Paper Crafting Tools: Essential Craft Items and Tools for Beginners

8 minute read

If you're into paper crafting, you know the importance of having the right paper craft tools for the job. Whether you're making cards, scrapbook layouts, journaling, or just doodling on a piece of paper, having the right tools can make all the difference. In this quick guide, we'll take a look at some essential craft tools and supplies that every professional or beginner paper crafter should have in their arsenal. So whether you're just starting out in the world of DIY crafting or you're looking to add some new DIY craft supplies to your collection, read on for our checklist of must-have craft items!

Card made with basic card making toolsRose Mellow Stencil Set (3 in 1)

Essential Paper Crafting Tools

There's something inherently satisfying about crafting with paper. Maybe it's because paper was used as one of the earliest forms of communication, or perhaps it's because there are so many possibilities for creativity. No matter the reason, paper crafting is a popular hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. 

And while the sky's the limit when it comes to what you can create, there are some basic paper craft supplies that every paper crafter should have in their tool kit. Let’s discuss some of the essential tools for paper crafting, as well as a few handy supplies that you might want to add to your stash.

3D embossed card with essential paper crafting tools

The Most Basic Paper Craft Supplies and Tools

  1. Paper trimmer. A paper trimmer is one of the most basic and essential craft tools. Unless you are very confident about your paper cutting skills using a knife or a pair of scissors, you need to invest in a paper trimmer. Whatever type of DIY craft you decide to do, you will need a paper trimmer to make sure that you get neat, straight, and professional trim every time. This is the best craft tool for producing clean cuts and cutting paper in bulk.

Cutting 12x12 scrapbook paper with rotary paper trimmer

Live Your Dream 12x12 Paper Set

There are two types of paper trimmer: 

  1. Rotary - This has a flat base with a measuring grid and a small blade. You move the blade from left to right to cut the paper. It is easier and safer to use, but it isn’t suitable for heavy-duty paper trimming. The blade can be replaced if it gets dull.
  2. Guillotine - This looks and works exactly as it sounds. A long, sharp blade is attached to its handle/arm, and you push it down toward the base to cut your paper. It is suitable for cutting a heavier weight of paper or in bulk.

 handmade thank you card with stenciled and embossed background

  1. Scissors. A good ol’ pair of scissors is one of those DIY craft supplies that everyone has lying around in their home. Scissors help cut cardstock, fussy cutting stamped images (if you don’t have the matching dies), cut embellishments, make DIY ephemera, trim other decorative pieces, and simply cut overhanging bits and pieces. So a pair of high-quality stainless steel scissors is a worthy investment and one of those craft supplies everyone should have.
Altenew self-healing cutting mat
    1. Mat. A crafting mat can be made out of silicone, rubber, or glass. It serves as protection for your crafting space. If you still haven’t realized it by now, making DIY paper crafts isn’t the cleanest or neatest hobby. To avoid ruining your craft desk with knife cuts, ink stains, alcohol ink spills, sticky adhesives, and other crafting mishaps, you need a crafting mat. Here are three different types of mats for paper crafting:   
      1. Cutting Mat - A self-healing cutting mat is an essential craft tool to help protect your crafting surface from craft knives, rotary cutters, and other cutting tools.  
      2. Stamping Mat - Stamping with inks can go from fun and relaxing to messy and stressful. Although most dye inks and pigment inks are easy to clean off your work surface, you don’t want to risk it. Better safe than sorry, right? A silicone stamping mat can help avoid inky situations during your craft time and may also help the stamping process by adding a soft, even pressure underneath.

    Monochrome shading pencils for paper crafting

    1. Pencil. Another one of those craft supplies everyone should have is a good ol’ trusty pencil. This will help you mark areas, draw temporary lines, doodles, designs, add borders, and more on your DIY paper crafts. You can even use pencils to color your stamped images and give them a classy look. 

     Black pigment ink and mini stamp set

    1. Black Ink. High-quality black ink (dye or pigment) can go a long way and open up a ton of creative possibilities. Think of it as that little black dress in your wardrobe. It is multi-purpose and versatile, and it’s definitely the best craft tool for stampers. But, of course, investing in other ink colors is also important, especially for layered stamping.

    Wondering which black ink suits your crafting needs? Watch the video below!

    Different types of paper for paper crafting

    Paper & More

    1. Paper. Paper is your blank canvas. Making paper crafts involves using different types of paper - from cardstock and vellum to parchment and Yupo paper. Choosing the best paper for your DIY crafts is only half the battle. You also need to know the size, weight, texture, finish, etc. One essential craft tool you need in your stash is white cardstock. There are, however, other types of paper that you can invest in as you go through your crafting journey.
      1. Patterned Paper
      2. Gradient Cardstock
      3. Glitter Cardstock
      4. Woodgrain Cardstock
      5. Vellum Paper
      6. Yupo Paper
      7. Parchment Cardstock
      8. Acetate Sheet
      9. Birchwood Cardstock
      10. Watercolor Paper
      11. Gold Mirror Cardstock
      12. Gold Foil Cardstock

    Find out everything you need to know about cardstock paper, patterned paper, and other types of paper in this post!

    1. Adhesives. Unless you’re just making origami, adhesives are must-have craft supplies. So what’s our best tip for choosing the right adhesives? Choose the one that fits your crafting needs. Not all adhesives are created equal, so you’re going to have to do your research and find one that will work best for your DIY crafts, whether it’s cards, scrapbook pages, art journals, or mixed media projects.

