Tips for Beginner Card Makers

by onepaperstreet

Hey Everyone, I’m swinging by today to tell you a little bit about what I’ve learned in my years of being a greeting card designer. I’m also sharing a few tips that I wish I would have figured out sooner.

The idea for this post stemmed from some interactions I had with some amazing customers who came by my booth at a pop-up market a few weeks back. Several people said, “I wish I could do something like that.” Well… if it’s something that you really want to do, you can!

I always want to encourage people to find their creativity. So, I wrote this article for those of you who are feeling creative but overwhelmed with where to begin. This article walks through 8 tips to help you begin your creative journey.




1. Find Your Favorite Card Sketches on Pinterest

Pinterest is a great place to start any time you’re looking to be creative. There are thousands of card sketches on Pinterest, so start sifting through them! Some sketches will speak to you more than others, but start pinning your favorite ones on your own boards so you can figure out what your style looks like. You can also follow boards from your favorite crafters. For example, I’ve posted my boards here!


2. Start Out with Minimal (and Versatile) Supplies

You really don’t need ALL the things. Even if you feel like everyone on Instagram and Pinterest is saying that you do. When you’re getting started with a new hobby, it’s more important to just try it out and decide if it’s something you should pursue.

When I first began, I started with these basic supplies.

    • an inexpensive paper trimmer
    • 1 multicolor pack of cardstock
    • 1 pack of 3D foam tape
    • 1 pack of mounting tape
    • scissors
    • a few versatile stamp sets
      • Depending on how detailed your stamps are, you can always cut out your design to make it pop off the page. For Example, I hand cut the little turtle on this You are the Best thank you card.
    • Stamp Cleaner
    • Black Archival Ink

Optional Supplies

    • a couple of versatile sticker pack: a caveat to stickers – they can look cheap, so be mindful of that.
    • a couple of packs of embellishments – flower embellishments (for example) are versatile and easy to find a home for.


3. Don’t Buy Expensive Products

While you are learning you will burn through supplies. Don’t spend a ton of money on brand name supplies. Find what you need at a local craft store. Most stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby or Joanne fabrics have discount coupons that can help you keep your spending to a minimum. However, this can be a double-edged sword.

Don’t get caught up in a spending frenzy. I recommend researching what you want online, then going into the store with that list and just buying those items. Check out the Using What You Already Own post for some best practices around shopping for craft supplies.

Some stores, like Michael’s, will let you buy online and pick up in store. This has helped me curb the number of impulse buys.



4. Have Patience

As you’re getting started, your new materials will feel foreign to you. You will mess up. You will ruin some paper. You may get frustrated. That’s ok! I would argue that still happens to me from time to time. Just breath and maybe walk away from it for a bit and come back. If you’re new to card making, then this is likely just a hobby for you. So, remember it’s supposed to be fun. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you don’t enjoy the creative process.


5. Find Your Favorite How-to Blogs and YouTube Videos

You can always follow One Paper Street or sign up for my newsletter, but I also encourage you to find a handful of other paper crafters with different styles that can show you new fun techniques.

Here are a few of my favorite card making influencers! Check out their blogs, YouTube Channels, and Instagram profiles to follow their creative works! Hopefully, that can help you feel inspired!

Justine Hovey

Justine’s YouTube channel is probably my favorite to follow. She posts a lot of really great card making videos. I just love her card making techniques and how she uses her supplies in many different ways. She also makes a lot of non-traditional Christmas cards which I love!

K Werner Designs

K Werner Designs is a hugely popular YouTube influencer, and she has all the things! In addition to her very well-done card making videos, I like her product unboxing videos too. I also can’t forget to mention that she’s incredibly talented with watercolors and hand lettering.

Jennifer McGuire

The reason I really enjoy Jennifer McGuire’s YouTube Channel is because she does a wonderful job of walking you through the small details that really help you to put the finishing touches on a design. Her tutorials are really detailed. I learned a lot about interactive cards from her channel.

Blue Scallop Creations

I discovered Blue Scalloped Creations on Instagram and have really enjoyed following her. Her clean and simple (CAS) card making style is just elegant and super fun. She’s also super active in the paper crafting community. You can usually find her on guest posting on various blogs and is currently on the CutCardstock design team. Access all of her tutorials on Instagram.


6. Comparison is the Thief of Joy

This saying was originally coined by Theodore Roosevelt, and while he might not have been into card making, the saying truly resonates with many creatives. I try to follow people who inspire me. People who I think I can learn from. When I’m in a positive headspace I find myself thinking “Wow I need to try that!” But in a negative headspace, I find myself comparing their work to my own and thinking things like “their work is so much better than mine” or “I could never do that”. In these moments, it’s important to remember that creativity looks different for everyone. so please, don’t compare your work to someone else’s. Both pieces are beautiful.


7. Remember that No Design Idea is a Bad Idea

It’s so easy to think the words “that won’t work” when we’re trying to brainstorm a new design idea. My advice to you… “Stop thinking like that!” When you’re getting started with paper crafting, you don’t actually know what will work and what won’t, so try everything you can think of. No design turns out exactly the way we expect it to. See my post “The End Result” here as a prime example of that. Don’t let negative self-speak and self-doubt drive you away from this super fun art form!

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Heidi April 11, 2019 - 3:44 pm

Thank you so much for mentioning me, Robin! This is a great post. I totally agree with #3–great tips! ?

onepaperstreet April 11, 2019 - 9:46 pm

Thanks Heidi! I really enjoy following your work so I wanted to help other find your work too!


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