Sunday, October 5, 2014

About: Basic Papercrafting Tools

Hello readers! This post isn't about a craft, but it does have to do with crafting. As a graphic technology major, I've learned to handmake a lot of things that I design. And now that I know how to handmake a lot of things, I like to make them from my home to save money! So I'm making a post about basic papercrafting tools, such as cutting and scoring tools, that you can use to make a variety of paper items, including notepads, cards, envelopes, and more!

To begin, one of the basic tools to have is a self-healing mat. This is a mat you can use to protect your working surface from scratches and cuts as you craft. Mine is full of gouges from years of use, and that's the great thing about these: they last for years! Definitely a worthy investment if you are interested in papercrafting or scrapbooking, etc.

 At the low end of the cutting spectrum (besides scissors... please don't use those if you're serious about papercrafting) is the x-acto knife and its trusty friend the ruler. These tools are small and require you to be a bit more precise and have a steadier hand than the other cutting tools I'll introduce. If you have special cuts that aren't simple straight cuts, then this tool can really shine. Maintenance includes buying new blades and changing them as they get dull. 

Another cutter is the sliding blade cutter. This cutter is perfect if you plan on making paper crafts as a hobby, such as your own cards, envelopes, and hobby scrapbooking. Mine, from Hobby Lobby, has an extendable arm that allows me to measure up to 13" out from a cut. This cutter is only meant for cutting one piece of paper at a time.

A close-up of the measurements on the cutter.

To use, simply put your piece of paper under the clear plastic guide and make a cut according to its measurements. The card above is just a placeholder to show how it sits under the clear plastic. You press down and slide the blades to make the cut. Because they are within the plastic guide, there isn't any danger to cut your fingers at all. Maintenance includes replacing the blades as needed.

The last cutting tool I will write about is the big gun for at-home papercrafting: the arm blade cutter. This tool is perfect for cutting multiple pages at once, but because the arm blade is exposed, you need to be very careful- don't accidentally cut yourself while using this cutter. I would not recommend owning this if you have children running around (or if you do, keep it out of reach)

This cutter also has measurements along the top.
Mine is rather old so it isn't much good for cutting more than five pages at once; newer ones with sharper blades can do more. When my blade is getting dull, I grab a piece of aluminum foil and cut it up a lot to help sharpen the blade. If you are serious about your papercrafting, this tool can save you a lot of cutting time!

Scoring board and bone folder tool.

The next papercrafting tool I'm going to tell you about is a scoring tool. I can't even say how many cards I've had to toss because the cardstock cracks and breaks when folding by hand. I never knew how much I would love this until I owned it! Mine is a Martha Stewart scoring board, but there's others available too. The purpose of this tool is to line up your card so its fold line falls on one of the grooves in the scoring board. Then, using the bone folder tool, slide it down the line and it will put a beautiful crease in your card. No more cracked cardstock! If you have multiple cards on one sheet of cardstock, like I do when I make my little 'hello' and 'thank you' cards, then you can just put the flat sheet down and score them before you even start cutting.

Another great thing about the scoring board that I have is the envelope maker that tells you what lines to score to make a certain sized envelope. Making envelopes becomes a breeze!

Tada, envelope!

A bonus papercrafting tool: the corner rounder. This is another simple tool but it makes your handmade cards look so nice and professional. Once you have your card done, simply slide the corners into this punch and it will round them!

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Clay- these are just some basic cutting and paper folding tools. I feel that adhesives could be a separate post in themselves!