I'm no pro but I do know a thing or two. Take it with a grain of salt. Or a cup of coffee, whatever works.
Here's a list of basic supplies for beginner card-making. Naturally, your collection will build as you figure out what works and what you like. Well, and based on what you find on sale!!
1. A card base, either card stock or actual cards. Blanks are available everywhere. You can even find them polka dotted/striped/flowered and jazz them up! Michael's almost always has packs of 8 plain cards for $1.
If you use paper, just buy some plain white envelopes that fit.
2. Accent paper. Paper is widely available, too. There are entire aisles of it, sold by the sheet, at every craft store. But also, be creative! Use vintage children's books, even fabric! It all works.
To make a set of cards, I'd recommend maybe five sheets of accent paper (the thin stuff, not card stock). Choose a variety of prints, but in a coordinating theme or colors. Get a couple small prints, a couple large prints, and an accent. Ideally, it'll coordinate with your card stock or cards, too!
3. Stamps and ink (or rub-ons). Quality matters, but only to a point. Unless you're planning to sell your cards, I'd spend a little more on the ink and stamps you'll use a lot, then stock up on cheaper ones in fun colors and designs. Buy what you like! I recommend higher-quality ink in black and brown and mid-range to cheap for your more fun colors. For stamps, just make sure the image looks flat and you're good to go!! I've had good luck with the cheap ones, especially if the design in simple.
At first, get generic stamps depending on what you're "into," like a flower, a coffee cup or a sun. Then buy a nice sentiment that you can use for multiple occasions, like "Celebrate" or "It's your special day!", plus a common sentiment or two, like "Thank You," "Happy Birthday" or "Thinking of You." Once you get going, you can always buy more specific ones later, depending on what you use the most.
An alternative is using your computer and printing sentiments on card stock or vellum. There's also wonderful rub-on transfers and pre-printed vellum to be had. It's all good!!
4. Embellishments!! Oooo, baby, that's the fun part!! Just take your time on the embellishments aisle at your local craft store and see what strikes ya. Stickers are affordable and fun!! Brads can add a little color and interest, besides attaching a flower or other object TO the card. They even have crystal and flower-shaped brads now! Just buy them to match the paper and stamps you have. There's tons of matching sets out there, too, of 3-D objects for every imaginable celebration and event--go nuts!! Keep in mind what you plan to make and buy accordingly!!
5. Adhesive. I recommend photo squares but use what suits you--even a glue stick!!
Naturally, there's a zillion other things you can get as you go along, including punches, ribbon, grommets, etc. Phew, there's a lot of goodies out there!!
In another tutorial, we can get into the advanced stuff like embossing! Can I hear a collective "Ooooooooooooo."
I did emboss recently--it's a blast!! We'll get there! :)
OK! Let's begin.
I'm putting on my teacher face.
Grab your card base, be it paper or an actual card.
Now choose at least two accent papers and a solid color or two. Ideally, it all coordinates. I pick my color scheme and assemble my paper so I know what I have to choose from. This paper is thin, not card stock. Very affordable. Notice the nice variety to choose from.
Here, I chose a pink card and a sheet of cute paper, plus I cut a piece of coordinating paper to jazz it up.
If you're using cardstock, use one of these thingies (or the handle of your scissors) to press the crease real nice.
Secure the papers with adhesive. Glue sticks work fine, as do those fancy roll-ons but I prefer these photo squares. You peel it off the roll, place it on the back of the paper you're adhering, peel off the backing, then press it into place. They make it secure yet smooth.
Presto!! You've got a layered, cute card base!!
Now on to the fun part. Remember the solid paper you chose to coordinate? Choose your stamp or sentiment and apply.
I chose this bird stamp and brown ink.
**TIP!!** Baby wipes work great at cleaning stamps when you switch between ink colors!!**
Trim it, then adhere it to a different coordinating paper. Notice the nice layered effect. ALSO notice, I rub the edges over the ink pad for an "aged" look (and so I don't have to fret over mistakes). Niiiice.
Now you need to add a little somethin'-somethin'.
I had my friend (whom I purchased the paper from) punch out these matching flowers. I secured the two flowers together and punched a hole in the middle with the itty-bitty hole punch, then attached it with a silver brad.
**TIP!!** A thumb tack works just as well! :) This gadget is just a little easier and more accurate. Well, and help you avoid poking yourself.
Now let's move to the inside. I like to do something inside, even if it's just a bug stamp. Any small accent, be it a stamp or a sticker, is a nice touch.
For this card, I secured another strip of coordinating paper inside, then added a sentiment. Again, I stamped it on a solid color...cut it out...and adhered it to a coordinating paper before attaching it to the card.
And, heck!! While you've got your paper together and all your supplies out--you may as well make a whole slew of them!! That's my motto, anyway!! Just play with different stamps and different combinations of paper. It's a blast!
Here's a few I whipped up the same night. Notice the same papers, similar layout but different paper combination. To me, the more layers, the better! (sorry about the blurry one)
To give them as a gift, consider a set of a variety of sentiments (like "thinking of you," "birthday" or "thank you") or all the same sentiment. Tie it up with ribbon or yarn and you've got a lovely, handmade gift that will be much appreciated!!
I hope this helped and/or inspired you. Let your creativity run amuck and have FUN!
Yes, I am GIVING AWAY five of the cards I used for this tutorial!! I'll draw a name from everyone who comments and mail you your cards!! You have until Wednesday, August 20 at midnight to enter. Just LEAVE A COMMENT to enter! If your profile/name doesn't link to a blog, be sure to leave your e-mail address! :)