I love greeting cards.
I didn’t know, however, that you can actually make money by submitting phrases, poems, art and photography to greeting card companies.
Some even look for old photos, so you don’t have to do anything but have some fun rummaging through your photo albums and memory boxes.
8 Greeting Cards Companies That Accept Submissions
I found a bunch of greeting card companies that’ll pay to use your words, art or photos.
In my opinion, this is a pretty cool claim to fame — “Once, my pun was used on the front of a greeting card!” (I’m a nerd and can totally see myself using it in a game of Two Truths and a Lie.)
Before swamping these companies with your submissions, though, be sure to familiarize yourself with the type of content they want.
Check out our rundown.
1. Blue Mountain Arts
Poet-artist duo Susan Polis Schutz and Stephen Schutz founded Blue Mountain Arts more than 40 years ago. Their goal? Help people express their thoughts in, well, thoughtful ways.
The poetic content is less punny and more serious. “Successful cards are warm and sincere, like a heart-to-heart conversation,” the guidelines state.
Per the website, pay is $300 per poem for Blue Mountain Arts’ rights to publish it on a greeting card and other products; it’s $50 a pop for one-time use in a book.
Get familiar with the content by checking out the company’s Facebook page. You can find the writing guidelines there, too.
2. Calypso Cards
You might have seen some of Calypso’s products in speciality stores in the U.S. or Canada. The company encompasses several brands, including Selfish Kitty.
It produces some pretty sassy material, including a personal favorite: “We’re going to celebrate your birthday in style this year. I’ve already got a box of wine chilling in the fridge.”
If you have a cheeky, dry humorous voice, comb through the other cards — maybe even give a chuckle — because Selfish Kitty is accepting submissions for all occasions.
It pays $50 for each accepted idea.
3. Noble Works
Need a greeting card featuring Santa getting a back tat? Yeah, NobleWorks Cards has got you covered.
Even more funny? The slogan on the site reads, “Make American Greet Again.” (OK, I laughed.)
Anyways, if you didn’t catch the drift, these cards are funny, unique and risqué. You can join in and submit art, cartoons or writing.
Start by entering your information on its submission page. Expect to get an email outlining all of the criteria after. Pay varies, so be sure to ask.
4. Oatmeal Studios
You’ve probably seen Oatmeal Studios’ cards on the shelves of popular retailers. They feature colorful cartoons with silly sayings paired with it.
Take, for example, this birthday card with a cartoon of a horse reading “50 Shades of Hay.” On the inside? “It’s your birthday — Horse around!” A horse with a toothy grin holds a whip. Perfectly simple yet humorous.
Think you got the right amount of sass? A bunch of submissions details are outlined on the site, although pay isn’t mentioned.
Rejected card ideas are, however, and include: “PUNS, GROSS IDEAS, MEAN IDEAS, LENGTHY POETRY or PROSE, NARROWLY FOCUSED IDEAS. (ie: new baby for quintuplets)”
This line of greeting cards, a division of Sellers Publishing, is described (by itself) as “fresh, funny, sweet, and sugary mixed with a bit of sass & edge.”
RSVP has a card for any occasion. It might be pretty, or it might be silly. Either way, RSVP seems to really value its contributors: “We work with artists and writers all over the globe, which keeps our content fresh, varied and relevant. They are the core to the success of our card line.”
As far as pay, it’s not specified. A representative said it varies by “industry standard.”
6. Shade Tree Greetings
This greeting card company has a line of cards called “Actual Pictures.”
You guessed it — these cards feature actual pictures, submitted by you. And you don’t even have to be good at photography. It wants your old photos — ones from the ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s. Photos can be black and white or color.
And they’ll probably be turned into something funny, so don’t submit anything you’re super sentimentally attached to.
Find all the details to submit online.
7. Smart Alex
These cards are hilarious. But I’ll resist giving examples to keep our site PG.
If you have “funny, edgy and risque” ideas, this is your greeting card haven. But there’s a fine line. We spoke with the company’s art director who adamantly said he accepts nothing too mean-spirited, serious or religious.
In addition to words, you can also consider submitting photographs and illustrations. Get the dirty details on its submission page.
Payment is $50-$75 per submission.
I don’t know what viabella means, but bella is “pretty,” and these are some darn pretty cards. They’re less crude, more serious. Though they do feature some of my favorite phrases, like “Shut the front door!” and “Holy Macaroni!”
Viabella accepts art and writing. Teri Desautels, the line and verse director, didn’t specify pay, but did say: “Payment can vary quite a bit depending on the submission type and number of pieces. Typically art earns more than writing; humor writing pays more than traditional writing.”
You can find all the details in the submission guidelines.
Bonus: Card Gnome and The Greeting Card Shop
Card Gnome is kind of like an Etsy for cardmakers.
What you do is apply for a shop. However, that’s about it — aside from the designs of course. Other than that, Card Gnome handles the customization, purchase, printing and mailing of cards.
In return, you get 5% of the price of the card (that’s a 10-cent minimum). Once you’ve accumulated $10, you’ll get a check.
The Greeting Card Shop offers a similar service, though you get 24 cents for each card purchased.
This is awesome if you don’t want to worry about shipping logistics, advertising or any of that business-type stuff.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite one-liner?
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.