In my last post I discussed how to dip your toe in the scrapbooking world. In this article we are going to take it to the next level. First, if you are reading this, that means you want to continue on in your scrapbooking journey. In this article, I cover 20 things that you will use time and time again as you scrap. I am going to walk you through using die cuts, embossing, stamping, ink blending, stenciling and adding embellishments. The recommendations are universal and timeless. They lend themselves to lots of creative possibilities. I am not covering pattern paper because that is such a personal preference. I will advice to only buy what you are going to use on a planned page. Pattern paper is the one thing that a lot of paper crafters buy on impulse. The majority of it never gets used.
I will never forget my first big purchase. It was a Cuddle Bug that die cut and embossed. It was $40 and back then it was such a huge leap. Would I use it? Was it hard? Isn’t that a lot of money to spend on something for scrapbooking? I had a friend of mine tell me that if I used it 40 times it would be worth it. That little bug has gotten more use than anything else in my craft room. Sadly, it is no longer available and the ones that are on the market are much more expensive. There is no need to buy an expensive electronic cutter at this point. Not only are they an investment, they also do not work with embossing folders (which are cheap!).
How to Use Die Cuts on a Scrapbook Page
Die cuts make wonderful embellishments. You can stamp them, run them through an embossing folder, ink them or just adhere them to the page. The die cut machine that I recommend comes in a bundle. You can take it out of the box and use it right away. This set also comes with star die cuts which are a great shape to use on different themed and styled scrapbook pages. I also recommend a circle die cut set. The key is to invest in things that you can get multiple uses out of because things can get pricy. Simple shapes are easy to incorporate into a layout and fun to work with.
Embossing folders are one of my favorite things to use on die cuts. They do not get as much credit as they deserve in scrapbooking. They are pretty cheap considering how much use you can get out of them. Once again, keep designs simple in that you can use on everyday scrapbook pages. It is nice to have a swirl, textured and chevron one. These designs can be used on lots of scrapbook pages, yet rarely get boring. They are timeless. To keep them current and fresh try inking over the design or sanding once it has been run through the folder. The possibilities are endless!
Ink blending is the most effective way to create paper for your scrapbook pages without having to purchase anything other than white cardstock. Dye ink pads are the best option for this because they go on wet, are water reactive and when they dry they actually dye the paper. You need a blending tool to do this technique. Once you are done blending them into your paper try misting with water. The effect is beautiful! Do not get wrapped up in the expensive recommendations. I have found the best are the dome foam top. They blend seamlessly without harsh lines and are a bit more forgiving than the expensive blending brushes on the market. You can use them over stencils too.
I recommend investing in only one ink pad set that you love. The set needs to have colors that you will use. Do not buy a set if you know you will only use 3 out of the 12 on a regular basis. My favorite are Simon Hurley. I adore the bright colors. They blend beautifully and rarely end up with muddy brown when I break the color family rules. They also stamp well. Lastly, they do not require as much reinking as other stamp pads on the market.
Stamping is like the hole Alice in Wonderland Fall in. Once you get started you usually just can not stop. That also means most crafters almost always want to get their hands on every cute stamp out there. I would encourage you to think about how much you actually will use it before you buy it. If you only will use it a handful of times check if you can get it in a pack of die cuts. Some companies offer the image in both stamp and die cuts. The die cuts are usually 20% the cost of the stamp. You can get your fill of using the image without breaking the bank and having something you must find a place to keep. When you do purchase it is best to stick with things that can be used on a multitude of different projects.
I must confess that when I first bought a stencil I hated it. I could not figure out why people loved them. The only thing I knew to do with them was trace them which usually ended up looking awful. Then I learned about paint. Often I would use to much and it would seep under the stencil and look sloppy. It took me about 20 years to appreciate a stencil. Now they are one of my best friends when I scrapbook. My favorite way to use them is with ink. Simply load up your blending tool with ink and gently rub over the stencil.
Embellishments are like the frosting on the cake. Do you need them? Not really, but they sure do make things sweet. I have three standard ones that I go to because, once again, they can be used on so many different scrapbook pages and themes. Liquid drops allow you to create custom enamel type embellishments. They are easy to use and last a long time. Gems are great to mix in with enamel drops for added interest. Lastly, flowers are absolutely gorgeous clustered in corners of pictures. Just be careful as to not bulk up the page so much that it does not fit in the page protector.
One of the must have tools you need in your scrapbooking journey is a craft mat. This will become a staple and most likely never leave your desk. It protects your surface. I like a glass mat because it can be cut on with a craft mat and easily cleaned. Take into consideration the size of your desk. I recommend one that you can easily put together a scrapbook page on. I have provided my favorite in the supply list.
If you want to dabble in different styles of scrapbooking or themes a kit is a great option. A scrapbook kit has been curated with either a theme or technique as the base. Everything in the it matches and usually can be used on different themed scrapbook pages. There is one kit club that is my favorite. You do not need a monthly subscription to it ( a lot of them require it which stinks if you are not sure what you really like yet). Plus, there are lots of kits to choose from. Go to Clique Kits to check them out.
The Most important thing is that you enjoy yourself as you venture into scrapbooking.
Until next time ~ happy crafting!