As an avid crafter and DIYer, I am constantly trying to think outside the box and come up with fun new projects and ways to create things. I love to let the creative side of my brain run wild and free. It’s good for the soul, you know? Over the years, I’ve found that even though I’m always working on a wide variety of projects, I’m constantly using the same craft tools. They’ve become staples in my crafting tool box. They’re the same essential craft tools that I turn to over and over again. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty convenient to be able to get so much use and creativity out of a few simple tools.
Because I have a small home and store my craft supplies in a small space, I really try to limit the number of craft tools and supplies I keep on hand. Generally, I don’t buy new supplies unless I have a specific use or project in mind for them. However, the exception to that rule is the essential craft tools below. I always keep these things on hand because I know I’ll always have a use or need for them, and they won’t sit around collecting dust.
The best part is that none of these tools are incredibly expensive or hard to work with. They’re all simple tools that you can use to create amazing and beautiful projects. I don’t believe that you need lots of expensive, fancy equipment and tools to create gorgeous DIY projects. A good set of basic craft tools will set you up for crafting success for years to come!
Top 10 Essential Craft Tools Under $10
1. Glue gun: This is without a doubt my most used (and loved) craft tool. I use my glue gun for almost any and every project I do. It’s just so convenient to heat it up and start crafting away without having to wait hours for glue to dry. I will say that some projects require a stronger adhesive than hot glue, but 90% of the time, hot glue is my go-to and works perfectly! This is one very affordable tool you’ll get a ton of use out of. And don’t forget to have some extra glue sticks on hand. There’s nothing worse than starting a project and running out of glue sticks in the middle!
2. Mod Podge: Where would the craft world be without Mod Podge? Mod Podge is a sealer, glue, and finish all in one, and it works wonderfully on a large variety of surfaces. My favorite use for Mod Podge is to seal acrylic paint that doesn’t have a finish. Otherwise the surface is really dry and just gives me the whole nails-on-chalkboard feel whenever I touch it (ugh!). So I always keep a large stash of Mod Podge on hand for my crafts. You can get it in different finishes such as matte, gloss, or even sparkle, but I generally just keep a large bottle of the matte on hand.
3. Foam & paint brushes: I use both foam and paint brushes, but I find that I use foam brushes more than anything. Foam brushes are so cheap and handy. I use them for almost all of my painting. They’re easy to clean, and they dry really fast. If you buy a big pack and take care of the brushes, it’ll last for years. The only downside is that if you’re painting something with jagged edges, they can tear, so for those projects I suggest a regular paint brush.
4. Acrylic paints: Over the years, I’ve amassed a huge stock of acrylic paints. It seems every project I do, I have a different color I want to paint it. Luckily, you can get 2 oz bottles of acrylic paint in almost any color imaginable for about $1-2. Though I suggest waiting until you have a project in mind before buying a bunch of different paint colors, I always have some white and black acrylic paint on hand. Not only can you mix these with other colors to make different shades, but they’re also great for priming projects before painting.
5. Fabric measuring tape: Even if you don’t sew, a fabric tape measure is so helpful for measuring when you’re crafting and DIYing, because let’s face it, not everything we need to measure is on a flat, straight line! A retractable fabric measuring tape is even better, because it rolls back up by itself so you’re not left with a jumbled mess when you’re done using it.
6. Fabric scissors: These scissors should not be confused with your everyday household scissors! Every crafter should have a pair of scissors that are ONLY used for fabric, and kept under lock and key when they’re not being used! Why? In order to cut fabric, you need really sharp scissors, and everyday scissors that are used on paper and other materials are too dull to cut fabric. Have you ever tried to cut fabric with dull scissors? Yep, not happening! Even if you’re not a sewer, I highly recommend a good pair of fabric scissors. I use mine on a regular basis for cutting fabric even when I’m not sewing.
7. Fusible tape: Fusible tape is great if you don’t have the time or desire to sew. Though I usually prefer to sew, I don’t always have the time to get out my sewing machine, and this tape is perfect for those last-second fixes. You can use it to hem clothes, make curtains, and so many other projects and possibilities. Just iron it on, and you have a beautifully finished project that nobody even needs to know you didn’t break out a needle and thread for!
8. Markers: A nice set of different colored markers is so helpful when you’re crafting. You can use them for lettering, labeling, drawing, coloring, and just about any and every project. They’re perfect for adding a little color and handmade touch to your projects. Though I don’t do a lot of hand drawing, I still find myself getting a lot of use out of my markers in many of my crafts, as well as around the house!
9. Cardstock: I always keep a pack of neutral colored cardstock on hand for printables and crafting. Though I use a lot of colored card stock, I generally wait until I have a specific project in mind so that I can choose an appropriate color. You can get variety packs that include a lot of different colors, but the majority of the time I get the most use out of my neutral cardstock.
10. Clear storage totes: Keeping those craft supplies organized can be challenging, but it’s so important to be able to easily find what you’re looking for when you need it. Clear tote boxes can help out with this a lot. I love these boxes because you can easily tell what’s inside. Adding some labels will help you keep your craft supplies organized, which is half the battle when crafting!
So as you can see, none of these craft tools are particularly expensive or fancy, but they certainly get the job done! I am all about being as thrifty as possible when DIYing! There’s no sense in wasting money on craft supplies you’ll never use, right? It is definitely possible to create beautiful projects without a huge craft room and tons of craft supplies. Just a few of the essential craft tools are all it takes!
I’d love to hear what essential craft tools you can’t craft without! If you have anything to add to the list, let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter below so you can receive a weekly dose of creative inspiration right to your inbox!