How to Make Index Cards on Letter Size Paper

by LeRoy Demarest; Updated September 26, 2017
Index cards are great for organizing notes

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.

Items you will need

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

By Hand

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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

By Computer

Step 1

Open a new Microsoft Word document.

Step 2

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

Step 3

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

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

About the Author

LeRoy Demarest has been a professional writer since 2007. His work has been published on websites such as eHow and he has done work for "Green Prints" magazine. He is an environmental scientist and he holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Salisbury University.

Photo Credits

  • blank card #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com