In preparation for my TweetChat with Bing on Wednesday, October 12th (3PM ET), they asked me what my 5 “must-have” tools would be. I decided to take this request very literally- tools only- but even still, it’s hard to narrow it to only five. After all, folks who do paper crafting need different tools than, say, folks who upcycle furniture! However, here are 5 tools that every crafter should have… plus few extras. : )
- HOT GLUE GUN. No matter what kind of crafts you do, you need a hot glue gun. My favorite is the AdTech hybrid cordless– you can use it with the cord or with rechargable batteries for on-the-go crafting! Plus, it’s the only glue gun and sticks that are “string-free.” No glue-y spiderwebs!
- NON-STICK SCISSORS. Great for cutting adhesive velcro, duct tape, cutting apart rubber stamps- you need some nice teflon-coated scissors. I really like the Westcott brand 5″ non-stick. Keep them handy- you’ll use them a lot!
- WIRE CUTTERS. Please don’t ruin your nice scissors cutting wire! Keep a good pair of wire snips handy for floral wires, chenille stems, small dowels, and wire jewelry making. I’ve heard great things about Knipex cutters, but any set that offer a beveled cut will work.
- CRAFT BLADE AND CUTTING MAT. Trust me, you need a nice, sharp blade- I like the Elmers’ Designer X-Acto blade (it has a nice, contoured handle) for cutting stencils, paper, cardboard and foamcore. And to protect your work table & keep your blad nice, you’ll want the Martha Stewart Craft Mat (it has great grid lines on one side, and you can use both sides for cutting. Double-duty.)
- BONE FOLDER. Traditionally, it’s used for paper folding, but you can also use it to hold items in place while gluing, making score lines, burnishing, even scraping. A simple one will do, but the Martha Stewart one is quite nice.
So…that’s the top five. But I really couldn’t stop there…. so here are 5 more that I use almost every time I craft!
6. HEAT TOOL. Essential for curing liquid polymer clay, stripping paint, and melting embossing powders and wax.
7. NON-STICK WORK SURFACE I like either the craft mat that you get with the Hot Glue Gun Helpers (and it’s heat-resistant, too) or the craft mat from Tattered Angels. Keeps your work surface safe and clean up of glue, mists, and paints a breeze.
8. MINI WATER MISTER. I use it for keeping acrylic paints moist while painting, arty journaling techniques, and making my own colored misting sprays. I buy them by the 1/2 dozen, and even keep one in my Travel Craft Kit.
9. CRAFT IRON. Better than a full-size iron,Â you can use it to apply transfers, encaustic wax techniques, ironing out wrinkly ribbons! And I use it to fuse hot-fix fibers, apply fusible webbing and interfacing, and for releasing color from fabrics. (I found a great-and inexpensive one at ConsumerCrafts.com).
10. MANUAL DIE-CUTTING EMBOSSING MACHINE. Ok, this is a BIG craft tool- but for the money- here for under $60– you get a machine that has a small footprint and can both cut and emboss. Great for paper crafting, but you can also cut fabric, plastic, metals and more. I have a Cuttlebug, and it accepts almost all of the dies and folders on the market. It really changed the way I craft!
I also love my rotary cutter, rulers and mat, fabric scissors, Cricut E2, Martha Stewart Paper Trimmer, Martha Stewart ScoreBoard, pistol-grip Dremel,Â pasta machine for polymer clay, crimping pliers, round nose pliers…whew! I could go on for days!
Feel free to share what YOUR favorite crafting TOOL is and why. (We’ll keep consumable items- like glues, paints, etc, for another day!) Who knows….maybe you’ll inspire me to try some new tools!
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