L.M. Reid is an Irish writer who has published many articles. She has a keen interest in creating crafts.
How to Run a Successful Card Business
Are you looking to create a craft that you can sell online and at craft shows? I show you where and how to buy craft supplies for a home based greeting card business. I give you useful information here. Step by step instructions with videos and photos on how to start and run a successful card business.
In This Article
- What craft supplies you will need and which are optional
- Where to buy blank greeting cards
- Which are the best places to buy craft supplies
- How to get cheap and varied materials
- Where to go to get free bits and pieces
- The items needed to make your own greeting cards at home
Making Cards at Home
You will not have to buy many craft supplies at first. Just a small pack of blank cards and some glue. Then you can use what you have around the house to create a card or two. Try out some designs and see if you can produce some unique cards.
Once you know you are capable of creating some nice cards then you have a decision to make. Do you want to make these in bulk? It is a lot cheaper to buy supplies in bulk online. These are the blank cards and envelopes I use. They are great value and do the job perfectly.
Market Research for a Greeting Card Business
I make a lot of different crafts to sell at shows so when I tried out this particular card making craft I was able to see that they sell very well. If you decide not to sell them you can use those you have already made as cards for your family and friends.
Essential Supplies and Equipment
The following items are essential to make this craft business successful
- Blank greeting cards and envelopes
- Buttons, beads, dried and fabric flowers, material, ribbons etc
- Large containers
- Small boxes
- Use of a computer and printer
Extra Supplies and Equipment
- Digital Camera
- Laptop or computer
- Good photo software
- Memory stick
- Pencil and pen
Where to Buy Affordable Supplies
There are a number of ways to find cheap or free supplies for you greeting card business. Get creative and do some exploring to find unique and affordable materials that will help your cards stand out.
Garage and Car Boot Sales
These are excellent places to look for second-hand and cheap craft supplies. People just want to get rid of their stuff and you will pick up some excellent bargains. Buttons, beads, dried flowers, fabrics, pieces of material, etc.
If you are only starting out then also look out for containers of all shapes and sizes. You will need these once you get going for all your bits and pieces to keep them stored and easy to access. It will make your new craft business so much easier to control.
Charity shops are also a good source of items. It depends on where you live in the world for this option to be viable.
Free Craft Supplies
Gather anything you think might work to make a greeting card from your own home that is not used anymore. Ask your extended family or friends to keep small items for you. Once you have made a few cards you will know what works and what does not. You can then look out for the exact supplies you will need.
These are expensive especially when you intend to sell your greeting cards for a profit. There is a way to buy supplies when they are cheaper. But if you live close to a few craft shops you can watch out for their special offers and sales.
I have picked up some really great bargains this way. Most larger craft shops have a website. You can sign up for email alerts when they have special offers and sales.
Blank Cards and Envelopes
I buy these in a pack of 50 cards and 50 envelopes for £5. They come in all white or cream and also one side white with various colours and lots of sizes too. I prefer the card to be 7 x 5 inches because it is the most common commercial card size. Its familiarity encourages more sales
A bottle or tube of good quality glue is important. It depends what materials you are using as to which strength of adhesive you will need. Test it out on the surface to see which one works best. The sticking ability is the most important.
But also take into account how any excess glue cleans off the surface of the card. How easy is it to wash off your hands and clothes. These things will matter if you intend to use this craft as a way of making money.
You can buy packets of paper cheaply in a craft shop. I can get a packet of paper in different shapes, sizes and textures for €1. This is important so you can get variations of styles on your cards. There are also realms of paper which are a lot cheaper still. But I would only buy these at a later stage if you are making and selling lots of cards and know exactly what you need
Buttons, Beads, Dried and Fabric Flowers
Until you start to be creative you will not know what type of other things you will need. Gather up bits and pieces from the second hand market, family and friends first. Buttons and beads are good to use because they stick easily and the different shapes, colours and textures give you plenty of options to create a beautiful greeting card.
Flowers made from fabric are cheap and the petals can be cut off to create nice eye catching displays. Some dried flowers can also be nice but they are a lot harder to glue onto the surface. Ribbons and wool are what I use to frame the card and create the overall look. I used scraps I had from the house and bit I got from the family. Once I knew what way I would be using these I then bought new larger pieces when they were on sale at the craft shop.
Boxes and Containers
As you can imagine there is going to be lots of small items that need to be sorted and stored. If you have a shop that sells items for the same cheap price like a pound or dollar then this is the best shop to buy the larger boxes and containers.
The smaller boxes can be found on the cooking shelf in most stores but they are perfect for the task. Have a system where all these extra items can be put in boxes where you can easily access them once you start. Clear containers are best so you can see what are in them without the need to open them first.
Making Greeting Cards that Make Money
Start your craft business slowly but methodically. At this stage you will not know what works when creating the cards. Take out a plain blank card and add whatever you think looks good.
Do not use any glue. Once you have hit on a perfect mix of paper, buttons, fabric etc stick the pieces onto the card. You can add greetings and wishes for birthday or Christmas inside the card. Or you can leave it blank
Experimentation is the Key to Success
You will have some wastage but in the long run this method is worth the extra time and effort. Once you have hit on a few designs that are unique and interesting you can then use eight to ten different ones as your core stock. If you are starting out you will have to take a chance that the designs on these cards are what the customer wants to buy.
Once you sell at your first craft fair you will see which ones sell best and get feedback from the customers. They are the ones with the money. So listen to them! Just because you have a favourite colour or design does not mean your customers agree. Give the buyer what they want.
You can add new designs too that will keep things fresh and interesting for you and try these on your next customers. The advantage of knowing your market is that you can now source and buy your materials in bulk because you have established a market for your creations.
I make greeting cards and sell them at craft shows. This craft is one of many that earns me a part time income. The cards are always popular and sell well. I have written an article that show you in step by step detail how I make these greeting cards.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
Question: I want to start a new business selling greeting cards. What should my first step be?
Answer: That all depends on what kind of business it will be. If you intend to make your own greeting cards and then start up a home based business selling them, then I would advise you to make some cards first. See if you can create lots of greeting cards that are of good quality that can be sold at craft shows.
If you intend to sell commercial greeting cards online or to stores, then the first thing you will need to do is source your stock at a good wholesale price. This, in my opinion, is an area that is already covered by the big companies and would not be very successful.
Question: What can I call my business?
Answer: Naming your small business should be taken seriously. Think of the products you sell and the customers you are targeting.
That said it depends on which country you are from as far as what rules to follow when you register a business name.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on January 06, 2018:
Selling cards that you have made yourself at craft shows and fairs makes good business sense. They are easy and fun to make and can be added to your other items on the table to draw in extra customers.
Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 11, 2015:
Beautiful samples of cards to make. Love cards that are home made.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on March 27, 2014:
Making your own greeting cards is fun and can save you money. Yes collecting Christmas cards and crackers kikalina is a very good idea. With Mother's Day coming up you will have plenty of supplies to work with
kikalina from Europe on January 01, 2014:
We have just recycled the crackers from christmas lunch for card making. You have some good tips. Thanks for sharing.
Marie Hurt from New Orleans, LA on June 07, 2013:
Very nice and creative ideas here. I always just print my cards on the computer, but these ideas would add a little more spice homemade cards.
L M Reid (author) from Ireland on April 27, 2013:
I do enjoy making these cards and it is great that I can make money from them too. A great combination lol.
Thank you Monis Mas for taking the time to leave a comment
Agnes on December 18, 2012:
Cool stuff! Very useful! Thanks!