Cheap Card Making Supplies UK

 

Card making and scrapbooking crafts can be expensive. Take a look through any cardmaking magazine and you’ll find ‘shopping lists’ in excess of £50 for just one project. If you are a serious crafter, you’ll know that some items are worth spending money on. A good die cutting machine is an example of this. There are plenty of craft supplies that don’t need to cost you the earth however. With this mind, here are my favourite resources for money savvy craft supplies!

The Works

The Works have stores all over the UK now. You can also order on line for home delivery or FREE store collection. They have a reward scheme and it’s defintely worth signing up for email alerts as discounts and postage offers are plentiful.  My favourite bargains to look out for:

1. Dovecraft & Papermania products at reduced prices.

2. Adhesive Gems for £1.

3. Paper packs, pads and stacks.

4. Decopatch supplies – papermache figures, wooden boxes, hanging shapes.

5. Ribbons, sentiments and buttons.

There are a few items I would avoid however. I find their card blanks to be flimsy, lower gsm paper is poor and some craft kits contain very poor instructions.

Amazon

Amazon stock a good range of cutting dies, paper pads, ink pads and card blanks amongst other things. I am a big fan of First Edition paper packs and rarely find those cheaper anywhere else. Prime delivery is often available on these too. Amazon is also a good place to find cheap cutting dies from China, and branded dies at discounted prices. I regularly check amazon for deals on Spellbinders dies, Marianne Design dies and Sizzix Bigz.  I purchased my Big shot die cutting machine here too as it was so much cheaper than anywhere else!

Ebay

It is always worth checking the prices of craft supplies on eBay. I am a big fan of cheap cutting dies from China found here. I often search branded products under ‘auction only’ as this is a great way to grab ‘nearly new’ dies at bargain prices!

Wilko

Wilko often stock Dovecraft products at very low prices and also have their own range of budget craft materials. I also buy craft storage boxes from here (half the price of WHSmith).

Poundland

80% of the craft section in Poundland is worth avoiding. In fact sometimes, it’s all rubbish! However, it’s worth a look if you’re passing because it’s great for metallic card, googley eyes, adhesive gems, tubes of metallic acrylic paint and washi tapes! Occasionally they will have papermania stamps and trimcraft paper packs. It can be very hit and miss though!

I hope to add to this post as I come across other budget craft supplies. Please feel free to share your bargain craft finds below!

 

Cheap Cutting Dies from China

Over the last year there has been a huge increase of unbranded cheap cutting dies from China. A quick search for craft dies on EBay or Amazon now results in hundreds of listings offering very cheap dies. Many of the designs are similar to those from well known brands. The question is, are they any good?

Cheap cutting dies vs Lawn Fawn cutting dies

I had deliberated dubiously over trying these cheap dies. Could they really be that good for So little money? Could they really compete with the well-established trusted brands out there? It was the unicorn trend that made me give these budget dies a go. I spotted some fabulous unicorn cards on Pinterest that I really wanted to try my hand at. I looked for the dies used by Lawn Fawn and I just couldn’t warrant the cost of them! So I flicked over to eBay and the Home Ap (part of Wish) and searched for similar products. I ordered a set of stitched cloud edge dies, a unicorn die, rainbow die, stitched cloud dies and unicorn clear stamps for a total of £13 delivered! The brand versions of these would have cost in excess of £50.

22 days later…..

Undoubtedly, the biggest drawback is the time it takes to receive purchases from China. However, with so many projects on the go, I was hardly twiddling my thumbs while I waited for the delivery! Naturally, the dies did not have the fancy packaging or handy magnetic sheets that the well known brands do, but I was instantly impressed with the sturdy designs. I tried them out with various types of paper and card and they cut everything perfectly!! I could not fault them at all!

 

Unicorn cards with the ‘cheap dies from China’

Delighted with my ‘bargain’, I set about making the unicorn cards inspired by those on Pinterest.

Unicorn craftsUnicorn card

Buy, buy, buy!!!!

After the unicorn cards, I got a little carried away. I discovered the ‘cheap dies’ range had a great selection of basic shapes, sentiments and clear stamps. Little packages from China arrive frequently and my stash is ever-increasing! I recommend the stitched rectangles and squares. These dies cut beautifully and are so versatile.

Conclusion

These cutting dies may be unbranded but they are certainly not a false economy. I use the Sizzix Bigshot die cutting machine, and all have been compatible. The pros (price, quality of cut, huge range of designs, sturdy, in-line with trends) outweigh the cons (slow delivery and no magnetic sheet). The papermania die storage folder is a must if you plan to purchase a lot of these unbranded cheap dies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Wedding Card using Spellbinders Cutting Dies

 

Adorning Squares

It’s wedding season!  You have your outfit sorted and you’ve chosen a gift!  Now you just need a beautful card that won’t be a duplicate!  One of my friends received the same weddding card from 6 guests when she got married last year!  Ultimately, her favourite was a simple handmade one created by her aunt!  Here I wil show you an easy card making design (suitable as a card or wedding invitation) using one of my favourite Spelbinders dies – ‘Adorning Sqaures’.

You will need:

  1. White Square Card Blank measuring 4×4″ (10x10cm).Spellbinders cutting dies
  2. Spellbinders Cutting Dies ‘Adorning Sqaures’
  3. Metallic silver card
  4. Butterfly Dies
  5. Wedding sentiment
  6. Die cutting machine (I use the Sizzix Bigshot)
  7. Adhesives – I use small foam pads and Pritt Stick!
  8. Small rhinestone stickers/gems or pearls.

