Way back when, I attended the University of Cincinnati to become an architect. After the first year I realized architecture was a little too static for me and ended up getting my degree in interior design. In the 90’s we were taught to drafting to show our work. AutoCad was a brand new technology and not readily taught or available. I spent many years perfecting my drafting skills and attribute my design background to the “linear and graphic” style I use in my scrapbooking today. The drafting tools I used in school are still in my toolbox and are used frequently in my crafting projects. Here are few you may not be aware of. Most of these inexpensive tools can be found at your local office supply store or online.
24″ Stainless Steel Ruler
I use this tool every time I craft to trim pages and excess paper with my craft knife. I own a 12″ and 24″ version. The 24″ size is ideal because it can stretch across a double page spread.
By far the most used and valuable tool I own. My college mat was past its prime so I bought a 24″ x 36″ mat from my local craft store at a steal with a coupon. I highly recommend a mat this size because it not only protects your entire desk but you can also lay out a 12 ” x 24″ double page spread and still have room on the edge to cut. I use the grid printed on top to line up borders and make sure things are straight.
These handy little dots are perfect for holding your pages in one spot as you work on your layout. They are low tack and completely removable from your paper. Go slow the first time though to get a feel for it.
My handy T-square helps me line up page elements parallel and at 90 degree angles.
Triangles are great for obtaining 45, 30, and 60 degree angles. “Inking Triangles” have a raised edge so that when used with a pen, the ink does not bleed underneath the edge.
One of my most favorite and inexpensive tools. I do all of my journaling with a pencil first, then go over it with a pigment pen. The small nib is perfect erasing my pencil marks and the white polymer won’t ruin my paper.
Tip: buy these for school. They really help my kids.
I use my erasing shield over the area I want to erase to help minimize the “rub”. Works great for targeting only the areas you want to erase.
This gadget is supposed to be for sharpening lead points in art pencils and compass points. I find it to be a handy and inexpensive distressing tool.
Tip: Great for removing “burs” (those little tabs) on paper die-cuts and chipboard.
In school we used this cleaning pad to keep off excess graphite on drawings and remove smudges. I use it to remove dirt from papers. Also a handy tool for taking the stick off of stickers.
I keep this brush at my side. Great for brushing away eraser dust, powders, glitters and more. All without smudging your work.
This is simply a must have for all crafters. I have had the same adhesive eraser for over ten years and it’s still good. Use this remover to pick up stay sticky stuff off of paper. This does not work well on photos.
Great tip: Goes well with a Xyron X. (I swear by the repositionable) After running your diecut material through the X, rub your finger over the tape remove the clear top. Rub the Adhesive remover over the entire wax sheet and diecut material. Now your sticker is ready. The adhesive remover will pick up any stray unnecessary adhesive and make your die cut sticker look much much better.
Ever want to staple in the middle of your 12×12 page but your regular stapler didn’t reach? Here’s the solution!
This handy paper lets you trace any design and transfer it to another. Great for adding doodles, etc.
Tip: White paper is PERFECT for tracing and transferring a design to a chalkboard. Once you transfer the design go back over it with actual chalk.
Grid Vellum Paper
Get a whole pad and share with your friends. Vellum is new cool kid and with a grid? Even better!
You can find a template in just about any shape or size you need, like a this circle template above or the oval template below. I use mine for drawing but they also come in handy when trying to decide what size circle I want to cut on my Silhouette. Templates also make great masks for inks and mists.
They even make templates that can help you with uniform had lettering and line spacing.
Stencil fonts are quite trendy these days!
Tip for buying stencils: Look for stencils that say “inking” just like the triangles from above. This type includes little bumps on the back that raise them up off the page and help your pens not to “bleed” underneath.
I am so glad I held onto these handy items from my college days. Who knew my old school tools would be so handy today?