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Thursday, 13 September 2012


Hi All,

It’s Madeleine from Craftsite again.

With budgets being squeezed all round as prices rise I thought that today I would write about money saving tips for card making. This article is aimed not only at individual card makers but the vast army of those who make and sell cards for charity and really need to keep their costs down.

First, I never buy cheap materials if cheap means compromising on quality – it’s false economy. A card must be able to stand up and I would recommend a card weight minimum of 225 gsm for card making or an even heavier for those larger cards, such as A5 and 8 x 8 – Craftsite’s creased card packs for larger size cards are made with 300 gsm card. It’s the same with embellishments, especially if you are selling cards, as a card made with quality card embellishments will be more likely to sell. The card below uses 240 gsm cardstock, a pretty backing paper and embellishment but costs only 63p to make.

 Look out for genuine value for money bargains and this is the best time of the year to do it. Right now the new Christmas stock is coming in to retailers and most retailers just don’t have the space for it all. Some of our suppliers are in the same boat when it comes to available space so many of our special offers at the moment are at way below wholesale prices. The card below was made with holographic card (30% off RRP) and a bauble die cut topper (35p for an A4 sheet of 8 die cut toppers). The glitter card and coloured card were left over from previous projects so this card cost just a few pence to make.

Look around the house for items that you can recycle into your card making. – buttons, old beads, pearl envelopes (these sometimes come with junk mail in them – throw away the junk mail but keep the envelope for punching shapes). Just be imaginative. This card was made using an aperture card and florist’s ribbon. If you have a die cutting machine you don’t even have to buy the aperture card. Cut your own shape on a piece of oblong scrap card, add the ribbon or whatever else you’ve found, and mount it onto a card blank.

Save the gift wrapping after opening your presents. This card was made using cut Christmas wrapping paper.

Just be careful when recycling, especially recycling old cards, that you are not breaching copyright. Use bits and pieces from cards, e.g. bows, rather than the designs themselves.

Have a go at making your own backing papers with stamps. Pick a background stamp that you’ll use over and over again – Craftsite has nearly 90 ink colours so you should always be able to get a matching colour for your project and it can save hours of searching craft shops for the right shade of backing paper that you need.

The stamp wasn’t large enough to cover the whole of the paper so I stamped the top and bottom and used ribbon to hide the gap.

Stamps in general are a good investment as they can be used over and over again. Look at the stamps you have and ask if they can be used in a different way, e.g. a stamp of a country cottage could be used for new home; birthday card; or add snow to the roof with crystal glitter or stickles and you have a Christmas card. It’s amazing the different looks that can be obtained using the same stamp. These 2 cards use the Prima En Francais stamp but glitter has been applied to one of them and the other coloured using Tim Holtz distress markers.

If you like decoupage take a look at the pictures and see if the design can be split into 2 – many of them can. If you can get 2 cards from the same decoupage design then a sheet of 4 step by step decoupage prints can make 8 cards. Splitting a design also means that your finished card is thinner and if you use 1mm thick instead of 3mm thick foam pads your card could squeeze into Royal Mail’s letter rather than large letter category resulting in a saving on postage too. Both the cards below were made using the same decoupage picture and each card cost just under £1 to make.

Some of the cards used in this article are available along with step by step instructions on how to make them in the Craftsite Gallery and you’ll find more ideas for making budget cards in our Card Making Ideas – Economical Cards section.

If you’d like to keep up to date with new card projects please like my Facebook page .

Have a good weekend.



  1. Beautiful cards Madeleine. As crafters we must still factor in cost for our time, after all you do not go out to work and not get paid, no different being self employed in fact more so to pay the bills and eat

  2. What beautiful cards, hope to learn how to make some myself soon x

  3. Some fantastic tips there. Papercraft is something I havent done much with but you write a post that makes me want to get busy with stamps and die cutters. I will be keeping some of these tips in mind for up and coming projects.

  4. I'd much rather have a handmade card rather than a store bought one, so much more thought goes into them. A great post, thank you.

    Jan x

  5. Really interesting post! Thankyou for all the great tips!

  6. An interesting post. I haven't made cards for a while now but would far rather use bits that are recycled. Ever tried using insides of envelopes? They can be rather pretty sometimes, even the normal ones :)

  7. Good point about copyright on card designs. I always collect 'bit' from cards I like, I will certainly be more aware from now on :-)


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