When I first began creating greeting cards I soon discovered that there are a number of items that are in constant use. I have listed below the items I feel are essential for putting together your homemade cards.
Card Making Supplies For a Beginner:
A craft knife has a variety of purposes and can cut many different materials including paper, card and even thin metal. A craft knife is lightweight and the blades can be changed when they become blunt over time. You will definitely need a good quality craft knife for your cards.
A brad is a small fastener similar to a nail or split pin that can be purchased in a multitude of different shapes and sizes. To attach a brad you will need to make a hole, push the brad through the hole,and then spread the stem of the brad apart on the other side of the hole to secure it in place. Brads are used as embellishments, and also to secure one piece of paper or card to the other.
Buttons are normally made from plastic and are a great way to decorate handmade cards.
Ribbon is a very handy material used to make a card look professional. Ribbon can be purchased in so many different colors and styles including organza & satin. You will find that as you start to make more homemade cards you will use different types of ribbon frequently.
Satin ribbons may be single faced, which is shiny on one side and dull on the other; or double-faced, which is shiny on both sides. Satin ribbon has a very smooth, shiny finish.
This is a stiff ribbon that often has a satin finish and is often used for floral arrangements, and packaging.
Organza is very light weight, open weave ribbon.
These ribbons are coated or crimped so that when pulled against a sharp edge, such as scissors, the strand acquires a corkscrew aspect.
Grosgrain is a durable yet supple woven ribbon.
Iridescent ribbon has a pearl-like finish and depending on the way the light catches it, the color of the ribbon will change.
Poly ribbon is made from polypropylene. It is very shiny and durable.
Like a craft knife a good quality pair of scissors is an essential tool. You can also buy decorative scissors which will leave a decorative edge where you cut.
Glitter is used to make an image sparkle. Glitter can be purchased in various forms and density. Like ribbon you will find you will use glitter quite frequently on your cards.
A cutting mat is a fundamental tool for any craft enthusiast as it protects the surface you are working on.
A paper trimmer is used to cut straight lines. Depending on the quality of your paper trimmer you will be able to cut paper and card and sometimes even tougher thicker materials.
Paper and Card Stock
Paper and card stock are obvious materials you will need to make homemade cards. Begin by using scraps of paper and card you find around the house then you can progress to purchasing some of the beautiful papers available in craft stores and online retailers.
When starting out I would recommend purchasing beginners kit which contain card-blanks that have already been folded and have envelopes that fit. As you become more confident you will be able to start folding your own and changing the shapes and sizes of the cards you make.
Rubber stamps are indispensable. They are a great way to decorate your creations and as you become more confident you will soon learn many different techniques for using rubber stamps. There are literally thousands of rubber stamps to choose from. Normally rubber stamps are mounted onto a wooden block. You can buy unmounted rubber stamps and will need to use an acrylic block to use them.
Embossing powder is used with your rubber stamps, it is a decorative powder that is sprinkled over the wet ink once an image has been stamped. Once heated with a heat gun it gives a raised image.
A heat gun is used along side the embossing powder and rubber stamps and is used to heat embossing powder.
Ink pads are mainly used for rubber stamping however they can also be used for so many different aspects of paper craft most of which will be picked up as you become a more advanced.
Gel pens are great to color in your stamped images. They come in a huge variety of colors and textures. You will find gel pens are a very handy addition to your kit bag.
Double sided tape
Double sided tape in my opinion is one of the best things ever made. It is great for attaching paper, embellishments and so many other things to the front of your cards. It is not messy and you won’t have glue squirting out the sides. A must for any craft enthusiasts.
Glue is used to adhere embellishments and materials together. It is important to use an acid free glue when making your cards.
Craft punches are used to punch out shapes which can then be used as decoration.
Embellishments, also known as ‘Toppers’ are items used to decorate the front of your cards. Embellishments can be purchased ready made which makes them quick and easy to use. As you become more confident you will soon be creating your own. You can use memorabilia from a certain event such as tickets, receipts or any other items you can think of.
