Hello, My Little Dragons!
I hope today's blog post finds you all well and safe in whatever you are doing! My family and I are in self-isolation and between the kids doing bits of school work, Kev studying (thankfully his course can be done at home!) and I'm crafting, working on the business, cleaning and the usual household stuff, it's been pretty cruisy so far. Thankfully we are all good for everyday items for now and hopefully, it won't be completely uncomfortable for the duration!
So today's post is all about my top tools and what I personally love to use for my crafting! It was extremely hard to narrow down to 5 but I've combined a few things together as they really do the same thing, however, depending on what I'm doing will depend on what tool I actually use! So let's get started!
Number 1: Trimmer/ Guillotine
First up with have the Couture Creations Paper Trimmer and the Couture Creations Guillotine. The trimmer has measurements of 12 inches/30cm on the cutting arm and the extendable arm goes all the way out to 15 3/4 inches/40cm! This wonderful little trimmer also has easy to replace blades but you can also purchase a scoring blade for it too! Shown in the photos below, the trimmer has a sturdy arm that flips up and out of the road while trying to line your paper up. It also shows the extension arm and the shelf it has for resting paper on. The blue on the arm is in inches, the white shelf is in cm. The final photo shows the twin pack of replaceable blades. Starting out- this is the perfect trimmer and scoring tool that is easy to use. If you see in the photo above where Periwinkle has the trimmer and guillotine- I have actually used a permanent marker to show where the inch marks are (the blocks are marked in inches) just to make life a bit easier for me.
Now for the Couture Creations Guillotine! This awesome little cutting machine is something I tend to use more often than the trimmer if I have smaller pages. With a board size of 8 1/2 inches/22cm in height by 6 1/4 inches/ 15.7cm minimum in width (as you can have much longer pieces if required) this little paper cutter has plenty of room to use comfortably and is a must-have in any craft room! With its self-sharpening blade, it will never go blunt on you and it also has a two inch/5cm wide safety guard making sure you will never hurt yourself while using. However, the guard is very easy to remove to make cleaning much easier. I honestly didn't know how much I needed this in my craft room until I got it!
Number 2: Scoreboards
In number 2 spot we have the large 12x12 inch scoring board and the mini scoring board. First off, the large scoring board is perfect for any large, 3-D style project and comes with its own bone folder to help with scoring and making sure you have that nice crisp edge when burnishing your paper/cardstock. It also comes with an attachment to do envelopes with all the measurements on the attachment. Personally, I don't use that as I have a We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board which I use instead, but it's handy to know I have that option. I even have the option on the Mini Score Board! On the back of the board is all the embossing lines to create envelopes of different sizes and even tags. I tend to use the Mini for smaller things like card folds and if I'm making 3-D items and need hinges, it's much easier to score down a 1-inch wide piece of paper on the Mini than grab out the big scoreboard!
A handy little hint: If you struggle to see and keep pages lined up, why not use a permanent marker and draw on the scoring track right down at every inch! It makes it easier if you are scoring a small amount at the top and then need to go to the bottom and line it up- the mark is there to help!
Number 3: Die Release Tool
The Die Release Tool- or as I like to call it my Pokey Tool- is certainly very handy when trying to remove the paper from dies, but I tend to use it for so much more!!! It helps to remove the backing paper from my double-sided tape, holds things in place, the flat side helps me lift things up- it's so versatile! This particular pokey tool is from Kaisercraft and has two grips which help with comfort and holding whilst using and is a perfect addition to add to any craft room.
Number 4: Tim Holtz Design Ruler
For those of us in the crafting world- most of us would know of the delightful Tim Holtz and his products from oxide inks to metal fastenings. One of my favourite tools of his is his Design Ruler- one side has a metal cutting edge, the other has a lovely tapered edge for ruling with pens, pencils etc, it also has little holes at every 1/8th of an inch for piercing or marking along with the excellent and clear markings for measuring! My favourite is the centring marks, especially when trying to mat a card and you want to get it straight. The other bonus to this ruler- none of the markings will rub off! Even if you clean with rubbing alcohol- the marks are there engraved into the ruler!
Unfortunately, I don't stock any of his products in my store but it is something to aim for down the track!
Number 5: Adhesives
Lastly- Adhesives! I tend to use a few different adhesives depending on what I am making, I'll start off with my double-sided tape. I have just standard tear and tape in two sizes- 6mm and 12mm. Both are easy to use and I'm not afraid that it will fall off due to not being sticky enough. I do go through the 12mm more than the 6mm but it's handy to have them both there. Next is the Embossing, Foil and Glitter Tape, more commonly known as red tape. This tape is SUPER sticky and really great of 3-D projects and any work with acetate. Once it's on, it's not coming off! My third tape that I like to use is my little E-Z Tape Runner. This permanent tape is perfect for card fronts or small projects. The tape is easy to use and the runner is a compact size that fits nicely in your hand. It also comes with replaceable cartridges which come in handy for when you run out. You can also purchase the cartridges in a triple pack separately.
For my wet adhesives, I use two different ones: Helmar's Professional Acid-Free Glue and the Turbo Precision Glue Pen. The Helmar's is one that I use on all of my projects as it's free-flowing and doesn't clog up the nozzle, it is quick-drying but you still have a couple of seconds of wiggle room to straighten your paper and once it is dry, it's quite sturdy. The Glue Pen is handy for those small items like die cuts and paper embellishments. It's handy and compact for quick and easy use to glue down your item.
I narrowed down these items- Bone Folder, Blending Brushes, Heat Tool and the Couture Creations Go Press & Foil Machine. The bone folder is handy to have when scoring, folding and burnishing your cardstock and paper, but I use it also to help press down my paper while I'm waiting for it to dry.
The Blending Brushes are still a novelty for me as I'm brand new to the mixed media side of card making. They are soft, smooth and so easy to use. Their grip is comfortable and helps you be more in control of where you want your ink.
The Heat Tool is very handy in the craft room when using multi-media products such as embossing powder and alcohol inks. Even just to dry and set your inks! This particular tool from Couture Creations is very ergonomic and comfortable to use. Perfect for anyone starting out in the extended world of crafting!
Lastly is the Go Press & Foil Machine from Couture Creations which was introduced in 2017 and was the first of its kind on the market where you use it with a die cutting machine. This gadget is easy to use and creates amazing works with all kinds of Foiling Stamps. Giving the gorgeous foil effect with a huge range of colours, this machine has a workout in my craft room. If you would like to see more about the machine, head over to the Couture Creations YouTube page and there are tutorials on how to use it with the lovely Adriana.
There you go- my top 5 items (groups would probably be a better description hehe) of what I can't live without in my craft room. I hope you enjoyed this post today and I'd love to hear about what your favourite tools are and why. Maybe is a punch? Or a set of pens? Or even your alcohol markers! We are all different in our ways and techniques and every one of them is wonderful! So head into your craft room or pull out your craft stash and get crafting while we are at home and probably looking for things to do- get creative!
Thanks for stopping by, stay safe and will talk to you soon!
If you would like any more information or to purchase any of the products I have mentioned today (except for the Tim Holtz ruler), head on over to my website www.thelittlepurpledragon.com or to my Facebook page The Little Purple Dragon to order yourself some of these items, or ask any questions.