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A dictionary of card making, scrapbooking & papercraft terms

There are so many different craft techniques, card making materials, scrapbooking products & general crafting subjects that is often difficult for crafters to keep up with the latest trends & terminology.

Use our A-Z guide for explanations of commonly-used craft terms that you may not fully understand or would like to know more about.





| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H |

 | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q |

 | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |



Acid - Acids weaken the cellulose in paper, which leads to its break down, causing discolouration & disintegration.

Archival - A non-technical term which suggests that a substance is permanent, durable and chemically stable. There is no guarantee that this is the case. It is safer to look for acid-free and lignin-free products when purchasing scrapbooking components.

Angel policies - The policy that some stamp companies apply to the use of their stamp, and images made from that stamp. Please note that if a stamp comes from an ‘Angel company’ this doesn’t always mean you can use the stamp without restriction.
If you intend to sell a card made from your stamped images, it is best to get permission from the stamp company.
Sometimes Angel policies restrict retail sale of cards or scrapbooks that have been made using their stamp image.

Aribé - These templates allow you to prick a pattern on card, stitch beads in place and create pictures or patterns.

Applique - Paper Applique is when one piece of paper/ card shape is fastened onto another, with glue or stitching.

Aperture - An aperture is an window opening, most typically found in blank cards.

Acetate - A clear 'plastic-looking' sheet that is used for various paper crafts. Some acetate sheets are heat-resistant & printable, others are not, so check before buying if you wish to use it for embossing etc.

Antiquing - To antique something is to make it appear aged, most commonly done using inks.

Acrylic Blocks - Clear blocks used for temporarily holding un-mounted stamps, whilst the image is being stamped.
Stamps can be held on using glue stick glue, then rinsed off after use.

Albums - In scrapbooking, an album is an acid-free & lignin-free book used to hold your scrapbook pages together.

Accent Beads - Accent beads are tiny beads to add depth and dimension to your work, fixed on with glue, also known as bitty beads or micro beads.

Art Stamps - Art stamps are generally those which are pictorial and whose images can be decorated to create a project without further stamps.

A4 - A paper / card size measuring approx. 29.5cm x 21cm

A5 - A paper / card size that is half A4 size, approx. 21cm x 14.75cm

A6 - A paper / card size half of A5, approx. 10.5cm x 14.75cm

Altered - This is taking a normal product such as a book, domino, CD etc, and changing it by adding paint, stamped images, and embellishments etc.



Brayer - A small hand roller used to spread ink thinly & evenly, available with different textures for patterned finishes.

Brads / Bradletz - Sometimes known as split pins, these are little shaped pins that have two legs.
The pins are pushed through paper or card & the legs separate at the back to hold the brad in place.
Can be used as a decorative feature or as a practical solution to fasten paper or card together.

Beadazzles - A brand name of embellishments that are a mixture of tiny microbeads and foil discs in various shades, attached with clear-drying glue, or tacky tape. They add depth and dimension to a project.

Buttons - Well we all know what they are, but in paper crafts they can be used as a lovely embellishment &they come in thousands of shapes and colours.

Beadlings - These are little shapes, flowers, animals, people etc that are made from knitting together tiny beads and wire to form the shapes, which can then be used as embellishments on your handmade cards or scrapbooks.

Beads - Come in hundreds of shapes sizes and colours, can be used to create beadlings (see above), jewellery or can be used as embellishments for your craft projects in their own right.

Bows - Again obvious, but look out for ready-made bows in all shapes and sizes to adorn your work.
You can use strips of ribbon to make your own bows for your handmade greeting cards & scrapbook pages.

Braid -Bought in lengths, braid comes in various colours, widths etc & can be attached to your project using craft glue or brads etc.

Bleach - Household bleach, when used carefully, can create beautiful pieces of artwork.

Background Papers - Papers that are used in the background of a papercraft project to add interest and depth.

Bone Folder - A craft tool (usually made from plastic these days) with a tapered edge along its length, used to create crisp creases for folding card and paper.

Blending - Often with inks or chalks, blending is the technique used to mix two colours together.



Coluzzle - A template cutting system created by US craft company Provocraft that is easy to learn, easy to use, and gives great results for cutting shapes & apertures.

Chalk - Craft chalks are wonderful materials to add colour and definition to stamped images, die cuts and more, easily blended with cotton wool balls, cotton buds, eye makeup applicators etc.
If you are creating a scrapbook, don't forget to use acid-free chalk.

Cotton Wool – for use with artists’ chalks, it gives a very soft subtle appearance.
Cotton buds can also be used for intricate, detailed work on your handmade cards & scrapbooks.

