Basic Supplies for the Paper Crafting Beginner: Part III

The third instalment of my “supplies for beginners” series is all about adhesives. This can be a very sticky, and confusing, topic – even for old-timers! With the variety of embellishments and materials paper crafters are using these days the adhesives industry has become very specialized. There are different glues for adhering metal, fabric, plastic, glitter, and all sorts of paper; but all adhesives generally fall within four categories.

Part III: Adhesives

Dry adhesives = double sided tapes, photo mount squares, foam pop dots or pop squares (to add dimension), and tape runners (like Mono Adhesive) or similar glue dispensers, are all types of dry adhesives. These all work great for gluing paper to paper, and other lighter weight embellishments to paper. Many crafters love using glue dots (like Zots) for adhering buttons and ribbon to their projects.

Wet adhesives = this is where you will get into more specialized (and expensive!) items. Each glue is made for bonding different materials, from metal and wood, to glitter and beads. Read all directions and recommendations! Each crafter has his or her favorite glue for different purposes, but an all-purpose wet glue, like Aleene’s Tacky Glue, is always good to have around and will work for many sticky situations.

Glue sticks = to me, these fall in between the wet and dry categories, but are wonderful to have around. They won’t buckle or warp the paper, don’t require much dry time, and are easy to use. Use for gluing paper to paper.

Repositionable = consider getting a repositionable glue to hold templates and stencils in place; the chances of “ruining” a piece due to an unexpected bump are significantly decreased! The sticky stuff left on your project after removing something adhered with repositionable glue will rub right off with your fingers, leaving no marks or sticky spots! Many of the tape runners and glue dispensers now offer a repositionable option as well as permanent.

Published in: on August 25, 2006 at 1:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Basic Supplies for the Paper Crafting Beginner: Part II

Part two of my four-part series on basic supplies for paper crafters is dedicated to cutting tools. Though there is not as much variety in this category as there is in paper, it can still be daunting to figure out what you really need as a beginner. So here’s a list of the very basic cutting tools every paper crafter should have.

Part II: Cutting Tools

Self-Healing Cutting mat = A Must! If you’re going to be working with a lot of larger sized papers (12″ x 12″) consider getting a cutting mat at least as big, if not bigger, than your paper. This will allow you to make full cuts without having to move your paper or ruler half-way through a cut. A self-healing cutting mat will also serve as a setting mat when setting eyelets or snaps, and protect your table top from scratches or dings.

Craft knife = use for fine detail cutting in tight spots or corners, or with a metal-edged ruler for straight cuts (a craft knife will cut through plastic rulers, giving you an uneven edge). There are so many different styles and varieties of craft knives out there now, it’s best just to experiment and find what’s the most comfortable for you.

Scissors = it’s good to have two pairs of scissors, one with longer blades for cutting larger areas more smoothly and efficiently, and one with shorter blades for detail and precision cuts. Be careful to use non-stick coated scissors when cutting through adhesives, or regularly clean the blades with an adhesive remover. As with craft knives, there are many different styles and shapes of scissors available, so look around and find pairs that are the most comfortable for your fingers.

Paper Trimmer = can be the kind with an arm that you lower (called a guillotine), or with a blade that you slide along a track. Paper trimmers are great for cutting straight lines more quickly and easily than with craft knives or scissors. Small ones (5″x7″) are easy to store and carry with you, but realize that you won’t be able to cut larger pieces of paper with them. A full-sized one (12″x12″) is helpful.

Published in: on August 20, 2006 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Basic supplies for the paper crafting beginner: a four-part series

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!

Published in: on August 14, 2006 at 2:37 am  Leave a Comment