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6.12.2009

Scrapbooking Tools : The Basics


{Reported by Emilie Ahern}

I had a great email from a reader this month. She explained that she wanted to start scrapbooking, but needed help assembling the basics. This is a topic definitely worth exploring. We would assume that someone who is wanting to try scrapping for the first time is not going to want to make a significant investment in tools and products...that will come later! LOL! With that in mind, we have compiled what we think is a great Basic Tool Kit.

Basic Tool Kit

Cardstock: You really can't go wrong starting a layout with basic white cardstock. For beginners we suggest buying a package of 12x12" white cardstock (or craft if you want a softer look) and a multi-color pack for variety. There are a lot of cardstocks out there with different weights, textures, finishes, etc. What you prefer is a personal decision. When your first starting out you might want to go to a Michaels or JoAnns and purchase single sheets of white cardstock in a variety of weights and textures to find out what you like. But here are a few considerations...

- Those who plan on stamping directly onto their layouts will need a completely smooth and untextured cardstock like Stampin' Up! Whisper White.
- I often journal directly on my layouts, so find the medium weight and minimal texture of WorldWin Treasures in Pure White ideal for my needs.
- Others may prefer more texture options and should go with the always popular Bazzill Basics.

TSR Recommends: WorldWin Treasures, Bazzill Basics, and Stampin Up! and for a good pack of varied colors WorldWin DoubleMates.

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Patterned Paper: Another very personal choice. There are endless possibilities and what you choose is completely up to your style. Consider your clothing style and they way in which you decorate your house as a good indicator for your personal style. Here are a few suggestions...

- Modern & Graphic: American Crafts, Pebbles Inc.
- Floral and Feminine: Anna Griffin
- Shabby Chic: Glitz, Basic Grey, Pink Paislee
- Distressed and Playful: Bo Bunny, Crate Paper
- Fun and Cute: Jillibean Soup, Bella Blvd
- Vintage: Jenni Bowlin, Graphic 45

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Cutting Tools: Yes, you'll really want a trimmer when starting. You'll be easily frustrated with scissors when it comes to making large 12" cuts. We are recommending a very affordable trimmer to start out with and as your passion for scrapbooking grows you can later upgrade to our TSR Top Pick, the Making Memories Magnetic Trimmer.

TSR Recommends: Fiskars 12" portable Craft Trimmer. Available here on scrapbook.com on sale for $8.99....you can't beat that!

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Adhesive: Sure, we could suggest gluesticks, and you can use them if you want to until you get your feet wet, but you will feel some frustration at curling photos and papers. There is also some bubbling. And we want you to have a great first time experience! So we suggest biting the bullet and purchasing an adhesive roller. Also, pop dots are a great way to add dimension to certain elements and are fairly inexpensive.

TSR Recommends: Scrapbook Adhesives roller or Kokuyo Dot n' Roller

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Journaling pens: Always make sure you know that your pen is acid free and archival safe. But after that, we recommend buying a variety pack of different thickness until you find the point size you prefer. *If you hate your handwriting, you just need a computer and a printer for quick and easy journaling.


TSR Recommends: Sakura Pen 6 piece Black ink set. Now, this is a larger investment than some might like to make. May we offer two suggestions. First, you can always go to your local craft store and find large displays which sell these pens individually. You can pick up 2 or three and try them out. Second, you can also use a 40% off coupon to purchase these and if you decide scrapbooking isn't for you (say it isn't so!) keep these on hand to label the backs of your photographs with names and dates.

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Alphabet Stickers: We debated whether these should make the Basics list or the Extras list. But in the end we decided that every good layout contains a good title. Of course, many manufacturers make their own alphabet stickers in millions of fonts, colors and thickness. But the undisputed mother of all letter stickers are Thickers by American Crafts.

TSR Recommends: Thickers by American Crafts.

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What I Made: Here is an example of a layout made using only the supplies listed above that can be found in your BASIC tool kit.



Products - Cardstock: WorldWin, Patterned Paper: Jenni Bowlin, Alphabet Stickers: Sassafras and Making Memories, Adhesive: Scrapbook Adhesives roller by 3L.

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*Stay tuned for our follow up article exploring the EXTRAS of basic Scrapbooking supplies which will cover: punches, ribbons, embellishments, brads + setting tool, stapler, craft knife + mat.
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11 comments:

Erika M. said...

