Part 3/4 – Stretching Your Supplies / Planning Ahead (Cardmaking 101)

This is part of a four part series on making cards. In this part, we’re covering how to stretch your supplies by planning ahead…


If you’re a cardmaker like me, you mostly make single cards, or cards that are only created once. You make the card and then mail it or give it away. This way of making cards is awesome and totally okay. However, it can be a drain on supplies because you’re not thinking beyond the card that’s sitting in front of you on in your craft area. If you plan ahead, you can stretch your supplies.


As you use supplies, paper, and card stock, you’ll find yourself with scraps or bits of paper leftover after finishing your card. Don’t throw them away! Some papercrafters save every scrap of paper and card stock, hoping for the day that it will be used. I’m a little bit like that. But I’ll only keep pieces that are at least the size of half of a standard card. I figure that’s about the smallest size I would want to work with in the future. Anything smaller than that is just taking up space. I probably won’t use it because I can hardly see it. ;)

I’m a little bit the same way with ribbon. If it’s not longer than, say, 3 inches, I don’t keep it.

  • Challenge yourself to use your scraps! Sometimes I forget about the scraps I hold on to, so I have to consciously challenge myself to use them. I tell myself, “The next five cards you make will be made from scraps!” and then I hold myself to it. Try it! You’ll see your scrap pile diminish. :)


You can really stretch your supplies when you’re making more than one card. A good example of this is the holiday season. The Christmas and holiday cardmaking season is where you’re cardmaking skills can really shine! Many families send cards around this time, so it’s a fun opportunity to send numerous cards to family and friends.

Since you’ll be making multiples of the same card, you’ll need to plan how your consumable supplies will be used. Since stamp sets can be used over and over, stamps are awesome in this area. While not a consumable item, stamps can make your consumable items look more customized. For example, instead of purchasing large quantities of patterned paper, you could stamp images on solid paper. It’s less expensive to buy ink, paper, and a stamp set, than it is to buy 25 sheets of patterned paper. Plus, it’s fun to do all that stamping! :)

If you choose to use patterned paper, you’ll have to brush up on your math skills. Try to use dimensions of cut paper that divide evenly into a 12×12 piece of patterned paper. For example:

Just be smart about how you’ll be cutting apart your paper and you’ll notice yourself wasting less.


Another fun thing way to stretch your supplies is to alter items you already own. It makes them look new and exciting! So instead of buying something all together new, try “re-purposing” an old item.

For example, think of all the things you can do to a button. You could try stamping or embossing on the button, painting around the edges of the button, and even using a bunch of mismatch buttons to create shape (sort of like this card).

Just be creative and see your current supplies in a new light!


That’s it for this part of the Cardmaking 101 Series. If you have more suggestions for stretching your supplies, please leave them in the comments. Thanks! We’ll wrap up the series tomorrow with Part 4 – Get Involved. :)


Cardmaking 101

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