For New Card Makers – Basic Tools

Today I want to cover the basic tools for cardmaking.  There are somethings that simply make cardmaking easier.  When you have the right tools you don’t struggle with the basics.

Everyone I am sure has their own idea about which tools are essential.  The following are the ones I think are basic:

  • Basic Tools
    • A good pair of paper snips, something that cuts all the way to the tip of the scissors $10
    • pair of scissors dedicated to cutting ribbon exclusively $10
    • Ruler $3
    • Paper Trimer, preferably with a scoring blade  $25
    • Glue Erase $5
    • Sand Eraser $5
    • Liquid Glue $5
    • Bone Folder $7
    • Glue tape runner $8 – refills prices vary
    • Pick tool $10
    • A couple of Lucite blocks $17
    • glue dots $5
    • dimensionals $4

The above group of tools will cost in the neighborhood of $120.

  • Next in Line
    • Stamp Positioner – $50
    • Die Cutting Machine – $120

All of the items noted above are based on Stampin’ Up! products and prices, some products are not sold by SU.

To accomplish more advanced techniques like Heat Embossing, Guilding, Ink Blending and so on more equipment may be needed.  Like many hobbies you can get along with the basics or you have to have it all. 

Future Posts will include ink, colored paper, Designer Series Paper, Stamps, Dies, Embossing Folders, coloring tools and embellishments . 



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For New Card Makers – Standard Sizes, Cutting, Cardstock Weight & Scoring

I have so many crafters on my YouTube Channel “Ink and Ingenuity” that share they are new to cardmaking.  So, I have decided to add some Posts to my blog that talk about some of the basics.  Hopefully you can learn from this series or just review. 

What is a standard size card?

Standard size cards in the US are called A2, and measure 4 1/4″ by 5 1/2″ when finished. They are cut from an 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of cardstock, and can be oriented either portrait (vertical) or landscape (horizontal).  They can open from the right to the left, most common, and from the bottom to the top, one piece of paper will yield two card bases.



What Kind of Cardstock should I use?

I am a Stampin’ UP! Demonstrator, so I use Stampin’ UP! paper.  SU paper is specifically designed to work with stamped images.  Cardstock that you purchase at a business supply store is not.  The fibers in the SU paper are tight and smooth.  The advantage of using SU paper is that all paper is very high quality, made for stamping, and the colors are all coordinated across all products.  Paper that is not specifically made for stamping can result if fuzzy images.  This includes stamping with inks or heat embossing.

The weight of the cardstock also matters. I use a heavier weight cardstock for my card bases and lighter weight for the insides of the cards. You can’t go wrong with neutral colors to start with.  Basic White, Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Browns and Greys are the SU Neutrals, other light pastels can work as neutrals as well.  The SU Basic White and Very Vanilla come in thick and regular weight.  Thick is 120 lb. paper and regular weight is around 65 lb. weight.  Colored cardstock comes in at a bit more than the 65lb., as adding color stiffens the paper.  


Scoring Cardstock

Professional looking cards have crisply scored edges, regardless of how you achieve them.  Placing the fold of the card  in the center of the cardstock is the most common. Certain ‘fun fold cards’ put scoring at different places on the cardstock to achieve different looks. Scoring is done with the use of a scoreboard and scoring tool, a trimmer with a scoring blade,  or using a score tool and a ruler.

A common question is how to fold a scored card.  The answer is counter intuitive.  The score line on a card has a concave and a convex side (one side looks like a valley, the other like a mountain).  You fold the convex or mountain side to the inside of the card.  I know that sounds crazy but that is how you do it. Once the fibers of the paper have been stretched by the scoring you will get a crisp edge by folding this way.

I will be posting more basic information every couple of days here on my blog. 

If you have specific things you want me to cover be sure to leave me comments I am happy to take up any subject. Happy Crafting!

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