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Monday, April 4, 2011

Tools of the Trade

   So, you've been thinking about scrapbooking?  You've read my posts about organizing photos and you're wondering, "Now what?"  Well, you could buy all the cute papers and accessories you see but you still won't have what you need.  The truth is, getting started in scrapbooking doesn't require investing in expensive machines and tools.  You just need a few basic tools and supplies and you can create beautiful layouts that capture your memories for generations to come.

  So what do you need?  First things first, you're going to need a paper trimmer.  You can get these for as little as $7 and as much as $100.  In my experiance, the cheaper ones tend to cut crooked and get dull easily.  The more expensive ones are bulky and cost way too much.  I have two that I enjoy using and both are relatively inexpensive.  The Making Memories Precision Paper Trimmer is great for making cuts larger than 2 inches and you never have to purchase new blades.  It folds for storage and costs just $49.99.  Drawbacks: it's bulky, and the lines eventually wear off.  The Fiskars Euro Paper Trimmer is my favorite.  It has a triple track blade to help keep your cuts straight, you can easily cut smaller measurements and it's so lightweight.  The price is just $29.99 making it a very affordable option for beginners.  Drawbacks: the blades need replacing often and the lines wear off eventually.  I have recently been introduced to another Fiskers trimmer that seems to be a good trimmer, though I haven't personally used it.  It's the SureCut Deluxe Craft Paper Trimmer and it's only $30!  It uses blades that will often need replacing but it has a coated surface to keep the lines from wearing off.  The arm also locks in place to help cut a straight line and the surface is larger, making 5 1/2" cuts easier than any other trimmer. 

   After you have found a good trimmer, you will need a good adhesive.  Again, price isn't the way to choose this.  You want to be sure to use an adhesive meant for scrapbooking so that it will last a long time and not ruin your photos.  Tombow Mono Adhesive is my absolute favorite!  It's easy to use, easy to refill and very inexpensive!  It works for a wide variety of uses too.  A few others that I find useful to keep around are, the Xyron Create a Sticker, Glue Dots, foam squares and Bonding Memories Glue Pen.  There are so many good adhesives and so many ways to use each one.  Don't limit yourself to just one or two different kinds, you will use different adhesives for different techniques. 

   The only other basic tool needed for scrapbooking is a good pair of scissors.  The easiest on your hand are definately the Fiskars Titanium Micro-tip scissors.  These spring loaded scissors won't hurt your hand after cutting lots of items and make cutting small things a breeze.  The Close to My Heart Micro-tip scissors are great for cutting small items with precision.  What ever scissors you choose, be sure they work well for cutting small items. 

   Of course, other tools are useful and eventually you will want to purchase these.  They are fun to use and make different techniques possible.  Before you purchase these, be sure to try them out and make sure you know how to use them and will use them.  There is absolutely NO REASON to jump into these big purchases when you are just getting started!!!!!

   Now that you've got the tools you need, jump on over to my website to pick out fun papers, accessories and stamps to complete beautiful layouts Faster, Simpler and Easier!