As a seller of cards, mass production is essential for me. When I first got started, I made just one variation of my cards but as time went by I realized that I needed to expand that where the basic design was the same but offer: different coloring, variations where the sentiment goes or place embellishments in different places.
Everyone is different. Think about it, when you go to buy a t-shirt, the store doesn’t sell them in just one color. No, they offer a multitude of colors because they want to appeal to any customer! The same goes for my business. Not everyone like blue or red or green. At first I thought mass producing cards would be time consuming and difficult. But, with a few tricks I’ve learned along the way, it’s actually not hard at all and I’ll share a few today!
1) Use a stamp positioner. I use the Misti stamping tool but there are others out on the market like Tim Holtz and I think We ‘R Memory Keepers has one. The reason for having this tool is so that you can stamp your images twice or even 3 times if needed without losing the position. Clear blocks are wonderful but I know I can’t count on that for mass production. I need a tool that I can put down my stamp in the same position on my cards all the time.
2) Do all your prep work at one time. I have all my card bases pre-cut ahead of time so that I can grab how many I need for my card. Also, I have card panels that slightly smaller than the card base pre-cut. It saves a lot of time from having to break out the trimmer.
3) Know or sketch out the design on paper first. Having an idea of what I want to make and then either drawing it on paper or writing it down before I start is a definite timesaver. This way, I’m not fluttering around trying to make a card with no direction in mind. Sometimes, things happen as I’m working and I may realize my original idea needs to be tweaked. That’s fine, but at least having a plan first saves time and frustration!
4) Decide the colors of inks to use. I like to know this ahead of time and decide which inks will work. This depends on the color medium you’re using. For example, if you want to watercolor or do ink blending or even use colored pencils. Have the colors you want to use out on your table so when you finish the 1st card, you can move onto the next card with next color.
5) Know your cardstock. Paper is KEY with the right ink medium. Boy, have I learned this the hard way. It really makes a difference. I use Neenah Solar White cardstock primarily for all my cards because I like the thickness, it’s Copic-friendly and you can do minimal watercoloring on it. Other brands have very good cardstock now too like Hero Arts, Simon Says Stamp, Gina K. Designs and WPlus9 and some of their cardstocks are 120 lb. which makes excellent card bases. For watercolor, I suggest using Bristol or Stratmore watercolor paper. Also, Tim Holtz has a watercolor paper that’s excellent for using distress inks with water. My point is picking the right paper with the right ink saves a ton of frustration and you’re sure to get the outcome you want for your cards. You can also use pretty pattern paper for layering on top of your card bases which is what I did with this set!
6) Know what embellishments you’ll use. For example, with this card collection, I knew I wanted to use ribbon so I brought it out and cut my strips to have them ready. If you know you’ll be using gems, sequins, twine, buttons, etc., have them ready to go will save you a lot of time!
7) Do all your stamping and die cutting at one time. I love to do all this first and have all my pieces and stamped images done and ready to assemble. Again, this is definitely a time saver. For this collection, I took help from Taylored Expressions sentiment stamp/die set which I love because it has various sayings that are perfect for cards. You stamp them on a 6 x 6 piece of cardstock and use the coordinating die to cut the strips out. I keep these on hand in my drawer for future cards.
BONUS TIP: These are my 7 tips for how I mass produce cards, the key is preparation. When I get my supplies together ahead of time, it really saves me frustration and time. Plus, I’m happy with the outcome. Last tip I have is if you’re a planner fan, you can ever have one specifically related to cardmaking designs and then check them off as you make them. I keep a notebook and write down my design ideas in that.
For my “Smile” card set, I decided to use pretty ribbon to tie bows diagonally across each card. I also took the pattern paper and die cut it on an angle with my largest rectangle die and glued it on the card panel and then on my card base. This is a great little tip to add interest to a card when you use pattern paper. And, it didn’t create extra bulk. Finally, I stamped all the envelopes with “Hugs Enclosed” by The Stamping Village and dressed up a pretty white box for the cards to ship in. I think these are just another touch that can make handmade cards extra special.
List of Supplies:
Below are links to the products I used and some of them are affiliate links meaning if you purchase through them, I’ll earn a small commission and it is no extra cost to you. Your purchasing helps support our small business and we appreciate that so much! – Kim
- Pink Fresh Studio “Smile” die – https://bit.ly/2NhPVhA
- The Stamping Village “Mail Delivery” stamp set – https://bit.ly/30cVW45
- Taylored Expressions sentiment stamp/die set – https://bit.ly/30dsds3
- Eno Greeting Vintage 12 x 12 pattern paper (can’t find), but take a look at some vintage papers on Scrapbook.com – http://shrsl.com/223cq
- Pre-cut A2 cards/envelopes set – https://amzn.to/39Xybl8
- White Jewelry Gift boxes – (ebay) – https://ebay.to/2FJAxGo
- Assorted Ribbons – https://amzn.to/2NgSS1O
- Neenah 110 lb. Solar White Cardstock – https://amzn.to/2yxWEfs
- Teflon bone folder – https://amzn.to/2VcfC8