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11 Best Card Making Supplies: Ultimate List for Card Making

Browsing, buying, and bringing home beautiful new supplies are the three B's of card making and for many, this is half the fun. But unfortunately, money doesn't grow on trees so you need to make sure you're buying the best supplies for your card-making.

I've been buying and using craft and card-making equipment for years - okay I'll be honest, it's more like decades - so I have a good idea of what tools and items I absolutely can't live without and which ones I could take or leave.

Below is a list of tools and items with suggestions on the best type. Although, it's important to remember that ''the best'' is often a personal choice based on an individual's needs, wants, and budget.
 


11 Useful Supplies That Will Make Your Card Making Fun and Easy

Not great at drawing? It doesn't matter. Grab a page from one of those beautiful coloring books that are aimed at adults for stress relief and cut out three rectangular strips to be placed on the left two/thirds of your card. These books can be found at most $2 stores or large department stores and often feature mandalas and intricate nature themes that are just perfect for this crafting project.
paper stack


1. Cardstock

When it comes to must have cardmaking paper supplies, you're going to need some cardstock. Cardstock comes in a variety of thickness but the best cardstock for greeting cards and the most commonly used is 80lb to 100lb if you're in the USA, or 220 - 280gsm if you're in Australia.

In the USA, cardstock is measured by weight (lbs) and in Australia, it's measured by Grams per Square Meter (GSM). Some people like to use a thicker card, say up to 130lb or 350gsm but I find it tricky to get it through both the printer and a die-cut machine.

You can also buy blank pre-made card sets in white, black, and plain colors to use as your base instead of purchasing cardstock and cutting it to size yourself.

When it comes to beautiful patterns and solid colors to create your masterpiece, the important thing to remember is that you don't necessarily need large scrapbooking-sized pieces of cardstock. The recommended cardmaking paper stock is called ''mini stacks,'' and they are basically beautiful, yet smaller versions, of what you would usually buy for scrapbooking. They come in at around 6x6in or 15.5x15.5cm and are nearly always a lot more affordable than a scrapbooking size stack of cardstock.

Much like washi tape, they can be a little addictive to collect!
card making tape

2. Washi tape

Washi tape is a card maker's magic ingredient. You can use it for borders, embellishments and you can even make pictures out of it. When it comes to the best type of washi tape, it's really a personal choice but in general, the more expensive washi tapes are often better quality. Make sure you check out our Ultimate Washi Tape Card Ideas!

If you're just starting your washi tape selection, the best styles to start with would be a few lines, blocks of color, and floral patterns. These are all versatile themes that can be used across a variety of cards. When you want to add to your collection later, go ahead and grab some seasonal themes such as Christmas and character tapes.

Character washi tapes are amazing and can also be cut out individually and used either as stickers or mounted onto a scrap piece of cardstock for a sturdier embellishment.

3. Die Cutting Machines

After you have made a few cards, you'll probably start to wonder how some card makers manage to cut their shapes so neatly. I know I did! I would spend ages attempting to snip out intricate designs with a craft knife only to be disappointed with the ragged edges or worse, a big cut where I didn't want a cut.

Well, this is where a die-cutting tool comes in. Using die cuts for card making, the machine allows you to cut the same shape or image over and over again without a craft knife or scissors. Think of it like a cookie cutter for your cardstock and paper!

A manual die cutting machine operates with a crank handle, using specific metal shapes (called dies) to carve through the paper. You make a sandwich with your paper, die cuts for cardmaking, and pressing plates, and crank it through the machine, which in turn applies pressure and forces the metal die to shape your paper. It's just like cutting out a cookie and just as satisfying!

A digital die cutting machine is controlled by computer software and is powered by electricity. It does not need metal dies as it features a blade inside the machine that cuts the paper for you. I saw someone on YouTube recently using one to slice their flatbread into dinosaur shapes so their kid would eat it. I don't recommend this!

The best die cutting machines are electronic as they require little effort, and as that the designs are digital, the options are endless. The downside is they are far more expensive than a manual die cutting machine.

There are many great brands on the market but Sizzix is a popular brand of die cutting machine for both manual and electronic.
It's best if you don't ask how I know this but let's just say that when I made my first accordion card, it is when I learned how much of a great advice that is for next time!
card making stamp sets


4. Stamp or Stamping Tools

Stamping is a fantastic element tolevel up your card making and well ... it's just strangely satisfying. The best stamps for card making is rubber and although it can be a little bit more expensive than an acrylic stamp, rubber lasts a lot longer. I think this kind of stamp feels more satisfying when you squish it against the paper too! I'm definitely a fan of the use of a stamp in my arts and crafts and that also applies to using a stamp in making scrapbook pages.

