Tools Of The Trade

Hi crafters, I hope you enjoy My list of the most useful tools that I use and recommend.

I will link where to get them, what they are best suited for, pricing, alternatives if any and other tidbits of useful information. Click on the product title for purchasing. I am not affiliated with any company or website/store so I can guarantee these are my personal choices of tools and I do use each and every one of them. Please also note pricing was based on January 2023 availability and they can change at anytime. This list is printable and downloadable, click icons at the bottom of the page.

Happy Crafting.

Stamping Tool – Scoreboards

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    My Sweet Petunia – Misti Stamping Tool

    Undoubtedly the best stamp positioning tool. Works with Polymer, Rubber and Silicone stamps, although a little bit pricey coming in at a sale price of $65.99 to a high of $84.99 the Original Misti averages out at $70.00 on most sites. I only recommend buying the original size, however there aisles a 12×12 size and a Mini Misti. The Mini is great for gift tags and smaller options, the 12 x 12 is great for scrapbooking. Most stamping companies carry these in stock, like, or Other options available are the Tim Holtz Stamp Tool, Stamping Apparatus by Stampin Up, Crafters Companion Stamping Press and others.

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    Scor-Pal – Score Board

    If you want to make your own cards and not use premade, or you want to make boxes, books, albums, bags etc then you need a good score board. I recommend Scor-Pal or Scor-Buddy because it has 1/8” measurements and comes in a 12×12 size and 6×8. Both come with a bone folder that snaps into place and are available in inches and centimeters. They are easy to read and you can get the add on cutting mat (self healing) that fits perfectly ontop of your 12×12 or 6×8 Score board. Buy a good Teflon bone folder and embossing tool and you can do so much with them. Scor-buddy (6×8) averages in pricing between $19.95 and $24.95 Scor-Pal average pricing is: $29.95 – $32.00.

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    Bone Folder and Embossing Tools

    I recommend making sure you have a good Teflon bone folder and a plastic larger one. The Teflon won’t mark or cause shine to your Cardstock & seems to have a crisper crease for folding. I use my large plastic one for getting my Cardstock when glued nice and flat, and it’s great for hard to reach areas. A spatula or scraper works well for that too. Any embossing tools with a small enough end will work 1/8” ball is perfect. EK Tools sells great embossing stylus tools for around $10.00 for a set of 3 Honey Bee stamps makes a large and small bone folder, both work well, Teflon bone folders can be expensive ranging anywhere from $10.00 on Amazon for cheap versions up to $50.00. Honeybee Stamps small bone folder is around $18.00 and the large is around $25.00 Plastic bone folders are much cheaper and range from $5.00 upwards, depending on style, size, thickness and quality.

Scissors – Sharps – Spray Bottles

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    Tim Holtz Kush Grip Scissors

    My favorite scissors ever!!! They are a little expensive but not over priced, they feel so great on your hand with the kush grip handles, and they are really sharp. They are also non stick so easy to cut sticky things with, like foam tapes etc. I personally have the 5”snips, 6” Haberdashery 7” and 9.5” Black Handled Scissors. Price range for these guys is 9.5” $19.00 to $25.00, 7” $14.00 – $20.00, 6”$17.00 to $25.00, 5” $12.00 to $15.00. Scrapbook Pal has them on sale regularly. Alternatives to these which I also use are the Tonic Studio Pro Cut, They Range 5”, 6.5”, 8.5”, 9.5” with pricing starting at $10.00 – $20.00 from smallest to largest. These have left handed versions as well where the Tim Holtz scissors can be used by both given they have the extra large kush grip handles. Tonic Studios have the Pro Cut scissors on sale regularly, and also have other cheaper scissors you can buy in bundles and on sale throughout the year.

