Whether you’re beginning to build your papercrafts 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 my favorite tools for crafting, what you can use them for, and what they are good for!
I have been trying hard to keep up with my home office/studio organization these past couple of weeks. 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 a new cutting machine, I thought I would share my ten must-have craft tools and supplies with you.
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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-inch Stainless Steel straight 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 the edges of miniature die cuts.
- 8-inch Pinking Shears: ideal for cutting a zigzag pattern on fabric and ribbon to minimize fraying.
- 12-inch Cut Length Guillotine Paper Trimmer – ideal for precise and long (or short) cuts.
2. Chalk Markers
I have been on a chalkboard art kick since I designed a rustic chic wedding in 2014. 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 favorites:
- Broad Point Tip Bistro Marker: perfect for large projects. It is great for chalkboards, light boards (think project boards for school!), windows, and windshields. It is water-based and easily erasable with a damp cloth. This is not a permanent marker so that 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 paper 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 for layering on top of a 2-inch round scallop (read next) and making small tags.
- 2-inch Round with Scalloped Edge: great for the outer edge of small tags.
- 3-inch Circle Lever Punch: this is my biggest circle punch. I use it for banners and centerpieces.
Hole punchers fall into this category, too.
They are perfect for making holes in tags and banners. These are the ones I use the most:
- 1/4-inch Circle Hand Punch: for stringing ribbons up to 1/4 inch wide.
- 1/8-inch Circle Hand Punch: for stringing 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 ribbons.
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 is ideal for making 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, perfect for long pieces of paper (5 inches wide maximum). Find refills here.
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 purchased the one shown in the picture above at Michaels.
Your craft knife works best using 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 inches in diameter in 1/16 inch increments.
- Large Circle Cutter: with this tool, you can cut circles from 4 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 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.
You are my best friend if you are obsessed with color, labeling, organizing, and crafting! Go ahead, gush over these beautiful washi tape options.
I use this Cropper Hopper Wire Ribbon Carousel to hold my washi tape and ribbon collection. I don’t have much room left!!
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, it 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 and glaze this fabulous back-to-school photo prop. Mod Podge is available in various finishes, and you can apply it with foam brushes. This is a good Mod Podge starter kit!
9. Scoring Board and Envelope Tool
A scoring board is a magnificent tool for making crisp folding lines on 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.
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!
A hot glue gun is the one tool 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 it 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. Also preferred for children and kids’ crafts.
- High Temp Mini Glue Gun: use this gun for small craft projects or home repairs that involve wood, metal, or cardboard.
- Hybrid Dual-Temp Cordless Glue Gun: this is my glue gun of choice. It is dual temp, which allows me to use any 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?