Books, Recommendations, Uncategorized

My Recommended Craft Idea Books

Hello, my crafty friends! Sometimes thinking of some creative crafty ideas can be a challenge (even after browsing thousands of Pintrest pictures). When I get “crafters block” I usually get ideas from crafting related books. I have a decent collection of crafting books that I have procured from thrift stores and garage sales over the years. I would like to share my top 5 favorite crafting idea books. I hope these books will spark some creativity within you! Happy Crafting! Enjoy! 🙂

Stitch ‘N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller

I found this book on a shelf at a thrift store. My first thought was “what a creative and funny title.” The author, Debbie Stoller, writes about a variety of topics related to knitting and crochets while pairing it wish lovely instructional illustrations and color photography. This book can be used by novice knitters and crocheters to the experienced. There is something for everyone in this book. You can find this book on Amazon. This book is also available on Amazon Kindle.

Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways to be More Creative No Matter How Busy you Are by Gregory Danny

I bought this book off of Amazon last year and I absolutely love it! Last year, I got super busy with life that I had put my love crafting on the back burner for about 5 months. This book made me realize that no matter how busy you get, there is always small ways to be creative. Being creative doesn’t have to involve something huge. The author, Danny, writes about how creating small projects, through visual creativity (or quick art), can be part of a healthy life. I bought this book on Amazon. This book is also available on Amazon Kindle.

Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford

I know this isn’t really a craft idea book. But just hear me out…ok? This is one of my favorite adult coloring books of all time. I color in it when I am stressed, can’t sleep, and when I have “crafters block.” It seems like when I have a “block” I gravitate to my coloring book which gives me inspiration. By the time I color half of the coloring page, I have a list of craft ideas in my head. So, why not try this adult coloring book out…it helps me, it might help you as well! I bought this book from Michaels Craft Store. However, I believe it is a little bit cheaper if you buy it off of Amazon. Also, I use Prisma Premier Colored Pencils to color in my book.

The Complete Photo Guide to Cardmaking: More than 800 Large Color Photos by Judi Wantanabe

I absolutely love this book! It is such a great book to get ideas on card making using photographs. I think using photographs when card making makes cards more personal and the heart. This book provide beautiful illustrations, materials needed, and step-by-step instructions on how to put the card together.  You can get this book off Amazon. This book is also available on Amazon Kindle.

Sewing (5th Edition): Sewing For Beginners – Quick & Easy Way To Learn How To Sew With 50 Patterns for Beginners! by Kitty Moore

I consider myself a novice/beginner when it comes to sewing. Last year I learned how to use a basic sewing machine. This book was perfect for me and I was able to complete 2-3 of the sew projects in the book. The author, Moore, will teach you the basics to sewing. Along with the basics, it comes with easy-to-understand sew instructions. I bought this book on Amazon. This book is also available on Amazon Kindle.

Crafting Basics

My 10 Crafting Essentials

So, you want to join the world of paper crafting? But you don’t know where to begin? Let me help you answer that question. The first thing you are going to need is to gather up some crafting essentials and tools. Think of it as your crafting arsenal. I know there are a lot of blog posts and youTube videos out there regarding this topic but I would still like to share with you my own crafting arsenal.

#1: Scissors

This item is pretty self-explanatory. A good pair of scissors in an essential for…well, for cutting things. I use two different types of scissors: all purpose and craft precision. My all-purpose scissors are used for cutting paper, string, adhesives (although use a non-stick all-purpose scissors), fabric, etc. I use my craft precision scissors to cut paper that require me to make more intricate cuts such as cutting small die cuts and stickers. Here are the scissor brands that I use and that I suggest you invest your money into:

Martha Stewart Crafts Precision Scissors

Acme 7in Titanium All-Purpose Scissors 

EK Success Original 5in Cutter Bee Scissors

#2: Adhesives

This item is, too, self-explanatory. Having some good quality adhesives is essential in putting together your creation. I suggest that you have different types of adhesives in hand. I have dry and went adhesives in my crafting arsenal. The dry adhesive that I use is double-sided tape. My favorite double-sided tape are: Aleens’s Double-Sided Tacky Tape and Scor-Pal Scor Tape (this particular tape comes in a variety of widths).

tape

The wet adhesives I use is a plain ol’ glue stick,  glue gun, tacky craft glue, Mod Podge, and Tombow glue. I will use one or more of these glues depending on the project that I am working on. I love to use Tombow glue when creating handmade cards, and I absolutely love using Mod Podge on paper mache projects.

