Tools For Paper Crafters
There are many tools that are useful when you are making papercraft. Some of them you may have is your stash already. Most are readily available locally or online. If you are a beginner in paper crafting, it is wise to start with the basics and gradually build on your tools.
We are just listing the basic tools for paper crafters. Different paper crafts may require special tools, Consider this your starting point.
Good quality sharp scissors are essential in papercraft. You need a large pair, a medium pair and a pair of detailed scissors. Whenever possibly get the titanium scissors. They are nonstick and are much easier to use. The titanium-bonded blades can slice through materials like cardboard, card stock, and laminate with little effort, and the plastic handles have a gentle contour that prevents cramping or other stresses to your hand.
Pinking shears are handy for edging just about any paper project. They can be used in journals, scrapbook pages, and greeting cards.
There are also sets of decorative scissors. They have edges that cit in specific patterns. You can buy these scissors as single units or as a set. They often come with a holder to keep them all together.
This is another essential tool in paper crafting. There are several different types of paper trimmers available.
The standard trimmer comes in several sizes. You will want to have one that has a slide-out base that adds an additional room to the base. Make sure that the trimmer you select has easy-to-read grid markings so that you can measure and cut precisely. Always keep one or two replaceable blades handy.
The Guillotine Trimmer
The guillotine trimmer has a blade on the handle. When you bring the handle down the paper is cut. The best trimmers of this type have grid markings so that you can see inches or centimeters that give you precise measurements. You want a wide base so that you have the option of cutting larger pieces of\paper like the 12" by 12" paper
The Rotary Blade Trimmer
Another trimmer option is the rotary blade trimmer, It has a self-sharpening blade that never needs replacing. It cuts through chipboard, cork, burlap paper, vinyl, foam, and layers of cardstock. Most feature a dual-rail system that eliminates blade wiggle for straight, precise cuts. Some are electric with a laser guide. These tend to be somewhat more expensive. But you also save on buying blades.
A scoring board is handy to have for just about any paper craft project. It can be used when you are making greeting card bases to make crisp folds. It can also be used when you are making gift bags and boxes. Anytime you need to measure and mark lines, this is the tool for you.
It is a plastic board that has markings in inches on it. The markings are typically on the top and sides of the board which allow you to make perfectly straight lines on a paper. Having perfectly scored lines, enables you to get more professional crisp folds. Usually, these boards come with a plastic bone folder that is attached in a slot.
If you are planning on making greeting cards, scrapbook pages or journals, an envelope board can be a tool you will be glad to have at your disposal. You can make any size envelope for a greeting card in literally about 7 minutes.
Not only can these be used for your greeting cards, but they work in your journals. You can create pockets for your junk journal or any other journal where you want to store extra ephemera.
Use them on scrapbook pages to store journaling, extra pictures or ephemera.
Craft Knife & Self-Healing Cutting Mat
A craft knife and a self-healing cutting mat are essential tools for any kind of papercraft. They are used to cut out intricate shapes and cut thicker materials. Knives with disposable blades are best as the blades tend to dull quickly.
There are a few things to consider when you are choosing a craft knife for your paper cutting needs. You will want a knife that has a durable handle that is comfortable in your hand. Having a good grip is another consideration. A good grip means that you will have good control over the knife. If the blade slips from your hand, that is a safety concern.
The choices in blades of course include the popular X- Acto knives. These have been the choice of crafters for many years. There are also ceramic blades that cut equally as well. The ceramic blades in the Slice line of cutters last longer and do not rust. So that is something you might want to take into consideration.
Fiskars is another company that is well known for its cutting tools. They have different choices depending on the type of materials that you are planning to cut.
You also will need a self-healing cutting mat. This is the mat you will use with your craft knife. A self-healing mat is comprised of tons of tiny pieces of material fused together. When you use these mats, you are just moving some of the pieces rather than actually cutting into them.
These mats often have measuring marks that make your cutting easier. These mats protect your work surface and are a must-have for every craft space. They come in different sizes and price points.To keep your cutting mat free of debris, you can use a baby wipe, alcohol wipe, or a simple spritz of water with a clean microfiber cloth.
There are different types of rulers available. The most often used one is the clear plastic ruler. It is perfect for paper crafts because you can see through the paper to mark or cut. Another use for this ruler is to line up letters or sentiments on your papercrafts
A metallic ruler would be used to rip sections of the paper or with a craft knife to make straight cuts. It can also be used to tear pages from a book to create an altered book. You will get straighter more even cuts.
