PaperCrafting 101

Tips for crafters

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Some tips for you…

  • A good card is one that’s tailor-made for its recipient.
  • Embellishments are the perfect way to transform your card, just don’t use to many. Less is more.
  • Coordinate color, texture, and pattern.
  • Be creative in your designs. Use sketches.
  • Use crisp cardstock or paper to prevent fibers from stretching or breaking.
  • Place wax paper or parchment between your die and cardstock to help you get a clean cut.
  • Place die toward the edge of the cutting mat to get a cleaner  cut.
  • Use a “pokey tool” to remove negative space from the die cut.
  • Use a fine glue pen, spray adhesive or white glue taken from a glue stick and applied to a cocktail stick to adhere die cuts to cardstock.
  • When organizing boxes of craft material, label all four sides of the box.
  • Keep tools in the same place.
  • To avoid sticky scissors that go blunt, try a pair of serrated edged scissors with a non-stick coating. You can also clean scissors with a nail varnish remover.
  • Glue guns are super tools to use when you have heavier embellishments or when making 3D items. Many come with stands and come in high or low temperature settings. Practice makes perfect when learning how to use them.

Happy Crafting,



Essential Tools Part 3

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Part 3 of our series is here! Enjoy.


Piercing Tool: The English crafters call this a “pokey tool” because, well, it does resemble one. The tool is designed to pierce holes in paper to create a mosaic effect. Before Spellbinders designed the tool we all know and love, we used this one to remove the excess paper from dies.

Roll Away Tool: This tool, again designed by our friends from the UK, has a roller with a high-tack surface. Its sole purpose is to remove excess paper from dies and to keep the work surface clean We, in the US call it a lint tool.

Quilling Tool: A quilling tool aids in creating a coiled object, often a flower.

Scoring Board:  I bought one of these last year and really like it. The board has rulers along two edges that allow you to create accurate score lines for folding base cards. Some boards allow you to even create envelopes.

Stencil brush: This brush allows you to apply paint to stencils. The brush has short bristles so that any paint will not bleed under the stencil.

Tweezers: Perfect for applying small embellishments and to keep your fingers from burning when heat embossing card stock.




Essential Tools Part 2

Dear Fellow Crafters,

Part 2 of our series on Essential Tools follows:

Glue Eraser: I never really thought I needed one of these, until I made a card and too much glue seeped out from under an embellishment one day. An ordinary eraser did not work; a paper towel stuck and in the end, I had to abandon my original idea and start over! You can find these in almost any craft store.

Heat Tool: Back in the day, these tools cost a “pretty penny” but were essential if you wanted to heat emboss. I would also suggest that you buy a anti-static tool to wipe the surface of the card before stamping. This will ensure the powder sticks only to the inked parts.

Heat Mat: This is similar to a craft mat. You use it to keep work surfaces safe when using a heat gun or hot glue gun. If you want to safe money, you could use an old ceramic tile instead.

Hot Glue Gun: This electric-powered tool works by heating glue sticks to a high temperature that creates a durable, clear adhesive. It’s really good at attaching gems and flowers to surfaces.

Paper Distressed: This bladed tool fits in the palm of your hand. You use it to create a distressed look to the card surfaces.

Paper Trimmer: This really essential tool cuts edges in one quick movement. Many trimmers come with various blades such as scallop, straight or wavy edges.

Part 3 next week.



Essential Tools Part 1

Dear Fellow Crafters,

For those of you who are seasoned paper crafters, these tools are surely in your craft room. For those of you who are just beginning then these hints may help.

Bone folder: This tool has a pointed tip for scoring and a hard, blunt edge for increasing paper folds.

Craft knife: For years, I only used scissors, but soon found that this handy tool allows you to cut out intricate shapes from paper more easily. Popular brands are made by XCut and Fiskars.

Cutting Mat: A must have! This is usually made of heavy plastic and is used to protect your work surface when cutting with a craft knife. A bonus is that they  usually have measured grids.

Die-Cutting Machine. I have written about these wonderful machines for years. One hint I will pass along is to clean it our occasionally. Tiny pieces of paper can clog the inside and cause the blades to jam.

Embossing tool: This tool has rounded edges. You use it to emboss a pattern on paper or rubbing over a pattern that has been embossed. You can also use it to enhance paper flower petals.

Eyelet setter: Tool used to set eyelets.

Glue Eraser. Ever use too much adhesive? This handy tool erases the excess.

Part 2 next week.