They say there is a card for every occasion, and those occasions are increasing. Taking a walk into any major card retail shop reveals the magnitude of events to celebrate and goals to mark. Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, wedding, sympathy, get well soon and congratulations are the main stay, but these paper tokens are becoming ever more specialized. It can be a hard job to find a card for a friend that just reads happy birthday; it's more likely to read 'happy birthday to my best friend's cousin and her hamster'
That is assuming it is a birthday you are trying to buy for. There is every chance you'll have to wade through a forest of cards to find one that congratulates a graduation, praises passing a driving test, applauds achieving a bronze medal at the school sports day or wishing a big bag of well done on learning to skydive dressed as a fairy! There is probably even a card to send someone who sent you a great card. The greetings card industry must be booming; my wallet is becoming empty. It is estimated that the average Joe sends 55 cards a year. Surely that doesn't include Christmas. I estimate that to be about 150 quid a year out of my bank account and into the recycling bin.
The trouble with so many cards for so many occasions is that the gift of giving one becomes relatively meaningless; a paper parade of popularity and rarely tokens to treasure. An injection of personality and giving something personal is needed to overcome such apathy. It's time to take matters into ones own hands. It's time to tool up with pritt stick and glitter glue, finger paints and stickers. It's time to customise some cards. The home made card industry is booming. Dedicated followers can subscribe to specialist magazines to learn the nuances of this papery talent.
There is a huge variety of card making supplies on the market. Embossed papers and cards, decals and customised stamps fill the shelves of craft shops. Feathers, bows, and sticky backed gems adorn the trinket racks in art supply departments. It is a world where you get to experiment and be a kid again, bringing back memories of never ending glitter showers and sequins. This homestead hobby can even turn out to be a bit of a money maker. In an avoidance of generic ten a penny cards, specialist card shops stock homemade delights by crafty types using anything from etched foil to jelly babies.
In fact, handmade cards are doing a great trade online, as are all the suppliers to the card makers. With such a wealth of materials available, to stock every variety would take a warehouse longer than the channel tunnel and require a jet pack to reach the top shelf. Card making supplies encompass the usual stationary items of cards and envelopes, but it makes a change to be able to experiment with colour and texture and escape the drudgery of the manila gummed envelope.
Making your own greeting cards means giving a friend a piece of yourself, it becomes a gift. It is an artwork. The endearing quality of a hand crafted card touches on the same emotion that means there is a box in the loft with all your childhood paintings in. There has been thought, love and consideration imbibed in the fabrication of the papery token. It is no longer a throwaway gesture that gets thrown away; it is a token gesture that has the potential to be treasured.
Shaun Parker is a stationary expert with many years of experience in the paper industry. Find out more about colour envelopes and to see our huge range of envelopes and use our envelope chooser visit Colour Envelopes.