Where to Find, Buy, and Get
Handmade Card Making Supplies
There are so many cool handmade card making supplies that you can get, but it can get expensive.
I would suggest just getting a few supplies to begin: paper, glue, scissors, and some embellishments. Lots of stuff you might need for handmade card making could probably be found around your house.
Here are some other ideas for finding handmade greeting card making supplies - some are obvious, but there are other places that may be overlooked for finding cheap, inexpensive stuff.
Michaels / Joann / Hobby Lobby
These are probably obvious! These are major national craft store chains in the United States. They often have pretty good sales, especially during the holidays.
But you can certainly find better deals on handmade card making supplies elsewhere. But I'll admit that I do go to these stores when I am eager to start crafting and I don't have time to get crafting items on-line.
Ebay is probably the largest on-line auction site that hooks up sellers with buyers for pretty much anything! It is free to join and I have gotten some GREAT deals off of Ebay.
You can search for specific handmade card making items (rubber stamp sets, rub on transfers, scrapbook paper, etc...) and the more specific you can make your search then the better - otherwise you will be bombarded with pages and pages of irrelevant items.
Craigslist.org is a website that has free online classifieds. People post things under numerous categories like jobs, cars, tickets, sporting goods, etc… There is a sub-section called "Arts/Crafts" under their "For Sale" section where you can get some good deals.
Find your local geographic area and browse through the section.
TIP: At the top of the "Arts/Crafts" section you can use the "Search For:" tool to write in specific keywords, such as "scrapbook" "stickers" "ribbon" - so that you don't have to spend so much time browsing through all the listings.
Some reasons why people may post handmade card making supplies on Craigslist are because it is just much easier than posting on Ebay and it is free!
Also, Craigslist is more geographically centered so that the seller and buyer can potentially just meet to make the swap instead of having to mail stuff.
But with all online relationships - meet your sellers in a public space if you are exchanging in person!
Thrift Stores / Goodwill / Salvation Army
Thrift Stores, The Goodwill, and the Salvation Army are good places to find stuff for handmade card making like old magazines, books, or other random supplies to help personalize your greeting homemade cards. I love just wandering through the isles here because you never know what you might find.
It's important that you look at items creatively. You might find old magazines that you think have nothing that you would want in them, but flip through the pages, there maybe some cool vintage photos or advertisements that might appeal to you.
Or look through their clothes, even their kids' clothes - they might have some cool patterns that you can cut up and use as the background to a creative handmade card or maybe some really neat buttons that you can use for embellishments.
But be careful about the price - a buck or so for some cool buttons is a good deal, but lately I've been noticing that these stores have been increasing their prices - so just make sure that you are truly committed to using the goods before putting down your hard earned cash.
Yard / Garage / Estate Sales
Yard sales are fun because you can haggle with the sellers! Again, you may need luck on your side to find a yard sale that actually selling handmade card making supplies - but look for other things that you can use for your homemade cards.
What about lace doilies, leftover paint from a project, cool patterned dresses, art supplies like brushes or markers. When you are first starting out with creating your own greeting cards, if the price is right, don't be afraid to go out on a limb and buy a funky patterned dress (that you might never wear) but might look really cool on a greeting card.
Also, yard sales are great for finding old magazines or books with colored pictures that might come in handy when making a handmade collage card for someone with special interests. So keep your eyes peeled and your imagination available with scrounging through yard / garage / estate sales.
Estate Sales are slightly different than Yard Sales, but they are pretty much the same. An estate sale usually occur when the owner of a house passes away or moving away and most of their belongings need to be sold because of one reason or another. Estate sales help the family move on from the death of a relative without having to bother with minute details - such as small belongings, clothes, furniture, etc... Estate sales usually last a few days with the prices being reduced toward the end of the sale.
Dollar / $0.99 Cent Stores
I have been having tons of luck finding handmade card making supplies at the dollar store near my house. I've found cool patterned paper, rubber stamps, ribbons, and even decorative scissors - for a $1 each! Now that's a steal, considering that craft stores usually charge $3-6 dollars for one pair of decorative scissors.
I'm not sure if all dollar stores carry scrapbooking supplies, but I've had luck with The Dollar Tree in Northern California. And it's not just scrapbooking supplies that you should be looking for. I've found cheap tissue and birthday party favors that have worked well on cards.
Also most of these stores offer seasonal items (like for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc...) so you could find some decorations that you might be able to customize as an embellishment for a handmade greeting card. The idea is that you gotta get creative and see what can be done - it's a lot cheaper than trying to buy festive embellishments at a craft store for $4-6 each.
Old magazines are a great way to cut out cool pictures or patterns from advertisements to use with handmade card making!
I've found that some of the best magazines are the music related magazines - they always seem to have the coolest pictures, but whatever catches your fancy is fine. Old magazines can be found almost anywhere - around your home, garage sales, Craigslist, etc...
Remember to look for high quality magazines with lots of glossy pictures. This will help make your card stand out. Also consider who you are making the cards for.
For example, if you have lots nephews that you will be making cards for and they are all into sports then maybe you should consider getting a few sports illustrated magazines so that you can cut out baseballs, basketballs, favorite players, etc...
Magazine pictures are great for making collage cards! They really do make designing a card really easy! So keep a stack just in case!
Also, if space is a problem, spend some time going through the magazine and slice out the pages that intrigue you the most. There's no need to keep a whole magazine if you just want certain pictures or patterns that you've found inside.
You can find great stuff around your house for making your own greeting cards! Consider the simple things (even some on this list) like old magazines, old books, old clothes, old greeting cards for handmade card making supplies.
But you can also get creative and find old photographs, ticket stubs, newspaper clippings, etc... that would make memorable personalized greeting cards.
Okay, this may seem strange at first, but parties are a great way to collect some ribbons, wrapping paper, tissue, etc... with permission from the host of course. Why not ask if you can help clean up and use the left over material for your own handmade card making projects?
This will help the host with cleaning up and help you by sparking some creativity! Birthday parties, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers are all good events where people may not think twice about recycling ribbon or tissue.
This will save you money and do the Earth some good!
Target / Walmart / Kmart
These stores can be used to find relatively cheap craft supplies, but their selection is not as great as stores dedicated strictly to crafting.
So if you are wandering through these stores for you own household purchases, it might be worth it to swing by the office supplies (usually where they keep the craft stuff - except I think Walmart has their own section) and take a look at what they have - sometimes they have sales.
I know that Target has a cool "$1" section (usually toward the front of the store) where you could find cool paper or little embellishments and you really can't beat that price.
Recycled Greeting Cards
Using old greeting cards to make new handmade greeting cards is wonderful! You are recycling material to create something new and the earth will thank you!
For old greeting cards, you can cut out the actual greeting, like "Happy Birthday" or "Merry Christmas" and tack it onto a new card with a different background.
This can be especially helpful if you are new to making greeting cards and don't have rubber stamped messages or other means to create a pretty message on the front of a card.
Also, cards have great little pictures that can be recycled - consider the different parts of the card: patterns, images, inside messages, etc... that can be recycled.
Get creative - an old birthday card can have images that would be perfect for a new homemade Father's Day card or Christmas card!
TIP: If you have a stack of greeting cards that you can go through - start cutting out all the wording, images, patterns that you like and keep them in a special folder. This will help make some space and allow your imagination to run freely when you come across these images again.
All about Glues and Adhesives
Learn about the different types of glues used for paper crafts and which would be best for your handmade card making projects!
Different Types of Paper Used for Handmade Card Making
Learn about different types of paper used for handmade greeting cards as well as other paper crafts.