Paper packs, ribbon, stickers and embellishments – who doesn’t love browsing the craft stores, eyeing up these products and conjuring up images of the wonderful things that can be made using them? It’s one of my favourite things to do (and why I have a wishlist longer than I care to admit). But what about the tools you need to make those lovely things, those cheap and cheerful tools that never get the glory but always come to your rescue? Well, today I’m going to take a look at those and give you my top six essential craft tools.
Scissors and Craft Knives
Where would we be without cutting utensils? It’s always important to have a couple of scissors and craft knives nearby. I go through scissors like there’s no tomorrow! I’m just always replacing my scissors because I often use them to cut tape and other sticky things which ruins them after a while (especially if, like me, you don’t clean your tools properly after use!). I try to have at least three scissors: one for paper, one for sticky things and one for fabrics .As for craft knives, well, if you don’t have one, go get one. Paper crafts and cutting out pictures become a lot easier when you have a craft knife to cut out those tiny pieces.
Whether you’re interested in card making, scrapbooking, snail mail art or planning, punches are a great tool to have around. One of my favourites is my cheap and cheerful corner round punch that I got on eBay – there are a lot of situations where I find a rounded corner just looks a whole lot better! Another essential punch I have is my simple single hole punch which I use all the time for my planners. Punches come in a range of shapes, sizes and cost and it’s worth building up a collection of them for use in your paper crafts.
I love double-side tape. Always have double-side tape on hand for your crafts, trust me! It’s quick to use, neater than glue and you don’t have to hang around waiting for it to dry. You can place the tape down and take your time with the project, rather than rushing to stick something down like you would with some adhesives. Having a few rolls of different widths of tape to fit different sized projects is a good idea too. You can just cut the wider tape but it’s a lot easier to just have a narrower width one as well.
Not that I don’t love glue. Of course you also want to have plenty of glue around! And a range is always good. Glue sticks are handy for grabbing and quickly sticking pages down. Some glue sticks are better than others and I recommend Pritt Stick, it’s the best I’ve found. Liquid glues have a place too. Mod Podge is my favourite to use because it’s a good glue and works great on a lot of different materials. It’s also a fantastic sealer when you finish a project.
Those packets of cheap brushes and foam brushes you can get in craft stores are great. I am dreadful at cleaning brushes when I’m finished with them and even when I think I’ve cleaned them, it usually turns out I haven’t properly and I find this out the next day when I pick up the brush to use only to discover that it’s rock solid. So, don’t destroy good brushes with your glue – buy cheap so you don’t feel bad when you have to throw them in the bin after only a few uses!
There are a lot of adhesives in my essential tool list but I guess that just shows how important they are! My final essential is foam adhesives which are incredibly useful for card making and scrapbooking. Got a project that’s looking a bit flat? Well, a few foam dots can fix that for you. Again, they come in a range of sizes and thickness and it’s good to have a selection on hand to fit a project.
So, there are six of my craft tool essentials – cheap, everyday crafting items that are hard to complete a project without. What craft tools could you not live without?