Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Myth of the Hand Made Card

Do you remember the first time you were introduced to card making? I bet you do! And do you remember when the thought first came into your head "This could save me a lot of money!"

Bwa ha ha ha ha!

Of course, the demonstrator at that home party would be the last person to tell you any differently! After all, she, too, was once the person with that same thought. That was before she'd invested hundreds and thousands of dollars in this money saving enterprise!

I am attending a bible study called "Freed Up Financial Living" this month. This week, we'd learned a very important philosophy. Saving is not money you've lost or given up the use of- it's future spending. In other words, saving is money you keep!

Let's take, for example, this lovely store bought card. It has a cute image and a sweet sentiment... two stamps. Many different pads. Differently colored images...markers, pencils, brushes, or other coloring mediums. Different patterns...patterned papers. It is, in fact, dry embossing machine and embossing dies or plates. It has a glittered image...glitter glue or embossing powder.

Just like that, this card that cost me less than fifty cents to purchase has now cost me well over one hundred dollars to recreate. To recoup my loss, I'd have to make hundreds of variations of this same card over time.

"But it's therapy!" I hear this time and time again. It makes me wonder how many of the mentally ill are truly using paper crafting as a therapy medium in their asylums. :)

I recently went to Hobby Lobby and spent an hour in the Dayspring card aisle. I found so many beautiful cards! And can we just be honest here...the sentiments in rubber stamp form rarely match the quality produced by good writers at the card companies.

I purchased some lovely cards, I did not have to break the bank to do it, and I managed to fill up a lot of slots in my card organizer.

Why is this so important to me?

When I was a card maker, I would make a card for a challenge, just to have something to put in my gallery or post on my blog. Two or three challenges a week, and that adds up to over one hundred cards a week. The cards were rarely for an occasion that I truly needed, and so they would sit in a big pile in my craft room, just adding to the piles of paper clutter.

I can't begin to tell you how freeing it was to know that I could buy a card, stick a stamp on the envelope (no cards too bulky for postage from the card aisle!), and mail it. Actually, I've already mailed out three, and it feels good!

I am not ready to give away all of my paper crafting supplies just yet. I may use them for some totally different crafty purpose in the future. But for now, I feel freed from the need to constantly spend and craft in this one narrow medium.

Have you spent any time in the card aisle lately? You will be inspired!

Blessings on your crafty Saturday, friends!


  1. Okay...seriously? I don't think anyone EVER thought that making cards would save money. One look at the Stampin Up Catalogue will show you that the price of a stamp set is my card budget for the year! Haha... But it is a creative outlet for many and I am all for that...if it fits in with their budget. Any craft can become costly without personal discipline (thanks Dave Ramsey) I can't believe you found the need to purchase ANY cards with your stock pile. Don't fool yourself, your cards were always lovely. Don't toss them...I will buy some off of you. Much love.

  2. I think every craft has its "saving money" myth...I'll sew my own clothes to save money, make my own jewelry to save money, knit my own scarves to save money, etc. We tell ourselves this initially to justify the big expense. If the hobby fits in one's budget (and in ones' allotted space) then it's all good. Let's make a deal...I'll swap you cards for candles!
    love to you!

  3. It's so funny that I read this now - my husband came in just the other day and commented that the cards in the store look like they're copying cardmakers, and they were all $4 or $5!

    I never pretended to save money - it was a hobby that I enjoy and even though I have other creative pursuits as well, the creative process is good for mental health and long life (ask an art therapist!), and this hobby has inspired me in other artwork as well. It really is a very individual thing.

    The cards you show here are absolutely lovely! I used to spend a lot of time in card stores . . .loving the images but hating the sentiments or vice versa. So choosing for myself has been a blessing :) .

    I do know exactly how you feel about the cards stacking up - I finally got some ready to sell in a shop. Now I just have to be sure not to fall into the trap of making something specifically for a shop and not because I want to ~ then it's become work and who wants that, right?!

    Lots of food for thought, Mary Rose, and like everything else we do, it is wise to evaluate its place in our lives from time to time. I may give it all up myself one day. . . you just never know.

    Thanks for sharing your story!!!

  4. I love your post, Mary Rose! It's true...this therapy is expensive, I thought I could sell my cards at some point and make money out of that, instead I've decided to donate them to our church for their annual bazaar.