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    Tim Holtz Retractable Blade Cutting Knife and Picker/Pokey Tool

    Both items are very useful for a multitude of tasks. You can pretty much get a retractable blade or exaco knife anywhere and some are better than others, the Tim Holtz one is nice to hold and the blades are super sharp. You can buy refills for them. The knife is about $10.00 and Picker tool $8.00- $10.00.The retractable Pokey Tool which is essentially a tool to poke holes in items, seperate adhesive from backing, pick vinyl apart, and a multitude of things you need to grab, poke, push, pick, weed, seperate in the crafting world! It is truly an essential tool. You can find these tools anywhere as well, Leather makers use them as well and call them awls. The nice thing about both tools is they retract preventing you from stabbing or cutting yourself while laying on your desk or in a drawer, and they are just nice too hold with their round barrels. Amazon sells many different versions of these types of tools so, if you want to start out with a much cheaper alternative you can purchase there, as well as The Dollar Store.

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    Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer by Ranger Ink

    I used to use cheap 50c water spray bottles but the nice thing about his one is you can control the nozzle and the trigger handle with ease, thus enabling you to use it more efficiently. It is a must have tool in my view because if you watercolor anything, paint anything, use mica, dyes, and other mediums you will want a good spray bottle. It works with all of Tim Holtz products and mediums allowing to have water splotches etc, as they all react to oxidation. They sell from $4.99 – $7.99 and obviously you can get cheap versions from any store. Tonic studio spray bottles are also a great choice and are about the same price point.

Die Cutting Machines

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    Spellbinders – Platinum 6

    My daily go to machine. I love it’s ease of use, it’s a workhorse, and folds up to take up less space. They recently released a new cutting mat system that’s great! The glimmer hot foiling system was intended to work with this die cutter, so it’s a win – win! The old version is around $120.00 and the new version $140’s on sale up to $189.00 I don’t really know of any cheap die Cutting machines worth purchasing as I have only used this little beast.

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    Crafters Companion – Gemini Jr

    This machine is electronic and fantastic for cutting intricate Dies. It works on the same premise as a hand cranking die cutter except it has no handle, so you stack your plates and gently insert them and the machine does the rest. It has a reverse function as well, and comes with cutting and embossing plates and some sample dies. Gemini Jr ranges in price from $150.00 – $250.00 depending if you purchase with or without a bundle. Gemini Jr has a big brother Gemini around $300.00 and also the Mini Gemini (not electric) around $50.00 and the Gemini Go around $140.00. The Gemini Jr like the Platinum 6 has a hot foiling machine that works together.

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    Sizzix – Big Shot Plus

    My Big Daddy of die Cutting machines. I always use this guy on 3D projects and anything (like Album based) that have dies over 6” wide. It is the machine I can use my Sizzix BIGZ dies on and also to cut through thicker product like vinyl, felt, thicker Card surfaces etc… Be warned they do not fold up and take up quite a lot of desktop space, are heavy to move around, cbut they work hard and cut well. For the non bundled version you are looking at around $200.00 and for a starter kit bundle you are looking at around $290.00 or $250.00 on sale.

Dye- Pigment- Hybrid- Permanent- Ink Pads

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    Versafine – Onyx Black

    Tsukineko Versafine Onyx Black Ink Pads – In my opinion these ink pads deliver the crispest stamped images, the ink is a fast drying pigment ink. Not good for stamping and then coloring with alcohol markers, however watercolor and pencil is fine, can be used for embossing on glossy surfaces, by far the best for fine detailed and sentiment stamps. Between $7.00 – $10.00 depending on availability and store.

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    Memento – Tuxedo Black

    Fade resistant dye ink captures even your most detailed images. Stamped impressions once dry are water resistant and will not shift or Smudge. Innovative pad results in finer impressions and exceptionally even ink coverage – Water-based and acid free. This ink is great with COPIC and other Alcohol markers!
    Priced between $6.99 – $10.00

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    Tim Holtz – Distress Oxide

    Distress Oxide Ink Pads are a water-reactive dye and pigment ink fusion that creates an oxidized effect when sprayed with water. Use with stamps, stencils, and direct to surface. Blend using Ink Blending Tools and Foam. All oxide colors are available in 3 x 3 inch ink pads and coordinating .5 oz re-inkers, In my opinion they blend beautifully and also emboss using clear embossing powder quite well. You can buy the variety of colors bundles with 12 colors for around $85.00 or singularly for $7.00-$9.00 each.

