See the rest of the list of our favorite top ten pro tools for card makers.
Today we are sharing the rest of the top ten pro tools for card makers – tools that we think you can’t really live without. There may be a surprise or two here!
Pro Card Making Tool Six – A Non-Stick Craft Mat
This is such an unassuming workhorse and it always surprises us how many people don’t have one. We can’t live without one! Not only are these whisper thin sheets nont-stick and non-porous, they are also heat resistant, protecting your work surface from just about anything. Most non-stick craft mats are NOT cut proof so you don’t want to use anything sharp on them.
You can use these sheets to blend inks with water, alcohol or each other. You can mix pastes and other media right on it. You can iron, heat emboss and use hot glue on it. Everything peels off when cool and you can just wipe it down, roll it up and stash it away for your next crafting session. You can even trim them down into small pieces to use with your favorite tools.
Ranger makes the most popular one which you can get at most craft stores, from Ranger directly or here at Amazon. PRO TIP: You can use a silicone baking sheet if you already have one! They aren’t as thin but they can stand in nicely!
Pro Card Making Tool Seven – A Die Brush
As companies – ourselves included – keep turning out deliciously detailed dies, it becomes more and more important to get both a very clean cut AND an easy, effective way to clean out the die cuts. Yes, you can sit there with a poker tool and poke away for days but using a rolling brush is faster and often cleaner.
If you love detailed die cuts, make SURE you come back in
March to see what we have in production right now!
Spellbinders makes what they call a Tool N’ One which has a brush and a poker all in one piece and Sizzix makes their Die Brush Tool which comes with the handy cushioned pad you need to be able to roll those teeny pieces out without crushing your die cut. Whichever you pick, if you haven’t used one of these before, you will be so happy at how well they work!
Pro Card Making Tool Eight – A HUGE Acrylic Block
Ok – hear us out. How many times have you had a project in mind and had a greeting from this set and a flower from this one and, oh, those cute polka dots from this set and then you want to add a little detail using the stamp from this set. And you have forty eleven stamp cases or pockets open on your surface and now you are stamping in a 4″ X 4″ space. Are we right?
Just like with the magnetic bowl idea from our first five top ten pro card making tools post, using the largest acrylic block you have to hold all the stamps you want to use is one of the easiest and most organized ways to keep these items – even the tiniest – handy and safe and easy to see. Just stick ’em all on the block and you will never accidentally put one away in the wrong place, let one accidentally piggy back on another one or – worse – get swept into the trash can with all the scraps! HORRORS!
You can grab one of these in any craft store – remember, if you are only going to be using it for this purpose, you can go inexpensive. And if you’ve bought a set, grab that one for backgrounds and use that as your stamp landing pad.
Pro Card Making Tool Nine – A Fine Grit Eraser
While we always encourage everyone to have a high quality white eraser like this one – there is nothing better for removing pencil lines without smearing or leaving eraser boogies – a fine grit eraser can be a lifesaver. Have you ever completed a card, did the stamper’s stretch (where you hold it out at arm’s length to admire it) and – GASP! – noticed a smudge? And died a little inside?
An eraser like this one can be your best friend. This is the best one we’ve tried and with the ultrafine silica grit and some VERY gently application, you can “erase” an ink smudge or other stain on most media. The key is very very gentle almost dabbing instead of rubbing and in most cases, you can remove enough of the fiber of your material to remove the mark without creating a fuzzy patch. This doesn’t work on everything – printed paper, for example – but it’s totally worth having on hand as a best chance shot.
Pro Card Making Tool Ten – Hand Sanitizer Gel
Yes, we all want to have germ free hands, but this innocuous item can do double duty in your craft space. First, it’s excellent for removing ink stains from your hands! And second it is one of the best acrylic block cleaners out there. It will remove ink, adhesive, smears, smudges – all of it – and leave your blocks clean and “grippy” and, if you are into the scented versions of this quick and often cheap item, smelling good!
We hope our sharing our top ten pro tools for card makers has given you some good ideas, some ways to repurpose what you have on hand and some short cuts to better and easier crafting. And if YOU have a tip you are itching to share, drop it here in a comment or pop it on our Facebook page – we LOVE hearing from you!