10 Must-Have Craft Supplies

10 Must-Have Craft Supplies
April 13, 2012 Alison Faulkner

Hey! I’ve been working on this post for a while now, and I’m VERY VERY excited to share it with you! I got the idea for this when I was helping my sister set up for Jojo’s birthday party. I kept asking for a few tools that would make our lives easier, and she didn’t have them! I felt it my duty, as her crafty sister, to set her on the right path.

These basic tools & supplies I suggest will in no way prepare you for EVERY DIY you will encounter. They will however, make your life easier whether you’re crafting, wrapping a gift, or setting up for a quick shin-dig. I like to think of them as the staple spices of craft supplies. If you have them in your cupboard you’re going to save yourself a trip to the store, and probably quite a few headaches. So, without further ado…
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all photos by the beautiful Heather Mildenstein 

1. Jewelry Starter Kit // 2. Single Hole Puncher // 3.Self-Healing Cutting Mat // 4.Rotary Cutter // 5. Acrylic Ruler // 6. Baker’s Twine  // 7. Embroidery Needles  // 8. Cheap Paint Brushes // 9.Really Strong Glue // 10. Sticky Dots

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1. A Jewelry Starter Kit

WHY YOU WANT IT:
This little gem can be purchased here: School Specialty Jewelry Findings Starter Kit, Gold for about $10. Or you can buy one at the craft store and save 40% if you use a coupon. If you’re looking to make a few pairs of earrings, a necklace, or even fix some jewelery you have on hand, you’ll be so glad you have this! It comes with a good mix of earring backs, jump rings, i-pins, and clasps. It comes in both gold and silver. For extra credit you can grab the jewelry tools that are right by this kit, for about $6.

WHEN TO USE IT:
If you have these basics on hand you’re almost all set to make my Triangle Drop Earrings, Easy Polymer Clay Earrings & Fang Earrings. You can use the clasps for my Peter Pan Collar Necklace & Chevron Fringe Necklace.

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2. Single Hole Punch

WHY YOU WANT IT:
I have two round hole punchers that I use ALL the time. I have this one Fiskars 1/8″ Hand Punch,that I use to make tiny holes to string things, attach tags to, and package baked goods all pretty. I also have Fiskars Squeeze Punchthat I adore. It makes 2″ circles. I use this to make tags & cards.

WHEN TO USE IT:
It would have been awesome to have my 1/8″ hole punch when stringing this pendant flag banner. I also use this when I deliver cookies. I fill brown paper bags with treats, punch two holes, and then tie a ribbon through. I used my 2″ hole punch here to make stickers for my Valentine’s cards. Whether you have one basic punch on hand, or an arsenal you’ll be glad they’re around.

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3. Self-Healing Cutting Mat

WHY YOU WANT IT:
Self Healing Cutting Mats come in all shapes and sizes. I own around 4, maybe 5. But I’m crazy. I own a large one OLFA 36-Inch Self-Healing Double-Sided Rotary Matfor pattern making, and smaller ones (like those pictured) for cutting out freezer paper stencils and jewelry making.

WHEN TO USE IT:
When not to use it? You really shouldn’t use an Xacto knife or rotary cutter without one, as you can see here. I mean, you can, but having one will save your table and your tools.

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4. Rotary Cutter

WHY YOU WANT IT:
You want one of these suckers if you’re into cutting straight lines. I also own a small paper cutter for that purpose, but because we are trying to keep it simple, if you had to choose, I’d say go for the rotary cutter. You can use it on fabric or paper, to cut out patterns or to cut out cards. I really like this kit Fiskars Rotary Cutting Setthat comes with a ruler, rotary cutter and a self-healing cutting mat. I recommend it to beginning sewers and crafters all the time.

WHEN TO USE IT:
As you can see on my fringe necklace the rotary cutter is key. You CAN use scissors, but using a rotary cutter is much nicer.

5. Acrylic Ruler

WHY YOU WANT IT:
These are the preferred rulers of quilters. They offer super visibility when you need precise measurements. I have them in a variety of sizes. Here’s a good set if you’re interested! Omnigrid(R) Rotary Ruler Set -BasicsThese are the rulers you want to use with your rotary cutter. A metal ruler will dull your blade, and your rotary cutter would slice a wooden ruler. If you don’t sew I still think these are useful for measuring, cutting, and smooshing things.

WHEN TO USE IT:
A small acrylic ruler can be used as a flat surface when working with clay or as a bone folder to get a nice clean fold. They are perfect for measuring seam allowances, and as I said, when using your rotary cutter.