C/S - Card stock is simply card that you use for papercraft projects, such as handmade cards or scrapbooks.
Card comes in various thicknesses, which usually measured in grams per square metre or g.s.m.

Calligraphy - The art of writing in a beautiful, flowing script style, which is done properly using a  selection of specialist calligraphy pens and nibs.

Craft Knife - A basic tool for the craft box, your craft knife should be extremely sharp & the blades need to be changed regularly to ensure clean cuts for a professional finish to your handmade cards.

Cutting Mat - For use with a craft knife, a crafter's cutting mat will protect your surfaces from cut marks.
The self-healing properties of a good quality cutting mat allow them to last a long time, before finally falling apart.

Clay - There are many types of craft clays, which can be used for making embellishments, models etc.
There are many moulds on the market that make it very easy to create intricate embellishments in very little time. Some clays like Fimo have to be baked to harden off, others like Makins clay will air dry. Both are great to work with.

Credit Card - Although not a craft item, old ones can be used as glue spreaders and without new ones, how many of us would really be able to carry on creating our card making masterpieces?!

Crafters Block - This is the time when you find yourself just staring at your craft materials with not a single idea in your head of what to create. It happens to us all & you will get through it by seeking inspiration from magazines, craft books or the Imag-e-nation website, which will provide you with loads of inspiration & information.
Browse through our free online craft projects & card making ideas sections until you get your craft mojo back!
Crafters Block is also a collection of fantastic, themed 12 x 12 craft papers.

Card Blanks - Pre-folded cards ready to decorate and make into greeting cards, invitations etc.

Copper Wire - Comes in all sorts of colours & thicknesses (gauges) and can be bought in sheet form.
Use for threading beads, creating beadlings, or make it into shapes to embellish your craft projects.

Corner Punch- Punches that will shape the corners of your handmade cards or scrapbook pages.
Some of them can be quite ornate, others are simply notched to hold photographs etc.

Card Making - The art of making cards (of course!) which is a highly-skilled & extremely rewarding hobby.
A hand made greeting card can mean so much to its recipient & many people also make a handsome profit from selling their hand made card creations to friends, family & local greeting card stockists

Charms - In paper crafting terms, charms are usually metal or metal-effect and come in thousands of designs.
They are usually attached to your craft projects with wire, thread, eyelets or brads.

Collage - A style which is often 'busy' with lots of mix and match images or materials within one project.

Colour Wheel - A colour wheel is the spectrum bent into a circle and is a useful tool for organizing colours.
The Colour Wheel describes the relationships between colours & it is laid out so that any two primary colours (red, yellow, blue) are separated by the secondary colours (orange, violet, and green).
It is useful for showing complimentary & contrasting colours and can be used for designing colour schemes.

Crop - A crop is a group of people who get together to create memory albums, and have a good gossip with like-minded people. Crops are also a great way to get tuition in various aspects of scrapbooking.

Chocolate - this is an essential piece of any crafters kit, often used to sustain the crafter through long crafting sessions & the posh chocolates sometimes come in nice wrappers that can also be used in your craft box.

C5 -In relation to envelopes, a C5 envelope will fit an A5 greeting card.

C6 -In relation to envelopes, a C6 envelope will fit an A6 greeting card.

Cello bags - These are the clear bags that are used to present your hand made greetings cards for sale, or just to keep them clean until you are ready to use them. Cello bags are also called poly bags.



Dauber - A round miniature stamp pad which can be dabbed onto a stamp to apply ink.

Dauber Duo - A dauber applicator with a different colour or shade on each end.

De-acidification - The term for a chemical treatment that neutralises the acidity of paper and lays down an alkaline buffer to counteract further acid attack. This is especially important for products used in scrapbooking to ensure longevity.

De-acidification spray - A spray that neutralises acid in newspaper clippings, certificates and other documents.

Decorative & tole painting - Creative use of paint to decorate items for the home (also known as Folk Art).

Decorative ruler - A ruler with a special shaped edge used in designing scrapbook pages.

Decorative scissors - Scissors with a decorative pattern on the blade which cuts paper to leave a patterned edge.

Découpage - Dating back to the Victorian era, this is the craft of cutting out motifs from paper and gluing them to a surface to create a three dimensional, layered effect. Often finished with layers of varnish to give a smooth finish.

Degradation -The breaking down, or changing of appearance, of materials from their original state. The term is typically used in crafts to refer to paper or photographs yellowing and becoming brittle.

