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Basic Card Making Techniques

Just about all the cards and accessories you need are available in craft shops such as cards with apertures but it is still best to know how to cut your own. You may want a style or design that cannot be done without a few cuts or adjustments so these basic card making techniques can be invaluable when it comes to making your cards look professional. If you cut a line which is not quite straight then you will notice it and so will your customers, you need to be professional about everything.


Scoring then folding


If your card or paper needs to be folded then it is advantageous to score the line first to give you a professional finish to your folds.

  • Turn your work over so the outside is facing down then mark where the score line is to be with two pencil marks.
  • Then line up your metal ruler with the marks. If you have not got a scoring tool then use a blunt point to score your lines. An item such as an empty ballpoint pen will work well to draw down the line so that you can see an indent in the paper.
  • You then need to fold the paper or card with both hands an press it down firmly. If possible use the side edge of a bone folder to press the edge firmly.




You need to use the right tools to get a clean professional cut. The craft knife you choose needs to be sharp and you need a flat clear surface to work on with a flat metal ruler.

  • Mark where you want to cut on the paper of card with two or three pencil marks, depending on the size.
  • You then need to line up the metal ruler with your marks. Hold the ruler firmly in place, this is easier to do standing, and then draw the knife along the line towards you.




If you want to add a bit more depth and character to your work then you may wish to tear your paper rather than cut it with a knife.

  • To gain a relatively straight line with ease then you must tear along the grain.
  • If you want an uneven tear then simply go against the grain.
  • For a straight edge with the bonus of a torn effect then tear your paper using a ruler.


Aperture Cutting


An aperture is the hole that is in the middle of the card; apertures are not always used but are an effective technique to use for great cards.

  • Mark out the aperture required using a ruler, pencil and set square.
  • Line up a metal ruler and cut the first line using a sharp craft knife, always place the ruler over the piece you are keeping.
  • Repeat the process on the other sides ensuring that you only cut where you need to and no further.
  • When you have completed your cutting the middle section should just fall away. If it does not the always cut the extra pieces and never rip them as this gives a poor finish.


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