Here are some of the common terms for items that are used in handmade cardmaking. Although they are common, it is not necessarily obvious to a beginner what they are. I have written my understanding of what each item is and what it is used for in your handmade cardmaking projects.
Blank Card and Card Stock
A blank card is just what it says – a plain card with no design or writing on it yet. You can buy these as card kits but you can also make your own with plain paper. Usually you will use card stock which is a heavier weight of paper than normal writing paper. It is normally 100 to 250 gsm weight which is the lightest cardstock to the super heavy kind. The craft stores often sell pieces of this paper in sizes that are handy for making cards by just folding the piece of paper in half. If you want a smaller card you can cut it in half and then fold in half. Card stock also comes in sheets so that you can cut or tear the paper to the size that you want.
This is used to create a neat crisp fold for your card. A bone folder looks like a tongue depressor that has a point at one end. The pointed end is used first to score the paper along the fold line and then the side is used to press the fold nice and flat. It is also possible to use it for pressing down stickers or make sure all the air is out from under a paper that you are gluing down. The reason it is called a bone folder is because originally they were made out of animal bones. This allowed them to be made strong and smooth. However, today most of them are made of plastic. This is not an essential tool but it can make your card look more professional with a nice sharp fold.
A paper trimmer is simply a tool that is used to trim paper such as your card stock, decorative paper, photos etc. to the size you want for the card you are making. It is not an essential tool. You can use a pair of scissors but it makes it easier to cut straight lines. You can also use a ruler and an X-acto knife or a craft knife. Paper trimmers come in different sizes and some can cut through a stack of paper at one time. This really cuts the time required for your handmade cardmaking tasks unless you have purchased your paper already cut to the size you want to use.
A pop-dot is simply a piece of double sided tape with a piece of foam in the middle. When it is placed on the card and then another item placed on top of it, a 3 dimensional effect is created. They are usually small and come in various shapes. Once again this is not an essential item but rather something that makes your work easier.
Hopefully you can now follow some of the instructions you find for your handmade cardmaking without sitting and wondering what in the world they are talking about. Instead you can get started working right away.