Making the Wedding card

You will need just 2 of the dies from the Adorning Sqaures Set. Place the outer die on the the card front, then run through the die cutting machine. I run them through several times to ensure a good clean cut. You then need to repeat that process with the second die.

 

Die cut your chosen butterfly in metallic card.  I use silver, but you could use any colour to suit your recepient. Adhere your butterfly die cuts to the upper centre of the the card.  Cut a sentiment to size and adhere below the butterfly using foam pads. I have used a foil greeting from my stash here but a stamped sentiment would be just as good!  Finally adhere some small gems to add a little sparkle.  That’s it! A quick simple card design you could use for wedding invitiations, wedding acceptance cards, annversaries and many other occasions!

Versatile Dies – get the most from Adorning Squares

I love this die set.  As with all Spellbinders dies, they can be used for so many different projects. Here are some more cards I have made using this set:

Spellbinders

Spellbinders dies

Spellbinders Adorning squares

Feedback

I welcome feedback!  I would love to see your creations using ideas and craft supplies featured in this post! Happy crafting!

 

 

 

 

Book Folding For Beginners

 

Book Folding is a fabulous low cost paper craft that anyone can do. People often say to me ‘oh I couldn’t do that, it’s far too complicated’ or ‘I wouldn’t have a clue where to start’. In truth, the finished result masks this craft as being far more difficult than it is! If you can count and fold paper, you can master book art! I have written this article for beginners wishing to try this beautiful paper craft technique.

Getting started – essential supplies for book folding

Unlike some crafts, you don’t need to invest in any fancy specialist tools that cost the earth!

Firstly, finding books is super easy and inexpensive. If you don’t have any old ones you wish to re-purpose, you’ll find plenty suitable ones in charity shops/second hand stores, jumble sales, pound stores etc. I generally pay 50p for a good paperback and up to £1.50 for hardbacks. Once you have the book for your project you will need the following:

  1. A good paper creaser – also known as a bone folder. My favorite is by Papermania next cost about £2. Some people like to use old store cards. As long as you can get a crisp fold, the choice is yours.
  2. A 30cm ruler. I find transparent, non-flexible rulers to be best.
  3. A good pencil. I always use mechanical ones – no sharpener required.
  4. A pencil eraser.

Best Bookfold for Beginners – The Birdcage

The easiest project to start with is ‘The birdcage’. For this, all you need is a paperback book with a minimum of 180 numbered pages. For beginners, I recommend a book with 200-250 numbered pages. Remove the cover completely, and simply follow the steps in the images below:

Step by step book folding instructions

1. Fold the top right hand corner across to the spine 

2. Fold the bottom right hand side across to the spine

Birdcage Book fold

3. Fold this folded piece to the left

4. Repeat steps 1-3 with every page. It will start to look like this…..

5. The finished birdcage

 

Book Folding Tips for the Birdcage

  1. Use your paper creaser on every fold! The sharper the fold, the better the result.
  2. Fold as close to the spine as possible – try to make that first fold on each page parallel with the spine.
  3. Fold on a flat surface – at a table is best.

Conclusion

And there you have it! You’ve folded your first book! Now you can embellish the birdcage. I like to use paper flowers, die cut birds and ribbon. Get creative and customize your Birdcage. I’d love to see your projects! Happy folding!

 

 

 

 

About PaperCraft & Cardmaking

A very warm welcome to Papercraft & Cardmaking.

My Background

Hi! My name is Eliza and I am a 30 something Mum from the UK. I have had a fascination with paper since I was a child, thanks to the origami features in Rupert the Bear annuals I received every Christmas! I developed an anxiety disorder quite young and would always ‘play with paper’ as a distraction technique. In my late teens, I became interested in card making. I began acquiring ‘supplies’ and now have quite a stash! In recent years I have also learned how re purpose old books with ‘book folding’.

As I mentioned, I developed an anxiety condition during childhood. This can be debilitating, isolating and quite frankly horrific. Over time, I have learnt to manage this condition and my love of papercrafts plays a very important role in my well-being. Feeling agitated? I pick up a square of paper and start folding. Panicky? I sift through my stash of my ‘almost too beautiful to ever use’ papers. Need some me time? Yes, you guessed it, it’s papercraft time. Whether it’s making, browsing media for ideas or shopping for new materials, I just love paper!

More recently I have discovered book folding. This therapeutic craft is one I am keen to share and I will be Looking for volunteers to test my designs – watch this space!

Being a Mum, with a full time job, I don’t always have as much time to craft as I would like. I make what I can, and sell locally in a crafters shop. My 10 year old daughter is following in my footsteps now, eager to create and see her designs in the shop too.

The reason I have made this site….

Papercraft is my obsession. It brings calmness and pleasure. Simply put, I want to share my joy of papercrafts with others. I hope that others can find enjoyment and calm through papercrafts too. I fully believe that having a creative hobby can be a real asset to ones mental health.

My goals

To share ideas, techniques and resources with all who love paper. I wish to share my projects to inspire others and hope to learn from others too!

To promote book folding and increase it’s popularity! It is a very low cost craft and a super way to re purpose old books!

If you ever need a hand or have any questions or suggestions for this site, please drop me a line.

All the best,

Eliza.

Papercraft & Cardmaking