NEW! Card Making 101

If you’ve never made cards before then you don’t know what you’re missing! Making your own greeting cards is a wonderful hobby that you can enjoy either on your own or with family and friends. I find that card making is becoming more and more popular as time goes by. Once a novelty, hand made greeting cards are becoming more and more mainstream. Why pay $5 or more for a card (and that’s considered cheap now-a-days) when you can make a card for less than $0.50? Besides, cost-savings aside, in this era of instant messaging, emails and faxes, people really appreciate the fact that someone took the time to make them a card. It’s more personal, it’s more individualized and it really shows someone you care. And guess what? It’s also incredibly easy to make your own cards. You don’t have to be creative and you don’t have to have a lot of time. You also don’t need a whole lot of supplies. You can start making cards with a few basic things, then add to your supplies as time goes on. So, now that you know all the reasons why you should start making your own cards, what next? How do you actually get started card making? That’s where this series of tutorials comes in! I’ve designed these card making tutorials to help beginner or “wannabe” card makers get started. During my workshops, I find that first time rubber stampers and card makers often feel overwhelmed at the thought of making their own cards. Common questions are “Do my card kits come pre-cut for me?”, “How do I cut my cardstock?”, “How do I decide what size to cut my mats?”, “Where do you get your ideas for your cards?”, etc. etc. One of the things that I discovered as I’ve been surfing the web is that although there are a ton of phenomenal tutorials out there on blogs and websites that showcase awesome techniques and 3D projects, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot on how you actually get started making cards, and basic stamping techniques. So it is my intention to attemp to fill that need. My tutorials will provide step-by-step directions with pictures, and will cover all aspects of card making using rubber stamps. It’s my plan to add segments weekly or bi-monthly if time permits, which will link off of this page. All products used in the tutorials and on the projects are from Stampin’ Up!. While there are many awesome products on the market, as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, these are the products that I represent and hence specialize in. Besides, regardless of the fact that I am a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I find that Stampin’ Up!’s products are extremely high quality, and I’m always pleased with how my projects turn out.

Basic Card Making Supplies for Beginners

One question I am asked frequently from people just starting out in card making is “What are the basic supplies I need to get started?”. I always answer by saying that they should start out by taking a “SIP” which stands for ‘stamps, ink and paper’. In order to chose what would work best for each person, I ask beginners the following questions:

1. What types of cards are you looking to make? Is there a specific theme in mind like birthdays, weddings or baby cards OR are you just looking for a versatile stamp set to create cards for different occasions?

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2, Do you like to watercolor or color in your images OR would prefer to ink up an image, stamp it on your card and being done with it? This question will determine the type of stamp set you should purchase. If you like coloring in your images a “coloring book” or outline stamp set is your best choice. If you like just stamping your image a bold stamp set is for you.

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3. What are your favorite colors or favorite color family? This is a great place to start to look for cardstock and inks. I usually recommend people chose an assortment of cardstock in that color family and 3-4 coordinating ink pads or markers that match that color family. If you chose a coloring book type stamp set, then you are usually better off getting a black stamp pad for the outline of your image and then choosing something like markers, colored pencils, watercolor crayons or pastels to color in your images. If a bold stamp set is for you, you might chose a couple different color ink pads or an assortment of markers for you to color your image and stamp on your cards.

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4. Once you have chosen your style stamp set, picked out your inks and assorted package of cardstock to match your favorite color family, it is time to decide which neutral cardstockto use to accent and layer your cards with. Most often people go with either Whisper White or Very Vanilla cardstock. Other nice choices are Naturals White and Confetti White that have some light specks of color adding to the interest of the paper and are great for things like watercoloring.

5. Envelopes – It is best to chose envelopes that match your neutral cardstock. For example, if you chose Whisper White Cardstock you should have Whisper White Envelopes on hand for your finished cards.

Once you have answered all of the questions above, there are some other things that you might consider for your card making needs. These items would be:

  • Stampin’ Scrub – used to clean ink off of your stamps
  • Stampin’ Mist – used to spray on your Stampin’ Scrub to clean and preserve the rubber on your stamps
  • Adhesive – SNAIL is a great adhesive to use for card making – it is also safe for scrapbooking
  • Adhesive refill – I always keep a SNAIL refill on hand in case I run out!
  • Paper Scissors – Paper Snips are some of the best paper scissors I have owned. They are really sharp and come with a protective cover over the blades.
  • Paper Cutter and scoring blade – this is a must have for cutting your cardstock and making layers for your cards
  • Bone Folder – I love to have nice, crisp folds on my cards and bone folders work very well in giving you that nice, clean fold line.

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