The Basics for Beginners

I did not follow the advice I'm about to give you. I still struggle not to over buy when all the new paper collections come out, there is a sale, a new tool looks too cool to pass up, or a new Close to My Heart catalog becomes available. 

You can really get started scrapbooking, card making, etc. with very few supplies. Some tools don't have to be top of the line, but other items you really should splurge on to get the best results possible. I hope my list will help you make some informed decisions, so that you don't waste money, or time.

There is nothing worse than working hard on a handmade card, and having the layers fall apart because your adhesive didn't stick. Also, cheap paper will let you down. I have some scrapbook layouts that I have to re-do because of cheap paper, and ineffective adhesive.

  • A liquid adhesive with a great hold will allow you a little time to adjust the placement of your pictures, etc. My preferences are Tombow (available at craft stores), and Close to My Heart's  Liquid Glass.
  •  You will want double-sided tape, or a tape gun. I use the Teresa Collins Xyron tape runner because I find it easy to load the refills, it gets the job done, it fits my hand, and it's pink. 
  • Mini glue dots will help you adhere very small items without making a mess. I use Micro Glue Dots.

  •  CTMH paper packs are great because they have  double-sided prints, and solid colored cardstock, that coordinates.
  • CTMH Workshops on the Go are the same coordinating paper packs, along with a stamp set, an embelishment, and instruction booklet.
  • Graphic 45 comes out with paper packs with a lovely vintage feel. The big box craft stores don't carry a lot of Graphic 45. Amazon has the best price I have found.
  • Bo Bunny is another paper manufacturer that has great quality, and interesting themes. Again, try Amazon for the best price.
  • I do not often buy pads of paper. This is because I usually only like about half the papers in the pack. I'm then stuck with papers I don't want to use. I learned this the hard way, of course.

Seaside Workshop on the Go

Scissors and Trimmers
  • My all time favorite scissors are the Tim Holtz Ionic scissors. They are sharp, have a nice point, are comfortable to use, and the blades stay clean. They would be perfect if they came in pink.
  • The slicer that I have, finally, settled on is the Sure Cut Deluxe Paper Trimmer. I tried lots of trimmers, but this one has a nice wide base, and the replacement blades are inexpensive. 

  • You can purchase scrapbooks inexpensively at any craft store, but I would not recommend buying them. I have a few that are not in very good shape now.
  • I now use Close to My Heart Scrapbooks. They come in D-Ring, and post bound.  
  • I have seen some nicer scrapbooks, in the section of the craft stores near the Project Life supplies. I can not endorse them, as I have not tried them.
  •  Remember, you will work hard to put together layouts to preserve your memories. You want them to be protected.
  • A bone folder is a nice item to have. You can see an example of one here. They help you make a nice crease on your cards.
  •  I love my scoring boards. If you are a card maker, I think they are a must have. I have two, because one is for big projects, and one is more portable for travel. The large one I use is the Martha Stewart score board. The travel size I use is the Close to My Heart score board.
  • Having a nice mat to put down on your table is a good idea. The Versamat is a nice choice. This will help protect your table. One side is cushioned for stamping, and the other is self-healing for cutting. The grids also come in handy when lining up projects.
These are just the basics. As you continue crafting, I'm sure you will want to add stamps, inks, ribbon, twine, buttons, markers, and all sorts of embelishments. The trick is to buy what you need for each project, and not just everything that is "too cute to pass up." 
I will continue this series with more items that you will want to explore as you become more crafty.
You also might want to stay tuned as I work on getting my craft room, and office space, in order. It is something I struggle with, besides wanting to buy all of the "too cute to pass up" items.
Let me know if you agree with my beginners list. 

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