Being as how this month of March is National Crafting Month, I wanted to post about something that dealt with paper, glue, sayings, and penmanship. Hence...Handmade cards!
As a side note: the following information is only meant as suggestion and possible ideas for helping you in making a handmade card. I cannot be held responsible for anything that may or may not happen based on your decisions from reading this blog post. I am also not associated with, nor claiming any ownership to any of the companies, and or business entities, mentioned or photographed in this blog. They are retained by their respective owners. My intent is not to profit off of any trademarked items in this blog.
If you have never made your own cards before, making a handmade card can seem rather daunting, but they are actually easier to make than one might think. And they are extremely fun as well!
To start off, you want to come up with your theme and color scheme ahead of time. Say you want it to be for a birthday, anniversary, holiday, or a get-well card? Each one has symbols, sayings and colors that are customary of the given occasion. (such as balloons for birthdays, rings for anniversaries, evergreen trees for Christmas, and soup for getting better)
After you have chosen your theme and its colors, the next step you will want to do is to gather your supplies all together so you are not wasting time searching for that item that is JUST RIGHT to fill the empty spot on your card. I cannot tell you how important it is in completing this step. And one, that if you skip, you will be instantly regretting it in the long run. So make sure to have EVERYTHING YOU NEED before you start.
Items you can pick from include stickers, fancy scissors, glue dots or glue runners, paper texture and pattern, and the shape of your card base. I know that may seem like a lot of options, but we are going to take it one step at a time, so bear with me over the next few paragraphs.
If you are just starting out in make your own cards, the traditional base of a one folded piece of card stock is the shape you will most likely want to choose. For people who are a little more experienced with making cards, you can challenge yourself with different folds that are more reminiscent of the origami style. Some crafters make these more complex cards by hand or with a little aid from a die-cutting machine, like a Cricut or a Big Shot.
For the purposes of this blog post, we are going to stick with the traditional shape. You will want to use a thicker paper for this, as it will have to hold its shape and be able to take on the additional embellishments you are going to glue on. In the image to the left, the material shown is kraft paper card stock. I prefer to use kraft paper for mine, but that is the crafter's own choice as each person's opinion is different.
The above fold can either be created from scoring with a bone folding tool, available online and in stores, or you can buy pre-folded blank cards with their matching envelopes in bulk packs at stores like Walmart, Michaels and Hobby Lobby.
Because my paper base is on the darker side, I use a die-cutting machine to cut out my white paper inserts. This allows the gifter to write messages in the card without straining their eyes. I suggest to do this only if your card base color is dark. This step is not needed if the base is already white and saves you some time from having to cut them out. Next is the fun part...starting to arrange the front of your card!
When it comes to gluing on the paper, there are many options that are neither right nor wrong to pick from. Some people use glue sticks, glue runners, glue dots, glue tape, liquid glue, etc. If you do not wish to use liquid glue, which has an average drying time of three minutes, you can opt to use glue sticks, runners, dots, or tape. The glue runner has a lot in common with the tape and can be found at many craft stores. Glue dots are simply that, dots of sticky glue you peel from a roll and use to keep your paper attached to the other paper. Out of all of the available options, I like to use glue runners because they are mess free, require no dry time, and are refillable so it is better for the planet. (meaning less plastic waste) Win-win!! They come in both permanent and repositionable.
Tip: If you would like to have a universal liquid glue that can be used on many different objects, preserve your items, and is very durable, ph neutral glue would be a great choice. That way you are not spending all your money on different types of glue for all your different projects. Now, it is not superman, so please read all instructions, but it is pretty great and is used in book binding.
Next is cutting your paper, positioning your stickers and picking the right saying for the card. As you can see with the cards in the image on the right side, the possibilities are endless for what you can create with just a little bit of paper, glue, and stickers. Just think of what the person's face will look like when they open the envelope and see what you created by hand, taking your time and effort, to make especially for them!
Don't forget the envelope and the stamp to mail your one-of-a-kind card! If you are into recycling and wasting as little as possible, for both the planet and your wallet's sake, you could make multiple cards from just a few pieces of paper.
Check out some of the examples below. A few of the images and materials utilized were reused from movie case covers and scrapbooking paper I sketched on to add a little something extra. But you can also reuse CD covers, magazine clippings, and dust jackets of books.
I hope this helps you to get inspired to make your cards and to have fun spreading the joy of crafting! See you on the next project!