Stamps come in an amazing array of shapes, letters, and themes but to begin with, the best stamps to get would be an alphabet and number set. The reason for this is that you will use them over and over again for lettering on your card but you are unlikely to do this with a specific image. Unless of course, unless you are mass producing the same card by hand, such as making an invitation, customized stamping kits are readily available.

You may have customized tamps for the mass production of labels, card invitations, and more. Stamping tools are efficient and they also add a beautiful rustic stamps effect to your card or craft.

card making stamps and punches

5. Paper Crafting Punches

Paper punches are super handy for any card maker and come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes just perfect for cardmaking. Any card maker and scrapbooker would agree that one of the easiest ways to create great embellishments is with the use of paper punchers.

Cardmakers and scrapbookers will often say that Fiskars is the best brand when it comes to paper punches. There is no denying the quality of a Fiskar paper punch but unfortunately, the cost of purchasing brand name paper punches also punches a few holes in your wallet as well.

Therefore, whether you choose to go all out with a premium brand or buy a multi-pack from the craft section of your local department store is entirely up to you. I have one or two great quality used ones that were gifted to me (thank's mom) and a bunch of cheaper ones.

To start with, the best ones to get include a circle punch, a love heart-shaped punch, and a pretty edging- type paper punch. Trust me, these three will be workhorses!

6. Paper Trimmers

A paper trimmer is a crucial investment for cardmakers as straight lines are essential and unless you need to trim through multiple pieces of cardstock at the same time, which card-makers rarely do, a rotary cutter will most likely be your best choice when it comes to value for money.

A rotary cutter sits flat on your desk and features a rolling blade that will slide and trim through one or two sheets of paper at a time. They are often very affordable and can be packed away when not in use. A paper trimmer is the best way to ensure your cards have straight edges and look perfectly neat.
card maker scissors and crafting knife


7. Scissors vs Craft Knife

When it comes to scissors and craft knives, neither is better than the other as they both ''do their own thing.'' A craft knife is the best when cutting more intricate shapes and creating cutout shapes as a design feature, but scissors are an essential all-rounder tool that you can't do without.

A set of decorative edge scissors is a fantastic bonus tool to have in addition to your normal scissors. The decorative scissors allow you to level up your cardmaking with pretty edges quickly and easily. These come in a variety of edging shapes but the best ones to get are metal, to ensure it can slice through the cardstock easily and neatly.

I made the mistake of buying a set with interchangeable plastic snips but the plastic scissors struggle to slice through anything thicker than standard paper.
card making adhesive


8. Adhesives

You're going to need a few different adhesives but the best glue for cardmaking are ones that aren't too ''runny''. Why? Because paper and card warp when it gets wet, completely ruining your hard work.

The best adhesives for cardmaking are an adhesive roller to stick down cardstock and paper, double-sided foam squares to make the elements pop, and a liquid adhesive that you will use sparingly for stubborn embellishments such as beads and buttons.
card making pens


9. Pens, Markers, and Pencils

Having a variety of pens, markers and pencils is a real bonus when it comes to cardmaking. There is no ''best'' as it's purely a personal choice of what you're comfortable using.

I can't live without a black micron fine tip marker, a white paint pen, and a few bright gel pens. However, I absolutely love using both Copic Markers and Derwent Inktense pencils for cardmaking. I don't use them on every card, but when I do, it always ends up being my favorite card!
card embelishments


10. Embellishments

Embellishments are all the little bits and pieces you might collect to decorate your cards, whether they be wooden letters from the two-dollar store, sticky gems from the local craft store, or a container full of bright colored buttons.

Do you know what I think makes the best embellishments though? Coloring books! Kids coloring books and in particular, the ones marketed towards adults with more intricate designs have amazing images at a very low cost. These designs make wonderful embellishments for your card making... All you need to do is color them in and cut them out with a craft knife.


11. Card Making Kits & Blank Cards

Card making kits are exactly that, a kit that has everything you need, including the embellishments, to make a particular card. This is great when you first start cardmaking and don't have much in the way of cardmaking kits or any clue on how to start.

The best alternative though is to buy a set of pre-scored blank cards that are ready to go. A set of blank cards is also just that, a box of ten or so blank cards that are pre-folded and usually come with a matching envelope. I use these all the time unless I am after a specific shape card, like a square.

When buying a pack of blank cards, it's often best to buy plain white. It's like starting with a blank canvas!
 
check out the link if you want to learn more about amazing card making layouts.


The ''Best'' is Often a Personal Choice ...

When it comes to choosing the best, this is more often than not a personal choice. What's best for me might not be what's best for you as we all have a different set of needs and wants. I really hope these tips on choosing the ''best'' cardmaking supplies have been useful and you can take something away from it.

Happy card making!
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