Papercraft classes • ScanNCut tutorials • Vinyl, fabric and more
Papercraft classes • ScanNCut tutorials • Vinyl, fabric and more

5 mistakes beginners make when craft shopping

We have put together this information sheet to help beginners avoid ending up with craft rooms full of stuff you will never use.

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Mistake #1: Buying “pretties”before essentials.

Any seasoned crafter will tell you that you will run out of glue long before you run out of patterned paper.

What not to buy…

Try to refrain and only buy one patterned paper pad at a time. The pad below is a great pad and can be used for most occasions.

Paper Boutique Natures gift

Buy instead…

A good range of white cardstock in various weights, finishes and sizes. This enables you to find a cardstock that you are happy with and suits your style best. If using electronic cutters or die cutting machines it is always good to try a variety of card stocks to see what your machines prefer. We recommend Limetree Crafts, Lynda Chapman card and Papermill Direct.

Not curating your collection.

The temptation is, when you first get started, to buy anything and everything. STOP, breathe and think. Before buying anything , find what inspires you. Pinterest is a great resource for this – as you can pin projects you like and after a while you will start to see a pattern forming.

What not to buy…

Try to avoid buying lots of different designs from different brands/companies.

Buy instead…

2-3 sets from 1 collection – you could get the stamps, dies and stencils as a combination from one collection rather than buying 3 items from different companies. Your cards will immediately look more professional as a result. Why not try Pink Fresh for some great sets.

Is it really a bargain?

Just because something is on offer or free, does not always make it a bargain. Before you buy ask yourself the following three questions…

  1. Does it fit my style?
  2. Is it a duplicate or something similar in my stash?
  3. Will I use it in the next 6 months?

Buying the wrong ink for the right purpose

Stamping a detailed image

An hybrid ink pad, which is a blend of dye and pigment, is easier to use for a beginner. Natalie highly recommends Squid Ink by Jane Davenport as it doesn’t smudge with either alcohol markers or water; making it great for beginners who haven’t got confidence in colouring yet.

Jane Davenport Squid Ink Black

Ink blending

Ranger Distress Oxides are easiest for those new to blending. We recommend using blending brushes to do this, particularly the paddle shaped brushes for larger areas.

Ranger Distress Oxide Wilted Violet

Distressing/Shabby chic

Distress Ink was designed for distressing papers, photo tinting or for background stamping where you do not want a pristine image.

Tim Holtz Distress Ink

Not investing in the proper tools.

Quality vs Quantity.

You can only use one tool at a time and so quality will always win over quantity.

Try to look for tools that will last forever. Tools that last are usually:

  • metal based or sharpenable
  • accurate and well made
  • adaptable

Top tools for beginners

  1. Accurate trimmer: gold-dust to crafters. It is important to try before you buy. Check for measurement and right angle accuracy.
  2. Score board: look for a good quality scoreboard with measurements that suit your style of crafting (whether metric, imperial or set standard sizes).
  3. Hole punch: invest in a good quality hole punch such as the older style Crop-a-dile by We R Memory Keepers.
  4. Craft knife: we recommend a ceramic craft knife by Slice for beginners as they are much safer to use.
  5. Stamp platform: Natalie has used most of them and tends to prefer the Tim Holtz stamping platform. If this isn’t available in your country, the new Hero Arts MISTI is a great alternative, especially for scrapbookers.
Amazon Store Beginners essentials

You can find our Amazon storefront by clicking here where our recommendations are available to purchase.

For more beginners help we have also created a beginners guide to the Brother ScanNCut. if this is something you are interested in you can find our blog post about it here.

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