Whether you’re beginning to build your paper-crafts arsenal or you’re an experienced crafter, I suggest you check this detailed list of must-have craft tools and supplies. In this post I show you which craft tools I use for everyday crafts.
This past couple of weeks I have been trying hard to keep up with my home office/studio organization. A regular day in my life consists of printing, cutting, punching, gluing, etc. to fill those Etsy orders, and my desk is in constant disarray.
As I was sorting and cleaning to make room for my new Silhouette Cameo, I thought I would share with you my 10 must-have craft tools and supplies.
1. Scissors and Paper Trimmer
If you want to get serious crafting, you need more than one pair of scissors. Three or four pairs ought to do it. These are my favorites; they are all stainless steel, so they have been holding up for years.
- 8 InchStraight Scissors: perfect for cutting out big shapes and for long straight cuts.
- 5 Inch Microtip Scissors: ideal for cutting intricate details. I use them to clean off edges of miniature die cuts.
- 8 Inch Pinking Shears: ideal to cut a zigzag pattern on fabric and ribbon, to minimize fraying.
To make precise and long (or short) cuts, I use a paper trimmer. This tool was really helpful when I made my Amy Butler- inspired tile coasters and my Christmas chalkboard art coasters.
- Find a similar paper trimmer here: 12 Inch Long Guillotine Paper Trimmer.
2. Chalk Markers
Ever since I had to design a rustic chic wedding in 2014, I have been on a chalkboard art kick. I actually made all of the chalkboards freehand, with traditional white chalk. But I have been developing my chalkboard-art-making system and now chalk markers are my favorite. For many uses!
These are my favorite:
- Broad Point Tip Bistro Marker: perfect for big size projects. It is not only great for chalkboards, but also for light boards (think project boards for school!), even windows and windshields. It is water-based and easily erasable with a damp cloth. This is not a permanent marker, so you can wipe off mistakes.
- Fine 3 mm Chalk Markers: these are ideal for small writing. Use it on dark paper, organizing labels, wine glasses, toy bins, etc.
3. Paper Punches
The nature of my Etsy business demands a lot of punching, a lot! So I have armed myself with 25+ types of paper punchers, all different shapes, and sizes. I will list the shapes you can start with to build your paper puncher stash.
- 2.25 Inch Round: ideal for the backing of cupcake toppers and tags. Layer with 2-inch circles on top (read next).
- 2 Inch Round: I use this to punch out 2-inch circles used on favor tags and cupcake toppers. You can use it for anything, really.
- 1.5 Inch Round: ideal to layer on top of a 2 inch round scallop (read next) and make small tags.
- 2 Inch Round with Scalloped Edge: great for the outer edge of small tags.
- 3 Inch Circle Lever Punch: this is the biggest circle punch I own. I use it for banners and centerpieces.
Hole punchers fall into this category, too.
Read Also: 10 Amazing Easy Crafts for Toddlers and Kids
They are perfect for making holes on tags and banners. These are the ones I use the most:
- 1/4 Inch Circle Hand Punch: for banners, to string ribbons up to 1/4 inch wide
- 1/8 Inch Circle Hand Punch: for tags, to string ribbon up to 1/8 inch wide
- 1/4 Inch Heart Hand Punch: for decorative purposes
- 1/4 Inch Rectangle Hand Punch: for decorative purposes, sometimes for threading fine ribbon
4. Sticker Maker
I wish I would have had a sticker maker when I was a little girl!. What kid does not love stickers, right?
Do you know you can make your own sticky backing for almost anything? No-fuss, no mess!
- Xyron 150 “X” Create-a-Sticker: the one pictured above, ideal to make small stickers, up to 1.5″ wide. Your kids (and you) will get a kick out of this nifty mini machine. Find refills for Xyron 150 here.
- Xyron Creative Station: makes stickers up to 5 inches wide. Refills are 18 feet long, so you can feed a long (up to 5 Inches wide) piece of paper. Find refills here.
- Xyron Creatopia: this is the mother of the sticker maker machines by Xyron. You can make stickers up to 12 inches wide and the refills are 40 feet long. This machine also uses cartridges for cutting, laminating and embossing. There is a similar machine here which is flexible since you can use 5-inch and 9-inch refill cartridges.
