Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tool time- my top ten favorite

I think we all agree that creating is fun and there are some “go to” tools that make it easier and more fun. Some of those tools can even be used for more than one type of craft. Here are my top ten favorite crafting tools and few of the things I use them for.


Die cut machine- I have a manual hand crank Sizzix Big Shot. I don’t even know how I managed to make cards before I owned this machine. My work has improved drastically with the use of crisp clean cuts from dies. I use the Sizzix, Cuttlebug, and Spellbinders dies in my machine. I’ve cut paper, fabric, and leather with mine. Not only have I used it for cards, I’ve used dies for creating framed art.


Punches- second to my Sizzix, are punches. When I don’t feel like cranking my die machine, I can quickly punch multiple shapes for cards and scrapbook pages. Punches also give me a wider variety of sizes that I can’t achieve with dies. Specimen punch art is also quite popular and easily created with punches.


Adhesives- I use a variety of these depending on the project. For fabric, I recently discovered Elmer’s Fabric Glue. It does not have a strong toxic odor and is much more conducive to indoor use than the product I previously used. I also like Elmer’s glue all and the ever popular glue gun for general needs. For small embellishments, I love Glue Dots.

4. X-acto knife- Great for cutting out shapes from templates and for use in cutting out the middle of a shape. It’s also great for trimming up paper around the edges when decoupaging with Mod Podge, as seen in this floral arrangement container .

Ottlite- I was totally in the dark before I purchased one of these! I use my Ottlite when sewing and coloring. It works great when coloring stamps for cards, so I can better match papers and marker or pencil colors. It’s so much easier to coordinate colors when they are viewed in natural light. I also use mine with my lightbox for taking photographs.

6. Photo-editing program- I use Adobe Photoshop Elements. I can customize clip art and create text boxes for projects. I changed the color of this printable used in my sewing machine vignette with Photoshop elements.

7. Krylon Spray Paint - Fusion for plastics- transform anything! Don't like the color of something- change it. We painted these pots for Halloween trees.


Scissors- I'm constantly using scissors. For cards and scrapbooking, I love my Cutter Bee scissors. They really get into tight corners. For fabric, I have a couple of pairs of Fiskars. And the paper scissors never get used on fabric, and the fabric scissors never get used on paper. It's just a cardinal rule and attempts to break it by others around here result in threats of violence.

9. Needle- I would have said the sewing machine, which I've used with fabric and paper, but I'll grab a needle and hand stitch a project just a fast. I can't say I'm really in love with it, but a needle is certainly a frequently used tool for me.

10. Old magazines, catalogs and newspaper- What? That's not a crafting tool, you say. Well, I use them to cover my work surfaces and then just throw away the mess. When I'm gluing on the edges of paper, I run the glue down the edge of the project on an old magazine page and then just turn the page for a clean surface.

Those are my favorite and most used tools. What are some of yours?


  1. What a wonderful idea for your list post! I'm certainly curious about a die cut machine now. :) thanks for sharing.


  2. Thanks, Mandy. I love my die cut machine.

  3. I cannot think of a better number one tool than my Big Shot. The "clear" dies are my favorites. When you can punch nine scalloped circles at a time for creating Scalloped edged Kusudama flowers, then you are in paper heaven. Fantastic list. All of my favorites too, except I put Martha Stewart products, glues, punches, glitter, etc. Waaaayyy at the top.


Thanks for your kind words! I love hearing from you.