     Instant Dimension Foam Tape from Altenew

    Here are a few adhesives worth checking out:

    1. Liquid glue - The most basic type of craft glue and definitely a must-have.
    2. Double-sided adhesives - Great for both card making and scrapbooking, especially when using intricate dies.
    3. Glue tape - Another must-have for sticking paper and other lighter materials.
    4. Foam tape - An excellent adhesive for adding dimension to your paper crafts.
    5. Masking tape - This low-tack tape is mainly used for masking techniques but can also be used for holding your cardstock or stencil in place, especially when watercoloring or ink blending.

    Satin masking tape for DIY paper crafts

    1. Wet wipes. Believe it or not, wet wipes or baby wipes are basic paper craft supplies that you need to stock up on. Crafters prefer baby wipes because they are alcohol-free and gentle. You can go for environment-friendly ones too if you’re worried about the waste. It’s disposable, affordable, and handy not just for cleaning your craft supplies and tools but for cleaning basically anything. 

    Everything you need for your paper crafting and card making projects is right here! Check out our new items and the best craft tool deals!

     Card making using detailed blending brushes and inks

    Detailed Blending Brushes

    Handy Paper Craft Supplies

    Now that you’ve discovered the absolute must-have craft supplies, let’s tackle some of the not-so-essential but handy to have ones. Keep in mind that depending on the type of paper craft you’re creating, some of these might be essential. Moreover, some of these tools are necessary for certain crafting techniques.   

    1. Scoring board - If card making is your jam, you might want to invest in a scoring board. Basically, this paper crafting tool allows you to score straight lines on surfaces and fold paper cleanly and more efficiently.

    Bone folder for paper crafting

    1. Bone folder - A scoring board usually comes with a bone folder, but you can always buy a bone folder separately. It helps you fold paper like a pro, minus the space taken by a scoring board.
    2. Stone picker or tweezers - Sometimes, you just want to add some bling to your DIY crafts. A pair of tweezers or stone pickers are handy to have if you need to use tiny gemstones, sequins, etc. on your paper crafting projects. You can also use tweezers to pick up small and intricate die-cuts!

    Artists' Watercolor Paint Brushes

    1. Paintbrushes - Whether or not you are into watercoloring or mixed media art, a paintbrush can come in handy in paper crafting.
    2. Watercolor paint - Not all paper crafters like watercoloring, so this is one of those optional DIY craft supplies that you can do without. But it wouldn’t get hurt to have a pan set or a set of liquid watercolors on hand.

    Altenew gel pens for paper crafting

    1. Gel pens - While used mainly by journaling enthusiasts, gel pens can come in handy for decorative purposes. A gel pen is a great scrapbooking and card making tool, especially if you don’t own a lot of embellishments.  
    2. Fine liner pens - It’s good to have a decent black pen that you can use for journaling or adding accents to your card making and scrapbooking designs.

    Slimline cards and essential paper crafting tools

    1. Ruler - Let’s face it. A ruler is still the best craft tool to help you draw straight lines. Of course, having a ruler (either metal or clear) isn’t necessary, but it’s always good to have these in your craft room. 
    2. Craft knife - This is useful for cutting various materials like cardstock, paper, fabric, foam, etc., precisely and cleanly. While not necessary, there’s nothing wrong with having this paper crafting supply on hand. 
    3. Heat gun or heat tool - Heat embossing is one of the most popular and easiest card making techniques that even beginners can try. A heat tool is necessary for this technique. Some crafters use a heat tool to hasten the drying time of pigment inks, watercolors, and other wet mediums. 

    Punch tool for DIY leather key chains

    1. Punch tool or craft punch - When doing some DIY crafts, you might find yourself in need of a tool that can punch a hole through a surface quickly and easily. A punch tool can instantly punch a hole through cardstock, fabric, craft foam, leather, chipboard, plastic, and even thin wood..

     essential paper craft tool for die cutting

    1. Die cutting machine - With wafer-thin dies becoming more and more trendy, some crafters would agree that a die-cutting machine is an essential paper crafting tool. Whether it’s manual or electronic, this machine can make crafting hassle-free.  

    Here’s a must-read if you are looking for the best die-cutting machine for paper crafting!

    Think all you need for paper crafting is a piece of paper and a pencil? Think again! There are a variety of basic craft supplies everyone should have in their toolbox. Having these necessary and handy paper crafting supplies can make all the difference, regardless of your skill level. Just remember that you can always add more supplies to your stash as you go through your crafting journey. There’s no need to limit yourself to these basic tools, but don’t make unnecessary purchases as well. We hope this checklist of must-have craft supplies has helped guide you so you can spend more time crafting and less time browsing for supplies!

    Best craft tools for coloring


    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    You can buy paper crafting supplies from your local crafts stores or online stores like Altenew. Nowadays, it is more efficient to shop for paper craft tools online and have them delivered straight to your door. Altenew offers a wide range of crafting products - from stamps and dies to inks and stencils! 
    Some essential paper crafting materials are paper, scissors, paper trimmer, adhesives, crafting mat, inks, pencil, and baby wipes. These are absolute must-haves in every crafter’s arsenal.

    Your Ultimate Guide to Paper Crafting

    Click on each topic and subtopic to read more!

    Recommended For You

    Ultimate Stampwheel & Accessories Bundle

    Crafter's Essential Ink Blending Tool Bundle

    Foldable Cutting & Alignment Mat (A3 Size)

    No Hassle Storage Pouches Bundle - 50/pck

    Crafter's Essential Scoring Board

    Comfy Cut