Card Making Techniques

A handmade birthday card

When it comes to card making techniques, people who like making handmade cards will find plenty of options. Some techniques are very simple and require minimal tools, while others are complex and may need special equipment to complete. Whether you make cards as a hobby or as a craft business, exploring different techniques in card making will ensure you have a wide variety of cards to showcase.

Card Making Techniques: Basic to Complex

Making your own cards can be a fun, rewarding hobby. Crafting your own cards shows the recipient that you care enough to spend time and energy designing something unique. Once you begin making your own cards, you may decide to pursue the craft as a business instead of simply an enjoyable hobby. These card making techniques can be used by amateurs and professionals alike.

Paper Punching

While you can cut out your own flower and circle shapes by hand, using a punch makes this task go much more quickly. Punches come in shapes such as:

  • Squares
  • Hearts
  • Flowers of all kinds
  • Circles
  • Border designs

You can use punches to create dozens of shapes to glue onto cards, but you can also create a cutout on the front of a card with a puncher.

Rubber Stamping

Maybe you're not artistic, but you still want pretty pictures to decorate your handmade cards. Rubber stamps are available in a huge selection. You'll not only find images that you can stamp on a card, but letters, numbers and phrases. Using rubber stamps can be a time-saver for card makers who need to create a large amount of cards. However, if you sell your cards, be sure and check the stamp company's "angel policy", as some designs are fine for personal use, but not for commercial enterprises.

Quilling

This technique involves rolling thin strips of paper into a coil. From there, you can create various designs by shaping with your fingers. The simplest quilled shape will be a circle, but by manipulating the coiled shape, you can make:

  • Flowers
  • Hearts
  • Suns
  • Butterflies
  • Balloons

Once you've made the design of your choice, stick it onto your card with a basic adhesive.

Adhesives

You'll probably find that you need several types of adhesives when making your own cards. Fortunately, glue is an inexpensive medium, so purchasing different kinds won't break the bank.

  • All-purpose glue works for adhering paper to paper.
  • Use fabric glue for sticking on ribbons and fabrics.
  • For designs that have a 3-D effect, foam adhesive dots or squares will give a raised appearance to small or large punch shapes.
  • Double-sided tape gives a smooth appearance and works well with thin paper.

Stitching

For a delightful handmade feel, hand stitch or machine stitch on a card. This is a good technique for attaching a shape or design to a card front; you can also stitch the smaller piece separately and glue it onto the card.

Paper Pricking

Using a special pricking tool, create all kinds of pictures by punching tiny holes in cardstock. It will be easier to first draw or trace the picture you have in mind with a pencil. You can also use a template and prick through the template's holes onto your card. Make sure you use your paper pricker on a self-healing mat and if you're designing on the front of the card, open it completely so that you only prick the front and not all the way through.

Embossing

Embossing gives a card a textured appearance and feel by creating a raised surface through the use of a stencil or powder. If you've never embossed, you'll probably want to start with the easiest method, the stencil. Heat embossing requires the use of embossing powder and a heat source, and is slightly more complicated.

Use Your Creativity

These are some basic techniques you can use in creating your own cards. They can be combined in countless ways for personal or commercial use. Once you unleash your creativity, you'll see how easy it is to design an unlimited number of handmade cards, all of which can be different and beautiful.

Card Making Techniques