Every crafter no matter what your specific craft may be has a toolbox, or a workshop, to build their crafts. We all have very specific crafting tools and supplies that may be used depending on the projects we’re working on but there are a few tools for crafting everyone needs.
You can get by with cheaper products from time to time and they work great as a stop gap until you get better quality, serviceable tools. That’s the real trick here, you want tools you have to maintain. This way you are in control of how long they’ll last and how well they perform for you.
Here’s my 5 most important crafting tools in the workshop
1 – Scissors
I’m a Fiskars fan through and through. For the price vs quality ratio they are without a doubt the top of the craft world. Sure you can get into pricier scissors if you really look for them but I don’t see the point. 99% of my cut lines are either sewn or manipulated in some way.
Pro Tip: Buy the Fiskars scissor sharpener (pictured above) – Worth it’s weight in gold. Once you start cutting a lot of material you will see how much of a difference a truly sharp pair of scissors can make.
2 – Cutting board / Self-Healing Mats
There are quite a few quality brands of cutting boards available on the market. A lot of it will have to do with the following question.
Do you need a rotary or lever based board?
For my needs I wanted a rotary so I chose an X-acto brand board. It’s plastic, relatively inexpensive, and I believe when I bought it I used a 40% off coupon at Michael’s. I don’t use it a ton and it has remained sharp with it’s cuts. Best part is the cutting wheel is replaceable so it will get many years of service for the FleeceHEAD initiative.
Another great piece of the cutting puzzle are self-healing mats. Are you tired to wrecking your desktops or do you work in limited spaces? If so a self-healing mat is going to be the perfect partner for you to get your cut on without ruining your work surface.
3 – Cordless Glue Gun
I have not really found 1 specific brand glue gun that is supreme but I have done through a few over the years. Being cordless though is a huge help and makes detailed glue work a snap.
For my needs, especially with puppets less is more. A medium sized cordless glue gun is my go to weapon for things I can’t secure any other way. Surebonder is an awesome brand and you can get a cordless glue gun from them for $20 on Amazon.
4 – Cordless Dremel
2 cordless items in a row. I know, I know. I’m a MONSTER!!! I’ve been using Dremel tools for years on my cars, bikes, skateboards, house projects, you name it. I’m a huge fan of the brand. For my crafting and puppetry work the Dremel 7.2v Stylus is amazing. From sculpting puppet eyes to polishing metal the number of uses for the Dremel Stylus is never-ending. Adjustable speed is a huge advantage. What might melt one plastic will barely edge another.
5 – Patience!
This is the one tool you can’t buy. You *CAN* cultivate this tool over time though and for all of us who love to craft, design, and build things it can be the most important tool in your arsenal. Without patience your work gets sloppy. Take your time, ENJOY your craft. If you are doing this for a living you are in that wonderful space of loving what you do so don’t rush.
Check your local craft shops, harbor freights, etc. for great prices on basic versions of these items if cost is a factor. It can take years to build your crafting tool kit, especially with the price of foam and fleece for many of us to consider on top of it all 🙂