Welcome crafty friends! This is a new series on my blog. I’ve been wanting to start it for ages but I just didn’t manage to set aside the time (and motivation) to do it. However, it’s finally here. In my “Let’s Talk About” series, I will talk about any crafty things from tools, embellishments, tips of budget crafting, etc. I hope you’ll enjoy this and if you have any suggestions and/or comments, I would be happy to read them.
My first topic in this series is, as you can see, tools! I’m not including stamps, paper, stencils, etc as they will be in separate blog posts. There are many tools out there that might be useful for a cardmaker or a scrapbooker but here are some of my favourite tools which I find essential.
I’ve tried a number of cutters since I’ve started crafting and I have found that this Fiskars cutter is my absolute favourite. I have this cutter for several years now and I have not changed to any other cutter since. There are two main reasons why this is the best one. Firstly, Fiskars make the best blades. I could cut so many papers with various textures and use the same blade for months before I have to change. Secondly, there’s a very thin metal line sit right underneath the blade which shows me exactly where I’m going to cut. The thin line gives the best precision needed when cutting papers. It also has a flap where you can open so that you can measure and papers up to the size of 12 x 12 inches.
Let’s move on to scissors. I’m sure this a no-brainer and anyone who is crafting would know how important scissors are. I’m here to talk about 3 types of scissors that I personally love and would recommend. #1 is your basic scissors just to cut random bits of paper, string, packaging etc. They are the ones I’ve bought from one of those cheap homeware store where I could get 3 scissors for 1.50 Euros. #2 is the EK Success honey bee scissors. I’ve had this scissors for years! Because it’s so sharp and incredibly pointy, it is perfect for fussy cutting your images in great detail. #3 Tonic Ranger scissors. I bought it because of how strong it is. It can cut those dies connectors (when you get new dies and there are connected by this thin bit of metal), cardboard, thin wood veneers, etc.
Now, as a cardmaker, you’ll probably already have this but if you’re new, I’ll tell you why you need this. When I first started cardmaking, I thought this thing was a gimmick and there was no way I would spend my money on something that’s supposed to help me fold my paper. But darn it, I was so wrong. Every scor-board comes with a bone folder (#2) but if you are silly like me and thought you’ve lost one, you might have a second one (#3). You use the bone folder to score the paper and then you can fold your paper without paper cracks (can happen with thicker paper). Scoring the paper gives the fold a more clean and professional look. You can even get creative and score your paper as part of your card design (a dry embossed look)!
You know, I love the actual masking paper and I’ve purchased them probably about 3 times. I am a huge fan of doing one-layer cards and adding masking techniques to my cards. But until I found one that is more cost-efficient, I’ve moved on to post-its. It might not be as great as the masking paper but it works just fine and they come in bigger packs and various sizes. But this doesn’t mean I would buy actual masking paper once in a while, just not everytime it runs out.
THE BASIC STATIONERY
Even if you are a new card maker, I’m sure you have all of these at home. A ruler, a pencil and an eraser. I prefer using a mechanical pencil. I prefer to have a sharp and thin point on my pencil when I need to make lines or do some from of tracing. However, I do have regular pencils in case I want to sketch something less harsh. Other than it’s main purpose, a ruler has helped me aligned my alphabet stickers and stamps. I’m rubbish at making things straight so I do need every bit of help.
I would recommend getting some brushes. You don’t need expensive brushes and I am definitely not a professional painter but I do love colouring my images with watercolour. I also keep a large brush in my stash so that I can do a quick background using it. A waterbrush (#3) is super useful to have in hand especially if you like to paint when you travel. To be honest with you, I like using the waterbrush when I’m too lazy to get fresh water and the water container helps me to clean the brush without dipping in into my water bowl (lol)
Of course, you can make cards without using stamps but if you do want to get into stamping, it is highly recommended that you get yourself some acrylic blocks. Throughout the years, I’ve collected several blocks. I like having the blocks is different sizes because stamps comes in different sizers. I also like having blocks with grid lines as it helps me to keep my sentiment stamps straight.
Lastly, I want to talk about adhesive. (Not in photo) I have a bunch of regular glues that I buy from stationery stores. But I think it’s very useful to have some dimensional stickers. I’m a fan of popping up my stamped images. I find that you can get them in your local craft store or even just regular stationery store. I’ve added glossy accent (#2) in here because I love using them to glue my sequins. They dry down clear and glossy which I think goes very well for sequins.
And that’s it! I have other tools that I have and love like my die-cutting machine but that’s a bigger investment and I would recommend it to you only if you want to get into die-cutting. Of course there are loads of other tools that are useful for cardmaking / scrapbooking but here are just some of the main ones that I would tell someone to get when they want to start.
Thanks for reading it this far! I would love to hear what your favourite tools are and I hope you’ll stay tune because I have more Let’s Talk About posts coming up. Follow me on instagram and you’ll know when I have a new post.