Fun fact: I love greeting cards! I worked in a Hallmark store in my early college days right after we moved to Arizona and sent hundreds of cards over the years to friends and family in Florida. I also ran an Etsy shop from 2008 to 2011 when the boys were little. It started with greeting cards and gift tags (Valentine’s Day was HUGE) then eventually custom file folders using cute papers which led to laminated bookmarks with the scraps THEN fabric flowers I hand cut, burned and sewed together. I reached 300 sales which isn’t shabby. You can check out my shop HERE.
I still love card making and wanted to offer a card making tutorial for anyone who 1. enjoys crafting 2. appreciates handmade cards 3. has fun putting patterns and colors together 4. likes saving money. If you tend to hoard craft supplies, you probably already have a lot of what you need!
Yes, I know…greetings cards can be found cheap these days. And we all know the joke about spending $97 in supplies to make something you could just buy for $12. I say it myself when I’m out shopping: “I couldn’t make this cheaper!”
Here’s my plug for handmade cards.
- Making them is fun, therapeutic and a great group activity for any age. I love putting patterns and colors together.
- People love receiving a handmade card.
- Card making is a great way to use up leftover paper and embellishments in your stash.
- A small investment in supplies can yield dozens of cards for pennies each.
- If you make a handful of generic cards, you can customize them for any occasion instead of running out to buy a card for every birthday or get well that pops up.
TAB’S TIP: Have an idea of a color scheme or theme before you start shopping. For these it was the blue/green/pink from the cactus paper + the llamas.
Here are the basic supplies you need.
- A base for the card itself. Of course you can buy sets of cards and envelopes whether plain or printed. You can also cut card stock and fold it into cards to get the colors and size you want. Always check the clearance section of you favorite store for greeting cards, you can just cover up the front design. Invitations work well, too!
- Envelopes. Thrift stores often have them or you can buy them in sets.
- Card stock for stamping and layering.
- Paper for layering. You can buy scrap booking paper in individual sheets or in pads or use scraps of whatever paper you have.
- Rubber stamps and ink. Besides flowers, animals and a million other motifs for the outside of your card, also think of what you want the inside to say. My favorites are thank you, happy birthday, thinking of you and congratulations. Ones like thanks a latte, I’m praying for you and it’s your special day come in handy, too. My all-time favorite is one that says “Wishing you a day filled with sunshine” because it works for virtually any occasion, even get well or sympathy.
- Embellishments. You can use these in place of rubber stamping or in addition to. Some favorites are flowers, butterflies and seasonal. The Dollar Tree has nice ones, too.
- Paper trimmer. Mine can handle a 12×12 piece of paper.
- Scissors (regular ones and the ones with funky zig-zag or scallop designs are fun).
- Adhesive. Glue sticks are great. I love mounting squares, you can get a box of 500 for about $3.50.
- Pretty pens, glitter, gems, etc. to add sparkle and flourish.
TAB’S TIP: Check your local thrift stores for fun supplies.
I’ve seen an entire bag of high quality rubber stamps for a few bucks. People often donate mismatched cards or unused invitations, too. Both the extra cards and envelopes can come in handy. You might also see trim, washi tape, stickers or scissors cheap.
MAKING THE CARDS
- Start with your card base. Do solid + print or print + solid.
- Layer on a coordinating paper. I often do a strip across the middle or two squares. Leaving a margin around the edges is nice.
- Layer on your stamped image or embellishments.
- Add glitter, gems, ribbon, flowers, etc.
- Stamp the inside.
- Stamp or add a sticker to the envelope.
When I get a design I like, I’ll do five or ten at once. I might modify the colors a bit but following the same format saves time.
It helps to have small pieces of paper pre-cut so you can lay out your design then modify to fit. That’s why it’s nice to determine your theme and colors ahead of time–you can get everything ready to go then just crank them out!
Get a group together for a Crafternoon and combine supplies!
I’ll be making lots of cards over the summer to have on hand for the rest of the year. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions!
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