Did you know that people have been getting together to crop for over a century? Back in the 1800’s (and probably long before) ladies would get together to work on quilts for the troops to keep them warm in their tents on the battlefield. There is something special about gathering for a day of crafting with other like minded people. However, a lot of crafters have a hard time knowing what to bring and how to pack for a crafting day.

I am going to share with you how I pack for a day of scrapbooking at my local craft store’s once a month crop. This list of things to bring and how I layout my space can work for a multitude of different paper crafters, but it is tailored for the album maker. I will share with you how to pack for other types of paper crafting in future articles.

Crop Bag

A well packed crop bag for a day should fit in the trunk of a vehicle.

What To Pack

The following list is in no particular order. There are links provided for these supplies at the end of the article.

  1. Paper (cardstock and pattern)
  2. Adhesive (tape runner and pop dots)
  3. Blades (page trimmer, Circle Cutter and scissors)
  4. Mediums (dye ink pad set, black ink pad, and black journal pen)
  5. Alphabets (Stamps and stickers)
  6. Stamp Platform
  7. Stamp Shamie
  8. Wet Wipes
  9. Blending Tools
  10. Craft Mat
  11. Stencils
  12. Die Cuts
  13. Adhesive backed gems
  14. Snacks
  15. Refillable water bottle


Paper is one of the most important things in your craft apart from the pictures. It is the foundation for the rest of your bag packing. Only pack white and black cardstock. You do not need every color or the rainbow, unless you do not use pattern paper. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if the pattern paper you are using has a lot of the same color showing up, having that color in cardstock makes for a lovely accent. Otherwise, the basics go with anything and make nice mattes. Pattern paper is like fabric with fun shapes, designs and florals. It really can make a page look fantastic without needing a bunch of extra stuff. I typically pack between 15 and 30 sheets  per day I am crafting.


Tape Runners and pop dots are all you really need when scrapbooking. Pop Dots can be used on premade die cuts to give them depth. I love a good glue, but for crops I leave it at home because it can leak. In general it is good to pack things that do not require time to dry.


Portable 12 inch page trimmer, small detail scissors and a circle cutter are great additions to your craft bag. If you do not use circles in your crafting than you can leave this out.


Since you are transporting your craft supplies try to stick with things that can not leak or need lots of time to dry. My standards include dye ink because they can react with water, black waterproof ink because they do not move when wet and a nice black pen to journal and doodle.

Alphabet Options

To create your title simply pack a few alphabet options in stamps and stickers. If you have pre cut letters those would be great to pack as well.

Stamp Platform

Only pack this if you are going to stamp. That may seem like an odd thing to state, but for years I carried one on me and never stamped at my crops.

Stamp Shamie

Again, only take this if you are using stamps. I like this better than stamp cleaner that you have to spray because the cleaner can leak. You can use a sink (even in the bathroom) at your location to prep the stamp shamie.

Wet Wipes

Trust me, you will end up happy you have these in your bag! I use them to wipe my hands after using ink, after I eat and wiping down my space.

Blending Tools

These are great to apply ink to paper and with stencils. I like the ones I have listed in the supplies best because they do not leave harsh lines, are cheap and can be used on different handles.

Craft Mat

Some places will provide a craft mat for you. However, even when they are provided it is always a good idea to have one handy. I don’t know about you, but I have become picky with what I work on. I would rather work on a surface that I am familiar with and not concerned I will damage it.


These are a wonderful easy to pack tool that will create patterns on cardstock and interest on decorative paper. All you need to use them is ink and a blending tool which should be in your bag.

Die Cuts

Instead of packing stamp sets full of images, something to color those in with, blocks to mount them on and a foam base (or stamp platform) just bring manufactured die cuts. Use pop dots to adhere to your layouts for added interest.

Adhesive Backed Gems

I am a huge fan of Nuvo Drops, but at a craft event I do not want to wait for them to dry or accidently hit them and smear. A lot of times crafters want to add a little extra to their layouts. These are the perfect addition!


A lot of craft days include snacks and meals as part of your fee. However, it is always nice to bring some if you are on a special diet or want to share with your table. I have Celiac Disease and can not eat gluten. I pack an apple, almonds, protein bar and salad when I attend. I also make sure I eat breakfast before I leave my house.

Refillable Water Bottle

Don’t bring a full water bottle because it could leak. Bring one that you can add water to when you get to the event. In addition to a water bottle I also bring a caffeinated drink of some sort and a powder in another  bottle to add water to later in the day. Since there only is one bag to bring in I can easily carry my coffee.


How To Pack

Fully Packed Craft Bag

Packed Craft Bag

It’s important that you find a bag that is easy to pack and work out of for the duration of your craft day. I like a traditional crop bag. Though this one is no longer available (It’s about 20 years old), here is a good alternative. To hold smaller items like blending tools, pens and gems use make up bags or plastic sandwich bags. Ipsy makes wonderful bags that are perfect for packing small craft supplies. For pattern paper stacking them in a file folder between the back of the bag and craft mat works great. Use plastic bags or well sealed bags for food. Slip the snacks in last, so they can come out first when you get to your crop.

Snack Corner

Pop snacks in last, so you can pull them out first and set them up in your work station.

Decide on a Theme

I have gone to a lot of crops over the years and I am always amazed at what some crafters will bring with them yet do not get much done. I not only attend these events to socialize with others, but also to scrapbook. This is the only time I work on my album. It is important that I pack things that will help me get pictures on a layout. If I have to much stuff I get overwhelmed and I do not know where to start — so less is more.

To determine what I am going to work on I first decide what pictures I am going to scrap. My typical rule is for every 10 hours of crafting I can get at least 5 layouts complete. I pack enough for 10 just in case I work fast or change my mind on what pictures go with what. Once you decide how many layouts you want to create think about how many pictures you normally put on a page. I typically pack 30 pictures for a day of crafting.

I also will stick with a theme (holiday, vacation or everyday). By sticking with a theme I can pack my crop bag with coordinating items that will work well with each other, thus giving me lots of possibilities.  Another thing I have started to do is add the same filter over each picture before printing them. My photos are cool toned with bright backgrounds. I can stock my craft bag with blues, greens, white, and yellow items and pretty much be able to scrap any pictures.

Unpacking The Bag and Setting Up The Space

Here are a couple pictures of my work space at the recent all day crop. I did not leave everything out on the table once I took the pictures. The paper and stencils went back in my bag which was left open to the right of me all day. I was able to get in and out of it with ease.

Work Space

Make up bags come in handy!

Layouts Completed Using The Items in the Bag

I was able to create the following layouts with everything I listed to bring. I know it may not look like much when you are packing your craft bag. You may even get nervous when you see what other crafters bring. Rest assured that you will get a lot done and have plenty to create with for your layouts.

Scrapbook layouts

Layouts completed using my bag full of craft supples.



Until next time ~ Happy Crafting!



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