The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

An easy card making tutorial. Part 1.

I've had some requests to do some tutorials on card making. I often say making your own cards and gifts is the most massive money saver. I just had a look in the newsagents and selected a few cards I thought were nice and the average was about $8 with some really divine ones being more. 

I am making this super easy. I'm going to show you how to make very simple cards using bits and pieces you might have (and can certainly save from now on) for card making sessions. My aims are to keep the price right down, use up things I have and make cards that are really pretty for my family and friends. To keep plenty on hand at all times so I never have to buy one. 

Yesterday I gathered up some lace scraps, ribbon and bits and pieces I have that are really left overs. I had purchased blank cards. These ones are from Cheap as Chips (our local cheap shop) and they are $2 for a pack of ten. I choose soft pastel colours. Choose whatever suits your own taste and who you are making cards for. I also bought a packet of butterflies as Chloe loves butterflies and they appealed to me. They were also $2 for 6.

I found this book in an op shop for $1. It is perfect for my cards and I'm guessing it has 100 suitable images. The other thing is it has good quality paper, heavier glossy paper. I also use English home magazines that Mum buys. Cheaper magazines have thinner paper and it is not so good, it shows wrinkles and glue marks making it difficult. So go for good quality paper. The imagination is the only limit here. Beautiful childrens' books make gorgeous baby cards, think Beatrix Potter, Winnie the Pooh... all lovely. I have used illustrated bird and rose books, wildlife and also music books etc depending on who I am making cards for. This book of glorious flowers is really good for me and my colours...

I really love a larger square card as they look lovely with a great image and I use these for gift giving but I use a standard sized card mostly when I am going to be posting a card to save on postage. Think of that as you go.

So yesterday I had these supplies that I picked out as they went together with my flower and colour themes. I have another box of bits that are more rustic but I was going pretty/girlie. So think in terms of a theme and a bit of a colour scheme. Apart from your images you could use buttons, broken jewellery, lace, fabric, braid, ribbon, motifs, sequins, old cards, glitter, pressed flowers, doilies, stickers, stamps, wrapping paper, string ... anything really. Save save save every pretty little thing that comes your way. Once I used a lovely jewellery catalogue and made card covered in diamonds! Another time I made cards with gorgeous high heels and handbags from a vogue magazine. Imagine a book on ballet for a young girl studying ballet or a book on ships for a little boy. So many cards just right!

I simply select my image and trace around my card with a pencil and cut it out. Using a glue stick glue this to your card. Turn your card over and if there is any overhang carefully cut that off so everything is straight and flush.  When placing something like a flower a general rule is do not centre things, be a little off centre. And when gluing things on be the same, things tend to look natural in odd numbers and off centre. That's nature! I try to incorporate several elements into each card. I have a little play around and when I am happy I just glue things on using craft glue. If I am going to be posting the card I keep things within the front of the card so it will fit in it's envelope. If it is going on top of a parcel I go crazy and might add a ruffle, 3D elements etc as it doesn't matter. I will make it a pretty feature on top of the gift wrap.

As you know I get a lot of pretty bits and pieces from op shops and especially old slips and nightwear. Another way to get lace inexpensively is to cut up old lace curtains. (see below this is just strips of curtains) A lace panel might be $3 at an op shop and give you 100 metres of lace! This also looks lovely on parcels. Torn pretty floral fabrics also make nice ribbons. Crepe paper is gorgeous for ruffles and I will show you how to do that tomorrow. It is so cheap to use this as one pack lasts forever!

The steps I've been through today will make a pretty card with some embellishments and use up all sorts of bits and pieces you might have saved. Each one will be unique!

Often I tie a ribbon though the middle and attach a charm. I might use three thin ribbons or one thicker one...  I will include ideas on this tomorrow.

While doing this I still save the little leftovers to use on gift tags which are smaller again. Tiny little bits will make gorgeous gift tags. I will do a tutorial in them another day... they are just so sweet and very handy.

It's a bit gloomy here today and my kitchen is ripped out... I had to find a clear space to do this tutorial! It was actually an enjoyable distraction. Even looking at the colours and flowers brightens me up! 

I hope you will have a play with your supplies and enjoy making cards. They are so handy and fun to give. xxx


  1. Finally! The tutorials I've been waiting for! I learned SOOO much! YIPPEE! Awesome!

    Off to read Part 2!

    Hugs and happy highways,

  2. Annabel, what a wonderful tutorial!! Oh my, I can't wait to put together my card making box! Wow, $8.00 for a card!! I would not buy them either! I wonder if our money is the same, we have a dollar store here and cards are 50 cents each. I usually send just birthday cards with a few get well cards. But I have a lot of people I wish a Happy Birthday! Even tho it is not saving much money, I would love to create cards. Thanks Annabel, I too am going to look at part 2. Hugs, Doreen

  3. Annabel,
    You have me cutting pictures out of magazines and catalogs, putting them into a Ziploc bag and saving to make cards, also saving little usable scraps of lace, trim etc...
    Looks like you are a very good enabler and teacher.
    I can't wait to go to my used bookstore with a new prospective.

  4. Thanks for the shout out Annabel 💕 I adore your cards, so feminine and pretty. Oh I wish I could find that gorgeous flower picture book. This is a great post for all those starting cardmaking. Well done Annabel. Xxx


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