Firstly I’d like to say right off that I’m not a fantastic card maker, my skills pale into comparison with some of the fantastic handmade cards you will see on the internet. This does mean however I think I’m in a good position to write this beginners guide to card making.
So you’ve decided you would like to make a greeting card. Maybe you want to make a one off or maybe your thinking about taking it up as a new hobby. One of the first things I’ve noticed about many of the card making sites and videos on the internet is they all seem to think you already know what you are talking about. People bandy terms around like ATCs, Cuttlebugs, decoupage and peeloffs. But what happens if you don’t know what those are ? If you’re like me you’re a bit hesitant at asking as it appears that everyone else is “in the know”.
Card Making makes a great hobby, it can be done by people of all ages and all abilities. You can do it on your own, with children, other relations, with friends or in a craft club. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment to start but there is an endless list of stuff you can buy should you want. Card makers get excited with they see some nice new designs or add-ons, they look at other cards in a different way and they learn to take inspiration from everything around them.
But my cards won’t be that good.
Card making is a craft and, as with all crafts, you will improve with practice. There are so many design etc. out there to help you that it would be almost impossible to produce a “bad” card unless you really rush it. To start with rely on pre-made designs, follow examples made by others and then, as your confidence and skills grow then you can put more and more of yourself into the card.
Won’t people think it’s cheap of me to give a home-made card.
Nothing can be further from the truth. Any half decent person will appreciate the time, effort and care you have put into it. Lets face it, what would you appreciate more, a handmade card which someone had made personally for you, or one someone picked up in Tescos during the weekly shop.
I’m not artistic.
As I said before, to start with you can follow other peoples tutorials and use their design. Gradually you can put more of “you” into your cards obviously taking into account the person you are making the card for.
Can I make a business out of this?
Well it depends what you mean by a business. No one is going to get rich hand making cards, they take too long to make and people generally wont pay their value (if you take into account time and materials). There are people who sell at craft fairs, to their friends and design bespoke cards to order, all that seem to work to a limit extent. However the internet is crammed with people trying to sell cards and there just isn’t the market online for them. By time you’ve taken postage into account it really is difficult to make it viable. People are quite lazy when it comes to buying cards. They’ll buy them whilst they’re at Tescos and luckily for crafters they will also buy them at craft fairs etc. if they see them. What they don’t seem to do is pop online to buy a card.
My strong advice would be, if you think you may enjoy card making then give it a go. You can do this with minimum outlay and card making covers so many different techniques there is bound to be at least one you enjoy. ee our next article on materials and equipment you will need.
Beginners guide to card making.
Authored By: Bob Prentice.