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6. Baker’s Twine

WHY YOU WANT IT:
Baker’s Twine had a huge resurgence in popularity a few years back. Since then it has become widely available in a variety of colors. Martha of course has a good selectionI find it useful for adding a punch of style to many projects. It’s relatively inexpensive and comes in bulk. You will quickly be able to wrap up baked goods, gifts & cards if you have some of this on hand.

WHEN TO USE IT:
Aside from it’s obvious uses, I’ve baker’s twine instead of ribbon or regular twine to add style to my Valentine’s wreath, Easter Bunny Treat Cup, Egg Garland, Chestnut Ornaments and to wrap up my block magnets.

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7. Embroidery Needles

WHY YOU WANT IT:
You often need a larger needle to add a bit of detail with thicker string, and if you don’t sew the odds are you don’t have these on hand. Even if you do sew, you may only have smaller needles like those found in a small sewing kit. And that’s just too bad! Especially if you want to add Baker’s Twine to a project! I love Crewel needles, I think they are the perfect size, but a set of embroidery needles will work as well. Here’s a set.But these are easy to find anywhere.

WHEN TO USE IT:
An embroidery needle makes life easier if you want to do any hand stitching, whether it’s some eyes on my Tiny Bunny Finger Puppet, to sew on some fringe, or sew some chain to my Peter Pan Collar necklace. You could also these needles to string paper on a garland or pierce a hole in some polymer clay to make a bead.

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8. Cheap Paint Brushes

WHY YOU WANT THEM:
These are just SO USEFUL! I love them for their obvious uses, water coloring, & applying acrylic or fabric paint. But they are especially helpful if you are applying glue to a project or doing any sort of collage. You don’t have to worry about ruining an expensive brush! You can get them everywhere, even at the grocery store. I like to buy them in bulk.

WHEN TO USE THEM:
I used cheap paint brushes to apply the the glue on my No-Sew Leather Pouch, and on my hip refrigerator magnets. You can use them with fabric paint or acrylic paint!

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9. Really Strong Glue

WHY YOU WANT IT:
A hot glue gun is a much-needed tool and will take your far. But if you’re ready to graduate…this is some powerful stuff! E-6000 is intense! So be warned. I have a few different strong glues, but this one is the most universal.

WHEN TO USE IT:
If you really want something to stick, USE THIS GLUE. Especially if you are making magnets. Hot glue will not work. Period. If you are making jewelry, attaching things to wood, gluing leather, or any thick fabric, this is the glue for you. I used this glue to make these earrings, and this glue would work for my no-sew leather pouch and Block Magnets.

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10: Sticky Dots

WHY YOU WANT THEM:
Sticky dots are a tool I picked up from my scrap booking days. They are little double-sided adhesive circles. They are smaller and faster to use than tape, and stronger.

WHEN TO USE THEM:
These are perfect for attaching tags, or attaching small details like I did on the bunny cup. I also used them to attach the labels on my Valentine’s cards, and I even use them to wrap gifts when I can’t find my tape. Which is often. I will say I prefer the Glue Dots brand as opposed to Zots. Zots are all random all over the strip. It’s annoying. The Glue Dots roll out in a straight line. Glue Dots. If you purchase Zots you’ll see what I mean.

With the power of these supplies combined, you’re pretty much ready to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Or at least do a lot of crafts. Please let me know if you have any questions! And in this post I have used Amazon affiliate links. Which basically means I recommend exactly what I was planning on recommending, but if you buy it from my amazon link, I make Diet Dr. Pepper money. Which would be odd because I usually only spend money.

Good luck to you all!

Keep it crafty, and keep it sassy.

xo
Alison

7 Comments

  1. Meg 5 years ago

    Prettiest website…ever. I can’t stop looking at it. Amazing.

  2. bex 5 years ago

    loving the new layout!

    i swear by all of these craft supplies. i also have a single hole punch that punches really tiny holes that I find myself using way more than I would think.

    • Alison Faulkner 5 years ago

      I just took Marilyn to the craft store and bought her these!!

  3. Liz Stanley 5 years ago

    Great post, Allison!

    • Alison Faulkner 5 years ago

      Thank you lady! Glad you stopped by! xo

  4. laura 5 years ago

    Oh i love this list, i have most things here but really want a jewelry starter kit and a 2″ hole punch, yes!

  5. chelsea 4 years ago

    I am trying to get some metal clips to stick to some wool felt and hot glue isnt cutting it. would you recommend the e-6000 or another glue?

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