• Linda

Where to start...

Updated: Oct 11, 2018

Back in the day, when I was new to crafting, I was overwhelmed with all the techniques and products out there. I remember what my first cards looked like. I mainly used to glue layers of patterned paper and some toppers together. I used to buy all the craft magazines with freebies. But then I learned more, and stopped buying them. Don't get me wrong, I think they are great. They are packed full with great ideas, new products and exciting competitions and subscription offers. I used to be subscribed to Cardmaking and Papercraft Magazine. Once I got more brave, I discovered photopolymer stamps. And the fact that there are zillions of companies selling these! Some are better quality than others.

Magazine freebies are great for beginners. You get the stamps and within the magazine are tutorials on how to use them. I personally find the stamps not as exciting, and also not such a good quality. Or maybe I have become a snob because I discovered Stampin' Up! company. And I never went back to magazine freebies again. The quality of stamps is like a day and night. I am not going to lie, I love Stampin' Up! products and I have signed up as a demonstrator in the past. But recently, I have gone through yet another crafting evolution, and now I am all into other companies. Mainly because they offer the same quality, are more affordable and more innovative. To name few: Lawn Fawn, Mama Elephant, Avery Elle, Alte New etc. I still love inks and cardstock from Stampin' Up! though. They are perfectly coordinated and the choice of more than 40 colours is more than enough.

Some of my first cards. My skill of taking photos has improved since then too!

If you are a beginner, and are not sure where to start, try watching some of the craft channels on the TV. I used to watch them non stop at one time. Create and Craft is good, but I prefer Hochanda more, as they bring more variety and also less known brands. The upside is that you get to see all the products being used in a live demonstration. Sometimes you see things in shop and you buy them only to find out that you are not entirely sure how to use them. Well, watching craft channels reduces this. The downside is that it's so easy to go over board and spend and spend and spend! Especially if they have such great deals and even a flexi payment option. Mind you, if you want such expensive tools as die cutting machine or marker pens, you could buy them and pay monthly, easy peasy. It's knowing when to stop buying! Or whether you are really, and I mean REALLY going to use the goodies. I have done it many times myself, and almost all the crafters out there as well. Some stamps or stencils etc. look so cool, cute, great so you buy them and then they disappear somewhere in your craft room among other bits and bobs you have long forgotten you had. It's good to have a clear out every now and then, and donate them to a charity, or sell them on ebay.

Evolution of my card making. Discovery of the die cutting machine!

Here is a list of supplies I would recommend to start with:

  • Cardstock - any coloured and white cardstock over 270 gsm is a must (you can get packs of different sizes of card bases quite cheap)

  • Adhesives - tape rollers are great for quick adhering, double sided tapes are a must if you are planning to do boxes and other 3D or dynamic projects, glue dots (great for adhering embellishments like buttons or bows), foam pads (great for adding dimension to your cards)

  • Self-healing mat or a crafting mat (to protect a table or desk from damage)

  • Patterned cardstock (be careful not to buy everything that's cute, sweet and cool - start with one or two packs of different sizes)

  • Scissors and guillotine / paper trimmer - a must have for precision when cutting the cardstock (alternatively, use a Stanley knife and a ruler - if you prefer)

  • Pack of toppers or all in one card kits (Hunkydory have a wide selection of these)

  • Embellishments (ribbons, bows, gems, wooden elements, sequins etc.)

Advanced Crafting (once you find your style and passion for card making):

  • Stamping - rubber or photopolymer stamps, stamping tool, acrylic blocks, assortment of inks

  • Heat embossing - heat gun, special ink (VersaMark), embossing powders and embossing buddy

  • Die cutting - one of the best techniques ever! - die cutting machine (manual or electric), tools (brush and pokey tool), additional plates (metal plate, magnetic plate, precision plate - these are generally included with the electric machines), adhesive sheets, assortment of dies, embossing folders

  • 3D crafts - score board, box maker, A3 cardstock 300gsm, strong double sided tape (red)

  • Mixed Media - stencils, waxes, embossing paste, palette knives, gilding wax and many more, mdf products, decoupage

  • Colouring - water based markers and pencils, alcohol markers and pens, permanent black ink, watercolour brushes, watercolours, Chameleon pens etc.

  • Parchment craft - starter kit is available from Groovi or Pergamano

This is not an exhaustive list. I have included all the things I could think of in relation to card making. Each crafter has an individual taste and passion for certain techniques. I encourage you to explore the crafty wilderness out there. Buy the magazines, watch the craft channels, youtube videos or join a group on facebook or meetup. I am also happy to answer any questions, so simply drop me an email :-)

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