In the run-up to the busiest time of the year, you need tools that you can rely on and those that are the best for the job in hand.
Assemble this basic tool kit and keep it organized, well-stocked and to hand.
When making a choice, find what you feel most comfortable using. Keep the blades of scissors clean, free of glue residues and also sharp, and replace craft knife blades regularly.
- Scissors. Choose a large pair for trimming and a small pair for intricate work.
- Scoring Tools. A special scoring tool can be used for scoring card and paper, but the pointed edge of a bone folder or an empty ballpoint pen can be used instead.
- Metal Ruler. A metal ruler with a cork base is a good choice, as it is both durable and non-slip.
- Paper Trimmers. These come in a wide variety, from large to small and from cheap to expensive. They are quick to use and produce a clean, straight cut every time.
- Craft Knife and Cutting Mat. A craft knife is the best tool for cutting longer straight edges. Always use a craft knife with a metal ruler on a self-healing cutting mat.
Different types of adhesives are required for particular purposes, so keep the full range in your kit to achieve the best results.
- Clear Adhesive Dots. These are available in different sizes and thicknesses. The repositional variety is useful of temporarily adhering an item.
- Double-Sided Adhesive Tape. Sticky on both sides, this is ideal for mounting work behind apertures.
- Adhesive Foam Pads. These raise whatever is glued to them away from the surface to give a 3-D effect.
- Superglue. This powerful glue ensures a long-lasting adhesion of heavier embellishments to cards. Use with extreme care and keep well out of reach of children.
- Silicone Adhesive. This dries clear and solid, and can be used for tasks where adhesive foam pads may not be suitable.
- Spray Glue. Useful for sticking larger pieces of card and paper. Use inside an old cardboard box in a well-ventilated area.
- Glue Stick. This solid glue applies an even coat of adhesive.
- PVA (White) Glue. This water-based all-purpose glue, which becomes transparent when dry, is suitable for most tasks. It also makes clearing up quicker, since it is easy to wash off hands and equipment, and it is also the cheapest adhesive.
The following retailers supply the materials needed for making homemade Christmas cards.
- Art Institute Glitter Inc. 712 N Balboa Street, Cottonwood, Arizona 86326 (Tel 877 909 0805)
- Imagination Project. 9465 Sutton Place, Hamilton, Ohio 45011 (Tel 888 477 6532)
- K&Co. 11125 NW Ambassador Drive, Suite 200, Kansas City MO 64153 (Tel 888 244 2083)
- Michael’s Stores. 8000 Bent Branch Drive, Irving, TX 75063 (Tel 1 800 642 4235)
- Penny Black Inc. PO Box 11496, Berkeley, CA 94712
- Plaid Enterprises Inc. PO Box 7600, Norcross, GA 30091-7600 (Tel 800 842 4197)
- The Punch Bunch. 2819 W Adams Ave, Temple, TX 76504 (Tel 254 791 4209)
- Queen & Co. PO Box 501773, San Diego, CA 92150 (Tel 858 612 7858)
- Royal & Langnickel. Royal Brush Manufacturing, 6707 Broadway, Merrillville, IN 46410 (Tel 800 247 2211)
- Sakura of America. 30780 San Clemente Street, Hayward, CA 94544
- Tsukineko Inc. 17640 NE 65th Street, Redmond, WA 98052 (Tel 425 883 7733)