The Ultimate Guide To Card Making: Tips And Tricks

Want to make your own cards? This is the perfect guide for you! Here you’ll find all the tips and tricks on how to become an expert card maker from our very own experts at Shutterfly.

Must Try Clean and Simple Card Making Tips!
– Selecting the right scrapbooking supplies is essential for a successful project.
– There are a variety of techniques that can be used in scrapbooking, such as stamping and layering.
– Making your own journals and albums can take your scrapbooking to the next level.
– Crafting with paper doesn’t have to be expensive, as there are many budget-friendly projects available.
– There are numerous resources available for additional inspiration and guidance in card making and scrapbooking.

Pick Your Tools

As you pursue your craft, it’s important to use the right tools for the job. A good tool can make a big difference in terms of how easy it is to complete your project and how well it turns out. Also, consider what kind of work you want to do with this card making hobby. 

Do you want something that’s low-cost and simple? Or maybe something more intricate? The right tool will depend on what kind of projects you want to make and how often you plan on using them.

If there is one thing I’ve learned over my years as an artist and crafter, it’s that there are many different ways in which we can approach any given situation or problem: some people prefer using their hands while others like working with their heads; some people find success by trying new things while others stick with old habits; some people get stuck because they are afraid of failure while others feel safe only when they’ve already failed several times before accomplishing anything worthwhile at all (and then only because other people encouraged them). 

But whatever method works best for each person individually whether someone prefers paper cards versus stickers or letterpress versus laser-cutting machines I think most anyone would agree that sometimes it helps having another set of eyes looking over our shoulder encouraging us along our way.”

If you’re new to scrapbooking, selecting the right supplies can be overwhelming. Luckily, our ultimate guide to choosing the right supplies has got you covered! From tools to paper and everything in between, our guide will provide you with all the necessary information for a successful scrapbooking project.

Color First

Color is the best way to set a mood, theme, focal point and contrast. Use color to create unity among your cards and make them stand out from the crowd.

If you have a specific message or need for your card that needs to be conveyed through color, then you can use our guide on how to choose colors for creating your own custom color palette. 

For example, if you want to emphasize something in particular about your card such as its purpose or what it means, then use contrasting colors for this element and make sure it stands out from the rest of the design.

Paper Trimmer

It’s a fact: you need a paper trimmer. Whether you’re making cards or scrapbooking, a good paper trimmer is an essential tool for your craft kit. 

A proper one will not only make cutting out those pre-made stamps easier, but can also be used to cut out individual letters for word signs and other projects.

If you’ve never used one before, don’t worry—it’s not hard! Here are some tips to help you get started:

When it comes to using your new paper trimmer, there are two main things to remember: always hold the blade at 90 degrees (perpendicular) against the surface of your cardstock; and always use the ruler guide as a reference point when lining up all of your measurements (whether they’re straight lines or curves).

When cutting any type of thick material like cardstock or chipboard with scissors or craft knives, it’s best practice when using multiple blades instead of just one so that each blade separates after each pass through the material without getting stuck together. 

This helps prevent damage to both surfaces as well as injury while working with these tools because less pressure needs applied during each pass if there isn’t much resistance from any areas being cut out yet (which would mean another pass needs done over top).

Starting a new hobby can be challenging, but our collection of 15 easy scrapbooking techniques is perfect for beginners looking to get started. With step-by-step instructions and accompanying images, you’ll be on your way to creating beautiful scrapbook pages in no time.


To add visual interest, use a variety of embellishments. Use different textures, colors, and sizes in your card designing. 

You can also choose to use shapes other than the usual circle, square or rectangle; try using something unusual to surprise your recipients! For example:

  • A butterfly with wings spread out as a greeting card
  • A fox’s mask as part of a birthday card for an animal lover
  • Small bottles that look like perfume bottles for a ‘get well soon’ message
StickersSelf-adhesive images or designs that can be easily incorporated into a project.
RibbonsAdds texture and color, available in different sizes and styles, such as satin, organza, or grosgrain.
SequinsAdds sparkle and shine to a project, available in different shapes and colors.
GemsProvides a 3D effect, often used to add a touch of glamour, comes in various colors and sizes.
BradsMetal or plastic fasteners that add a decorative touch to a project, often used to hold multiple elements together.

Embellishments are a great way to add visual interest and make your cards or scrapbook pages stand out. There are many types of embellishments to choose from, including stickers, ribbons, sequins, gems, and brads.

By incorporating various textures, colors, and sizes of embellishments, you can create a unique and eye-catching design. Consider using a mix of embellishments to elevate your next card making or scrapbooking project.

Be Authentic

To get started, try not to be afraid of your own style. You’ll find that it becomes a lot easier if you use the things you love and are drawn towards. 

Not everyone likes the same things, so don’t worry if you have your own ideas and methods! The best way to be authentic is to use what makes sense for your style.

You don’t need expensive supplies or fancy equipment, either. Just some good old-fashioned creativity will do—and plenty of patience!

If you enjoy scrapbooking and want to take it to the next level, why not create your own albums and journals? Our guide on DIY scrapbooking provides tips and tricks for designing and binding your own unique creations.

Cut It Out

  • Use a rotary cutter.
  • Use a craft knife.
  • Use a paper trimmer, which can also be used to cut out cardstock and other materials if you don’t have access to the other tools mentioned here (or if you’re just not feeling particularly crafty that day).

Once you’ve selected your cutting tool of choice, it’s time to get down to business! You should always cut along the lines of whatever shape or design you are working on; this is known as “cutting on the line.” 

