I am sure you have seen them before....posts or threads listing the essential tools for scrapbooking, card making, mixed media and more. They are fun to read but often contain the obvious. Yes, to scrapbook I need paper. To make cards I will probably need stamps. To art journal.....I will need a journal. As my 12 year old son would say.....DUH!
Reading some of these lists made me think about what I truly feel is essential beyond scissors, paper cutters and card stock. What do I reach for over and over again? So I took a quick tour of my craft room and came up with a list of 20 items I cannot live without. I really tried to rank them, but it was impossible. They are all equally important and many I use on every project. So I opted for alphabetically order instead.
I know the Bind it All would not make most people's list. But it is essential in my studio. All of my scrapbook albums are created using the Bind it All and Cover-Alls. My preferred size is 8x8.Binder Rings
As you might have guessed....I am not using them for binding. But I could not live without them. I use them to organize a number of items. Including ink samples and card stock samples.
Blank Stencil Sheets
I used them to make punch guides for my punches. Hmmm.....I see another binder ring there. :)
I you like coloring then a blending pen is a must have.Craft Mat
I must admit my craft mat is well loved and starting to show it. For me, the craft mat basically functions as a large palette. It gives me plenty of space to mix, spray, ink and more. It is my get messy mat. :)Daylight Light Bulbs
We joke that you almost need to wear sunglasses in my studio. I have daylight light bulbs in both my overhead lighting and desk lamp.Dies
Oh dies.....my love of dies is well documented. But even in the world of dies, there is a certain kind of die I love the most. That would be stamp and die sets. Dies are so versatile I have written entire classes on them.Fantastix/Water Pens
Some of my most used tools are coloring tools. Color mediums need an applicator and these are some of my favorites. I will be highlighting Fantastix tomorrow for our Project Inspiration challenge.Fuse Tool
I have fallen in love the pocket scrapbooking. No, I am not a Project Lifer. I don't have the time to commit to the process. Plus....my life is kinda boring. Since my favorite album size is 8x8, I can't always find the a wide selection of page protectors to work with, so I make my own.
I have only had the Fuse for a few short weeks (that bugger is hard to find) but I really like it so far.Heat Gun
Generally speaking, heat guns are used for heat embossing. While I do a fair amount of heat embossing, I use my heat gun mostly for its drying properties. I would be hard pressed to find a video or project where I did not use the heat gun. So if you are the impatient type.....this tool is a must have.Ink Applicators
Each of these applicators serves a different purpose. Ink daubers are great for apply ink to stamps. Colorbox Stylus is an awesome tool for applying ink to your projects. It is great for smaller projects like tags. Ranger's Ink Applicator is perfect for larger projects, like a card background. (Still a small project, but you know what I mean.)
We have talked a lot about color applicators in this post....well I have one more for you. Palette knives. Essential if you use paint or art mediums. Maybe not as essential as paint brush, but still a ton of fun.Punches
If you're a card maker then circle punches on a must. Others are nice too, like squares, ovals and borders. But circles are at the top of my list.Rulers
- This is my favorite ruler of all time. I received in a gift set of desk supplies as a graduation gift. I love it because of the high contrast between the numbers and the background and because it is 8 inches long. That is about the length of most of my projects.
- Steel ruler with a cork back. Perfect for cutting a straight edge with a craft knife. I have one 6 incher and one 12 incher.
- Tim Holtz ruler. I love that you can see through this ruler. Helps to line things up. Plus it has a row of holes at the bottom for lining up brads or sewing on your projects.
- Steel ruler with a magnet back. This works specifically with We R Memory Keepers self-healing mats. They are great for holding work in place and tearing the edges of your paper.
Pretty much a necessity if you use a steel ruler and craft knife. Plus I love that they come with lines on them for measuring. I have a thing for rulers. :)Spray Bottle
I actually have two water bottles. One that drips and one that sprays. I use them for all kinds of techniques.....including cleaning up my work surface.Stencils
My love for stencils is relatively new....I was late to the party. But I tend to catch up quickly. They're one of my favorite tools for adding interest and texture to my projects.Stamp Positioner
This is one of those tools I thought....what do I need that for? It took me years to purchase the Fiskars Stamp Press. After getting it, all I could think was.....what the he** took me so long. I love my stamp press.Tweezers
If I have to list my tools in order of importance, my Mrs. Grossman tweezers would be number one. Hands down. I could not create a single project without it. And when it is lost all else stops until I've found it. As the years go on it has become even more essential to me. My hands shake a bit (a side effect of my thyroid medicine) and I need it to position elements, small and large.X-acto Knife
Since I already mentioned self-healing mats and steel rulers, it would be hard not to include my X-acto knives. I have a straight blade and swivel knife.So that's my list. I am sure you will agree with some of them and others not so much. So what's your favorite, beyond-the-basics tool? Did you ever wait on purchasing a tool, only to have it become one of your favorites?
Thanks for stopping by,