You will also need a good clear plastic ruler. It is used for a number of different paper projects where you need to see the area behind the ruler.
Did you know that there are printable rulers that are free on the internet? I do not think these replace a good ruler for papercraft. But if there is a particular one that you might use only occasionally or if you want a ruler on your desk, this might be a good alternative. The other reason to use printable rulers is if you are creating a curved or nonflat project
These are multiple-use tools for all papercraft. They are used to hold paper projects together while the glue dries. They are also used to hold pages when you are doing art journaling or junk journaling. They can also be used to organize paper supplies. You should have some large ones and small ones.
There are a variety of glass mats to choose from in different sizes. They all have one thing in common. They provide a clean nonstick workspace. They all have a grid marking under the glass which guarantees that the markings will not fade. Most mediums will wipe up with a simple spritz of water and a few swipes with a soft cloth.
Glass mats are perfect for the following uses
There are travel mats as well as full-sized mats available
Silicone is a paper crafters best friend and the silicone mat is a must-have even for a beginner. It is a robbery nonstick surface that will not absorb different media or cause them to dry out. You will find yourself using them for blending inks, using watercolors, mixing acrylic paints, manipulating mousse or paste, creating custom enamel dots, or safely using hot glue. There are different sizes to choose from so you will be able to find the size that you need for your work surface.
The perfect tool for unclogging that tiny glue and glitter glue bottles
This is a tool that has ruler-type markings. It is used to stamp precise images, patterns, and borders. There are several different types of stamp positioners, but they all have one purpose. That one use is to help you set a stamped image anywhere you may want it to be.
A bone folder is used to make creases on the paper. . It is useful when you are making card bases or envelopes so that you get even well-defined creases. It can be used for any paper project that has folded.
The basic bone folder is often shaped like a wooden tongue depressor or a large flat stick. It may have a rounded or pointed tip
Bone folders can be used with a ruler or scoring tool to create perfectly straight score lines on paper, and then used again to burnish the paper for a sharp crease
Pencils, Sharpeners, And Erasers
An ordinary lead pencil is used to make lines and measurements on paper. You want a good sharp point so you will need a sharpener with a cover to collect all the shavings.
There are different types or erasers for pencils and inks. Just make sure that your eraser does bot smudge and is clean before you use it.
Colored Pencils are used for greeting cards, art journals, coloring books, and more. They come in a wide range of colors and styles. They are loved because they are easy and clean to use.
While they're slow to use compared to wet media like paint (in terms of laying down color), they’re almost unparalleled when it comes to controlling and detail. You generally work from light to dark, gradually building up your colors. Colored pencils, like watercolors, are famous for their translucent quality, which can give your artwork a striking luminance, especially on textured paper.
Unlike markers, they last a long time
Fine Tipped Markers
These are markers that are used for bullet journaling, journaling on scrapbook pages, art journals, and doodling. They are also used in zentangle drawing. Most often they come in the ultrafine and standard tips. They are considered permanent markers. While black is the usual choice, you can get them in some colors.
Though most often used for heating embossing powders, it does have other uses as well. It can be used to heat set inks. You can also use it to heat shrink plastic.
Many of these heat guns have dual temperature settings. There are also several that have more than one speed. These are handy extras that will add to the price point of your heat gun.
Other Things To Look For in A Heat Gun
- Thick plastic covering around the metal end of the tool. Many heat guns stay hot 2-3 minutes after being turned off. This feature prevents you or your little ones from getting burned on that hot metal end.
- Durability. You want the gun to still function after being dropped
- Heats up fast. You do not want to be waiting for your heat gun.
- A reasonable level of noise. You need to be able to hear yourself think
Most of all, do not consider using a hairdryer. It is dangerous and the results are never consistent.
Single Hole Punches
They come in a variety of sizes. But 1/8 and 1.18 inches are the most useful. You can use them to make holes for brads and eyelets. They are also used for holes in tags and gist tags. You can use them to bind a journal. These for the most part are hand gripped punches.
This is a must-have for every paper crafter. It is used on the corners of greeting cards, journals, altered books, greeting cards, and scrapbook mats and pages. Some corner punches have detailed designs added to the corner rounder.
Circle or Round Punches
These punches create circles of different sizes. These are used to create embellishments on all different types of papercrafts.