Great idea for beginners - I wish something like this was available when I began my journey into the great big world of scrapbooking!

Heather said...

Thanks for the truly basic list that isn't overwhelming for a beginner. I like that you mentioned several sources and pointed out that many choices are personal preferences or depend on the style you scrapbook.

BellaScrap4u said...

Hey here is a great affordable fast way to scrapbook in a hurry. BellaScrapbook.com is a free to download software that has over 1200 ready-made professionally designed pages to drag and drop your digital images into. Prices start at $2.95 per page! Pages are printed on quality photographic paper and mailed to your door for only $4.95 shipping per order! Get 10 pages done in an hour and catch up in a hurry!

Rhayne said...

Great list to start someone off! But one question: You mentioned not wanting to scare people away with glue sticks so why did you recommended the Fiskars trimmer?! Is it solely on cost? I really disliked this trimmer and when I took it to a few crops, I couldn't give it away. Everyone preferred another trimmer. This Fiskars trimmer doesn't provide adequate holding power with sharp enough blades and this results in sliding paper and uneven edges. You mentioned trying to stay on a budget for someone just getting into the hobby but there must be other affordable trimmers. I don't have nearly the knowledge as you fab ladies but I find the Cutterpede to be affordable, consistently accurate and I never have trouble finding replacement bits for it.

Anywho, just my two cents. Thanks again for the great summary :o)

Jill said...

This was not orig. a suggestion for newbies but speaking from exper. I think it is a good one. Re: pattered paper pads or pkgs. Rather than purchase a set, first pick out 2-3 single sheets that are your favorites from the collection. If you find you indeed use it and want it all, then jump in. Often a majority of sheets in a set remain unused and therefore a pkg. DOES NOT save you money. It is cheaper to purchase the ones you love as singles.

Jenn said...

Great idea for a report!

Michelle said...

This was a great idea! Also all very good items for a good starter kit.

The Lonely Scrapbooker said...

Posting this on my helpful tips for beginners link on my blog!
I'm not really a beginner anymore, but this post (well the link to it) convinced me it's time to upgrade my trimmer from a Cutterpede (two arms have broken already)--I'll keep it as my backup, esp. since I have all the blades for it.
I have tried a ton of adhesives and I have come back around to glue sticks. I have a favourite brand, of course, but besides using glue dots for really hard to stick stuff, and sticky tabs for photos, glue stick does it for me.
I like the Slick Writer personally -- thank goodness you didn't recommend the Zig Writer which I have tried over and over until I gave up realizing it's the pen drying out super quickly, not something I'm doing wrong.
Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that I love that layout! Adding it to my favourites. It's a great design and I love your choice of papers and colours.

Reel Girl said...

Excellent "Basic Tool Kit". The only item I would add is a date stamp and black ink pad. The best tool I ever purchased was the MM Date Stamp Kit - I use it on EVERY layout, I think it is important to note the date of layout and the date of the photo (even if it is on the back just for future reference!)and a date stamp (even one from the office supply store that costs $3 makes it easy to remember to add the date and adds a nice design element!




I have used the Fiskars 12" portable trimmer for 8 years now - yeah, I have complaints, but I have also tried just about every trimmer on the market, and they ALL have issues with making straight cuts.

Christine said...

Great informational article for newbies to the scrapping world! I was extremely lucky in that my boyfriend's mom had already been scrapping for a couple of years and was happy to put together a list of essentials and "nice to haves".

I think one basic requirement for a newbie is GOOD SCISSORS. Making a $10 investment in a pair of sharp microtip scissors is definitely worth it. I started out with a three-set of scissors in a basic craft pack from Joanns. It probably cost the same as Cutter Bee scissors. I remember being so frustrated using the basic pack's micro-tip scissors to get at all those little points and it would end up ripping the paper or cutting skewed. I was ready to give up! Then I finally caved in and, after going through many reviews, bought the Cutter Bee with the nonstick coating. Best investment! I was cutting through paper like it was butter and I couldn't believe how wonderfully easy it was to cut detailed images! The nonstick coating really helped with keeping adhesive coating to a minimum on the blades. Over a year later, and I'm still using the same pair. Definitely a must!

CarrieBeth said...

FANTASTIC! Thank you. This is just what I needed to know.