10 Must-Have Tools for Any Arts and Crafts Lover’s Creative Toolkit

Cool Art and Craft Supplies

This post is sponsored by Excel Blades. Our partners are handpicked by My Modern Met’s team because they represent the best in design and innovation.

When it comes to getting serious about your art, one thing is certain—good tools are important. Working with the highest quality equipment means that you'll be able to focus on your creativity without having to worry about your materials failing you. Luckily, there are all sorts of unique art supplies that will allow your creative vision to come to life.

Excel Blades, a Made-in-the-USA, family-run business for over 30 years, is a leading innovator in the field. Not only do they have a vast collection of cutting tools for artists and hobbyists, but they also provide a wide range of supplies for all types of creative projects. So whether you're cutting a stencil, decorating a cake, or crafting a piece of paper art, Excel Blades will have something you'll want to add to your toolkit.

We've scoured their list of cool art supplies and have come up with 10 must-have tools that will help take your art to new heights. Many of them will make life so much easier that you'll wonder why you didn't already have two in your art studio. And the best part is they're all under $50 (most are under $25!). Check them out and either order online or find your nearest store.

Here are 10 innovative arts and crafts supplies to add to your creative arsenal.


Dual Blade Strip Cutter

Working on a project where you need exact, symmetrical strips of material? Measuring and cutting to the exact same measurement time and time again can be time-consuming and difficult to get right. That's where the Dual Blade Strip Cutter comes in handy. The width can easily be adjusted to the size needed, making the task quick and efficient.

Hot Tip: Use it on paper, leather, vinyl, foam core, plastic, cork, fondant, gum paste, wood, cloth, clay carving, or polymer clay


Cushion Grip Craft Knife

A quality cutting tool is a must for any creative, no matter the type of art or craft you're creating. Excel Blade's Cushion Grip Craft Knife has an ergonomic handle to make sure you stay comfortable while cutting. It also comes with a shatter-resistant safety cap so that you'll never risk hurting yourself or others.

Hot Tip: Pick up a variety pack of replacement blades so you're never caught without what you need!


Wood Burning Set

This affordable Wood Burning Set is a great option for beginners looking to expand their creative skills. It comes with five tips that will allow you to create different designs not only on wood but also leather and cork.

Hot Tip: Use a Cushion-Grip Knife to cut custom stencils that can serve as templates for wood burning projects.


Index Finger Knife

If you've spent a significant amount of time cutting materials for art and craft projects, you know that sometimes a cushioned handle isn't enough to keep you comfortable. That's what makes the Index Finger Knife so revolutionary. By simply looping it around your finger, you can maintain precision while gaining extra support.

Hot Tip: Pumpkin carving with the family? Give this cutting tool a try to carve your spooky creations.


3-Piece Tweezers Set

Tweezers come in handy for all types of projects, whether you're making jewelry, placing vinyl lettering, or positioning mosaic tiles. With the handy 3-Piece Tweezers Set, you'll always have the right tool for every project. The kit comes with pointed, slanted, and hollow tweezers—all made of stainless steel—and is available in three colors.

Hot Tip: Tweezers are must-have tools for paper art, quilling, cake decorating, vinyl wrapping, weeding, and jewelry making.


AlumiKit Ruler and Cutter

AlumiColor and Excel Blades Measuring Kit

AlumiKit | $18

We've all had that experience—you place down a ruler to help keep your line straight but then it slips and now you've cut a slanted line. By pairing with Alumicolor, Excel Blades is making sure that never happens again. Their AlumiKit comes with an “AlumiCutter” ruler and an Excel Blades K18 cushion knife to ensure precision cutting. The ruler not only has a raised edge and finger groove for safety, but its non-slip backing guarantees that it will stay in place.

Hot Tip: The kit is available in either Imperial or Metric measurements and comes in six different colors.


Mahl Stick

A Mahl Stick is a critical tool for any painter. Artists who use oil paints or create hand-lettering will find it particularly useful. Essentially, the long stick with a knob at the end keeps a painter's hand steady while they work in close proximity to their artwork. It also provides support, as painters can't rest their hand or arm on the wet surface without ruining their own work.

Hot Tip: Excel Blades' Mahl Stick has an aluminum body and can be screwed together, making it light and portable.


3-Piece Pounce Wheel Set

Pouncing wheels—also called tracing wheels—have a hardened serrated steel head that can imprint dotted or dashed lines on many different surfaces. This can be useful for artists who want to transfer an image from one surface to another, but these tracing wheels can also shape and mold clay and fondant. These handy tools are also useful for quilters, who can pounce patterns onto fabric.

Hot Tip: While the pouncing wheels are sold individually, the full set comes in three sizes to create between 14 and 24 perforations per inch.


Excel Blades Professional Set

Whether you are into wood carving, sculpting, scrapbooking, or printmaking, the Excel Blades Professional Set will take your work up a notch. It comes with both light and medium aluminum cutting knives for slicing through materials of different thicknesses—this is in addition to a carving knife. Rounding out the set, which comes in a wood box, are 8 blades and 2 gouges.

Hot Tip: This set makes the perfect gift for any creative person in your life, as it comes in handy for a wide variety of projects.


Super Deluxe Knife Set (46 Blades & Knives)

This one-of-a-kind Super Deluxe Knife Set has anything and everything an artist could want when it comes to cutting. Made in the USA, as with all Excel Blades products, this luxurious set comes with 37 assorted blades and 6 types of knife handles. A hobby awl, burnisher, and sharpening stone round out the set. With straight, hooked, rounded, and chisel blades you'll be able to achieve any effect you desire on a huge range of materials from wood and leather to cardstock and cork.


Excel Blades: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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