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Keisha's Crafting Essentials Gift Guide - 2021

Hello Lovelies! I hope you had a Turkey Day filled with food, family and friends....not necessarily in that order. I have been procrastinating about doing this forever, but as you work through you Holiday Shopping lists, I wanted to share a list of my Crafting Essentials with you.

Crafting Essentials are tools that I use frequently in my craft room. I've organized them by category and provided affiliate links for shopping at Simon Says Stamp. Hope this will help a bit as your think through gifts for your crafty friends or a little something for yourself!


  1. Stamping Inks

  2. Stamping Tools

  3. Cutting Tools

  4. Other Craftroom Tools

  5. Paper

  6. Adhesives

  7. Embellishments

  8. Markers

  9. Watercolor

I love trying all kinds of crafting items and should be horribly embarassed about my obnoxious collection, but I'll set that aside momentarily and just want to focus on the kinds of tools and mediums that I keep coming back to and are foundational to my bold and bright crafting style.

I've provided a shopping list with links at the end, which you can also skip directly to here, but some products have multiple options that you will need to select from based on your own preferences and those are ONLY linked throughout the post.

Please note that the price points are all over the place and that I've likely collected these items at my own pace, so don't feel compelled, just hopefully inspired.



  • Mini Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Ink Pads - These transparent inks are an absolute craft room staple for me! I love both full-size and mini Distress Ink Pads, but find my minis very convenient to keep the whole collection on my desktop and chose colors for my projects.

  • Also the size makes them perfect for more intricate direct inking techniques, a great size for traveling about with as well as a lower price point than the full size pads.

  • Tim Holtz Ranger Distress Oxide Pads - These pigment inks are uber easy to blend, water-reactive and opaque. They are ridiculously versatile and \ come in full sized pads which can be purchased individually or in bundles like the one pictured below. I chose to feature this bundle below as such a great range of colors if you are just starting out with Oxides. :-)

  • Simon Says Stamp Pawsitively Saturated Inks - these just joined my craft room in September and I adore the beautiful ink gradient trios especially for layered stamping and blending.

    • Click linked titles below to see my posts on the two recent releases of these dye ink pads.



  • Simon Says Stamp Blending Brushes: Large and Small Set - Blending is my JAM, and these are an ink-blender's friend! They are available in large OR small sets or a full set with both, pictured below. The larger is great for covering a full card front quickly and the smaller ones are great for details!

  • MISTI Precision Stamper Tool - I don't know how I stamped without this. I have both the MINI and REGULAR sizes. I use the Mini for most of my stamping as many of my projects are A2 sized, but the Regular is most versatile as you can do larger and smaller projects.


Regular MISTI



  • Tim Holtz Tonic Studios Mini Snips Scissors - There is a lot of chopping of little things that happens in my craft space. These are mini, but mighty for chomping through everything from cardstock, acetate, cardboard, ribbon, twine... I could keep going but I won't! :-)

  • Mini Guillotines - I can't craft without these. The mini size is perfect, portable and space saving in a craft-room that is packed to the rafters! :-) I've provided two options that I'm super fond of.

Tim Holtz Tonic Guillotine Comfort Paper Trimmer

We R Memory Keepers Mini Guillotine Cutter Tool


  • Tim Holtz Sizzix Sidekick Starter Kit - Most of my die-cuts will fit through this small machine and so I keep a Sidekick on the crafting table for much of my card-making! this particular bundle comes with all you need to get started.

  • Sizzix BIG SHOT FOLDAWAY Die Cutting Machine - As you may be able to tell, I am big on saving space, so it extremely awesome to be able to fold-up (see 2nd pic below) for storage this full-sized machine that somehow has a 6-inch wide platform for your bigger die-cutting projects!

Ready for Crafting

Folded for Storage

  • Gemini Junior Die-Cutting and Embossing Machine - Tired of cranking? My Gemini saves me when I have a lot of die-cutting to do as the cutting sandwich (plates, dies and cardstock etc) are fed electronically through the machine at the touch of a button!



  • Tim Holtz Tonic Glass Media Mat - You can count on this surface for your craft room projects. I put my inks, paints, gels and pastes on this smooth surface and they wipe away cleanly, keeping me ready for my next crafting adventure!

  • Simon Says Stamp Blending Brush and Tool Storage - Cute, compact and versatile. You can place so many of your pointy craft room tools from blending brushes to paint brushes, spatulas etc into this sturdy little caddy at keep them at hand but out of the way on your crafting surface.

  • Distress Sprayer - I use this for misting and splattering my projects with water for a variety of purposes...sometimes to create splotches, sometimes to move ink and other media across the surface, at other time's I am merely re-wetting my dry watercolor paints. Let's just say that I keep this bottle very busy!

