Paper crafting is all about creating ‘magic’ with paper! The inspiration for a craft can come from almost anything. It can be as simple as making cards and as complex as making 3D paper sculptures. Basically, the sky's the limit! Paper art allows us to design greeting cards, make paper flowers, hand sew paper journals, preserve memories through scrapbooking, and so much more! In order to make this creative magic happen, it is important to stock up your craft arsenal with some key paper craft tools.
Paper crafting tools and techniques like stamps, dies, stenciling, and embossing, can have a beautiful effect on your pages, cards and other projects. Today, with so many paper craft tools available, not only in stores, but also at the click of a button, which ones are the “must-haves”? Fortunately, many of the same tools may be used for “card making”, “scrapbooking”, and other paper craft projects, so the investment is definitely worth it.
As you begin your paper crafting journey, it is important to have a paper craft tools list that will help to get your creative juices flowing, and turn your ideas into reality. Having the right tools makes all the difference between the joy of creating and utter frustration. So, without further delay, let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the best paper craft tools to add to your craft tool kit!
1- Craft Knives: One of the cheapest paper craft tools is a craft knife. The right craft knife is a cherished tool. It’s one of the paper craft cutting tools that every crafter needs, but what is a craft knife and how is it used? People generally picture a craft knife to be the traditional tool that features a handle with a pointed, replaceable blade at one end. It cuts through a variety of papers, making it essential to all craft rooms and spaces. Though this type of crafter’s knife remains popular, today we have craft knives with different blades that serve different purposes. Some of these options are:
- The general purpose blade - May be used for all kinds of general purposes.
- The art scalpel blade - Extremely sharp and precise blade
- The fine point blade - Used for precise, detailed, intricate cuts!
- The scoring blade - Perfect for cutting and scratching lines into lightweight materials.
- The swivel blade - Small pivoting blade that can rotate 360 degrees; great for cutting in a circle and detailed cuts.
- Pen cutter/ utility knife - Features a tiny cutting blade that is designed to have the appearance, portability, and convenience of a pen.
2- Paper Trimmer/ Paper Cutter: Among all paper cutting tools for craft, one of the most essential tools you need, that can significantly reduce the amount of time required to cut paper, photographs, and other items when scrapbooking, crafting, or completing other projects and tasks, is a paper trimmer. Compared to other craft tools, paper trimmers are much more accurate and precise when wanting to cut a straight line! It is best to get a paper trimmer that has cutting lines that measure by the inch. However, there are many different types of paper cutters in the market. Let's take a look at a few popular ones:
Guillotine Cutter: Popular choice for those who need to quickly cut larger quantities of paper; has a long arm (that is manually raised and lowered to cut) with a sharp blade attached; most effective in cutting large volume of paper; can also handle stiff construction paper, cardboard boxes, or poster boards with ease; available in a variety of sizes to accommodate cutting large sheets of stiff construction paper to just trimming thin copy paper; best to purchase a trimmer that has a swing arm to accommodate 12” x 12” paper.
- Rotary Cutter: Another really popular craft paper cutting tool; features a rolling blade that will slide and cut through a few sheets of paper at a time; often has a grid design on the base of the rotary cutter to perfectly line up each sheet for precision cutting; used to cut low volume of paper; has a replaceable blade; may also include a scoring blade; also works well with fabric; not very suitable for intricate cuts.
3- Paper Punches: Craft paper punches are awesome tools used to create unique paper art. It is a handheld, hand-powered tool, similar to the standard three-hole or single-hole punch, except that those used in paper crafts punch special shapes into the paper. Some decorative punches can even create borders and decorative corners. It is one of the best tool for paper crafts, if you want to add quick borders or shapes, create tags, or even set eyelets. Not only are they one of the cheapest paper craft tools, they are also easy to use and store! You can add an instant whimsy and flair to any handmade card, scrapbook, photo, collage, or journal, with a paper punch!
4- Cutting Mat: Most paper craft projects require the use of blades. That is exactly why we need a cutting mat. Cutting mats not only protect the table and other surfaces from damages, they also protect craft knives and rotary cutters. Most mats are self healing, that is they restore themselves even when cutting into. Altenew’s Crafter’s Essential Cutting and Alignment Mat is the perfect cutting mat for this purpose. It is handy, durable, double sided, self healing, with an easy to read grid with inch measurements on one side and centimeters on the other.
5- Stamping Mat: A stamping mat is another incredible workspace for all kinds of crafting, whether stamping, heat embossing, stenciling, or painting. Each of these can get messy. So, make a mess, or create a masterpiece, all on this surface! Therefore, Altenew’s Crafter’s Essential Stamping Mat most definitely needs to be included in your paper craft tool kit.
