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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.

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