Card Making Tips and Tricks That Every Card Maker Should Know

8 minute read

Are you an experienced card maker who is stuck making A2-sized cards while everyone else is already going crazy over slimline cards? Or are you a beginner who is still trying to figure out how to make a card? Wherever you are in your crafting journey, you could use some card making tips and ideas! Keep on reading and find out the best ideas to try for your next card project!

Card making idea using Altenew rainbow washi tapes

The world of card making is continuously evolving. Every year, there is always something new, something innovative, and something trendy. Along with new card making supplies, card makers are also coming up with unique, creative, and out-of-this-world card making ideas and techniques. From simple stamping to layered stamping, from coloring with alcohol markers to alcohol ink pouring - the evolution of ideas and techniques is truly incredible. It could get overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out and have no idea which card design ideas you should try. If you’re a beginner who wants to learn how to make your own card, you need to practice some basic techniques first. This will help you better understand what kind of cards to create and how to create them. Even if you’re already an experienced card maker, it’s essential to keep on practicing some “oldie but goodie” card making techniques and hone your crafting skills while still keeping an eye out for the latest paper crafting trends and styles.

Handmade cards created with Altenew washi tapes

How Do I Start Making Greeting Cards?

The most important question to ask before you start something - whether it’s a hobby or a job - is “how.” Learning how to make a card isn’t rocket science. It is one of the easiest types of paper craft that you can try at home. You can even try it with your kids! As long as you have a few card making supplies, knowledge of some basic techniques, and card design ideas and inspiration, then you’re good to go.  

Here are five quick and easy steps on how to make your own card at home:

Thank you cards created with Altenew stamps for card making

1. Prepare your card making kit. It’s always good to have all your supplies ready before you start creating. This will also give you a good idea of which card making techniques you can try. Remember, some techniques require specific tools or supplies, so if these are not readily available, you can simply try another technique. You also need to ensure that you have the right sentiment or greetings for your card. It will be challenging to create greeting cards if you don’t own generic sentiment stamps like “hello” or “how are you.”

2. Visualize or sketch your card. It’s always great to sketch your card design ideas first or at least visualize how it’s going to look like. Think of all the elements and decorations that will go into your design.

Monochrome handmade card created with floral stamps

3. Get inspired! Google is your friend. Find some beautiful handmade cards on Pinterest. Search Instagram for creative handmade card ideas. Watch tutorials on different card making ideas on YouTube. Inspiration is everywhere; you just need to find it. Whether it’s a color palette or a design element, you can always find a way to incorporate it into your handmade cards.

4. Finalize your design. While some card makers can get away with last-minute changes to their homemade cards, it might not work out well for you, especially if you’re a beginner. Finalizing your design simply means making sure that you have all the necessary tools for the techniques that you will try. It’s also ideal to have a backup plan (think plan B and plan C) if things don’t exactly go your way.

Handmade card idea using vellum

5. Start creating! Yes, you are ready to create cards! It’s the most fun part and probably the most frustrating too. But, hey, that’s part of the whole creative process!

To help you get started, check out our easy-to-use card making materials.

What Is the Easiest Way to Make Greeting Cards?

With the amount of creative handmade card ideas that you’ll find on Pinterest or Instagram, it always seems like you need to have tons of creativity to make something as majestic and fabulous. That’s not always the case. The beauty of handmade cards is that you can be as creative as you want. It’s okay to draw inspiration from others, but it’s better to put your own twist on it and personalize it. If you’re still wondering how to make greeting cards that are Pinterest-worthy, don’t fret! We’ve got three inspiring card making ideas here that are super easy to follow!

1. Clean and Simple Homemade Card. With only a few supplies, you can create stunning DIY greeting cards for every occasion.

 Clean and simple handmade card using Altenew stamps

In this Mother’s Day card, Aga only used four paper crafting supplies! She also created it in under 10 minutes. Going for CAS (clean and simple) handmade cards is one of the easiest ways to make greeting cards. Here’s a quick step-by-step on how she created her card:

  • First, stamp the floral images in black ink on white cardstock. 
  • Cut them out with the coordinating dies.
  • Stamp the sentiment on a piece of white cardstock using black ink.
  • Next, matte the sentiment strip with a scrap of gold cardstock. 
  • Finally, mount all the elements on a light blue card base, and you’re done!

Homemade cards created with Altenew floral stamps

2. Use Large Stamps To Create Backgrounds. Creating an eye-catching background could be challenging if you don’t want to go for a CAS look on your DIY greeting cards. The trick is to use large stamp images so they could fill an entire background. It’s too bothersome to stamp multiple times just to fill up your card’s background! Invest in large stamps or, better yet, try some innovative background stamps. The best thing about this is that you can create multiple homemade card backgrounds at once and just add different sentiments later, depending on the occasion or recipient. This is not only one of the easiest ways to make greeting cards; it’s also a total time-saver!