Diamond Glaze - Diamond Glaze is a dimensional adhesive that dries to a clear, glass-like finish. Unlike other clear adhesives, Diamond Glaze is mixable with dye-based inks, watercolours and pearlescent pigments.

Die-cut machines - Tools that punch or cut out shapes by means of a metal form (not dissimilar to a cookie cutter’s technique).

Die-cuts - Shapes and lettering usually cut from paper using die-cutting machines.

Digital scrapbooking - The term used for creating virtual scrapbook ‘pages’ using digital photos and computer software such as Photoshop and Memory Mixer.

Distressing - The process of intentionally creating scratches, dents and ‘wear and tear’ to mimic the characteristics of aged paper, wood etc. Common tools include sandpaper and inks.

Distress Ink - Distress Inks are acid-free, non-toxic, fade-resistant, water-based dye inks. They’re perfect for the vintage, stained and aged effects that crafters apply to their altered projects.

Double-mount - To place a photograph on two background papers.

Dry brushing - Applying chalk or paint to a brush or sponge, and removing most of it by wiping it on a piece of paper or rag before use. This helps prevent the colour bleeding under the edges of a stencil, and chalk from looking too dark.

Dry embossing/Debossing - Making a raised image by pushing paper, card or vellum up through a stencil using a stylus. (Also called blind embossing or relief embossing.)

Dye - A dye is a natural or synthetic substance used to colour something. Dyes are usually used in an aqueous solution, which will work on all porous surfaces. They are most often used to colour materials and fabrics.

Dye-based inks - Water-based, washable inks that are permanent once applied on papers. Dye-based inks stamp well, dry quickly and are suitable for coated papers. However, they fade with time, they dry too quickly for embossing.



Embellishment - Anything that will add to, or enhance, your project (e.g. brads, eyelets, fibres, charms).

Emboss - To create a raised design on paper, either by heating embossing powder laid on a stamped image, or by using a stylus to trace through a brass embossing stencil on dry paper.

Embossing gun/Heat gun - A professional heat tool that directs hot air to a precise area, used for heat embossing. The forced heat melts embossing powder, creating a slightly raised surface on the design.

Embossing ink - A glycerine-based ink that is used for embossing. The ink is applied to the desired area (usually by stamping), and then sprinkled with embossing powder, which binds to the ink.

Embossing pens - Pens containing embossing ink which are useful for writing titles, outlining, drawing, spot embossing and fine stencil work.

Embossing powder - Clear or coloured powder which is sprinkled (usually on a stamped image), then heated to create a raised image.

Embroidery - Decorative stitching on fabric.

Enamelled glass - Glass which is decorated with particles of translucent (usually coloured) glass or glass-like material. It fuses to the surface under heat. Multicoloured designs as well as monochrome coatings can be created.

Enamelling - The process of applying vitreous enamel to a metal surface and firing to form a smooth, glossy surface. The most commonly used enamelling metal is copper, although silver, iron, some steels and gold are used for particular purposes.

Enamel paint - There are lots of different types of enamel paint that dry to a hard, usually glossy finish.

Encaustic (wax) painting - A painting technique which combines colour pigment with hot wax and resin. This mixture of materials is applied in its semi-liquid form to a panel or other support as paint, and then fused to the surface with heat (using an iron or similar).

Ephemera - Anything of short-lived usefulness. The term mainly refers to printed matter of passing interest (like ticket stubs, cancelled stamps, vintage postcards), which can be incorporated in layouts, collages, papercrafts, and altered items.

Epoxy - A plastic coating applied to the surface of a sticker, metal accent or other, which may look like enamelling and creates a raised effect.

Etched glass - Glass decorated or otherwise marked by the use of abrasives. In industry, this is achieved by a process of sandblasting over a rubberised template. In home crafts, glass etching can be done using special etching cream and templates.

Eyelet - A small round metal ring (with a hole in the centre) which is used to decorate and fix accents onto projects. Available in many different shapes, colours and sizes. ‘Setting’ an eyelet is simply done by placing through a pre-cut hole and then hammering down the back. (Special tool kits are available for this.)

Eye pins - Straight wires with a small loop on the end. Generally used to string beads.

EZ Mount - A brand of static cling mounting foam used with un-mounted rubber-stamps to help create a better stamped image.



Fabric markers - Similar to regular markers, you can use these markers to make designs on fabric.

Fade resistant - A quality of a product that means it is more likely to remain vivid in colour and true to its original pigment.

Faux - Faux is a French word used to describe something which has been made to resemble something else. The original French word means ‘false’, ‘fake’, ‘imitation’ or ‘artificial’.

