Oh, I’ve been a naughty chick today.
I really should have been tap, tap, tapping away on the keyboard, but my dear chum Izzy twisted my arm and convinced me I needed to accompany her on a visit to a couple of local craft shops instead – so I did…
We hung up our usual weekday workie hats and had a bit of girlie respite, which was very restorative indeed.
We set off with a tiny budget and a mission; we wanted to gather a few essentials for card making projects – have you seen how expensive they are in the stores these days? I haven’t bought one for years, but I poked my head into a high street favourite the other day on reconnaissance and spluttered and choked at the prices!
With a few key basics and a handful of tatty rubbish, you can make some fantastic cards and I guarantee your recipient will be chuffed to bits that you’ve taken the time to make them too.
The card itself needn’t have much on it, in fact sometimes, less is more, but can be hard to stop adding extra spanglies when you’re in a Blue Peter frame of mind! Best advice: do it with an honest friend and keep each other in check!
Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the afternoon’s masterpieces with you in hope they inspire you to have a go too. You might even like to start thinking about preparing for the ‘C’ word…(I’m not saying it – it’s October).
Of course, you could reduce your costs even further by using assorted rubbish and stuff collected from jumble sales and charity shops. I’ve listed a few items of assorted crud for you to start amassing for a card making session of your own. Put all sparkly and eye-catching embellishments in a shoebox until the mood takes you and then let all merry hell break loose and have some fun.
(Some of these are probably kicking around your house already.)
- Scissors – a medium and a small bladed pair will come in useful, especially for cutting around transfers/stickers etc.
- Pritt stick – or any other brand of non-sticky sticky stuff…
- Gel or coloured ink pens – assorted colours, thick and thin nibs.
- Ruler – goes without further description.
- An old tee shirt cut into squares – for all sorts of dabbing, mopping up and general cleaning.
- A pack of plain cards and envelopes - I bought 50 textured, tall (105mm x 210mm), pre-creased cards, for £5.00 = 10p each (these ones were posh, there were lots of other smaller sized, non-textured, different coloured cards and envelopes and they were cheaper too.
- Mini-craft dots – or ‘snot dots’ as my mate Bitley likes to call them, ideal for raising your embellishments off of the card and giving them depth…also incredibly sticky! £3.00 for 300 dots on a roll = 1p each.
- A little rubber stamper and an inkpad – they personalise the back of the card and the envelope and finish them off with a bit of swish. Both were ½ the marked price; a little chick stamp £1.50 inkpad £1.50 = £1.50 for the set!
- Embellishments – I bought a sheet of 100 raised stars £2.00 = 2p each. A pack of 200 assorted sized and coloured foam hearts, £1.50 = 0.0075 each piece. 16 sheets of assorted rub on transfers and stickers, each containing approximately 20 to 30 pieces on each sheet and they were the bargain of the day at just 10p per sheet instead of £1.00. There are too ridiculously cheap to work out so I’m not going to bother…6 assorted metal charms (teddies, butterflies, hearts etc) also ½ price, £1.50 = 12.5p each. A pack of 20 glittery, foam butterflies £1.50 = 0.075p each.
(Here are a few suggestions for things that should no longer find their way into your bin.)
- Pictures from magazines or catalogues.
- Old gift-wrapping.
- Old cards that have been sent to you, especially ones sent in December…
- Tissue paper.
- Buttons and toggles.
- Sweetie wrappers.
- Used, clean tin foil.
- Beads from broken necklaces and bracelets.
- Leaves or pressed flowers.
- Bows from presents you’ve received.
- Interesting bits of paper and scraps of wool, embroidery thread and material.
- Netting from fruit bags.
- Wine corks cut into slices.
- Bits of wool, string, raffia, ribbon and even rubber bands.
- Crisp packets (the insides are fab).
- Wooden lolly sticks.
- Lentils, pulses, coffee beans, pasta shapes and spaghetti.
If you’re wrapping a present too it’s easy to make a matching gift tag in the same design and if you get together to make a batch of cards with a few friends, you’ll have their boxes of crud to dip into too!