Friday, February 8, 2008

Scrapbooking 101: Tools of the Trade

Paper trimmer. I can’t live without mine. I actually own 3 of them. I own a small one for trimming photos, and small items; a large one with a swing out arm for trimming up 12x12 paper; and a heavy duty large one for cutting large paper and mat board. You can buy these at walmart, your local scrapbook store, or even office supply stores.

Scissors. I own a bunch of these. You need standard ones, and definitely tiny ones for detail work. The sharper the better, makes for a nice clean cut everytime.

Exacto Knife & Mat. These are not a requirement by any means, but useful. I use mine when I cut out items when I have printed them or used templates to draw them. They work better than scissors in teeny tiny spots.

Punches. You can buy a ton of different punches and punch out design or use the punchies themselves to decorate pages. There is also a ton of punchart designs you can create using various punchies. If you don’t want to invest in the punch themselves, you can get on ebay and buy just about anything you want – already punched out. Very cheap and convenient. There is also swap groups you can join online to swap punchies.

Die cutters. You can buy diecuts already made up in packages at the store for different themes. Or better yet, there is also a few different personal die cutting machines available for purchase. A couple of the most commonly known ones are the Sizzix & Quikutz die cutters. There are tons of different full alphabet fonts in addition to 1000's of shapes. The systems to buy are not cheap to buy of course...but sure is fun to use and allows you lots of versatility. Now many of the local scrapbook stores have a machine or similar with dies and you can cut for free as long as you buy your paper from the store. This is a nice way to go if offered where you live and shop. Once again there is many online folks interesting in swapping die cuts as well.

Decorative scissors. The are a ton of these in all different patterns. You can use them to trim photos, mats, make borders, toppers, etc. Some decorative scissors can make up to 8 different borders.

Templates. EK Success, Coluzzle and a few others make some great templates that allow you more flexibility in creating embellishments to color coordinate with your layouts. They take a little practice, but can be a great investment.

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