Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cardmaking Basics

I get asked all the time what my suggestions would be for someone just starting out as a cardmaker. The following list would be my top suggestions to get you started. Like most hobbies, cardmaking can be expensive, and is also very addictive! But if you aren't sure if you want to spend lots of money right away, take a look at this list. It's a good place to start, and the most basic tools can also be used for other things around your home or office as well.

The absolute basics:
(The 'must haves'!)
  • Good scissors
    At least one good pair that gets used only for cutting paper. Sometimes it's good to have another pair for cutting ribbon too. Sharp scissors are important, and make sure they're comfortable too!
  • Paper Trimmer
    Paper Trimmers are useful for so many things including measuring and cutting straight lines, which is very important! Not everyone can cut straight with a pair of scissors!
  • Adhesive
    With so many options available, this can be confusing! Do you buy tape, a tape runner or a liquid adhesive? Personally I prefer tape. It lasts longer than a tape runner, and you don't need to wait for it to dry. Another bonus of a dry adhesive, is that it won't warp your papers either. Having said that, a liquid adhesive like Glossy Accents is also very handy to have as part of your cardmaking tool kit. Liquid adhesives work better on things like buttons and chipboard.
  • Cardstock
    The very basic element of your card - without your base, you have no card! There is lots to choose from, including size, texture and colour. To start off with, I'd suggest a pre-cut card, that you just need to fold in half, in a few basic colours - white, vanilla, oatmeal and possibly black. Note that if you buy a black base, you'll need to include a lighter colour inside the card, unless you have a light (white, silver, etc) pen to write inside with.
  • Ruler, Pencil, Eraser, Sharpener
  • Bone Scorer
    This little tool doesn't have multiple uses, but does get used multiple times! My cards don't feel finished unless I've used a bone scorer on it. To use, fold your card, then run your bone scorer over the fold to give it a nice sharp crease. This will help your card stay closed better. You can also use a bone scorer to score your cardstock before folding.
  • Envelopes
    After all, you need something to put your cards into!
The basics
(These items aren't 'must haves' but they will make your cardmaking life easier!)
  • More Adhesives
    If you'd like to take your adhesives to the next level, try glue dots. These are almost like a mix between a dry and wet adhesive. They come on a roll, and you can attach them to just about anything. Repositionable adhesive is also a great tool to have, as is double-sided foam adhesive.
  • Stamps
    Not all cardmakers are stamper, or all stampers cardmakers, but many do overlap. Stamps can add greatly to your cards, especially for sentiments. The world of stamping is huge - again, there are many options to consider! Over the next few days, I'll post a little more about stamping.
  • Inks
    Another huge and sometimes confusing world! If you're going to look at stamping, then inking is a must, however, you can use ink on your cards without using stamps! I'll cover inks in the next few days too!
  • Stickers and Rubons
    Stickers and rubons are a good way to add to your cards. There are many different options including alphabet letters which can be used to create your own sentiment.
  • Tweezers
    Great for picking up small items, or for holding your paper while you heat emboss it.
  • Paper Piercer
    Another item that has a few uses, but gets used frequently!
  • Craft Knife and Cutting Mat
    The cutting mat is a good idea, even if you don't have the craft knife straight away, as it gives you a good work surface.
  • Punches
    To start with, you can't go wrong with a corner rounder!
Did I leave something out? What do you think make up the basics of a cardmakers tool kit? Have you bought an item, and haven't used it because you don't know how? Comment below!

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