I thought i'd continue along this 101 series today and touch upon some craft tool basics. I can get a bit carried away when it comes to craft related gadgets so sometimes it's nice to take a step back and simplify things a little bit. Do I own a staple gun? Yes. How many times have I used the staple gun? Once. You know what I mean...? At the same time, there really is some small essentials which can get you started crafting and can be used for lots of different projects.
1. X-Acto Knife: A sharp, small, precision cutting tool for thick card and paper. An absolute must for anyone who wants to try paper cutting or wants a straight edge.
2. Cutting Mat: Seriously, buy one of these because a) if you use an x-acto knife on any surface, you're gonna scratch it and b) cutting on surfaces other than a self healing cutting mat will blunt your blade FAST.
3. Scissors: My number one must have is multipul pairs of good quality scissors. Ideally you should have a pair for cutting paper and a pair for cutting fabric. As Martha Stewart says "Don't use your paper scissors, which will eventually go dull, to cut fabric as it will create pulls." I also recommend having a small pair of non stick scissors too, especially if you're working with anything that has a stick to it like washi tape. Plus, it's always handy to have more than one pair because scissors are notorious for getting lost... or is that just me?
4: Paper Creaser/Bone Folder: I was always a bit like, what's the point of this? Then I bought one and I "got" it. If you want a nice, crisp, clean fold to paper/card (we've all used our nail only to find our dry nail polish has magically transferred to the paper) it's worth picking up one of these. A set is usually under £2.
5. Paper Punches: Available in SO many different designs, these are essential to any budding card maker or scrapbooker. Addictive to buy and use!
6. Eyelet Punch: The eyelet punch i've shown here is for paper and card, great for making your own gift tags for example, but you can also get a heavier duty punch to use on fabric and leather.
7. Craft Tote: Not a tool as such but trust me, you can end up with so many crafty bits and bobs that having them all in one place makes sense. My only problem is I now need an even bigger tote bag! My favorite ones are made by Papermania.
8. Rotary Cutter: Cuts a long straight line in fabric or paper. I find this useful when using felt to get nice straight edges which you don't always get freehand with scissors.
9. Chain Nosed Pliers: Pliers and wire cutters are both needed for jewellery making. Chain nosed pliers are great for opening and closing jump rings and fiddly jewellery fastenings.
Have you got any recommendations for crafty starter tools? What's your number one essential?