As you may know, i’m a huge fan of any crafting tools that will take my crafting to the next level, or at least, make it easier (or more fun). These are the crafting tools I use on a regular basis and can personally recommend to you.
If the product(s) are available online (usually where I purchased it), I will be list and link for you. I do use affiliate links when possible (at no cost to you), but none of the products I’m listed were provided or sponsored by anyone. These are simply my personal favorite products that I use when crafting. Full Disclosure Here.
New to my list this year is the Wendy Vecchi MAKE ART Stay-tion which is magnetic and includes four round magnets to hold your paper/project still while you work on it. The reasons I like this is that it is large but not too large. It is 12 1/2 x 12 1/2. The entire surface is magnetic which keeps your paper/stencils from moving around while you ink, stamp, distress, whatever…. It has a grid and a magnetic ruler which helps you line things up perfectly (I’m not known for lining things up straight LOL) so this helps me a lot!. I have to add though that while I have not yet had any problems with the products that I use on it (distress & dye inks, pastes, etc. (I clean it up right away), that it is not made for use with ALL products. These guidelines are from the manufacturers website.:
When using Permanent and Solvent Inks, Alcohol Ink, acrylic paint, stencil/texture pastes, as well as any medium that has a permanent quality on your project with the MAKE ART Stay-tion, it is recommended to always use a non-stick surface such as Ranger’s Non-Stick Craft Sheet underneath your project. The included magnets can secure it in place without causing damage to the grid surface. The gridlines are visible through the Non-Stick Craft Sheet.
Solvent-based and other harsh and/or rough cleaners will remove the grid lines and should never be used on the MAKE ART
Stay-tion surface. Recommended cleaning is with mild soap, water and a soft cloth.
Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat (Travel Size & Left Handed Mats Now Available)
This work surface is carried over from last year’s favorites list because it’s still my main work surface and I still love it! Since the release of this Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat, Tonic has now come out with a Travel Size Media Mat as well as the Left Handed Glass Media Mat and Left Handed Travel Size Media Mat! So there is a solution for every crafter! This work surface is 23 x 14 and is gridded so it’s easy to align your paper/projects. You can also buy a Tool set which includes a ruler and media scraper. In addition, the non stick white craft mat surface is removable and they sell replacement mats as well.
Here is some helpful information about the Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat from the manufacturer:
Measuring 14”x 23” with a sleek black finish, the Tim Holtz Glass Media Mat is a fantastic multi-functional tool for creating on your workspace.
The 12”x14” measuring grid features imperial and metric measurements, and the white 7.5”x11” mixing palette area (complete with a durable non-stick mat) is ideal for preparing wet mediums.
- Glass Mat size 14″ x 23″ / 35.5cm x 58.3cm.
- Non-slip feet on the base of the Glass Mat for a secure workplace.
- 7.5″ x 11″ / 19 cm x 27.9cm mixing palette area.
- 7.5″ x 11″ / 19 cm x 27.9cm durable white non-stick mat overlay.
- Grid markings on the main area.
My favorite paper trimmers have not changed in several years because it is my opinion after trying most of the ones on the market, that I have found the best ones that work for me. This is what I use and highly recommend. You may not need both of these but this is what I personally use. (I copied my text from last year’s post so you can see WHY I like them so much and what the upsides and downsides may be to each.
UPDATE 2019: I use the Cutterpillar Pro Trimmer for any cutting that I need to do at my office, but most often I use it to cut chipboard. When I pack dies in a non sturdy envelope, I always include a piece of chipboard attached to the die(s) to keep the dies from getting bent in the mail.
In all the years I’ve been crafting, I’ve never used a trimmer better than the Cutterpillar(s). Whether you want a large one with a bigger footprint or a smaller one that can be more space friendly, you can’t go wrong with this brand. I got my first one when they were doing a Kickstarter program several years ago and although I have bought MANY trimmers since then, these are the ONLY two I’ve kept.
Anyway, some of the features I like about the Cutterpillar(s) is that the rotary blade NEVER has to be replaced. When they say that, they really mean it. I have put my trusty Cutterpillar Pro through the test of time and it’s still going as strong as day one! I like the LED lights which help you cut exactly where you want in all kinds of lighting. I also appreciate the fact that you can cut a 12″ sheet of paper with no trouble because the cutting surface is 15″ x 17″ and the ruler goes up to 17″. It also has a handy little storage tray on the bottom that I tend to forget about, but it’s a good feature if you want to keep something in there.
