My favorite card-making books

You night recall my stamp inventorying last spring. I sent off some copyright protected stamps to friends for their families to use. One asked for project suggestions for the summer, so I sent along a list of my favorite stamp books.

donated stamps

If your resolution is to make more cards, write more cards, be more crafty this year, these might help. I linked to Amazon just because it’s easy, but you should be able to find these titles at the bookstore of your choice.

Maike's Marvels craft books about card-making

In order of my favorites:

Making Greeting Cards With Rubber Stamps by MaryJo McGraw 

This is one of my favorite beginner books. I like that it focuses on a specific technique with each chapter and then shows sample projects at the end of each chapter. This one has a lot of ‘hand-photos’—showing step by step how a technique works. Many motifs will appeal to children, but it is a good adult book too.

Discover Rubber Stamping by Terri Earl McEwen and Jennie Hulme

This is one of my first books about stamping. I borrowed it from the library and then purchased my own. It shows basic techniques and required materials, provides card projects and then goes into stamping on to fabric, wood, and food. I like the step-by-step hand pictures showing the technique. This book would appeal to children as some of the patterns are simple and child-themed. It also has more elaborate projects.

The Great Rubber Stamp Book: Designing Making Using by Dee Gruenig

Going by memory, this was the second book I picked up from the library about stamping. Similar to the two titles above it shows basic stamping techniques. Those who love Dee Gruenig’s Posh Impressions designs and her colors will enjoy being taught straight from her.

I find Dee to be quite inspirational and highly recommend her DVD: Crafting Your Career with Dee Gruenig if you’re a fan.

Stamp Art: 15 original rubber stamp projects by Sharilyn Miller

This book has a good introduction of the type of materials needed, and then goes into the creation of beautiful background materials for cards. The techniques covered can be seen on the Table of Contents. This book veers toward mixed media and appeals to those who like vintage imagery.

Handcrafted Cards: From Elegant to Whimsical 60 Distinctive Designs to Make By Paige Gilchrist 

This book appeals to me visually and has been quite inspiring. Focused more on mixed media than rubber stamping per se, it shows numerous ideas on how to incorporate found objects, office supplies and other materials into a greeting card. The instructions are written word only, with only the final products displayed in a photo.

Making Greeting Cards With Creative Materials By MaryJo McGraw

Like handcrafted cards above, this book moves away from rubber stamping and focuses on using other items to create greeting cards. Those who like collecting vintage ephemera, steampunk embellishments and random pieces of ribbon will like this book.

Rubber Stamp Extravaganza By Vesta Abel

This book introduced me to penscore and almost leather. The aesthetic is southwestern (coppers and browns and kokopelli motifs) and focuses on various items around the home (lamps, frames etc.). I do like the chapter on metal embossing. While the book inspired me to obtain many supplies mentioned in it, I have not yet implemented the projects (my resolution for this year!).

Stenciling & Embossing Greeting Cards: 18 Quick Creative, Unique & Easy-To-Do Projects by Judith Barker

I found this book on sale and it is the only book I have that focuses on stenciling techniques. As such, it is a good overview and it provides stencil templates to photocopy and cut out. I may have made one stenciled card with this book, but I hope to do more in the future.

The Michaels Book of Paper Crafts

For those who love paper, this book provides a comprehensive overview of all you can do with it: Scarpbooking, card making, book and journal making, decoupage, paper folding, paper mache and paper clay, collage, paper punching/piercing, quilling, rolling and weaving, and surface design. Now that I’m looking at it again I’ll keep it out to do some fun projects in here. This colorful book is for young and old alike. Instructions are provided in words and the end result is shown in a photo.

Creative greeting cards (Reader’s Digest) by Caroline Green

This book has a lot of templates that would be helpful for children. It has a segment on potato and linoleum cutting and also covers embroidery on cards. Quilling, paper collage, and painting are also covered with templates to photocopy and emulate. It has good instructional drawings and provides a nice overview of greeting card making in general.

Handmade Greetings for All Occasions: 85 Cards, Gift Tags, and Invitations by Better Homes & Gardens 

I purchased this at a discount and for that it has nice content. Focused on various holidays throughout the year, it shows a wide variety of projects that appeals to a variety of people. It’s a good beginners book for someone who wants to dabble in various techniques before focusing on a specific one.

Rubber Stamp Celebrations: Dazzling Projects from Personal Stamp Exchange

Sadly PSX is no longer in business. The first 27 pages cover stamping techniques on different surfaces. It then offers templates for folded boxes. Pages 30-32 offer design techniques. Then common celebrations are covered by holiday. The cards are fairly elaborate but the individual projects only have the final card as a photo, and instructions are provided in words only. This book appeals to those who like swirls and floral patterns.

Great Rubber Stamping: Ideas, Tips and Techniques by Judy Ritchie and Jamie Kilmartin 

This book has a wide range of designs from child focused to floral to some with a vintage feel. It is fun to leaf through for inspiration, but in terms of instructions I prefer the other books ranked higher on this list.

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