Felt - Felt is a non-woven cloth that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibres. The fibres form the structure of the fabric.

Felt-tip pen - A pen with a dense, shaped fibre point. Ink is drawn from inside the pen by a wick. Felt-tip pens were first used in commercial and graphic arts, but became popular for general writing during the 1970s. They are less popular now, perhaps because the points wear rapidly and the ink is prone to evaporate.

Fibre - A fancy thread used to decorate scrapbook pages and cards.

Filigree - Lace-like ornamental work of fine gold or silver wire.

Fimo - Fimo is a soft modelling material which stays soft and pliable until baked to permanent hardness in a home oven.

Fine & chisel pens - Pens used for lettering. A fine-tip pen measures 0.5mm at the tip and a chisel measures 6.0mm.

Fixative - A fixative makes something permanent. It is sprayed over work to prevent smearing and to help charcoal, graphite, pastels etc adhere to the paper.

Flowers - Flowers made from paper, vellum or fabric are popular embellishments for craft projects.

Foam stamps - Like rubberstamps, but made of foam material. Usually cheaper than rubberstamps, but not as detailed. Available in an assortment of designs, shapes, fonts, etc. Use with acrylic paint or ink.

Focal point - The element of a design, layout or image to which the eye is naturally drawn.

Foils - Metallic coloured foils that can be applied to cards using glue. The result is a shiny raised finish.

Font - The style of a typeface; thousands of different fonts are available in word processing programs, on CDs, and for download on the internet. The creative use of fonts for journaling and titles can enliven and enhance scrapbook pages.

Forum - An online community where you can share ideas and chat. There are loads of craft-related forums you can visit to brush up on your craft knowledge, share your creations, and meet like-minded crafters.

Fringe - A decorative edge or hem.

Fun Flock - Fun Flock is used to add fuzzy spots to your work (ideal for furry animals or fuzzy trees).
Simply glue on, or mix with embossing powder and emboss.



Gel Pens - Pens that are filled with a gel ink, often metallic or lustrous, some are scented ( but this fades quickly) can create beautiful effects, and relatively inexpensive. Acid FREE Gel pens can be bough for use in Memory albums.

Glitter - Glitter has come a long way from the good old days, although you can still have large flake clumpy glitter, you can now purchase ultra fine glitter in both opaque and transparent colours. The glitter if used with a clear dry glue can create beautiful and vibrant projects. Although relatively expensive compared to the original glitter, there is no comparison in quality, and will go a long way, as it is so fine.

Glue - These are now hundreds of glues on the market, wet glues such as glue stick, UHU, PVA, etc and also dry glues such as Xyron, Herma, Studio Tac, you can get glues on runners, and glue dots of all shapes and sizes. If creating memory albums you need acid-free adhesives, but other wise have a play around with different types and see which ones you prefer to work with.

Glass paint - A specially formulated paint that is used to simulate stained glass for craft projects.

Glossy card - Card that has been coated to give an extra shine, holographic finish, or other highly polished look. If stamping onto this card you will need an ink such as Brilliance or StazOn.

Glaze - This is a finish given to a project to create a shiny look or to seal a project. Some glazes such a diamond glaze will also act as an adhesive.

Gingham - This is a particular pattern on fabric, card, paper and ribbon etc, a 'country' look that is a pattern made up of tiny squares of white and another colour. Looks great on children's and baby cards.

Gilding - The addition of a metallic finish to give a project a metallic look, gild can be pure metal or faux metal.

Gold leaf - Sheets of very fine pure gold that is stuck on a project to give a luxurious finish.

Gems - Can be real or imitation, and can be used to create jewellery or adorn hand made projects.

Glue Dots - As you'd expect, dots of glue! Glue dots come in various sizes from tiny to large pop up dots for 3D work.



Heat Tool - A craft tool that blows out heat in a controlled manner, built specifically for crafting purposes.
For heat embossing, this is the only tool for the job, although you can sometimes use a very high-power hair dryer.

Hole Punch - A punch either used on it's own (if it's mechanical) or with a craft hammer to create holes in your project. You can get hole punches with various sized holes and also with differing shapes.

Heat Embossing - The creation of raised shiny (often metallic) surfaces on your project using embossing powder and a heat tool.

Hammer - A craft hammer is used with other tool to set eyelets.

Handmade Paper - This name encompasses all papers that have that rough handmade look, such as mulberry paper and paper with various inclusions such as flowers etc.

Holographic paper - This is paper that has been coated to give the appearance of depth and 3D, comes in various patterns and colours and in card and paper.



