My Favorite Craft Supplies

Hello! Welcome to my page on Favorite Craft Supplies! There are SOOO many options out there. When I started in June 2014, I was so overwhelmed by so many choices. It’s taken me a while to learn what’s the best to use and when. It’s all a matter preference – but I’m going to list below what my favorite items are!

I started out as a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, so my go to colored inks and colored cardstock are all Stampin’ Up!

BLACK INK:

Memento is my go-to black ink. You can do almost everything with it – except as an outline for watercoloring or coloring with a blender pen (although, I have to admit I’ve never had an issue with this).

My Favorite Things Black Licorice Hybrid Ink is one you should be able to use for EVERYTHING! I have purchased a pad but haven’t taken advantage of it too often.  I think it’s because when I watercolor, I almost always emboss the image.

When I watercolor and emboss with the intent to have black lines, I use Versafine Onyx Black in with clear embossing powder.  I do this because embossing with black powder can be really messy!  Versafine Onyx Black ink is also very crisp.  It is a pigmented ink – so it also can smear.  You can dry it by waiting…or heat-setting it.

Staz-On Ink is permanent and is great on surfaces like Acetate or other non-paper surfaces – it’s fast drying and will not smear once it’s stamped.

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
EH | SSS | AMZN
MFT Black Licorice Hybrid Ink
MFT Black Licorice Hybrid Ink
SSS | MFT
Versafine Onyx Black
Versafine Onyx Black
EH | SSS
Stazon Jet Black Ink
Stazon Jet Black Ink
EH | SSS | AMZN

WHITE INK:

Darlene Devries did a white ink comparison here. Sorry, you can only view it if you’re a community member – but trust me. It’s very evident Stampin’ Up! White Craft Ink is the best white ink. She compared Colorbox White, Hero Arts Unicorn White, Memento Luxe Wedding Dress, Simon Says Stamp White, and Stampin’ Up! White and Stampin’ Up! White ink was the most bright, most crisp, and most opague.

Again, the Staz-On Ink is going to be your best bet on non-paper surfaces for a permanent ink.


Whisper White Craft Ink
Whisper White Craft Ink
Stazon White and Refill Ink
Stazon White and Refill Ink
EH | SSS | AMZN

EMBOSSING :

The only one you’ll ever need is Versamark – need I say more? The only exception as I mentioned above is if you want a black embossed image – I would use Versafine Onyx Black Ink with clear embossing powder.

You’ll want an anti-static tool to keep stray powders at bay…and also…a good Heat Tool. I use the Stampin’ Up! Heat tool and have no issues with it. It has two temperature settings (the low heat setting is good for vellum).  I hear the Hero Arts Milwaukee, or now Wagner heat tool is pretty amazing, also.  I must confess I have it in my closet as a backup should the SU one fail on me one day.

Regarding powders – I believe the essentials are CLEAR, WHITE OPAGUE, SILVER and GOLD. My clear and white are Recollections brand from Michael’s – it’s what I started out using. But I think WOW is great brand and have it in silver and gold. I have not ventured out to use colored embossing powders – I don’t think I need it for basic embossing for outlined images and sentiments.

Versamark Ink
Versamark Ink
EH | SSS | AMZN
Embossing Powder Bag
Embossing Powder Bag
EH | SSS | SU

Heat Tool
Heat Tool

WHITE and WATER COLOR PAPER:

My go-to papers are:

1. Stampin’ Up! Whisper White 80lbs (it’s coated with clay and is SUPER smooth) – great for blending.  SU inks also work best on SU paper.  I like using this paper also when I want to sponge an entire card front using distress inks because it glides across the paper so smoothly.

2. Neenah Solar White 80lbs – used for Copic coloring – and EVERYTHING.  If you don’t have SU Whisper White paper, I really think you can be without it.  I don’t think I will replenish SU Whisper White if I ran out.

3. Canson XL Watercolor Paper – there are lots of watercolor paper available. This is what I chose when I first started buying and I’m sticking with it because it’s what Sandy Allnock uses (if it’s good enough for an artist like her – it’s GREAT for me!)

4. Recollections 110lbs – I initially purchased this not knowing how great it would be as card bases. I started using it because other crafters are using Neenah 110lbs. Since they’re the same weight – why not?! I find it unnecessary to buy expensive paper to use as a card base. There is no different in the whiteness between this and the Neenah Solar White or SU Whisper White cardstock.


