Tuesday 7 April 2015

Card Making On A Budget

Recently I've taken up card making in a big way.  As you know I'm on a tight budget and cannot afford all the fancy gizmos and gadgets that are used to make beautiful cards.  The stamps,  card stock,  cut outs,  hole punches,  tape,  water pens,  ink pads etc etc etc and the list goes on.  Sure,  I'd love to buy a few items some time in the future if the price is right.  But for now I've made do with what I had on hand and only purchased the blank cards and envelopes.

My first attempt at card making.

I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination and wouldn't dream of showing you how to make amazing cards.  I just thought it would be helpful to let you know how I've made my cards for under 50 cents each.

Firstly I bought some blank cards from the $2 shop.  Other cheap shops sell them but you'll be paying $2.50 plus per pack.  Remember,  I'm doing this to save money not to spend any more than I need to.  Check the pack to see how many cards are in there and that envelopes are included.  Some will have 6 or 8 cards.  I always choose the 8 card packs.

Some of my card supplies.

Make sure you pick colors you can use.  No point in picking brown cards if no one likes the color.  I choose pale pink,  pale green,  white and purple to start with.  Since then I've added red,  cream and dark pink to the collection. Some $2 shops sell packets of A4 colored card.  I found some in a beautiful pearly purple color and there were 6 sheets in there.  I cut each sheet in half getting 12 cards for $2.  There were no envelopes with it but I can make these easily with plain paper I have on hand.  Spotlight also sells packets of A4 card 20 per pack for just under $5.  Cut each one in half to get 40 cards.

I already had some stamps and two ink pads ( purple and pink )  bought in a discount store many years ago.  If you have children,  dig through their craft boxes to see if they have stamps and ink pads.  If not,  you only need to purchase a few basic ones to get started.   E bay might be an option for you.  Here are the ones I have.

My old ink pads that are over 10 years old.

Many uses for these few stamps.

A Spotlight clearance bargain for $6

I purchased the paper doilies from Kmart but $2 shops also sell packets of them.  If you buy the smallest size available you'll get many more in the pack.

Doilies are punch outs.

Other items that you'll have on hand are -

*  Wrapping paper.  Look for ones that have pictures to cut out.  Also paper with writing on like happy birthday are great too.  You can cut out the writing to stick on the cards..  Have a dig in your wrapping paper box.  I did and was amazed at what I could use. Make sure you save any usable wrapping paper from birthday parties.  Even scraps can be used as a border strip down the side of the card.

Paper from my present box.

*  Buttons,  lace,  ribbon,   beads,  sequins,  stickers and old birthday cards are all handy to use.  Start saving anything that's useful.  Even scraps.  Save the ribbon from toiletry packs,  presents and clothing,   Op shops are worth checking too.  Christmas garlands come on clearance on Boxing Day.

Christmas garlands bought on clearance.

Embellishments picked up over the years.

Recycled and bought ribbon.

*  Glue sticks,  PVA glue and a hot glue guns are all useful tools.  I always have a heap of glue sticks for school use.  These are great for sticking paper bits onto the card.  PVA is for sticking card cut outs onto to card if you think the glue stick isn't strong enough.  I use the hot glue gun for embellishments like buttons and material flowers.

Gluing and cutting tools.

*   Magazines.  Do you have any gardening magazines or homemaking ones ?  You could find plenty to cut out from them. . 


*  Before you start sticking things onto your card,  place all the bits onto the card to see if it looks right.  Then go for it.

*  Clean your stamps in between uses.  Some people use baby wipes.  I just use water and a tissue to blot the water away.

*  If you make a card you really like,  get a production line going and make a few.  Maybe in different colors.  This will save you lots of time.

*  Keep all your card making supplies in a box.  Having it all in one place makes life easier.  If you're in the mood for card making you just need to grab your box.  Easy  !!!

Are you inspired to have a go at card making ? 


