I do a lot of artwork and experiments and I always have a pile of paper scraps, ATC (Artist Trading Cards) and collage parts accumulating on my desk. A couple of times a year, I make a big batch of cards with all the leftovers. I find if have a stockpile of readymade cards, I am always ready with a thank you or sympathy card and also give sets as gifts to friends. Everyone likes receiving a card that is unique as it makes the sentiment of the card more meaningful.
To cut down on the assembly time, I keep an eye out for blank card sets on sale. This way, I don't have to cut and measure to create the base cards. Even if cards are patterned they will work. Just coordinate the additonal layers and artwork. All of the cards above were made with purchased cards and envelopes. I really like the diecut layers with scallops and zigzags. I spread all the cards out on the floor so I can see them and then go thru collage scraps, ephemera, etc. to create the focal point of the card. Then, the paper scraps come out and I choose additional layers for each card. Finally, any ribbons or embellishments are chosen. I stack each card and its components in bins. When I'm ready, I just pull off the stack and assemble. It's so much faster this way if you think production instead of individual cards.
Making cards is relaxing for me and gives me a good breather in between bigger projects. It also teaches great composition skills and allows me to try new techniques. When I'm done the huge stack of "stuff" on my desk is more manageable and I have a stash of great cards!