Your guide to the essentials every cardmaker should own...
Back to basics
You’ll need most of these items in addition to those listed on our shopping lists for every project you do...
White and coloured card
Use white card to stamp on and to make base cards. Use coloured card to make base cards or to layer behind stamped panels or greetings.
Base cards and envelopes
Available in a variety of sizes and colours – you can buy ready-made packs or make your own
Use it to stamp greetings and image outlines, which you can then colour
Use to achieve a sharp crease
when folding base cards
Trimmer, craft knife, craft mat and scissors
Use a guillotine or rotary trimmer for basic cutting and trimming. A craft knife is best for cutting awkward shapes and pair of sharp craft scissors is essential for a neat finish. Special découpage scissors are available to cut out tiny sections of a découpage image.
Always using a cutting mat under your work when using a craft knife so that your card doesn't slip and you don't damage your work surface.
Adhesive dots, sticky fixers (sticky-backed foam pads), glue sticks, double-sided tape and silicone glue are the most commonly used in cardmaking. Specialist glues are also available for use with materials such as vellum, parchment or heavy embellishments.
Tools of the trade
Some cardmaking techniques require special tools; these are the most common...
Marker pens, chalks, coloured pencils and waterbrushes
Use these different mediums to add colour to stamped images, motifs or cards panels. Marker pens are fantastic for colouring stamped images, including skin tones, as they can be blended to add shade and texture. Watercolour pencils or paints are also ideal for colouring stamped images and will give a softer finish. Chalks blend easily and work well both colouring images and used to edge card panels to give texture and depth or create a vintage or distressed look.
Use an embossing tool with stencils or embossing boards to create a raised, 3D effect. This is sometimes called 'dry embossing'.
For heat embossing: use with slow-drying ink and embossing powder to create a glossy, raised
outline or area on a stamped image. The heat gun (which is a bit like a mini hairdryer without the airflow) melts the embossing powder, which is then left to cool and set for a shiny, 3D effect.
Use an eyelet setter to add decorative eyelets to your designs
The fun stuff!
Once you’ve got the basics sorted you’re ready to get creative...
Stamps, inks and embossing powders
Use stamps to create perfect images time and time again. Coloured inks can be used to create an outline, stamp a greeting or use the inkpad to add a coloured edge to a card panel or base card.
Embossing powders are use with a clear, slow-drying ink such as VersaMark ink. Simply stamp your image, sprinkle on the embossing powder, tap off the excess and melt with a heat gun for a glossy, raised finish.
Use stencils with an embossing tool to create a raised finish. Alternatively, dab with chalks or inks for a subtle image.
Use ribbons to add texture and colour. Add ribbon as a strip or in knots, loops or little bows.
These allow you to easily punch out small shapes.
Stickers and rub-ons
These are a popular and easy way to decorate and add images or greetings. Stickers are also sometimes known as 'peel-offs'.
These include buttons, brads, gems, card or fabric toppers, die-cuts, beads, sequins... in fact, anything can be turned into an embellishment if you're feeling creative!
Use card and patterned papers to add layers, colour and fun! There are hundreds of exclusive designs available to download for free from our website.