  1. Well done. You should sell some to florist shops for a little extra cash.

  2. Hi Wendy, Such great ideas! I think I'll set the kids up with some supplies at the kitchen table these holidays and let them go for it. Love reading your blog! Stephanie.

    1. Megan loves to make cards with me. We help each other with new designs.

  3. Wendy, I bought a roll of double sided tape with foam in the middle at Bunnings on sale for $2 a couple of years ago. I think it is used for sealing gaps , but it's a great way to economically make your cards 3D, the card makers charge mega bucks for tiny squares, I just cut off a little at a time with nail scissors.

  4. Dear Wendy,
    Look at you go! I'm so impressed! It's wonderful to make cards and I find the recipients really appreciate them. Card-making is like therapy for me. Yours are pretty!

    1. Thankyou Collete. I've been making them on a Sunday afternoon. I get so excited at the thought of makng them.

  5. Whilst I love eCards - I don't have to keep them, but still feel acknowledged - a personal handmade card is lovely.
    I have found craft supplies very cheap at quite a few garage sales. My SIL has had card making afternoons with her friends where you bring your supplies along to share - different stamps and supplies that she was just bored with. K

  6. Dear Wendy, you have taken to card making like a duck to water! I am so happy and proud of you!
    You are exactly right this does not have to cost a lot. For us the idea is to save a lot of money AND have lovely cards to give. Win win!
    Crafts like this are wonderful too when the weather means we cant really do much in the garden and need to be inside more. I get lots of crafts done then.
    Your pictures are great and the cards just lovely! Love Annabel.xxx

    1. Thankyou, thankyou Annabel. I never thought I could afford to make cards until I saw yours on your blog.

  7. They are lovely cards, Wendy. We are making handmade cards as part of our upcoming Down to Earth Forums swap this month so I had better get my skates on and make mine. I used to do a lot of papercraft so still have my stash to dig through.

  8. Hi Wendy - your cards are gorgeous. I think home made cards are lovely and so thoughtful with the extra effort you put into them. Like home baking - everything is better when made with love! Tina xx

  9. Wow. Very pretty. I have a friend and she saves cards from Christmas and that she receives and repurposes them by cutting little sayings, pictures, and the designs and collages them on fronts of new cards and they are amazing. I love getting one because she puts a lot of thought and designs the cards by personality for the person receiving them.

    1. I saved last year's Christmas cards and made lots of gift tags as well as cutting out anything I can use.

  10. Hi Wendy,
    Wow, these are so pretty. Your very talented Wendy.
    I am going to try and have a go at making some cards. I have been cleaning out my parents house and when i was there this weekend, i found lots of old gardening books with beautiful pictures and old magazines and also old calendars which i could use.
    I have lots of boys/men in our family so i found an old Jacaranda Atlas (may have been mine when i was at school) and some old maps of my Dads which i guess i could use.
    The best find was heaps and heaps of old sheet music sheets, some very old and lots of books with sheet music in them which i think would look nice on cards especially for people who are into music.
    So many ideas, so many possibilities, xxx
    Thanks, Maureen

    1. Sheet music and maps are a great idea for men's cards.

  11. Hi everyone. I've had this post ready to be published for the last three weeks or so. I was so excited to show you how easy it is to get started. Thanks must go to Annabel for inspiring me to get started in the first place.

    I'll post more designs shortly. I'm still learning and finding different ideas. Google is a great source of ideas.

  12. great idea one of my goals this year use up what i have in my craft draws going to try this Thanks Wendy :)

  13. great ideas. With the major card places charging upwards of $5+ a card, this is the way to go. I generally buy cards from the Dollar Store.

  14. They are lovely Wendy, I especially love the pansy one. Regards, Tania

  15. They all look great Wendy. I had quite a few bits of coloured cardboard-the poster type that I folded and made into cards. I also used coloured paper to make envelopes. I dont have a $2 shop around here so buying cardboard is a cheaper option for me. x


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