Holiday Card Guide
By Bonnie Schiedel
Easy tips to get started
Card-making is a hot new hobby, and it's not hard to see why. After all, you get to craft creative, one-of-a-kind greetings for the ones you love. And the good news is, once you've invested in a few basic tools like good scissors and a paper cutter, you can create gorgeous cards at a fraction of the price of the “homemade” cards that routinely sell for five dollars or more at card stores. If you scrapbook, you probably already have the basics, plus you'll get to use those scraps of beautiful paper and ribbon you just can't bear to throw away. Another plus of card-making? Because your lovely creations probably won't be preserved for generations to come (as a scrapbook would be), you don't have to fret about using expensive archival quality materials, like acid-free paper, if you don't want to. Here are the basics you need, available at craft stores for under $50 total.
Cardstock in the 8 1/2 x 11 size is a must. Cut widthwise, it makes two cards that fit perfectly into a standard 4 3/8 x 5 3/4 inch envelope. You can also buy packages of precut cardstock (for example, in 1-inch squares), which are handy, especially when you're getting started.
Patterned paper in colors that complement your cardstock are another good buy. You can buy sheets of 8 1/2 x 11, but the 12 x 12 scrapbook page size is more common. Again, you can buy packages of precut paper.
Glue is really a matter of personal preference, and there are certainly lots of choices out there. Glue sticks, either liquid or solid, are generally the least expensive. Glue dots, available in several sizes, are the best way to affix ribbons and other embellishments. Double-sided photo tabs, some of which come in handy dispensers, work well for (you guessed it) photos, as well as paper.
Unless you have the steadiest hand in the world, you're going to need a paper trimmer to make precise, even cuts. A paper trimmer also has vertical and horizontal rulers, so you can measure easily. Otherwise, break out a ruler and box cutter.
Still, there are times when you need to cut paper freehand, or snip a ribbon. Invest in a pair of good quality scissors. They don't need to be huge—in fact, smaller blades mean you can do tinier cuts.
Embellishments are where you get to unleash your imagination! Without exaggeration, there are thousands of different kinds of stickers, rub-ons, eyelets, brads (paper fasteners), clips, ribbons, buckles and other doodads that will make your card extra special. Rubber stamps, along with various specialty inks, are also very popular. Spend a bit more on your rubber stamps—available from companies like Stampin' Up and Creative Moments. You'll get a higher-quality, sharper image.
Try these simple yet stunning card and tag designs for beginners.
Visit Kaboose's Scrapbooking forum to get tons of inspiring ideas and tips for all your paper crafts.
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