This is the trimmer I use solely in my own craft room. Some of the things I specifically like about the Cutterpillar Crop is that it has the same sturdy construction and other features as the Pro plus:
- The smaller foot print (takes up less room) than the Pro. It has a base of 6.5″ but can still cut a 12″ sheet of paper with no problem. The ruler extends to 17″!
- It is lightweight and portable.
- Can cut through chipboard like butter and then something as light as vellum and the edges are always smooth and straight. You can cut a big piece or a teeny, tiny sliver with no worries.
I use two Scoring Tools in my craft room. The WRMK Score Board for larger projects and the Scor-Buddy for card making.
The WRMK Score Board has a 12 by 12 inch working area with score guides every 1/8 inch. It comes with a bone folder and score guide which both store in the bottom of the board. It has rubber feet to keep it from sliding. Here is a close up look at the increments for scoring. This is one of my favorite features:
The Scor-Buddy has been on my favorites list for many years now because it is my go to tool for scoring when making cards. It measures 9 x 7.5 and is the perfect size to be handy, yet do a great job. It comes with a bone folder/scoring tool which is stored at the top of the board,
This item is new on my list this year because I’ve used another in the past (which is still great but I lost it so I replaced it with this New Teflon Bone Folder from Lawn Fawn, because it is the same quality and made from a small company I love and support.
The reasons I recommend this bone folder is because for one, I love the shape. It has a completely straight across bottom edge, which I prefer for running the folder over creased lines. It makes it much easier for me and I make less mistakes. The reason Teflon is important is because for one, inks and adhesives, etc., will not stick to it which will keep it looking and feeling brand new. It also does not leave that “shiny” look when you burnish the score lines. These are the top reasons that I prefer this Teflon Bone Folder from Lawn Fawn. You can get Teflon Bone folders elsewhere but this is the one I’ve found and am happy with.
These will be listed under Die Cutting Products as well but they are a tool so I’m listing them here under Crafting Tools too. The Metal Die Snips by Kat Scrappiness are new this year and have been selling like hotcakes with great reviews. I like them more than any other die snips I’ve ever used (I am the one that helped choose and design them so I better, right? LOL).
One of the reasons these die snips have been rated and reviewed so highly are because of the design. They are completely flat on one side which allows you to get RIGHT UP to the edge of the and snip off the connector without leaving sharp pointy spikes that poke you when handling your dies. No more filing the pointies off either! If you’d like to see what some of the Kat Scrappiness customers are saying about these die snips, click here to read their reviews.
I use several different pairs of scissor for different purposes. These are the ones I use the most.
For Fussy Cutting, I prefer Cutter Bee Scissors. These have been around forever and remain the best scissors in my opinion, for fussy cutting and small cutting projects. They can get into small, intricate areas and are very sharp. I keep the cover on them because of how sharp they are. If you have small children, you will want to keep the cover on or put these up where they can’t get these. (Which I’m sure you already do with all your sharp tools, just had to mention it 🙂
Although these snips are good for fussy cutting as well, that’s not what I use them for. They are coated so that nothing sticks to them. Anytime I’m cutting double sided tape or anything with adhesive on it I choose to use these. The titanium and miro serrated blade is self sharpening meaning it sharpens every time you use them. Who wouldn’t appreciate that?
Here are just some of the things you can cut with these snips:
Ribbon, Adhesive, Glue Dots, Buttons with Shanks, Grungeboard, Wooden Dowels, Fabric, Mesh Screening, Wire, Cardstock, Vinyl, Leather, Metal and even Rubber!
These are the DADDY of snips/scissors!
Larger Sizes Available
These snips also come in 7″ and 9.5″. Which you can purchase together or separately here:
I should also mention that the manufacturer has come out with these scissors for left handed crafters! You can find them here:
TIP: The manufacturer does warn that you are not supposed to cut Metal Dies with these Snips. They are not made for that and it will damage them. If you are looking for something to cut apart your metal dies, click here.
New this year are the 5″ Tim Holtz Haberdashery Scissors and 6″ Tim Holtz Haberdashery Scissors. They are extremely sharp and cut really well. I’ve only been using them for a couple of months but I use them for fabric and ribbon and am very pleased with them so far. The manufacturer’s description states that these scissors feature high durability titanium coated blades for cutting a variety of fabric.
So if you need scissors for fabric or ribbon, give these a try. You can’t go wrong with Tonic/Tim Holtz products!
