If you are just starting out in the world of paper arts, going to your local scrapbook or rubber stamp store can be very scary. I know it was for me when I first started out. Even back then when scrapbooking and rubber stamping were first becoming the hot new hobby, there were lots of “tools” to buy. I remember going into my first store and thinking, “Holy Cow! I need to win the lottery to pay for all these great things.” Well, I never did win the lottery, although Rich says you need to play the lottery if you plan on winning the lottery. But, I did learn a few tricks since then. Although I do own most everything you can find in a store, I still have the tendency to return to my tried and true tools. Here are a few of my favorite tools that I think every paper crafter needs in her toolbox.
Ruler, Trimmer, Scissors
Paper Trimmer – I have owned many different paper cutters through the years from the side sliders to the guillotine cutters, but my all time favorite one is the Ultimate Trimmer™ with 11 different click blades from Purple Cows®. This cutter is just awesome and with the 11 different cutting blades included, it alleviates the need for multiple decorative scissors. For something a little smaller that you can travel with, I like the Fiskars® 12 inch Portable Paper Trimmer.
Ruler – My all time favorite ruler is an 18” clear, metal edged, quilter’s ruler. With the ½” squares in the ruler, it makes layering your papers a breeze.
Scissors and Tweezers – Having a nice pair of scissors is a must for your tool box. The Cutter Bee™ by EK Success ® is my favorite. The scissors have a cover on them for safe traveling. I also keep a pair of tweezers in my tool box, but again, my favorite in this category would be a pair of hemostats. I have had mine since my nursing days (more than 25 years ago) and I love to use them for picking up items. This is a wonderful tool if you have long or artificial nails. I even use mine outside of my studio. And don’t forget the Exacto knife. No tool box is complete without one.
Adhesives - For adhesives, I have a few different options that I like to use. First of all, I LOVE Zip Dry Paper Glue™ by Beacon Adhesives®. This is the first glue I have ever worked with that won’t ripple your paper! The next adhesive I like is Scrapbook Adhesives™ E-Z tape runner by 3L®. It goes on smooth and rarely (if ever) gets tangled up in its dispenser. Lastly would be Terrifically Tacky Tape™ by Provo Craft®. This tape can be used on paper, glass, wood, metal and it will hold beads, glitter, foils, etc. You can even emboss with it!
Inks – O.K. I’ll admit it. My favorite inks are from Clearsnap, and not just because I work for them. In my humble opinion, they have the best inkpads on the planet! For your tool box you’ll need a waterproof dye based inkpad for watercoloring, etc. a pigment inkpad for embossing and a watermark inkpad for a watermark effect (they are also great for embossing). I will go into more detail about inkpads later in my blog series.
Coloring Tools – You’ll need to have some kind of coloring tools to add color to your scrapbook page or your rubber stamped cards. You have a few different options for this one. You can use markers, watercolors, watercolor pencils, chalks, chalk pencils, color pencils. The list goes on. My favorite technique is watercoloring. I love the look of watercolors, but I don’t always have the time to pull out my watercolor palettes or pencils and to do watercolor correctly; it sometimes can take time. When I don’t have the time, I use my very favorite coloring tool, chalk pencils and a Dove® Blender Pen™. I can create the beautiful look of watercolors in a lot less time. I buy my chalk pencils from Faber-Castell®, but The General Pencil Company® also has some great chalk pencil sets.
Now that I have given you a few ideas on what tools you need to get started, you can go into your local store and spend your money on some great new pattern paper or maybe that stamp that you’ve been wanting. And, I promise, the rest of those cool tools that are out there… they will eventually find their way to your house! I know they found their way to mine.
Thanks for joining me. Until next time…
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