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My Favorite Paper Crafting Tools and Supplies

Paper Crafts
Paper crafting tools spread out on a craft table.

Hello Crafty Friends! Today I thought I would share some of my favorite paper crafting supplies! I have been paper crafting since I was a teenager. One of my first jobs in high school was working at a local scrapbook store! It was such a fun job, but I didn’t save very much working there! While I don’t scrapbook very much these days, I love creating with paper.

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Some of my favorite things to make with paper are treat boxes, cards, banners, notepads and home décor items that make amazing gifts. 

I have discovered I love creating my own paper patterns and cut files and sharing them here on my blog. In many of my tutorials, I find I am constantly linking to the same products. I thought I would gather them all in one handy place and share a bit about each. 

If you are new to paper crafting you do NOT need all of these supplies! I share my six most used paper crafting supplies in the next section of this post, so be sure to start there.

If you are a seasoned paper crafter you may have many of these, or a version of them, but maybe there is a new one you haven’t used before? I’d love to hear what your favorite tools and supplies are. I love discovering new paper crafting tools and finding new ways of elevating my paper crafts. 

In the sections below I have included links to the products. Many links are for Amazon, but I always recommend checking your local craft stores to compare prices. 

My Favorite Paper Crafting Tools & Supplies

*Please note this is not a sponsored post. These are supplies and tools I have purchased myself over the years and like using for paper crafting!

My 6 Most Used Paper Crafting Supplies

First up are the six tools and supplies that I use the most for paper crafting. To paper craft, all you really need is a something to cut with and something to adhere with. Everything else beyond that will help make your projects come together easier and look more polished. With these six supplies (in addition to paper of course!) I could make most of the treat boxes, cards and notepads on my site!

Craft tools and supplies displayed on table, digitally numbered.
  1. Scoring Board: A scoring board helps create smooth and crisp folds for cards, treat boxes and dimensional paper crafts. I love this large scoring board from ek tools but they also sell a smaller one.
  2. Paper Trimmer: This is the best paper trimmer I’ve ever owned. It has a thin wire guide which helps you line up your cuts each each time. Once you purchase the trimmer you will want to replace the blades every so often to keep your cuts crisp.
  3. Double-Sided Tape: I started using Scor-tape years ago when I was looking for a stronger adhesive for my treat boxes. It comes in a variety of widths, but I use the 1/4″ roll the most. It is not re-positionable, so you do have to take care when using it, but it is super strong which I love!
  4. Glue Pen: A glue pen is perfect for gluing down tiny pieces of paper. I am messy in glue with general, but this glue pen has helped me keep my projects clean.
  5. Scissors: A scissors is a must for paper crafting. I love using the small scissors that came with my Cricut Tool Set for fussy cutting and detail work. This pair of scissors by Westcott is a similar great option.
  6. Thin Clear Fasteners: I use these thin clear fasteners by Velcro brand on so many of my projects. I use them to hold treat boxes and cards closed, like my DIY Paper Purses, and to keep my paper animal notepads closed.

My Favorite Cutting and Scoring Tools

When it comes to paper crafting, crisp cuts and score lines can make a huge difference in how your project turns out. Below are my favorite tools for getting the job done. I have had these for years and keep all of them handy in my craft room.

Cutting and scoring paper craft tools and supplies spread out on a table and numbered.
  1. Self-Healing Mat: A mat is a great way to protect your work surface while crafting and is essential when using a craft knife. I started using this Cricut mat a couple years ago and like the smaller size. In the past I have used large mats by Fiskers and Alvin which are also really nice.
  2. Scoring Board: A scoring board helps create smooth and crisp folds for cards, treat boxes and dimensional paper crafts. I love this large scoring board from ek tools but you can also grab the smaller version!
  3. Paper Trimmer: This is hands-down my favorite paper trimmer I’ve ever owned. It has a thin wire guide which helps you line up your cuts each each time. Once you purchase the trimmer you will want to replace the blades every so often to keep your cuts crisp.
  4. Scoring Stylus: My set of scoring tools is from Martha Stewart and is no longer available, but ek tools makes a similar set! I use these all the time for scoring, embossing, and the sharpest one for lifting up the backing on double-sided tape or foam tape.
  5. Scissors: These large scissors are my go-to all-purpose scissors. Great for quickly cutting out large pieces, they work well and are usually inexpensive to pick up. I love using the small scissors that came with my Cricut Tool Set for fussy cutting and detail work. This pair of scissors by Westcott is a similar great option!
  6. Craft Knife: A craft knife is handy for cutting out areas inside of a paper piece you wouldn’t be able to get to using a scissors. Peekaboo windows in treat boxes is one example. Since getting my cutting machine, I do use this tool less often. I’ve used this X-Acto brand since high school art class, but Fiskars and Cricut make craft knives too that look really nice, though I haven’t used them.
  7. Clear Ruler: A ruler can come in handy for positioning paper pieces and spacing them out. There are rulers designed for use with paper crafting but I have always used my long clear ruler – the same one I use for sewing. I love this ruler and have at least five floating around my craft room!
  8. Hole Punch: I love this 1/8″ hold punch from Fiskars. It makes a smaller hole than a regular hole punch and it is perfect for banners and treat boxes that need to be tied shut.

