Podcast Episode 2 – Top 6 things you need to start card making

Podcast, Ep 2 Card making must-haves

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Hello!  I am so glad to have you in the craft room with me today!  Today, I thought we’d talk about card making, specifically … what exactly do you NEED to start.

Firstly, let’s consider a card you might buy at the newsagent, or even at the dollar store.  Essentially, you have a folded piece of heavy weight cardstock, with an image, and usually a sentiment, on the front … a matching envelope, and possibly a sentiment or longer verse inside.  It might be funny, pretty, whimsical, macho, minimalist, arty … there really is something for all ages, occasions and tastes in all sorts of colours, themes and sizes.

If you’re considering taking up card making as a hobby, you may be wondering what you really need.  If you’re already a card maker, you’ve probably seen this asked in card making groups on Facebook A LOT.  Here are my top 6 must haves for card making.


When it comes to the must-haves … that’s it!  Of course, there are other fun things you can use to make your cards beautiful, but I always say this … a simple card made well, beats a complicated card made badly.  In other words … good workmanship is the most important thing in your toolbox. The most simple card, like I talked about today, can look amazing when you take the time to do great workmanship.   

Now, if you’re just dipping your toe into card making, and are unsure if you’re going to be into it, there are a few ways you can do so without breaking the budget or investing in a lot of expensive tools.

  1. Kits
  2. Pre-cut card base & envelope packs
  3. Ask a card making friend
  4. Party Plan

Can card making take over your life and your house?  Absolutely! There are so many awesome tools and pretty papers, and gorgeous embellishments … it’s really easy to go nuts in the early days and just buy everything!  But if you start by buying small amounts, and making sure you use them, you won’t find yourself a year down the track realising that you bought a bunch of useless stuff that doesn’t work, you don’t really like, and that doesn’t do what you thought it would.  I’ve been making cards for over 25 years, and in the beginning I made do.  When I picked up Scrapbooking about 17 years ago, I accumulated a lot of stuff that is still sitting unused in boxes … so I know what I’m talking about here!    LOL        But then I got smart, and I added to my tool box in stages, as I could afford things, and after doing my research.  I think we can go into that in another episode though, because there’s been lots of information here already today, and I don’t want to overwhelm those who are just starting out.

Don’t forget to check the blog post for photos, a transcript, and links to a whole lot of things I mentioned today.   Remember … people will tell you that you need a whoooooooole lot of things, but one persons need is another person’s budget-buster or want-list item … so ease in at first, and if you get hooked, then you can start investing in the new toys.


  1. Erin McKenzie-Christensen

    Hi dawn
    I wanted to direct you to this website to do with weights of cardstock. It is to do with there being a myriad of different types= its on the website. Its very confusing! I am unsure totally if this is solely with US weighted cardstocks which are in pounds not gsm i usually use 270gsm or 100 pound cardstock for the majority of my cards sometimes i even go higher to 300gsm but only have that in black and white i think approximately this is 110 pound
    I used to always use 200gsm to 210gsm and i LOVE the cardstocks which are australian made from a online store in SA called blue edge crafts however i have picked up allsorts when shops have sales from MFT to the neenah solar white (which is good for copics but crap for the zig clean colour markers – but the neenah is great for other stuff distress inks or card bases or the front panel! so its being used up. Somehow i got A4 and US sized paper – which makes US sized A2 instead of Australian/UK sized A6 (as described in your video and made in the same way)
    since i made a lot of pop up cards/interactive i definitely dont stick to A6 or US sized A2 i literally make whatever i want! And to save money trying to find envelopes in different sizes i honestly make my own using my envelope maker! Not something i did for years and years!
    So this whole “what weight of cardstock” it has truly confused me for years. but what i do depends on what i am making. card bases are the heaviest BUT if its a pop up card then often i would use 270 gsm on the inside of the card (for the actual pop up part) and 200gsm on the outside of the card (for the card base itself.
    As i said i wait for sales in different stores and buy from where ever
    If its just a die cut image on the front of the card or a sentiment stuck on then it really does not matter so much as to what the thickness is!
    But blue edge crafts have a great range of paper that they make here in australia and cut themselves! they have cards already scored and cut if you want to go that way with or without envelopes (im simply a customer by the way! I have used that shop since day 1 of paper crafting – accidentally found them at a craft fair and found out that they are only 15 mins from my house, though online so this doesnt matter so much it DOES mean though stuff comes real quick! most of the other places i shop at in australia, like your store are interstate

    I hope this link helps!

  2. Natalie

    Did you decide not to add a transcript? I would find a transcript very helpful. Thanks for the podcast. I am enjoying it.

    1. Dawn Lewis

      So glad you’re enjoying the podcast, Natalie. I hadn’t figured out how to add full transcripts for the early episodes, but will make a note to get that done for this episode now that I know how 🙂

  3. Kathy

    Hi Dawn, I was just wondering whether the cardstock you mention in this episode is still something you use. I don’t see it written in the transcript & although I know the quill brand, I didn’t quite catch the name of the other brand & I don’t think it is in your shop.

    1. dawn-admin-lewis (Post author)

      It might have been the Mondi Color Copy cardstock. I get that from Officeworks, but any 250gsm cardstock will do. A little investigation at Officeworks last week showed that the J Burrows A4 Premium Digital Paper 250gsm comes in a pack of 125 for $10.98 … that’s 250 card bases at 4c each … bargain! The USA sized cardstock is Neenah Classic Crest Solar White, and I do have that in the shop (though I’m due to do some restocks next week).

      I hope that helps.


      1. Kathy

        Thanks Dawn, that certainly did help. Have you tried the J Burrows paper you mentioned? At 0.04c it is definitely a bargain, & if it turned out to be not quite sturdy enough for card bases, it could always be used for gel printing. ?

        1. dawn-admin-lewis (Post author)



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