Friday, February 06, 2004

Tools of the Paper Crafts Trade

If you've ever registered for a beginning crafts class and read the phrase "bring your basic supplies," you may have wondered what that means. In fact, most paper crafts folks have more junk amassed than they know. Yet, they still ask the same basic question: "What supplies should I bring?"

Below are some items you might want to have handy plus a few comments about why. Now when you take a class, you won't scratch your head at the last minute trying to figure out what to tote along.

One more thing: there are no rules in altered art, so don't treat this page as Gospel. After you've finished reading it, I'll edit it again and again. Bookmark this page and check back for a refresher once in a while -- and to see if I've added anything new. ~ Article by Kim M. Bayne

1 = Altered Books Basics
2 = Altered Books Cover Art
3 = Altered Board Books
4 = Altered CDs
5 = Artists Trading Cards
6 = Domino Art
7 = Matchbox Pocket Shrines
8 = Terrific Tag Art


Tape, Glue and/or Adhesive 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
· "Tape" and "glue sticks" are excellent for paper on paper, but poor for heavy embellishments. Choose a wet glue instead.
· If you want to hold together two to three altered book pages, you can get away with using just a little bit of "double-stick tape" in the page corners. If you don't care about acid-free, then get by with some cheap stuff from the dollar store.
· For groups of altered book pages, use glue stick or wet glue, or faster yet, just punch some holes and wire the pages together.

Cutting Tools 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8
· Use "Scissors" with special edges -- like pinking or scalloped designs -- for finishing the edges of altered book pages or artists trading cards.
· Flat, table top "paper trimmers" make fast work of cutting white card stock into artists trading cards.
· Using an "X-acto knife", with extra blades, is a very standard way to cut niches in books.
· Lately, I've used large round and square "paper punches" to make page niches. If you do the same, just make sure you line up the previous page hole and check your alignment frequently, or you'll get a strange skewed niche when you're done...hmmmm...maybe that's not a bad thing, after all.

Metal-Edged Ruler 1, 2, 7, 8

Pencils, Colors and (don't forget!) Plain Black 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
· Recreate the vintage look of hand-colored photographs using soft watercolor pencils on a black and white photocopy. This will look great in an Ancestors Altered Book project.

Markers, Colors and (don't forget!) Plain Black 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Applicators 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
· Brushes
· Sponges
· Stipple Brushes
· I love the look of "cosmetic wedges" when used to apply ink to altered book pages. If you're going for a soft look, it can create a romantic look.

Alterable Images and Photocopies 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Embellishments 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
· Fibers
· Charms
· Stickers

Favorite Rubber Stamps, including Alphabet Stamps 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8

Inkpads, Colors and Document Black 1, 2, 3, 6, 7

Paper 1, 2, 3, 7, 8
· Cardstock, White and Colors
· Paper, Scrapbooking
· Paper, Specialty

Embossing Heat Gun 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
Collage Materials 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
Acrylic Paints 1, 2, 3, 6, 7
Circle Cutter 1, 4
Paper Punches 1, 5, 7, 8

Around the House
· Rubbing Alcohol and Cotton Balls6
· Roll of Wax Paper1, 2, 3, 6
· Sandpaper2, 3, 6

Specialty Items
· Hardbound Book1, 2
· Children's Board Book3
· CD disks4
· Package of White Card Stock5
· Standard Size White or Ivory Dominoes6
· Small Bottle of Household Bleach6
· Kitchen Size Cardboard Matchboxes7
· Pack of Manilla Hang Tags8

Only look for acid-free if it matters to you. For example, books are not acid-free, so you might not care. Acid-free only matters if you want your art to last for years. If you're just playing with technique, grab anything that's available, even your kids' arts and crafts goodies.

Article Description: A checklist of what to buy and why for all your paper crafts projects.

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