Getting Started with Card Making: Gathering Your Supplies

Getting Started with Card Making: Gathering Your Supplies

Ask any card maker you know and they’ll tell you that the craft of creating cards from scratch is exciting, challenging, extremely fun, and most will even agree therapeutic.

One of the most overwhelming tasks faced with when beginning card making is figuring out which supplies you need in order to get started on your new and exciting card maker’s journey.

I want to take the guesswork out for you. I’ve recently started a new video series “Getting Started With Card Making” can be found on Youtube

Below, you’ll find the essential card making supplies you want to have at hand to help you start on your card making journey.


I have summarized below everything that is in the video above for those who prefer to read about “Gathering You Supplies”

Paper Trimmer


Card maker: meet your new best friend, paper trimmer. You two are really going to hit it off. Having a paper trimmer at hand is one of the best investments you can make, as a card maker, but also as a crafter in general.  It keeps your edges straight and square, and makes cutting so much faster.

There are many paper trimmers and cutters to choose from, from guillotine style to sliders on tracks, it’s a matter of which you prefer.  Here’s a few things to look for when purchasing your trimmer.

  • Your paper trimmer should have a trimming tool (for cutting paper) and a scoring tool (for creasing paper).
  • Right side grid for cutting thin strips
  • A ruler along the top.
  • Extendable arm to cut 12″ x 12″ paper or card stock

White Cardstock 

White cardstock is essential as it will be the base of majority of your cards: the layer that ends up holding all of your creative explorations, sentiments, embellishments, and more! Because cardstock is your card’s foundation, it’s worth investing in.

When you need a piece of paper for a project, consider the project you’re making and what exactly that piece of paper will be doing in that project. Is it acting as a base for a card you plan to cake with embellishments? You’ll want to choose a heavier weight cardstock. Is the piece of paper acting as a border for a picture? A lighter weight paper will suffice. Generally, paper weight ranges from 100-300g  (10-140 lbs).

As you move along in your card making pilgrimage, you may find you want to invest in specialty papers, patterned papers, handmade papers, and more. Don’t be afraid to try new papers!


One of the tools I use over and over is a ruler.  Yep, as simple as it may be there are many reasons why a ruler should be an essential part of your card making tool kit. I have a ruler the measures in both inches and centimeters.  A ruler is great to –

  • measure where key elements are to placed on your card
  • draw lines
  • line up die cuts and sentiments
  • score cardstock
  • and more


If you’ve been following my for awhile you would know that I prefer to work in inches, plus I ‘ve come across many papercrafters who are unsure how to read a ruler.  So here’s a break down of the measurements in a ruler and key measurements that I use often.

In the video at the top of this post I will explain how to read a ruler.

Pencil & Eraser 

Some people create paper cuts freehand, without drawing them first.  However, I find that perfecting the design is half the fun, so I always use a pencil first.


You’re going to need a variety of adhesive types for your card making journey – and you’ll find that you go through adhesives a lot more quickly than you ever thought capable. There’s really no way around it. Adhesives are usually in an affordable price range and different types complete different tasks, so there’s a fair bit of cross-use.

When attaching photos and paper to cards, scrapbook pages and gift bags, you can’t just use school glue or tape. What you want is something lightweight but strong enough to hold paper together. An adhesive runner, like SNAIL, or Tear Tape does the trick.


Even though you have a paper trimmer, nothing can replace a nice pair of scissors. From cutting thread to embellishments, or fussy cutting around the edge of a sentiment, a pair of clean, sharp scissors is going to be a desk-top favourite of yours.

Nowadays, scissors come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and types, so pick the one that best suits you!

Bone Folder

So what’s all the fuss about bone folders? Simply put, this basic craft tool is the “multi-tasker” of tools. It does it ALL. Bone folders are ideal for making cards with great folds, invitations with perfect smoothed liners, stationery with clean creases, scrap booking scores for recessing photos, and virtually anything in the realm of bookbinding. A bone folder makes anything you create look more professional.

Two (2) of the most popular things a bone folder is used for is –

  1. Scoring your paper crafting projects to create score lines for Cards, boxes and other paper crafting projects
  2. Burnish a fold

Grid Paper

Clean up quickly and easily when you use grid paper / scrap paper to protect your work space.  The added bonus is it’s ruled in both inches and centimeters, so you can use it to measure as well.


Gather your key essential supplies for card making, as described above.

Now that you know all of the essential supplies for starting your card making journey, you’ll be ready to dive in and have everything you need to create beautiful, meaningful handmade cards time and time again.

Next  I’m sharing with you all “Everything You Need to Know About Stamps”

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