Saturday, July 28, 2007

Essential Tools for Scrapbooking – Number 2

Scalpel and Steel Rule

Continuing the “Essential Tools” series of blog posts here I want to extol the virtues of my scalpel and steel rule.

Mundane you may think… but at the end of the day, they are very simple, but effective tools of the trade.

I have always used a scalpel myself, but you could lump any suitably sharp craft knife into this category. I just prefer my scalpel because I tend to hold it as if holding a pen, especially for precision cutting around letters, etc, whereas the more bulky craft knives have to be held differently.

Now I know most of you out there have paper trimmers and guillotines and indeed, so do I, but you can’t beat the precision of an extremely sharp blade running down the side of a steel rule to give a really crisp cut.

Now, we shouldn’t forget the cutting surface of course! I have found an A3 sized cutting mat the most useful. A4 is just too small and A2 is too big for most tables/desks.

Useful TIP… the “self healing” cutting mats are great for almost everything, but if you want to cut an intricate design, for instance a title, then use a glass cutting mat.

No… don’t go and buy something special, I use the back of a glass chopping board! I found it absolutely useless (not to mention very noisy) as a chopping board, but it’s fantastic for cutting round corners, etc!

The blade of your knife doesn’t sink in to the glass mat as it does with a self healing mat (ideal for steadying the blade for straight lines) and it’s this that allows you to swivel the paper easily as you cut. It does blunt the blade more quickly, but it’s worth it when you achieve a lovely title with nice crisp edges!

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