  • Mini Scoreboards - I am sharing two options which are great size for cardmakers. I have a bit of a thing for mini tools as they are easy to handle, portable and compact... which allows me to keep more options within reach of my desk space.

EK Success Mini Scoring Board

We R Memory Keepers Mini Score Board



  • Simon Says Stamp 100lb Cardstock - This sturdy weight is my choice for card layers and produces beautiful, substantial diecuts. A variety pack with a gorgeous array of colors is available, but colors can be also purchased individually. I've linked the Assorted Card Layers Set sized at 4.25" x 5.50", which you can try and see if you like this paper rainbow

  • Simon Says Stamp Cardstock Assortment Glitter - Need a little shimmer? I keep a pack of these 6 x 6 squares handy for diecutting. Also, if you get the silver or white colors only, you can create custom colors with your alcohol ink markers.

Simon Says Stamp Cardstock Silver Glitter

Simon Says Stamp Cardstock WHITE Glitter

  • Simon Says Stamp Cardstock Matte Metallic Cardstock - Let's keep the shine going with the sophicated shimmer of this 90lb Matte Gold or Matte Silver Cardstock which looks amazing diecut or embossed and works further magic when you put alcohol ink on it!!!

Simon Says Stamp Cardstock Matte Gold Cardstock

Simon Says Stamp Cardstock Matte Silver Cardstock

  • Simon Says Stamp Custom Copic Friendly White Cardstock - This assortment comes with three options to satisfy many of your card-making needs:

- 4 sheets copic white blending paper

- 4 sheets neenah solar white 80#

- 4 sheets Simon 120#

  • I use both the 80lb and 120lb versions of this paper for coloring with alcohol ink markers as well as die-cutting, stamping or ink-blending.

  • Tim Holtz Ranger White Heavystock - This paper works beautifully for water-based and mixed media techniques that involve layers of ink, sprays, paints, pastes and more!


  • Bearly Art The Mini Precision Craft Glue - This kit includes a variety of tips for precision application. I use the ultra fine tip to mainly adhere my delicate diecuts and jewels.



  • Flat-backed Pearls - I don't think I ever met a jewel that I did not like. I have a major crush on two brands, Pinkfresh Studio and Studio Katia, of flat-backed pearl jewels that frequently adorn my cards. They come in an array of colors some with metallic or pearlescent sheens and add that finishing touch to a card:




  • Copic Alcohol Ink Sketch Markers - These are definitely an investment. I collected mine over 3 years, but these durable, refillable markers come in a ginormous color palette of 358 colors in their Sketch version which have brush and chisel nibs.

  • Copic Alcohol Ink Ciao Markers - I would recommend considering their Ciao line as well, which comes in a more focused array of colors, at a lower price point and are great for crafters like us!


  • Zig Clean Color Real Brush Markers - If you are looking for an easy way to do both detailed and expressive watercoloring without using paint, these markers have amazing fine brush tips and ink that blends like butter even for a beginner!

  • They are available in a variety of set sizes and color palettes so you can chose the one that is perfect for you.



  • Mijello Mission Gold Water Color Palette 36 Colors - there are so many options with watercolors and frankly, in addition to my Zig Markers, I also use my dye inks (like Tim Holtz Distress Ink and Simon Says Stamp Pawsitively Saturated) for watercoloring as well, but for traditional watercolors, my go-to palette is my Mijello Mission Gold!

  • I've linked one of my posts where you can see some of that watercolor magic in action!

Here's a real-life view of the palette :-)


I hope this was helpful. It was really fun to reflect to reflect on my staples for card making. I am curious to see how this list changes over time as my crafting evolves and would love to hear in the comments what you would recommend adding to this list.

See you soon!



I listed the products that I have used below. Please note that these are compensated affiliate links used at no cost to you. I really appreciate your support. All stamps used today were part of my maker package from Simon Says Stamp. Click on the icons below each product picture to shop with


Gabrielle McCann
Gabrielle McCann
Nov 27, 2021

What a great list - thanks Keisha! I'll be saving it to come back to!

Keisha Diann
Keisha Diann
Nov 27, 2021
Replying to

Thank you for taking a moment to peek at it Gabrielle!


Great list Keisha and I can say while reading your list that I also use a lot of the same or similar supplies frequently. Some are on my wishlist like the TH Guillotine and some I will never buy or put on my wishlist like the Copic's and the Mijello. Speaking of the Mijello, I love the real-life view of the palette. I asked Santa this year for the Distress Archivel Mini ink pads, these are the ones I miss right now and know for sure I will use them a lot. Thank you so much for sharing your list, stay safe and have a wonderful weekend.

Keisha Diann
Keisha Diann
Nov 27, 2021
Replying to

Hi Henriette! I’m glad you found some of your own favorites here!

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