5. Craft Knife (X-acto)
This is a no-brainer. A craft knife is useful for making small, precise cuts. Just be mindful of where you store it. I hide it so well (from my young boy) that sometimes I can’t find it.
- Fiskars Craft Knife: I like the ergonomic shape and soft grip of this one. I have one (a little too shabby to photograph), it’s time to replace it. I purchased the one shown in the picture above at Michaels.
- Another option is the X-acto Z Series, craft knife with a cap.
Your craft knife works best when used with a cutting mat (explained below).
6. Circle Cutter and Cutting Mat
The round paper punchers explained above (see item 3) will help you punch out up to 3-inch circles. For cutting out bigger circles, you need a circle cutter. A cutting mat makes cutting easier, without damaging your desk or any other surface.
- Simple Circle Cutter: with this tool (pictured above) you can cut circles from 1 inch to 5 1/2 inch in diameter in 1/16 inch increments.
- Large Circle Cutter: with this tool, you can cut circles from 4 inches to 12 inches in diameter at 1/8 inch increments.
- Self-Healing Mat: this mat is amazing. Self-healing because the mat’s material closes after each cut. I use it to protect my desk and the cutting guides are really helpful.
Imagine all the layers you can do by cutting circles of all different sizes!
7. Washi Tape, Ribbons and Twine.
Which crafter doesn’t love washi tape? I have to say, I have yet to incorporate more washi tape in my life. There are so many types, designs, and colors. I mark special dates and events on my planner and to-do list. And it is great for labeling cables and their matching electronic device.
I use this Cropper Hopper Wire Ribbon Carousel to hold my collection of washi tape and ribbon. I don’t have much room left!!
I have more ribbon than you can imagine. You can buy it for cheap at Michaels, Joann Fabric, even Walmart.
You can use ribbons for tags, banners, scrapbooks, decorate jars, etc. I tie anything that crosses my path with a piece of ribbon or twine.
8. Mod Podge and Foam Brushes
I did not know what Mod Podge was until a few years ago. In my defense, I was fairly new to the arts and crafts niche in America. If -like me- you have heard about Mod Podge, but are not sure what it is and how to use it, here is the scoop.
Mod Podge is a decoupage medium. In other words, is an all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish. You can use it to glue together pieces of paper, or fabric and you can also use it to glaze it on top of your finalized project to add a finished look.
You can see how I used Mod Podge to glaze my tile coasters, glaze this fabulous back to school photo prop and make these vintage wedding books.
Mod Podge comes in a variety of finishes and can be applied with foam brushes or with my favorite: smoothing tool.
9. Scoring Board and Envelope Tool
A scoring board is a magnificent tool to make crisp folding lines on your paper or cardstock. With a scoring board, you can make cards, envelopes, gift boxes, or simple folding lines on a piece of paper.
- Scoring Board and Envelope Tool: I have only used this one from Martha Stewart Crafts and the lines are flawless. Here is another choice.
Read Also: Top 101 Amazing Summer Activities for Kids
10. Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Last but not least: the essential hot glue gun. Yes, I had to list it even if it makes you say: duh!
The truth of the matter is, a hot glue gun is the one tool that you must have in your craft room. Use it to adhere to fabric, paper, plastic, wood, etc. The beauty of the hot glue gun is that is easy to apply, clean, and dries quickly.
Something you need to know about glue guns is that there are three types: low temperature, high temperature, and dual (multi-temp) temperature..
- Low Temp Mini Glue Gun: use this gun for delicate materials such as floral, paper, fabrics or foam.
- High Temp Mini Glue Gun: use this gun for small craft projects or home repairs that involve wood, metal or cardboard.
- Hybrid Multi-Temp Cordless Gun: this is my glue gun of choice. It is dual temp, so I can use it with any type of glue sticks. I like that it is cordless and has a stable base. I can either keep it plugged in when I am working in my studio, or turn the battery switch on and bring the glue gun to any project around the house.
What do you think? Which one of these tools haven’t you used? If there is a craft tool I did not mention? I would love to know!