I often get asked by brand new stampers what they should get to start creating beautiful cards besides stamps and inks and so I thought I'd take a T-N-T Tuesday (ehhemm... Thursday) to share with you what I feel are the top 5 tools every card-maker should have in their tool box!
5. Paper Trimmer
paper trimmer. What I mean by this is that your trimmer needs be able to cut paper that is 12" x 12". Anything less limits your ability to use the paper of your choice. Another tip is that if you look at the cutting arm, the measurements should actually go just a tad beyond 12" because not all paper is exactly 12"... sometimes paper is a bit bigger and if your trimmer doesn't provide for that allowance, you run the risk of damaging your paper and cutting incorrectly. I also highly recommend that your paper trimmer have a retractable arm that also extends beyond 12". Not only is it easier to transport if you want to craft at a friend's house, it will let you create larger sized cards and even get into scrapbooking if you desire. Here's a picture of mine:
4. The Right Adhesives
adhesive is created equal and they are all used for different purposes. The primary adhesive I love to use for paper-to-paper adhesion is our bonding memories glue in both the fine tip and broad glues because they can do both permanent and temporary adhesion. There are Glue Dots for embellishments and ribbon, 3-D Foam Tape, repositionable glue dots, Tombow dry-adhesive tape runner and Liquid Glass. Make sure you ask your consultant to show you how to use all the different glues available to you and which ones are cost effective for your projects. You will waste money if you use the wrong adhesive for the wrong purpose! And sorry, I know you want to save money, but your kids' glue sticks just won't cut it. Email me at email@example.com if you have any questions about the adhesive you are using.
3. Micro-Tip Scissors
these babies will make all the difference when you go to cut out stamped images, your ribbon and other fine detail work. They are extremely sharp, which is why they come with a blade cover. I also love these because you can use the sharp tip to start a brad hole or other cutouts in the middle of a card. Small scissors make maneuvering around detail work much easier, too.
Versamat! One side of this tool is a self-healing craft mat with an easy-to-read grid that is 13" x 13" so you can line up pieces of your card and embellishments perfectly every time. On the other side is a very soft dense foam to stamp on giving you a crisp, clean stamped image every time... especially with our My Acrylix stamps. The versamat foam replaces the foam you see on wooden block stamps and helps especially if you are stamping on an uneven surface. Even when I'm not stamping, it helps protect my table surface if I'm doing eyelets, using my piercing tool, or just getting messy. It's easy to clean with mild soap and water, or for especially grungy mats, you can take the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and put some elbow grease to it... your lines will NOT erase away! I like to use the Magic Eraser to clean the gum off my Micro-tip scissors, too.
1. A How To Program
Originals Card Confidence Program™ and Wishes™ Card Confidence Program. Each one contains tons of patterns (dimensions included) to recreate cards in a variety of sizes and shapes. Each book also comes with a CD filled with unusually sized templates and envelopes for your cards. The author, company founder and CEO of CTMH, Jeanette Lynton, has even little technique tutorials throughout both books that actually teach you more ways to use your stamps, paper and embellishments. I never create a card without this wonderful reference tool.
For more information about these and other card-making tools, please visit my website at http://scrapbooking.myctmh.com/ or contact me directly with any questions or suggestions for your cards.
BLOG CANDY ALERT!!! If you've read this far, thank you! And, I would love to hear what your personal 'must-have' Close To My Heart tool is for your card-making projects. Leave a comment with this post and I will choose one lucky winner for some fun CTMH embellishments on Saturday!