If there's one thing I wish someone told me when I was first starting out in Card-Making, it's that paper crafting is a very expensive hobby. At the same time, it's also a hobby that most of us will find to be personally rewarding - to a great degree, at that! The process of creating can relieve stress and help your creativity blossom. And nothing says "I care" quite like a card you've created with someone specific in mind.
But even with all the amazing and positive effects paper crafting can have, it's still very expensive. Trends change rather quickly, new tools are coming out all the time and every day there are tempting must-have stamps released monthly from your favorite stamp companies. It can quickly get overwhelming and lead to that pattern where we buy and hoard great supplies only to destash them a few months later, still unused.
Even for those of us who are blessed with virtually unlimited pockets, it's impossible to keep up with all the products and still make good use of them. And if you happen to be a beginner - or even a seasoned card maker that's switching to a new card style -, the amount of information you will find is going to be dizzying and massive. You will feel like you need everything and you will undoubtedly find yourself with a stash full of supplies that you can't quite figure out how to use.
With this in mind, I think it's really important to always be spending smart. For me, that meant changing a few of my habits as well as looking at how and what I buy in a different light. One of the biggest changes I made was putting myself on a budget. 9 months ago, I set myself on what I figured to be a good crafty budget. After a rather rocky start, I finally got into a pattern that I consider healthy and balanced.
I also happened to pick up a ton of tips about budgets and staying on-budget. Over the next few weeks (or months?!), I will be sharing these tips with you and chat a little about what helped me out the most. I will also be sharing several cards created with budgets in mind. And with that...
Today's card is a very clean and simple card, using a panda theme -- something that I've seen pop up in several cards lately. I don't know that the panda trend is super new, but it's a really cute one and I wanted to create something sweet and fun.
I started by die-cutting a piece of black cardstock and a piece of mint patterned paper with stitched rectangle dies. I matted them and adhered to a Kraft card base. Then, I die-cut two circles out of black and white cardstock -- they are going to be my center panel. I also adhered them together.
For the panda, I used a sticker I bought at my local craft store. This sticker set features several cute pandas plus accessories, and it only cost 1$! Great value, as I can create several cards with it.
The card looked too plain without some embellishments, so I added a white mini doily, a piece of flair from Lawn Fawn (retired) and some enamel dots.
BUDGET TIP: Full-sized stamp sets at full price might be out of the budget for several crafters, especially if you think you'll only make a couple of cards with the set. Stickers aren't as impressive as your own stamping/coloring, but they can still be a cute addition that makes your card's layout and style really shine.
Stickers are also a great small surprise gift to include in cards. If you've made a card for someone who loves pandas, adding that panda sticker they can use elsewhere will be delightful.
Thanks for reading!