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Basic Cardmaking Materials

When creating your own cards, there are a few basic, low-cost materials you'll need to get you started. Below is a summary of the elements you could use in your projects. These elements are basic components to begin your cardmaking journey – we touch on more advanced techniques a little later in the guide.

Card Blanks, Card, Paper and Envelopes

Card blanks are the base of your card, forming the structure and holding the entire thing together – so it's really important you choose the best quality possible! Coming pre-folded, they give you the perfect blank canvas to begin working on. Card blanks are available in a range of colours, shapes and finishes, generally coming paired with coordinating blank envelopes.

Card is extremely versatile as it comes in a huge variety of colours, finishes and sizes. Differently to card blanks, cardstock isn't pre-folded for you and generally comes in larger packs with more textures and designs. Paper, similarly to card, is available in a range of colours, finishes, themes and sizes; however it has a much lower weight (gsm). Perfect for building up layers on your card making projects, you could even include different patterned papers, vellum, metallic card and more.

For cardmaking, we recommend you choose pre-folded card blanks at a comfortable A5 size, weighing between 260gsm and 300gsm. Please see our Paper and Card Guide for more information on specific weights (including what 'gsm' is!), sizes, colours and styles.

Glues and Adhesives

Selecting the right glues and adhesives for your card projects is essential if you want a durable, clean, professional-like finish. When working with paper or card, you'll generally only require basic PVA glue or a glue stick to adhere components together. Alternatively, you could try using shimmer glue if you're looking to add that extra sparkle to your projects!

Please see our Glues and Adhesives Guide for more information on specific glue types, strengths and effects.

Stamps and Ink Pads

You'll always need that extra-special focal point to theme the rest of your card around, and stamping could well be the solution! Stamps can be used over and over again, so you'll always have the means to design a card at the last minute. You'll need a set of stamps and an ink pad to get you started – they come in a range of types, themes and sizes, so you're sure to always find exactly what you're looking for!

Please see our Stamping Guide for more information on the different types of stamps and ink pads available.

Papercraft CD ROMs and DVD ROMs

Dive into the new age of crafting using Papercraft CD ROMs and DVD ROMs! This form of crafting requires a computer, printer paper and an ink jet printer as well as the CD ROM itself – you simply insert the CD and follow the on-screen instructions to personalise existing designs, then print them out and glue the elements to your card project. CD ROMs and DVD ROMs will generally contain a number of design sets, papers, sentiments, topper designs, embellishment designs and many more components. The great thing about digital crafting is that you can use the disks over and over again!

Embellishments

Once you've designed your card, it's time to add that fabulous finish to complement your creation! Embellishments are used to enhance your focal point rather than stealing the spotlight, so it's key that you choose the right embellishments to match your project. As there are so many different embellishments available on the market, you may wonder where to start – but fear no more, we're here to help! Here's a brief overview on a selection of our favourite embellishments:

Peel-Off Stickers

Peel-Off Stickers

These handy embellishments are especially useful as they don't require glue – they have self-adhesive backs. They come in a variety of designs, shapes and sizes to coordinate with your project.

Ribbons

Ribbons

These versatile embellishments are used predominantly to add bows or ties to cards. Available in a range of widths, colours and textures, they are perfect for adding that classy finishing touch.

Glitter

Glitter

Glitter is a favourite amongst papercrafters as it adds dazzling effects and dimension to cards! There's an incredible selection of glitter out there, varying between colour, consistency and some even featuring tiny encapsulations, all designed to accentuate your project.

Toppers and Tags

Toppers and Tags

This type of embellishment truly represents what papercrafting is about. Made from cardstock or paper, each topper or tag sheet includes multiple designs and elements to incorporate into your project.

Flowers and Bows

Flowers and Bows

Paper flowers and bows are used to add dimension and texture to your project, complementing your designs. Whether you want a simple, colourful bow or an intricate flower, you're sure to find the perfect style and size to complete your card.

Brads

Brads

These trendy embellishments push through your card to attach. While the top is decorative, often featuring a stud or stone, the back has two prongs to push flat against your card, keeping it in place. Brads are available in a variety of colours, shapes, sizes and finishes.

Buttons

Buttons

Buttons aren't just for the sewers out there! Accent your card projects in style, giving them that extra depth and dimension. You can attach them in various ways – all you need to decide is the colour, size, shape and style you'd like.

Gems

Gems

Bling up your project in style! Especially perfect for special occasions such as weddings, these classy embellishments come in a variety of styles, shapes, sizes and colours. It's recommended that you apply them with craft tweezers for optimum accuracy.

Card Inserts

Why don't you make the inside of your card look just as gorgeous as you've made the outside look? Rather than leaving the card blank, you could add personalised card inserts for that thoughtful finishing touch. Or for those messy crafters – cover up your mistakes or workings! Inserts are available to buy in packs, each featuring individual designs printed onto paper. You could embellish the design or simply write in a lovely message to the recipient, then adhere to the inside of your card for a beautifully personalised card!

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