Since the economy isn’t doing so well, this year you might want to gift your near and dear ones with DYI Christmas cards, case in which you need to know what card making supplies to purchase. There is a wide variety of options available for enthusiasts of the craft, while newbies will appreciate getting all the assistance they can muster in putting together good quality handcrafted cards.

1. Card Blanks

The card making supplies purchase process, as well as the entire card making procedure, starts with knowing what type of paper or card stock you will need. Card blanks will come in the A6, A5 and DL formats, but there are also card blank squares or 7 x 5 inch cards. For more complex projects, choose smooth paper cards, models which use special shapes with apertures or gatefolds or embossed cards.

2. Envelopes

Envelopes are just as important in the order of card making supplies as card blanks. They are the first thing the recipient sees when coming into contact with the card, so it is important they are good quality. Obviously, they come in the same sizes as card blanks (A6, A5, DL, square-shaped and 7 by 5 inches).

3. Card Bags

Card bags are items that some might forget to order, while on a card making supplies shopping session. The inconspicuous little bags in clear propylene might not look like much, but if you envision them as the layer protecting your delicate creation from the world, you will surely never forget to buy them again. They come in all sizes and are especially recommended for DYI aficionados who plan to sell their cards once completed.

4. Cutting Tools

No card making supplies list would be complete without the cutting tools. You can use various sizes of scissors, but craft knives such as the X-Acto, or even surgical knives, will produce much better results (although their use is only recommended to seasoned crafters). You will also need a graded cutting mat, if you really want to achieve perfection. Those card makers who prefer a more automated approach can purchase a mini paper trimmer, which will work great for cutting the edges of photographs, papers or thick cardstock.

5. Adhesives and Tapes

Adhesives and tapes are essential card making supplies, which you will use irrespective of the type of card you choose to create (with photos, decorative punches or stamps). The types of adhesives you can choose from are glue sticks, which work great for punch out cards, foam tapes, for a 3D effect, double-sided tape for layered cards, and regular glue—just make sure you use a good brand that will actually stick.

6. Ink and Inkpads

Working with ink is complex stuff, so beginners might choose to start out with a single tinted embossing inkpad and just a few colors. The basic colors used in card-making are black, brown, gold, silver, red and blue. If you want to add watermarks to your cards and envelopes, also include a watermark stamp pad.

7. Decorative Punches

Decorative punches are among the most favored card making supplies, since they are easy to use and lots of fun, too. Start out with a corner punch or corner rounder, and also employ the basic shapes (square, triangle, heart, diamond, variously sized circles), in order to create patterns. You can also add leaves and flowers, as well as animals or other designs. Specialized punches include long-reach ones, which can help you punch deeper inside the card.

8. Rubber Stamping Supplies

Those who are not into card making supplies will probably believe rubber stamps are just for companies and official documents. DYI amateurs, on the other hand, will know that they are simple and easy to use tools that will help you create complex images in lovely subdued colors. There is a wide variety of stamps out there, including the ones shaped like rolling pins or cubes, or stamps mounted on foam, for easier use. For a more complex process, such as embossing, you will need a heat gun, which is not at all complicated to use, in spite of its menacing name.

9. Paint and Painting Supplies

When shopping for card making supplies you need to figure out what kind of look you’re going for and how much time and energy you’re willing to invest in the process. Painted carts always look personalized, but there are multiple options you can choose from: poster paints (easy to use and inexpensive), acrylic paints (produce the most complex results) or watercolors (create a delicate effect). Of course, the choice of brush is also important, and you might also choose to use crayons, pencils, markers, dies or other types of coloring devices.

10. Embellishments

This is where the list of card making supplies extends into infinity, since there is basically a limitless number of embellishments available out there, from alphabet beads to eyelets, fibers, ribbons or even rhinestone. You can also create embellishments by collecting the buttons on your old clothes, or pieces of jewelry which you no longer wear. Just make sure you remember that a little goes a long way—and this especially applies to any and all forms of adorning and embellishing.