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Help Needed... Card Making... Where do I start ???

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  • Help Needed... Card Making... Where do I start ???

    Hello everyone... I'm new here so please be gentle with me!

    Well... I have to say, Its so much harder than I thought it would be!!

    Now bear with me pleeease.. I am a complete and utter beginner.
    I'm sat here thinking 'what lead me to look at starting to think about making my own cards'? Then I remembered... it was the simple fact that I am getting married next year and was looking at ordering cards for invitations etc.. and as you probably know, you have day invites, evening invites, RSVP cards for returning.. and all in all it was going to cost me about £150 - £200 for them in total, and I don't know about you but I think that's a lot of money for cards that are often pretty basic and uninteresting.

    Then I started looking at favours, and again... my mind kept crawling back to... why don't you make them?

    So I started looking around.. I am not young now, but when I was in school I was top of the class at art and thought - that's got to be a bit of help? Hmmm...

    HOWEVER...... Instead I am terrified!!!!

    Where do you start? How do all you brilliant card and craft artists get going?

    I am not getting married until 2009 so I have lots of time to practice, and lots of time to create them too - so that's my only advantage here.

    I have been googling 'how to make cards' etc etc... and on reading the info, it's talking about allsorts that I don't understand in a way that seems to be saying I should undersatnd this!... Like... embossing powder (what's that ??) .. special pens, and another million and one things that have got me scratching my head. I know I probably sound like a complete idiot - but when I went to school it was paint, pencils, paper and brushes or whatever and I knew what I was doing - I am totally lost with this. It's a real art isn't it?

    Now.. I have become so envious of some of the lovely things I have seen thru links here that I would love to be able to at least develop an understanding of the basics of card making and what's what so to speak.

    Call me a masacist... but all this confusion still hasn't totally put me off - yet, and I would love to develop this as a little hobby. And eventually hopefully be able to create something I can actually give someone.

    Can you help me please by telling me what 'things' are, and all the things I should buy to get started on all the basic elements of card making...

    What paints, pens, cards, tools should I buy. I realise they are going to cost me but hopefully in the long term I will save money and be sending much nicer cards than I did.

    Please DO treat me like an idiot, as I really do need an idiots guide. I have NO knowledge at all, no previous experience, no idea how to start, or where to start.

    How do you print inside a card... do you just pop it through a printer? Doesn't it bend? How can you make pens write and look good - are they special pens?

    Even a bit of help and advice so I can understand things better will help and I really appreciate any information you can give me.

    I have got as far as understanding that embellishments are things you stick to cards, that you can buy card blanks in various sizes, and I would probably be able to stick a couple of embellishments on a card front and after that I am a bit lost as there is obviously so much more to it than that.

    All the things that baffle me are the things I have mentioned above, plus daft things like if you buy a card with an aperture, what are the various ways to make the most of them, tools, paints, powders, glues, making things look professional.

    Please can you give me any tips on where to start finding easy to follow info and / or fill me in with some really easy to understand info.

    I am so grateful that you took the time to read my epic cry for help.

    Thank you in advance,


  • #2
    Have you seen the sort of thing that you want to make for your wedding invites?

    It is really impossible to advise you on what to buy as you could end up spending £1000's. You need to be a bit more specific about what it is you want to make!

    A good place for buying blank cards and various bits and pieces is I've been using them for years.

    Printing on card - yes it goes through the printer, depending on thickness. But there are loads of other ways of getting text onto card - rubber stamps (with or without embossing powder - which is a powder that you sprinkle over the ink after stamping, and then heat it up and it melts, adhereing to the ink, and creates a raise "embossed" image), handwriting/calligraphy, labels, printing onto paper and sticking it onto the card as a feature...etc etc...

    K xx
    I LOVE this horse. He makes me laugh every time I see him. He is mine. - Swarovski components, including filigrees - Beautifully handcrafted tiaras, jewellery and other crystal accessories.


    • #3
      It all seems so over whelming doesn't it? First bit of advice I'd give is to pop down to WHSmiths or similar and buy a few card-making magazines, have a look at what they are featuring that issue and pick a few covering styles or techniques you think you'd like to try yourself. You'll find these mags a wealth of knowledge and you'll start to get a better idea about all the techniques which I think will give you a better starting point.

      As for your invites etc have you decided on a colour scheme for your wedding yet? That'd be a good place to start with and then start sketching out some designs you think would look nice to generate a few pages of ideas. Also a very good tip is to keep your design simple - believe me it can get very boring creating 150 cards all the same and if it's too fiddly it'll seem like an eternity.

      Good luck with it all, I know where you're coming from as it was making my own wedding invites that first got me into crafting
      Visit Natty Netty for a huge selection of Iris Folding supplies


      • #4
        Hello starstruck,

        Yes - I do have a kind of idea of wedding cards - I think they would probably be gold or ivory, with printing on the inside of details - perhaps attached to that nice fine paper (? - there I go again) so it has a kind of 'inside' to it - the front would have those raised (I suppose they are called embossed) pictures on and maybe something stuck to them to make them look creative. Or perhaps a few cut-out area's with colour coming through them from paper put behind them... so I am easy with the general idea - but fairly traditional, with a hint of special - if that makes sense.

        The raised embossed thing you talked about using embossing powder and the stamps sounds like I should perhaps find an article on that subject and read it as it appears each area is an art in itself isn't it.

        Thank you for your reply. It is very appreciated.

        Faye x


        • #5
          Thank You NattyNetty,

          I will definitely get some magazines on the subject so that I can learn things in a nice easy to follow way - that's a really good idea.

          I spend my life on the internet - you often forget there are better alternatives around in book form.

          I think my colour schem is likely to be around the colours ivory, gold and / or peach... not fully decided yet.