There are just about any shape that you can imagine in shape punches.
Create interesting, delicate, and intricate borders on cards, journals, and scrapbooks.
These are used for very specific projects. There are boards for making letters, numbers, frames, banners, confetti, tags, candy boxes, and more.
They are used to hold delicate pieces when heat embossing. You can also use them to lift gems and place them on a project. You can also thread ribbon on paper.
Most quality tweezers are made of stainless steel, mainly because this material is strong yet flexible and highly rust-proof, which means they can stay new and useful in your toolbox for years.
The alignment between the tips of a pair of tweezers is paramount to how well they function. If the tips don’t align, then you won’t be able to pick up anything at all. When you first buy a pair of tweezers, you need to first check whether the tips are well-aligned before employing them in your craft.
Some are purchased individually while others come in sets
- The straight tips tweezers allow you to easily pick up and hold small parts with more control. The curved tips allow you to handle wider items, as well as get into small corners at an angle. This is useful in a variety of crafts, such as sewing and jewelry making.
- The blunted tips are probably the most familiar type of tweezers since they are safe to use on a variety of materials without poking anything or injuring you. However, other crafts may favor the pointed tip tweezers, which allows you to pick up and precisely position small embellishments or gems
Eyelet Mat, Setter, And Hammer
An is a small piece of metal that is used to reinforce a hole piece of fabric; usually made of brass.
They are also used for finishing a tag. An eyelet setting tool works for applying very small eyelets with a hammer.
A hole is punched into the paper. The eyelet is then laid into the hole. The setter is placed on top of the eyelet, Then the hammer is used to gently hit the setter.
In the newer version of eyelet setters, no hammer is needed. They operate with a spring action. These tools come in 1/16", 1/8", 3/16" sizes. usually in a pack of three
Sponges And Daubers
Used to apply ink to stamped images. You can use natural sea sponges or common kitchen sponges. Once they are raised or washed in soapy water, you can reuse them. They are useful for background techniques and for applying other media
Craft Daubers are used for applying ink and other media to paper projects. The most popular daubers slip over your finger. Other daubers have a wooden or plastic handle. They usually come in sets in a plastic container. They can be used more than one time. But you can purchase them separately or in sets.
The bristles of these brushes are used to apply tiny dots of color. This is often used to create a background They can also be used to blend colors and create graduated tones. They are used for ink and paints, especially in junk and art journals. Stippling brushes can be used with stencils
This is a piece of plastic that has wells in it for different colors of paint. It also has a central well where you can mix colors. They are used with watercolors and paints. I also like to recycle meat trays to use as palettes with gesso and other paints.
Paint And Craft Brushes
There are different types of brushes that you will need depending on the type of papercraft you are planning.
- Foam Brushes-Used to apply decoupage and other glues in an even stroke-free coat. They can be used to apply other media as well. If washed right away, they can be used more than once.
- Stencil Brushes-These are round short stiff hair brushes used to apply ink or paint when using a stencil.
- Watercolor Brushes- Plastic brushes that hold water are most often used with watercolors. The parts come apart so that you can add water to the barrel.
- Toothbrushes-Used to splatter paint, create texture, and make droplets
- Blending Brushes-Use to blend inks on paper for a no lone color blend
- Watercolor Brushes-Designed to be used with watercolor paints
- Artist Brushes-Use these with acrylics on art journals and junk journals
This is a type of paint roller tool that can be used for many different effects. It is a cylindrical roller with a handle used to apply paints, inks, and other mediaScoring boards are essentially plastic platforms with grooves in them that allow you to score your paper at pretty much any interval you want in order to fold the paper a little easier.
in smooth coats. They come as rubber, plastic, or sponge brayers in different sizes. The surface is smooth, so you get an even coat of whatever media you are using. Some have detachable rollers that can be changed.
You will want to keep your brayer clean to extend its life. Water-soluble inks and paints are simple to clean in soapy water, while permanent, alcohol, or other inks will need to be cleaned following the manufacturer's instructions. Dry the brayer after use and roll the brayer over a piece of scrap paper to ensure that it is clean.
One way to use a brayer differently is to wrap some yarn, string or a rubber band around it to get a textured look.
Tools You May Need
Here are a few tools for you to consider. These are among our favorites. Some of these items may have a commission associated with them at no cost to you. All earnings go back to enhance this community. We appreciate your support