Ink pads - Ink pads for craft come in various types, dye based are quick drying, pigment pads are slow drying and are suitable for use with embossing powder. Solvent ink such as stazon will stay put on shiny surfaces as will Brillaince Ink pads. Chalk ink pads are used like normal ink pads but give lovely soft muted effects. There are hundreds of inks on the market and again as you go on, you will fins one to suit you.

Insert - This relates to the paper insert inside a greetings card, can make a well made card look very professional and an average card look more professional.

Iris Folding - A name that is derived from the iris of a camera lens, this craft is all about folding paper in a pattern within an aperture card. looks very effective and much more difficult than it really is.

Inciré - Another cut and fold craft using specially formulated templates and two toned paper.



Jewels - Can be precious, semi precious or faux. Used in numerous ways such as jewellery making and other embellishments. Attached using wire, or adhesives.

Jelly Roll pens - These are a trade name for a particular brand of gel pens.

Jute - A Hessian-like material in different colours that can be used in paper crafting.

Judikins - A company name that bring s lot's of our favourite products such as Diamond glaze, stamp cleaners, rubber stamps and more!



Keepsake - Is just that i.e. something you keep, lot's of projects are made as keepsakes, and as such need to made with acid/lignin-free materials.

K & Company - Another manufacturer who brings us some stunning scrapbooking materials.



Lacé - (pronounced lass-say) A Dutch cutting and folding technique that produces unusual but stunning paper designs.

Lace - Fabric lace can be incorporated into your designs for an elegant look, there also lots of makes of paper lace, and faux lace available to add interest to your projects.

Light box - a small box or platform with a work surface, illuminated from below – useful for embossing and filling in colour, particularly with glass paints.

Layout - Primarily a scrap booking term, this refers to the page design you are working on and the way it is laid out. Also abbreviated to LO.

Lacquer - Usually used to give gloss, most common lacquers are the Sakura crystal lacquers that give a glossy embossed 3D look to a project, and come in clear or coloured.

Laminate - This is encapsulating of a project in a 'plastic' cover, protecting it from deterioration, you can get hot laminators that rely on an electric laminator which melt the laminate to the project and can now get cold laminators that use an adhesive method to adhere the laminate.

Layering - This is where one layer of card or paper is placed ontop of another usually decreasing inside the more layers you have. Also called Matting.

Lignin - Lignin-free refers to paper made with less than 1% lignin, which is most accurately called low-lignin. Papers having a high-lignin content (including papers made using a mechanical pulping process) should not be used for archival applications. Lignin an organic substance that, with cellulose, forms the chief part of woody tissue - it is the bonding element which holds wood fibres together. Its presence causes paper to change colour and become brittle. Paper can be made lignin-free by its removal during the papermaking process which makes paper archival safe.

Le Plumes - Short for Marvy le plumes, these are water based colouring pens of a very high quality. Ideal for rubber stamping projects.



Mulberry Paper - Is made from the bark of the mulberry tree. Mulberry paper is a lovely delicate paper that makes nice backing paper. It can be torn to have a lovely raggedy edge.

Magic Motifs - Magic motifs are flat glue dots in various shapes and sizes, you adhere them to your project, and can then stick glitter, foil, micro beads etc to them.

Mirror card - Card that is finished with a highly polished surface that is almost mirror like. If you wish to stamp on Mirror card, you will have to use Stazon, Brilliance or other similar ink due to it's highly polished surface.

Mirri card - A very high quality reflective metallised film laminated to 270 gsm card to optimise mirror quality.

Mosaic - Usually made of small ceramic tiles of various colours put together to form a pattern of picture, this art can be replicated using squares of paper / card. You can also buy tiny mosaic tiles for use on cards and other projects.

Magazine - Sometimes the crafters best friend, and our best defence against crafters block. There is now a huge number of UK, USA and Australian mags on the market each with their own strengths. Great for instant inspiration. Personally I don't go for subscriptions, I like to check out each copy before I buy. Why not ask your local craft shop to hold your copies then send them together, most come out at around the same time, that way you can have which ones you want when you want them.

Metallic thread - Useful as an embellishment, or to fasten items such as tags to your projects.

Metal Embossing - This is where you can emboss / deboss images onto metal craft sheets. These can be done free hand or with basic templates.

Memory Books - Another word for scrapbooks.

Mask - A stamped image on a spare piece of paper that is used in conjunction with that stamp to create layered effects, masked effects.

MM - Making Memories is a top American company that sell scrapbooking and other craft items, Can sometimes be pricey.

