Want to try that awesome craft or DIY project on Pinterest and don’t know where to start? Have you stood in the craft store staring at the variety of craft stuff wondering what you need? I’ve put together a list of tools every crafter should have in her (or his!) arsenal.
I admit, I have a studio full of craft tools. I’ll never admit to having too many, though. Each serves it’s own purpose and is handy to have around when I need it. But there are a handful of must-have tools that are always within arm’s reach and that I use on nearly every project regardless of medium. *Note: not a paid endorsement of any product, just things I’ve found I prefer over the years.*
Sharp Cutting Tools. Now this might not sound exciting in the vast array of flashy, techy hyped-up craft products on the market, but without really good cutting tools an otherwise great project can look sloppy and unfinished. I can look over at my desk and see at least a dozen pairs of scissors. I reach for my Tonic scissors most often, and there are several other good scissor companies as well. A great paper trimmer is also helpful to have. I prefer a 12″ guillotine-style trimmer, but have a separate smaller trimmer for travel. This is really a personal preference. As long as the blades are sharp, either will work well.
I recommend having at least one pair each of micro-tip (for detail cutting), 3 inch blade precision tip (for regular cutting), and heavy-duty (for tougher cuts), and at least one trimmer to handle most everyday crafting.
Good Glue. Again, not glamorous, but this is a list of essential craft tools. If your project is meant to last, invest in good glue. Spending hours on a special project is wasted time if the embellishments are falling off in a few weeks. I reach for my Zip Dry and Fabri-tac from Beacon Adhesives and my Liquid Scrap Dots from Helmar most often, but have 6–10 different types of glue in the studio at any given time as well.
I recommend having at least one all purpose, one quick-drying, one dimensional, and one fabric glue to cover most uses. It’s important to have the right adhesive for the right materials, though, so wood glue, decoupage medium, dry adhesive, shaped adhesives, and other specialty glues are available if necessary.
Jewelry Tool Set. Yes, even if you’re not making jewelry these tools are handy to have around your craft space. A pair of round-nose pliers and small wire-cutters come in very handy for mixed media and general crafting. The pliers are great for holding and manipulating small pieces, and using the wire cutters will keep your scissors from getting grooves. (Groovy is not a good thing when it comes to scissors!)I recommend an inexpensive set of tools from the craft store, since these tools are used less often. Unless you are primarily making jewelry, in which case I recommend the highest quality you can afford. (They’ll last longer and are often more comfortable.)
Quality brushes. Having nice quality brushes will save a lot of frustration and repainting. I am not a painter, but I use quite a bit of paint in my crafty projects. Brushes with stray bristles poking out in every direction do not make for a happy crafter. I will use some cheap sponge brushes for base coating though. The smaller brushes are also great for applying glitter and pigment powder, or removing bits of extra embossing powder.I recommend having a tiny brush (like a spotter) for details, 1/4–3/8″ flat and/or angled brushes, and a 3÷4−1″ flat and/or angled brushes. I like having a fan brush for light dry brushing as well. You don’t need to break the bank, but a moderate splurge in this area is worth it.
I struggled trying to decide what the last tool on this list was going to be. I have 2 tools I use all the time, on every type of craft. I ended up taping a picture of each on the wall and throwing a pair of scissors at them to see which to choose. (Ok not really. I could have bent my scissors.)
Glue Eraser. I chose this little gizmo because it’s inexpensive and can save a project from disaster. Despite it’s humble appearance, this square is fantastic at removing adhesive that has seeped or strung, or has been placed in the wrong spot by a stray thumb. They are made by several companies, but they are all pretty much the same.
I recommend having one. Or two, if you’re likely to misplace the first one and are prone to adhesive mishaps.
So there you have it. My list of essential beginning craft tools that are useful for general crafters. I hope this helps you jump in to the craft/DIY world!
For those who are already crafting, is this your list as well?
Until next time…