With the last cards I made, I came up with this idea to help me design my cards. It helps me to know how much space I have to actually work with (the size of the card front) and what it might look like vertically or horizontally. It allows me to figure out what part of a patterned paper I might want to use or how much of more than one piece. I measured and trimmed the clear plastic from a set of spellbinders dies and used a sharpie to write the card size, mark off the halfway point both vertically and horizontally, and around the edge of the clear plastic so it is easier to see the edge of the 'card'.
Here I can pick out part of a patterned paper. This is especially useful with word paper and some designs.
This shows how I can pull together more than 1 piece of paper to create a design and see how it will look. I can move the paper and/or template around so I have more or less of a paper showing.
If you turn the template, you can decide if you like it better horizontally or vertically, too.