Recommended Tools for Beginners – Part 1

Mom2Create, a subscriber to my YouTube channel, asked in a comment what tools I would recommend to beginners?  Thank you, Janette (Mom2Create) for this great question.

When I started making scrapbook layouts, way back in 2003, I watched every video I could find on the subject.  I read hundreds of internet articles on the subject.  Blog posts, HGTV’s website that offered paper crafting information, anything I could find.  I bought books and magazines dedicated to scrapbook layouts.  The magazines and videos were largely based around Sizzix die cutting machines and the various dies available.

I had a problem.  Everything I read or video I watched was geared to the crafters that had ready supplies and tools on hand.  I, basically, had nothing.

I had a grid ruler that I bought in 1993 or 1994 which I used in my sewing.  I tried my hand at quilting…..and found that to be something I did NOT enjoy one little bit.  I had fabric scissors.  That was the extent of my paper crafting hand tools.

In a state of frustration one day in 2004 I did the worst thing I could have done.  I went to my local craft/hobby store and began loading my cart with all kinds of stuff.

For one minute imagine if you will, or even remember, going into a grocery store really hungry.  You start off with good intentions to purchase the necessary food items for meals and replenish any pantry or condiment items you are out of.  PLUS you go into the grocery store without a LIST!

Everything looks good to eat.  Stomach grumbling.  Brain telling you it is time to eat.  The food items you originally went in to purchase for dinner are no longer in your memory.  In fact, you can’t remember what you went to the grocery store for in the first place.  Maybe  you’ll remember what it was as you wander the aisles.

When I got home from my shopping at the craft/hobby store I had paper.  Slabs, pads, packs, and bundles of paper.  I had rubber stamps that looked interesting.  What I didn’t have was a paper trimmer, nor did I have an ink pad to use with the rubber stamps.  I didn’t even get a pair of paper scissors.

In essence I went down the cookie aisle and loaded up with every kind of cookie I saw that looked good.

In this series of videos and blog posts I am going to start with the rudimentary tools a person needs to begin paper crafting.  The items I have chosen to start this series are essentials that will be your foundation.  With these few tools….scissors, rulers, bone folders, and craft knife……you can create anything with these simple tools.

Foundation hand tools for your paper crafting

Foundation hand tools for your paper crafting

I have a YouTube video demonstrating these tools.  What to look for, which tool to choose for your needs.  I tell you why you need two pairs of scissors.  One for paper and one for fabric (ribbons, lace) and what to look for when buying a pair of scissors.

I have a pair of kitchen shears that I use frequently.  These are really OLD and at one time they were top of the line in the scissor world.  Wiss brand.  Over the years they have been used by others that have put them to work in situations and places that I will never visit.  The blades are separated and cause problems from time to time.

When purchasing scissors look closely at them closed.  There should NOT be a gap between the closed blades.

There should be NO gap between the closed blades

There should be NO gap between the closed blades

Here is the first video in the series.  Maybe I will remind a long time crafter of what they did in the early days of their creating. Or maybe give you a tip that makes placing letter stickers in position easily.

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Stationary Box with cards.

Around August, maybe even September, while traveling the US highways in my day job I had an idea floating around in my bored brain.  Making a gift box filled with greeting cards, gift tags, and small 3″ x 3″ note cards.

While, briefly, home in October I went to the Club Scrap website to see what they had to offer.  I get their notices of sales on all of their stuff.  One item in particular I had to have.  The Serenity Stationary Hideaway kit.  Sadly doing a search on their site for this item no longer shows the kit.  They must have sold out of these.

Serenity Stationery Hideaway kit by Club Scrap

The card sizes to be held in this gift box will measure:

  • 3.25 (3-1/4″) x 4.75 (4-3/4″)
  • 4.25 (4-1/4″) x 5.5 (5-1/2″)

As you can see, in the above photo, there are two spaces that are just the right size for an assortment of gift tags and another spot for 3″ x 3″ note cards with envelopes.

What you will need to create your stationary box.

  1. Paper trimmer that will cut 12″ x 12″ paper.
  2. 4 sheets of 12″ x 12″ cover weight (heavy) card stock.
  3. Scoring board that will fit 12″ x 12″ paper.  If you don’t have a scoring board you can use a ruler and a bone folder or stylus to make all the score lines.
  4. White glue of any kind.  Whichever you prefer.
  5. You can use a hot glue gun as well.
  6. Scissors.
  7. Bone folder.
  8. Lastly, you will need some paperclips, binding clips, or clothes pins.

