Monday, 2 October 2017

Stamping' Up! Paper Crafting Essentials

I was asked by a newbie what essentials from the Stampin' Up! catalogue I would recommend she purchase as she begins her journey into the world of papercrafting. 

This took me back in time  to 4 years ago, when I became hooked and joined SU as a demonstrator.  It was my Stampin' Up! Anniversary on 24th September 2017 !!  Where have those four years gone ?

For me as a crafter it is essential to have great tools with which to do the job.

So here are my recommendations.   Bearing in mind that these are the essentials I reach for every single day.

1.  Simply Scored

This for me is essential.  The Simply Scored Scoring Tool comes with 1 double headed scoring too and also some markers which are very handy if you are making boxes and perhaps making many at the same time in the same size. There are two storage compartments in the back of the base to hold any scoring tools.  It accommodates cardstock up to 12 x 12 inches and is in imperial measurements.  It is a great tool for box makers.

2.  Stampin' Trimmer                                                                                                                                                                                          
The Stampin' Trimmer is honestly the best paper trimmer I have owned.  Its light and portable, has an extending arm for cutting card/paper stock up to 12 inches wide.  It is in both imperial and metric measurements.  Both the Ruler and Grid are covered in durable plastic and are easy to wipe clean.

The point on cutting blade is great for precision cutting.  There is a handy grid on the right-hand side to enable the cutting of thin strips of card/paper.

Again, there is a handy storage compartment in the back to hold bone folders and replacement blades and scorers.  Replacement blades and scorers are available to purchase.  I recommend always having spares, as there is nothing more frustrating than going to prepare and cut a project, only to find the blade is blunt.

3.  Heat Tool
This tool is essential for heat embossing.  Used for melting embossing powder and Heat & Stick Power it has two heat settings. The low setting is for drying ink and high for heat setting Embossing Powder.  A protective plastic tip covers the metal end which does get hot.

4.  Stamp-A-Ma-Jig

What a funny name for a great inexpensive tool to enable precision stamping.

This was the first precision stamping  aid that I invested in.  At £11 it is brilliant value for money.  It enables accurately stamping images wherever you want them on your cards/projects

It has a non-slip base and is super sturdy.

There are lots of more expensive precision stamping aids on the market, but this one does the job very well indeed.

5.  Punches

I swear by my Punches.

I have amassed quite a collection over my four years of being a demonstrator.  I love the fact that they are portable and you don't have to lug a die cutting machine around with you if you are going to classes and workshops.  I particularly love Stampin' Up!'s circle punches which come in a variety of sizes from 1/2 inch right up to 2 1/4" inches, brilliant for creating layered toppers and centrepieces.

Stampin' Up! also do some fabulous punches to co-ordinate with specific stamp sets, for example, the Pansy Punch and the Flower Shop stamp set.

It also co-ordinates with The Birthday Blossoms stamp set and is a great example of a really useful little punch.

6.  Envelope Punch Board

This is a fantastic tool for creating your own envelopes from paper or card stock in up to 66 different sizes. There is a sizing chart printed on the board itself for easy reference.

NOT ONLY THAT ................................................

You can also make some fantastic boxes using the Envelope Punch Board - so the name of the product doesn't quite do it justice in my humble opinion. 

7.  Glues and Adhesives

These really are essential.

Stampin' Dimensionals a great for adding height and dimension to your projects.

Tombow Multipurpose Liquid Glue  which has a super strong bond and dries clear, great for adding embellishments to your projects and for sticking down paper.

Stampin' Up!'s Fine Tip Glue Pen is brilliant for projects with very intricate die cuts, as it allows you to add fine lines of glue where needed.

The Fast Fuse  is an acid free super-strength adhesive which is great for 3D projects.  What is even better is that from now until 10th October it is on special promotion - so buy one and get two refills for free !

Snail Adhesive - great for applying controlled amounts of double sided adhesive to your cards and projects. It is acid free and refills are also available to order.

Mini Glue Dots  - Fantastically handy and surprisingly strong little dots of adhesive on a roll that require no drying time.

7.  Card Stock and Paper

It does go without saying, use good quality card for your projects to show them at their very best.  Colour co-ordinate where possible with inks and paper in the same tone.  That was Stampin' Up!'s strongest selling point to me when I decided to join.   I don't know of any other company with products available in the UK that sells specifically colour co-ordinated card, ink and paper.   Stampin' Up has six different colour co-ordinated families to choose from.

8.  Stampin' Scrub

Stamping does get very messy and it is essential to clean your stamps properly to keep them at their best. 

The Stampin' Scrub is so very handy and easy to use and again, portable too - so great for taking along to workshops and classes. You spray Stampin' Mist Cleaner on one side and scrub, and then scrub the stamp dry on the pad on the other side.

The micro-fibres clean up your stamps perfectly.  The two pads are removable for easy cleaning after a particularly gruelling stamping session !

So, there you have it - my recommendations for those of you starting out in paper-crafting.   Its all very well going out and buying lots of stamps and pretty embellishments and glitter, etc.  But it is essential to have good basic tools in place with which to work with them and get the best out of them.  You can build up you stash over time. My goodness me - I know I have.   I started my craft journey in a corner of the spare room.  Now I have a whole room and I am rapidly running out of space for all my gadgets.  There are always new products coming out on the market.

Talking of my craft room - it really is about time I gave it a good old tidy.   I could be there for quite some time !

Have a great day - and thanks for stopping by.

Linda x

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