The first rule of card making is to choose your materials carefully. The weight of the card must be in proportion to the size of the finished product. Another thing to decide before you start is whether you can match the size of your card to an envelope.
Do you intend to put your card through a printer? The general rules are that if you are making a large card you need to use heavier card stock, say 285 gsm if you want it to stand up without bending. A smaller A6 card will stand up with 220 gsm cardstock. As to printing, the lighter and smoother the better if you intend to produce images and or wording on your computer and print directly onto your card. In the main, laser printers are not designed for card, some are but they are large and expensive. Inkjet printers are more suitable, but use one with a straight paper path - that is where you put the paper in the back and it comes out of the front without having to bend much.
As to the decoration of your card, there is a vast choice of backing card, embellishments, card toppers, peel off and decorative stickers, stamps, decoupage, pens, paint and glitter to choose from.
When you become more experienced at card making you will probably wish to create die cut and embossed shapes or patterns to enhance your designs. Some very talented card makers prefer to embellish their card with the material at hand and don't use any machinery. However there are some items that even the most skilled card maker must have. These are mainly concerned with the cutting and creasing of the card.
A good pair of scissors will immediately come to mind, but what is often overlooked in the early stages is how to crease the card so that it folds cleanly. The most basic tool for this is what used to be commonly known as a bone folder. Nowadays they are made of plastic and look like a short snub nosed pencil but flat. This on it's own will score the card, so that the folded edge will look neat. However if it is to look straight, you need a good scoring board. These are marked out for cards of various sizes and have straight groves to guide the plastic scoring tool to give a straight scored line along which to fold your card.
The same principle applies to the cutting of your card. Clearly scissors will cut, but they won't show you where to cut and any edge that is not perfectly straight will stick out like a sore thumb! A good rotary trimmer will solve this at a stroke. This will have lines marked out to help align the card or paper according to the desired size. The rotary blade can be replaced as necessary and a really good trimmer will take a variety of decorative edged blades which will transform the look of your card.
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