The box I am creating will hold Christmas cards.  I’m using Club Scrap’s “Musical Interlude” papers which came out in the early 2000’s.  Three sheets of the 12″ x 12″ are the Musical Interlude paper and I don’t remember what the plain red card stock is from.

Club Scrap "Musical Interlude" card stock

The red card stock with the trumpets will be the box lid.  The plain red card stock will be the box.  Score all four sides of the card stock lid paper at 1-5/8″.

Score all four sides at 1-5/8".

Scored lid piece

For the box itself you will score all four sides at 1-3/4″.  Sorry for the blurry photo.  I’m not very ambidextrous.

Score box sides at 1-3/4".

Box paper scored

Now for the box inserts.  You will need two pieces of heavy weight, or cover weight, card stock for this.  From one sheet of 12″ x 12″ card stock you will get the two smaller inserts.  The first cut will be at 4-1/4″ x 12″.

Cut insert card stock at 4-1/4" x 12".

Turn the 4-1/4″ paper horizontal and cut at 11-1/2″.

Cut the 4-1/4" paper horizontal at 11-1/2"

4-1/4" x 11-1/2"

Next will be the other small insert.  This one measures 4″ x 11-1/2″.  Use the remainder of the card stock you cut the 4-1/4″ piece from.

Cut the card stock at 4" x 12".

Flip the 4″ x 12″ card stock horizontally to cut at 11-1/2″.

Turn the 4" x 12" paper horizontal and cut at 11-1/2".

Insert cut at 4" x 11-1/2"

The final insert is larger and you will use the other piece of 12″ x 12″ card stock for this.  This piece of card stock will be cut at 8-3/8″ x 11-1/2″.

Cut 12" x 12" card stock at 8-3/8" x 12"

Flip the 8-3/8″ x 12″ horizontally and cut at 11-1/2″.

Cut the 8-3/8" x 12" card stock horizontally to 11-1/2"

You will have two left over pieces of the 12″ x 12″ card stock from your three insert pieces.  You can use these in your cards or set them aside for a different project.

Scrap pieces from cutting the inserts

Next we will be scoring the insert pieces.  Begin with the 4-1/4″ x 11-1/2″ piece.

Find the 4-1/4" insert piece and put in the score board

Along the 11-1/2″ length you will be making your score marks.

Make scores along the 11-1/2" side

First score is at 2-1/2″.

Score at 2-1/2"

Second score is at 4″.

Second score is at 4"

Third score is at 5-1/2″.

Score at 5-1/2"

The reverse side of the 4-1/2″ x 11-1/2″ insert piece that has been scored.

4-1/2" x 11-1/2" scored insert

Next will be the 4″ x 11-1/2″ insert piece.

Check to make sure you have the right paper in the score board.  I get so distracted a times that I don’t check and I make a mess up and have to cut more paper.  This time it would be really bad because these are the only two pieces of this instrumental paper I have.

Get your 4" x 11-1/2" insert piece

Place it horizontally on your score board.

Place the 4" insert piece horizontally on your score board

Your first score will be at 3″.

First score will be at 3"

Second score will be at 4-1/2″

Second score will be at 4-1/2"

Third score will be at 6″.

Third score will be at 6"

The back of your 4″ x 11-1/2″ scored insert will look like this.

Reverse side o the 4" x 11-1/2" scored insert

Now you will make one mountain and two valley folds.  This is important.  The middle score line will be the mountain fold.  Press and crease both of these inserts.

Make sure the center score lines are mountain folds

The last piece to score is the 8-3/8″ x 11-1/2″ insert.  You can’t mix this one up with the other two 4’s.  Should not have said that, I’ll go and do it the next time 😦

This piece will be scored first on the 11-1/2″ horizontal  width at 4-1/8″.

First score is at 4-1/8" on the 8-3/8" x 11-1/2" insert

The second score is at 5-5/8″.

Second score is at 5-5/8"

The third, and final, score is at 7-1/8″.

Final score is at 7-1/8"Just as you do with the previous two inserts.  The center score will be the mountain fold while the outer two will be the valley folds.

The center score line will be the mountain fold and the other two will be the valley folds

Next step is glue.  Use a white glue of our choice. Or the hot glue.  I’m not a fan of  hot glue because it attacks me.  I don’t care for things that bite and I give them a wide berth.  Another thing I don’t like about hot glue is all the spider web like stringers that it leaves behind.

