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Essential Crafting Tools
Handmade crafts can be a great way to personalize your wedding day and get friends and family involved. That said a successful craft project depends on having the right tools. We've compiled a list of some of our favorites here:
An easily removable tape that does not leave a sticky residue when it is peeled off.
This is an indispensable time-saver for paper projects like mounting cards on backings or lining envelopes. Our favorite is the Scotch ATG 700 with archival tape refills.
An electric gun containing a heating element that melts plastic glue that is sold in sticks.
A tool for applying adhesive to the back of your paper—whatever the shape of your paper, it applies glue only where there is a material present. Essentially, it allows you to make a sticker out of anything. Xyron machines are available in a variety of sizes from 1 inch wide to 8 1/2 x 11 inches (available at general craft stores).
An adjustable tool that allows you to cut perfect circles.
A punch that rounds the corners of your paper.
A cutting mat is the best surface to use with a utility knife. The surface is self-healing and will protect the blade of the knife. It is also typically marked with a measuring grid that is handy for measuring and marking right angles.
Decorative paper punches
Punches are available in all sorts of shapes and sizes. You can get variations on the classic hole punch, punches for punching out shapes and corner punches for cutting out fancy corners.
Decorative scissors have blades that will trim your paper with fancy edges, such as a scallop or zigzag.
Trimmer that consists of a solid base, with marks to measure and align your paper, and either a rotary blade or guillotine blade. We recommend type with a rotary blade, as you can easily replace the blade when it gets dull or swap it out for one with a decorative edge.
Typically used in sewing or quilting, a rotary cutter allows you to make clean, continuous cuts in fabric—the round blade allows you to impose a good amount of pressure, and the continuous motion of cutting minimizes snags.
Utility knife or craft knife
A knife with pen-like body that holds a short and sharp replaceable blade. Exceptionally handy for making quick, accurate cuts. Tips:
- Always have a fresh supply of blades on hand; dull blades will drag and create a ragged edge.
- Use a metal ruler when cutting with a craft knife; they are more accurate and safer to use than a plastic ruler.
- When cutting through thick paper, make several shallow cuts rather than one deep cut—it will be easier on your cutting hand, and the resulting cut will be crisp and clean.
FOLDING AND MEASURING TOOLS
A bookbinder's tool used to crease and smooth folds, score and burnish paper, and work materials into tight corners. It is polished to a smooth finish to avoid damaging the paper or fabric it is drawn across.
A metal ruler is safer and more accurate to use than a plastic ruler. It is available with a cork back to prevent slipping.
A wide, see-through plastic ruler that is printed with a measuring grid, making it easy to measure, cut and align paper or fabric.
Right angle ruler
A handy tool for making right angles—especially useful for scoring and folding a card in half without having to do a lot of measuring and marking.
Heavyweight paper for making invitations, save the dates, menus or place cards. Cardstock comes in a variety of colors and textures. Generally, it has a grain running in one direction—it is easier to fold cardstock with the grain. Always use a bone folder and ruler to get a clean fold.
Text weight paper
Similar to traditional copy paper in weight. We like to keep a variety of colors in stock, in colors that match our supply of cardstock. Paper Source is our favorite resource for colored text weight papers and cardstock.
Flexible paper, stronger than tissue paper, that can be stretched along the grain and molded into shapes, such as flower petals. Comes in different weights—we recommend getting the heavy, German kind (sometimes double-sided), available from specialty craft boutiques such as castleintheair.biz.
Can include wrapping paper, Japanese yuzen paper, wall paper or origami paper. Great for lining envelopes, backing invitations, making paper cones, wrapping vessels and the like. When shopping for decorative paper, keep in mind the scale of the pattern. Many wrapping papers have large-scale patterns that are not suitable to smaller items such as an invitation.
Looks like a brown bag, available in rolls (check your local hardware or stationery store), or in pads at some art supply stores.
Thin, porous paper available in a variety of colors. Great for making pom-poms and flowers.
A type of paper (also known as onion skin) that is translucent, allowing you to see the image you want to trace though it.
Made for covering books, a sturdy paper-backed cloth that is great for covering guest books, wrapping vessels and more.
A thin, felt-tip, black ink pen that makes neat lines.
Sakura Gelly Roll Pens
Rollerball pens that come in a variety of colors, including silver, gold, white (for writing on dark envelopes) and neon.
We always like to have a mechanical pencil on hand for marking and measuring.
Calligraphy pen and ink
There are a variety of calligraphy pens on the market. We find an inexpensive pointed-tip pen works well, combined with Windsor & Newton ink. See the Calligraphy chapter in Handmade Weddings for simple calligraphy how-to instructions. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to practice!
www.myfonts.com our favorite resource for decorative and unusual fonts
Dover Publications the best collection of royalty-free clip art books around.