One of my New Year’s aspirations (not resolutions!) was to learn another craft – card making. I’ve been tempted for a while, mainly because I have a stationery fetish and it seemed like a legitimate excuse to play with paper, stamps, stickers and glue.

I visited my local homewares store over Christmas, which I know sells lots of card making supplies. However, apart from the obvious (like paper and envelopes) I wasn’t too sure what the rest of the stuff was for. It turns out there are many techniques in card making and all of them seem to require baffling specialist equipment.

I did some online research on card making. If I thought the world of cross stitch was twee, it’s got nothing on card making. Happily though, I came across Lucy’s Cards blog – I really like her simple, retro style. I found out about Hero Arts through Lucy’s blog; they make stamps and other paper crafting supplies. I’d like one of each of their stamps, please (!) but I’ve started my collection with these (all images from Hero Arts website)

Hero Arts have a learning section on their website with some useful guides on stamping and card making and there’s also a gallery of ideas. Despite this, I found it hard to know where to begin,  so one of my lovely crafting friends offered to give me a basic introduction to card making. I’ve made a couple of cards now – I’ll try to take photos of them at the weekend, assuming we have any daylight.

I thought card making would be a cheap hobby, but I was wrong! You need to spend money upfront on basic supplies. As a minimum you need: card; envelopes; a paper trimmer; scissors; a cutting mat; a craft knife; a scoring tool and various adhesives. For stamping, you need: ink; stamps; acrylic blocks (if you are using clear stamps) and baby wipes (for cleaning stamps). Finally, you’ll probably want to buy some patterned paper and embellishments such as buttons, ribbons and stickers. I tell you, there’s no end to it. The next thing I need to get is storage.

So far it’s fun and it has more of an instant gratification factor than knitting. It’s taking me a while at the moment, because it’s all new, but some card designs can be made in 10-15 minutes. Also, I love the idea of sending people something handmade rather than mass produced (and aren’t shop bought cards expensive these days?).

It concerns me that I am taking on one too many crafts, though. I struggle to fit in everything already, so adding something else is stupid. Ho hum, it’s the unnecessary things that make life worth living, I guess.

PS if you’re from the UK, do you remember a political thriller called ‘House of Cards’ broadcast in the 90s, starring Ian Richardson? Mmm, he was so deliciously evil.