Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Fool Proof Tools

I love playing with tools of all, building, sewing and especially paper crafting.  Today on Studio 5, I got to highlight 5 of my favorite FOOL PROOF TOOLS for playing with paper.  These tools are all essential to my crafting collection.  They are the tools I grab for when I have to do a project on the run and I am not sure what I will be crafting.  They are the tools that work for any project, anywhere.  I LOVE these tools!!!

My First Fool Proof Tool is: The Sure Cut Paper Trimmer from Fiskars

With all of the amazing specialized tools on the market, you still can't live without a basic paper trimmer!  This particuar trimmer is my absolute fav for a few reasons:
1. Light Weight
2. Clearly marked 1/4" increments
3. Wide base with swing-out arm
4. Magical marking wire that shows you exactly where you will be cutting ***THE BEST***

My Second Fool Proof Tool is: My Scor-Pal (and Scor-Tape)
Okay, so maybe I am cheating by listing my tool and tape in the same measurement, but I couldn't spotlight one without the other.

I have to admit that when I was first introduced to the scor-pal, I was skeptical.  However, I have found it more handy than I could have ever imaginged.  I use it for creating cards, boxes, fans and all kinds of other folded projects.  I love it because it easily creates nice sharp folds and creases in paper. I also love that there is a whole catalog of amazing ideas for using the scoring tool on the Scor-Pal site.  I have found patterns for tons of boxes, favors and even mini albums there.  A little birdie also told me that Scor-Pal is having a special 25% OFF Sale for Black Friday, so now is a great time to pick one up.

I love a really strong adhesive. Ya' know the kind that is impossible to remove?  Scor-Tape is amazing for details that need a permanant fix.  This tape comes in a whole variety of sizes (my top favorites are 1/4 and 1/2 inch).  You just tear off what you need and place it on your project.  It is so delightfully sticky!  It works like magic on glitter and ribbon.  I use it for all of my projects that need to be really durable.  It is also my go to adhesive for boxes and 3-D projects.  The best part is, Scor-tape is super economical.  You get a ton of yardage for a really good price. Can't beat that, right?

My Third Fool Proof Tool is: Colorbox Cat's Eye Ink
Nothing takes a project from blah to WOW like ink on the edges! Simply brushing the edges of your paper pieces with one of these magical ink pads gives dimension and pop to any project.  Distressing with ink is really so easy and provides a lot of bang for your buck!

You can distress your edges with any old ink pad, but the Colorbox Chalk Inks are by far my favorites.  I am a neutral inker (meaning I like to use Browns and Blacks).  Many people like to use lots of different colors, so experiment and see what you like best.  Here are the reasons that the chalk inks are at the top of my list:
1. Rich color that doesn't smear or smudge
2. Small size and shape make tight corners a breeze
3. Inexpensive- pads usually retail for $1.99-$2.49
4. Color Variety-My go to colors are:
Creamy Brown
Dark Brown
Chestnut Roan 

My Fourth Fool Proof Tool is: The Silhouette Digital Cutter
Although the silhouette machine is a little more of an investment than my other tools, I still classify it as an essential.  And, remember, Christmas is just around the corner!

My Silhouette is fool proof because it allows me to cut any shape or font directly from my computer. No cartridges required!  The software that comes with the Silhouette is very user friendly and has loads of special features like welding and tracing.  One of my favorite uses for the Silhouette is finding images from the internet and tracing them to create my own custom images.
The Silhouette cuts very fine images from any paper or cardstock. After the image is cut, you simply peel it off the cutting mat and adhere it as desired.  The machine also cuts vinyl so it is great for home decor.

Silhouette has now made a 12" cutting platform called Cameo. It is the latest addition to their line.  I am excited to get my hands on one of these and start to play.

My Third Fool Proof Tool is: a Circle Punch in any size
Circle punches are a quick and easy embellishment creator.  I love using circles to create backgrounds or centers on my art.  They are also essential for making quick and easy tags.   As you probably have noticed, a circle is my go-to shape for backing labels on countdowns.

I love all sizes of circles, but if I had to pick 2 punches to use for the rest of my life, it would be my 1 1/2" and 1 3/4".  They layer nicely together and seem to be the perfect tag or label size. One of my favorite circle punch brands is EK Success.  I love their punches because they are very ergonomic and easy to use.  They have also created a new slim brand of punches that don't take up much storage room but still pack quite the punch!

Martha Stewart once said, "Anything is easier with the right tool."  I am a firm believer in that statement!  I have found that investing in good, basic tools saves me money, time, and a whole lot of stress in my creative process. 

Just for fun...if I got to increase my list to 10 tools, I would add:
6. Cropadile Hole Punch
7. Laptop and Printer
8. Sharp Straight Scissors
9. Adhesive Tape Runners
10. Corner Rounder


  1. I could not live without my Silhouette SD and I'm tempted to get the Cameo.

  2. I would agree on a Hole Punch and also computer and printer. I so need a Silhouette! I would love to win :)

  3. Your site is always amazing! I have a friend who needed birthday party ideas, and I'm sending her here! You are truly gifted!! How do you get the silhouette to make custom cuts from internet pictures? Is there a class or website that teaches you all the neat things it does (besides the silhouetteamerica blog??) Thanks again for your inspiring crafting!

  4. Thank you for the nice complements. I generally use the silhouette site tutorials if I have to figure something out. You could also just do a google search for "silhouette machine tutorials" and I bet you will find a lot of things on blogs. In order to cut a shape from the internet, you have to download the image and import it into the Silhouette program (FILE-IMPORT TO MY LIBRARY), then you select the image and place it on your page. To get it to cut, you use the trace feature (it looks like a butterfly in the top right corner). Hopefully that helps a little. I always just mess around and play with stuff until I figure out what I want to do. I figure I can't do any permanent damage, right? :)