Scrapbooking tools range from the basics, like simple scissors, to elaborate tools such as a binding machine to make your own books. Whether you're just starting out or have been scrapbooking for years, there are always new tools available to help you create dynamic, eye-catching layouts.
If there's one scrapbooking tool it's hard to live without, it would be a variety of different scissors. If you thought scissors were just for cutting straight lines, think again. You can cut scallops, zig-zags and waves, even edges that look like mountain ranges and torn paper.
Fiskars has a wonderful collection of decorative-edged scissors, including one that makes hearts if the paper is cut on both sides. These cutters are great for all sorts of paper crafts including making your own greeting cards.
Along the same lines as scissors, trimmers are great scrapbooking tools. Trimmers look like a smaller version of the office-sized paper cutter you might have used at work, and they allow you to cut card stock to the perfect size for your pages or trim photos quickly and easily. "Guillotine" style trimmers, cutters that slide and rotary style cutters are available.
Cutters and Punches
Cutters and punches help you make circles, ovals and all sorts of shapes. Give your corners a decorative splash, use a punch to make a border our use them to cut out all sorts of shapes, from dragonflies to garden tools, snowflakes to Winnie the Pooh.
Different punches can include:
- Alphabet punches
- Heart punches
- Leaf punches
- Flower punches
A really great selection of punches from several different brands can be found at Scrapbooking Warehouse.
Other Fun Scrapbooking Tools
If you are new to scrapbooking, don't go out and buy all the scrapbooking tools you think you might ever need. Instead, start with a couple of pairs of scissors and maybe some punches. Get some rubber stamps and an embossing gun and learn how to use them. After you make a few projects, you might want to invest in a small paper trimmer.
Once you've discovered that you are, in fact, a scrapbooking maniac, then you can go shopping for the more elaborate scrapbooking tools.
Sticker machines, like the Xyron 'X', allow you to run just about anything flat through them to make a sticker. The size of the machine (some are very small, while others can hold a regular sheet of paper) will determine the size of the sticker. Make pictures, paper, ribbon, buttons or fabric into stickers to use in your scrapbooks.
Some of the more advanced sticker machines also allow you to laminate, make magnets or make labels. You can also buy adhesive cartridges for these machines that make your stickers permanent or allow you to reposition them.
If you like using eyelets in your projects, either to secure something to your page or just for decorative effect, you'll want to get an eyelet setter at some point. These devices can look like an X-Acto knife without the blade or more like a tiny hammer or screwdriver, depending on the design. These tools make it easier to punch an eyelet through your paper and have the back prongs come out evenly.
If you are a true scrapbooking enthusiast, consider investing in a binding machine to make your own books. While pricey up front, you can save over the long run.
Another machine used by heavy scrapbookers is the Cricut. Use it to create your own paper shapes, images and letters.
If you want a plainer, less layered look to your pages, then a stencil can definitely come in handy. Use stencils to create letters, borders or other images you may not want to draw freehand.
Grommets are metal rings traditionally used to reinforce holes. They can come in handy if you plan on making your own books, or if you want to add embellishments like lacing to a page. A grommet tool first punches the paper, then encloses the edges of the hole in the metal ring so it's ready to go.
The Cuttlebug machine is a manual paper cutter and embosser. Rather than using separate punches to get the effects you want, the Cuttlebug can do them for you, with the extra feature of added texture to a page as well.
Another tool that can add texture to an otherwise flat piece of paper is a crimper. Crimpers come in many sizes, and can create several different patterns on a paper.
EK Success Fastenater
If you add staples to your scrapbook pages, either as a way to fasten embellishments, or as a decorative feature, consider the EK Success Fastenater. This tool not only staples your pages, it does it with themes and other enhancements.
A good supply of stamps and ink cartridges can go a long way toward helping you embellish your scrapbook pages. Stamps come in a wide assortment of shapes, sizes and patterns. You can also create stamps by pressing any raised or textured item into a stamp pad and using it on a scrapbooking page. Consider things like lace, corrugated cardboard or the side of a spring for interesting stamped patterns.
In addition to standards like glue sticks and glue dots, dedicated scrapbookers can also use adhesive tools to help tack down their embellishments. One such tool is the MyStik, a customizable adhesive tool. Roll the tip of the tool over the item you want to adhere for instant, non-messy adhesion on the page. Make the tool your own by adding pictures and scrapbooking supplies to the tool itself.
Build Your Collection
Start out slowly when you begin purchasing your tool collection. You may find that one or two tools get almost constant use, while others are only used once and then never again. Make sure you purchase quality tools, or tools that can handle different styles of use whenever possible to get the most out of your purchases. You'll soon find yourself scrapbooking like a pro.