If possible, try to keep your cuts as straight and even as possible; this will help prevent any unnecessary fraying when you’re adhering your card pieces together later on in the process. 

Once all of your shapes are cut out, go ahead and remove any excess background material by cutting off its edges so that there is no room for error when gluing things together later on in stage two (which we’ll get into soon).

Don’t Forget The Basics

You might be tempted to skip the basics of card-making because you think you know them already, but it’s always a good idea to remember the basics. 

You want your cards to look like they were professionally made, and that means knowing how to write on the inside of the card, use a glue stick, attach it with an envelope and make sure it is straight using a ruler or bone folder.

CardstockA heavyweight paper used as a base for your card or scrapbook page.
AdhesiveUsed to attach paper, embellishments, and other elements to your project.
Paper trimmerA tool used to cut paper to the desired size and shape.
EmbellishmentsDecorative elements, such as stickers, ribbon, or gems, used to add interest to your project.
Pens/markersUsed for writing sentiments or decorating your project.

Remembering to use the basic supplies is crucial for a successful card making or scrapbooking project. Cardstock provides a sturdy foundation for your project, while adhesive allows you to attach paper and embellishments with ease.

A paper trimmer ensures you have even edges, and embellishments add texture and dimension. Finally, don’t forget pens and markers for writing sentiments or adding designs. Incorporate these essential supplies into your project for a polished and professional look.

Go For Emotion

When it comes to creating a card, the most important thing is to think about what you want your recipient to feel when they look at it. As such, you should consider using images that are meaningful to you, relevant to the occasion and personal to the recipient. 

Images that evoke emotion will go much further than ones that don’t. If you’re struggling with this aspect of card making then try looking at some popular cards on sites like Pinterest or Instagram – those images are shared because they evoke a strong emotional response in people when they see them!

Crafting doesn’t have to break the bank! We’ve compiled a list of paper crafts on a budget that are easy on the wallet but still allow for creativity. From origami to paper garlands, these projects are sure to inspire.

Get Creative With Layers and Backgrounds

You can also create layers to add depth to your card. You can use different papers for each layer, or use a variety of papers for the background. 

Or both! This is one of the most fun parts of making cards, as it allows you to be creative and add some flair.

You can even make a few layers on top of each other for an extra-special touch. Just make sure your front layer isn’t too thick you don’t want it to overpower the rest of your design!

Embossing Folders

If you’re looking to add a bit of texture to your card, consider using an embossing folder. Embossing folders are made of non-stick material so that the ink doesn’t bleed through when you heat it up and press it down onto your card stock. 

They also come in many different shapes and sizes, making them ideal for creating custom designs. 

If you want something simple, try using an oval shape or a heart shape; if you’re feeling particularly fancy, try one of the elaborate words or phrases available at most craft stores!

SizzixOffers a variety of embossing folders with intricate designs for all occasions.
DariceSpecializes in creating fun and unique embossing folders for DIY projects.
CuttlebugProvides embossing folders with a range of designs that are perfect for adding texture and dimension to your cards and scrapbook projects.
Tim HoltzKnown for creating embossing folders with a vintage and distressed look, great for mixed media projects.

Incorporating embossing folders into your card making or scrapbooking can be a quick and easy way to add texture and interest to your projects. Different brands offer a variety of designs and styles, making it easy to find one that matches your project’s aesthetic. Consider incorporating embossing folders into your next crafting session for an easy and effective way to elevate your project.

Reuse Other People’s Ideas

There’s nothing wrong with borrowing from the ideas of others. In fact, it can be a great way to save money and time. If you see something that you like, don’t hesitate to use it as inspiration for your own project.

The best part about this is using things that you already have on hand, which means no more trips to the store! Not only does this save money and time but it also reduces waste because you aren’t buying something that won’t be used again.

Finally, if there’s any creative juices left over after making these tips work for your business or personal life (like me), then maybe try out something new! 

Maybe even create an original photo card design it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks; just do whatever makes sense for your situation!

Looking for new paper crafting ideas? Check out our collection of 10 incredible paper crafts you can make at home for inspiration. From quilling to paper flowers, these projects are guaranteed to bring out your creative side.


Now that you know everything there is to know about card making, you should be able to create great looking cards. We hope this guide has been helpful and that you’re ready to start on your next project!

Further reading

For additional tips and tricks on card making, check out these resources:

Altenew offers a variety of card making tips and techniques, from stamping to coloring to layering.

The Spruce Crafts provides a comprehensive guide to card making, including tips on design, technique, and material selection.

Scrapping Stamping and Stuff offers a complete guide to card making for beginners, including step-by-step instructions and project ideas.


What tools do I need for card making?

There are a variety of tools used in card making, but some basic essentials include cardstock, adhesive, stamps, ink, and scissors or a paper trimmer.

What kind of paper should I use for card making?

Card making typically involves the use of cardstock, which is a thicker, sturdier paper. However, specialty papers such as vellum or patterned paper can also be used to add interest and texture to your cards.

What techniques can I use in card making?

There are many techniques that can be used in card making, including stamping, embossing, die-cutting, and layering. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you!

How can I come up with card design ideas?

There are many sources of inspiration for card design, including Pinterest, card making blogs, and card making magazines. You can also draw inspiration from nature, fashion, or everyday objects.

How do I add dimension to my cards?

Adding dimension to your cards can be achieved through the use of foam tape, pop dots, or layers of paper. Using embellishments such as ribbon, buttons, or gems can also add depth and interest to your designs.