, ,

New to papercrafting? Where do I start?

New To Papercrafting? Where Do I Start? - Handmade Cards

Happy New year. We all have new year wishes. The world has gone through a few difficult years, and we are still not through it all. What will this year bring? Perhaps this is the time to sit down and appreciate the good times and memories and show the people around us that we think about them. What about starting the new year with paper crafting or scrapbooking? For some of you paper crafting might be something you have done for years. For others, it might be something completely new. In this article, I will go through some of the things you might need to get started, how you credit and some ideas of what you can actually make.


Do get inspiration from others and from things around you. To get inspired is normal for all kind of artists, writers, painters and card makers.

Craft suppliers and shops do have designers that create DIY and artwork that is supposed to get you inspired to get hold of some of the craft supplies and try things out yourself. The designers make tutorials, templates and explanations to get you to try their projects. It is often looked upon as an honor if you get inspired and this is seen in your project. If you are heavily inspired by a well known artist like Finnabair, Stacy Young and The Gentleman Crafter, these are so well known that the source of inspiration is clearly seen. If you get inspired by the style, you don’t need to quote where you got the inspiration from, but be humble about the inspiration.  If you do use someones template, tutorial, or copy a project, it is the done thing to say whom you got the inspiration from.


The important thing, is do not get frightened by others artwork. “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 15″. Remember that a lot that post photos of projects are designers.  Even though you might have been card making for  10 years, you might be new to mixed media. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Also you might focus on the goal you have. Is the goal to just have fun, make cards to send to friends, to make album pages with photos of your kids, is it to sell or is it to get onto a specific designteam?

When and how do you credit someone?

The common rules are similar in any kind of work. Kids learn this early in school these days and the rules are quite simple.

If you find a photo you want to use as it is, you have to figure out if you are allowed to use it. A lot of images you can use, with Creative Commons license  (although with some restrictions). Other motives you can not use. This could be because the photographer or artist has the copyright license, the motive itself has restrictions (e.g. Disney) or the image might be a photo of a stamped image (e.g. Penny Black or Magnolia).

Sometimes it is actually useful to learn by copying someones work. If you copy completely, you should credit the person you copied. It is not the done thing to use this copy to give a class, sell, or to enter as a design team application without getting this clarified with the artist. When you credit, use the artists name. Do not say you found it on Pinterest, Facebook or you google the image. This would be the same as writing an article, and the writer said the information was found in a book at the library or the book store. Remember that you can search with the image itself in google, and often find the source of it.

In cases where you use someone template or cut file, it is nice to link back to the source. Be humble. There was a lot of time and effort in making the template, tutorial and cut file, and to help the artist with with some credit is always nice as a “Thank you”.

Does it sound compiled? It is really quite straight forward when you get into it.


There are a lot of card makers that really enjoy this. In Skandinavia, a lot of people are making cards, but very few send a lot of cards. Great Britain is more of a “card nation” that send a lot of cards. Card making is a good hobby to get into, although making card to sell can be difficult in some countries.

You can get inspiration several places. Pinterest, you – tube, facebook groups and blogs are good place to start. An intro to card making, using flowers, colouring motives and using washi tape will be published later in TPC- international.


Making album pages – layouts

A lot of people are getting into paper crafting because they want to save memories of family and friends. There are lots of different styles of layouts. Remember that not all of these can be published as they are without the consent of the person in the photo. I find that often, scrapbook pages with family doesn‘t necessary get published, but rather put in the family album. If you wish to publish a page, but don’t want to publish the photo, then use another image of a puppy or nature or another image you can publish, and put it above your image for the photoshoot for the online photo of the page. My recommendation is to do this instead of whiting out or blurring the photo, as the photo and the page works together in making a great photo of a page. 

You can get inspiration several places. Pinterest, you – tube, facebook groups and blogs are good place to start. An intro to layouts will be published later in TPC- international this spring.

What kind of craft supplies do i need? 

First of all, there is a difference in what you feel you “need” and what you actually need. As you go along, there are so many thing you would like to get and to try out, and it never kind op stops. In the beginning, start with a few simple things as shown in the list below. You can also do with a good pair of scissors and a protecting table cloth for your table.


