Basic Tools

What tools do I need to start scrapbooking? What tools do you use? I get those questions quite a bit. That's why today I'm going to tell you about the basic tools I use and the ones you will need to begin scrapbooking!

Paper Trimmer:
I would not be able to function without my paper trimmer. I could cut my paper with scissors, but I wouldn't have a perfect edge every time. That's why it's important to find one that's right for you!
I have been using this Cutterpede since 2006. I have tried other trimmers and I always went back to this one. The replacement parts are inexpensive and I love the decorative blades you can buy separately. My favorite is the scalloped edge blade.
I use my trimmer to rip paper, measure, trim photos, trim paper, and add a decorative edge. If you are wondering how I use my paper trimmer to rip paper, I will be sharing that How To soon!

I have tried MANY different scissors. I have narrowed it down to three different pair that I switch back and forth from.
The ones in the photo are my Tim Holtz nonstick ones. LOVE them. You can use them whether you are right or left handed and the handle is comfortable rubber.
My other faves are the basic Fiskars scissors. I have the larger fabric ones and the smaller micro tip ones. I believe I bought both pair at Wal-Mart. They are super sharp and stay that way forever! That was my biggest pet peeve with other brands. I would have to buy a new pair every few months because I use mine so much they would dull quickly.

This has been my go-to adhesive since 2006. I love it. I couldn't live without it.
Adhesive is like everything else in scrapbooking. Everyone will have their favorites. This is mine.
I have used this on everything from ribbon to chipboard to paper. You can use it on a narrow surface and then fold it back to hide it. It goes on sale at Hobby Lobby frequently. It's quick to use and my favorite thing about it is that isn't permanent but I can still remove things without damage. I tend to change my mind and want to move a photo or an embellishment. Or sometimes I will need to change something on a layout for publication.
Some people ask me why I use this instead of glue sticks or just regular liquid glue. Well those both have their place, but for basic paper and photo scrapbooking I prefer dry adhesive. Liquid glue tends to warp paper or photos as they dry. So does a glue stick, but above all else they are messy to me. I would have glue everywhere if I tried to use liquid glue!
The most important thing is to ALWAYS buy photo safe or acid free adhesive! If not your beautiful scrapbook pages will be brown and turn to dust in your grand children's fingers!
I do, however, use a glue stick when adhering chipboard letters or small chipboard shapes. I also use a glue stick when covering chipboard, but that's another How To for another day! ;)

Black Pen:
I have been using the ZIG writers by EK Success since 1996. It's inexpensive, lasts forever, and has two sizes on each pen. I love the way they write and their colors are beautiful. Everyone will have a different pen they love and use, but this is the one I use for journaling or dating on my layouts.

You can use any cardstock you wish. There are tons of different textures and colors. Everyone has their preferences.
You can use plain paper, but it just doesn't look the same. Most plain paper is thin and you can see whatever is behind it.
You can get basic cardstock at Hobby Lobby or even Wal-Mart.
My favorites are Bazzill and Bo Bunny.
You use cardstock to mat photos, as your page background, for journaling, and just about anything else you can imagine!

Patterned Paper:
This is by far my favorite thing about scrapbooking. There are just so many different beautiful and fun patterns. There are so many things you can do with it. You can cut out designs from it to use as page elements or you can use it to make embellishments. The possibilities are endless!
My favorite paper companies are Basic Grey, Cosmo Cricket, We R Memory Keepers , Bo Bunny, Crate Paper and tons more!
You can buy some of these brands at Hobby Lobby. If you don't have a local scrapbook store you can buy them online at or !


Stamps are awesome. I might have a slight addiction to stamps. They are reusable and just a lot of fun! My favorite stamp companies are Technique Tuesday, Hero Arts, Tim Holtz for Stampers Anonymous, Inkadinkadoo by EK Success and so many more!

I have several ink How To's already up on the blog. Their links are on the right side under How To's.
I use ink for my stamps, to ink my pages, and to ink embellishments. Ink goes half off quite often at Hobby Lobby.

Paper Punches:
I have a ton of these and I use them on almost every layout. You can use them so many different ways. I also have several different die cutting systems, but punches are easier and quicker. Hole punches are invaluable. I have about five different sizes.

Crop A Dile:
This baby is the mother of all hole punches. It also sets eyelets. I have used mine to punch holes in acrylic, chipboard, metal, you name it! I have had mine for years and it has been to many, many classes and it will still punch a perfect hole! I love it!

Well those are all the basics you will need to begin scrapbooking!
You don't have to have the Extras, but it makes it much more fun!
I hope this has helped out the new scrapbookers!
If you have any questions or suggestions please send me an e-mail at!

Happy scrappin'!
April :)