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 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
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. 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
SSS | EH | HMSB
Wagner Heat Tool
Wagner Heat Tool
HA | SSS | EH | AMZN

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 id 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
Neenah Solar White 80 lb
Neenah Solar White 80 lb
SSS | EH | HMSB
Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad 140 lb
Arches Cold Pressed Watercolor Pad 140 lb
SSS | EH | AMZN
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
Canson XL WaterColor Paper Pad
SSS | EH | AMZN
Strathmore Bristol Smooth
Strathmore Bristol Smooth
SSS | AMZN
Strathmore Bristol Vellum
Strathmore Bristol Vellum
EH | AMZN
Recollections 110 lb
Recollections 110 lb

DIE CUTTING ESSENTIALS:

I LOVE the Big Shot. I purchased the Big Shot Express last year amidst the Gemini craze and I still love it. Not necessary to have an electric version but I really like that I only have to use one hand to push a button. The Gemini has a self-feeding system if you want an electric version that is hands-free.

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. Sometimes, if your cutting plates are bowed, your dies will move some and taping them down is helpful.

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.

I love the metal shim also – I don’t even remove it anymore to ensure I get a great cut with each pass.

If you can afford all the dies, you can save for a Brother Scan N Cut 2 machine. I love mine – but I also use it to do a lot of vinyl projects.

Brother Scan N Cut 2
Brother Scan N Cut 2
Sizzix Big Shot Express
Sizzix Big Shot Express
SSS | AMZN
Standard Cutting Pads
Standard Cutting Pads
SSS | EH | AMZN
On The Edge Cutting Pads
Sizzix Big Shot
SSS | EH | HMSB | AMZN
Sizzix Big Shot Magnetic Platform
Sizzix Big Shot Magnetic Platform
SSS | EH | AMZN
Metal Adaptor Plate
Metal Adaptor Plate
SSS | EH

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 Arteza Real Brush Markers. The Arteza colors are better in my opinion – more muted and soft, but I prefer the brushes on the Zigs.

Copic Sketch Markers
Copic Sketch Markers
SSS | EH | ScrapbookPal
Daniel Smith Watercolors
Daniel Smith Watercolors
SSS | EH | MERRIARTIST
Silver Brush Black Velvet Brushes
Silver Brush Black Velvet Brushes
SSS | EH | MERRIARTIST
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
Zig Clean Color Real Brush
SSS | EH | AMZN
Arteza Real Brush Pens, 96 ct
Arteza Real Brush Pens, 96 ct
Arteza | AMZN
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
Tombow Dual Brush Pens
SSS | AMZN

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.


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 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!

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

    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!

      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

    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!

      Like

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