– CRAFTER’S RESOURCES-

This resources page was put together with both new and experienced crafters in mind.  Please be advised that the information about companies and products share on this page (and throughout my blog posts) is only an opinion of mine based on my experience working with the products and as satified, happy customer.  I am not on any design team and this blog do not accept any form of advertising, sponsorships, or paid reviews.  I am however, do participate in an affiliate program.  For more information on this blog’s policy, please refer to my DISCLOSURE page.

– WHERE TO SHOP –

In this section I share where to shop for your crafting essentials, some of my favorite product brands and supplies.

Where to shop?
Here are my favorite companies that I shop at:

♥  All Craft Supplies Ellen Hutson LLC and Simon Says Stamp.  I’m a frequent shopper at both companies.  When the product I’m looking for is out of stock at one, I go to the other.  Both priced their products at about the same price.  Personally I shop at Simon Says Stamp mainly for stamps and dies because they carries more brands.  Whereas at Ellen Huston, I get pretty much everything there – from stamps to tools.  I also like that Ellen Hutson offers a Frequent Shopper discount and their customer service is outstanding!

♥  Wood Storage Units For Ink Pads & Markers :   Stamp-n-Storage.   Not only do I need ink pads and markers storage units that made of wood, but also ones that would fit the depth dimension of my built-in-shelves perfectly and Stamp-n-Storage offer just the solution!  See Craft room Organization section below for the list of their storage units that I got.

♥  Storage For Stamps & Dies:  Ellen Hutson LLC for the stamp/die storage pouches;  Amazon for the acrylic bins;

♥  Die-cutting/Embossed Machine:  I got my Sizzix’s Big Shot Pro at Sizzix.

♥  Craft-Room Furnitures:  Ikea cabinets.  However, for my craft table, the table top was custom made from Lowe’s Home Improvements/Hardwares store and for its base are 3 bedroom dressers.

Favorite Brands
Below is a list of some of my favorite and most trusted brands that I frequently purchase for my projects.  To make it easier and more flexible in the search for you, I have linked each one to their official shop’s website.  However, I mainly shop for them at Ellen Hutson LLC and/or Simon Says Stamp.

   Stamps & Dies By Brands:

Favorite Papers, Inks, Tools, Adhesives

Below is a list of my most favorite ink pads, adhesives, tools and coloring brands.

   Favorite Paper (Ellen Hutson LLC)Bazzill cardstock (100 lb) for card base and panels.  For Copic coloring, the Neenah Xpress (92 lb) and Neenah Solar White (80 lb & 11o lb).

   Favorite Ink Pads:

  • Black Ink Pad (Copic compatible):  Memento Tuxedo Black (Ellen Hutson LLC)
  • For Ink Blending: Hero Arts Bold inks; Ranger’s Distress inks & Distress Oxide (Ellen Hutson LLC)

   Favorite Adhesives (Ellen Hutson LLC)

  • Elizabeth Craft Designs’ double sided tape roll & adhesive sheets
  • Stick It adhesive sheet
  • Express-It
  • Scor-Tape

   Favorite Tools:

   Favorite Coloring Mediums:

– CRAFT ROOM ORGANIZATION –

This section contains an overview of my favorite organization storage system I use to help me keep my craft room organize along with a video tour of my craft-room at the end.  Please know this is for your inspiration only.  What work for me and of my organization style might not necessary work for you.

ink pads & markers storage

From  Stamp-n-Storage.   Not only do I need ink pads and markers storage units that made of wood, but also ones that would fit the depth dimension of my built-in bookshelve (with a home office desk) unit perfectly and Stamp-n-Storage offer just the solution!

I got the:

  Petite Ink Pad Holder for distress ink pads
  Standard Ink Pad Holder for all other ink pads
  Stacked Maker Holder for Copic, refills, multiliners
  Marker Nook for colorless blender bottle, black ink pads, locked punches
  Side-by-Side Marker Holder for the Wink of Stella and gel pens.

For a closer look, check out the video tour of my craftroom at the end of this section.

stamps & dies storage

There are many ways to store stamps & dies.  But here what I use to store mine:

♥  Clear stamps, cling stamps & dies set:

♥  Wood-mount rubber stamps:  arrange on a 3-tier wood shelf that I build myself to fit into my built-in book shelve unit.

For a closer look, check out the video tour of my craftroom at the end of this section.

