Thursday, when I was creating my birthday cards, it dawned on me that you might want to make birthday cards for your friends and family but you aren't sure what you need or how to start. Well my friend, you have come to the right place. I'm going to show you some things you can pick up or use to make great cards to give to your loved ones.
Let me preface this post by saying that there isn't anything that you HAVE to have. Everything has a substitution and every item has an alternative use. Once you learn all the things you can use and build up a small arsenal of tools, you'll be flipping out cards left and right.
The first thing that I would do is swing into one of your favorite craft stores for a look around. I know that we all like to get everything on the low low price but, you want a good supply base for your cards. We aren’t going to spend a fortune but we do want to have quality items. I personally like Michaels for a starter kit. They didn’t pay me to say that, I just know that they have all the things I need for a beginner’s kit.
Let’s start with paper. So that you have everything that you need, get a pack of multi colored paper. I think Recollections has great packs of paper. They have an essentials pack that has 200 sheets of 25 shades of paper for about $9.99 (use a 50% off coupon!). It’s all the sheets of paper that a beginner will need.
Now, if you have a certain color scheme in mind, Recollections has great color collections that you can choose. You can get 50 sheets of 5 shades of paper for about $2.99 (or on sale 5 packs for $10 or use your coupon). I like the fact that the color scheming has been done for you. Making an Easter card? There’s a pack for that! A little boy’s birthday party decorations? Check. A pretty pink princess congratulations card? Covered.
Once you have decided that making cards is a thing that you are going to do, I suggest trying some of the more expensive paper. They are just a better quality and once you hold an inexpensive white piece of paper next to a more expensive white piece of paper, you will never go back. I personally love Neenah cardstock but I’ve heard great things about Simon Says Stamp cardstock and My Favorite Things cardstock. I haven’t tried either but plan to dip my toe in the water.
Whew! Paper is done, now you need a sentiment. Sure, you can use some markers and just write a nice sentiment or you can go big. Big can go one of two ways, a stamp set and ink pad or dimensional stickers. Either choice would knock folks socks off.
Dimensional stickers are so much fun! I always stock up with the are half price because you can get 2 or 3 cards from one pack. I also scour the Dollar Tree for these goodies. They have great flat stickers and dimensional stickers that are fun to use. The vibrant colors, textures and different heights of cutouts make your card look like you spent a lot of money on it when you probably didn’t spend that much. It also looks like you put that special touch on it, which you did do!
Many companies make clear stamps. So that you don’t have to bother with acrylic blocks and all that jazz, I suggest a rubber stamp. They can get a bit pricey ($5 - $12) so use a coupon. I suggest investing in one of the wooden stamp sets so that you have several sentiments to choose from. Again, a bit more but worth it when you can get “Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”, “Thank You”, etc out of 1 set of stamps.
And when you buy a rubber stamp, you must purchase an ink pad. I say start with basic black but go with the best. Memento Dye Ink ($7.49) and StazOn Solvent Ink ($9.49) are my personal favorite. They leave a crisp imprint and they are great when stamping words (images are different and a complete different post!). I’d choose one or the other in black. If you want to add a little bit of color but don’t want to spend $7-$10, the cheaper pigment inks are ok. It takes a little longer to dry and you run the risk of not getting a crisp image but if you are looking for color instead, go ahead and invest in a few colors. I like Craftsmart ($2.99) and Stampabilies ($2.99).
So you’ve spent twenty bucks and have enough supplies to make cards for 20 of your friends. Now what?
Get to making! I bet you create your first card and can’t stop! You might plan to only make 2 cards but I bet you make 6 before you even get up for a snack!
Tag me on Instagram and show me what you’ve been making!