Saturday, August 16, 2008

Card-making tutorial (and giveaway!!)

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! :)


Just me.....Shelly said...

wow--you really took time to do this great tutorial for the beginner card maker. i am impressed!! i love the're awesome, tab!

Just me.....Shelly said...

oh..and you have inspired me to get out my embossing powders and tools....which i have NOT done in a loooong loooong time...maybe they'll get some use this weekend....?

Brown said...

Thank you so much for the tutorial!! I'm not doing anything about it right now being I'm sick and all. However, there's a hurricane coming and I usually get super crafty then so I'm going to try it out.

PS - I haven't responded to your wonderful email about supplies yet but I did read it and I'm so apprecitive for your help!! We will talk more soon. As soon as I can breathe again.

Cheri-Beri said...

You'll be so ashamed of me . . . I sold all my stamps, inks, embossing stuff, everything on Ebay earlier this summer. It had just been collecting dust :-( I wish I had time to do all the crafts I know how to do. Now I just blog - lol.

Beautiful cards by the way!!

Natalie said...

oh, i love hand made cards. i am just really lazy when it comes to getting out all the supplies and then i feel like mine could always look better and i get sucked into google looking for better ideas.

oh and i would love to win!!! thanks for the contest!

Krissy said...

I need more stamps!!!!!! lol And in response to your last comment - lol I'd LOVE to do a swap! You seem so much more creative than me. I LOVE your work. SERIOUSLY!!! I'm in awe! :)

Vanessa said...

What a great tutorial! I just got your goodies in the mail. Thank you so much! You are too sweet! I posted pics of them on my blog :)

You are awesome!

Trish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Trish said...

Cute cards. Thanks for the tip about cleaning your stamps with baby wipes. We're a few years out now from baby wipes and I'd forgotten how handy they could be!! Hmmm... wonder what Mike will think when I bring home a tub of baby wipes ;)

Brandie said...

Hi Tab!
Awesome cards!

I have some stamps that I don't think I'll ever use...I can't decide what to do with them. I don't know if they are worth anything - or if I should just give them to a good home?

Love this blog. I check in often but need to do a better job leaving comments.

You are one crafty gal!
Hope your week with A goes well.
Miss ya,

Sarah B. said...

Love the tutorial...I just got into making my own cards a few months ago.....and I already need something to store all my "stuff" (as my husband calls it) will be fun to try all these new tips.

LeeAnn said...

Where did you get the bird stamp? I love it. Also, someone had mentioned a swap. I have never done this and would love to!

The Newbie said...

Love the cards, I enjoy making them but don't do it that much. Thanks for the ideas and for stopping in at my blog!