Skip to main content

5 Essential Items for Card Makers

So many times people ask me what are the most essential tools for card makers. Often times these are people who are eyeing Cricuts or similar such devices. And I agree, these are fantastic devices (and how I got into crafting in the first place). But they're not the be all end all. So outside of glue and good card stock, what are the five items every crafter needs?

1. A Guillotine

I couldn't live without my paper guillotine. Early on when using my Cricut, I needed to cut card bases. Your standard A2 card design measures 8.5in x 5.5in. If you're using a Cricut, this requires its own sheet. Once you obtain a guillotine, one sheet of 8.5in x 11in can make two card bases. Additionally, card fronts and inserts have never been easier. For speed and efficiency, everyone should have a guillotine in their arsenal.

I have a Fiskars Guillotine. For the price (around $30 MSRP) it does the job; I would say after a couple years of consistent use, it's starting to run it's life cycle, no matter how often I try to sharpen the blade, the cuts are feeling a bit dull. This isn't condoning or endorsing the device; this is just my personal experience.

2. Scoring Board

After you cut your bases, you need to make creases, and a scoring board does that an so much more. While scoring boards are a simple device, these devices can help you make all sorts of other fold cards including gate folds or mini-cards. Some people use them to make envelopes and such.  Be sure your scoring board comes with a crease tool (almost all do). These retail for around $20.

3. Adhesive Dots
Cards need one thing - dimension. No matter if you're crafting from scratch or using pre-made embellishments or using a design from Cricut, you need to give depth to your card. These inexpensive items will give your cards layers that would otherwise be impossible.

4. Stamping Sentiments
Okay, this is more of a three-in-one. But any crafter needs some generic sentiments. Besides a great source of inspiration, sentiments are often what you need when you don't have the right words. In addition to that, you'll need a couple blocks to hold the sentiments and ink. After trying an assortment of different inks, I'm extremely partial to the STAZON brand.

5. Washi Tape
To get a big lot of washi tape is fairly inexpensive. The best part? Washi tape is the perfect way to embellish cards. There are numerous tutorials on how to make stylish washi tape cards (even here on DannysCards.com). It's a fundamental tool for card crafts, and it's infinitely more forgiving than almost any other card type.

With these five tools, you'll be crafting cards like a semi-pro in no time. Will you create the most intricate and stylized cards like you see on Pinterest? No. But these five tools will bring you to the world of card making in a fairly inexpensive, but (most importantly) a still exciting way.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Anna Griffin Empress Machine Review

For the past few months, I've really given my Anna Griffin Empress Machine a workout. For those not in the know, The Empress is a high powered non-crank emboss and die cutting machine. It's akin to devices such as the Cuttlebug, The Big Shot, or the Gemini. I Have a Cricut / Cameo / Silhouette - Why This? The short answer is, you can create texture in your cards. While the aforementioned devices are no doubt powerful and create designs that the Empress can only dream about, there's no doubt that emboss machines give textures and creates intricacy that cutting machines cannot compete with. My most complimented cards are not the ones with the most layers or even the most elegant, rather it's the cards with texture. Cricut and other Cutting Machines just lack that  ability to create the"feel" of a higher quality card. Pros of the Empress I absolutely adore my Empress. For those with arthritis or other mobility issues, a device like the Empress is a

Cricut Foil Transfer Kit Review

The grand reveal of Cricut's new foil system was exactly what people were looking for. When the We R Memory Keepers Foil quill system was released, it was seen as revolutionary. Foiling cards with lettering and mandalas quickly made even the most generic card look vibrant. But the system was also clunky. It took time to warm up, had three different pressure sensitive pens and the pressure applied was questionable leaving a less than desirable effect. For me, the We R Memories Foil Quill was nothing but a waste of money as the idea never quite translated to my cards correctly. Great in theory, but like other We R Memory  Keepers items, it misses the mark. Cricut promised us a new foil system without the need of heat and with new pressure technology. It sounds promising.  In practice, the release of the Foil Transfer Kit was a bit of a disaster. Obtaining the product seemed next to impossible except for the few who did get it. Cricut continues to have fulfillment issues with many peo

Color Throwdown Entry #613: Bat and Pumpkin Card

At DannysCards.com, we're in the midst of Halloween extravaganza. Over on The Color Throwdown blog , the challenge was focused around the perfect set of fall colors. Here were the colors for their newest challenge: Immediately, I knew I was going to pull out my brand new bat and pumpkin dies. The results were a bit mixed, but the bat card came out better than expected. Here were the results: By embossing the background and using 3D dot adhesives, the card ended up with more dimension than I expected. Here's the card from a different angle: The Halloween Bats Metal Dies  are available from Michaels.com. My original plan for this challenge was this pumpkin concoction. The results were solid, but it lacked the depth of the bat card. I would describe it as ho-hum. I'm going to have find a different way to utilize these pumpkins. I tried to off-set the pumpkins to give it another layer. Here you can see the 3D dot adhesives working overtime: These pumpkin dies are also availabl