As a new cardmaker, I want just about every crafty tool, die set, stamps, inks, or organizational system for my business and I have to be really careful. I could easily go bankrupt with all the awesome kits and tools out there! And, though I purchased a small fortune of supplies to get started in cardmaking, I wanted to share some of the items that really took my card making to a whole new level.
This list is just my opinion…the way I craft… so you may or may not agree and that’s okay because we’re all different in the way we create. I’d love for you to share by commenting some of the best craft tools you bought that elevated your cardmaking. I’ve divided this into sections to make it easier to follow. So, here’s my list:
Note: some of these links to the products I used are affiliate links meaning if you purchase through them, I’ll earn a small commission and it is no extra cost to you. Your purchasing helps support our small business and we appreciate that so much! – Kim
Xyron Creative Station Lite – this handy thing is so cool for adding stick tape to larger items like panels that you’ll add to an A2 size card base. Or, for using on large die cut pieces. You just put the piece through the machine and turn the handle on the side to feed it through. Then you peel off the plastic and stick it to your project.
Gina K. Designs Connect Glue – this is my favorite liquid adhesive and I use it just about on every card I make! I like that it’s a pen and when you squeeze it lightly, you can add small drops of glue which is great for tiny areas that need to stick down.
Scotch 3D Foam Tape – For adding dimension to my cards, I go for this bad boy! He’s expensive but worth it. Not only does it add extra thickness to my cards but sticks very well.
P-Touch Brother Label Maker. This little baby has changed all my organization. In fact, it took me several months before I decided to purchase it. I’m not sure why! But, am glad I did. I label everything from my cardstock papers in folders to my shelves for all my supplies! I love how easy it is to use and that it comes with a plug so that I don’t have to battery operate it. It comes with several fonts and sizes and I highly recommend it for not just organizing your crafty stash but for anything that you need to organize.
Carl Heavy Duty 15″ Trimmer. I needed a trimmer that could handle cutting multiple cardstock sheets at one time especially when I use Neenah Solar White 110 lb. cardstock so much. This big baby handles the job and I typically only use it when I need to cut a lot of card bases.
Tim Holtz Paper Trimmer. Along with my heavy duty trimmer, I needed a smaller one that I could grab at any time for cutting smaller sheets of paper and cardstock. I like this guillotine handle, there’s no blades to replace and it’s extremely accurate for cutting even the tiniest of papers.
Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat. The price point on this is high but I’m so glad I saved up to get it. I love that I can ink blend, water color and even heat emboss over it. It cleans up easily with a baby wipe and I like that the white squares on the right are the same sizes as mini ink cubes plus you can easily see the colors you’re painting with. There’s now a travel size mat available that’s slightly smaller here.
Gina K. Designs Amalgam Black Ink. This is my favorite, favorite black ink to stamp everything with! It leaves a nice clean, crisp image of my stamping and I haven’t had to refill it since I bought it almost a year ago!
Simon Says Stamp Fog Ink. I love this light gray color because it’s perfect to use for stamping or stenciling backgrounds which won’t compete with other embellishments on a card. Also, if you need to stamp snowmen or any other winter scene, this ink color is perfect for depicting snow. I also think it’s great for cloudscapes, masking, or adding shadows.
Royal Sovereign Laminator. I LOVE this machine!! It’s portable, it’s lightweight and it works so good for up to 9″ wide! I used this for all my window embellished cards. It has 2 settings “hot” and “cold” and it’s a quiet little machine which is great if you craft in the “wee” hours of the night! The price point is also excellent!
Zig Clean Color Markers. I have a fascination with watercoloring but I’m not artist, at least a painter, however I want to learn and before I bought this set I watched a ton of YT videos. I loved the bright colors they come in and how they react to water so I bought the 60-set. I’ve used these on many of my cards as I enjoy using the emboss resist technique for watercoloring. There’s several sets available and I’m planning to complete my stash!
Arteza Real Brush Pens. These are very much like the Zigs and the reason for buying these was not just the excellent price point but I wanted to have another selection of watercolor markers. The waterbrush that comes with this set is terrific for me too. I’m still experimenting with them but loving them so far. They also come in several sets, I bought the 24-set to play with and I think I’ll purchase more colors!
Distress Paints. I’m in love with ink splattering and so I wanted the “Picket fence” color because it’s bright white and it can depict snow or stars when flicked on my cards. I use it with watercoloring mostly and I love its effects.
Distress Stain Sprays. I got a couple of these (Peacock Feathers and Spice Marmalade) to play with and they’re a lot of fun for making quick backgrounds and mixed with stencils, you can make your own patterns for cards. I haven’t done much with these yet but I definitely see its potential and I’m wanting to make some of my own backgrounds. They come separately and in sets too.
Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer. I really like this bottle and you’d think what’s so different about it than an ordinary water bottle, but it is. First, I like that it has a lock switch so that you can travel with it and not worry of water leaking inside your bag. Secondly, if you press lightly, you get more water droplets but if you press with more force, you’ll get a mist. So basically you can control the amount of water you want on your project. I also like to mix water with a little Perfect Pearls which adds a shimmery effect to the water droplets. It’s the perfect technique for watercolor, alcohol or with other distress products.
I could add more, but I’m stopping here so this post won’t turn into a book! Thanks for reading!