“The Basics”If you are just starting out in the delightful world of paper crafting here are a few basic supplies I would highly recommend:
1. A comfortable chair and work table/desk. Time flies when you are having fun paper crafting. If your chair doesn’t offer good back support then you run the risk of back pain at the end of your crafting session. Make sure your work area is comfortable.
2. Adjustable lighting. I strongly suggest that wherever you sit to craft you have good lighting. A lot of paper crafting is fine detail work and the lighting can make all the difference in saving your eyes from strain. Here is a link to the LED Desk Lamp I bought last year and have loved using ever since!
3. Table/desk protection. You will probably want something to protect your table top from markers, paints and adhesives. I tried scrap paper, plastic sheeting, and pieces of cardboard...but then I discovered this All Purpose Mat and I love it! I can wipe off spilled paint, adhesives, and stamping ink with a baby wipe and it remains like new. If I am cutting with a craft blade I use my OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board or my Versamat to protect my mat and table.
4. Paper. This probably goes without saying since you can’t be a paper crafter without paper, but the quality of the paper is important, too! See my paper blog post where I discuss the various types of paper and what they are used for. There are so many different types of paper, cardstock, vellum, and other specialty papers out there it can be a bit confusing. It is nice to have so many choices but, if you are like me, you want to get the most for your crafting dollars and choose the paper you buy carefully.
5. Adhesives. I know one should use the term “adhesives” instead of “glue” when paper crafting, afterall, glue is just one sort of adhesive, but you will still catch me calling anything white and sticky that comes out of a squeeze bottle “glue”. Old habits are hard to break! Having said that, see my adhesive blog on my five favorite adhesives. Again, you will want to get the most for your crafting dollars.
6. Cutting tools. I strongly suggest you save some of your crafting money to spend on quality cutting tools. Cheap scissors and blades will only frustrate you and take a lot of the joy out of a hobby that is supposed to be fun and relaxing. See my blades blog post on what I have found to be the best options in cutting tools.
7. T-Square Ruler. I use my Westcott 12"/30cm T-Square nearly everyday that I paper craft. I like that it is clear so I can see my design underneath the ruler if I am trying to line something up.
“Nice To Haves”Of course, this list could be nearly endless! But here are some of the top things I have found to be especially nice to have:
1. Scoring tool. I can’t fold a straight line without using a scoring tool. My “go to” scoring tool is my Scor-Pal Scor-Buddy Mini Scoring Board. I like this tool because it has so many score grooves and gives me lots of scoring line options when I am creating cards.
2. Baby wipes. Once my son was grown I never thought I would buy baby wipes again...then I got into paper crafting. I use baby wipes to clean my work area throughout my crafting session, wipe off stamps between ink colors, wipe adhesive off my hands... I use them a lot! Because I use so many I try to watch for sales and get the most affordable ones I can find. I don’t care about the scent or if they have skin conditioners in them I simply go for the most affordable!
3. Decorative stamps. Some paper crafters are able draw, so they simply draw adorable pictures or handwrite beautiful sentiments on their cards. I’m not that good. I use stamps. One of the main reasons I became an Independent Consultant for Close To My Heart (CTMH) is because of the quality and selection of their stamps. Of all the many stamps I've bought from CTMH I’ve only ever had one CTMH stamp that was of poor quality (too thin) but I sent a quick email with a photo of the stamp and they sent me a new replacement stamp that same day! Their customer service and their excellent product quality make stamping a joy. If you want to see the decorative stamps they have to offer here is the link: Stamps. Of course, if you get into stamping you will also need some Inks and Blocks.
4. Embellishments. You can find all sorts of things around your house to use as embellishments to decorate your scrapbook pages, ornaments, decorations, or cards. Baker's Twine, ribbon, sequins, rhinestones, costume jewelry, and stickers to name just a few. My hubby was out walking our little Blayde one day and came across a garage sale in our neighborhood. There was an entire box full of ribbon and spools of tulle for only $10! Being the good guy that he is, he bought this box of ribbon joy and brought it home to me as a wonderful surprise. This goes to show you never know when a treasure of embellishments is waiting right around the corner.
5. Stamping Platform. There are a couple of stamping platforms out there, but my favorite is the Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Stamp Platform. This platform is large enough to position 12" x 12" paper in it to stamp scrapbook pages. It is also sturdy, I can use both clear and rubber stamps in it, and it cleans easily with a baby wipe.
This is with 8.5" x 11" paper.
This is with 12" x 12" paper.
Of course, there are many other "nice to haves" and I will try to scatter some of those throughout this blog as we go. If you are a paper crafter what "nice to have" item do you think we should add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
Happy Paper Crafting!