Beautiful handmade card ideas using clear stamps

3. Go Monochrome. Never underestimate the power of plain and simple colors. Going monochrome isn’t dull or lazy; it’s classy and elegant! If you are pressed for time and can’t find any creative handmade card ideas easily, try going for a monochromatic vibe. This means you won’t have to spend hours coloring your stamped images or figuring out different color combinations. If you aren’t pleased with your black and white stamped image, you can always add some shine to it by clear heat embossing or dry embossing the card base. 

Here’s a fun and easy tutorial on how to create a monochromatic background on your homemade cards.

Easy handmade card idea using alphabet dies

4. Use Big, Bold Letters! There’s a reason why big and bold alphabet letter stamps and dies are super trendy and popular among card makers. One of the easiest ways to make greeting cards is to utilize these fun letters and make them the focal point of your handmade cards. You can spell out words like “happy,” “hello,” “hi,” “love,” “thanks,” and more! Die-cutting these bold letters a few times and piling them up for some dimension is another fun trick. You can even spell out the recipient’s name using these big, bold letters. The possibilities are endless!

DIY greeting cards made with Altenew Label Love sentiment stamps

5. Say It With Sentiments! Another fun idea for your DIY greeting cards is to use sentiment stamps as your background. If you can’t think of an appropriate image or design, then just go with sentiments! Stamp them all over the background of white cardstock in black ink, and you’re done! Want to add some extra interest? Stamp each sentiment in different ink colors! You can also dry emboss your white cardstock and pop the sentiment up with some foam tape. You can never go wrong with this technique!

These card making techniques are simple enough that even beginners can try them. But that doesn’t mean experienced crafters should take it off their list. These techniques can still be fun to try as a “refresher,” and you can always put a creative twist on them. Next time you find yourself in need of quick and easy card making tips and ideas, remember these five fun techniques.

Do you want to learn more about the art of card making?

Card design idea using floral stamps

What Do I Need for Card Making?

So you’ve got some excellent and fantastic card making ideas, and you’re ready to make your own card. Before you go crazy shopping for paper crafting supplies and tools, you must know some essential card making supplies you’ll need. Coming up with handmade card ideas is only half the battle. You need to be well-equipped before you join the wonderful world of paper crafting!

Rainbow card making kit from Altenew

Here are five basic supplies and tools that you’ll need for card making:

1. Card Making Paper - Paper is the most basic supply you’ll need when you create greeting cards. We’re not talking about regular printer paper here. Card making paper is smooth and white, usually between 80lb to 110lb. The weight of the paper makes it ideal for various card making techniques such as stamping, alcohol marker coloring, heat embossing, and watercoloring. You can also use colored cardstock, patterned paper, or specialty paper such as vellum and gold foil.

Wedding program created with Altenew stamps for card making

2. Scissors or Paper Trimmer - As you may have already guessed, scissors are paper’s best friend. Since card making paper is thicker than regular paper, you’ll need scissors or a paper trimmer to cut them. It’s essential to get high-quality and stainless crafting scissors because you’ll be using them A LOT.

3. Adhesives - Glue tape, liquid glue, foam tape, tacky glue; there are so many different kinds of crafters glue out there. Make sure to do your research and find the best craft glue that suits your needs.

4. Clear stamps for card making - Your card making kit isn’t complete without these! The popularity of clear stamps for card making has exponentially grown in the last decade, and it is showing no signs of stopping. Cardmakers are crazy over these unique and handy tools and can’t get enough of them. It’s ideal to have one of each type of stamp when you’re just starting out. That way, you can have a variety of images, designs, and sentiments. You can always build your stamp collection later.  

Easy card making idea using stencils and ink sprays

5. Inks and other coloring mediums - Just like paper and scissors, stamps for card making must be paired with inks and other coloring mediums. The most commonly used types of ink for paper craft are dye ink, pigment ink, embossing ink, hybrid ink, and mixed media ink. You can use one or two of these inks or use all of them, depending on the technique that you’re doing.

Creating handmade cards is such a fun, thoughtful, and exciting hobby that anyone can do. Yes - anyone. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body. It’s your handmade creation, so you don’t need to worry about making mistakes. It doesn’t need to be perfect too! Even the best card makers out there still have imperfect homemade cards. If you’re still wondering if you can try to make your own card, the answer is YES. You just need a few supplies, some beautiful handmade card ideas, and of course, your creativity!

Whether you're a beginner or a pro at cardmaking searching for something new to try, check out our products!

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