There are three core elements required to make cheap handmade cards: low-cost rubber stamps, inks, and cards.
When making handmade cards on a budget, one of the biggest costs is actually the cost of the cardstock that is used to make the greeting card. This is essential to the project, however, it is still possible to make great-looking cards using very basic cardstock. There are some excellent designer papers available in a seemingly endless range of colors and styles. These papers often complement stamps, inks, and embellishments and create stunning results. These beautiful papers are not without a cost, however, and they can significantly add to the cost of a project. Here are some tips for buying cheap cardstock for making cards:
Buy Sheets of Cardstock
It is possible to buy ready made cards that have been ready scored and folded, these are known as card blanks. Card blanks are simple to use and are useful for creating cards quickly. These can be expensive, however, and often come complete with an envelope that might not be used. Creating cards from a sheet of cardstock often works out to be cheaper, and plain white cardstock is available from craft and stationery stores. Money can also be saved by squeezing more cards from a sheet of cardstock by reducing the size of the greeting cards.
Part of the secret to making professional looking cards is ensuring that there is a crisp fold. This is best achieved by scoring the cardstock before folding.
Make Postcard-Style Cards
One of the best ways of saving money when making cards is to make postcard style cards. These are cards with the decoration on one side and writing on the back. This in effect halves the amount of card used, while still making a lovely card.
Reuse Cards and Paper
Recycling and reusing is a great way to save money. There are so many items perfect for turning into cards. Two pieces of paper can be stuck together printed side inwards and this leaves a blank surface for stamping. Old calendars are particularly good for this as they are often printed on a heavyweight glossy paper that is ideal for stamping.
Another way to save money is to recycle envelopes. Simply place a sticker over the address and stamps to make the envelope suitable for reuse. This is a good way to save money and also recycle materials, keeping them out of landfills.
Packs of card blanks that are partially used are sometimes offered for sale, or a crafter may be cleaning house and getting rid of some odds and ends. This can be a good opportunity to stock up on card blanks.
Splitting Packs With Friends
Bulk buying cardstock or card blanks is often the best way to get a good deal. This can mean a significant up-front investment, however, or the purchasing of card blanks that are unlikely to be used. Grouping together with family or friends can be a good way of joining forces to save money.
Remember that you'll also need envelopes in the correct size to match your cards.
While it is impossible to cut back completely on the cardstock used to make handmade cards, with a little forward planning it is possible to stretch even the tightest of budgets.