My Favorite Adhesives

Up next are my favorite adhesives! You can get away with just a couple of these but I wanted to share all of my favorites in case you are looking to try something new! If you want just the essentials, I’d recommend one type of double-sided tape and one type of glue that can be applied to small pieces. You may need a foam tape if you will be doing layered craft projects or projects that specifically call for it.

An assortment of paper crafting adhesives are laid out on a table.
  1. Bearly Art Precision Craft Glue: I recently starting using this glue and so far love it! The glue comes with several different tips that you can switch out including a tip a very fine tip perfect for your smallest pieces. You need to wash the pieces after you are done using them and store the extra tips some place safe so you don’t lose them.
  2. Elmer CraftBond Glue Sticks: This glue stick is a step up from your blue school glue stick. It is photo safe and while I don’t use it to hold my treat boxes together, it has a great hold for decorative pieces.
  3. Foam Tape, Dots and Squares. I use foam tape in many of my interactive cards like my Haunted House Slider Card. It gives dimension and allows the pulling motion to happen easily. The dots and squares are great for layered paper artlike my Mandala Layered Paper Frame.
  4. Double-Sided Tape: Scor-tape is my go-to adhesive when I need a strong hold. I use this for my treat boxes and on my animal notepads. It comes in a variety of widths, including 1/8″, 1/4″ and 1/2″. It is not re-positionable, so you do have to take care when using it. It is super strong though, which I love!
  5. Glue Pen: A glue pen is perfect for gluing down tiny pieces of paper. I am messy with glue in general, but this glue pen has helped me keep my projects clean.
  6. Thin Clear Fasteners: I use these thin clear fasteners by Velcro brand on so many of my projects. I use them to hold treat boxes and cards closed, like my DIY Paper Purses, and to keep my paper animal notepads closed.
  7. Tape Runner: I included a tape runner because I find them really quick and easy to use. They are quicker than my double-sided tape since I don’t have to peel the paper off. I don’t use them often though, only when I grab them on sale, since I find they don’t last long and are more expensive than my other options. You can purchase a huge tape runner with refill packages which is more cost effective. I haven’t tried this yet!

My Favorite Solid Cardstocks

Up next I’m sharing my favorite types of solid cardstocks. If you paper craft a lot you will no doubt already have your favorites. Paper comes in many different weights, textures and colors and each has it’s place depending on the project.

Three sheets of paper with different textures.

Cardstock Texture

I love using textured cardstock with handmade cards and treat boxes. I like paper with a “canvas texture”. It adds a beautiful depth and richness to your projects. If I plan to write on the paper, I will make sure to choose a smooth paper.

Solid Core vs White Core Cardstock

I prefer crafting with solid core cardstock as opposed to white core cardstock. White core cardstock is printed with color on both sides of the paper but has a white center, or core. Solid core cardstock is one color throughout the entire paper. I find when I use white core cardstock with my cutting machine I get little tufts of white from the center sticking in the corners of my cuts.

How to Choose a Paper Weight

Cardstock comes in a variety of weights, some of the most popular ones are 65lb, 80lb and 110lb. 65lb is a thinner paper that works well for decorations, embellishments and paper flowers. 80lb is a sturdier paper that is great for treat boxes, cards and the backing for banner pennants. Cardstock that is 100lb or more is on the thicker side and can be used for the same things as the 80lb, but it may be more difficult to crease and score smoothly. Some paper that very thick, or glittered, will crack when you score it. Using a scoring board can help prevent sometimes.

