Making someone special a home-made greetings card is a fabulous way of showing that you care, but card making can be a daunting task for a beginner. Understanding stamping, handwriting styles, decoupage and trimming can be a challenge to start off with. However, with time and a little organization you will have not only a beautiful finished product, but a fantastic hobby that can be enjoyed by anyone.
When you begin card making, you should start to build up a craft box. This will allow you to collect together scraps of fabric, card, pens and other materials you have as well as specific tools that you can purchase to aid your card making.
There are several tools that you may find that you need to buy as they are used again and again if you adopt the craft as a hobby. Most frequently used is a craft knife. A craft knife can be used to cut and trim all sorts of materials including card, fabric and thin sheets of metal. By using a craft knife, your lines and edges will be neater and crisper. Although if you do use a craft knife, you will need a cutting mat in order to protect your surfaces. Similarly, you will need to invest in a good quality pair of sharp scissors.
Rubber stamps are a great way to decorate your cards, particularly if you want to make lots of cards at once. With practice and experience, you will learn ways to use your stamps in different and creative ways to make each one individual. With rubber stamps, you are going to need coloured inks. A useful tip for storing inks is to store them facing downwards- especially if they are drying out as it will draw the ink to the top of the pad and make your colors stronger and more vibrant.
Gel pens are best for writing on your cards with and come in a multitude of colors and even in different textures. You may also want to use gel pens to color in the images produced from your stamps.
Other embellishments that are worth investing in include ribbons, glitter, buttons, stickers and anything else that will compliment the design of your cards. Some people like to use memorabilia or photos to make their cards more personal. You are also going to need a good adhesive. Double sided tape is fabulous as is craft glue.
Obviously the most important material you are going to need is a good card and paper stock. You can purchase ready cut cards in hundreds of colors, shapes and sizes. Or if you would prefer, you can buy sheets of card and cut it to size yourself.
It is advisable to use cello bags to store your cards once you have completed them. This will protect your cards, keep them neat and stop the colors from fading. They are particularly helpful if you wish to sell your cards as they look very professional.
When you start to build up confidence with your card making, you can start to attempt different techniques and styles for card decorating. A very effective design style is to use decoupage. This is where you build up images to give a 3D effect. Normally, the effect is created by glueing small squares of foam between pictures to make it look like it is popping off of the card.
Another really original idea is to age your card to give it a rustic, vintage feel. This is known as distressing. Distressing your card can be done in a variety of different ways and you can play around with tearing edges, dying and crumpling the card and even stamping until you reach the desired effect.
Embossing is a technique used to enhance stamping and make images look raised. To emboss your stamps, you need embossing powder and a heat gun. Sprinkle the powder over your inked image and tip away any excess powder. Use a dry paint brush to remove unwanted powder. Then gently heat the powder with your heat gun about six inches from the image until it turns shiny. Be careful not to over heat the image as it will burn the card.
You can purchase heat guns from craft or rubber stamp stores and embossing powder comes in a variety of colors.
As you can see, the possibilities for card making are endless and every card that you make will be unique and personalised. Card making will make loved ones feel special and it is a great hobby and pastime that can not only be enjoyed by anyone of any age, but can be a useful way to earn money from your craft.