Sunday, June 10, 2012

My Scrapbooking Top Three

Hi, everyone! This week I'll be re-posting some of my early blog entries related to my commonly used products and altering an ATG. I get many questions about these items, so I thought I'd repost this for you. This blog post was originally posted on May, 13, 2009.

Hi, everyone! Welcome Back to Life on the Scrap{beach}!

Often in my videos and blog posts, I will refer to a particular item as being in my "Scrapbooking Top Three" and I wanted to do a post about those three items. These are also the three items about which I receive the most questions. So, I'm going to go over which three items are in my Scrapbooking Top Three, tell you a little bit about them, and go over why I feel they are so important in my scrapping.

1. Epson Photo Stylus R1900: (wide format printer; since originally writing this post Epson has replaced the R1900 with the R2000) I love this printer. This is an extremely high-quality color printer. The pictures I get from this printer are so much better than anything I ever had developed before from local print labs. It has crisp, brilliant colors, sharp edges, great skin tones -- it really made me a believer in the quality of home photo printers.

In addition to producing gorgeous photos, this printer has revolutionized my scrapping. Because of this printer I now understand Adobe Photoshop Elements. I know how to resize, change colors, and apply effects to my photographs. I also use odd shaped photos in my scrapbooks. I love making collages. And I can print out my digital scrapbook pages since the printer candle handle up to 13" across and several feet in length if you're using a roll of paper (which I do).

I just love this printer. I produces beautiful photos, I always have something to scrap, and I am more creative in my scrapping because of the unlimited options for picture sizes. And, yes, I did pay over $500.00 for it -- that price is not a mistake. It was worth every single penny.

2. 3M ATG 700: (tape runner) If you've been watching my videos or reading my blog for any length of time, you're sure to have heard me mention this gun. "ATG" stands for "adhesive transfer gun" and the gun is, very simply, a large tape runner. The ATG has been trusted by professional framers and photographers for years and it has begun to filter into the scrapbooking industry.

Despite costing $40.00, the ATG holds a place in my Scrapbooking Top Three for being THE BEST tape runner in terms of quality AND value. The adhesive comes off the roll easily and smoothly, is super strong and very economical. These refills are the cheapest on the market, so the gun will pay for itself in adhesive savings. It will also never get lost on your desk under a pile of supplies.

Coming up this week, I'll be writing in greater detail about the 3M ATG 700, and posting a tutorial on altering the ATG.

3. Rotatrim Professional M15: (paper trimmer) I've heard a paper trimmer that actually cuts straight every time referred to as the Holy Grail of scrapbooking. We all search high and low for a trimmer that cuts straight every time. Well, for me the search is over -- the Rotatrim M15 is it for me.

Like the 3M ATG 700, the Rotatrim has been in use for many years by professional photographers, graphic designers and other artists and design professionals. This baby is huge and it's solid and I love it. I stumbled across it when I ran into a problem caused by my Epson R1900. Since the paper I use in the Epson R1900 is 13" across, I had to cut all my photos out with a ruler and an X-Acto knife -- very time consuming. So I was in search of a trimmer wider than 12".

This trimmer is solid. It cuts straight every time. It comes in a variety of sizes (the "15" in "M15" stands for "15 inches" or the length of my trimmer). You can cut chipboard and acrylic and the tiniest slivers off of cardstock and patterned paper. It is everything a trimmer should be.

I don't think it is a coincidence that all three of the items in my Scrapbooking Top Ten are not inexpensive and that I had to save for them. I also don't think it is a coincidence that none of them were developed by scrapbook manufacturers. These are high quality, long lasting products that have been proven to perform consistently in other industries. And, yes, I did pay a premium for that kind of quality, but these items will last forever and have already saved me quite a bit of time, money and energy in my scrapping.

Life's a beach. Scrapbook it.


  1. Thanks for sharing, would love to get the trimmer one day.
    Hugz, Z

  2. Thanks Kathryn, would love the trimmer, need to save up for it.
    like you i adore my pink ATG

    1. They're manufactured in the UK (Rototrim is a UK company) so hopefully the price will be a little better for you over there!

  3. Thanks for posting this...I am saving for the Rototrim as well. I love to cut my own chipboard and believe this will serve me well.

  4. I have a ATG, but really want to add the Rototrim M15!! Thanks for the useful advise.

  5. I just got ZUTTER CUTTER and really like it. Tuesday Morning had them for much less.

    1. I am glad you are happy with your purchase! I have not used the Zutter Kutter myself, but I haven't liked the reviews I've read about it. The biggest issue I see reviewers complain about is that it doesn't replace a normal trimmer for cutting just one sheet of paper - something Zutter confirms in their instructions for the machine. It's for book board and stacks of paper primarily. I want a trimmer that will cut both one sheet of paper accurately and one sheet of chipboard. Have you used it to trim paper & how clean and accurate was the cut?

  6. The printer sounds awesome, but like you I must save my pennies for this tool. I do have the atg 700, and the pink atg. I use them both based on the width of the adhesive I need. I love them both and wouldn't give up either of them. The cutter is a dream. I must struggle along with my guillotine cutter. It was not an expensive one, but it does a really good job. I am not dissatisfied with it. Thank you so much for sharing your favs with us!!!