Tools of the TradeJanuary 13th, 2009
Since I do a lot of craft projects, I have collected quite a few tools that I use almost on a daily basis. Many of them are fairly basic but I thought it might be helpful to create a master list of some of my favorite and most useful tools. I’ve included links to each of the products so you can easily find out where to buy them or get more information.
The X-acto Knife is an absolute MUST for any crafter. It gives projects a much cleaner, straighter and finished cut than scissors. Of course an X-acto can’t be used without a Self Healing Cutting Mat or Metal Ruler. Your counters and table will thank you! A Bone Folder is a handy tool that helps make sharp creases in paper as well as score or help rub things down after glue has been applied.
From left: 1.Alvin Cutting Mat 2.Metal Ruler 3.Bone Folder 4.X-acto Knife
My second most important tool that I own is my Fiskars Rotary Paper Trimmer. This thing is a dream! The blades slice through paper in no time and if you have a lot of cuts to make it can really speed up the process. The best part of this tool are all the different blades you can buy. My favorites are the Straight Blade, Perforating Blade, Pinking Blade and Scoring Blade. The perforating blade creates a series of small cuts along the paper so that it can be torn; much like how stamps used to be. The pinking blade creates a decorative scalloped edge on the paper. And the scoring blade scores the paper so the paper will fold perfectly.
From top: 1.Rotary Paper Trimmer 2.Straight Blade 3.Perforating Blade 4.Pinking Blade 5.Scoring Blade
I have an arsenal of hole punches and decorative punches but the ones I use the most are the simplest. The Hand Held Circle Punches in sizes 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 inches are great to have around; perfect for stringing a ribbon through a gift tag or adding a decorative border to a piece of paper. My Rounded Corner Punch is also one I use very often. It’s so easy to use and adds the perfect finishing touch. An Eyelet Setter is another tool that helps add a little extra to a project. This assists in setting eyelets for decoration or joining pieces of paper together.
From left: 1.Hand Held Punches in 1/16, 1/8, and 1/4 2.Rounded Corner Punch 3.Eyelet Setter 4.Silver Eyelets
A Circle Cutter is great to have on hand when you need to cut out a perfect circle. The Guide helps you align where you want your circle to be and then the tool cuts it out. Takes a little practice to get the hang of it but it really comes in handy when I’ve got a round thing to cut out.
From left: 1.Guide 2.Circle Cutter
For projects that I do on my computer I typically use Adobe Illustrator CS4 (Mac) / Adobe Illustrator CS4 (PC); it’s defiantly an advanced program but worth the effort to learn. It’s perfect for creating vector art and layout design. My Epson Printer is also a lifesaver. The quality on these machines amazes me every time. This particular one has some extra features that are really cool to have like a built in CD printer and a scanner.
From top: 1.Adobe Illustrator CS4 2.Epson Printer
I’m always on the hunt for new finds so I’d love to hear if you have any great tools that you can’t live without. Leave a comment below and include a link if you have it. Have fun and good luck!