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An introduction to card making

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An introduction to card making with Hunkydory

Making your own cards is not just great fun but is also relaxing, and therefore good for your mindset. It adds to your enjoyment that, as you make it, you will know that the person you are making it for will love to receive a card hand-made by you. That card is sure to be on their mantlepiece far longer than any other.

What should I use?

Starting card making can be as easy as you want, depending on the items that you use. By far, the easiest way is to buy a kit that includes the main items and has taken all of the hard work out of choosing colours, which is often the main worry of anyone new to the process. Picking a Topper Set will give you some toppers, or main elements, to use as the centrepiece, as well as sentiments to add to the card, and cardstock that can be used as the base of the card, all colour co-ordinated.

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Cardstock or card blank?

A card blank is a ready-made base card, usually made in white from a firm cardstock that will be able to stand unaided. The most used sizes are 7” x 5”, 6” x 4” or 6” x 6”, but there are many more. Using a card blank will mean that you will be working on a standard size of card and will also mean that your cardstock will go further. Cardstock tends to be A4 in size and can be scored and folded to make an A5 card blank or cut down to other sizes. It can also be used on top of a card blank to add a background to the other elements.

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What’s the next step?

Take the card blank and cover the front with a piece of cardstock. This can either be taken from the kit or be a piece of Mirri Card, which will add a reflective edge to your card and emphasise any foiling that is on the topper and sentiment. Cardstock is usually A4 in size so will need to be cut to fit the card blank. Use a Craft Mat and knife or a Paper Trimmer to do this. A second, slightly smaller layer can be added to the Mirri layer using the printed cardstock before the topper is placed on top and a sentiment popped onto the card. It’s that easy!

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How do I glue the layers?

The choice of adhesives is important as some layers will need to be placed flat on the card blank while others will need to be raised, adding dimension to your design. The base layers of cardstock will generally be positioned with double-sided tape or wet glue, while the topper and sentiment will be raised using foam pads or strips.

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Adding decoration to your card adds that little extra something that will make it even more special. Put a length of ribbon across the card, fixing it in place with double-sided tape then add a bow to the sentiment or topper. Or add gemstones to the corners of the card for a bit of bling!

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There are many magazines on card making, including the Crafting with Hunkydory magazine that is available bi-monthly and is full of inspiration. There are pages and pages of cards and other projects, all with the list of items needed as well as step-by-step instructions and hints and tips.

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Your shopping list:

A Luxury Topper Set: usually found in a Collection, which will have a theme and be colour co-ordinated.

Card Blanks: usually bought in sets of 10 and with matching sizes of envelopes.

Double-Sided Tape: this comes in a variety of widths. The easiest tape to use is Fingerlift Tape, which has a wider backing than the tape, making it easier to remove the backing.

Foam Pads and Strips: available in a variety of shapes, sizes and depths. The most popular pads would be 2mm deep. Strips are ideal when fixing frames to your cards while pads work best with the centrepieces.

Craft Mat & Knife: mats are available in a variety of sizes, from 8” x 8” to A3 and have a non-slip surface that ensures no accidents when working with a knife while the mat protects your surface from cuts. These mats are self-healing, meaning that any cuts in the rubber close up.

Paper Trimmer: These ensure sharp, straight cuts are made to any paper or cardstock and are safer to use than a knife. They have measurements at the top and bottom and the blade is enclosed, running up and down the bed of the trimmer.

Gemstones: The Diamond Sparkles sets of gemstones come in a variety of sizes as well as colours and types, from pearls to shimmer, and more.

Some of the most frequently used card making terminology.

Whatever we do in life, there always seems to be terminology that other people understand but leaves us puzzled. Card Making is no exception! These shorthand terms include the following:

Toppers: These are products that are ready to add to a card to create the main element of the design. Hunkydory’s toppers are usually presented on an A4 sheet of cardstock and are foiled and die-cut, making it so easy to add them to a card.

Die-cut: On Toppers, the images are already cut out from the surrounding sheet by running the sheet through machinery. They are held in place by tiny pips and just need pressing out from it.

Foiling: Each topper is foiled and will have frames surrounding the images. Foil comes in rolls and the printed topper sheet will go through a process of pressing foil onto the sheet to create a particular design. On some toppers, the foiling will be added in tiny lines to accent specific parts of the image.

Matting and layering: Adding layers to a card blank produces a card with depth as well as one that provides the perfect background for the main element. A Mat is the term for a layer of paper or card while Layering is the word for adding mats. Mats decrease in size as they are laid onto the card blank.

Scoring and folding: Any cardstock can be scored and folded to make a card blank. Lay the cardstock onto a scoreboard and run a Scoring Tool down the fold along the score line.

Decoupage: In the card making world this term means to apply layers of an image on top of one another, each one smaller than the previous layer, creating a 3D effect. The layers are added using foam pad so that there is a distance between each one, adding to the dimensional effect.

Ready to get started?

Shop Hunkydory Craft Supplies here

If you’re looking for a little inspiration, tune in to HobbyMaker and watch expert demonstrations from the top names in papercraft, mixed media and all things arts & crafts. We are live everyday, Monday right through to Sunday from 1pm.

Happy Crafting!

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