People often ask what cardmaking and/or scrapbooking tools they need to buy first when starting out. Although there are aisles full of tools in any craft store (and many pages in any catalog!) there are certain tools that could be considered the basic “must-have” tools of a card-maker/scrapbooker.
Here are some of the ones that I use every single time.
1. The Paper Cutter is the first tool I recommend because it provides accurate cuts to your paper or cardstock and can also be used to score paper (i.e., card bases, boxes, movement cards). It has a handy swinging arm for measuring/cutting paper up to 15 1/2 inches in width and 12 inches in length. The arm swings underneath for storage or for transport. It features easy-to-read grid lines and I can tell you from experience, this is something you’ve got to have! I have noticed people using all sorts of paper trimmers in my classes and some of them don’t have but a few grid lines. Their trimmers are very hard to use!
The blades of the Stampin’ Up! Paper Cutter are easily replaced; some packages also come with a scoring blade. (item #104152, $24.95)
You can tell when your blade begins to dull because it will leave fuzzy edges when you cut your paper, especially on light colored paper. This is easily corrected until you can purchase new blades with either Sanding Blocks or a nail file. (item #103301, set of 2 – $3.50)
2. An alternate to this trimmer is our Tabletop Cutter. This is an absolute must if you’re going to be cutting lots of cardstock like I do (unless you have an unlimited supply of Cutting Blades!) This is a guillotine-style trimmer and is self sharpening. It also has an extension “arm” for widths up to 12 inches; the hand-grip and the arm store underneath the body of the cutter for easy storage and transport.
This trimmer is THE BEST for cutting several sheets of card stock or thinner papers at the same time. (The Paper Cutter is made to cut only one sheet of paper or cardstock at a time.) And, in case the guillotine style scares you, it does have finger grips to keep the paper in place and protect your fingers at the same time. (item #106959, $45.95)
3. For crisp folds on your card bases, boxes or any project, I definitely recommend a Bone Folder. Use it to score your card stock and to press your folds for a nice crisp look.
*Tip: When pressing your fold, make sure your bone folder is clean or place a piece of scrap paper between the bone folder and the card stock. Any accumulated oil or ink from your hands can often leave a mark on your paper.
I also like to use my Bone Folder to make sure my cardstock or paper is adhered securely by running it over the pieces where I’ve placed tape, glue, etc. (item #102300, $6.95)
4. Stampin’ Mist and Stampin’ Scrub (when we can order them again) are definite must-haves for the stamper! Spray the mist onto your Stampin’ Scrub and it will help to scrub the ink from the rubber, removing it from all the nooks and crannies. The Stampin’ Mist also conditions the rubber, keeping it from drying out and protecting your investment for years. The pads themselves are long lasting but you may like knowing that replacement pads are available when you need them. To wash, run the removeable pads under the faucet and scrub with a little dish-washing liquid. (I’ve even washed mine in the washing machine with my towels and they’ve come out nice and clean, and did not leave any ink on or discolor my towels!) Stampin’ Mist item # 102394, (2 oz.) $4.50; or the refill #101022 (8 oz.) $9.50; Stampin’ Scrub #102642, $16.95.
Stampin’ Up! is working on the quality issues they’ve had with the Stampin’ Scrub and it will be available again when it meets the company’s high standards. Stampin’ Up! WILL NOT intentionally send low-quality products to their customers!!
5. Paper Snips – They are the perfect tool for any detail cutting you need to do and are VERY sharp. The small, thin-bladed scissors provide expert cutting even in the tiniest of areas and the precision-ground tips allow you to cut to the very end of the blade. One thing I always recommend is to have scissors specific to the “material” you cut. For example, my Paper Snips are only for paper; I have another pair of scissors for fabric and ribbon. If you’ll stick to this, you will notice that your scissors will last for years without sharpening. (item # 103579, $9.95)
Stampin’ Up! offers two other types of scissors for cutting twine, ribbon, rubber, wood sheets, wire and other materials. You may want to purchase these later on for your cardmaking and/or scrapbooking needs.
6. Adhesives come several varieties. Stampin’ Up! has many to offer, however these are the main two that you need starting out:
Snail Adhesive is double-sided adhesive in a handy no-touch container. It dispenses continuously and is permanent, as well as acid-free. Apply it directly to your project and you are ready to layer on additional card stock, paper or ribbon. When the roll runs out, a refill pops right in with no fuss and no mess! I have never had a problem with the roller or tape breaking like I have with other brands. Each roll contains 472″ of adhesive. (item # 104332, $6.95; refill item #104331, $4.50)
You should always have several refills in supply in case you run out in the middle of a class or project!
When you would like to add a little depth and dimension, our Stampin’ Dimensionals are just what you need. They are double-sided adhesive foam dots and provide just the right amount of lift to a project. They are cut in a honey-comb fashion on the sheet and there is absolutely no wastage! I have tried other foam adhesives on the market and found many others to be way too bulky or have not been able to get the backing off of them; our Dimensionals provide just enough lift for layering, but not enough so that you can actually see under the layer. (If you do need a higher lift, just layer the Dimensionals on top of each other until you get the lift you need.)
All you have to do to get the backing off the Dimensionals in a snap is to push down in the middle of it with your fingernail…The backing pops right up and you can pull it of easily! Each package contains 300 dots (acid free). (item #104430, $3.95)
This is another item you don’t want to run out of in the middle of a project or class.
7. Adhesive Remover – Everyone makes mistakes at times. This adhesive remover is a 2 inch square that looks and works like an eraser. If you get adhesive where it doesn’t belong, or need to move something that is not yet dry, simply let the adhesive dry and then erase the stray marks like you would pencil. (It does not remove tape.) item #103684, ($3.50)
As you become an experienced cardmaker or scrapbooker, you’ll need other tools to get all the effects you want. You can find these tools and materials in the Stampin’ Up! Idea Book and Catalog. This book has wonderful card, scrapbooking, and project ideas! You can either get one free by hosting a workshop or buying it from Stampin’ Up through me. ($9.95).
While you can purchase most of the items you need at craft stores, remember, you get what you pay for! Stampin’ Up’s! stringent quality control process ensures you get the best products possible.
Please leave me a comment…I love reading them! Thanks for stopping by and have a great day. Terry