I love trying new craft products. And through my experience, I’ve found a handful of items that I absolutely love and will not go without. I’ve compiled a link of my favorite products and links for where to find them incase you’re inspired to use them too!
I almost exclusively use the Thermoweb Tape Runner XL for my projects. When I began card making, a store clerk recommended the tape runner on my very first visit for card supplies (I also picked up my first Envelope Liner Template kit on this visit too!).
For projects where I need a good liquid glue to get into small spaces/crevices, I really like Art Glitter Designer Adhesive. This is really fantastic for gluing down embellishments to your project, as well!
Blending Brushes and Tools
I currently use the Picket Fence Studios Life Changing Blending Brushes and am happy with them!
A more budget friendly option for blending brushes are The Rabbit Hole Designs’ Cotton Tail Blending Brushes. They are a very nice size (one of the larger sizes on the market), and have a very affordable “per brush” price point.
Right now, I have 3 machines that I love to use for different cutting projects, and they all do something a little bit different:
Cricut Explore Air 2: I love my Cricut, so very much (mine’s the Persimmon color and I’ve named him Jiminey Cricut). My Cricut Explore Air 2 was the first machine I decided to purchase. I use this machine to cut out shapes that I design on Cricut Design Space. I really do appreciate and understand their software platform, because I think it’s really user friendly to either utilize the existing shapes or design your own.
I do participate in the Cricut Access, which is $9.95 a month, and the more I think about it, it really isn’t a necessity. What it is, however, is incredibly convenient, as there are so many pre-loaded shapes, fonts and designs that you’d normally have to pay to use, but are included with your subscription. Now, I have a small background with Photoshop, so realistically, I can create these shapes on my own. I would recommend using the Cricut Access Free Trial to get a knack for the software, and then try to ease your way into uploading your own images.
Note: I used to purchase cut files and cut them out with my Cricut, however the next machine has been a game changer and doesn’t require me to use cut files any more!
Brother Scan and Cut: If you are a stamper that colors, this machine is an absolute treasure. You run your stamped and uncut images through on a sticky mat, and the machine detects the images, allows you to select which ones to cut out, decide if you want any sort of border around the image, then then CUTS IT OUT. Seriously, this machine has saved me so much time and money (no cut files and no coordinating dies needed).
One thing: the sticky mat provided will most likely lose it stick after a couple uses. A fellow crafter recommend purchasing a Silhoutte mat, cutting it down to a 12″x12″ square, and adhering it to the cutting section of the Brother Mat with Double Sided Tape. I did this and it it makes my machine so much more hassle free!
Crafter’s Companion Gemini Junior Die Cutting Machine: This machine is not a necessity, but an absolute convenience. I love that I don’t have to worry about cranking my dies through my handheld machine. The Gemini Junior is definitely a great splurge item OR a great item to ask for as a Birthday or Holiday Gift!
A little bit of a tip about larger ticket craft items. Do research on forums/websites that have local listings of items for sale to see if you can pick up a gently used item for a hefty savings. When I first started crafting, I really wanted to start using Die Cuts, but couldn’t justify spending a bunch on a machine that I only had maybe 1 or 2 die cuts for. I ended up finding a listing from someone a few towns over that was selling their Cricut Cuttlebug Die Cut Machine, which I was able to pick-up for $20! The best part is, it had only been used once! That little guy has gotten me through a lot of die cut usage!
I’ve also seen some stories of people finding crafting supplies at garage sales, estate sales, and thrift shops like Goodwill, so those may also be worth checking out as well!
I almost exclusively use Copic Sketch markers. Some people prefer Sketch, and others Classic. I like Sketch because I’ve found that they’re easier to find in-person to purchase and I believe they come in the most colors.
Do your research before shopping. I’ve bought my Copic Markers at several locations.
One of my favorite store to buy them at is ScrapbookPal. They offer free shipping for orders $50 or more, carry a huge selection of colors, and sometimes offer amazing sales to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to Copic Markers.
Also, if you have a location near you, check and see if your local Big Box Retail Craft Store carries Copic Markers. Most of the larger retailers offer heavy single item coupons almost weekly, and I’ve found you can use these coupons at Copics at most stores. I’ve gotten Copic Sketch markers for as little as $3.20 brand new and in-person, so you don’t have to worry about shipping!
This section is coming soon!
Embellishments & Shaker Bits
When it comes to shaker sequins and half bead embellishments for my projects, I really use a lot of the goodies that you can find in the Kindred Stamps store. They have some amazing Sparkletz and Shimmerz options by Buttons Galore, along with some super cute Clay Slice shapes that add a really cute and whimsical element to your projects!
Paper Source is my one-stop shop for all of my envelope needs. They sell envelopes in multiple sizes and multiple colors.
Side Note: Paper Source has locations all around the United States. I wouldn’t consider Paper Source one of those Big Box Retailers because they make several products for their own stores. If you have a location near you, stop in and check out everything they have. Their Paper Bar is a DREAM.
If you’re using Paper Source for their envelopes, you need to invest in their Envelope Liner Template Kit. This is a must. It’s a 1-time investment (just don’t accidentally cut yours like I did), and will take your card to the next level.
Glitter Gels & Gloss
There are 2 types of glitter gels that I really love using for my projects.
