I’m warning you now, this is going to be a long crafty post. If that is not your thing, go and sign up for Book a Date!
Over a year ago I rekindled my love of crafts. When I was younger I used to love to make things at school and at home. But when I restarted this journey it took me a lot of time (and useless supplies) to find my crafty niche. But after a lot of trial and error I figured out that card making is my thing (I know Megan, the girl that hated cards now makes them). In this time frame I figured out a lot about the supplies you need to make cards that are fun, have a professional-ish look to them, but are definitely still handmade. I know some of my lovely readers like to make cards and some have asked me what I recommend for supplies. Well you are in luck. Today is all about How to Start Making Cards.
A good paper trimmer is a must. I am literally on my 4th one out of all the ones I have tried and this one has worked the best. Make sure you read reviews on them before buying one and invest in the one you want if you think this hobby is sticking around. I also recommend having replacement blades on hand because cutting oodles of paper will make those blades get dull really quick and when you blade is dull you will have a mess on your hands, trust me on this one. Also you can use your trimmer to create a score line to making folding your card easier and not spend the money on a scoring board if you don’t want to.
Heavy Weight Card Stock
This is a must for card bases. An A2 size card (5 1/2 x 4 1/4) is an average size card and is made using a piece of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock that is simply cut in half. This means you get two card bases out of one piece of paper which gives you more for your money. I tend to like a top folding card so I cut mine down on the 8 1/2 side at the 4 1/4 inch mark and score at 5 1/2. The weight of the card base is important as it is the structure of your card.
Lighter Weight Card Stock
Now that your card base cut down and ready to go you need some lighter weight card stock to work on your actual design with. Now here you have a variety of options. I recommend getting a lighter weight white card stock to match your bases, but you can also go crazy with the colors. I have a variety of colors from different shops that are all awesome. Some companies even have sample color packs that I highly recommend for a new card maker.
For a while I was using my We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board to make my own envelopes. It was fun and is a useful tool if you need a weird shaped envelope. But I wasn’t able to seal them easily this way. Since then I have smartened up and realized just how cheap you can buy envelopes for and how many awesome colors you can get. I still use my punch board, but my life is so much easier now that I have discovered the simple way of ordering them instead.
Good scissors are a must. They can make or break a card design sometimes. You need ones that fit your needs and I suggest having a few different kinds. You honestly don’t want to know how many I have.
In order to put your card together. I use a lot of different kinds because it is needed for different things. And sometimes I just use what is one hand. It all depends on my mood. I just know it should be strong.
Acrylic Blocks and/or Stamp Positioner
Truthfully I would be lost without my stamp positioner. I use it a lot to make multiply cards that are all the same design, to line things of straight or just to get a good stamped impression. I use my acrylic blocks a lot too, but my stamping tool is more important to me. I admit that I tried to by the mini one first. Sadly I realized by trying to save money with the small one I ended up spending more because I needed the bigger option. If you buy a stamping positioner I recommend getting the big one first. And for acrylic blocks? Get a variety of sizes.
Probably one of my most used card making products are my black inks. I have a variety in my stash and all are used for certain things. Some inks will smear if you use them with alcohol markers or watercolors. Others are made just for those products. Some inks are the perfect ink for sentiment stamping and some are just a nice, bold, black. I personally have about 4, maybe 5, different black inks and at one point of another I have used them all.
I’m obsessed with colored inks. I actually have a ton of full sized ink pads from The Ton Stamps (they are my favorite for full sized pads). But for people starting out I recommend you start with ink cubes. A lot of popular craft companies sell their regular sized ink pads in cube sets of 4 (usually).
Good Quality Stamps
I admit I didn’t think I would get into stamping when I first started. I’m not sure what I thought would happen, but not my love of all things stamps. At first I just bought really cheap stamps and didn’t worry about it. But the more I started to work on cards the more I realized the more expensive ones are such great quality and they will last so much longer. It is really hard to part with the money sometimes but in the end I have decided it is in the best interest of my card making and will be worth it in the long run
And there you have the basics I think you need to start making your handmade cards. Honestly these are just suggestions with my favorites marked in bold and starred. The links aren’t places you need to buy these things. I suggest you shop around for the best price unless something is exclusive.
I have a bunch of other supplies I could recommend if anyone is interested. Just let me know in the comments. The important part…HAVE FUN!