Printable Tools

Printable paper toys are a fun and inexpensive way to craft. Printables are often available as PDFs and can be downloaded for instant gratification in minutes. To those of you who are new to printable paper crafts I thought I would have a couple of tutorials available to help educate the basics of paper crafting. If you're into scrapbooking and paper crafting I'm sure you have these items on hand. Most of these tools can be purchased at your local office supply or craft store.



Tools for making printable paper toys. Starting from the lower right going counter clockwise.

1. TOOTHPICKS I use toothpicks to put a thin layer of glue on the tabs for gluing. I will put a dollop of glue on some scratch paper and load the toothpick up with some glue. I then layer the glue on the tab as if I was buttering a piece of toast. If you use large amounts of glue especially on large shapes and tabs the glue will tend to warp the cardstock. This is why I prefer this method.

2. SCORING TOOLS Scoring tools are necessary for precisely folding a paper toy. Scoring is making a slight indentation in the cardstock so it easily folds. My favorite tool of all time is a 5" tapestry needle I found on clearance at the craft store. I have used this tool for sculpting small details on dolls and now I use it for scoring all my paper toys. I have also included a bone folder in the photo which is commonly used to score cardstock. Some other tools that can be used to score cardstock are a blunt knitting needle, dried up pen or edge of a paper clip.

3. CRAFT KNIFE A craft knife/X-acto knife is used for cutting small details that a scissors could not do. Most of my paper toys do not require one but I will occasionally use one for cutting small bits out. A craft knife should always be used with adult supervision. They are very sharp and not recommended for children.

4. SCISSORS I have two pairs of scissors for paper crafting. I use the large pair for cutting out large shapes and the small pair for small detailed cutting. The small pair of scissors is invaluable for getting around tiny shapes and corners.

5. RULER A stainless steel ruler is used to assist with scoring a printable toy. I will run my scoring tool along side a ruler to make a straight crisp fold. A plastic ruler will work in a pinch but a stainless steel ruler is best because a plastic ruler will often chip or be cut into by a craft knife.

6. SELF HEALING MAT A self healing mat is used when cutting the cardstock with a craft knife. It will protect the surface you are working on. It is not necessary, as a piece of cardboard will work as well.

7. CRAFT GLUE My favorite glue is Aleene's Tacky Glue. I use this glue for felt appliques and paper toys. Its tacky enough to hold two pieces together and dries quickly with cardstock. Two paper pieces will bond together within 30-45 seconds. I have never used anything else but have heard most white glue will work.

Not pictured here:
8. CARDSTOCK 8 1/2" x 11" heavy weight 60lb. -110lb. cardstock is what I recommend to print paper toys on. The cardstock I buy at my office supply store is labeled white index.

9. COLOR PRINTER Any color printer will work fine when printing a printable. I use a home ink jet printer for designing my paper toys. When I'm finished with the design I will put the document on a flash drive and bring them to my local printer for printing. A professional printer will bring out the vivid colors a home printer will often not. I am often asked if you need color cardstock for the paper toys. A color printer will print out the solid colors and additional color cardstock is not needed. I design all my paper toys as color documents to be printed on white cardstock.