Metal embellishments - These encompass, metal charms, eyelets, brads, charms, etc,

Microbeadz - Another trade name for tiny hole-less beads that are stuck onto a project with clear glue or tacky tape.

Möla - Another Scandinavian craft that uses templates to cut layers from different colour paper, the layers are then stuck on top of each other in an interesting pattern.

Magnetic Album - A photo album which uses a special adhesive to hold photographs in place and creates static for the plastic page cover to cling to. These are not suitable for scrapbooking.

Matting - Matting is a technique that allows you to enhance your photos by adding a border around the outside edges. The border is, most often, made from an acid-free paper that looks almost like a frame. Matting is also a non-permanent way of cropping your pictures.

Monochromatic Colour Scheme -  Different values (shades) of the same colour.

Marquetry - Decorative patterns formed when thin layers of wood (and sometimes other materials such as paper / card) are inlaid onto a surface, to create a design (Sizzix is great for this)



Nailheads - See Brads

Neatly - It goes without saying, but when doing a paper project, neat does matter, always ensure your blades are sharp and take your time, practice makes perfect. When trying a new technique, practice first on cheap copy paper till you get the hang of it, that way your first 'real' attempts will look more professional, and you will save money on wastage.



Ornare – A method of embossing and pricking (usually parchment and vellum) to produce intricate designs resembling lace.

Outline stickers – Also known as Peel Offs, they come in various forms: text or picture, gold, silver, black, white, coloured, holographic etc and are a quick and easy way of embellishing or creating a project (esp. cards).

Origami – the ancient art of folding paper into recognisable shapes – fiddly but effective.



Peel Offs - Also known as Outline stickers, they come in various forms: text or picture, gold, silver, black, white, coloured, holographic etc and are a quick and easy way of embellishing or creating a project (esp. cards).

Pencils - useful in both normal and coloured varieties for marking and filling in colour.

Pockets - Pockets or pouches can be added to projects, and can contain anything including tags, sentiments or even keepsakes.

Parchment - Originally the skin of a sheep or goat prepared as a material on which to write or paint – now thankfully the effect is imitated, and the result is a lovely soft translucent type paper, ideal for pricking and embossing (parchment craft). Sometimes Parchment are sold as the same thing!!

Paper - One of the essentials: comes in endless colours, thicknesses, finishes, patterns etc – most of us accumulate as many different types as possible. (Needs to be acid / lignin free for scrap booking)

Paper Piecing - Die cuts or punches put together to create an image for your scrapbook page.

Pricking - Pushing a needle or special pricking tool through card or paper (parchment craft) to give a special raised effect (often like lace).

Paint - comes in various guises – acrylic, 3D, metallic, glass, watercolour etc and can be used to create many different effects on many different materials.

Pegs and mini pegs - Can be used to hold items together, to attach items to your project or just as decoration.

Photos - An essential ingredient for scrapbookers, but can also be used very effectively on cards for that personal touch.

PVC (Polyvinyl Chlorides) - Because this substance is harmful to photographs, scrapbookers should avoid it and use products that are composed of polypropylene. (lot's of cheap albums found in high street shops have PVC inserts)

Pressed flowers - Can be used as backgrounds or as the main feature of a card or layout (very effective when laminated!).

Pergamano - A particular card crafting style that utilizes vellum and punches. Normally with Pergamano, you apply colour only to the back side of the vellum. This creates a light and airy effect.

PH Level - Measurement that tells a scrapbooker how acid or alkaline something is. For scrapbooking, you want to use products with a pH level of as near to 7 (neutral) as possible.

PH Testing Pen - A pen used to test the acidity of paper. The pen mark changes colours, depending on the level of acid present

Photo Safe - Acid and lignin free.

Post-Bound Albums - Scrapbooking albums that are held together with metal posts that run through the pages.

Punches - these come in many different types, including corner punches, border punches, long armed punches, paddle punches (used with a hammer and can be placed anywhere on a piece of paper). Useful effects and apertures can be made, and the punched shapes can be re-used on other (or the same) project (also as confetti).

Positioning/planning - An important part of crafting – make sure you plan the elements of your project before you start. Better to get it right before you stick something together with a permanent adhesive.

Paper trimmer - these come in many sizes, and can be rotary, straight blade or guillotine based. As well as being able to cut a straight line accurately, many trimmers now offer the flexibility of being able to cut decorative edges and also scoring and perforating!

Punchinello - otherwise known as sequin waste, this is a lovely, often colourful mesh from which sequins have been punched, great for use as an embellishment or a background, as the sequins holes can be hexagonal as well as round!

