- First of all, the most important thing you have think about is the occasion of the card! Is it a big milestone birthday, a new house or baby? Maybe even a glamorous wedding! Usually it's just a normal birthday, so I can go right on to the next steps, but if, for example, someone is 50, you'll want to make that loud and clear on the card! (Card below from The Making Spot, a cute blog! )
- Second, I think about WHO I'm sending the card to... a little girl or a grown man?! The cards need to be appropriate to the person who's receiving them! You can also take this step further, by adding personal details and images to create a card that will be treasured! Think about who is receiving the card. Do they like fishing or football, dresses or dogs?! What are their favourite colours, flowers, sports, hobbies, TV shows..?! The list goes on and on! Add some of these to your card to make it truly personal! If you do not know the person that well, or are unsure as to what they would like, move on to the next step. ( The card below is from Papercraft Inspirations, and would be perfect for someone who loves sewing! Plus, the sewing machine image is a free download form their site! : D )
- Draw out a rough sketch of your card. You can skip this step if you want, but I find it helps you with the layout and placement of embellishments on your card. (The sketch below is from Clear Scraps.) You can download loads of virtual sketches from cardmaking sites to help you with the laying out of your cards, or you can go old-school, and just draw out on a scrap of paper what you want your card to look like. It's a good idea to keep all of your sketches together in a folder or ring binder so you can refer back to them and reuse layouts for different occasions!
- Next, work out a colour scheme. The easiest way to do this is to think about the occasion and recipient (Pinks and pastels for a girl's card; Blues, browns and greens for a man's, etc.) and then use patterned papers to help you. Packs of patterned paper can be bought in virtually every single craft store, or you can buy them online, and they come in EVERY SINGLE pattern, colour or texture you could ever want or need! They're a lot like fabric in that way, so if you're a sewer, and usually spend hours sighing over gorgeous fabrics, prepare to be a paper-crafter, and spend hours sighing over - yup! You guessed it! Gorgeous papers! Papers can also be quite expensive, but there are a few cheap ways to get some!
- Download free papers from sites like Papercraft Inspirations, Cardmaking and Papercraft, and Polka Doodles, and simply print them off. For most sites, you'll have to sign up, but believe me, it is SO worth it to get FREE, gorgeous papers!The only drawback with this is that you use up quite a lot of printer ink, which can be expensive. But if you need papers fast, this is a good way to go!
- Get cheap, plain paper and use rubber stamps and ink to jazz them up, and make your OWN paper! This means you can get really creative with different colours and designs, but you still have to buy the paper and the stamps, so maybe it's not so free! But if you already have these supplies lying around, whip than out and get making!
- Buy Cardmaking magazines such as Papercraft Inspirations (my personal favourite!), Cardmaking and Papercraft, or Making Cards. I've bought all of these magazines, and they have from 4 to 12 free papers included with each issue. C&P also has stamps or "dig-stamps" included as well. You can subscribe to these magazines online and have them delivered to your house every month, two months, etc., or they are available at most good newsagents. (And no, this is not sponsored, it is not an ad!!) If you can't find any of these mags, don't worry! There are LOADS of different ones, these are just the ones I buy! Again, not completely free, as you have to buy the magazine(!) but there are also tips, techniques, projects and competitions in the magazines, so they are a good investment!
- Now go ahead! Make your card! Whaddaya mean, you need more help?! OK,OK, to make cards you can buy card blanks from art & crafts shops, or make your own with plain card. Once you've got the blanks and the papers (see above), you can go wild picking different embellishments, such as greeting and outline stickers, brads or paper-fasteners, eyelets, buttons, beads, bows and 3-D sticker embellishments... Go to any crafts shop, and you will literally be DAZZLED by the all the different things you can stick on a card! Then use these wonderful objects, together with your card sketch, and create something beautiful! And you thought it was just about writing "Happy Birthday" on the front. Didn't you? ;)
(From Papercraft Inspirations)
- If you have any questions (I'm not the clearest at writing instructions!) I would LOVE to help! leave a message in the comment box underneath and I'll get back to you as soon as possible! S xx