Y’all may have already read my tool guide for the crafty woman, outlining some of my favorite and most used power tools. If not, take a look here. The other day I was thinking how crucial needle nose pliers are in my everyday life. (Ahh, the life of a crafter.) It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of high power gadgets and gizmos, but there are also some very simple tools that are indispensable. It only seems right to make a guide for those items as well.
I have two gorgeous utility bags that I would honestly would carry as a purse if I were a purse-person. The bigger bag is meatier, with my dremel, drills, etc… and the other, smaller one, is a bit more craft oriented. Here’s what the second bag contains:
Scissors: I always have these 3 types of scissors on hand when I’m creating. The typical scissors need no explanation, you know they’re good for papers and light cutting. But when it comes to a heavy duty project where I need to cut through some thin metal or something more substantial, I pull out the big guns and grab my sturdy scissors. I also try to keep a sharp pair of fabric scissors around. Be mindful to never use the latter on paper. It will dull them in no time.
Clamps: Don’t be fooled into thinking clamps are only for projects in the wood shop. They can be really helpful with other tasks as well. For example, gluing or steadying your work surface.
Letter/Number Stamps and a Mallet: These stamps are so fun and they can stamp more than metal alone. Imagine using them on clay or for a relief print. Get creative with them.
Paint Brushes and Spreaders: It’s great to keep brushes of different sizes and shapes handy. I’ve also been known to use old cardboard as a paint spreader if you don’t want to go out and buy one. Cardboard also leaves a great corrugated effect on the substrate.
Staple Gun: Now this is a fun tool– but staple with caution. I keep mine unloaded when I’m not using it, just to be safe.
Tape Measure: It might be a given but a tape measure is always useful. A lot of times I also use a string along with it to size things up that aren’t in a straight line and need to be measured free form.
Needle Nose Pliers: Y’all know I love those needle noses! Kudos to the genius who invented them. I use them all the time when I’m working with wire or I want to save my finger tips from tiny, repetitive work. I even use them to pull needles through thick or tough fabrics or papers.
Leather Gloves: Crafters know how important it is to save your hands. Projects can often give you blisters or cuts. Keep those hands covered. I like leather gloves because it feels more natural and forgiving with movement.
Hole Punch: A single hole punch is great to have in your back pocket, and easier to keep around than a 3 hole punch.
Wire: I’m a wire lover. Tiny gauges can be great for little fixes that you aren’t anticipating.
Decoupage: Glue goes fast at my house, be it decoupage or rubber cement. I usually buy it in bulk to cut down on costs.
Tiny Nails: I surprise myself with how often I need a tiny nail for something temporary or small scale. It’s not always easy to find little ones, but when you see a pack, get them. They’re great.
Now get out there and start making something. Tools are for girls. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.