Tools of the Trade
If you're an aspiring Papercrafter or checking whether you have all the means to make your handmade cards, learn which tools you need for the job!
Card making doesn't need to be an expensive hobby but the craft market is huge and many people bitten by the crafting bug, love to have a full craft stash with the best of papercraft goodies. If you're just starting you crafting journey it can be easy to find yourself lost amongst the wide variety of amazing products. Below we've listed the top tools you will need for your card making journey, from those just starting out to the comfortable crafter looking to try something new!
Cardstock - You'll need a selection of cardstock in various colours (general colours that will co-ordinate with many designs and occasions) and weights (heavyweight cardstock such as 350gsm is perfect for card bases).
Card Blanks - You can also purchase ready-made card blanks that include envelopes, which are white making them perfect to use as a base for matting & layering. This is the easiest way when starting out to get your card bases!
Check out this handy Cardstock Blog Post for more information about all the different types of cardstock!
Wet Glue - this is perfect for sticking down your layers and giving you time to position your elements
Double-sided tape - quick and easy to use and provides a good hold, perfect for your matting and layering
Foam pads - these are great for making your cards really stand out, use them to stick toppers, sentiments or even the background layers on a raised level, or with decoupage
Low Tack tape - great for masking or using to stick elements in place temporarily to see how your card will look
Hi Tack tape - this is perfect for those looking to use acetate or create boxes
Hot glue gun - not necessary in the early start of your crafting, used more for construction work!
Scissors - the most basic cutting tool, these are definitely a must!
Craft Knife - ideal for fussy cutting (cutting out small elements or tracing an image to cut out)
Paper Trimmer - great for cutting card/paper straight, to the size you require
Guillotine - ideal for cutting thicker card or several sheets at a time, handy but not necessary for your first crafting adventure
A Cutting Mat is a great way to protect your surfaces while crafting, the last thing you want is glue or scratches on your nice table-top!
These are available in several sizes, choose one that suits your size needs and space capacity.
Not absolutely necessary but a perfect way to add that extra dazzle to your crafts, embellishments such as Gemstones in the corner or a Ribbon bow can really make your cards pop!
You can even use Craft Stickers to add decorative elements or sentiments to your card without breaking the bank!
Advanced Card Making
Well done! You're a crafter comforable with the basics and no doubt, already creating beautiful handmade cards!
Surpass yourself with these extra tools that are a great investment for those looking to take their cards and crafting to the next level.
For those looking to begin the rewarding journey of making your very own card models, and handmade boxes, a scoreboard is very much a must! Scoreboards are a handy tool for scoring card to create simple card blanks and much more.
Our Adorable Scoreboard even includes the amazing Box Making technology that allow you to create a box base and lid from the same size of card, just by using different sides of the board! This is perfect for those looking to get more creative with their card blanks and especially those looking to make lovely card boxes and projects.
View our Scoreboard Handbooks for instructional projects using the Adorable Scoreboard.
Now your comfortable with making cards, go the extra mile by making your own envelopes. Not only can you make an envelope for any size of card you make, but you can also make them from co-ordinating papers to match!
An Envelope Notch maker is essential for making the small notches in a piece of paper that allow you to score and fold your envelope into the perfect shape.
You will also need Envelope Glue to add to the inside flap of your envelope so that you can fasten them shut at a later date, or if you are selling you cards and envelopes.
Learn how to make your very own envelopes and other amazing projects with our Envelope Making Handbook.
Corner Rounders are a perfect way of making your cards that little bit different, these usually come in different sizes but there are also a huge variety of designs available - not just corner rounders!
Banner & Tag Punches are a great way of adding extra design to your cards, creating banners for your card fronts, or even use them to create decorative tags for your projects.
Any crafter would suggest the importance of investing in a die cut machine. This incredible tool allows you to cut paper with absolute precision. Die cutting machines are fantastic for creating intricate centrepieces, tactile backgrounds or the perfect card finish.
You may be looking at the machine with confusion, but once you get the hang of how the machine works, you will be using it without even thinking. We stock a huge range of die-cutting machines to help with any crafting project.
Add more dimension to your cards with Embossing Tools! These are great for flower making with paper and card, to make realistic looking flowers that pop right off the page.
This also opens up the world of Parchment Craft, where embossing tools work with Groovi templates to create beautiful, embossed designs on vellum that you can add to the front of your card.
Take your card making to the next level with stamping, by creating even more personalised cards that are always unique! Whether you've never tried stamping before or are looking to improve, this list of tools are a must-have for any stamper.
There are 2 different main types of stamps when it comes to papercraft, Clear Stamps are perfect for stamping detailed images, and building up scenes! Plus as an added bonus these are mainly self-adhesive so will stick to your stamping block/platform, making your stamping all that easier!
Rubber Stamps are also great to stock up on, offering even more designs and often larger designs – take note though many are unmounted so require you to pick up an adhesive foam sheet to let you use this with acrylic blocks or stamping platforms
If you’re looking for an easy way to create beautiful backgrounds with ease, Masks are a great way of doing this! Not an absolute necessity, but with a mask and a bit of ink, your backgrounds can become full of intrigue in no time!
There’s a massive variety of Masks that co-ordinate with our Stamps to make this even easier for you.
When it comes to Ink Pads think about the bigger picture when picking your stamping ink! Depending on your choice of medium to colour with, this will decide which stamping ink you wish to use; be it water-based or alcohol based! It’s always safe to have one of each just in-case, the most common brands for these are Memento (perfect for colouring with alcohol inks) and VersaFine (perfect for colouring using with watercolours)
There are also a wide variety of colours available with Prism ink pads, making them also perfect for colouring with! Either by stamping in the colour, picking up the colour with a waterbrush or using them to colour a background.
The simplest of stamping tools, an Acrylic Block is a must for those looking to start. Use this to add your stamp to, ink your stamp and then press down onto your card! There’s a variety of sizes, choose one depending on the size of stamps you will be using.
Blending Tools are also great for starters to the craft, as these can pick up ink from an ink pad allowing you to add colour to your card, or ink through masks for backgrounds!
A form of Stamp Cleaner is a great way to keep your stamps well looked after, a well-loved stamp will last you years as long as you keep it clean after usage! You can even use baby wipes!
For those who are looking to improve their stamping, a Stamping Press/Platform is a must-have investment. These are perfect for getting a solid stamped image, making repeat cards with the same stamped design or just helping you line up your stamping – if you are having problems with your stamped images not coming out clearly, this tool will help set you straight!
A Waterbrush is a handy tool for using with your colouring, not necessary for those just starting out, unless you want to create a watercolour effect or “paint” with your inks
Colouring Pencils – create beautiful, soft coloured stamped designs with coloured pencils, or create a stunning watercolour effect with Watercolour Pencils; just blend with a waterbrush!
Craft Markers – these come in a variety of brands and styles, alcohol markers leave a cleaner colour and are perfect for professional looking stamped cards. Water-based brush markers are a great way to create beautiful watercolour images, brush letting and much more. Craft Markers are definitely an investment for those who enjoy colouring or looking to take their stamped cards to the next level.
For the more advanced stamping crafters, Embossing Powders are an exceptional way to add new dimension to your stamped images, and also create beautiful resist techniques for your cards – for this you will need a Heat Gun and an Embossing Pad or slow-drying ink pad
Mica Powders/Pearlescent Powders are another tool perfect for those comfortable with stamping, but want to take it to the next level but adding mixed media! These are great for adding a pearlescent shine on backgrounds or use with heat embossing.