A craftswoman’s tools are super important. Here’s a rundown of the basic tools I keep on hand when I’m scrapbooking. These are always either right on the top my desk or in one of my drawers — never out of arm’s reach. Having easy access to all my basic supplies means that I spend less time searching and more time creating.
Note: These are the tools that I use, they work for me, but they might not be your cup of tea. The biggest factor in choosing supplies is personal preference. Use what you are comfortable with, they’ll help you create your best work.
On Specific Brands: There some tools where I don’t particularly care about the brand and I use whatever I have on hand. I get sent a good amount of supplies through various design team/magazine contracts and I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of different products over the years. There are other supplies (like my StazOn Ink or my Microperm pens) that I absolutely must have. Like I said, the most important thing is to use what you like and what you’re comfortable with.
I am a tape roller person. I keep a tape runner on me at all times. I like the smaller refillable ones, they’re easy, convenient, and don’t take up too much space. Since Koyuyo stopped manufacturing my beloved Dot N Roller, I’ve been back and forth on brands. Right now I’m using one from Tombow which is working pretty great, as well as my big Scotch ATG tool. Tape Runners are very subjective. I’ve had great results with some, crappy results with others — and I’ve seen tons of other people with completely opposite opinions. Feel out a couple and find one that’s comfortable to use.
I keep a small pair of scissors (4 inch blade) on my desk at all times. They are my go-to cutting tool. I also keep a large pair of scissors (8 inch blade) within reach for cutting larger papers and long straight lines. As long as the blades are sharp, I don’t really care what brand they are. I’ve had good experiences with Fiskars and Westcott.
I do a fair amount of stamping on my layouts and Project Life spreads, I keep it managable and minimalist by sticking mostly to black ink. StazOn and VersaFine are my jam. These two ink pads come with me everywhere. They are on my desk at all times. Between the Versafine for perfect detailing, and the Staz-On for stamping on photos, transparencies and anything slick, I do 95% of my stamping with these two pads.
I keep several acrylic blocks (for use with clear or cling stamps) within reach. My favorite size block is 2×4 — right now I’m using this one from Lawn Fawn, it’s perfect for about 80% of my stamping. I also keep 1×7, 3×5, and 6×6 blocks in an easy to access drawer.
I have a small obsession with pens. I’m definitely very particular about my pens. My favorite pens are by Sakura. I just love all their pens. My ultimate journaling pen is the Sakura micro perm, it has an awesome flow and writes on photos and other slick surfaces with no smudging.
For trimming down paper, nothing works better than a paper trimmer (makes sense right?) and as big and bulky as they are, they are well worth the space. I have a Tonic guillotine trimmer and I love it. I’ve had it for more than 5 years and it’s awesome. I plan on getting the big 12×12 version once I move. Be good to your trimmer and it will be good to you.
These are the tools that work for me right now. Use this list as a starting point to figure out what your must have basic scrapbooking tools are.