6- Clear Acrylic Stamp Blocks: Acrylic stamp blocks are ideal for mounting and positioning cling acrylic stamps. Since clear stamps do not come with their own stamping platform, these blocks are used to mount them before inking and then position them on the project, as needed. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, widths, and cuts. Some have smooth edges; some have rippled. Acrylic blocks are an absolute must for stampers.
7- Bone Folder: A bone folder is a dull-edged, plastic hand tool that helps to create perfect folds, creases, or to achieve perfect, crisp lines, on almost every paper project, within seconds! Altenew’s Crafter's Essential Bone Folder is made of durable plastic, is dual tipped, and has a special non-stick coating that prevents unwanted shine on the surface of your cardstock. This simple but essential tool is a must-have for any papercrafter.
8- Scoring Board: As a crafter, perfect folds and crisp, clear, straight lines, are vital for a neat and professional finish. A scoring board helps us achieve just that! It is a plastic board with measurement markings on the top and sides. Indentations correspond to each inch mark. A tool called a bone folder is used to go down the indentation to create the line aka score. Scoring the paper before folding it, helps to stretch the paper and break down some of the fiber. This is especially helpful with paper that might have coatings. The scored papers give a perfect fold! Some scoring boards also include a template to help make envelopes. Some may include a bone folder!
9- Quilling tool: Quilling is the art of creating intricate designs from simple rolled paper shapes. Some necessary quilling supplies are paper strips, a quilling board, a quilling tool, some glue, a piercing tool, and toothpicks. In Cricut’s paper crafting set, the quilling tool can create impressively smooth, and tight spirals!
10- Rulers: Perfect Layers paper craft tool, often called Perfect Layers Rulers enable to create perfectly straight, perfectly spaced, perfectly layered effects, on all paper crafting projects, without the need to measure! It also has a mini version, called the perfect paper crafting mini layers tool.
11- Stamping Press or Stamp Positioner: Stamp Positioners have revolutionized the stamp industry. It is a tool that ensures stamps are always lined up in the perfect spot, so the image is always where it is intended to be. MISTI (Most Incredible Stamp Tool Invented) by My Sweet Petunia is a fan favorite among stamping tools. It comes in a variety of sizes for convenience. Once introduced to a stamping press, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without it, especially when using layering stamps. A Stamp Positioner ensures that each and every layer of ink is exactly where it needs to be! This is an absolute must have in any paper craft tool kit!
12- Craft Tweezers: Anyone craft maker knows how frustrating tiny pieces can be,whether picking up or positioning small beads, sequins, rhinestones, and any other embellishment, or trying to peel off adhesive backings, weed out small areas, or even holding die cuts! Craft tweezers are an absolute essential in any paper crafting tool set! Altenew’s Crafter's Essential Micro-Tip Tweezers are just the thing for picking up small items in your craft room! Not only do they help to grab tiny things, they can also be used when using products with any heat tool!
13- Die Cutting/Embossing Machine: Die cutting machines have fast become a crafter’s must-have! What is a die cutting machine? In a nutshell, a die cutting machine is the tool used to cut out chosen shapes out of paper, card, felt, foam, vellum, and other compatible materials. You can create the same shape, with the exact same dimensions, over and over without using scissors, stencils, or even a craft knife! It saves time, and makes the cut outs look professional and consistent every single time! Basically, it works like a cookie cutter. Just like cookie cutters, there are different shaped dies that are used as templates to cut out different shapes and patterns. If you are looking for something cute and portable for your craft room, Altenew’s Mini Blossom Die Cutting Machine is just perfect!
Most die cutting machines can also emboss. While die cutting cuts the paper and other materials, embossing dimensionally alters the paper by molding it to a specific design. Embossing folders and die cutting go hand in hand because most manual die cutting machines can use special embossing folders. The pressure from the die cutting machine presses designs into cardstock to emboss and deboss patterns.
14- Heat Gun: Heat guns are a very underrated tool. They are incredibly versatile and should definitely be included in any paper craft tools list. They work like a hair dryer, producing heat with no flame. A heat gun is useful in many ways:
- Embossing: It is one of the embossing tools for paper crafts. Heat guns may be used to emboss a lot of things, including paper, wood, chalkboards, and metal, using stamps, embossing inks, and embossing markers.