T Square Ruler
T Square Ruler – which you an find here or here (or in your local craft store. This little tool is on my list every year. I use it on almost every card. It’s great for lining up stickers, sentiments or die cuts, etc. Everything can be straight with this inexpensive tool! Great for card making or scrapbooking.
Pick Up Tools
There are many “pick up” tools on the market but I’ve only had luck with a few that last over time. I will list the ones I have used and currently use in order of favorites. (Favorite first, 2nd favorite next, etc)
When working with small objects such as sequins, beads, even small die cuts, I always use my Crystal Katana. This little tool is amazing and makes crafting so much easier. No fumbling around, no sticky stuff and best of all, it releases the object when you lift it, unlike some other pick up tools. The inventor of this tool is a genius! The Crystal Katana is refillable too!
Several years ago, I made a video of the first time I used this tool in comparison to another brand. Here is the video if you’d like to see it. You can watch it in HD on YouTube or below:
You can also get a similar product by the same company that makes the for less money by buying it in a smaller size. It is called the Tanto. One difference is that you cannot replace the tips on the Tanto like you can on the Crystal Katana but it works just as well.
The least expensive Pick Up Tool I can recommend gets great reviews from my customers. DISCLAIMER: This is not my personal favorite pick up tool, (mine is the Crystal Katana or Tanto,) however, my customers rave about it and if you are on a budget, this is the best pick up tool available in this price range (in my opinion). It is the Double Ended Jewel Picker by Marvy Uchida and it sells for around $5.00 or less (at Kat Scrappiness)
This year there are two Erasers I recommend.
Another carry-over item is the Tombow Mono Sand Eraser. This little eraser is so very helpful when I make a mistake. It removes almost any mark from your paper including colored pencils, inks, pens and even some markers! If you just rub it gently over your paper it will remove the mark without leaving damage to your paper. It’s amazing.
This product is relatively new to me and I heard about it through Jennifer McGuire. It is the Couture Creations Creative Detailer
This little tool has a motor and comes with two sizes of refill erasers. It will remove foiling, marks, lead and colored pencil, etc. I’ve used it to remove small spots of ink when stamping as well. If you make a mistake, you can simply use this detailer to remove it! It’s handy and works really well and is great for getting into small, detailed areas of a project.
I use these little bead sorting trays along with the tweezers and scoop for tiny embellishments such as sequins, jewels, sprinkles, etc. It comes with a pack of ten trays (which I don’t need but at least I’ll never run out LOL) as well as a pair of tweezers with a scoop on the end. I use the scoop more than the tweezers because I usually use my Crystal Katana to pick up tiny embellishments. These are definitely handy and let you choose exactly which small embellishments you want and the scoop is my favorite part. You can choose exactly what goes in the tray so you don’t have to dump out an entire container of anything. (I found this product thanks to Jennifer McGuire!)
I have tried many different water bottles including the mini misters (which work great for small projects or traveling), but the one that gives me the best coverage and the fine spray that I prefer is the Tim Holtz Distress Sprayer. It always seems to give me full coverage over whatever my project is and the spray/splatters are perfect for making backgrounds with distress inks OR spraying your cardstock before using it with a 3d Embossing Folder (more on that later!). I highly recommend this spray bottle.
This is by far, the highest quality laminating machine I’ve ever owned. I have had it for several years now and still love it as much as the day I got it! It is well made, heats up quickly (3-5 min) and even has a jam release lever (which I’ve never needed). You can use 3mil or 5mil laminating pouches with this machine. I use 5 mil because I like what I laminate to be extra sturdy most of the time. You can use cold or hot laminating pouches with this machine, but I have only used hot. All laminators are not made the same. This one is around $17.99 and again, the quality cannot be beat at this price!
These are the laminating pouches I use. They come in bulk and because they are so inexpensive (and great quality), I always buy the 100 pack. I choose 5mil because most everything I laminate, I want be thick and extra sturdy. I mostly laminate cardstock for storage purposes but use it for other things as well. The price point on these is $10 and for 100 – 5mil pouches.
There are other crafting tools that I use and recommend but they belong in their respective categories so for example you will find my favorite Ink Blending Tools listed on the Kat’s Favorite Inks Post. My favorite Heat Embossing Tool listed on the Kat’s Favorite Embossing Products, etc.
Is there a tool that you use and highly recommend? Let me know, I’d love your feedback!