Pipe cleaners - Great as embellishments, particularly for young children to work with.

Pom Poms - For decorating children’s’ projects and paper and fibres too.

Pop-up cards - Pop-up effects can be added to any project with carefully folded and positioned card to create stunning effects.
Painting iron - An iron used in Encaustic Art to melt wax in order to paint with it.

Polymer Clay - A modelling compound made primarily of plastic materials that is finished by baking at low temperatures.



Quilling - the art of coiling long thin strips of paper onto a quilling tool (originally a quill) to create amazing 3D pictures. Often used for flowers, this technique can be used to make virtually any picture you can think of.

QuicKutz - brand name of a handheld die-cutting machine, with it’s own extensive range of wafer thin dies.



Ribbons - Ribbons, both wide and narrow can be used to decorate and embellish your craft project (see also weaving)

Rubber stamps - These come in a variety of shapes, sizes, qualities, pictures, words, backgrounds and themes, and can be mounted on foam, foam and wood (most common), straight onto an acrylic block or un-mounted (see separate thread on rubber stamping for more details).

Red-Eye Pen - Used to take red-eye out of photographs.

Ruler - You will undoubtedly need a ruler for measuring on your project (a clear plastic ruler would be ideal for this), but a sturdy metal ruler will prove essential for use with a craft knife for accurate cutting.

Roller Stamps - Stamps mounted on a wheel. Some have interchangeable pattern wheels, and others self inking.

Rub-ons - a cross between a sticker and a transfer, rub-ons are positioned and then rubbed firmly to transfer the image onto your project. They come in a variety of colours and types (both pictorial and text/words). Excellent if your handwriting is not up to calligraphy standard (whose is?)

Repositionable glue - this can be spray glue, glue dots or a glue pen, which initially has a temporary bond, enable you to position your work accurately before the bond becomes permanent. Is often useful for holding a template in position whilst cutting around it. (Repo glue dots are good for this)



Stamps - See rubber stamps

Serendipity - Use all your scraps of paper up by tearing into tiny pieces and making a collage add the torn pieces on top of double sided sheet then sprinkle your embossing powder over the design this will find the bits of dbl sided sheet the the pieces of paper have not covered, heat emboss the powder and your design will come alive, peel off the backing to add to a card or scrapbook

Stamping - A technique of using hand-made or commercial metal stamps to make impressions on damp leather, lends itself to simple primitive designs and all-over geometric patterns. The skill lies in the exact alignment of the impressions and the use of a constant striking force.

Scissors - straight-edged, decorative edged, corner edging scissors, fine nosed, non-stick - you may need all of these, but you will certainly need at least one!

Scrap lift - To use an idea for part or whole of a page layout you’ve seen someone else use.

Scoring - the process of putting creases in card & paper to facilitate neat folds, often using a bone folder or a round-ended embossing tool.

Secondary Colours - Colours created by blending primary colours. Orange, green and violet are the secondary colours created b mixing a combination of red, yellow and blue. (see colour wheel)

Shaker Box - A new trend (similar to a snow globe but without the water.) Use a die-cut and a piece cut out from a sheet protector. Seal in bits of confetti or small beads etc.

Scoring board - See card creaser

Self adhesive - Many products can be bought which already have adhesive on one side for ease of use – such as foam sheets and acetate.

Sponging - The transfer of ink to paper using a small sponge (usually a cosmetic or craft sponge) in place of a brush. The ink is applied to the sponge and then the sponge is dabbed/tapped lightly onto a piece of paper leaving a series of small dots. A sponge with many holes, squeezed tightly while sponging, will produce a beautiful lacy effect.

Serviettes - Can be used by separating the layers of the serviette and using only the printed top layer on your project.

Sewing/stitching - A great way of attaching items together, and also gives a lovely decorative effect (can be used solely for decorative purposes too).

Stylus - A wood/plastic/metal tool (in the shape of a stick) with blunt, rounded ends used to deboss paper (also known as a burnisher or a dry embossing tool).

Shrink plastic - A special plastic sheet which shrinks to approx 45% of its original size when baked in an oven or heated directly with a heat gun (embossing gun). Can be stamped onto, coloured and cut before shrinking – handy for embellishments, jewellery and even pet name tags!

Stencils/stencilling - Stencils can be used to emboss or to apply colour through. Stencils are often used with the stippling technique.

Stickers - A quick easy and effective way of decorating your project: there are many stickers which are now acid and lignin free especially for archiving.

Set square - Useful for accurate positioning and aligning of work on a page or card.