Any white glue of your choosing

Or hot glue.

Or hot glue

You will also need to have a good supply of paperclips, or clothes pins, or binder clips.

You will also need paperclips, binder clips, or clothes pins

The lid and the box will be constructed in the same exact manner for each of them.  Using scissors, cut the fold line from the bottom of the paper up to the fold line.  Do not cut passed the fold line.  You will do this on two sides of the paper.

Cut the bottom edge at the fold line up to the fold line

When finished your box or lid piece will look like this.

After cutting your lid or box will look like this

Do this same thing to both the lid and the top.

Starting at any corner of the box or the lid, fold in one of the flaps and test fit it into the corner.

Test fit one of the flaps into the corner

You will see that the flap piece extends over the top of the box or lid side just a smidge.  You will need to cut away a small amount of the paper to solve this problem.

Cut away a small bit of the tab edge on a diagonal

This will allow the tab to fit properly in the box or lid corner without peaking out over the top and making both the box and lid ill fitting.

Professional looking finished edge

Complete this step on all four sides of both the lid and the box.  It helps to crease your score lines well with a bone folder before you get to the actual gluing part….which is next.

Fold the flap back on the side.  This will give you a reference of where you put the glue.

Fold the tab back onto the side wall for easy gluing reference

Add the glue of your choice – white glue or hot glue.

Add your adhesive to the tab

If using white glue spread it around in an even layer from the crease line out to the three cut edges.

Spread the glue on the tab

Adhere the tab to the side wall.  Making sure to line up the edges well while creating your corner.

Adhere the tab to the side wall creating your corner

Attach your clip to the glued on tab.

Attach the clip to your glued tab

Do this to all four corners of each of the box and lid segments of this box.

Glue and clamp all four corners of your box and lid

Now we will be gluing the insert pieces.  You will do these next steps the same way with all three of the insert pieces.

Next to get glue will be the insert pieces

Add the adhesive of your choice to one of the inner mountain folds.

Add glue to the inner area of one of the mountain sides

Spread the glue out evenly.  This time it is not critical that you don’t get glue all over the place.  The mountain fold will be glued to itself.

Spread the glue out evenly

Then press the inner mountain pieces together and apply pressure along the width of the fold.

Adhere the mountain fold pieces together

Attach the clamps of your choice to the glued mountain folds.

Add your "clamps" to the glue mountain folds

Once the glue has dried…about an hour….remove the clamps from all of your pieces.  Lay the larger insert into the bottom of your box.

Lay the large insert into the bottom of your box

Next you will add one of the smaller inserts into the left side of your box.  It doesn’t matter which one you pick up first.

Lay one of the smaller inserts in the left side of the box

Your last small insert will be laid on the right side of the box.  Place it in so the mountain fold is going in the opposite direction of the one on the left.

Lay the second insert in the right section of the box

Test fit your lid.  It will fit, I assure you.

Test fit your lid

Now take a look at your handiwork and get to making cards that will fit in the four sections of this box.  Don’t spend too much time looking at my table top.  I’ve got a mess going on there.

Time to pat  yourself on the back

I hope to have this filled with Christmas cards, gift tags, and note cards in the next few days.  I’m quite busy with Joe and all of his various doctor appointments after his emergency appendectomy in Chandler, Arizona last week.  Let me tell you….that man has more “Ologists” he’s seeing now than I can keep straight.

  1. Urologist
  2. Nephrologist
  3. Cardiologist
  4. Neurologist
  5. Oncologist
  6. Pulmanologist

I’m really surprised he isn’t glowing in the dark with all the X-rays, CT scans, MRI’s, and sonograms he’s had over the past week.  So if you think I have “done a runner” it is only to the doctors around the Oklahoma City Metro Area.

His CT scans and X-rays done in Arizona show some areas of his lungs that are a little worrisome to the doctors.  I’ll post my creations when I can.  I’m also going to be tied up with my bookwork and some much needed house cleaning while home.  Crapazoid 😦

Sis, thanks for checking in on me the other day to see if I was still alive 😉  Now you can see what I’ve been up to…a great mess is what I’ve been up to 😀
Hope you all have a great weekend and will be able to get some crafting done.  If you have any questions about the construction of this stationery box leave a comment with your question and I will do my best to answer them.

Leslie