal stamps like deer or lions


  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Cycling
  • Skiing
  • Water sports
  • Favorite team using the team colors


  • Travel
  • Maps, globes, compasses, etc.
  • Books
  • Trains, trucks and cars
  • Nostalgic objects like old fashioned glasses, pocket watches, pens etc.
  • BBQ
  • Beverages
  • Office supplies
  • Computers
  • TV, chairs, slippers, pipes, newspapers, or anything they use when they relax.

You get the idea. What makes a card masculine is knowing your man and the absence of frills. Think outside the box.

Remember all this can be applied to feminine cards as well. The most important thing to consider is how you can personalize the card. If you bother to make a card make it obvious that you created it for the recipient.

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5 Responses »

  1. Thanks Maggi. Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. As always, great ideas!

  3. Happy that you enjoy them. I keep trying to look at it from the newbie or student's POV but I also am aware that many of my ideas start with something I like online.

  4. Thank you very much for this wonderful lesson on creating masculine cards. And as you said the lesson points can certainly be applied to all forms of card making.

    I have read and re-read your article many times and forward it to my other stamping arts friends.

    Your creations are beautiful and inspiring.


  5. Marion, Always enjoy your many tips and tricks and the more examples that you show is always better.