After decluttering, organizing, and using many scrapbooking and cardmaking products over the years, here are my suggestions for what NOT to buy!
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I used to have an Epson PictureMate and now have a Canon Selphy. Both work great but they only last a few years. The paper and ink are costly. I find printing at stores like Costco, Walgreens, or even Snapfish, are all cost-effective especially if you use coupon codes.
Die Cutting Machines
I decided it’s more useful to have the Sizzix Big Shot Plus (9×15″) vs the regular-sized Big Shot (6×9″). Many brands make manual die-cutting machines. I recommend purchasing a large one because you can cut more at a time plus use larger dies.
Sizzix has retired the Big Shot and now is making a new electric model called “Switch”, I have not tried it but am sure it is a quality machine. A lot of brands are moving towards the electronic version.
Electric Cutting Machines
Try out the software first before buying an electric cutter. Cricut, Silhouette, and Brother Scan N Cut are popular brands. You can download and try their software before you purchase the machine. See which one works best for you. They all allow you to cut and their prices are very similar.
Use vertical paper holders instead of horizontal ones to avoid pulling out the paper. When using vertical solutions, you can easily flip through your 12×12 paper. Be sure to measure cube storage shelves to make sure your paper will fit.
I prefer a guillotine cutter to the paper trimmer with replacement blades. Creative Memories makes a small guillotine cutter that is great for cropping photos. I love a guillotine cutter because the blades are self-sharpening. The handy thing about a paper trimmer is when they come with a built-in scoring blade such as the Stampin’ Up one.
Kiwi Lane is a new cutting system with many curves that you trace and then cut the paper. It’s a cute system that quickly allows you to create layouts using all the fun patterned paper that we have. I found I just didn’t use it after I collected many sets. Creative Memories makes a curvy cutter that is great for cutting papered paper for layouts. You can find this at Goodwill’s and eBay. They need to bring it back! I use mine all the time.
Don’t collect the whole line of something just favorites, don’t get collection-itis! And I know this is hard to avoid. The brands market to us with beautiful pictures of the entire set. Keep in mind, that this creates a storage problem and adds to the cost.
When it comes to inks, you don’t need several different brands. Also, just buy your favorite colors! Try to stay inside the amount of storage space that you have for your set of inks. I also recommend buying the ink refills for the pad when you buy it. I love Stampin’ Up and Close To My Heart ink pads, which are very high quality. Gina K Designs has wonderful colors too.
I had a large scoring board, but I find I like the smaller one now. I have one from We R Memory Keepers but they all work great. Remember, if your trimmer has a scoring blade, you do not need a separate board. Be sure to buy one that has 1/8″ measurements.
Misti Stampin Positioning Tool works great for stamping. I like the larger one for more uses. I find I don’t need stamp blocks. And I love that I can restamp if I missed a spot. Gives me a lot more confidence when card making.
I bought way too many colors of embossing powders in the beginning. I love the effect of stamping and embossing to make the ink look raised. But I just need Clear and White since I can stamp with my different colors of ink and use clear over it.
Purchase tape runners that can be refilled. Search for deals online at Office Supply places. Use one brand so you are conveniently refilling as you craft. Plus, storage will be simpler.