#3: Paper Trimmer

It is a good idea to have a quality paper trimmer on hand. I use three different sized paper trimmers. I have a large one that I use for larger pieces of paper such as 12×12 scrapbook paper. I have medium sized one that I use to cut down 8×10 ½ paper for my handmade card making. And I use the small (or mini) sized paper trimmer to cut down my washi tape into smaller strips. The paper trimmers that I use are:

Fiskars 12in Sure Cut Scrapbooking Paper Trimmer

Fiskars 9in Bypass Trimmer

Darice Mini Paper Trimmer

#4: Ink Pads

I suggest that you invest in quality ink pads. When I first started crafting I only had a black ink I had was a StazOn Jet Black ink pad. Now I have every color ink pad you can imagine. Some of the ink pads I suggest you try out are:

Color Box Pigment Ink

StazOn Ink

Tsukineko Momento Dye Ink

#5: X-Acto or Craft Knife

Having a craft or utility knife in your crafting arsenal is essential because it has the ability to cut through heavier paper, cardboard, and foam core with a clean, precise edge. I would not recommend you using a utility knife on flimsier paper, as it will tear the paper. Also, don’t forget to have replacement blades on hand as the blade does get dull with repeated use.

craft-knife

#6: Cutting mat

The use of a cutting mat is a great way to protect your work surface from cuts and scratches. It is ideal when using a craft or utility knife because the cutting mat’s material is “self healing.” The cutting mat I have used in the past are the Recollections and Martha Stewart brands. They both have lasted me a good long while before having to replace them.

cutting-mat

#7: Ruler

I suggest that you invest in a ruler that is made of metal and has a non-slip backing. A metal rules is great when used with a craft knife or rotary cutter. It help create clean, precise cuts. I would not recommend a plastic rules as it can slip when making straight cuts and lines. The ruler that I use is a basic one I got from Hobby Lobby.

ruler#8: Card stock

Of course if you are going to paper craft you need to have a good supply of card stock paper. You can get card stock paper pretty much anywhere. I generally buy my card stock paper at JoAnn, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby. I suggested you get the card stock paper that has been dyed all throughout the paper. If you don’t then you’ll be able to see white lines on the edges of your card stock. If you don’t want to buy a bunch of card stock off the bat at least buy white and black card stock as a starting point.

cardstock2

#9: Paper Punches

I love paper punches! It makes quick work without having to spend time using detailed scissors to cut out intricate pieces of paper. All you have to do is insert the paper and let the punch do the rest of the work. When I first started crating I had paper punches that punched out basic shapes such as a circle, oval, heart, rectangle, and square. Today…I have too many paper punches to count!

#10: Recycle Bin

Yep! A recycle bin! Use this bin to store things that can be repurposed such as newspapers/magazines, milk and egg cartons, bubble wrap, empty boxes, small plastic containers, etc. You will be glad to have a recycle bin at your disposable. Not only does it save the environment, but it also helps spark your creativity!

Photo credits

Ruler – http://www.hobbylobby.com/Scrapbook-Paper-Crafts/Accessories-Tools/Scissors-Trimmers/Hot-Pink-Metal-Ruler—18-/p/145328

Cutting mat – https://www.michaels.com/recollections-cutting-mat/10198053.html#start=5

Utility knife – http://www.michaels.com/10147314.html#q=craft+knife&start=2

Double-sided tape – http://www.michaels.com/10338274.html#q=double+sided+tape&start=2

Mod Podge – https://img.michaels.com/L6/3/IOGLO/821310219/179860174/10047536_1.jpg?fit=inside%7C1024:1024

Glue gun – http://www.michaels.com/elmers-craftbond-enhanced-safety-high-temp-glue-gun-40-watts/10460357.html#q=glue+gun&start=10