10 surprising craft room essentials

Craft Room Essentials

Wants vs Needs

I don't know about you, but I'm a paper collector - the prettier, the graphic, the typographical ones... I could go on. Yet, with all of my recent project posts I've realised I haven't used any. It got me thinking about the difference between what we want in our craft room (pretty things we never want to use, hoarding for the "perfect project") and the essentials we actually will use. So, I thought I would draw up a list of those things I find myself using all the time.

Wants

Needs

Patterned Paper

We all love to hoard pretty papers; whether they are individual loose sheets, pads or kits they can't help but find their way into our stash. Designed to break our hearts and our budgets, these papers spend more time in storage than they do on our crafting tables.

Coloured Card

On my essentials list has to be coloured cardstock; choose a great quality card with a coloured core, a great GSM and look for a textured card as these always look great. Look for a good range of colours in a set or multiple sets from the same manufacturer.

ATG

We've all wanted an ATG; first of all it is a cool gadget to have in our craft room. Secondly, it seems like it will make it easier for us to make our projects. However, by the time we've fiddled with the ill-running tape and wasted product, are they really worth it?

Strong Red Tape

The one thing I could not craft without is strong red tape. This tape is great for box making and projects requiring longevity. I've seen a lot of double sided tapes come and go over time, but this one always prevails.

Washi tape

We've all succumbed to the washi bug; I have a collection sitting on my desk... and hanging on my wall. These little rolls of colour and pattern look lovely, and are brilliant for temporary colour. However, the adhesive ages quickly and the rolls don't last.

Fabric tape

This versatile border material can give us the same pop of colour as washi, while having a greater longevity. Fabric tape also makes great hinges for our bookbinding projects. You will often see me using a range of designs within my craft projects.

Fad Storage

How often do we find ourselves buying storage for our storage? Often, fad storage only adds to our lack of organisation by either causing us to move something to a non-accessible place. We must learn not to put fashion above practicality in our studios.

Useful Storage

Essential storage begins with a great plan; work out how you work first of all by considering how often you use tools and materials. Your plan should keep all your most used materials close by, while others can afford to be further away.

Glitter

Glitter seduces us; standing proudly lined up on the shop shelves in multitudes of shades. Yet, how often do we use it for either fear of mess or the fact that it will shed for years to come. While we can encapsulate it, wouldn't it be better to do it in one step?

Embossing Powder

Instead of glitter, we can use embossing powder for a more permanent effect while giving you the option of the same sparkle. Invest in a range of grain sizes, but I usually stick to clear, holographic, silver, gold, copper and white as you can cover most bases.

Foam Pads & Tape

As we are all trying to conserve not only our budget but also the materials that we use, foam pads are a no-no. While they are highly convenient for us, they do not last and when the adhesive dries up they are not easy to dispose of in a safe manner.

Silicon Glue

I've switched over to silicon glue; while it's not entirely environmentally friendly, I use less of it than i would foam pads. It also makes designing cards for post much easier as I control the overall depth of the card or project.

Decorative Scissors

If you have ever tried creating a professional card with these scissors, you know why I say no. They can be tricky to align, difficult to keep straight and the only style that remotely works is a deckle edge. You would be better off using a ruler and tearing your edge.

Multi-blade trimmer

No crafter can survive without their trimmer; we all have our own favourite. You don't realise how difficult it is to find one that cuts a perfect right angle for you until you have to find a new one; a versatile one that fits all your needs as they can be substantial to store.

My Craft Room Essentials

Brother Scan 'n' Cut

This machine has really taken over in my craft room in ways I didn't expect. It will happily replace stamps, dies, tracing paper, scalpel and trimmers. It also loves to combine with other craft tools and adds options for foiling, embossing and glitter. Oh Brother, how I love thee, let me count the ways.

I will publish a separate post on my digital craft room shortly; covering apps, software and hardware.

Vinyl

Following on from the Brother, I've really taken to vinyl in a way I never did with my CraftROBO; which in some ways is mad as vinyl works easier on the CraftROBO as it doesn't need a carrier sheet. I've used it in personalisation and furniture revamp projects. Clear vinyl can also be used to make your pages wipeable or to add a gloss finish. Also, it worth adding a transfer sheet to your stash to help you transfer your design to your project.

Crop-a-dile

I would be lost without my Crop-a-dile; it easily punches through multiple layers of paper, card, chipboard. There has yet to be a project where it has refused to punch. I just have the hand-held version, but there is a desk version that does make punching easier and can punch anywhere on 12x12" project. I'm saving up for a matching Corner Chomper to keep it company.

White Card

Hardly surprising, however the size may be - I use 12x12" and 12x24" cardstock as I found I could get more out of these sizes. I will be reviewing the 12x24" cardstock shortly.

Coloured Card

My main coloured card stash comes from American Crafts; I love this card for its range of colours, strong GSM and smooth finish. It is suitable for die-cutting (both by die and by machine), take stamping well and also suitable for drawing on.

For  textured card, I go to Papermania's Premium Textured Cardstock packs. Again, they have a great range of colours and good GSM for construction projects. The card die-cuts well, and it is cuttable by electronic cutters sparingly. It takes ink well around the cut edge to give a lovely three dimensional effect.

Project Life Cardstock

If I have a patterned cardstock in any 3D project, the chances are it will be from Project Life. The cared stock cuts wonderfully by die and machine, scores well and is easy to adhere. Check out our scrapbook and 3D projects to see these in action.

Punch Boards by We R Memory Keepers (WRMK)

I love the punch boards by WRMK; firstly, there is the stress relief element of punching paper. Secondly, they really make boxes and envelopes easier to do. They also combine well with the Scan 'n' Cut, as the Brother can add elements and embellishments to your project easily. See our Gift Box project to see how they can work together.

Fuse Tool by WRMK

I have a love-hate relationship with my Fuse; see my tips for using the Fuse tool. If you already have the Fuse, I recommend investing in the decorative tips as they bond better. If you don't have a Fuse, wait for the new version which WRMK are releasing later this year. The new version has a centrally mounted wheel (no more wobble), is USB powered (which my desk sockets will love).

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