It can sometimes be overwhelming when you want to start out with cardmaking. You might watch some of the videos on youtube and people seem to have endless supplies of card making tools and embellishments. Sometimes it can feel like you need hundreds of pounds worth of stuff just to make your first card but I can assure you, that is not the case. Really all you need is some card and a pen and you’re set to draw your own design on a handmade card. Of course, this is the bare minimum. I thought I would share my top 10 items that will help you start to make high quality cards quickly and without breaking the bank!
1. Card Stock
This is a no brainer of course, you need card to make a card! But getting some good quality medium weight cardstock in a variety of colours will mean that your cards can stand up and hold a few embellishments and inks without warping or soaking through. Aim for around 250gsm, although you can get away with thinner cardstock for something you are going to put on the front of your card.
2. Colouring Pens or Pencils
This is up to you. I find you can get good quality pencils for less money than good quality pens but this might be something you already have around the house. And, when you’re starting out, any colours will do, just to experiment and decide what style most fits your creative direction.
For cutting the card to size, for cutting out shapes to put on the card or even inside. Scissors are pretty self explanatory and you probably will have a pair in your house. A smallish sharp pair will make intricate cutting easier.
4. Black Ink
I started out with a single Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and this has served me well. Of course you could opt for a pack of the smaller inks and get a couple of colours instead but I use black ink a lot more than my other colours so I am glad to have the larger ink pad for this. I find using a dye ink to start out is better. Of course, there are lots of techniques with both pigment and dye inks but to start out, a good black dye ink will get you a crisp image that you can colour in using pens or pencils.
5. Sentiment Stamps
Ok, this could be more of an optional one if you have amazing handwriting or calligraphy skills but I definitely do not and so having a set of sentiments put me in good stead to start card making. A 6 x 4 pack with a good mixture is a great way to go and can be inexpensive if you look around.
6. Acrylic Block
If you’re buying clear stamps you will need an acrylic block to mount them. I’d start off with a good sized one so it will do for smaller and larger stamps or you could get a multi pack with a few sizes.
There are a number of adhesives you could use and a lot of this is down to personal choice. I like the mess free application using a tape runner and you can get disposable ones for reasonable prices however some people prefer to use a liquid adhesive so that they have a bit of wiggle room when they stick things down.
Or if you’re feeling very fancy a T-Ruler so that you don’t have to measure more carefully to make sure things are perpendicular. However, a trusty ruler of either kind is cheap and super handy. Making sure things are centred, straight or just to make sure your card will fit inside the envelope. Speaking of…
Something to put the card in! Yes or course, once you’ve made a card you’re going to want to send it. You can make your own envelopes but you can also get envelopes for very reasonable prices and save yourself the time, which is what I would recommend!
10. Pretty Stamp Set
Just something inexpensive with images you are likely to want to use over and over to start you off. Again, if you are an amazing artist you can draw your own designs but, I mean, this is the reason a lot of us are here right? A bit of stamping and colouring to create something cheerful and that will bring a smile to someone's day.
So these are my recommendations for the first 10 items you should look to buy when starting out. A lot of them you will probably have around the house already so why not get all your supplies together and see what you can create. I would love you see your designs so don’t forget to tag me on your social media!
If you’re looking to get into card making and would like a handy way to build up your craft supplies while learning techniques along the way, sign up to the My Greeting Box newsletter below to find out more about when we’re launching and how you can sign up for our first box!