Crafty Tips to Help Make Life a Little Easier for Beginning Paper Crafters
Crafting has brought me so much joy over the years, but I’ve also learned a lot the hard way through trial and error. In this article, I want to share with you some helpful hints I’ve learned over time. These tricks will help you make beautiful crafts the first time around.
1. Learn How to Score Paper
Ever wonder why paper crafting projects you see on Pinterest or blogs turn out so nicely, but your paper crafts just don’t match up?
One trick to make professional looking work is to learn how to score paper correctly. Here’s what you need to do.
First, get a ruler–any kind will do, so feel free to borrow one from your spouse’s toolbox or your kid’s school supplies (with permission of course!).
Next, get a bone folder. This is a piece of plastic with a point on end, and a favorite tool of legendary crafter Martha Stewart. Of course, in a pinch, you could even use a pizza cutter from your kitchen if you can’t find or can’t afford a new crafting tool.
2. Secure Slippery Sheets
Use tape to attach the paper to an electronic die cutting machine mat. One of the major problems I had when I first started was going through massive amounts of expensive paper because it wasn’t staying on the mat and slipping around when being cut. The simple solution is to attach a bit of painters tape on the edge of the paper to the mat. Problem solved!
3.Cutting Mats can be Saved
You CAN get a cutting mat to be sticky again. After a certain amount of time, you will notice that a cutting mat just isn’t sticky anymore, and paper will fall off.
Why does this happen? Over time, leftover paper fibers and debris will stick to the mat. To fix this problem, here are several steps you can take. First, try washing the mat with soap and water. This will sometimes help.
If you’re still having problems, spray the mat with repositionable tack spray. You can find this at any craft store, or even at Walmart.
Another possibility is to use Zig 2 way glue, another staple found at any craft store. Just apply the Zig glue liberally onto the mat and let it dry. Then enjoy your newly revived cutting mat!
4. Invest in a Die Cut Machine
If you’ve been bitten by the paper crafting bug, you’ll want to invest in an electronic die cut machine. With this tool, you can cut paper with machine precision. It takes a while to get the hang of how to use a die cut machine, but once you get past the learning curve, you’ll come to love working with one.
Right now, I have a Pazzles, which takes a little bit of technical skill but gets excellent results. If you’re a technophobe, the Cricut is an easy-to-use option. There are lots of other great die cutters, too. Send me an email and let me know what your favorite machine is!
5. Paper Cuts
Be prepared for paper cuts– OUCH! Your fingers are one of the most sensitive parts of the body, believe it or not.
The number one rule to avoid paper cuts is to watch out! While it might seem obvious, remember not to drag your hands along the edges of a paper stack. If you find that you’re especially prone to paper cuts, a pair of crafters gloves like grabaroos can solve this problem for under $10.
Finally, remember to keep a box of band-aids and some antibiotic ointment near your craft station. I especially like the band-aids that are made especially for fingertips and knuckles. They are much more comfortable and stay on better– that way you can keep on crafting!
6. Don’t Follow the Crowd
Finally, follow your heart! Don’t be afraid to try something different. Just because other people are doing something doesn’t mean you have to follow a trend if you don’t like it.
Trust yourself and listen to your inner design voice. Rather than making the same old thing everyone else is doing, go with what you like. Your project WILL be great because it will represent your inner artist‘s statement to the world.