How I Organize my Paper

You can visit this post, How to Organize Your Scrapbook Paper, to see how I keep thing organized in my craft room!

Solid cardstock spread out in sections on a table, numbered.
  1. Bazzill Cardstock: This is one of my favorite brands of paper. I love using it for treat boxes, cards, invitations, banners, layered paper crafts and more. It comes in different finishes including Smoothie, Canvas (my favorite) and Dotted Swiss. This cardstock is usually 80lbs and is solid core. I find it cuts well with my Cricut, though I need to use the poster board setting. You can see Bazzill Paper in my Honey Pot Slider Card and Layered Paper Frame.
  2. Core’dinations Cardstock: This cardstock can be purchased in paperstacks but my favorite is sold by the sheet at Joann Fabric. Their core foundation paper is 65lb and available in a huge selection of colors. They also have a heavier 80lb paper for some of their collections. Core’dinations paper is fun to use when you need patterned and solid paper that coordinates well together, like I did for my DIY Desktop Pencil Holder. Their color Jasper, part of their Gemstones paper collection, was the perfect color for my Ravenclaw stocking craft! They also have a great glitter paper that is glittery on one side with a coordinating solid core.
  3. Recollections Cardstock Packs: This is a great lighter weight paper from Michaels Craft Store sold in packs, often by color (with five shades of the color) or themed around a holiday or season. It is a great paper to have on hand for decorating and cuts beautifully on my Cricut. I like using it for paper medallions as I did on these Halloween Award Ribbons since it folds easily. I have also used it to make treat boxes to hold lighter weight gifts.
  4. DCWV Glitzy Cardstock: This is by far my favorite glitter cardstock. I threw this one in here, even though it isn’t exactly “solid cardstock”, because I always like to have it on hand. It is a thinner paper with amazing sparkle on one side that does not shed at all. I have used it in many projects including my 12 Days of Christmas Paper Ornaments and my Valentine Treat Boxes.
  5. AC Cardstock: This paper is a newer find for me and I love it! I discovered it last summer when making my Fruit Party Treat Boxes. I was a little nervous to buy it as it seemed expensive but depending on which pack you purchase it’s usually a great deal compared to purchasing single sheets at the craft store. Each pack comes with 60 sheets of 80lb paper. There are 20 colors, 3 sheets each, that all coordinate together in a beautiful color palette. The paper is textured and cuts well by hand and with my Cricut.

My Favorite Patterned Cardstocks

When it comes to patterned paper, there are so many amazing options. I can easily spend an hour in the open stack paper shelves at my local craft and scrapbook stores just looking at all the beautiful options. I thought I would share some of my favorite brands for prints. These are the brands I seem to gravitate towards and love following to see what new collections they are coming out with!

Assortment of patterned paper sheets showing the brand label of each paper.
  1. DCWV Paper Stacks: The first one I wanted to share is the DCWV paper stacks. These can be found at Joann Fabrics, Michaels and Amazon and can usually be found on sale. I love the weight of the paper that comes in each pack as it is often thicker than the printed paper sold by the sheet at Joanns. The prints are double-sided and are usually repeated at least once in the pack. Most of these stacks include journaling card pages.
  2. Echo Park Paper: Echo Park Paper has beautiful themed collections, especially for the holidays. You can purchase the double-sided prints individually or as part of a Collection Kit. The kits include the prints from the collection as well as a fun sticker sheet. You can also find decorative tape, ephemera, brads and more to match each collection. I used Echo Park Paper to make my Christmas Cottage Slider Cards and Paper Purse Gift Card Holders.
  3. Doodlebug Design: I love Doodlebug paper for it’s cute and playful designs! Again, this paper will come with lots of fun extras that match like tape and the cutest 3D stickers called Doodle-Pops! I used Doodlebug paper to make my Christmas Purse Boxes and Valentine’s Day Countdown.
  4. Pebbles: Pebbles offers a lot of really unique prints that I find at both my local scrapbook store and at Joann Fabrics. I first discovered them when I made my Kindness Advent Calendar. Their “Spread Christmas Cheer” collection was one of the few holiday paper collections I could find at the time that featured diverse skin tones. My favorite designer for Pebbles is Jen Hadfield. I pretty much love all of the paper she designs. I used her prints to make my Teapot Slider Cards. Pebbles also makes cute mini paper pads, both 6″x 6″ and some that 6″ x 8″ . The prints are a nice weight and are single sided which makes them great for cards.
  5. Simple Stories: Simple Stories is another great brand to look at for themed prints. Their collections include ephemera called “Page Pieces” that are really fun to work with. I used their paper and page pieces to make Embroidered Christmas Wreath Cards.