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    Tsukinko VersaMark – Emboss Ink Pad

    VersaMark allows you to perform a number of amazing techniques! Including watermarking, or subtle tone-on-tone images onto colored cardstock. Create a resist image by stamping on glossy and brayering with dye ink. VersaMark is so sticky that it will act as a glue for chalks and pigments powders which means it’s ideal for embossing too! $9.00. – $12.00

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    Nuvo Diamonds- Hybrid Mini Cubes

    Great little cubes of fun colors.
    Nice to blend with and the perfect size for travel. Available in multi packs of 3 blendable colors, that match with the Nuvo Alcohol Markers. Cost varies based on color’s availability but they average at $9.99. Tonic studios has tons of weekly sales and bundles with these guys in them, so you can build your collection pretty quickly while you build up on other items at the same time.

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    Simon Hurley by Ranger – Dye Ink Pads

    With great color names like Traffic Cone, Love Struck, Later Gator, Slippery When Wet and others it’s always a fun time. The dye inks blend well, have vibrant colors and work well with water splotching. Full sized pads ranging from $5.00 on sale – $8.99

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    Staz On – Jet Black

    StazOn ink pads are perfect for all non-porous and semi-porous surfaces, including transparencies, vellum, glass, glazed metal, ceramic tile, acrylic plastic and much, much more! The transparent nature of this black ink will allow you to achieve a beautiful finish. Staz On is like having a stamp sharpie in your craft room. $8.00-$10.00

Adhesives & Glues

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    Art Glitter Glue – AGG

    AGG is an industrial strength, non-toxic, water based adhesive originally designed for glitter and paper applications.
    This versatile adhesive is both flexible and strong enough to bond items such as wood, metal, cardboard, canvas, plastic, and even glass. AGG has one drawback in that it cannot be shipped to or from areas where temperatures drop below 40F degrees. Order in warmer weather months. Shelf Life is 12months. 4oz Bottle avg price is $9.00 You can buy fine tip accessories separately, and Amazon does sell bundles. This is my #1 pick for glues because it will glue ribbons florals & gems very well to paper surfaces.

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    Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive Glue

    Nuvo Deluxe Adhesive is the most outstanding glue in Tonic’s range. The silky white formula is water-based and has the highest concentration of PVA. The glue dries crystal clear and will work on multiple surfaces such as paper, card, foam, acetate and MDF. This unique adhesive provides a low-crinkle effect on card, making it perfect for a professional finish. I typically use Nuvo on all my layering cards and surfaces. The glue takes a little longer than AGG to dry so it is a little more forgiving if you need to shimmy something into place. You can buy extra fine tip kits separately. It sells for an avg price of $11.00 – $13.00 for 4oz bottle.

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    Bearly Art Craft Glue

    The Original contains one 4 fluid ounce container of precision craft glue, the tip kit, and the tip cap.
    Some major features of this awesome glue are:
    Clear drying: Create a professional-level look for all styles of crafts. Best art glitter glue available.
    Multiple sized tips: Provides more choices in application! Get better accuracy, freedom, and control with precision tips. Tip Kit contains one Ultra-Fine Tip, Fine Tip, Storage Tip, and Cleaning Pin.
    Wrinkle and Clump Resistant: Specially formulated to stay smooth and prevent paper wrinkling. I use this glue mostly for papercrafting, it is thinner than AGG & Nuvo so you tend to use less. Avg price for 4oz bottle with accessories is $17.00 – $20.00

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    Beacon 3 in 1

    Beacon 3-in-1… get three great formulas in one bottle — crystal clear, instant grab and fast drying. This no-run formula is perfect for gluing wood, fabric, seashells, beads, glitter, trims, foam, rubber, cork, cardboard, ceramics and many other craft and hobby projects. Beacon is a very thick clear glue, it takes a little extra time to dry but is perfect for making 3D projects. It ranges in prices depending where you purchase, but the avg for the 4oz bottle is
    $8.99 – $11.00

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    Elizabeth Crafts Designs Double Sided Adhesive

