Saturday, 14 August 2010

Papercraft Essentials for Beginners

A big thank you and welcome to Jill of Cardinal Colours for this useful guide to equipment for scrapbooking and other papercrafts.
Over to you Jill:

The majority of you reading this will be experienced Scrapbookers and Card Makers so it will seem like I am trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs, as they say. But there are always new people coming to the craft and the list of essentials may seem daunting, so this is just a simple list for those new to Scrapbooking and Card Making, and going to classes or crops.

Firstly we have the Tools of the Trade. Don’t think that you have to spend a fortune or have the latest gadgets to start. Your basic tools kit for crops and classes should consist of:

Scissors - a pair of small ones for detailed cutting and a maybe a larger pair for trimming paper and cardstock. This pack of 3 scissors gives most sizes that you will need.

A craft knife - sometimes a pair of scissors just won’t do and a craft knife is just the tool. This fingertip knife is easy to hold, if you have problems gripping things.

To go with the craft knife you will need a cutting mat. These are generally self healing mats and come in a variety of sizes, and will save your table top from damage. (Voice of experience here :))

A ruler and pencil - well this is self explanatory. One with a metal edge is best. Then when you cut along your card or paper with a knife it won't shave a little bit off the wood and blunt your knife blade. You can get metal ones in most stationers but here is an extra long one.

A good trimmer is a must. You could use your scissors but a trimmer gives a much neater edge and is so much quicker for cutting off strips of paper and card. There are various types on the market, and some of the best are Fiskars, Martha Stewart and Woodware. You can purchase extra blades for the Woodware trimmer and this will allow you to cut fancy edges to your papers. If you are scrapbooking do make sure that the trimmer is 30cm so that the 12 x 12 papers will fit into it. Here is the Woodware trimmer

I personally cannot do without my tweezers and again these come in all shapes, flat ends, pointed ends, reverse tweezers etc. Here is a set of 3 which should cover most of your tweezer needs.

If you are a Card Maker then a bone folder is a handy little piece of equipment, but not really that essential to be honest, but they are cheap and are very useful

Some of the other most basic things that you will need is adhesive and these come in many different forms:

Double sided tape in varying sizes, to fix your photos or paper to a page. The red super sticky tape is what it says but do make sure that you have positioned your photo etc correctly because this tape won’t shift one it touches the paper.

Or the great little Herma tape dispenser. This comes in repositionable or permanent and as it is dry won’t wrinkle your pages. Just touch the dispenser to the page and roll it along and it will give a little row of adhesive dots. You can also get the Herma tab dispenser which gives little adhesive squares.

Foam pads or squares which raise your embellishments off the page. These come in varying thicknesses, shapes and sizes. The usual white ones, black ones when you don’t want the white to show and the clear which are generally a little more expensive but won’t show under your raised embellishments.

Glue dots for fixing flowers small embellishments. Again these come in different types to suit your project.

And finally a wet glue. My personal favourite is Art Institute glue. This dries clear and is brilliant for sticking chipboard to your projects. Another is Glossy Accents which beside being a strong glue can be used to coat embellishments to give a lovely shiny finish.

As you become more drawn into this hobby you may want to add to your tool kit and there are plenty of gadgets on the market for you to choose, but these few things will get you started along the way.


Thanks again for this informative guide Jill. If you want to shop for any of these products from Jill's online shop - then pop along to her website - Cardinal Colours. Her lovely blog - A Calendar of Colours is well worth a peek too.

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