There are a few tools I use with every project I make, that insure I end up with professional-looking cards. Whether you're just starting out, or you're an experienced stamper, you need the right high-quality tools. Your cardmaking and paper crafting projects will come together more smoothly, and look more professional when you use the best tools. Today I'll share three of my favorites.
First of all, your finished card depends so much on precision cuts for every layer in your design, that you need an easy-to-use paper cutter. The Stampin' Trimmer from Stampin' Up! was carefully designed with the cardmaker and scrapbooker in mind. It has a base of 6-1/4" x 12", and an extender that allows you to make cuts up to 14-1/2".
As I showed you in in yesterday's post on how to cut and score a handmade card base, the most common size is 4-1/4" x 5-1/2". Any small (and therefore convenient) cutter will have an awkward point, where the base meets the extender arm. It's more difficult to position card stock precisely at that juncture. With a base 6-1/2" wide, you won't have to struggle with that awkward point when cutting your card base and layers.
The Trimmer has other features that will make your paper crafting more enjoyable, and your projects look more professional, which you can read in this post: Why I Can Hardly Wait for the Stampin' Trimmer.
The second most-important tool in my studio is the Stamp-a-ma-jig. If you've followed any of my tutorials, you know I use it every time I need to position a stamp on a piece of card stock. The only exception is when I stamp an image and then punch it out or die-cut it with a Framelits.
Many stampers don't bother with the Stamp-a-ma-jig, and just want to "eyeball it." How many times have you done that, then looked at the stamped image, and said, "oh, well," because it's not straight or centered on the card stock. This can make an otherwise lovely card a disaster, because that lack of precision is so glaring.
It takes very little time to use the Stamp-a-ma-jig, and the effort is totally worth it! If you want professional-looking cards and other projects, then this is a must-have tool! You can watch a video on How to Use the Stamp-a-ma-jig on The Mad Stamper YouTube Channel.
The third thing I use with every project is Grid Paper. It is a very simple, inexpensive tool that makes precision stamping, cutting, and measuring a breeze. The 1/4" grid pattern gives you more accuracy than a cutting mat with 1/2" gridlines, for example. You'll find yourself using it for more than just protecting your table.
I use it constantly when working on a project, as a guide for positioning images with the Stamp-a-ma-jig, marking lines for sentiments and embellishemnts, aligning layers, and mounting stamps on block. I love that it is paper, because I can write down measurements, and add or subtract fractions for different-sized layers.
What are your most essential paper crafting tools? Is precision as important to you as it is to me? If you're not using tools that help you get that professional look you love so much at Stamping Madly, then you need to order these items today from my Online Stampin' Up! Store.
I'll continue writing posts on which paper crafting tools are my favorites and why they help me get professional-looking handmade cards, so be sure to check back for more helpful tips.