When you TEACH a FRIEND to SCRAPBOOK … (edited)

I've fallen a bit behind on my "tell her" tips for National Scrapbooking Month. To make up for last ground, here's ONE of my very BEST TIPS.

NOTE: I just added the sale price on the Fiskars trimmer and the link to Scrapbook.com for the Kokuyo pouch.


When you Teach a Friend to Scrapbook,

that one of the smartest things she can do is put together a collection of basic tools and keep them within arms reach of where she stands or sits.

The first thing she will need is a trimmer that will cut both photos and paper. 


I bought one just like this in 1993, when I signed up to be a D.O.T.S. demonstrator. I have never sharpened the blade and it's still going strong! These heavy, hard to find and now cost around a $100, so …



starting out, it makes more sense to get something that is portable. I don't think it really matters which trimmer you use, as long as you like it! Call me old fashioned, but I still like this Fiskars paper trimmer with the ruler that extends out to the side. BTW …This trimmer is on sale for only $8.99 (regularly over $20)

Next up, is a small pair of scissors for detailed paper cutting and ribbon and just about everything else. Here again, specific brand doesn't matter really, except that you'll know when you find a pair you LOVE.


I LOVE these. I have three pair, because I get really bugged when I can't find a pair.

Once you cut things up, it's time to paste. I'm a firm believer that you can and should save money where possible. When you are adhering paper to paper you can use any acid-free glue stick


Yup. Buy mine at Costco or Staples.


These, from Martha Stewart are in fact much cuter and available at Scrapbook.com, but seriously, buy in bulk and then you won't stress when you leave the lid off (which for me is every time!)


I like to move fast when I'm scrapbooking, so my FAVORITE photo to paper adhesive is hands-down the Kokuyou Dot-n-Roller repositionable adhesive. Replacing cartridges is a snap and the dispenser itself is super easy to pick up and use. I was introduced to this adhesive by my friend Kris Parkin (who incidentally introduced me to scrapbooking, via Creative Memories. That was in 1994)

Not long ago, I blogged about my new ATG dispenser, which I also really like and use at home, with ribbon and photos when I need a really good permanent hold.


I think a see-through ruler is a must-have. If you can, tie a ribbon to one end, so that you don't lose it on your desk. This of course never happens to me!

Other handy items to keep with your basics, are …

A PENCIL and a soft, white eraser for removing pencil lines and other smudges from all kinds of paper.



JOURNALING PENS. I always keep 4 or 5 black American Crafts Precision Pens in my favorite point sizes (.01, .03 and .08) in my "to-go" case.


I also love this paper piercer, from Lasting Impressions for Paper. It's a mere $3 and I love the way the wood handle feels. Here again, I've got three.



The Doodlebug cutting mat and craft knife. CUTE and totally functional. The cutting mat is big enough to use and small enough to travel with the the craft knife has an adorable flower on the end that prevents it from rolling off your work space!


One last item that just makes sense is some UN-DU adhesive remover. Trust me, this comes in handy all over your house!

So … there you have it. Stacy's collection of BASIC TOOLS.

When I scrapbook away from home, I ALWAYS bring my basic tools and a materials file full of photos and products I need to update or complete a current project. I admire women that can drag it ALL behind them, neatly packed away in two or three totes, each the size of dog house, but I'm generally flying or flying out the door and have to travel light.


This is my preferred zipper pouch and here again, I LOVE it.
It packs easily and the top zips down so I can easily grab what I need. Tip: stick your paper piercer in your eraser and be sure your craft knife has a lid. I probably don't need to tell you that I learned this one the hard way!

As you share this amazing hobby with family and friends share your excitement for the endless array of AMAZING and innovative tools available to us, but PLEASE don't make her think that she has to have them ALL. I think one of the biggest barriers to getting started in scrapbooking is the assumption that it is so expensive. When you start with your best memories, some paper you love and a collection of basic tools, you can start with the assurance that you have what you need.

I promise.


  1. loved seeing your favorites. What a great post! Thanks, Stacy!

  2. Wow you could have been me writing this post. Right down to the “signing up to be a DOTS demonstrator in 1993″ ( I remember you teaching at convention, and admiring you ever since then)
    We have all the same favorites – AND I’m behind on sharing my scrapbooking tips with my friends… I’ve decided to do it over email. For the whole month of May they get a tip a day.

  3. Loving this series

  4. great post… but I have found the Martha Stewart glue sticks just didnt hold … things were falling everywhere as they did with other glue sticks… maybe its the climate or something. I started with those and have had to reglue lots. I love those scissors too!

  5. Thank you for an amazing post.
    It is just what I need to show a couple of my friends who have just started showing an interest in what I do.
    Thanks :)

  6. Leora Henkin says:

    I am smiling. Loved seeing your favorites and love the idea of having extras of some things for those times when they are lost on the desk…Thanks!

  7. love the stand-up zipper pouch! what brand is it, where can I find it?

  8. Thanks for all the info – I loved seeing all you favorites! Although, I have never seen that zipper pouch. It looks fantastic and I’m in need of something just like that. What brand is it? Is it still available?

  9. Thank you I alway like to see others opinions on the basics. Just happen to be spending time w/ a rookie lately. . .great advice if I successfully hook her in : )

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