- Shrinking images
- Removing labels, stickers, decals, and any other adhesives
- Removing vinyl or wallpaper
Adhesives are also a crafter’s essential. Using the right type of glue for the right type of project is of utmost importance. Let’s take a look at a few different types:
- Glue Gun - Uses heat to melt sticks of thermoplastic adhesive; easily moldable; strong for small crafts and DIY jobs; easily peelable; maybe cordless or corded;
- Tacky glue - Most common; dries quick; can be used with fabric, paper, felt, and plastic
- Glue Pen - Liquid adhesive; great for precision; shaped like a pen, with a fine tip; just perfect for those detailed die-cuts, small embellishments, and more; for a permanent bond, use when the glue is wet; for a repositionable bond, allow glue to set until tacky
- Adhesive Sheets - Acid free; perfect for die cutting, and results in a permanent bond; some are double sided; peel away backing
- Masking paper - Acid free; low tack adhesive; repositionable; great to create your own stamp and die masks
- Masking Tape - Ultra smooth low tack tape; repositionable; perfect for temporarily adhering cardstock, dies, and more
- Foam Tape - Double sided adhesive; permanent; adds dimension to projects; great for photos, card making, scrapbooking, etc.
- Glue Runner - Compact, permanent applicator great for everyday crafting use; clear, strong, and permanent; adding and removing the adhesive is a breeze; may be used to adhere washi tape, ribbons, paper, photos, etc.
- Glue Dots - Pressure sensitive adhesive dots that bond instantly to any surface; perfect for quickly adhering small items to any surface; come in different shapes and sizes; perfect for card making, scrapbooking, journaling, etc.
Paint brushes are the magic wands required to fill a canvas with your creativity. How your paintbrush works, and the way you maneuver your paintbrush is how your magic is created. Therefore, undoubtedly, paintbrushes are one of the most beloved paper craft tools. Painting brushes come in varying sizes and shapes, with different bristles. Each of these is used for different purposes, and give details to the paintings in their own unique ways. Let's take a look at a few:
- Wash Brush: Biggest of the lot with a square chiseled end, and medium to long hairs; gives maximum coverage; ideal for coverage or for adding washes to a canvas; creates nice bold strokes; edges can be used to create fine lines, straight edges, and stripes.
- Angled brush: Has an angled or slanted tip; perfect for curved strokes and filling corners.
- Flat brush: Mini version of the wash brush; perfect to use when you want a lot of paint coverage; works well on small surfaces.
- Fan brush: Flat and shaped like a fan; ideally used to paint nature and landscapes; used for blending backgrounds and adding subtle highlights to darker areas;
- Round - Extremely versatile; feels like holding a pencil; gives more control over paint flow; narrower than other brushes; when used with little pressure, round brushes can create long lines and fine details; when used with more pressure, thay can create broad strokes, and be used to fill in larger areas with color.
- Liner brush/ Rigger brush: Thin brush with long bristles; tip can be flat, square, or angled; can create very fine or thin lines; often used to write out letters and numbers; can hold a great deal of fluid paint.
- Filbert brush/ Cat’s tongue brush: Flat brush with medium to long hair that come to a rounded point or oval shaped end; creates lovely thin lines when used on its sides; creates broad brushstrokes when used flat; is a hybrid of round and flat brushes and has both of their best features;
- Quill/ mop - The point is less tapered; often called mops; hold a lot of water and paint; perfect for big washes of paint.
Ink blending helps to create beautiful and seamless ombre effects! This is why these amazing tools are clearly a must have for your paper craft tools list. Altenew has a great variety of ink blending tools that feature soft white bristles with ergonomically designed handles that you absolutely must have:
- Ink blending tool
- Mini ink blending brushes
- Detailed Blending Brush
18- Water brushes: These are the perfect companions for watercolor pan sets, crisp dyes, or any other water based media inks. They are also great for calligraphy. Just dab the water filled brush with water based inks or paints. The controlled water delivery system allows optimal paint mixing and surface coverage. Available in three tip sizes, Altenew’s watercolor brushes can be used for a variety of creative painting techniques. The tip retains its shape allowing for both broad strokes and fine detailed work.
19- Palette Knife Set: Altenew’s Mixed Media Palette Knife Set are the perfect tools for mixing and applying different types of mediums such as acrylic paints, oil paints, textured pastes, and more. They come in a set of four different shapes and sizes, where each knife is crafted from stainless steel and features a black wooden handle.
There is something inherently satisfying about crafting with paper. Whatever the reason for paper crafting, whether it is stamping, stenciling, journaling, painting, etc., the tools mentioned above are definitely worthwhile. In fact, there are so many more tools out there that it is needless to say that we have barely scratched the surface. Although a lot of these tools are available in stores, if you want a specialized variety, designed to cater your specific needs, make it a point to purchase your paper craft tools online from Altenew.com! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s start planning designs, and order some supplies!
Your Ultimate Guide to Paper Crafting
Click on each topic and subtopic to read more!
- Paper Crafting Tools: Essential Craft Items and Tools
- Basic Paper Crafting Tools Every Crafter Should Have
- Organize Craft Supplies and Tools Easily With These Hacks!
- Different Types of Paper Crafting Tools and Their Purpose
- How to Organize Markers, Pens, and Pencils: A Comprehensive Guide
- The Ultimate Guide on How to Clean and Store Craft Supplies