Back to school – Back to the basics

When all the back to school activity is going on, it always makes me think of new beginnings and of trying new things. It’s a time to take a fresh look and take stock of what is going on. The same applies to crafting. I know when I started making cards, I didn’t have a clue what I needed or where to even start. Cards can be made with just paper but stamping an image or sentiment will allow you to expand on your skills and also tailor the card to something more specific, such as a birthday or anniversary. Personally I like how it just adds to the overall look of the card.

As an example, adding a stamped image, a die cut or a sentiment adds to the overall impression and a little bling or a piece of ribbon is always a bonus and makes the card “pop” just a little bit more.

If you want to try your hand at card making or any sort of paper crafts, there are a few essentials you will need

Paper Trimmer – A good paper trimmer will cleanly cut your card stock and paper without leaving rough edges. I’ve tried the cheaper versions and was forever changing the blades to get the clean cut,(which are not cheap) so I decided to purchase a better trimmer from Stampin’ Up! (SU) and have never regretted it. The SU trimmer can hold paper up to 12″ x 12″ and comes with it’s own scoring tool as well so it does double duty.

Small pair of paper snip scissors (for delicate trimming). I love these for the more intricate cuts

Larger or normal pair of scissors (cutting paper or ribbon). I am pretty sure you have a pair lying around at home.

Bone Folder – This is used to burnish card stock to create a crisp and clean fold line. It can also be used to score a line when needed. It is not essential but it is a tool that is nice to have on hand

Adhesive – Comes in many types and some are better than others. I personally don’t skimp and buy the good stuff. Some of the cheaper dollar store variety just don’t hold up over time. However it really comes down to your personal preference and what works for you. Personally I use a variety depending on the project I am working on.

  • Liquid Multi-purpuse glue – Great for cards because it dries clear and has both a fine tip and a broad tip. It also allows a few seconds to position your paper before fully sticking.
  • Tear & Tape (double sided tape) – I like to use this on 3D projects such as gift boxes. I find it holds well and love how easy it is to use.
  • Stampin Seal Adhesive is a roller tape and comes in both light and heavy duty. The light is great for cards and refills can be purchased separately.
  • Stampin Seal + Adhesive is exactly the the same as Stamin Seal but it is designed for more heavy duty projects such as gift boxes or other 3D projects. Refills can also be purchased separately

Pencil & Ruler – both essential to mark a spot or measure a line.

Grid paper – This is not really essential but I like the grid paper as a work surface and protects your table. It also comes with grid lines for easy measuring.

The selections of stamps is massive but it’s important to know what you are looking for. There are three types of stamps, Clear Mount, Wood Mount and Photopolymer stamps. Most Stampin’ Up! stamps are available in either the Clear mount or the wood mount while some are only available in photopolymer. Personally I like the Clear mount or the Photopolymer stamps because they are easier to position on your paper.

Acrylic Block – Blocks are used to mount your stamps on before stamping and the clear blocks come in 9 different sizes to suit the various sizes of stamps. I highly recommend the Stampin’ Up! blocks over store brand ones as they are 1/2″ thick and the sides have finger grips so there is less slippage when your are stamping. The one I use the most is a 3″ x 4″ block but you will need a larger block for some images. I would recommend having at least 3-4 different sizes if you plan to craft a lot. To see the full set of blocks available, click here. There is even a Caddy to store them all in for easy storage.

Last but not least, you will need ink and paper for your projects. I highly recommend kits for beginners. They are wonderful projects that include everything you need to make up your project. As an example, the Joy of Sharing kit includes everything you need to make 15 Christmas cards/envelopes and includes a 7 piece stamp set, ink and a block to use when stamping which you can use over and over again. The kit even includes a lovely box to store your finished cards. So how easy is that?

As you move forward with crafting you may decide to purchase a die cut tool. The Stampin’ Cut & Emboss Machine makes precise cuts and detailed embossed images every time. You can use this machine to die cut images or with embossing to easily create accents and elements for cards, scrapbook pages, party invitations, classroom projects, and more. This machine has a wide 6″ platform for larger dies and full-size embossing folders. Works with all Stampin’ Up! dies and embossing folders. Includes 1 Base Plate, 1 Die Plate, 2 Cutting Plates, and 1 Specialty Plate.

Should you wish to explore crafting further, I would love it if you were to join my team as a customer or as a new demonstrator. As one of my team, I will help you become inspired and offer 100 percent support. Now is also the perfect time to sign up as a new demonstrator before Sept 30. There are so many freebies, including pre-cut card stock to make 8 cards, two stamp sets, rhinestone jewels all just for signing up. Please contact me for all the details or visit my online store to find out more then click on “Join Now” I look forward to welcoming you to my team.

Author: Susan

It is very satisfying to be able to look at something and say "I made that". As a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, I can help you explore your creativity so you can bring a smile to someone's face by presenting them with a hand crafted card. Please contact me to find out more at sjbeale@sympatico.ca

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