Cardstock Storage

I use the Avery 9″ x 12″ Job Ticket Holders which are made of heavy-duty viny material to vertically store each cardstock (along with the left over scraps) by color in my built-in book shelve unit.   Say good-bye to a basket pile of scraps!

For a closer look, check out the video tour of my craftroom at the end of this section.

Tools & Accessories storage

Office drawer units, bedroom dressers and metal filing cabinets make excellent storages.  They are steady, long lasting, and give plenty of storage space.  Here what I use them for:

  Bedroom dressers:  I use 3 bedroom dressers, position in a letter C to form the base for my craft table.  The table top (which is removable) is a laminated kitchen countertop (custom made to size from Lowes Home Improvement store).  My Sizzix Bigz XL, die accessories, storage pouches & magnets are some of the items I store in these dressers.

♥  Alex Drawer Units – White:  I use three of these drawer units to store items such as adhesives, small tools, embellishments, ink blending tools and embossing powders.  I organize the items inside these drawers with acrylic drawer organizer trays by InterDesign.  These drawers also great for storing large water-coloring paper pads.

  Metal filing cabinets:  I use two metal filing cabinets from Target to separately store cardstock and craft supplies just for the kiddos.  The filing cabinets also serve as the base to support a long rectangle laminated table top that we have custom made for a computer area in one corner of the craft room for the kiddos to do their homework.

For a closer look, check out the video tour of my craftroom at the end of this section.

Ribbons & Gift Wrapping Storage

For ribbons and gift-wrapping supplies storage, I use the Topeakmart Quality Wood Wrapping Paper Cart with Three Drawers Organizer Arts Crafts Storage.  I ordered it from Amazon.  

For a closer look, check out the video tour of my craftroom at the end of this section.

5 Tips Before doing a craft-room make over

Here are 5 tips you might want to consider before doing a craft-room make over.  These tips are based on my own craft room make over experiment which took over 6 months.  Check out the video tour of my craftroom at the end of this section.

TIPS:

  1. Start with an empty room:  It is always easier to work with an empty space rather than a clutter one.  So move everything out of the room and store them in another room of the house.
  2. Work with YOUR ROOM'S FLOOR PLAN, not the inspired Pinterest photos:  The problem with trying to do a make-over of your craftroom based on inspired photos like ones you see on Pinterest is that unless your room has the exact same floor plan as the inspirational room, you will not get the same result.  Even if you put in the same furnitures and fixtures.  So rather than trying to make your craft room looks like the room in the photo, use it as an inspiration tool instead to help you decide how to best do a make over of your craft-room.
  3. Declutter:  Now that you have an empty room, start by getting rid of items you don't use or no longer need BEFORE continue on with the make-over of your craft room. There's a saying that if you haven't touch a stamp set or tool in 6 months or more, chances are you never will.  So give them away.  Declutter.
  4. Organize all your supplies into categories FIRST:  After deciding which items you want to get rid of, look at all the ones you are keeping.  Organize those into categories like: stamps, dies, embellishments, ink pads etc.  Jog these categories down.  You'll need it for the last and final tip #5 to complete your craft-room makeover.
  5. Draw up a floor plan:  Once you have organized and make note of all your supplies into categories, take a look at your emptycraft room and do a sketch of the room’s floor plan.
    • Make note of where you want to place each category of supplies.
    • Determine what extra storage furnitures you’ll need to purchase and where they go.
    • Once the room is furnished, organize your supplies in their categorized (destinated) area.

– VIDEO: CRAFT ROOM TOUR –

– STAMPING BASIC-

This section contains an overview about digital, rubber and cling stamps, how they work and what basic tools you’ll need to get started making cards with them.

Differences Between Digital, Rubber and Cling Stamps

  Digital stamps (also refer to as digi stamps) are basically black and white digital images that you can download onto your computer and manipulated (resize, crop, etc) before printing them out. 

  • Once print, you’d work with them the same way you’d with a traditional rubber or clear stamped images. 
  • Digital stamps usually come as a JPEG format and are the less expensive type of stamp.  The freebies images I offer in the Free Printable section are examples of digital images.

♥  Rubber stamps come in both wood mount and cling

  • They are images which have been etched or moulded onto a sheet of rubber. 
  • The rubber image then fixed to either a wooden block (thus wood mount stamps) or to a cling material (thus cling stamps). 
  • An acrylic block or stamping tool like the MISTI is needed in order to work with cling stamps.

