How to Make Index Cards on Letter Size Paper

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Index cards are great for organizing notes
Index cards are great for organizing notes (Image: blank card #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com)

An index card is a useful tool for writing down and organizing useful information about specific subjects. These cards come in several different sizes the most common being 3-by-5 inch and 5-by-7 inch and are printed on a 110-weight paper. While they are made of this heavier paper, a cheaper version can be made from lighter 20-weight, letter-sized copy paper. Size is key here though; on a normal 8-by-11 inch sheet of paper only two 5-by-7 index cards can be cut. However, if 3-by-5 cards are made, you can get four from each sheet.

Things You'll Need

  • Letter-size copy paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Computer with Microsoft Word (optional)

By Hand

Lay paper down so that the 8-inch side is parallel to your body. This is often referred to as the "portrait" layout.

Measure 3 inches across the top with the ruler and make a mark with the pencil. Then measure 3 inches across the bottom making a mark.Connect these marks by lining them up with the ruler and drawing a vertical line from the top of the paper to the bottom.

Measure across the top and bottom of the paper at 6 inches and connect the marks with a vertical line.

Turn the paper and measure down the 11-inch side of the paper at 5 inches and at 10 inches making a mark. Repeat this on the opposite side. Then connect these marks together in the same manner as previously.

Cut along the lines to create four individual index cards and two strips of scrap paper.

By Computer

Open a new Microsoft Word document.

Click on the "Mailing Templates" section and look for the "Labels" tab and click on it.

Click on the "Options" button on the new pop-up window.

Click on the "Label Information" drop-down menu on the new pop-up window and find the "Avery US letter" choice. In the product number box find number "5388," which is the index card layout; this will give three index cards per page.

Click "OK" to close that window, leaving one more pop-up window. Click the "New Document" tab which, will open a new document with the layout in dotted lines.

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