My Favorite Cricut Paper Crafting Tools

My paper crafting world definitely changed when I received a Cricut Explore for Christmas in 2017. Years later my Explore is still going strong and perfect for my paper crafting needs. Below are a few of the Cricut supplies I use regularly when paper crafting.

Cricut paper crafting tools on a table numbered.
  1. Self-Healing Cutting Mat: This is a great work surface to use while paper crafting in general, but especially when I’m assembling my cutting machine crafts.
  2. Cutting Mat: This is my go-to mat for cutting my projects. Cricut also sells light grip and strong grip mats, but I usually use my standard and get away with it. :)
  3. Extra Large Scraper: My set of Cricut tools included a small scraper, but I like using the large one for quickly clearing my mat, especially after making layered mandalas!
  4. Scissors: A nice sharp scissors is really useful and I love the one that comes with the Cricut Tool Set.
  5. Cricut Tools: These tools come in handy whether you are crafting with paper, iron-on or vinyl. The scoring tool is one of my favorites and many of the SVG cut files I share on my blog include score lines.
  6. Deep Cut Blade: A deep cut blade is really useful for cutting chipboard and extra thick paper. I use the highest poster board setting along with a deep cut blade to get through chipboard on my Explore. This came in handy for my Flower Photo Albums!
  7. Vinyl: Vinyl is definitely not paper, but I wanted to include it because it can be really fun to use with paper! It is great for really intricate cuts that would be difficult to achieve with cardstock. It can be applied on top of paper using Transfer Tape, just be sure to use the Transfer Tape lightly so you don’t peel up any paper.
  8. *Cricut Brayer (not pictured): I wanted to mention a brayer because I have heard wonderful things about using a brayer with paper crafts. I have not purchased one yet (not sure what I am waiting for!) but it helps smooth down your paper on the mat before cutting. It’s next up on my shopping list, and I’ll update this post once I’ve used it!

My Favorite Extras to Use with Paper Crafts

Here are a few extras I commonly use with my paper crafts! I’ve included these five as my most-used extras!

Fun craft supplies displayed on a table with numbers on them.
  1. Chipboard: Chipboard is thicker than cardstock and comes in a variety of weights, measured by a point system. For my craft projects, I tend to use lightweight chipboard, .024 thickness. This thickness is great for my notepads and accordion albums. I use heavier weight chipboard, .056 thickness for projects that need a lot of stability like my Pencil Holder. I was able to cut it with my Cricut but it wasn’t easy – I need a strong grip mat, deep cut blade and several passes.
  2. Craft Plastic: Many of my treat boxes have peekaboo windows like my Valentine’s Heart Boxes. The Grafix craft plastic, with a thickness of .007, is perfect for these boxes and can be cut easily with a craft knife or on my Cricut. One pack comes with 25 sheets and lasts me a pretty long time.
  3. Clothespins: Clothespins are super fun to use with paper banners. They easily hold pennants in place and when you are done displaying the banner, just take them off and use them for something else. Clothespins are also great for holding milk carton treat boxes closed!
  4. Piercing Mat: A piercing mat is a piece of thick foam that allows you to easily pierce paper for embroidery designs. Like a self-healing mat, it can be used over and over again and will keep your paper from tearing when being pierced. I lay it under my cardstock and poke my holes before adding embroidery, like I did for my Christmas Wreath Cards. You can also use this mat to curve and shape pieces like paper leaves and petals.
  5. Black and White Baker’s Twine: This twine is my go-to for closing treat boxes. The black and white color goes well with so many colors and themes it’s a great twine to have on hand. You can see it holding my Haunted House Treat Boxes together.
  6. Embroidery Floss: I love adding embroidery to paper cards using DMC embroidery floss. It is such a fun way to combine mediums. I used floss to make my Wedding Ring Card and also to jazz up my Rainbow Cards.

So there you have it! A great big post that goes in depth on all of my favorite paper crafting tools! I hope you found this post useful and informative. What are your favorite paper crafting tools?

Happy Crafting! -Kim

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