Friday, March 18, 2011

Top 10 - Must Have Stampin' Up! Tool

 I am often asked by beginning stampers, what are the must have tools from Stampin' Up!  While it is easy to see that when you sit down to stamp you must have paper, ink and stamps, they realize right away that there must be other tools that are needed to successfully complete a stamping project.  

The following 10 tools are my absolute must have items, and I use them almost every time I sit down to craft regardless the project!

Tabletop Paper Cutter - When working with paper, you need a paper cutter.  With so many on the market which should you purchase?  I have to admit to purchasing almost a many different cutters over the last decade,  I have almost always ended up frustrated.  There are so many problems with the different models.  Some don't cut cleanly, or they cut cleanly only with a new blade and new cutting mat/base (which can be expensive to replace repeatedly).  Others are difficult to line up for a straight cut.  Often they are too large to take on the road or to store, while others made for travel are too flimsy. 

I've finally found the perfect cutter for me!  And it was right in front of me for years ... the Stampin' Up! Tabletop Paper Cutter.  This cutter is small enough to take on the road with you, but large enough to cut 12 x 12 paper accurately.  It is easy to use to make straight cuts, gives you a crisp edge, and can cut more than one piece of paper at a time.  In addition it is self sharpening!  No more dull blades or worn out cutting mats! 

Stampin' Scrub and Stampin' Mist Cleaner -

Anyone who has taken a class with me or gone to one of my workshops, knows that I do not stamp without my Stampin' Scrub.  When I first started stamping, I cleaned my stamps with baby wipes, water and paper towels, or even a rag.  I held off on the Stampin' Scrub as an unneccessary expense.  But, once I finally purchased a scrub, it became a must have item to recommend to new stampers.  The scrub cleans your stamps in seconds without any of the fiber residue that can come from other methods.  And any tool that makes cleaning up while you stamp so easy will help keep you stamping!

I know many individuals use plain water or other homemade cleaners on their Stampin' Scrubs, but I find the Stampin' Mist Stamp Cleaner convenient and effective.  My stamps clean quickly with little effort and I appreciate knowing that the rubber is being conditioned with each use.  And since a single refill bottle lasts me at least a year (probably two) the cost per use is truely minimal

Paper Snips -

These small scissors are great for reaching into tiny areas and allowing precision cutting.  While much of your cutting can be done with a paper cutter, you will soon find times when you need to cut out an image free hand. These get the job done easily.  

Sticky Strip -

This amazing adhesive tape comes on a roll and is double sided.  It has super adhesive properties for heavy items or for adhering ribbon...I cannot say enough about this product- it is absolutely great!

Bone Folder -

There is not much to say about this tool, except that if you are scoring, creasing or folding paper you need to have one!  while it makes it easy to make clean crisp folds when making cards, it also helps to burnish rub-ons or help with clean book binding.  Be certain to keep this tool clean of adhesive or paints, to keep it gliding smoothly across your work. 

Paper-Piercing Tool and Mat Pack-

This tool is use and abused in my craft room.  Great for piercing holes as the name suggests - whether for the insertion of brads, decorative piercing, or for faux stitching (real stitching too!) - but once you find it on your craft table, you'll find yourself reaching for it all the time.  To unplug a bottle of Crystal Effects, to mark a spot for a cutting line, to pick up a small embellishment with a dot of adhesive... it will never leave your side again!

This template, piercing mat and cutting mat were made to work with the Paper-Piercing Tool.  Allowing you to create even holes for stitching, to insert a line of brads or eyelets in a nice clean line or evenly from the corners of your project, and to create decorative pierced patterns.  It also helps to protect your workspace.  

SNAIL Adhesive -

This is my basic adhesive used to assemble cards and scrapbook pages.  It is double sided, easy to apply, continuously dispensed, refillable and acid free.  What more could you ask for? 

Stamp-a-Ma-Jig -

This is an absolute must for me...I use this each and every time I stamp... I dont know what I ever did without it (threw a lot of mistakes in the garbage lol) This invaluable tool allows you to accurately position your images on your projects every time!

Adhesive Remover -

Have I told you what a tactile crafter I am?  I'm more likely to use my finger to spread some ink, paint or adhesive than I am to grab an appropriate Stampin' Sponge, Sponge Dauber or other applicator.  But all of that hands on work, can make for a messy workspace if I'm not careful.  And stray bits of adhesive are not uncommon on my finished projects.  But the adhesive Remover seems to do the job of removing these bits saving the projects themselves!

Stampin' Dimensionals -

Once you get in the habit of adding dimension to your projects, you will never turn back!  These are great double sided adhesive foam dots, with adhesive strong enough to attach small embellishments, a unique shape that helps keep them discretely hidden behind your project, and they are acid free!

So girls, if you have any questions about any of the above items, or if you would like to try them out before you buy...just give me a call...232-7744.  

Inky hugs til next time....Shel

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