I remember when I first started paper crafting. It all started very simply with an innocent walk down the rubber stamp aisle of a craft store while shopping with my mother. We ogled over a couple of Christmas image stamps and decided it would be fun to make some bookmarks as gifts for my friends and family. We looked around a bit more trying to decide what all I’d need, and I soon became a little overwhelmed – how on earth does one use all these products and tools! I admit I was very excited about it, but also confused about all the options. There were so many products that seemed to have very little, to no differences!
The variety of paper crafting products available now is staggering compared to what it was back in the mid 90s, so I thought it might be good to start a conversation about the basic supplies we use in our craft. I’ll start by listing the different kinds of products available in each of four general categories: paper, cutting tools, adhesives, and writing and coloring tools.
Part I: Paper – the essence of paper crafts!
Regular weight = most of the beautiful printed and patterned paper you see in craft and scrapbooking stores is regular, non cardstock weight paper. It can do almost anything you want it to! In single layers it is great for collage and decoupage, or glued together it can hold up and add stiffness much like cardstock.
Cardstock = mostly sold in solid colors it is mainly used for the base of a card, but also does well with punches and other elements requiring more stiffness, like dry embossing. Printed cardstock is becoming more and more popular, as is cardstock with a textured surface.
Mulberry = a thin, decorative paper, slightly transparent with organic fibers. Great for tearing and matting, creates a soft look while adding texture.
Vellum = a thin parchment like paper, translucent to varying degrees, comes in many colors and tints. It is great for layering and adding a more sophisticated look.
These are the basic, most commonly used types of paper in the paper crafting world, but there are many, many other varieties out there; handmade, double sided, origami, leather, velvet… the list is seemingly infinite. Don’t be afraid to experiment!