Whether you’ve been crafting for years or are just starting out, you sell your products or give them as gifts, there is a range of cool and handy tools and accessories that can brighten up your craft space and improve your work. Here are a few of our favorites, suited for a range of different crafting techniques.
An absolute essential. Cutting wrapping paper? Making gift cards? Need to trim ribbon? A good quality craft knife is the key. Keep your knife sharp and you can rely on clean, professional-looking cuts rather than the bendy, uneven results you get from scissors.
Craft knives are available in a massive range of quality and price options – for around a pound in your craft store or DIY shop you can get a disposable blade model, or if you are a more committed crafter you can spend more and get a sturdier, more reliable knife.
Hand in hand with the craft knife goes the cutting mat. A protective self-healing mat for cutting is designed to protect your table, desk or craft bench from scarring and scoring caused by knife work.
Top-quality cutting mats are ‘self-healing’ – cuts in the mat close up (to a degree, you can’t cut right through the mat and expect it to heal) making for a much longer-lasting mat. Top tip: get a self-healing cutting mat with grid lines and measurements to make your work even easier – you can keep the items you are cutting aligned and straight and measure your cuts accurately.
On the subject of keeping cuts and lines straight – the trusty metal rule. Plastic and even wooden rules can become nicked and pared down when you run a knife along them, so they no longer provide a nice, straight line.
Use a metal version instead – you’ll pay more, but it will last for decades. For an easier time, try a pyramid-shaped architect’s rule: it’s much easier to apply even pressure when pushing down and holding it in place, and you’re less likely to slip and cut yourself or ruin your work.
Clamps are the perfect accessory when you need an extra hand. Get a desk-mounted clamp, and you can move or remove it whenever you want so it doesn’t take up valuable space when not in use. Also a great tool for when you need to hold something in place while adhesives dry – no more trying to balance books on top of your work to keep the glued pieces together.
Plastic storage boxes
As your journey in crafting continues, you’ll inevitably find that you have more and more ‘stuff’: threads, ribbons, paints, brushes, glitters, chalks, waxes etc. Plastic storage boxes are simply the best way of keeping your smaller bits and pieces organized, accessible and tidy.
For the real crafting pros, combine plastic storage bins with a louvre panel – you can mix and match as many different-sized boxes as you want and have them mounted on your wall or at the back of your desk. A more entry level option is the plastic drawer unit: a freestanding drawer cabinet that can sit on your desk or bench.