There’s nothing quite as nice as starting a new crafting year with a well-stocked cupboard packed full of supplies; there’s something about new, unopened packets of card, crisp white paper and beautifully sharp scissors that gives off the scent of promise. If you’re planning on expanding or refining the contents of your craft cupboard this year, then read on – we’ve come up with a list of our top ten crafting essentials to help you on your way.
1. Plain Card
Useful for a million things, from homemade cards and invitations to making templates and simple stencils, the humble sheet of white card should definitely have a place in your craft room. Available in a range of weights and finishes, it’s absolutely invaluable, which makes plain card our number one pick.
Like card, paper is an essential when it comes to crafting; from tracing paper that is useful in transferring images and lettering, to simple white and coloured paper used in general papercrafts, it’s a staple that no crafter should be without.
Available in almost any print and pattern you can think of, scrapbook paper can help you add colour and detail to photograph albums, is excellent for making decorations such as hanging origami shapes and pinwheel, and can even be used to line drawers and kitchen cupboards. In fact, it’s hard to think of something that you couldn’t use scrapbook paper for – which is why it’s one of our top craft essentials.
Once you’ve got your paper and card, the next thing you’re going to need is a good supply of glue and adhesive. It’s important to remember that different glues are designed for different purposes, and while some will work on some materials, they won’t bond others. Here at StickyTiger, we really love Mod Podge for its sheer versatility; not only does it bond extremely well, it can also be used in makeover and upcycling projects to create a waterproof coating, and is available in a variety of finishes.
5. Ink Pads and Stamps
One of our favourite crafts is stamping and printing; from handmade cards and bunting to more eclectic projects such as stamped plant pots and even tea-towels, it’s incredibly versatile and produced great results. Last year we wrote a few guides to ink pads and stamping onto paper, fabric and 3D objects, which would be a great place to start if you’re unsure of which varieties to choose.
From colourful gel pens used for decorating cards, to fineliners, bright markers and even fabric pens, it’s always worth having a good variety of pens in your craft stash. We couldn’t get by without them, and we’re especially big fans of the SMASH stick which manage to be both a glue stick and a pen. Clever!
You can have all the beautiful supplies in the world, but without a good set of tools to use with them, your craft projects will pretty much always fall short. Our top tip is to purchase the following:
There are, of course, plenty more tools that you might find you need, but that’s a good basic list to start with.
We’ve spoken before about our love of washi tape, and use it in a LOT of our tutorials, which is why we absolutely had to include it on our list of essentials. Available in a huge amount of different colours, patterns and widths, there’s pretty much nothing you can’t do with this beautiful stuff; from covering notebooks and making coasters to decorating furniture, the possibilities are almost endless.
Even if you’re not planning on doing much needlework, you’ll find a good supply of haberdashery comes in handy for a million projects; buttons, beads and ribbon can all be used on homemade cards, bunting, garlands and jewellery, and will add a bit of colour and texture to otherwise ordinary crafts.
Our one fabric tip is to keep a stash of felt, if nothing else. Available in a huge range of colours, this magical material requires no seeming, and can be sewn together, glued on and decorated quite easily; we use felt an awful lot, and last Hallowe’en we made ourselves a Day of the Dead mask entirely from the wonderful stuff.