Continuing the series on crafting equipment that I find essential, today’s subject is tools. I can’t stress enough the value of buying quality. As my father used to say ‘Buy quality – buy once’ and it is true. I am on a limited budget too but buying cheap tools can really hamper your progress. Good quality tools will outlast cheap ones every time, mainly because they are well made. That said I’m always on the lookout for a bargin, so if you see a quality product that is out of your budget it is worth doing some research as to who has it for the best price. Be careful with this though to ensure you are buying the genuine product and not a cheap copy. Buy from well know respected sources and you should have no problem.
I store most of my tools in a fishing tackle box, the divided sections stop things rattling around too much and the one I have has movable dividers so you can customise they layout.
My tool box contains
- Heat it Craft tool from Ranger; http://www.rangerink.com/products/prod_tools_heatit.htm
- Self Healing cutting mat; I have a couple an A3 one for at home and an A4 one for if I travel
- Steel Ruler; 12″ and 17″
- Hi Vis Ruler; http://www.joannasheen.co.uk/craft-supplies/tools/highvis-cutting-ruler-metric-with-steel-edge/ I have one in metric and one in imperial. I have not found the hi vis that helpful but to keep cardstock squared up this is fantastic. It also features a steel edge on one side so if budgets were tight you could just get one of these. Made by Judikins. See stamping Tab at the top of the blog
- Non Stick Craft Sheet; Essential for inking techniques as it is so much easier to work on and clean up too. http://www.rangerink.com/products/prod_tools_craftsheet.htm
- Craft knife; http://www.fiskarscrafts.com/tools/t_heavy-duty-craft-knife.aspx although this is heavy the rubber grip is a big advantage. I also have a small and a large kinfe with snap off blades, the advantage being you know you will allways have spare blades for it.
- Scissors; One small pair for detailed work and a large pair for larger areas. Also an old pair of nail scissors which I dedicate to cutting double sided tape as I know they will get sticky.
- Paper Trimmer; My all time favourite one is made by Fiskars http://www.fiskarscrafts.com/tools/t_9-personal-paper-trimmer.aspx they have a much larger range these days. I’ve had mine in use for about 6-8 years and it is still fine.
- Scoring board; (does not fit in the tackle box hehehe) My most favorite is my Scor-It board http://www.scorit.com/index.html unless you only want to work on A5 card do buy the larger board as you can then use it for A4 and 12 x 12″ carstocks ;) I also have a couple of boards from the Crafters Companions range Top Score Board http://www.crafterscompanion.co.uk/shopexd.asp?id=81 if I want a quick card in dimensions other than half of what I have pre cut, but mostly I use the Scor It.
- Embossing tool; A small selection of embossing tools, very useful to score lines down which you want to fold as well as their traditional use with a stencil.
- Thin sheet of Funky Foam; this is very handy under your cardstock if you are stamping a large and detailed stamp. I find I get a better impression, it also helps stop me pressing too hard as it is an extra cushion to the stamp.
- Acrylic Blocks; An assortment of sizes to match the sizes of un mounted stamps I have.
- EZ Mount Foam; I try to keep at least one sheet of this in the cupboard at all times. It isn’t always the easiest thing to get hold of but it is the best one I’ve tried. You apply this to the back of unmounted stamps, one side is sticky to stick to the back of the stamp, the other side is cling to hold the stamp onto an acrylic block.
Gosh I’ve gone all essay girl again OOPS!!!! thanks for reading and more pictures for next week promise.