Being a crafter means that there is no shortage of cool supplies that you can have in your studio stash. But what’s essential and what’s a nice-to-have item? While that will depend on your work, there are many tools that will benefit you no matter if you’re an embroiderer, scrapbooker, or collage maker. We’ve compiled a list of must-have craft supplies you’ll want to have on hand.
Some of the items on this list seem like no-brainers. Scissors are essential, but it’s worth noting that their quality is important and that there are ways to increase the longevity of this tool. In addition to scissors, a solid pack of drawing pencils and sketchbook paper will help you plan your next great project. And having a few spools of washi tape on your craft table is a great way to add some unexpected color and fun to your creations.
Check out our entire list, below.
Make sure your craft stash is ready for any project when you have these essential supplies on hand.
You’ll never go wrong with a good pair of craft scissors. Look for a pair that has a sharp blade and comfortable handles (many handles have silicone padding). To increase the longevity of your scissors, it’s wise to invest in multiple pairs that will each be used for a single purpose. Shears meant to cut fabric, for instance, should only cut fabric. Likewise, scissors that will trim paper should just be used for that purpose.
If you’re an embroiderer, check out our guide for the best embroidery scissors.
A glue gun will tack down a lot of things. With its heated adhesive and quick cooling time, this is a great tool for a variety of craft projects. The types of glue guns vary—particularly in temperature. Low-temperature guns are best for sensitive materials that might melt with too much heat. High temperature offers an even quicker dry and stronger bond.
Sketching is the foundation of many arts and crafts practices, so it’s wise to have a set of pencils handy. Whether you’re creating a frame-worthy drawing or planning for a project, you’ll want to make sure you have graphite ready.
There’s a lot more to pencils than you might think. Check out our extensive guide to drawing pencils to help determine what’s best for you. But if you’re looking for a place to start, look for an assortment of pencils that offer a wide range of graphite grades.
Whether you’re a fan of adult coloring books or are amazed by colored pencil artworks, you’ll want to have a pack of this material on hand. There are two grades of colored pencils: Student and Professional (or Artist). The Professional grade will generally be of higher quality and deliver richer tones. Depending on how often or what you’ll use them for, you can decide the best pencils for you.
Check out our detailed guide to colored pencils where we cover the sets that both enthusiasts and professionals love.
You never know when a paintbrush will come in handy. Of course, you’ll most likely use it for paint, but there are other materials—including some glues—that will require the use of a brush. Look for a pack of synthetic bristle brushes that come in a variety of sizes and shapes. (If you find that you’re doing more painting, you can always buy individual brushes.)
Learn more about shapes of brushes and how to keep them clean.
Acrylic paint is a versatile part of a craft stash. You can create paintings with it but also use it to adorn things made out of wood or polymer clay. Having a basic set of colors, along with some color mixing knowledge, will help you add that perfect touch to your projects.
Need some acrylic paint suggestions? Check out our favorite acrylic paint sets.
A hole punch might seem like an unusual necessity for your crafting supplies, but this tool is used for more than just office work. It is particularly helpful in collage, as the holes punched can be part of your image-making. In addition, there are many different types of hole punches; some make very large circles while others are in different shapes. It’s no wonder they are such a hit in the scrapbooking community.
When you need more precision than a pair of scissors, you’ll want to reach for a trusty craft knife (commonly known as an X-Acto knife). These small knives are what artists use to create intricate paper art, but they’re also helpful with projects that involve clay, model building, or anything else that needs cutting for which scissors won’t do.
You never know when inspiration will strike or when you’re going to need to scribble a drawing. So, you’ll want to have a sketchbook handy to record it all. When thinking about a sketchbook, consider what you’ll use it for. Will you be traveling with it? Will it live in your studio space? Do you plan on drawing in it often, or is it just for periodic doodles? What media will you be drawing with? Answering these questions will help determine the best type for you.
It can be challenging to select the right sketchbook. Here are 10 of the best sketchbooks that folks of all creative abilities like to use.
Washi tape is a special Japanese paper tape that comes in a variety of fun colors and patterns. Because of its jubilant designs, it’s a great addition to craft projects, from adding accents to everyday objects (try wrapping it around your phone charger) to being used in mixed media projects.