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!). I have also used the Lawn Fawn Glue, and have been happy with that as well!
I currently use the Picket Fence Studios Life Changing Blending Brushes and am happy with them!
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!
Aside from a detour using an off-brand from Amazon, I currently use almost exclusively 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 Blick Art Materials. They offer free shipping for orders $35 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!
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.
Ink for Blending
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.
When I started coloring with Copics, I read a recommendation once to use Lawn Fawn Jet Black Ink, and it works well.
I’ve recently started using the Brutus Monroe Raven Ink as well, which is Copic Safe too.
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!
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