How to save money on craft materials and improve our creativity
Sometimes I am surprised how expensive the crafting hobby can be. Not because of the enormous price of the materials, but because of the constant temptation. How not to buy these new designs, how no to try this new instrument… In the end of the year, putting adding everything up, we realise how much money we lost with stuff which we’ve used only once – just to try it.
And then these bitter jokes: “I don’t need less craft material, I just need a bigger craft room”. Or “a bigger home” or other variations. While this is a joke, things are not a problem. But when it becomes the reality it is not so nice. A lot of crafters, mostly women, are literally buried under cubic metres of craft supplies. They are losing a lot of time to find exactly what they need each time they start a project. They also lose a lot of time to “organise” all these treasures and after a certain point even organizing stops working. We start losing more and more of our precious time and the worst thing is we start losing our creativity. This happens, because we expect “the materials” to “show” us, to actually “make” our craft. I know it because I was there, so believe me.
So, in this article I will show you how to make a whole collection of Valentine’s greeting cards, starting with only white paper. I will be using also a very reduced number of tools and will give you some hacks on how to save money not buying some “important” supplies.
Let’s start our Capsule Craft Valentines!
The white paper
White paper is a philosophy. Looking at a pure sheet of good quality white paper I am always amazed. It is full of possibilities, sleeping ideas, great ways to follow.
So, using my beloved Sizzix Big shot machine, I cut different elements from pure white watercolour paper.
Talking about sharing my how-to hacks with you, I will tell you why I am calling my Sizzix Big shot “beloved”. Excluding the paper guillotines which I inherited from great-grand father, my Big shot is the instrument I have had for the longest time. The guillotines were made in the times when people believed in good quality, so they created things, which can work for decades. Or even longer.
I believe my Big shot was created with this same philosophy. It is the simplest model – not electric only manual. Simple mechanics, which has been with me almost 7 years, and has been working very hard almost every day. I prefer this mechanical model rather than an electric one, because I can feel the pressure, can feel the reaction of the instrument. We are working together. And somehow, I believe we will keep working together for many more years. This instrument has survived not only my work, but also my colleague’s little kids games and experiments. You know how the little ones are not at all careful. And it has also survived my experiments with cutting and embossing pure thick leather… I will share in my Twitter profile a picture of one of the bags I made, embossing leather – I still use it.
So, this is why I highly recommend this instrument and keep calling it “my beloved”.
Black and white Capsule craft supplies
Stamping is another activity I like very much. It gives lots of opportunities to try different impressions.
In my Capsule Craft collection black and white are the colours which are “must haves”. Black paper and white paper, black markers and white markers, black ink and white ink. So, I stamped some images and also drew, by hand, some simple, a little bit “naive” flowers.
The instruments I used for the colouring were pink, orange and red markers – water and alcohol based. And also, a water container brush, which is another one of my favourite tools from the first day I tried it.
Of, course, these colours are only an example, you can choose anything you want, because this will be your imagination and your Capsule Craft Valentines project.
With the markers I made all my 5 backgrounds
… and also – coloured all the elements I cut earlier. You will see this muffin top later, when it is already ready.
Working with markers is one of my favourite techniques. Especially mixing water and alcohol-based ones.
The water-based markers make great watercolour effects, which became a part of my personal style. The alcohol-based help me when I need very strong colours and bright well-defined lines.
See more results: before and after.
My favourite money saving hacks
Do you know? I do not buy any of these self-adhesive foam pieces, which to create a 3D effect in the cards. I always use the cardboard back covers of the white paper notebooks I am using. If I need a bigger piece, I can easily cut a bigger piece. If I need a smaller one… You understand me. These back covers are great. They are made from a quality cardboard, which provides good support if you decide to draw, holding the notebook on your lap. When the notebook is finished, there are not many things you can do with them, because the cardboard is not beautiful. But it is great to create this 3D effect. And I am also using it not only in square or round shapes, but sometimes I cut the same shape as the element over it which makes the result more interesting.
Do you recognise here the muffin top from the earlier photos? All the elements in all my greeting cards are glued with these cardboard pieces. There is not even a millimetre of a foam adhesive.
Another money saving hack is this: I am saving even small pieces of the high-quality white paper. If it suits my smallest die or stamp, I keep it. All the elements you see in these cards are made from these small pieces, not from a big piece of paper.
See, a whole small collection of Capsule Craft Valentines, made only from white paper and markers which you can find even in your child’s desk drawers. This way you can make your own envelope designs, gift tags and anything else you can imagine. Isn’t it great?
Enjoy your craft time!
And something more, but not compulsory…
If you are curious about how my Capsule craft collection happened – here is the link to the book:
This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and buy something, I may get a portion of the sale at no cost to you. With these links I promote products and services that I am using and think are excellent. It also helps me make a living off of this site so I can keep creating content for you. Thank you for helping me! ♥ P.S. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and continue to stand by!