When I first started out paper crafting I really had no clue what I needed! This sometimes meant that I bought things I didn’t really need and supplies and tools that weren’t great quality. I have come to recognise that a few decent tools, and quality over quantity is much more important than the latest gimmick … but that’s not to say I don’t buy my fair share of gimmicks 😀
I thought I would share my list of essentials for anyone starting out crafting, as the sheer volume of choice is overwhelming!
My first recommendation is always good quality cardstock. Cardstock is used to make your card bases, boxes, 3D projects etc. it is thicker than paper, and thinner than cardboard. I only use Stampin’ Up! cardstock and inks, for two reasons – the quality and the co-ordination. As cardstock is the base product of everything I make it needs to be great quality, and I love, love, love the ink and cardstock co-ordination that Stampin’ Up! provides!
Every paper crafter needs a great paper trimmer, I went through three other trimmers before I tried the Stampin’ Up! Trimmer. I couldn’t seem to cut a straight line with the other cutters and I always ended up wasting cardstock. Now I get a perfectly straight cut with my trimmer. I love the fact that you can also score with the Stampin’ Up! trimmer, which means that you don’t need a seperate scoring tool!
Next on the list is good scissors. I love my Stampin’ Up! paper snips. They are sharp right to the very end and are so good when you need to precision or fussy cut images. I use different scissors for ribbon and cardstock, you need to keep your ribbon scissors as sharp as possible so you don’t end up wih frayed edges!To hold it all togther you need a good adhesive. Some people prefer tape, some prefer a tape runner, others love liquid glue. Whatever your preference Stampin’ Up! has it! You can use whichever adhesive you like, I use different glues for different projects – I like to use a wet glue for my card projects and tear tape for boxes and 3D projects where you need a stronger hold.
Once you have the right tools you can get on to the fun part of choosing stamps and inks to bring your projects to life! While there is so much choice, I would recommend chosing timeless images that you can use for all types of cards and projects. Make sure that the stamp set you choose has some sentiments so that you can immediately start creating!
One of my favourite stamp sets that can be used for many occasions is Butterfly Basics. This beautiful, delicate stamp set can be used for Birthdays, Thinking of You, Sympathy, Get Well Soon, Congratulations and much more! This set co-ordinates with the Butterfly Thinlits, and the Bitty Butterfly Punch, which allows you to grow your craft stash when you are ready. The BEST thing about Stampin’ Up! ~ the co-ordination makes creating easy!
Something to note ~ you can choose Wood Mount or Clear Mount stamps, if you choose Wood Mount each individual stamp comes with a wooden block that you permanently mount the stamp to. With Clear Mount, you use a set of acrylic blocks. You stick the stamp to the block when using it and take it off when you are finished. My personal preference is Clear Mount, though I will be doing a blog post on the difference and benefits of each soon!
Good inks go hand in hand with good stamps, and you need to make sure that you choose good quality inks so that the images you stamp are crisp and clear. The inks from Stampin’ Up! are dye based and the colours match the cardstock colours EXACTLY! The great thing is you can buy ink pad refills so you only need to buy the ink pads once!
Stampin’ Up! have classified their ink colours into Collections. There are four main collections, Neutrals, Brights, Sutbles and Regals. As well as these main colour collections there are two In Colour collections, both spanning a two year period. This keeps the colours fresh and on trend. Each Annual Catalogue introduces a new In Colour collection and it is always so exciting to see the amazing new colours!
I hope this post helps anyone who is thinking of taking up a new hobby or is already a crafter and wants to start paper crafting. If you have any questions as always you can email me or leave me a comment!
You can buy any of the items in this post from my online store by clicking the images below!
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I am an Independent Stampin’ Up Demonstrator based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland!
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