Supplies to start creating your own awesome greeting cards

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Greeting cards are an important facet of everyday life. We send them to commemorate graduations, congratulate new parents or convey birthday wishes. The “greetings” sent can console, sympathize or confess. Whatever a greeting card says, it helps us build and maintain relationships with those we love, whether near or far. Nothing is more personal for these relationships than creating your own cards. A few simple craft supplies are enough to get started.

Many of the supplies needed to make quality cards overlap with scrapbooking and general craft supplies. You may already have much of what you’ll need, but if you don’t, consider this list a good place to start. From birthday cards to Father’s Day messages, your DIY greeting cards will be appreciated by all who receive them.

Scroll down to find the perfect basic supplies to start your own card making journey.

Make a Christmas card

Photo: Photos by DRAGON IMAGES/Shutterstock

Cardstock

Pack of colored card stock for card making

blick | $17.93

To start making your own greeting cards, you’ll need a variety of card stock. This paper tends to be thicker and of higher quality, which means your cards won’t be flimsy. You can buy it in various packs that give you maximum choice when you start crafting. Choose jewel tones, summer colors or pastels. You can also find sheets with different colors on each side. Shimmering metals also add a touch of whimsy. When choosing your card stock, pay attention to the size of the sheet and the weight (thickness) of the paper.

Paper cutting tools and surfaces

Paper cutter or cutter for scrapbooking and card making

Photo: Stock Photos by TOLIKOFF PHOTOGRAPHY/Shutterstock

With your new, brightly colored card stock, there are several ways to ensure clean, precise cuts. Many scrapbookers and card makers use paper cutters. These usually incorporate a blade and base which simplifies measurement. Be sure to choose a cutter whose base size fits your paper sizes – often 12 inches will do. This Dahle roller mower is an affordable rotary mower (i.e. using a small rotating blade held under a plastic guard). The plastic guide makes it easy to create straight lines.

For more intricate cuts, you will need an X-Acto knife. A self-healing cutting mat will protect your table and give you a safe surface to work on. These mats are available in a variety of sizes. As their name suggests, they miraculously manage to withstand intense craftsmanship. Of course, good quality craft scissors are also essential. (For creative edges, try these funky scissors you probably remember from grade school.)

Adhesives of all kinds

Elmers glue and adhesive for card making

blick | $2.43

The adhesive options are virtually endless when working with paper crafts. For starters, a classic glue stick is simple and effective. A dot adhesive runner is also a good option. Simply trace along the edges of a piece of paper and press to adhere. There are also double-sided glue dots and double-sided tape. If you work with photographs, these mounting squares are acid-free to protect your memories.

Stamps and Ink

Stamp frames for scrapbooking and card making

StampWorlds | $5.80 (one stamp)

When you start your card making journey, building up a collection of stamps and stamp pads will come naturally. Some stamps you’ll use year after year, including a birthday cake, a Hanukkah menorah, or an emphatic “Merry Christmas.” There are stamps for virtually every occasion and every taste. You can find them on Etsy, Amazon or your local craft store.

Check out these frolicking kittens and happy cacti. Take a witchy twist with these moon phases or bring in a grassy charm with these delicate blooms. Wherever your stamping tastes take you, you’ll need archival quality stamp pads in your favorite colors.

Markers and pens

Markers and crayons for card making

Photo: SAMUI Photos/Shutterstock

Quality markers will help take your cardmaking to the next level. Blick Studio brush markers are double-ended and come in a variety of color sets. Calligraphy markers are specially designed for writing. They come in colorful sets and precision tips for the pros. If you want to learn more about adding your own classic calligraphy using fountain pens, check out My Modern Met’s guide to getting started with calligraphy.

Watercolor pencils are another option for decorating your cards. Glittery 1990s-style gel pens can also add flair. Acrylic and watercolor paints are an additional way to express yourself by turning your cards into miniature works of art.

Envelopes, embossing and more

There are countless other craft supplies that can be used to create great greeting cards. Enhance your homemade birthday card with glitter or punch out tiny Christmas trees to decorate your holiday missives. To send your cards, you will of course need envelopes, which can be decorated accordingly.

Embossing is a technique used by card makers to add raised or glossy stamp effects to your cards. Watch the video above for an introduction to embossing. Some basic supplies include embossing powder and a heat source. For more relevant supplies, check out this article from Klompen Stampers. It’s time to start creating and sending your own handmade greeting cards.

Make a Valentine's Day card

Photo: EXOPIXEL Image Bank/Shutterstock

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Mika R. Pyle