Hello friends! Welcome to part seven of the Crafty Adventure Series. If you missed out, here are earlier links: #1 Personal Development, #2 Planning & Journaling, #3 Handlettering, #4 Stamps, #5 Dies, and #6 Organization Methods.
In today’s post, I will cover some of my favorite craft tools! If you know me well, you know that I learn a lot really fast (when I have the time lol). When I first started crafting, I put in so much time trying to figure out what kind of products I needed to invest in so that I could “save money by making my own cards.” Ha. We all know that thousands of dollars later, here I am… 😉 A few of my close friends got into cardmaking, too, so I’d send people detailed e-mails with lists of best products, stamp companies, tools, etc. Although I am nowhere on the level of Jennifer McGuire, I would still like to share what some of my absolute favorite tools are. These are the products I use almost daily or every time I craft, with the exception of the ScanNCut 2.
Heat Tool: This is an essential tool for papercrafting projects. Heat embossing was and continues to be my favorite technique. I started with the heat gun from Stampin Up in summer of 2014, but switched to the Wagner Heat Tool through Hero Arts last summer. My first heat tool died on me (because I was seriously embossing that much!) I LOVE the Wagner heat gun (previously manufactured as the Milwaukee). It heats up fast and hot. It can leave burnt tint on your paper so the best thing to do is let it heat up for about a minute before bringing it over the powder to heat set it. I’ve noticed it holds up better on thicker cardstock but anything thinner than 80 lb, just try to keep it moving around so it doesn’t add a yellow burn tint onto your project.
Fiskars Trimmer and Scissors: These are also two essentials for papercrafting projects. I use them daily. I started off with the Stampin Up trimmer nd it worked decently, but I wasn’t getting the smoothest cuts. I switched to the Fiskars portable trimmer after I used it at my friend’s home last fall. It is small so I can only cut up to a certain size, but it helps for quick cuts that I need for cards. In fact, I finally took ALL my cardstock to FedEx and paid to have them cut into A2 card bases and card fronts. BEST DECISION EVER. I go through a lot of white cardstock so I just need to have them ready for me. I score about 25-50 cardbases a week so that I can just use them when inspiration hits. In fact, I need to go score some more now… I made a lot of cards recently. 😉
Since I have weak wrists, these are the best scissors ever. They don’t require too much pressure and they cut great.
Big Shot: If you enjoy die-cutting, then this tool is an essential in your craft room. I purchased mine within the first month of crafting and use it on a weekly basis. Although I’ve gotten a ScanNCut, I still use my Big Shot for shapes, stitched, borders, words, standalone, and coverplates. It’s also great for techniques like partial die-cutting and in-laid die-cutting. The Big Shot Plus is definitely on my wish list because I’d love to be able to use a letter-size document without having to cut it down to a certain size. It would reduce accumulation of scrap paper.
MISTI (Most Important Stamp Tool Invented): This tool has gotten very popular in the last few months. It’s great for mass producing cards, for lining up sentiments or images, for restamping in the same place, and many other uses. Iliana, the inventor, recently came out with a Mega and Mini for it, too. I won the Mini in a recent contest 🙂 I think it’ll become an essential for people who do craft often and want to reduce accidents when stamping sentiments or to save time on mass card production.
ATG Gun: I first bought this two years ago and it gave me sooo much trouble. Turns out it was a damaged one so I ordered one this year and I love it. I craft fast and often with layers so I need lots and lots and lots of adhesive. 🙂 Other than this adhesive, I also love Scor-Tape and tape runners. I only use liquid glue for embellishments or intricate die-cuts.
Scotch Foam Tape: Seriously, I am on my THIRD roll in two years. I love buying the 36 yard ones because I go through it so often. I use it behind sentiments and images for dimension. I use it in shaker cards. The best price has been on Amazon, or you can wait to use a 20% off coupon at a local Staples. 🙂
Brother ScanNCut 2: I bought the ScanNCut 2 in October and it has definitely paid off. I sold a lot of my coordinating dies. Now, don’t get me wrong, if you like buying coordinating dies, keep doing that. The SNC has other features, but my main focus is just to cut stamped images for now. For that reason alone, it is useful to me. It retails for about $300 so if you are the kind of crafter who enjoys cut images and craft a lot, this is a good investment. If you like one-layered or CAS cards, then it probably isn’t worth spending so much on. I did do a brief intro review on it in this post if you want to read more about it.
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