Since kindergarten, I’ve been crafting…well, haven’t we all 🙂 I remember making custom flip-flops for my friends and myself while waiting on the bus in grade school. The first “real” thing I sewed- along with my mom- that I remember was a Snow White costume when I was in high school –Man, wish I had a picture of that! I say this to tell you that I have a lot of years of experience as a crafter and sewist. I’ve also had the pleasure and good fortune of working with a few major players in the craft arena…including Fiskars Crafts. As a crafter and graphic designer – it really just boils down to problem solving and having a bit of patience. Truthfully, I’ve spent a lot of money on tools and supplies over the years and have learned which quality supplies are worth investing in. If you’re new to crafting, here’s a list of my suggestions for the top 10 best investments for a crafter:
Silhouette I’ve had so many people ask me, “is it worth it?” Honestly, I bought a Cricut Expression first. It was on clearance and I thought what the heck. At the time (several years ago) Sure Cuts A Lot was available for use with Cricut to basically jailbreak the machine and then you could use it with all of your fonts, vector files or SVG’s that you download or purchase. We’ve used the machine for several years and had a lot of fun with it- ONLY because we had the SCAL software. Personally, I prefer the Silhouette for reasons I’ll not go into right now…but mostly because you buy it and you have the same ability to cut any vector file or font on your system. I have the Silhouette Portrait and as soon as I can afford it I will make the leap to the Cameo. I love the larger size. So many possibilities. There are great deals often on the Silhouette package deal and if you are a serious crafter/maker…you should totally get this thing. Truly I feel that it is worth the cash. Here’s a cute project I did recently…you can read more about it here. I also just cut this hand-lettering design for one of my upcoming MakeShoppe class projects using my Silhouette and these supplies…this project is puring crafting bliss..
Large Cutting Mat, Clear Ruler and Rotary Cutter (okay this is three things- we’ll discuss together) If you sew AT ALL or think you might want to — invest in these as you can. Buy quality– Fiskars or Olfa brands area are good choices. I also love this blue one by American Crafts…because its blue. There are sales often at Hancocks or you can you coupons at Hobby Lobby or JoAnn’s to add these to your tool kit. When I started sewing – “the Pinterest” was not invented, the internet barely was– so I used patterns or made my own patterns. I was always frustrated when trying to cut straight swaths of fabric. Enter the clear quilting ruler. Love. Could NOT live without these items. I personally have the giant Fiskars cutting mat 24 x 36, use Fiskars and Olfa rotary cutters and a variety of clear ruler brands and sizes. If you quilt- this is not even a question. Just do it.
Something to remember is that GARAGE SALES, JUNK SHOWS, ANTIQUE MALLS and ESTATE SALES are a great place to pick up –other wise expensive– tools for sewing especially. People toss Granny’s sewing box for pennies on the dollar. And the older tools are probably of better quality than we can buy now. I’ve picked up tons of sewing notions over the years for a song.
GOOD Scissors Get yourself a pair of good scissors for fabric and DO NOT…I repeat DO NOT cut anything else with them. And DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let your kids get ahold of them to cut anything other than fabric with them. I’m speaking from experience 🙂 Additionally, you’ll need a pair of micro tip scissors, or small scissors for detail cutting. This pair is one of my favorites. Fiskars scissors are my favorits.
Craft knife and Metal Ruler Exactos drive me crazy, all the blade changing and loosening, ugh! When I went back to school and everybody was using Exactos to cut stuff…I’m like – what’s wrong with you people? Where are your paper trimmers? The craft knife definitely has its place so you gotta have it and it works best when cutting along a metal ruler for a straight edge. I opt for a style like this – you can pop off the dull blades easily (cover your eyes).
Paper Trimmer If you don’t want to spend a lot of money- I love the Fiskars paper trimmer…used it for years but you’ve got to change the blades every so often and it only cuts one sheet at a time. My absolute favorite (and trust me I’ve bought a lot of paper trimmers over the years) is the Tonic guillotine style trimmer. This is a great size for general crafting.
Adhesives: Dry and Wet My go-to’s are tape runners (scrapbooking and photo crafts), glue pens (for detail work) and glue sticks for general crafting. Cheap glue sticks are fine. Tape runners- I would suggest something refillable. I’ve used the Zig glue pen forever and its a great product. Its great for kids too!
Cordless glue gun – spend the money and get the cordless. You’ll be glad you did.
Okay- I think that’s ten. It was SO VERY difficult to limit that to TEN! AAHHHH! I’m sure I’m going to regret not adding something else…but I think these are the items that I find myself using over and over again no matter if I’m sewing, paper crafting, scrapbooking or doing design work.