Whisper White Cardstock
Whisper White Cardstock
Neenah Solar White 80 lb
Neenah Solar White 80 lb
EH | SSS
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
EH | SSS | JOANN

Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

DIE CUTTING ESSENTIALS:

I LOVE the Big Shot. I have considered getting the Vagabond but find that the only reason why I’d ever need an electronic die cutter is if I had arthritis. I don’t want to worry about it jamming and breaking (or not working when there’s no electricity) – so I’m convinced this is the only thing I’ll need for the time being. I’ve read that the handle mechanism on the Big Shot is more sturdy than on the cuddlebug (watch YouTube comparisons and see for yourself).

You never realize how much you love something until you use it – and I feel this way about the magnetic platform. It holds all your dies in the right place and doesn’t move until you’re ready to remove it.

The cutting pads are an absolute necessity (you can’t use a Big Shot without it). I should mention that if you’re using an embossing folder – you would use the multipurpose platform that comes with the Big Shot.

The last thing is the new Sizzix Precision Base Plate – this piece replaces your bottom cutting plate. It’s made of steel and will cut the most intricate of dies in just one pass – I have yet to use it but I’m thinking it’s going to be something I won’t be able to live without like the magnetic platform.


White/Gray Big Shot
White/Gray Big Shot
Big Shot Magnetic Platform
Big Shot Magnetic Platform
EH | SSS | AMZN
Standard Cutting Pads
Standard Cutting Pads
EH | SSS | AMZN
Sizzix Precision Base Plate
Sizzix Precision Base Plate
EH | SSS

COLORING TOOLS:

To water color, you’ll need a good waterbrush. I have two listed below, but you do not need both.

The blender pen is great for blending inks in small areas.

For coloring – I love Copics, the Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers and Distress Inks.

Ranger Detailer Water Brush
Ranger Detailer Water Brush
EH | SSS | AMZN

Pental Aquash Water Brush Set
Pental Aquash Water Brush Set

Blender Pens
Blender Pens
Copic Sketch Markers
Copic Sketch Markers
EH | SSS | MERRIARTIST
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Clean Color Real Brush

EH | SSS | AMZN

Tim Holtz Mini Distress Inks
Tim Holtz Mini Distress Inks
EH | SSS

TOOLS:

I don’t have fancy scissors – my husband got me some Scotch Titanium scissors from Costco and they work great for any type of cutting.

This part was hard for me to narrow down. For precision cutting, I love my cutter bee scissors (same as the paper snips from Stampin’ Up! – don’t you love how the change a color of a tool and re-brand it?) I honestly have both because I was trying to brand myself for Stampin’ Up! products at one point…. enough said.

The MISTI is an amazing tool – it’s a stamp positioner, stamp mount, a stamper’s saving grace. I LOVE IT.  I have both the Mini and the Standard size but I find that I use the Mini more.  If you had to choose between the two, I recommend the standard size – as you can stamp off the panel and do other techniques with more space.

The teflon bone folder is something I would’ve never missed until I got it. It scores and folds creases with so much ease and is a 2-in-1 tool. It costs a bit more, but I think it’s worth it if you don’t already have a good scoring tool and bone folder.

White Foam will add dimension to your work without it getting destroyed in the mail. Don’t believe me? Watch Jennifer McGuire’s video here.

To clean my stamps, if I’m using a lot of stamps and don’t want to waste a bunch of baby wipes, I like to use an Absorber.  It comes in a big sheet and you can cut it down to whatever size you like.  Lawn Fawn has a product called a stamp shammy which is made of the same product and comes in one size.  The Absorber also comes in a variety of colors ;).

I cannot live without a label maker. I have OCD…I literally label anything and everything. This Brother Label maker is the BOMB.


SU Paper Snips Scissors
SU Paper Snips Scissors
MSP Mini MISTI
MSP Mini MISTI

EH | SSS | MSP

Teflon Bone Folder
Teflon Bone Folder
EH | SSS

White Foam Sheet 12x18 10pk
White Foam Sheet 12×18 10pk

Absorber
Absorber
Brother Label Maker
Brother Label Maker
SSS | AMZN

ADHESIVES:

There are SOOO many types of adhesives available! These are my choices – so please use what works for you.

