Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cardmaking: How to Make a Card Without Fancy Tools


My first crafting love is paper, specifically Card Making. Since childhood, I've loved pretty papers and my mom always made sure I had my own stationery, thank you notes etc. I still love "snail mail" and making and sending my own cards. And yes, I have all the "fancy tools" which I've accumulated over the years. But every so often it's just as much fun to use no tools and still make something pretty. This post is perfect for you if you've ever wanted to try making cards but don't want to invest in a lot of supplies. 

First and foremost is your paper! Whether you buy scrapbook paper by the individual sheet or like me, tend towards "stacks" with just a few pretty papers, you can make a handmade card!

  • Coordinating Papers. I used a Craftsmart stack from Michaels
  • Cardstock. I prefer 110lb weight
  • Adhesive. Tape runner or if all you have is a glue stick, that'll work. 
  • Paper Trimmer. If you don't have one, no problem. Craft knife or scissors will work. You'll just need a ruler. 

A lot of my paper stash consists of "Hot Buy" stacks from Michaels. They often have them either 70% off or buy one get two free with the one being $19.99 so it averages out to less than $7 per stack and you can get anywhere from 48-60 pieces in each stack, some of which are double sided. But what I really love is, many of the stacks come with pages of sentiments that can be used as a focal for a card. 

NOTE: These are a special category so not all of their paper pads qualify. Only those they usually have in their own section entitled "Hot Buy". 

Each of these sentiments shown here is its own panel so you have multiple pieces you can use. I start by cutting these types of pages apart and choosing the panels I want to use as my card focal. Since all of the papers in the same stack coordinate, you can then choose other papers for your card knowing they'll all work together. For those without words you can either layer with pieces that have them or use stamps or stickers. Out of the panels from this sheet, I have enough to make 10 cards! 

Card Base: You can cut your own ( I tend to ) or you can buy blank pre-cut cards usually either 5x7 or 4.25 x5.25. These may also be called A7 or A4 and can be found everywhere from office supply stores, craft stores, or specialty stores like Paper Source. If you're cutting your own, you will need to cut to desired size and score down the middle. I have a scoring board but you can easily do this by measuring to the center of your paper and using an embossing tool, or an empty ballpoint pen and a ruler to make the scoring line. Score, fold, burnish with a bone folder or scissor handle to give it a strong crease.

I usually cut my card(s) first and set aside, then work on the layers that will become the focal of the card. 

Trim Sentiment Panel: Once you've cut your sentiment panel sheet apart, trim each piece as desired. This is why I don't worry about getting them cut perfectly from the main sheet. 

Then using coordinating papers ( I have tons of scraps on hand so if you are starting from nothing, you may want a couple of additional papers for this part). I chose mirror gold and silver glitter scraps and used these to mat the sentiment focal. 

Then I cut my coordinating papers to fit my card this case I cut one 4.75x6.75 for a 5x7 card and then one 3.75x5.75 for the next coordinating layer. 

So here you can see (left to right): Card base, first panel, second panel, matted focal

Center your focal piece on the second panel, attach with foam dots or squares to give your card some dimension. I get a lot of my basic supplies like foam dots from Dollar Tree. They also sell one time use tape runners and double sided foam tape. 

I have this monster ATG Tape Gun that I've had for something like 20 years and if you find yourself really doing a lot of paper crafting, it is well worth the investment! 

You'll layer your second panel to the first with your focal panel already applied and then the whole thing to your card base and you're done! 

I used the same process for this second card and reversed the papers. In total I used three sheets from this pack with 45 remaining ! 

And since "sharing is caring" did I mention that Michaels has their Hot Buy Buy One Get Two Free deal going on this week?!  They don't even pay me to say that! 

If you've ever wanted to try to make a card, I hope this is helpful! 

No comments: