You can craft with almost any material and with almost any tool, but there are some tools that I just can’t do without. There are tools that facilitate my crafting, although I could certainly do without them. The cutter can easily be replaced with steel ruler and a scalpel, but it is slower and is, according to me, a good deal more difficult.
My 10 best tools are thees (no favorite, all are equally important):
1. Good scissors:
One to cut paper or cardboard
A small and narrow to cut small details
one to cut fabric, ribbon or thread
You can do with just a pair of scissors. I have collected more over the years, and to have a pair of scissors just for fabric, ribbons and lace are very good. Paper tear on scissors and after a while it becomes more difficult to cut ribbons nicely with the scissors.
I have three tweezers. Two that I always use and one that I always forget about (like in this photo). I like pointy tweezers, and I use them for everything from placing the little things on my creations to keep the bigger things when I glue them. They are also great to loosen something in the wrong place, or as an aid when I tie a bow of some thin ribbon. If you have a little longer nails, they are invaluable when sitting with something small that it is difficult to grasp.
A sharp stick that I use when I want a little hole somewhere for a brad or similar. I often use a little thicker pricker to curl the wire of roses or other flowers.
I am on my third cutting machine, and I have not worn out one so far. The one I use today (Fiskars) has newer models. I should change it because it’s difficult to pinpoint 16-17 cm on my present. But I feel comfortable with it and have not yet found a good reason to buy a cutting machine instead of paper 🙂
The cutting machine is a little more expensive investment than a pair of scissors, but I still remember the feeling when I used my first cutting machine for the first time. It went so fast and easy to get a piece of paper with straight edges.
Flowers, butterflies, shapes, circles, squares, borders, snowflakes. I have quite many punches and I always want more. They make it quick and easy to get a figure without using a die cutting machine. I use them mainly to get a lot of the same figures quickly. To get more butterflies of the same paper does not even take a minute.
A good ruler makes things much easier. I have one in steel with cm on both sides that I like. I also have one where you find cm on one side and inch on the other. I would recommend both, especially if you love to follow descriptions in English.
7. Embossing gun and embossing powder
I count them as a tool, despite the fact that the powder actually is expendable. Certainly it is possible to melt the powder over a hot plate or toaster, but then you have to craft in the kitchen and I’m not. I also use my embossing gun to dry the paper or flowers when I sprayed them with glitter or paint.
Text Stamps is something of a favorite, but I also have many background stamps. Many people will start with figure stamps and so did I. Today I have more stamps than I can think of, and it’s always fun to rediscover anyone I have forgotten. You can lift an entire creation with stamps, either through a nice text or by creating a custom background that really fits.
9. Acrylic block
Acrylic blocks is invaluable (almost in all cases, you can use a CD case or other plastic surface) if you use clear stamps or stamps mounted on EZ. I have several different sizes so that I always have someone that fits the stamp I want to use. Having a too large block makes it harder to get a stylish result and a too small block makes it impossible to stamp when the stamp does not fit on the block.
10. Die cutting machine
Even if I use many punches, my Cuttlebug is very dear to me. With a punch, you are pretty much limited to where you want to punch out your figure, but with a die cutting machine you can have the figure anywhere, as long as your paper going into the machine. I use my machine most when I make cards with peephole in (place hole where you want it), but also a lot to figure punching.
(11. Silhouettes cutting machine)
I have to have a bubbler. I can live without this machine, but do not really want to do it. Then rather take away my Cuttlebug because I can use the Silhouette the same way.
I have one of the first cutting machines that came from Silhouette (QuicKutz). Today there are bigger and better models, and I’m going to upgrade mine eventually. The beauty of this is that despite an old machine I can still use the latest version of the software.
What’s your favorite tools?