  Clear stamps are transparent stamps, meaning you can see the paper through the stamp and exactly where you are stamping.  Clear stamps

  • take less storage room than wood mount stamps. 
  • They come both as acrylic and photopolymer stamps.

You will want to get the photopolymer stamps (and it will say  “polymer or photopolymer” in the description).   Here’s why I recommend Photopolymer stamps:

    1. Ink sticks to the stamp better, giving you a crisper, cleaner image.
    2. They are heavier and less stretchy than acrylic.
    3. They are “crystal clear” compare to acrylic stamps.
    4. Better quality
    Basic Stamping Tools You'll need

    Here are the basic tools you’ll need to get started working with each of the different stamp types discussed above.

      Digital (digi) stamps:  digital stamp, paper and printer.

      Wood Mount Rubber stamps:  stamp, ink pads and paper.

      Cling rubber stamps and clear stamps:  stamp, acrylic block or MISTI (to cling the stamp to), ink pads and paper.

    What paper you'll need

    The common type of paper use by crafters is cardstock.   Cardstock is more durable and thicker than copy paper.  It comes in different weight, color, finish and sizes.  In this quick overview, I will only touch on the weight as this is the most important factor when choosing which cardstock is right for your project.  I will also share which papers I would recommend for coloring with Copic markers.

      Weight:  refers to a paper’s thickness and often measured by the lb.  Sometimes you may also see a GSM (grams per square meter) number that indicates the actual weight of the paper.  The typical copy paper runs from 20lb to 32lb.  Any paper over 32lb is often considered cardstock.

    Cardstocks also come in different forms with the cover stock as the most commonly use among crafters.

    • Bristol cardstock: is the lightest form of cardstock and weight at 67lb.
    • Index cardstock: is a smooth cardstock and comes in 90lb, 110lb and sometimes 140lb.  (EX:Neenah Xpress is 92 lb).
    • Cover stock: comes in 65lb, 80lb, and 100lb.  This is the most commonly use among crafters.  (EX: the Bazzill cardstock brand is 100 lb; Neenah Solar White comes in 80 lb and 110 lb)

      Which weight printer compartible?  Most home printers can only handle cardstock weight up to 67lb.  Some can handle 80 lb, but might require printing one page at a time to avoid paper jam.  The only way to find out for sure what cardstock weight your printer will take is to test print it out.

      Look for Archival or acid-free cardstock:  This cardstock last longer and does not yellow or break down over time.

      Which papers best for Copic coloring?  The most favorite cardstock use among Copic users is the Neenah Xpress and Neenah Solar White.  Neenah Xpress has a smoother finished and will feed through any printer.   Great choice for digital stamping.  Neenah Solar White comes in 80 lb and 110 lb and due to it thicker, is prefer for working with rubber and clear stamps.   You can find these Neenah cardstock on Amazon as well Ellen Hutson LLC.

    HOW TO WORK WITH DIGITAL, RUBBER & CLEAR STAMPS

      Digital (digi) stamps:

    1. Purchase the digital image from a digital stamping company (like LOTV and Power Poppy).
    2. Download the purchased digi onto your company and open up it up in Microsoft Word or any software with photo editor.
    3. Manipulate the image (resize, crop etc) to fit your project’s need and print.  If you will be coloring with Copic, make sure to print onto Copic compartible paper (like the Neenah or Xpress cardstock).
    4. Color the image with your favorite coloring medium.

      Wood mount rubber stamps:

    1. Gently press ink pad color of your choice onto the image.
    2. Holding by the wood block, gently press the stamp straight down onto the paper to transfer the image.  To avoid getting a blur image, do not wiggle the stamp as you press & hold it down onto the paper.
    3. Color the image.

      Cling & clear stamps:

    1. Gently peel the stamp from the packaging sheet.
    2. Place the stamp on either an acrylic block or the MISTI tool.
    3. Apply ink pad color of your choice onto the image and gently press down onto the paper to transfer the image.  To avoid getting a blur image, do not wiggle the stamp as you press & hold it down onto the paper.
    4. Clean the stamp.  Remove from the acrylic block (or MISTI) and place it back onto the packaging sheet.
    5. Color the stamped image.
    HOW TO CARE FOR RUBBER & CLEAR STAMPS

    To prolong the life of your rubber and clear stamps, make sure to…

    • clean it up right after use and store them away from sunlight and extreme room temperature.
    • the best and simple way to clean them is with water and a stamp shammy, like the one from Lawn Fawn (my favorite).
    • though baby wipe can be use to clean with, it’s not always the best method as it might leave the white fiber from the wipe onto certain cling and clear stamps.