The first is the Kindred Stamps Glitter Glosses. They come in so many amazing colors and styles, including a gemstone and a neon line. The containers are a tad on the smaller side, but the Glitter Gloss is pretty thick and you can make a good handful of projects using it! Current favorites include: Gingerbread, Ruby, Citrine, and Haunted!
The 2nd type I enjoy using are the Gina K Glitter Glitz Gels by Therm O Web! These come in a larger container (they are the most expensive gels I’ve seen on the market, but you do get a very nice amount), and there is almost a creaminess to the Glitter Glitz Gels when you spread them! They’re super easy to use, and Rina K also has a line of her neon colors in Glitz Gels as well! Current favorites include: Black, Brilliant Blue & Poppin’ Pink!
Side note: Therm O Web sometimes has free shipping available at the super low check out amount of $25. They have loads of amazing adhesives and foils to try, so trust me when I say that getting a cart of at least $25 in fun crafty products is not a difficult feat!
Ink for Blending
If you are just starting your ink collection for blending, think about what you want in an ink to determine what you should buy. If seamless ombrés are what you’re going for, you simply cannot go wrong with the Ranger Ink Distress Oxide Inks. If you’re wanting a more vibrant color, and are also looking for a colored ink to use for sentiment and solid image stamping, Catherine Pooler Dye Inks are really one of my personal favorites (as long as you’re ok with some stamp staining).
Additionally, all of the inks listed above are water reactive and can get those really cool “bleach spots” when spritzed with water.
Ink for Coloring
I’ve actually tried a few inks for coloring my images with Copic Markers. You do have to be careful to choose the correct ink so it won’t bleed when you start to color.
I’ve recently started using Gina K.’s Obsidian Amalgam Ink, which is Copic Safe. I’m really loving the coverage on this. However, be warned that it can be a little bit of a chore to entirely clean from your stamp.
Also, I encourage anyone who is stamping images they intend on coloring to use a stamping platform to ensure multiple impressions. I personally find myself ALWAYS using my MISTI.
Ink- General Use
Recently, I’ve been using the VersaFine Clair by Tsukineko and woah, they’ve been fantastic. They are super deep colors and make for great sentiment ink!
Also, Catherine Pooler Inks come in a variety of colors and are also fantastic for general stamping. These inks do stain your stamps, which of course doesn’t prevent your stamps from working properly (a lot of crafters consider a stained stamp “well-loved”). However, the Nuvo Stamp Cleaning Solution is the best cleaner option I’ve seen at getting as much ink off as possible.
I have also really enjoyed using the Rina K Electro Pop Inks. I love that it is a smaller collection of 8 colors (currently, Blaring Blue & Poppin’ Pink are my favorites). Because this is a neon ink, I have convinced myself (without doing any formal research) that the ink is made-up differently than your standard dye inks. And, given the consistency of the ink, I wouldn’t consider it a pigment ink either. So, while I love using these for ink blending, here are some “Justin Tips” when using the Rina K Electro Pop Inks:
- Electro Pop inks do well for ink blending, and I have found that some form of foam applicator tool works the best. These inks do stain, and also, because I don’t believe they are made the same as dye and pigment inks, I believe it is best to keep your Neon Ink Blending Tools separate from your other inks to prevent cross contamination.
- Electro Pop inks are not water reactive, so if you spritz them with water, you’re not going to get the effect you’re looking for. I have tried this with a couple project, and have noticed that you actually get some darker spots. So I would discourage water spritzing.
- Electro Pop inks do not do well with my “ink splattering” technique (where I smoosh some ink onto a glass mat, add some water to make it thinner, pick it up with a cheap water color brush and tap the brush over my project). These inks will make your water color brush get gunky and not be able to use the brush for future splattering until you clean it thoroughly.
- Now, I’ve asked a few people about this next item, and nobody seems to notice this the way that I do, but Electro Pop Inks have a bit of a scent to them that is strong. It almost reminds me a bit of ammonia. So, be aware but not alarmed that your Neon Ink Pad might smell differently than your other inks.
I have to be honest… this section is going to be incredibly hard for me to write because I just love stencils so much. There are so many fun ways to use them, and different stencils are good for different styles and techniques. So, here we go:
When I say pattern stencils, these are most likely the first type of stencil you think of: a repetitive pattern that helps you blend/create a beautiful patterned element to place on your card. When it comes to patterned stencils, the following companies are my go to’s, and I’ve listed some of my favorite stencils from them under each company:
- Gina K Designs
- Kindred Stamps
- Picket Fence Studios
- Sassy & Crafty
- Stamp Anniething
- The Rabbit Hole Designs
Scene Building Stencils:
Scene building stencils are great for when you want your project to look like a specific setting: a home, a stage, the sky, the forest, etc. There are a few companies that I very much enjoy using their scene building stencils because it makes it easy to allow those locations to come to life in a project:
- Kindred Stamps
- Lawn Fawn
- Sassy & Crafty
- Stamp Anniething
Please note that any specific stencils listed above are just some of my personal favorites that I find myself reaching for often! I encourage you to check out the retailers listed above and find what stencils may be your own favorites! My favorite stencils change from time to time, so i will keep you posted with any new ones that pop up!
I wanna hear from you!
- Are there any categories that I missed that you’d like to know more about?
- Have you tried any of the above products and have your own positive opinions (I don’t want this page to be used for any form of company bashing, and those comments will be deleted)?
- Do you have any suggestions for items that you think I might love?
I would love to hear from you! Please comment below and I will get to your comments as soon as I can!
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