    This tape can handle anything!
    It is acid free, double-sided, heat resistant, and perfect for die-cutting, glittering, foil leafing, embossing and more I chose Elizabeth Crafts Double Sided adhesive because it is tried and true, as I use it a lot. It’s clear so no residue like some of the other brands, it’s very sticky and holds well, it’s easy tear so no cutting tools required and it comes in a huge variety of sizes. Sizes are as follows, 0.1” wide x 27 yards length. 0.4” x 27y, 0.6” x 27y, 0.25” x 27y, 2.5” x 27y, 4” x 27y, 6” x 27y, Rolls. 8.5 x 11 – 5 Sheet Pack. So you have many options to chose from. You can find it at pretty much every craft store and Amazon. Alternatives are available as most companies like Simon Says Stamp, Scor-tape,, etc… make their own too, all are around the same price point. Elizabeth Crafts charge $3.65 for their 0.1” up to $46.95 for the 6” and the sheets are $8.95 per pack.

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    Tape Runners

    Tape Runners, well everyone makes them lol…. I do recommend getting the Scotch ATG or Xyron Mega Runner if you create items in bulk, I haven’t used my Scotch ATG in a year, as I don’t do bulk items and it is a bit large to bring out just for one card. I do use the Gina K dot runner and Nuvo Tape Runners (the mini and original) I recently acquired a Simon Says Stamp one in a kit that I have not tried yet. Amazon makes their own Amazon brand ones too. Essentially you could try them all, as literally every crafting store or company has their own available, and then just pick the one you like the best. My preference is the Gina K Dot Runner semi – permanent as it’s easy to remove if I make a mistake and I can buy the refills in multipacks from Amazon. I use these on cards all the time. I buy the Nuvo ones from tonic as they are permanent, so they have a different use for me, mostly for papercrafting albums and the like. The ATG guns from Scotch and Xyron avg price range is $26.00 – $50.00 for the Gina K dot runners, avg price is $7.00 and refills $9.00 for 2. Nuvo mini ranges from $3.00 -$4.50 and the Nuvo Original $5.50 -$6.50. I know no-named brands typically don’t stick well, tangle and don’t always work, so I avoid using those anymore, even if they are free, I typically just toss them out to avoid the stress.

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    Craft Perfect Foam Squares

    Craft Perfect Sticky Foam Pads create depth and dimension in your project. These pads provide a permanent hold within the hour, giving you time to reposition them if your first placement isn’t perfect. The strong double-sided adhesive pads are ideal for craft, gift wrapping and 3D decorating. These pads come in a variety of sizes for different applications and techniques. 0.2” x 0.2” x 0.8” squares, 0.47” x 0.47” x 0.8” squares, 1” x 1” x 0.8” squares in both black and white foam. I like these because they are easily removed if you make a mistake but will become permanent. They also sell a 5 pack of A4 sheets 8.25” x 11.7” x 0.8”. Pricing for the all the packs of squares is around $3.00 per pack and for the 5 Pack of Sheets is $6.99. There are many alternative brands, Stampin Up, Thermoweb, I-Craft,, Spellbinders and more, I use the Craft perfect because I have never had the need to switch brand.

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    3M Foam Tape Roll

    This permanent, double-sided, high-density foam tape delivers a strong bond every time that is perfect for layering items on all your paper crafts. It holds up to 2lbs and readily mounts to a variety of surfaces. The big roll package contains 38 yards of tape, 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, 1” are the commonly used sizes for crafting. I opt for the 1/2” or 3/4” size. This Product can be used on most surfaces including paper crafting, ceramic tile, wood surfaces, and non-flat painted walls. There are many alternatives and the one I like the most if I can’t get the 3M is the Arteza 36 yard roll. Avg price for the 1/2” roll is $40.00 and about $54.00 for the 3/4” roll. The Arteza avg price is $28.00 for the 1/2” but hard to get. Thermoweb sells a 1/2” 108ft roll for around $18.00 as well, but I have never used this tape.

