Admit it – we all love our tools, there’s no doubt about it! And for the serious artist or crafter, it seems that we almost have an addiction to keep buying and trying the newest tool to see if it’s everything it says. Perhaps the best tool advice can be found from our friends and peers, those who have truly put a tool through rigorous testing to see if it can stand up to the pressure while not breaking the bank.
We thought that we’d ask our Artists In Residence what are their five must have tools for when they’re working on projects, and share this information with you!
- IMAGINE Crafts Craft Mat easy to use, each to clean, easy to move! Practically indestructible!! And it makes a great base for videos!
- IMAGINE Crafts Sponge Daubers blending, inking, patterns, distressing
- Spellbinders Grand Calibur diecutting, embossing, letterpress
- Spellbinders Tool N’One removing die cuts, positioning stickers and gems, cleaning out dies
- Sewing machine creating texture and interest on all sorts of Papercrafts
- ATG Gun Have never let me down, once you get the knack of them they are a whizz and a time saver.
- IMAGINE Crafts Jumbo Dauber So fast at large area coverage and so smooth to use, love them, I need more in my life!
- Bone Folder An actual bone folder that is made of bone, does not mark your card, does not bend or wear out over time, this thing is amazing!
- Fantastix I am new to these but I wish I had them years ago, work wonders with ink and blending solutions, no more paper stumps for me!
- Tonic scissors they cut anything and everything and never go blunt! I use them on metal and on paper without a problem, amazing piece of kit that everyone should have!
- IMAGINE Crafts Craft Mat Essential for EVERYTHING, period.
- IMAGINE Crafts Ink Sweepers Love these for distressing cards and coloring larger areas.
- EK Success non-stick scissors These little suckers get into all the tight corners. I actually own two pairs of these just incase I loose one!
- Perfect Layers Mini are brilliant for matting and layering, no more uneven edges
- Rubber Pick Up Perfect for removing any accidental smudges on my projects!
- IMAGINE Crafts Craft Mat is leaps and bounds better than my old craft mat as it is more durable, holds up well under lots of use and abuse and cleans up to “new” condition each and every time I use it. It is the only craft mat I’ve ever owned that after 6 months of use still looks like it did when I took it out of the package. I can ink on it, paint on it, emboss, stamp, fold it, scrunch it and it’s no worse for the wear.
- IMAGINE Crafts Sponge Daubers These little finger tip tools are a dream. I am a very tactile artist – I like to dive right into my art and get messy. These Sponge Daubers allow me to create with my hands without getting as inky as I might in the past. The fingertip control allows for precise inking and holds up well under extreme use.
- Fiskars SoftTouch Micro Tip Scissors After 12+ years of use the same pair of scissors I bought so long ago is still extremely sharp and my hand never tires no matter how long or intricate my cutting job is.
- Carl Rotary Trimmer The Carl Rotary Trimmer is another old timer here in my Studio. It is well built, rugged and durable. I replace the knife and cutting mat once a year and it continues to cut like a pro.
- Scotch ATG 700 I use LOTS of adhesive and this is by far the most economical and Earth friendly solution I have found when it comes to dry double-stick adhesive. I wouldn’t use anything else.
- Craft Mat Nothing without my blue craft mat. It doesn’t wrinkel when transporting and doesn’t slip around once replaced. Very easy to clean, the perfect surface for mixing colors, taking monoprints and everything daubing
- IMAGNE Crafts Sponge Daubers & Ink Blushers I hardly can’t imagine a project without using any sponge technique.
- Tack’N’Peel The simple, quick, clean, cheap and space-saving method to use rubber stamps – and I’ve got a huge collection of unmounted rubber stamps!
- Paper Trimmer Generally I don’t buy ready trimmed card bases. It’s ceaper and offers more options to cut the cardstock for every project individually.
- Heat Tool I love embossing, no matter it is hip or not. Everything began with embossing cards for my wedding. Other applications are drying or to puff up Amplify!
Yes, there’s 6 here – sometimes it’s just too hard to decide!
- InkBlushers & Sponge Daubers – perfect for adding lush color to projects
- Memento inks – stamps cleanly, wide variety of colors, works fabulously when coloring with Spectrum Noir alcohol markers (no bleed), sponges on with InkBlushers or Sponge Daubers like a dream & Stazon midis – fabulous size, great colors, works perfectly on watercolor paper with Spectrum Aqua.
- Tim Holtz ruler – easy to see what you’re measuring, holes are great for paper piercing, steel edge food for using craft knife with
- Cutter Bee scissors – sharp, small, cut cleanly, good for detailed images
- Spectrum Aqua watercolor markers – easy to color with, fabulous rich color selection
- Foam adhesive strips – great for adding dimension
- IMAGNE Crafts Craft Mat This mat is the bomb. Everything cleans off of it with just a couple of swipes with a baby wipe.
- EK Success Teflon Scissors Great for fussy cutting images and cutting through something sticky.
- IMAGNE Crafts Sponge Dauber Inexpensive little tool for inking, painting, staining…you don’t feel bad when you toss it.
- Craft well eBrush So much fun for backgrounds, stenciling, masking. It can be used with most any marker out there.
- IMAGNE Crafts irRESISTible Pico Embellisher Wedding Dress The most favorite on my list! This goes on just about every card I make. I love the tiny white dots I can make with this product.
- Number ONE will always be StazOn. The Jet Black inkpad in the picture is from 2002!!!
- Memento what more can I say about this beautiful dye ink.
- Heat Tool I use it every day!
- My Blue Tool Box It counts as ONE and holds all of my Memento Luxe pads 😍
- Versamark Dazzle Champagne My newest addiction, although it has been on the market for awhile.
- irRESISTible Pico Embellishers
- Scotty Knife to scrape Gesso
- StazOn Studio Glaze
- Creative Medium Iridescent paste in ALL colors
- Neenah White Cardstock and Watercolor Paper As you’ve noticed, I use lots of colors in my cards but still have lots of white too, so for me a true white cardstock is a must. Talking about colors, I usually use alcohol markers or watercolor technique so Neenah CS and watercolor paper covers everything.
- Memento Tuxedo Black and/or VersaFine Onyx Black For alcohol based markers Memento ink is perfect and for water based products VersaFine is superb. I love the crisp black image that VersaFine gives me every single time. I can’t craft without either of these inks!
- IMAGINE Crafts Sponge Daubers As I mentioned colors, another way of coloring for me is using inks for sponging and Sponge Daubers are the best tools for that as they can reach in all those small places too.
- IMAGINE Crafts Shimmer Spritz Sparkle I love sparkle and Shimmer Spritz Sparkle is simply heavenly! You really NEED to see it in person. It add instant glow to any project 🙂
- Tombow Mono Multi Liquid Glue To assemble all the pieces on my card…I really need this superb adhesive.
What are your Top 5 Must Have Craft Tools?
We’d love to hear what your Top 5 craft tools are that you use every time creativity calls. Leave a comment below with your list of tools, we’re sure that there are some common themes to be found out there within our creative community!
Like to see more creative ideas for your next project? Be sure to visit IMAGINE Crafts’ extensive online collection of project tutorials and resources including product information and surface compatibility.