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, commiserate, or confess. Whatever a greeting card says, it helps us build and maintain relationships with those we love—both near and far away. Nothing is a more personal touch for these relationships than making your own cards. Some simple crafting supplies are all you need to get started.
Many of the supplies required to make quality cards overlap with scrapbooking and general DIY supplies. You may already own much of what you will need, but if not, 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 for starting your own card-making journey.
To get started crafting your own greeting cards, you will need a variety of cardstock. This paper tends to be thicker and of higher quality—meaning your cards won't be flimsy. You can buy it in variety packs that give you maximum choice as you begin crafting. Choose jewel tones, summer colors, or pastels. You can also find sheets with different colors on either side. Shimmery metallics also make for a fancy touch. As you choose your cardstock, pay attention to the sheet size and weight (thickness) of the paper.
Paper Cutting Tools and Surfaces
With your new brightly colored cardstock, there are multiple ways to ensure clean, precise cuts. Many scrapbookers and card makers use paper trimmers. These typically incorporate a blade and a base which makes measuring simple. Be sure to choose a trimmer with a base size to accommodate your paper sizes—often 12 inches will do the trick. This Dahle Rolling Trimmer is an affordable rotary trimmer (i.e. using a small rotating blade kept under a plastic guard). The plastic guide makes it easy to cute straight lines.
For more complex cuts, you will need an X-Acto knife. A self-healing cutting mat will protect your table and give you a secure surface upon which to work. These mats come in a variety of sizes. As their name suggests, they miraculously manage to withstand intense crafting. Of course, good-quality crafting scissors are also a must-have. (For creative edges, try those funky scissors you probably remember from grade school.)
Adhesives of All Kinds
Adhesive options are virtually endless when working with papercrafts. To start, a classic glue stick is simple and efficient. 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 are working with photographs, these mounting squares are acid-free to protect your memories.
Stamps and Ink
As you start your card-making journey, building a collection of stamps and ink pads will come naturally. Some stamps you will use year after year—including a birthday cake, a Hanukkah menorah, or an emphatic “Merry Christmas.” There are stamps for practically any occasion or taste. You can find them on Etsy, Amazon, or your local craft store.
Check out these frolicking kitties and happy cacti. Take a witchy turn with these phases of the moon or bring an herbal charm with these delicate florals. Wherever your stamp tastes take you, you will need archival quality ink pads in your favorite colors.
Markers and Pens
Quality markers will help take your card making to the next level. Blick Studio Brush Markers are dual-ended and come in a variety of color sets. Calligraphy markers are specially made for writing. They come in colorful sets and precision tips for pros. If you would like to learn more about adding your own classical calligraphy using nib pens, check out My Modern Met's guide to getting started with calligraphy.
Watercolor pencils are another option for decorating your cards. 1990s-style shimmery gel pens can add flair too. 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 crafting supplies that can be used to create stunning greeting cards. Enhance your homemade birthday card with glitter or punch tiny Christmas trees for decorating your holiday missives. To send out your cards you will, of course, need envelopes, which can be decorated to match.
Embossing is a technique used by card makers to add raised or shiny stamp effects to your cards. Watch the above video 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. Time to start creating and sending your own unique handmade greeting cards.