Cardmaking is an enjoyable hobby that hones your creativity and allows you to connect with your loved ones through your handmade creations.
In this day and age, when everything is done in the virtual world, creating handmade cards is still one of the most rewarding hobbies. You spend time and effort on it and design it in a way that shows how much the recipient means to you. Every moment captured in the whole cardmaking process is an artistic expression of love.
Card making originated from the ancient Chinese who exchanged well wishes on New Year’s Day. The Egyptians also used greeting cards with their papyrus scrolls. It was then passed on to later generations and spread to other continents. In the 1400s, Europeans sold and exchanged handmade cards, especially on Valentine's Day. Then, in the 1800s, Valentine's cards became more popular, and the Penny Post debuted. The United States Postal Service, formerly the Post Office, had the first-ever "Mail Early" Christmas campaign in 1943. Here is a video clip of 120-year-old Victorian Valentine’s Day cards with archaic but very romantic sentiments.
Over the years, cardmaking with stamps has evolved. New tools and materials were invented, making this fun hobby more effortless and more convenient. The best thing about handmade cards is that you can create one whenever and wherever, and for any occasion. You don't even need an occasion to make one!
Do you want to learn simple yet creative ideas that you can try on your handmade cards? Read on!
3 Simple Cardmaking Ideas
1. Background stampingBackground stamps are always fun to create, with that’s why it’s a go-to for most cardmakers. Whether it’s a large image that will create an eye-catching background instantly or smaller ones that will help you create a DIY background, it’s so much fun to experiment with background stamps.
If you are a beginner looking for quick and straightforward cardmaking ideas, try background stamping! Check out a few ways to use your background stamps creatively on your next handmade project:
- Heat emboss the image in gold or white.
- Create a colorful background.
- Use it as a focal point.
- Mix and match it with other stamps.
- Use it to frame your focal image or sentiments.
If you want to learn how to create great DIY backgrounds on your handmade cards, check out this blog post.
2. Say it with sentiments!Sentiments are one of the most versatile stamp sets that you can own! Large sentiments can instantly impact any handmade project, while small and short sentiments are sweet and perfect for personalizing your cards. Whatever kind of sentiment you choose to use, you can be as creative as you want with them.
Check out a few ideas on how to use sentiments on your next handmade card:
- Mix and match different sentiment images from various sentiment stamp sets in your stash.
- Pop it up on a piece or strip of white, black, or colored cardstock.
- Heat-emboss it onto your card front.
- Directly stamp it onto your card front.
- Create a fun background with it.
3. Go for florals!You can never go wrong with florals! If there’s one stamp set that you must get, go for florals! Floral stamps are timeless, classy, and simply beautiful. Even beginners in cardmaking can make the most fabulous cards with just one floral stamp set. If you’re unsure of which floral stamp set to buy, it is highly recommended to get yourself some cardmaking kits. These kits have everything you need - from stamp and die sets to dye inks and stencils. There’s a variety of themed cardmaking kits available online that can cater to your needs.
Although you can basically use floral stamps for every cardmaking technique out there, here are a few cardmaking ideas that you must try!
- Heat-emboss them for an added shine. Embossing powders are must-haves for beginners. Any simple stamped image can pop with just a bit of heat embossing.
- Pair them up with florals or geometric stencils. This is a great way to add texture and dimension to your handmade cards.
- Fussy cut or die-cut them for that extra dimension. Create as many stamped images as you want and layer them up.
- Create a stamped background. You can go for monochromatic colors or create a rainbow background.
- Practice your watercoloring skills! Florals are perfect for trying out various watercolor techniques such as messy, wet-in-wet, and layering watercolors.
Stamps, inks, and paper are essential supplies for cardmaking. This is why cardmaking with stamps is one of the most popular hobbies among crafters. Although stamps come in many different styles and sizes, there are three main types of cardmaking stamps.
The Popularity of Cardmaking with Stamps
1. Wood-mount Stamps: These are red rubber stamps mounted on wood blocks and can still be found in many traditional art stores. For years, card makers had to struggle with not seeing the design as they stamp! They also had to manually fussy cut the stamped images afterward. But now, thanks to technology, you can easily die-cut the images and pop them up on your card in no time.
2. Clear-mount Stamps or Cling Stamps: Just to be clear, clear-mount stamps are not totally clear stamps. These are made of a rubber type of material (same as the wood-mount ones) and with a foam backing. Cling stamps are designed to stick to clear or acrylic stamp blocks. It allows you to see the design as you stamp it.
3. Photopolymer Stamps: These are totally clear stamps. These are transparent stamps, so you can see right through them. These are also thinner and produce a clean and crisp image. Like the clear-mount stamps, photopolymer stamps do not come with their own blocks. To use them, you will need to mount them onto an acrylic block.
So, which type of stamp is the best for you? It always boils down to your personal preference. Just remember that no matter which kind of stamp you get, inspiration is everywhere! You can get as creative as you want.
We hope these 3 simple but effective cardmaking ideas were enough to get you started on that next handmade project.