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    Low Tack Tape

    Low tack tape is used for many things, masking, holding stencils in place, holding dies in place, making designs on paper etc… it is the preferred tape for papercrafters because it is low tack, so leaves little to no residue, won’t tear paper when removed and can be reused over and over. My favorite 4 tapes, of which I use often are, Pixie Tape – I-Craft, Mint Tape –, The Best Crafters Tape – Yellow Tape – Spellbinders, and Purple Tape – Therm O’ Web. Each of them have a different level of low tack, with the purple tape being the tackiest. I prefer the Pixie Tape & Best Crafters Tape – Yellow Tape, but if unavailable I will still buy the other two and do keep them in my stash. The Best Crafters Tape comes in different width’s 1/4”, 5/8” and 1.25” prices $6.99, $8.99, $12.99.. Pixie tape 1” x 20yd avg price $7.50, Purple Tape 1.5” x 15yd avg price is $7.99, Mint Tape 1” x 11yd, 4” x 11yd avg prices $3.99 & $6.99. Some come bundled for around $15.00.

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    Gina K Adhesives

    Gina K sells my favorite ever tape runner with refill ability, I use them every day on just about all my paper crafts. The Gina K Connect Glue small tube is my favorite glue pen, I also use this little gem a lot. Gina’s masking sheets and strips are the best in the business and will not bleed through, I recommend them highly for masking off stamps. I included these items separately because I know they work and I know anyone who tries them won’t be disappointed. The Tape runner sells for around $6.00, refill 2 pack sells for around $9.00, the connect glue tube is also around $6.00 and masking sheets and strips $8.95.

We R Memory Keeper Tools

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    Comfort Craft Spring Scissors

    These are very new to my stash but are extremely comfortable and versatile. They cost around $10.99 from most crafting outlets.

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    Quickstik Craft Tool

    Although I have several variety’s of these types of craft tools, I tend to use this one more often, especially when laying down tiny gems. Costs around $8.79 at most outlets

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    Large Bone Folder

    I love this bone folder/scraper tool it is essential when making books and anything you need to get a good bond or crisp edge. Costs around $10.99 at most outlets.

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    Crop-O-Dile Corner Rounder

    1/4” & 1/2” Corner Rounder, I use this on a vast majority of projects, especially tags and pockets. Costs around $36.99 at most outlets.

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    Crop-O-Dile Pink Punch Kit

    Punch’s holes of 2 sizes and inserts eyelets, I use this a lot on books, folios etc. Costs around $47.99 at most outlets.

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    Crop-O-Dile Corner Stub & Scallop

    Another corner punch that leaves stub and scallop designs. Fantastic for decorative photo corners, pockets etc. Costs around $36.99 at most outlets.

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    Photo Fuse Tool

    Great for sealing photos, gems etc into fuse pockets for albums or safe keeping. Costs around $36.29 at most outlets and also internationally

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    Mini Score Board

    6” wide with 1/8” measurements, fabulous for traveling and comes with a score tool. $10.99 in most outlets.

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    Embossing Stylus 3 Piece

    Extremely versatile for scoring card and paper, one has a pokey tool, so great to, pierce and lift tape. Costs around $16.49 at most outlets.

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    Tab Punch Board

    Perfect for making tabbed cards or folders for diaries, journals, and more… costs around $29.99 at most outlets.

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    Envelope Punch Board

    Perfect for creating envelopes of numerous sizes and much more. Costs around $29.99 at most outlets.

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    1 2 3 Punch Board

    Make boxes and bows for gifts galore and so much more. Costs around $38.49 at most outlets.

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    Explosion Box Board

    Used to help create explosion boxes for gifts. Costs around $26.99 at most outlets.

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    Wick Candle Maker

    Another new item to my craft world. It looks fun and I will be trying it out very soon. Costs around $118.75 at most outlets.

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    Scalloped Edge Punch

    Fabulous for edging anything and everything and is so pretty. I use it mostly in journals, books etc. Costs around $18.99 at most outlets

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    Mini Glitter Vac

    Perfect to vacuum up glitter, powders, small paper remnants etc, comes with usb charger. Costs around $25.00 at most outlets.