Card Making Basics – With Video on How to Make Tri-fold Cards

  1. wspc
  2. March 13, 2012 1:12 am

card-makingDon’t you ever feel that the traditional card giving routine on holidays has become a bit dry? It’s the same every time- you shop for cards and end up having the same kind of cards that lack new slogans or designs. They all look the same. And these cards eventually get thrown away. There are only a few cards that you keep- the ones that stand out from the rest.

This is why many people prefer making cards themselves and giving them to their loved ones. Of course you can’t make cards in bulk for a big holiday, but special events like birthday or Valentine’s Day deserve special hand-made cards. These cards not just look surprisingly beautiful and different, but are also fun to make.

You might think card making is just about folding a sheet of paper and coloring a picture on it, but it is much more than that. It’s an art that will take time to be mastered. Let’s begin now with the details of the materials required.

What you need
When it comes to card making, there is an entire range of materials that you can use. And you don’t have to use expensive things when making a card. Begin by using a basic kit, and then as you become more proficient, build up the materials. So let’s start with the one thing you need the most- paper. Paper itself has got hundreds of varieties- from handmade mulberry paper to luxurious gold foil. To give your card an innovative look, you can collect different types of papers. You can save packaging, newspapers bits, wrapping papers, leaflets, or just about anything that catches your attention.

Apart from paper, another basic thing that you would need is a cutting tool. The right thing to use would be scissors. It’s best to have two pairs- one small and one large. Also, do not underestimate the ordinary craft knife. For the right precision, it’s best to have a craft knife along with some spare blades.

And then there are adhesives and glues, pencil and ruler, cutting mat, and colors (pencil colors/ markers/ crayons, colored chalk- whatever you want).

After these basic things, you can start thinking about the embellishments you want to add. There can be rubber stamps, glitters, paper punches, peel off stickers, stencils, wire, die cuts, eyelets, beads, ribbon, and a lot more. There is so much to explore and play that you will never get tired of card making.

Let’s get to work
Try to use a dark colored cutting mat as it will offer better contrast with the paper, thus making it easier to cut properly. These mats are made of rubbery material, and they offer easier cutting. Also, if you can, you should use backing paper. It makes the card look beautiful and adorns it with a different look. You can get patterned, textured, or vellum backing paper. In fact, backing paper sheets are so pretty that you will feel reluctant to cut them up! You can get backing paper from the market, or you can make it yourself. For the sake of simplicity, we will use the market-made backing paper and continue with our card making project.

Try to use craft scissors for your card making project because they are specially designed to be used in arts and crafts purposes. There are different types of craft scissors. If you want to create a wavy edge, use pinking shears. If you are using fabric in your card, you should use fabric scissors. You can also get children’s craft scissors for basic paper cutting.
Let’s shift our focus to glue now. If you are using mulberry paper, a glue stick is the best option. It wouldn’t create any mess and things would be perfect. But there are other glue variants as well (like double sided adhesive tape, glitter glue, glue pen, glue roller, and white glue) and you can use the one that’s easier for you.

Now comes the embellishment part. Ready to perk up your card? Here are a few embellishments that you can use to decorate your greeting card:

  • Alphabet beads
  • Eyelets
  • Fibers
  • Metallic threads
  • Ribbons
  • Brads
  • Buttons
  • Decorative jewels
  • Tiny hearts
  • Peel-off stickers

Making a birthday card

For a birthday card, make sure to select bright colored paper. Try to use construction paper as it offers many colors and textures. Keep stickers and markers ready. If the stickers are birthday themed, it’s even better. When you are making a birthday card, you should consider the gender of the recipient. For example, you might want to make a scary red and black card for a boy, and a cute white and pink one for the girl.

To make a simple card, take a sheet of paper and fold it. If you want to color the front of the card, use cotton swab on colored chalk, and rub it on the card. Apply it lightly, and if you want more color, make it darker.

  1. Place the card so that the fold comes at the top. Use texture paper to cover the front. Take a 2” wide lavender word paper strip and glue it across the center.
  2. Tear a 1” wide lavender vellum piece and clip it at the left side of your card. Now tear a 1” wide blue paper strip and paste it on the left side, over the vellum.
  3. Punch 2 holes on purple and blue border of paper and use some lavender thread to go through the holes. Now tie a bow in the front.
  4. Write something nice using markers or colored pens (you can even use crayons).

And your card is done. You can add embellishments if you want. Keep in mind that they can be added not just on the outside, but on the inside as well. For example, you can add peel-off stickers inside the card.

Apart from that, you can also cut a cute baby photograph of the recipient and paste it on the front of the card- there are many options for experimentation!


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