When it comes to crafting, there are loads of things that can be bought on a budget (and we all know I’m a fan of cutting costs wherever possible!) – but there are also times when it pays to dig deep and spend a little bit more. This week for our craft post, we’re taking a break from the making, and talking about the five essential tools that you shouldn’t skimp on.
1. A good selection of scissors
Let’s start with the basics – whether you’re working with yarn, paper or fabric, you’re going to need the best scissors you can afford to get the cleanest cut possible. Start off with a large pair of scissors for paper and card, a smaller pair for detail work, a good pair of dressmaking scissors for fabric (these should NEVER EVER be used for anything else!), a small pair of scissors for yarn, and some embroidery scissors for thread and cotton. Prices vary, but do be aware that the more you spend, the better the quality and the longer they’ll last – like a good pair of shoes, scissors are an investment piece!
2. Shaped hole punches in various sizes
I was fairly late to the party with shaped hole punches, and wish I’d found out about them sooner – they’re the ultimate time saving tool, and I think everyone should have at least three basic shapes. Whether you’re card-making, scrapbooking, cutting stencils or making garlands, shaped hole punches will get the job done in half the time – and they’re ideal for perfectionists as well, as they always deliver the perfect shape.
3. Washi tape
There’s almost nothing that you can’t use washi tape for (seriously – check out the gazillions of Pinterest boards dedicated to the stuff!), and the choice of colours, patterns and effects now is almost overwhelming. Choose from acid brights, gentle pastels or metallics, glitter and crackle effects, geometric patterns and floral prints… the list goes on. As with everything else though, it pays to spend a bit more – cheaper tape tends to peel away from the surface easily, and will often split on the roll while you’re trying to unravel it. (Disclaimer: this isn’t scientifically proven, just what I’ve discovered through extensive research…)
4. Pompom makers
Probably the most wondrous and fun tool on the list is the humble pompom maker – the handy little gadget which finally retired cardboard circles everywhere. Available in several sizes, from teeny tiny to absolutely massive, pompom makers turn a job that used to take hours into something you can do in the time it takes to boil the kettle. Even if you’re not a knitter or crocheter, pompom making is one of the most versatile crafts – turn them into garlands, Christmas tree decorations, mobiles, keyrings, jewellery, rugs…. the list is endless!
5. A selection of adhesives
Slightly less exciting but just as important is the adhesive category. Like scissors, there are adhesives designed for almost every job; PVA does well with paper and card, so that’s a good place to start, and a good basic fabric glue will work for most fabric-related projects. For large area projects, a can of spray mount is invaluable – but remember to use it in a ventilated area – and finally, if Mod Podge haven’t made it, you probably don’t need it!