Peel Off Stickers
Peel of stickers are cut stickers that can be removed from a sheet and incorporated into your projects.
Rub-ons are transfers that need to be rubbed onto a surface to enable them to transfer from their original backing.
Peel Off Pens
Peel off pens are used to change the color of a peel off sticker.
Card Making Supplies For An Intermediate:
For those paper craft enthusiasts that wish to branch out and further there designs and projects, here are some supplies for an intermediate.
Scrapbook pads are a collection of good quality patterned paper. You can purchase scrapbook paper in single sheets and also block pads. The advantage of buying a pad is the manufacturer will usually make a pad full of paper that share a matching theme.
Chalks add soft color wherever it is needed. This is ideal for backgrounds, stamps and softening the edges of paper or card-stock.
Card can be used for so many different things when it comes to paper craft. It can be used for rubber stamping or more importantly to create your base. Creating your own cards is much cheaper than purchasing folded shop bought ones. You also have the advantage of creating a style and shape of your own.
Folder and Bone Tool
A folder and bone tool is used to create the fold in a sheet of card. The board will have several indented lines allowing you to create all different sizes including DL, C5 and C6. It is possible to use a scalpel and ruler to create the fold, however you will always run the risk of pressing too hard and actually going straight through.
Vellum is a type of paper that is often used in craft projects. It is semi transparent and is often torn so that edges go darker in color. This paper can be used to place over stamped images to soften the image.
You will need to buy a special vellum glue to incorporate vellum into your designs because normal glue will be visible through the velum paper.
Acetate is a very thin plastic looking material which can be used for many different things. This includes stamping and supporting confetti in shaker cards.
Decoupage is the process of cutting out images and layering them on top of each other to create a 3d image. It is a great way to create an embellishment.
Cosmic Shimmer Embossing Powders
Cosmic shimmer is a type of embossing powder that comes in a variety of forms such as:
Cosmic Shimmer Precious metal embossing powders
This is a metallic embossing powder that can be used over a clear stamp as well as colored. They can also be used as an ultra thick embossing powder and are clear enamel based.
Cosmic Shimmer Lustre embossing powders
Lustre embossing powders are colored to give a delicate colorful effect. They are translucent and can be used over a clear stamp.
Cosmic Shimmer Blaze embossing powders
Blaze embossing powders are produced in medium grade and have a bright iridescent shimmer to them. They are white resin based and opaque in appearance.
Cosmic Shimmer Aurora embossing powders
Aurora is rich and dazzling iridescent embossing powders. The colors are semi opaque and give a brighter glow.
Card Making Supplies For An Expert:
If you have made many homemade greeting cards and want to expand your paper craft designs, then you will probably want to buy a card machine of some kind.
A Sizzix machine is a manual die cutting machine that cuts images from die templates. There are various types of Sizzix machines and styles to suit your crafting requirements.
A Cricut machine is a personal electronic cutter that allows you to cut amazing shapes, images and alphabets with the touch of a button.
You do not need the use of a computer for the Cricut machine to work, just plug it in. Place your favorite cartridge in your Cricut machine and choose from hundreds of designs in an almost everlasting assortment of sizes. A cricut machine is a fantastic addition to a craft enthusiast’s kit bag.
Shrink plastic is a type of plastic which shrinks in size when heated with a heat gun. It is commonly used along side rubber stamps where the image is stamped and then shrunk.
Iris Folding Paper and Templates
Iris folding has been around for many years and is a very therapeutic paper craft technique. It involves folding strips of colored paper in such a way to form a design. The center of the design forms an iris which is a shape reminiscent of the iris of an eye of a camera lens.
Acrylic paints are fast drying paints that can be used to color stamped images, create back grounds and much more. Acrylic paints can be diluted with water, but become water-resistant when dry. You can change the way Acrylic paint appear by adjusting the amount of water you add to make the paint look like water colors.
There are of course many more tools and items to add to your supplies. With new tools and techniques coming out daily the list is simply endless.
Hopefully with the above list of craft supplies you will be able to determine what is right for you.