3M foam tape is great for adding dimension to small pieces, big pieces, entire card layers – it’s up to you how much you want to use.

My ATG gun is my favorite for adhering card layers to card bases. It’s strong and you get good bang for your buck.

Glossy Accents (same as Crystal Effects – again with the branding) – is great as a glue! Some people use Glossy Accents as a glue exclusively! I’ll admit it – I’ve used it to adhere the slider guard for my shower – LOL – as well as a chandelier globe thingy that my 8 year old broke when he stood up on the dining room table one night. It is amazing!

Micropore tape is a surgical tape and is great for temporary use to hold down dies for cutting, paper on paper and other uses. It’s very handy!

The Multi Medium Matte (MMM) Glue is very strong and is great for small embellishments (I love using them for die cuts and sequins). It dries matte and is not sticky once it dries.

Tombow Xtreme (same as Stampin’ Up!’s Fast Fuse) – it’s SUPER STRONG adhesive. Use this on your 3-D projects and projects that are more heavy-weight. You don’t want to risk your crafts falling part.

I added Tombow Liquid Mono Glue – some people use this exclusively too. It’s allows some wiggle room before drying permanent, but can also be used as a temporary adhesive if you let it “dry” because it stays tacky (that’s why I prefer using the MMM on my embellishments).

Last but not least, glue dots are great for adhering embellishments and paper with small surfaces. They do have some height to them…so it just depends on what you’re trying to adhere and if a little ht is alright with you. They are great for ribbon and stand-alone embellishments.

3M Scotch Foam Tape
3M Scotch Foam Tape
EH | SSS | AMZN
ATG Gun
ATG Gun
EH | SSS | AMZN
Glossy Accents
Glossy Accents
EH | SSS | AMZN
Micropore Tape
Micropore Tape
SSS | AMZN
Mini Multi Medium Matte Glue
Mini Multi Medium Matte Glue
EH | SSS

Tombow Xtreme
Tombow Xtreme
Tombow Liquid Multi Mono Glue
Tombow Liquid Multi Mono Glue
EH | SSS | SU
ZOTs Adhesive Dots
ZOTs Adhesive Dots
EH | SSS | AMZN

Phew! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while. I hope that it’s helpful. I know it’s a lot, they’re all great tools to have. There are a few items above that are more luxury than they are necessities, but I’m glad to have them and I KNOW that you won’t regret buying any of them.

Happy Crafting, Everyone!

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4 thoughts on “My Favorite Craft Supplies

  1. Hi, Caly! I’m new to your blog, but I have been enjoying taking a look around. You really do very nice work and do a great job of showcasing it. Like you, I’m a SU! demo without customers, other than myself and a couple of close friends who I sell to at my cost, just to help me meet the minimum.

    I was looking at the 110lb Neenah from Costco you listed above. I wanted to let you know, if you buy it, you will be disappointed. It is not the heavyweight Neenah you probably think it is. What you want is Neenah Classic Crest, not Neenah Exact Index. The one from Costco probably feels closer 65lb card stock. I took the Copic class from Online Card Classes. We discussed paper vs card stock and how the weight of each is determined in the forums when the class was running live. If I remember correctly, it has something to do with the weight of each before they cut it and they are not the same size at that point. So, as little sense as it makes to us, paper labeled weighing the same as card stock, is much thinner. And, who would’ve known exactly where Exact Index would fall into that subject? 😊. If you haven’t taken that class, I highly recommend it! Not so much to learn how to color, but all of the information that was shared by the instructors was incredible! You can also still see the forums where we could ask questions and have conversations with fellow students.

    I have bookmarked your blog and will come back to read it often!

    Like

    • That’s awesome! Thanks for the info! I have not actually purchased the heavyweight from Costco but thought it may be a good option in the future. So glad you told me about it!

      Like

  2. Stumbled onto your 2015 video making a quickie wedding card when I was looking for inspiration. I very much like your work. I did notice in your video the container which holds your embossing powder. What is the brand & where might I find it. I appears to be a much neater way to store & use embossing powder. I seem to get it everywhere even when using coffee filters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Karen! I find these containers at TJMaxx and have seen them at Marshalls as well. The brand is sistema and there are different colors. Good luck!

      Like

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