    Below are some posts on how to work with the MISTI stamping tool as well an in depth comparision of the different types of ink pads.

    – CARD FOLDS & TECHNIQUES-

    This section contains a quick overview of basic tools to get started on card-making and the different finished card sizes.  It also contains some blog posts of the different card folds and techniques.

    BASIC TOOLS FOR CARD MAKING

    Regardless of the type of card you want to make, here are basic tools you’ll need:

    • A good paper trimmer
    • Score board
    • Cardstock – I recommend using heavyweight of at least 80# weight for the card base (more details below)
    • Adhesive (glue, double sided tape etc)
    • Scissor
    • What to decorate the card with.  Depending on your style, you might choose to…
      • simply hand draw and color
      • stamping using digital, rubber or clear stamps (more about this in the Stamping Basic section)
      • working with die cut products.  In this case, you will also need a die-cutting machine like the Sizzix Big Shot.
    What paper you'll need

    The common type of paper use by crafters is cardstock.   Cardstock is more durable and thicker than copy paper.  It comes in different weight, color, finish and sizes.  In this quick overview, I will only touch on the weight as this is the most important factor when choosing which cardstock is right for your project.  I will also share which papers I would recommend for coloring with Copic markers.

      Weight:  refers to a paper’s thickness and often measured by the lb.  Sometimes you may also see a GSM (grams per square meter) number that indicates the actual weight of the paper.  The typical copy paper runs from 20lb to 32lb.  Any paper over 32lb is often considered cardstock.

    Cardstocks also come in different forms with the cover stock as the most commonly use among crafters.

    • Bristol cardstock: is the lightest form of cardstock and weight at 67lb.
    • Index cardstock: is a smooth cardstock and comes in 90lb, 110lb and sometimes 140lb.  (EX:Neenah Xpress is 92 lb).
    • Cover stock: comes in 65lb, 80lb, and 100lb.  This is the most commonly use among crafters.  (EX: the Bazzill cardstock brand is 100 lb; Neenah Solar White comes in 80 lb and 110 lb)

      Which weight printer compartible?  Most home printers can only handle cardstock weight up to 67lb.  Some can handle 80 lb, but might require printing one page at a time to avoid paper jam.  The only way to find out for sure what cardstock weight your printer will take is to test print it out.

      Look for Archival or acid-free cardstock:  This cardstock last longer and does not yellow or break down over time.

      Which papers best for Copic coloring?  The most favorite cardstock use among Copic users is the Neenah Xpress and Neenah Solar White.  Neenah Xpress has a smoother finished and will feed through any printer.   Great choice for digital stamping.  Neenah Solar White comes in 80 lb and 110 lb and due to it thicker, is prefer for working with rubber and clear stamps.   You can find these Neenah cardstock on Amazon as well Ellen Hutson LLC.

    common finished cards size Measurements

     

    FINISHED CARD SIZE PAPER SIZE SCORE (FOLD)
    A2 (4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″) 8-1/2″ x 5″ 4-1/4″
    A6 (4-1/2″ x 6-1/4″) 9″ x 6-1/4″ 4-1/2″
    A7 (5″ x 7″) 10″ x 7″ 5″
    A9 (5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″) 11″ x 8-1/2″ 5-1/2″
    gate fold cards size Measurements
    FINISHED CARD SIZE PAPER SIZE SCORE (FOLD)
    A2 (4-1/4″ x 5-1/2″) 8-1/2″ x 5″ 2-1/8″ & 6-3/8″
    A6 (4-1/2″ x 6-1/4″) 9″ x 6-1/4″ 2-1/4″ & 6-3/4″
    A7 (5″ x 7″) 10″ x 7″ 2-1/2″ & 7-1/2″
    A9 (5-1/2″ x 8-1/2″) 11″ x 8-1/2″ 2-3/4″ & 8-1/4″

    Below are some tutorial posts on the different card folds and techniques.  For more tutorials, click on the buttons at the bottom of this section.