Best 5 Card Making Tips for Beginners
The most asked question I get from new customers is “I’d love to start card making, but how do I start?”. Well if you are this person, read on and discover my best 5 Card Making tips for Beginners.
Tools and Adhesives
The World of Card making tools seems to be endless! From scissors and trimmers to manual and electronic die cutting machines. There is a tool for literally everything. However if you are just starting out and don’t have a large budget then the following is what i’d recommend to start.
A Trimmer is probably the most needed card making tool. There are three main types of trimmers you can use. A basic trimmer and blade such as the Couture Creations Paper Trimmer . The blades on these are replaceable and it’s easy to use. A Rotary Trimmer (Fiskars is a well known brand) is just as easy to use. The blades are replaceable and last a little longer (but is a fraction more expensive). Lastly the Guillotine Trimmer, the most expensive of them all and the down side is the blade isn’t replaceable in most but it allows you to cut thicker materials. With what you’ll cut to make cards the basic blade or rotary blade will do.
Next a good pair or two of scissors. Make sure the scissors you buy are sharp and also comfortable to use. I love the Kaisercraft Craft Scissors for general cutting and the Kaisercraft Precision Scissors for smaller “fussy” paper cutting.
Tweezers, Paper Creaser, Ruler and Craft Knife
When it comes to adhesives you need a few but all will serve a purpose and be on hand in time of need. A double sided adhesive tape such as the Couture Creations 12mm Double Sided Adhesive Tape is a great all purpose tape size. Double sided tape usually comes in widths 3mm, 6mm, 12mm and higher but personally i find the 12mm one best as you can cut to size, but the entire width is great for sticking a large piece of pattern paper onto your card base. Experiment with the sizes and see which one best suits you.
Double Sided Foam tape is a fantastic way of adding 3D dimension to your cards to help make them pop. Foam tape usually comes in 6mm and 12mm and i find the 12mm foam tape the best all rounder for use on my cards.
A strong glue such as Helmers 450 Glue is useful for gluing buttons, ribbon and other hard embellishments to your card so they don’t fall off. The Zig squeeze and roll is useful for small embellishments such as sequins or delicate die cuts that are difficult to stick down with double sided tape.
Card stock usually comes in an approximately 230gsm weight and 12″ x 12″ size. A good starting point is to have a variety of colours on hand. Having a variety helps you choose and match the right colour with your pattern papers. I find the Kaisercraft Weave Card stock a great choice. It is well priced, good quality and a good weight.
For Card bases you can buy basic rectangles and squares in packs of 5, 10, 50 or more. They can be anywhere between 240 gsm and 300 gsm in weight. Once you get a bit more adventurous and find single card bases easy to create, try other card technique bases. Check out my Pinterest board for ideas.
Use Collections and Kits
To get your handmade cards looking co ordinated in colour is to start with a collection of papers and embellishments. 6″x 6″ Paper pads are good value for money and a time saver as you don’t have to cut them too much. You usually get approximately 24 double sided (better value) or single sided 6″x 6″ papers in a pack. The size of paper means the images are smaller which are perfect to fit on a card base. There are numerous companies that make 6″ x 6″ paper pads and matching embellishments, it is just a matter about choosing your style. Doodlebug Design is one of my favourite companies for 6″ x 6″ paper pads and matching embelishments.
Alternatively many scrapbooking and card making business’ have their own style made into a card kit. Kits can have anything from 1 – 10 cards. Kits contain matching papers, embellishments and instructions or ready made card photos to help you create your cards. They are a really easy way to start if you are unsure of your style or you are worried how to even start creating. Check out my kits here as a starting point.
As discussed above many embellishments come in collections. However you can find many embellishments that are made seperately and therefore offer more choice on your card. Embellishments such as sprinkles or epoxy dots, sequins and buttons can be bought in packs. Buying a variety pack means you can keep on hand and match with your card as you please. Try to keep the colours basic and neutral. Try not to buy with a pattern on them as this makes it harder to match. As you continue on your card making journey you will find what embellishments you use more. Therefore try not to buy too many of one sort to start with because you dont want to end up with a collection you will no longer use.
Keep it Simple – Use Card Maps
Now you have your tools, papers, card stock and embellishments you are ready to begin creating your first card. I hear you ask “How do i do that?”. The best way to start is to head to Pinterest for ideas or perhaps Card Maps. One of my favourite card map designers is Becky Fleck. The PDF pages of approximately 6 card maps certainly help you get ideas for your card designs. Try to keep your cards simple to start with until you find out what style you enjoy and can easily co ordinate colours. There are techniques such as stamping and mixed media which you can try out later once you have achieved the basics of putting a card together with embelishments.
Finally making cards is meant to be fun! If you find you are not getting anywhere step away from your project and come back to it! Try different ways of placing your papers on your card base, try different card shapes until you find your style.
Enjoy and be your kind of creation!