          I will consider simplicity - I totally appreciate that it must be very boring doing one after the other... nice thing is, I don't suppose it is the end of the world if they are slightly different though as they go to different addresses... knowing me, they will be. But I take your point, and again, not something I had considered.

          Many thanks once again... your help is very appreciated,

          Faye x


          • #6
            No probs Faye - and like natty netty suggests, pick up some craft mags for great ideas and info.

            If you need help with a specific technique then ask away!! lol.

            And be prepared to spend more on your invites than you think you will - it gets a bit addictive!! lol

            K xx
            I LOVE this horse. He makes me laugh every time I see him. He is mine.

   - Swarovski components, including filigrees
   - Beautifully handcrafted tiaras, jewellery and other crystal accessories.


            • #7
              What area are you in hun?
              With love



              • #8
                Hi beadstudio,

                I am actually based in Stockport near Manchester.

                - Just been looking at this embossing thing.. and it's amazing isn't it. I honestly thought that embossing was achieved with a stamp that you sort of press together over the card.. how wrong can I be!

                I am loving discovering things though... It is addictive isn't it!

                Faye x


                • #9
                  I did card making for ages, but then got addicted to beads and making jewellery! still hoarding loads in case I change my mind!

                  The best place I found for bulk paper is the paper mill shop- there used to be one at the Lowry, but I think it shut, but there is one at Cheshire oaks. They sell card and paper in bulk- as little or as much as you want. They also sell do crafts stuff and various other card making items.

                  PM me if you want a card making forum to join, (dont want to break rules by posting it here) they have downloads, templates, advice etc- fab!

                  Anyway, LMK if you need anymore help.
                  Love Em x
                  With love



                  • #10
                    if you haven't looked already, have a look at the craft creations site. They do a magazine, and you can download articles from their older mags. I can't persnally comment on the articles as I've never seen anything that took my fancy. the other possible advantage is that they offer 10% dicount on orders while you're subscribing to the mag.

                    here's a direct link to the download page for older articles in past issues



                    • #11
                      Hello and !!

                      I made my own Wedding Stationery when I got married nearly 8 years ago, and I've just made a Wedding Table plan (the wedding was yesterday!) and have made two lots of Save the Date cards - both brides get married next year and both have asked me to do the whole lot of stuff........ and I'm just about to do 100+ engagement announcments!!

                      I do have ideas but I find that looking at other designs also helps!

                      I've just found this website which seems really good - I've not had chance to have a proper look or do any downloading, but if nothing else, then it gives you some inspiration!!

                      Also, have a look on my website - I do toppers, embellishments and also cards which might also give you ideas!!

                      Good luck!!


                      • #12
                        I loved your epic post, reminded me of when I first got into crafting and my stepmum made my cat (yes my cat) a get well card after he was in an accident. It was a simple little folded card with some pre-bought embellishments that she'd simply stuck onto the front and handwritten her own message on the front & the inside. He was the only cat in the cat-hospital with his own Get Well Card on his cage!

                        ...but it was the simplicity of it that made me think "I could do that" and here I am. If you have Sky or Freeview or some other cable TV malarky, you could try to catch the Create & Craft TV Channel cos they show demonstrations 24 hours a day and I've learnt pretty much all the techniques I know from watching that channel. Kinda like going to a craft class if you cant get to a real life one.

                        You've spoken about embossing on here already - the embossing you do with powders and heating them up is usually called heat embossing - but the effect you said you thought would just be "pressing something between two cards" is usually called dry embossing and is just like a raised pattern in the paper? - you can do it with a light box and a stencil or more simply now with various purpose built boards you can buy

                        Have fun whatever you do and do have a look at as many card-making sites as you can to get your wedding stationery ideas

                        Shaz x
                        Keepsake Kollections
                        & Rossendale Ramblings!

                        Where else can you get Mental and Retail Therapy?!


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fgib57 View Post
                          perhaps attached to that nice fine paper (? - there I go again)

                          Faye x
                          Cant remember if someone's answered this one for you already but I think you probably mean vellum paper?

                          shaz x
                          Keepsake Kollections
                          & Rossendale Ramblings!

                          Where else can you get Mental and Retail Therapy?!


                          • #14
                            Try this

                            I always fancied card making but never had time. When I finall had time I decided to do something about it. Look at fairly local Craft Centres and seeif they run card making classes. I went to a few and got the basics but realised they were too basic and gave me confidence to try different things myself. It was a good starting block but seeing as you are 'arty' you have a good start. I don't know how good my cards are compared to others but sometimes I look at one and am amazed that I have made it . I could always knit, crochet, sew, but was never good at art but I seem to find it comes natural to me putting a card together. Don't try too hard, just get some basic stuff and have a go. There is loads on line if you google card making. Hope this helps. Sue.xx


                            • #15

                              Well, i did it - i went into our supermarket and bought every craft magazine there was! There was some freebies in them, and I'm really looking forward to getting my cleaning out of the way - I'm gonna get into my cosy's and curl up on the settee for the rest of the day and evening and start my card craft education... you would not believe how excited I am...

                              I have just 2 questions and would be so grateful before I start spending money if you could answer this for me so I can buy the right things to start practising properly...

                              1. One thing I have not found yet that I would like to be able to do is:

                              You know when you see ' Wedding Invitation' usually in silver or gold in the front of a card and its like a metallic and not usually raised, in fact almost more totally flat in the card - how is this acheived ?

                              2. Also - say I want to create a cut out in the middle of a card, say, like a small heart cut out - do cut out stamps allow you to go into the centre of a card to cut out or are these specially long ones? Are these available?

                              Should I put some examples up of what I mean ?

                              Thank you all so very very much - you have all been so helpful and very inspiring.

                              Faye x