Card parties and out reach ministries

I wanted to set up a page dedicated to teaching and outreach on a small and larger scale.  The average person like you and me rub shoulders with thousands of people in the course of our adult lives.  What would happen if for a season of our life we reached out with our art: our card making and worked at encouraging others in the circumstances of their lives?  I've been doing this for a long time and I have seen good things happen through this medium. I would like to share how I do this!  My primary mission is to reach out with the Gospel.  I do not try to impose my bible or my beliefs.

I understand you may not have those beliefs or that ambition, but I'd still like to help you with teaching and reaching.  So if you would like to start having card parties for what ever reason I am writing up this to help you do that and be a success.

I hope this  will help you To:

 Have fun with other crafty friends,

Teach others to make cards.

Start a card ministry.

Tutorial #1
Starting Up Card Parties, especially for the beginner.

Tutorial #2
Card Parties for the intermediate group

Tutorial #3
Card Parties for the advanced group.

Tutorial #5
Starting a card ministry in your local church.

Tutorial #1

Starting your Card parties is much easier than you think!  A real key here is not to overthink this.  If you are starting with brand new 'I've never made a card before' people you have to keep it simple or you will lose them before the glue dries!  I will start with that group. 

Keep it simple and keep it small, I would have no more than 3 at the most 4 people in this category.  these newbies will ask you all kinds of questions and keep you busy demonstrating how to hold the stamp and how to use adhesive.    For this group, I would plan on your activity period lasting 90 minutes.  Have three sample cards prepared and packaged in kits, each card in its own package - use a baggie, a cello bag and have everything they will need.  You don't need to give them a supply list, once they start stamping they will get it!!  If you use liquid glue, make sure you tell them how to use it and where they can buy it, same for the tape runners, they are easy to use but not everyone can afford them.   If you will be making a lot of cards, I highly recommend Lineco brand glue, it is made for bookbinding,  I have been using it for over a decade, It is awesome and you can get a gallon on Amazon for about 50.00.  That is a lot of glue and a whole lot cheaper than tape runners
For the first card keep it really simple. Demo how to ink up the stamp, center the image, and then press the image on to the paper.  Have lots of practice papers. A key here is a very attractive background paper to keep their interest.  Make the first card EASY!!!  Your guests will feel encouraged and eager to move on to the next project

Here is an example of a simple card to start with:

Simple supplies are cut and ready to basically just assemble.  Use a good heavy-weight card stock for the base.

Who wouldn't love this?  I did change my verse stamp, I was having a hard time getting that older stamp inked correctly

You can even stamp your focal images ahead of time for your guests.

These cards are half sheet size, the printed paper was from a 6.5x4.5 stack, and black liners were cut from an 8.5x11 sheet of 65lb sheet of card stock.  One card would cost about 35 cents to make. with an envelope.  Charging for your classes will often be appropriate and that charge depends on the area you live in, but it is something to keep in mind. 

Next, The intermediate group.

For this group, you will be working with people who know the basics and have begun to develop their own styles.  This is a fun group, you can have kits made up and teach a technique.  I do one technique per class for the intermediate group.  I never try to force someone to make a card exactly the way I do, Some people love to play and work with what they have, I say let them enjoy thier time!

When I Host a card "party or a workshop" I always have refreshments- it is just what I prefer- depending on what day and what time I may have a light lunch or supper!  I want to make this a great experience.  

For this intermediate class, my technique was using digital and watercolor and digital.  I've hosted these wherever we have lived, this one was in our home in MA, and my only available space was my dining room, which was great!

In our new home in New York, I've been blessed to have half of my basement made into my craft room, and that keeps changing too!

seems like we are always renovating!

For Advanced card parties, I prefer a group no large than six, I will usually share at least two techniques
I always teach color theory and composition.

I do not demo for any companies and I do not sell products,   The only thing I sell is paper and envelopes.  I teach being frugal in crafting and not buying the latest and greatest, but really working with the mediums that you love and getting good with the things you already own before moving on.
I love to demonstrate different mediums and let the folks play with them.

When I am building a team for card ministry, I do not charge and I give away a lot of supplies.  I feel like it is a part of my "casting bread upon the waters"

When I am doing this for non-ministry, I charge according to the class level.

Beginners 4 cards and refreshments - 15.00 about 90 minutes

Intermediate 5 cards and refreshments -20.00 about 2.5 hours

Advanced 4-5 cards, refreshments -25.00 about 4 hours
I supply everything
Usually, people are very happy to purchase paper and envelopes - 
I sell 25 sheets with 50 envelopes A2
25 sheets with 25 envelopes A6 and A7 and  A9 size .

For church card ministry, I make cards in what I would call the intermediate range - time and cost have to be considered, I use very good paper usually A6 size
For Nursing home: Cheer Boxes, I make big  A7 cards and a lot of digitals - working with Vision impaired folks I am careful to use very cheerful colors and sentiments

I do give classes for each of those types of cards,
I also teach bible journaling

I do spend a lot of money on the materials, I hope to someday cover the cost with paper sales.  Until then I still work, we live a modest lifestyle and I search for sales and FB Market Place deals!
I have worked in the past on quite a few design teams, hoping the product I received would cover the need in classes, but in the end, It never even came close, I am a part-time Legal Assitant, and that job covers my cost.  
I know this isn't something everyone can do, and they need to make a profit and I am working to that end or at least a break-even!!

So this is what I do in a nutshell, I have been doing this since 1994 - I have been a demonstrator for a large stamp company and I enjoyed it but it was too much work for me at that time as a single working parent.  For me, it has been a choice between Ministry and Marketing.  I choose Ministry.

I hope you found this helpful with a few things to tuck into your mental files!




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