If you have just started out making cards you, like many card makers will probably prefer to use pre-made embellishments that you can buy from a craft store or online.
Embellishments are items and materials, such as brads, eyelets, decoupage, toppers, ribbon, and buttons to name just few, that can be added to your handmade cards for decoration.
Embellishments can even be homemade and you can use memorabilia to personalise your greeting cards even more. An embellishment can be anything from a large decoupage topper to a simple button.
As your confidence grows and if you have the time you will soon be making your own embellishments which will work out cheaper and you can design just what you need for you cards. How you attach your embellishments to your greeting cards really depends on what type of embellishment you are using.
Examples of Embellishments
This handmade card has sheep themed embellishments placed in the centre of the card. The embellishments have been handmade using polymer clay.
Because polymer clay has some weight to it I would recommend using extra strong double sided tape to attach it to your greeting cards.
Ribbon is a perfect material for decorating handmade cards. It is lightweight and easy to work with. You can get endless styles, sizes and different materials so matching the right colours and patterns to your cards is never a problem.
Here is a handmade embellishment that has been made by rubber stamping a butterfly image onto coloured paper several times and attaching them together to give them a 3d appearance. The butterflies have then been placed onto tags ready to be attached to a greeting card.
Decoupage is a very common way to embellish cards. You will find decoupage images to suit every style and theme of card you can think of. Decoupage can be mat and layered to give the image a frame and is usually attached to a card using double sided tape.
This type of embellishment is commonly known as a ‘Topper’. A topper does not have to be decoupage but is usually a decorative complete item that is a focal point of a greeting card.
Brads are wonderful for embellishing cards as they serve more than one purpose. You can buy them in a huge variety of designs, shapes and sizes. Brads are also very handy to use for attaching other items.
Brads are like nails that have two prongs. They are attached to a card by making a small hole for them to pass through and then the prongs are bent backwards to secure the brad in place.
Embossed images are really simple to make and can be as small or as big as you wish. Quite often a large image will become the focal point of the card. You can mat and layer your stamped images to give the image a frame. This is normally done by using papers and card to match the embossing powder you have used.
This is a pre-made embellishment bought from a craft store. These are very handy when you have run out of your own ideas. In many instances embellishments purchased from a craft store or online will come with matching papers.
Your embellishments do not necessarily have to be a picture or image. It is also important to use wording to embellish your handmade cards. By adding some wording you will also be able to make it clear what event the handmade card is for.
Eyelets are another neat way to decorate a greeting card.
Like brads, eyelets come in a variety of shapes, sizes and themes.
You can use eyelets purely as an embellishment as shown here or you can use them to create a solid hole in a card so that materials such as ribbon or string can be passed through the holes without tearing the card.
The best way to attach eyelets to a greeting card is to use an eyelet setter or Crop-A-Dile. Both the Crop-A-Dile and eyelet setter work well however I personally prefer using a Crop-A-Dile as I find eyelet setters can be quite noisy to use.
Peel off stickers are probably the most commonly used card making item. Peel off stickers or ‘peel offs’ are available in words and images and are a simple way to embellish a card. You can buy peel offs relatively cheaply in sheets and you will find them in any craft store.
Prima flowers are one of my favourite embellishments because there are so many styles and colours to choose from. Each layer of the Prima flower can be made up from a variety of different coloured and shaped leaves. Prima flowers are normally secured to a card using a brad through the centre of the flower.
Buttons are also a really great way to embellish and give a handmade card some depth. You will need to remove the loops from the back of the button beforehand so it sits flat onto your greeting card. Alternatively you could attach a button to a card by actually sewing it to the card.