One of my favorite ways to relax is to pull out my box of stamps and make homemade greeting cards! I can't remember a time when I wasn't trying (sometimes unsuccessfully!) to make my own cards and stationery. I use fairly minimal supplies and almost always turn out something unique and fun.
Before I talk about the cards I've made recently, I want to show you my supplies. I have a big stack of paper:
These are large books of card stock and paper, sold at stores like Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, etc. I was totally out of card stock and also wanted the convenience of some designed paper for backgrounds. The 5 books pictures were $25 (about 10 cents per sheet).
My other expensive item is this paper cutter. Joshua saw it at Costco for $26 last year and bought it for me! I LOVE it. It has saved me so much time, and makes it so easy to get everything straight and perfect-looking. I can't believe I was using just a scissors all those years... :)
Here are all of my stamps. The animal stamps on the right are from GoodWill. All the other stamps were a gift from a friend.
My ink pads. These, too, were all given to me from a friend. I've been using them for a long time and they work great! I do find it a challenge to have so many pinks (3) and purples (2) with only 2 "guy-friendly" colors, green and black. Some day I want to get yellow, brown, and blue for that reason. :)
And, the rest of my supplies: Scissors, glue stick, fancy cutter inserts for my paper cutter (above), colored pencils, markers, and an art brush. I've used the art brush a lot for backgrounds and edges.
Torn paper is one of my favorite, simple ways to finish an edge. It doesn't require anything special, but looks kind of random and 3-D. I tear paper a lot when I'm making cards! On these two cards, I used some cardboard cut-outs that my sister gave me. I added a blue rick-rack bow to the one on the left. These aren't anything too fancy, but I like having unique cards to send! :)
More torn paper, fancy-cut edges, and cardboard "buttons" with rick-rack tied onto them. It was actually tricky to find good ways to use the cardboard cut-outs, but in the end I was really happy with the results! :)
After much deliberation, I came up with this pink and blue color-scheme and loved how these two cards looked.
Anniversary cards! I had been given a big bag of sewing supplies, including lace, rick-rack, and plastic strings of pearls. I thought the lace worked out okay on that top card, and was the best I could come up with for using the cardboard "buckle"! :)
I tried to make something appropriate to send to dads or brothers. I used some small rick-rack and the cutter attachment that cut zig-zags to match. The bottom of the card is finished by rubbing it across a stamp pad, my other favorite way to do edges (besides tearing).
These are some random cards with Bible verses on them.
Two similar thank-you cards. I liked making cards on darker card stock, although I realized afterwards that I would need to put white paper inside to write on. If you have gel pens, you might not need to do that, though! :)
These two cards used a flower stamp (I drew the stems and grass with a colored pencil) and the edges were rubbed on a stamp pad.
Two more using cardboard buttons. Joshua said the top one makes him think of a broken heart. Hmmm...
These thank-you cards have the same layout, just with different paper.
Two more anniversary cards...
Birthday cards! I made a big set of these, after it took me a long time to find the right paper and layout. It also took a surprisingly long time to glue everything together (rick-rack is sticky and tricky!) but I love how they turned out.
The inside of the birthday cards:
I like putting something inside the cards whenever possible... and decorating the envelopes too, if I have time! :)
More random cards (all are blank inside). My sister actually made the music note card and gave it to me to use.
Lastly, more birthday cards. I thought these looked kinda dorky. But, considering how bad I am about sending birthday cards (usually), hopefully anyone who gets one will like it regardless. ;)
I use a shoebox to organize my cards by occasion. :)
Simple thank-yous for busy days (the realization that I could be much more efficient making cards of the same design, plus a tutorial!)
Making homemade greeting cards (a couple pictures and tips)
Making thank-you cards (preparing for the birth of our 3rd child!)