Stand-outs (or 3D embellishments) - Do just what they say. They are often self adhesive for ease of application and give a wonderful 3D effect.

Stipple/stippling - Using a short bristled brush (stippling brush) this is the art of applying small amounts of paint or ink in short strokes or dots.

Spirelli - Developed in Holland, Spirelli is the art of winding thread around shaped templates to give you a very different look to your project (the effect on a round template is similar to that from a spirograph).

Sizzix - Brand name of a personal die-cutting machine originating from the USA. There is also a wide range of dies (both original and wafer thin), and specially designed embossing folders. Effective cutting many different materials, and they have recently launched a smaller version.

Scraplifting - the term for copying ideas for layouts in scrapbooking. N.B. credit to the original idea/creator should always be noted if showing the work in public.

Sequins - Used as embellishments, or in making jewellery for that extra bit of glitz.



Tags - Tags are an increasingly popular way of decorating cards and scrapbooking alike. Use multi-layered, different sized tags and beautiful fibres and ribbons – anything goes!

Templates (Layering templates) - Graduated shaped templates are available to help with matting and layering to save measuring.
* Cardmaking templates - help to cut your cards into unusual shapes (e.g. bottle, shirt, boot, handbag etc), available to buy, or design your own!
* Cutting templates - for use with craft knives or specially designed cutting tools (e.g. Fiskars shape cutter).
Use them to create your own ‘non-die cut shapes’ and aperture cards.

Tearing/torn paper - Tearing paper to use on projects is increasingly popular. Tear towards you to expose the inside colour of the paper/card (often a white edge), or away from you to a cleaner look.

Tracing - The simple traditional way of transferring images from one place to another. Tracing paper can also be used as a ‘paper’ on your project.

Teabag folding - Another craft which has been transferred from Holland where the envelopes from fruit teas were folded and used to create cards. Allegedly, the inventor, whilst staying in a hotel, needed to quickly make a greetings card, and use a floral wrapper from the fruit tea in the hotel room. Books are available and also specially printed papers.

Talc/talcum powder - Dust a little talcum powder to remove static from surfaces of your card or paper when using embossing powder or fine glitter. You can also use a ready made 'anti static bag'

Triple embossing - Several layers of embossing powder are heated one on top of another, and then a rubber stamp is pressed into the surface to leave a ‘debossed’ image. This is sometimes referred to as ultra thick embossing or deep embossing.

Threading - Not just for jewellery, but you can thread all kids of beads and buttons to make unusual and unique embellishments.

Tweezers - Very handy when using peel offs and stickers, as well as for handling small fiddly and delicate embellishments.

Topper - A topper is a ready made ( or hand made) embellishment for a greetings card. Often already layered and matted onto card, they can be placed directly onto a card blank and used immediately, or added to as required for your own project.



Un-mounted stamps - Often cheaper and easier to store than traditional wood mounted stamps, they can be temporarily mounted onto a clear plastic block (or a tape or CD case!) using a glue stick, and this way you can see through the mount to position the stamp more accurately.

UTEE - Ultra thick embossing powder, used for deep or triple embossing.



Vellum - Special translucent paper which can be plain or patterned, and available in a huge range of colours shades and finishes, often used for embossing as it turns white when scored. Also used for tearing, printing and layering, it is easily attached to the project with eyelets, brads, stitching or stickers/peel offs as glue has a tendency to be visible through the vellum – however, special vellum tape is now available, and spray adhesives also work well. If printing on vellum with a PC printer, it's often advisable to use the draft setting as it puts less ink on the vellum and helps it to dry.



Watercolour pencils - Can be used as normal colouring pencils, and can also be blended with water and a brush to give a watercolour paint effect. You can also use a wet paintbrush directly onto the point of the pencil to transfer colour.

Weaving - Weave ribbons, fibres or strips of paper for a wonderful effect – the finished product can even be die cut or cut to size. Very effective as a background paper.

Workshop - A class usually held at a craft store either in real life or online and taught by an expert. Participants will gain knowledge in one particular craft, or several different techniques.

Wax - Used in Encaustic art to create paintings from melted wax.

Wire - Use wire for threading beads, jewellery, embellishments (wire hearts look great) and even write words with it!

Wool - See fibres



Xyron - Brand name of adhesive machines and applicators - use then to make your own stickers, or apply adhesive to awkward or intricate shapes. Also hand help to apply glue in strips or blocks.



Yarn - See fibres



Zig - A brand of water-based marker

Zig Glue - A brand of glue pens that come in several different applicator sizes.

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