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 for Copic coloring. There are many hybrid inks that are now Copic-friendly, so it’s definitely a matter of preference.

There are lots of all-purpose black inks. I’ve been loving the Hero Arts Intense Black Ink (comparable to Simon Says Stamp Intens-ified Black, My Favorite Things Hybrid Black, Gina K. Designs Amalgam Black).

When I watercolor and emboss with the intent to have black lines, I use Versafine Onyx Black ink with clear embossing powder (black powder is messy).  You can also stamp this ink and not emboss if you want to for watercoloring.  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
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SSS Intense Black Ink
SSS Intense Black Ink
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Versafine Onyx Black
Versafine Onyx Black
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Stazon Jet Black Ink
Stazon Jet Black Ink
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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
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Embossing Powder Bag
Embossing Powder Bag
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Wagner Heat Tool
Wagner Heat Tool
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WHITE and WATER COLOR PAPER:

My go-to papers are:

WHITE CARDSTOCK FOR GENERAL USE:

Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 100 lb Paper – this ranks the top for me because its use is just like Neenah Solar White 80 lbs. Don’t worry about the weight – because density in the cardstock (GSM or grams per square meter) is more important. The GSM of Hammermill cardstock is 216 gsm, comparable to that of Neenah 80 lb cardstock which is 217 gsm (Neenah 110 lb is 297 gsm).

Hammermill 110 lb 216 gsm
Neenah 80 lb 217 gsm
Neenah 110 lb 297 gsm

So why do I like this paper more than Neenah? It’s affordable AND it’s smoother paper. If you know my style – you’ll know that I love to ink-blend. The smoother paper surface is great for ink-blending. For this particular reason, it may seem that Copics don’t blend into the paper as easily, but you really need to give it a tad bit more time to blend and I’ve gotten used to that.

WATERCOLOR PAPER:

Canson XL Watercolor Paper – This is what I chose when I first started buying and it really works well for simple watercoloring.

Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Paper – This paper is expensive, but it’s amazing if you have a true love for watercolor and do it often. It absorbs water so well and doesn’t warp like with Canson XL Watercolor Paper.

Bristol Smooth or Bristol Vellum – This paper is great for watercolor markers like Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers or Arteza Real Brush Markers. They absorb the ink, but allow moisture so you can “paint” before it dries on the paper. Vellum has a tad more “tooth” or texture than Smooth (hardly noticeable). Smooth is sworn by many cardmakers for ink-blending also.

CARDBASES:

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.

Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 100lb
Hammermill Color Copy Digital Cover 100lb
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Neenah Solar White 80 lb
Neenah Solar White 80 lb
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Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad 140 lb
Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad 140 lb
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Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
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Strathmore Bristol Smooth
Strathmore Bristol Smooth
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COLOR MEDIUMS AND COLORING TOOLS:

Copics are my color medium of choice. I’m most comfortable using them over other mediums and always reach for them. I have friends who use Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers exclusively and make amazing cards. Stick with what you’re comfortable with and don’t feel like you need to do something else if it works for you! This is a hobby and you should be happy doing it…not frustrated. As with all things, practice makes better :).

I prefer an actual watercolor brush over waterbrushes because it gives me more control. My favorite brushes are the Silver Velvet brushes – the bristles are soft and hold water well and I use them often.

I have found that if I’m not wateroloring with Daniel Smith paints, I love to watercolor with Tombow Dual Brush Pens, Zig Clean Color and Karin Markers.

Copic Sketch Markers
Copic Sketch Markers
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Daniel Smith Watercolors
Daniel Smith Watercolors
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Silver Brush Black Velvet Brushes
Silver Brush Black Velvet Brushes
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Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
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Tombow Dual Brush Pens
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
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Karin Brush Markers 60 ct
Karin Brush Markers 60 ct
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TOOLS:

I don’t use 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?).

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.


Brother Label Maker

Brother Label Maker
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MSP Mini MISTI
MSP Mini MISTI
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MSP MISTI
MSP MISTI
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Teflon Bone Folder

Teflon Bone Folder
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Absorber
Absorber
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ADHESIVES:

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

Double-sided 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 is great as a glue! Some people use Glossy Accents as a glue exclusively!

Post-it tape is great for temporary use to hold down dies for cutting, paper on paper and other uses. I like to use it for masking too!

The Distress Collage Medium 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.

I want to mention that there are lots of other great liquid and dry adhesives out there! Just adding the SSS Craft Tacky Glue and the Gina K Designs Dot Tape Runners as alternatives :).

Double Sided Foam Tape
Double Sided Foam Tape
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ATG Gun
ATG Gun
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Glossy Accents
Glossy Accents
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Post It Tape
Post It Tape
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Distress Collage Medium 1oz
Distress Collage Medium 1oz
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SSS Craft Tacky Glue
SSS Craft Tacky Glue
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GKD Dot Tape Runner
GKD Dot Tape Runner
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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!

13 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!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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!

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  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

    1. 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!

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  3. You have a different take on supplies. I love your simplicity. I didn’t know about you till I found you on Hero Art website. Am in awe of your talents.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hey Carly! I just found your blog and I love what you do 🙂 I’ve recently just started card making and spent a butt load of money on supplies (I have a lot of health problems and crafting has been a huge distresser for me!) Some of the things I’ve purchased have been HELLO BLUEBIRD stamp and die cuts, problem is – I. don’t know what machine to buy to cut them! I keep reading horrifying reviews and things like the Sizzix (that I was going to purchase) doesn’t cut third party dies! and that the cuttlebug has been retired! What do I do?! I’m terrified I’ve spent all this money and time for nothing… any suggestions?
    Thank you in advance, you’re site is lovely 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kristen!! Welcome to my blog and to the cardmaking world! It’s an exciting (and expensive) hobby but the joy it brings is so worth it! I recommend the Spellbinders Platinum 6 Diecutting machine. If you click on my most recent blog post-it is in the supply list! I hope that’s helpful. Happy crafting!

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  5. Caly, love your blog and all that you do. I am in awe of you. I took a copic coloring class but still can not blend colors. Could you please list your favorite 3 or 4 blending markers in the primary colors, like red, blue, green, purple, brown, orange, yellow. I know I’m asking a lot but I think it would help those who are having trouble blending. Thank you so much. Jackie

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