Greetings cards are huge business in the UK.  A 2015 report from the GCA (Greetings Cards Association) valued the UK market at £1.6 billion.  And cards can cost anything from a few pence to several pounds. But you don't need to break the bank, you can join the increasing number of people who make their own cards. According to Crafts Beautiful, the top consumer craft magazine, greeting card making in the UK is the number one craft hobby. So, why not give it a go: it's fun and easy!

Instead of giving out a shop-bought card on the next special occasion among family or friends, try your hand at making your own.

Making your own cards does not require hours of time, and hard work, it just needs a bit of creativity, the right materials and a sense of fun.  You can even get the family, and kids involved. 

 

To start creating cards begin by visiting your local arts and crafts shop to search for materials. Most arts and crafts shops have big scrapbooking sections, and that is where you will be able to find lots of materials to make your own cards. Let inspiration guide you as the possibilities are unlimited. You can create various themed cards such as Christmas cards, birthday cards, Mother's Day and Valentine’s Day cards and many more.

If you are worried about your writing, rubber stamps are widely available and you can buy virtually any color ink to go with the stamps.

There are several different stamping methods that you can use when making cards including embossing. Embossing is the process of creating a raised image on the card and it can give any card an elegant appearance.

There are also die cuts and die cut machines available as well. Die cutting allow you to punch a shape out with ease. Again they come in all different shapes and sizes and can be very useful in achieving a professional, layered look. Die cuts can be punched out of different coloured papers, or even from colourful magazines.

The great thing about stamping, embossing and die cutting is you can use them again and again. 

You will need some consumables: glue, glitter, stickers, gel pens etc.

Scrapbook papers come in all sorts of colours too, and you can build up textures and patterns to add to your theme. Patterned paper can be bought, or collected, as well as glitter paper (you can make your own) and pre-scored card kits.

Card kits are a great way to start making your own cards; they come with the cards already made, folded and ready to decorate. The kits come in different sizes and often different colours to meet a variety of needs. During seasonal periods, such as Christmas, card kits come out with note cards, envelopes and many different die cut shapes.

Stickers are probably one of the easiest things to use.  You can by simple regular stickers and some very fancy 3D ones, which also come in many different themes. There are even Disney stickers available as well as licensed cartoon characters and many creative 3D designs. Adding stickers to your cards can help to develop more creativity when matching colours and themes. You can further enhance your handmade cards by adding ribbons, string or brads. Ribbons comes in a plethora of colours, patterns, textures and even shapes. Braids can be used to hold items such as die cuts on the card without the use of glue.

Making greetings cards is a creative process that you can foster and develop. You can find inspiration online, and create them not just with the items found in your local arts and crafts store, but personal photos, drawings, and poems.

Play around using different methods to decorate your cards and have fun at the same time!