You need some card stock as a base of your projects. There are lots of different kinds of card stocks and colours. Some break easily as you fold them, and some has a nice and crisp fold as long as you score the card stock before folding it. Try out different card stocks and find out what kind you like the most.

Patterned paper

If you are a beginner, you can keep your eyes open for second hand sales on paper online, or on sales in craft shops. You can get a lot of paper for a small amount of money. Don’t get lots and lots of paper to start with. Your style and preferences will change as you get into it. You get paper pads with 6″ x 6″ (15cm x 15cm) and these are good for card making. If you want to make boxes, mixed media or layouts, I would recommend paper in size 12″ x 12″ (30cm x 30cm). Paper pads are good because you get papers that often are colour coordinated in the pad.


There are so many different kind of glues. Different crafters like different kind of glues, and I don’t really think we will agree. The sure thing, is that different glues are good for different stuff. This is why I really have drawers and shelves full of different kind of glues and tapes, which is also useful for any kind of repair in the household.

Some do like to use double sided tape. Make sure it sticks well for your purpose. Use a bone folder or something similar to slide over the glued paper at the end, this will make it stick better. Others like using glue. I like using liquid glue and like the RX or Uhu glue. When everyone was stocking toilet paper in March 2020, and Europe was closing down, I was actually stocking up on glue. So good glue is important for paper crafting.

My work are also often very three dimensional. I use a lot of 3D foam tape , that I use in layers. Find a foam tape that sticks well, but it doesn‘t have to be expensive.

Paper trimmer

A paper trimmer is a very important tool. Just cutting papers with scissors will make the edges a bit wobbly, and not very straight. To get a more professional look of your projects, a paper trimmer is essential.  Do invest in a good paper trimmer. This will become your most important tool. Also get a few extra knives. Paper will dull a knife, so these needs to be changes every now and then. Some of these trimmers also come with a score part. Scoring card stock before folding is important for the result. Although you don’t need a score board. I just use my regular paper trimmer, and use a knitting needle and slide it along the line under the knife, and it has worked for me for over 15 years. 


Having some stamps with motives and texts are usefull. Most stamps these days, come as  Clear stamps or rubber stamps without a wooden piece. The you need  an acrylic stamp block to fix your stamp to as you are stamping. You can also get a stamping platform if you really get into stamping. A stamping platform will let you re stamp your image several times, it your image needs it. You also need some ink pads. There are a lot of different type of ink pads and they come in all sorts of colours. Some of them are water soluble (good for alcohol based ink markers) and some are not water soluble (good for aquarelle, distress ink colouring and water soluble markers).  You can also get hybrid inks that are good for both type of colouring.



Using inks to distress edges of your paper or to make backgrounds for your projects is somethinsg I recommend. If you like strong colour I recommend Ink on 3 inks. Distress inks or distress oxides are also a good option.  Vintage Photo eller Walnut Stain are good for distressing edges of your projects. You can add distress ink with different tools and make up sponges. You can also use a make up brush or a brush like Picket Fence Studios: Blender Brush.


Anything more I need?

With these tools you really have what you need to get started. If you want to get more into it, you might want  some sort of die cutting machine with dies. Choose some dies you can use for several projects. A die cutting machine is something you can use for years. If you get good dies, they will also last for a long time. If you really get into dies, this is where it gets expensive. This is for some reason, because you never really get enough dies.

You can also get a digital cutting machine like a Silhouette. Here, you can either bay a cutting file or creating a cutting file yourself, and get it cut out in almost any size, including all the fonts on your pc.

Are you paper craft addicted yet? So, this is where it can get expensive. You would like som lace, cheesecloth, you would like more paper, dies, charms, flowers, leaves, mistes, embossing folders, embossing powders, glue gun, washi tape (and more pretty washi tape), Promarkers, Copics, Distress inks and so on.

Follow more articles in TPC international for more inspiration as you start up and challenge yourself with new crafts.

Good luck!