As Crafters, we tend to accumulate and hoard the latest and greatest products we see on the market. This can lead us to chaos and a feeling of being overwhelmed when it’s time to create. The fact is, you can be very productive without having absolutely everything!
Where to begin…
For these “Tools of the Trade,” I use the categories “Want It!” – “Need It!” – “Gotta Have It!” Now…for these purposes, the “Gotta Have It!” category means it’s a must have for crafting not “It’s so darn cute I have to have it right now!” 😉
When taking classes, most instructors will ask that you bring your “Basic Tool Kit.” This means different things depending on the type of class you’re taking – Mixed Media, Art Journaling, Sketching, Stamping, Scrapbooking, etc. But…The “Basic Tool Kit” for Crafters will always include: A Paper Trimmer, Scissors, Bone Folder, Several different types of adhesives: Tear & Tape, Glue Dots, Dimensionals, Liquid Glue, etc.
If you’re new to Stamping, these items are “Gotta Have Its,” for sure! I would also add a basic Black Memento Ink Pad. This is a permanent ink and won’t run when you watercolor with it. You’ll also need a few coordinated Classic Ink Pads. If you’re buying Photopolymer Stamps or Clear Mount (my personal favorites), you will also need Acrylic Blocks in coordinating sizes to mount your stamps on when using them. If you don’t have any Acrylic Blocks, I would start with an “E” block. It will fit larger stamps but the smaller ones will work too. (The Wood Stamp Sets are permanently mounted but will take up more storage space.)
It’s best to begin with Stamp Sets that have images as well as greetings so you’re equipped to create different types of cards. A pack of Note Cards with Envelopes is a must have to get started. If you’re brand new to stamping, you can view a suggested “Starter List” HERE.
In the “Need It” category, I would include basic Whisper White Cardstock with a pack of colored Cardstock and some Envelopes as well a few coordinating Ink Pads. Embellishments are not really “Need Its,” but one or two sure do make a difference. Rhinestones and Ribbons are a really good “bang for your buck.” Designer Series Papers beautiful patterns that make your cards look like you worked so hard! 🙂 You might want to add a variety pack of Colored Cardstocks as well as the “Thick” version of either Whisper White or Very Vanilla Cardstock. These make great card bases when you’ve added lots of layers to the card front. You can get along without these things but, if you’re going to be making Cards, you will want them for a better variety of projects. The Stampin’ Mist and Scrub make cleaning your stamps a breeze.
Some examples of “Want Its” would be Specialty Papers such as Foil and Glimmer, and of course lots of Stamps and Punches. The ultimate “Want It” is the Big Shot Die Cutting Machine. This will make you feel like a professional! You can create beautiful projects with ease. Many Stamp Sets have coordinating Dies that will cut them out with the turn of the handle. Also, when you have a Big Shot, you can use Embossing Folders. (Be still my heart!) These emboss texture on your cardstock and provide a beautiful background for any card. Be careful because Embossing Folders and Dies are addicting! You will definitely want them all! If you’re new, you can find a suggested list of “Want Its” HERE.
The “Want Its” certainly elevate your projects to the “next level” and can make crafting easier but, you don’t need them all and you don’t need them right now. If you choose items that are versatile, you’ll use them often and they’ll be well worth your investment.
My advice is to start small and then see what you’re missing. As you’re crafting, you’ll notice that you will find yourself saying: “I wish I had…” When you’ve said it a lot, you know that item is something you will use often and one that is worthy of a coveted spot in your Craft Space.