Whether you're a veteran crafter with years of sewing, soldering, and spray painting experience, or you've just gotten into the DIY game, there are some materials every crafter should have in their collection. These are products you'll use for dozens of different crafts and projects, so it's always a good idea to have them around. But before you head on out to the craft store, here's a pro tip: download the Michael's and/or JoAnn's app. The coupons will keep you in the habit without breaking the bank!
Hot Glue Gun
A good hot glue gun goes a long way. I suggest getting a dual temp gun — high-temp setting when you need a strong adhesive or you’re working with materials like wood, and low-temp for delicate materials. Don’t forget the right glue sticks!
ArtMinds Mini Dual Temp Glue Gun, $6.99, michaels.com
Paint Brush Set
Obviously, this is a must-have if you’re going to be doing any painting, but I’ve also used paint brushes to apply glue, Mod Podge, and to sweep away wood dust after sanding.
Smart Craft Brush Assortment, $4.99, michaels.com
I only recently discovered the Crop-a-Dile, and it’s amazing. Not only can you use it to punch holes through fabric, cardboard, and even wood, but this particular model also lets you set eyelets, flat snaps, and more. A great utility tool.
Crop-a-Dile Eyelet and Snap Punch, $29.99, amazon.com
If you’re planning on doing a lot of projects that require precision, invest in a good rotary mat. Self-healing mats are ideal because they won’t show any damage from your cuts and slices.
Olfa Self-Healing Rotary Mat, $22.99, michaels.com
I have about 10 cans of spray paint at my house at all times. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s perfect for projects both big (like furniture) and small (like vases). Rust-Oleum is my go-to brand.
Rust Oleum American Accents 2X Cover, $3.77-$10.77, amazon.com
Remember doing paper mache in school? Well, sometimes you don’t have hours and hours to layer soggy strips of newspaper on something — that’s where fast mache comes in. I used it to build a giant sword a few years back, and it was easy to apply and has held together extremely well.
Activa Fast Mache Instant Paper Mache 2 Lbs, $9.99, joann.com
Mod Podge is a seriously amazing product. Not only is it a great adhesive for paper crafts and other delicate materials, but it also works as a great sealant and finisher for wood and glass. Mod Podge has a large product line-up now, so you’re bound to find at least a few you’ll use all the time.
Mod Podge Luster/Gloss 16 oz, $9.99, joann.com
Invest in a good quality X-Acto knife, since the blades on cheaper ones can brake and dull. These are perfect for precision cutting paper, poster board, and even thin metal.
X-Acto Designer Craft Knife, $9.99, michaels.com
Pins and Pin Cushion
Whether you’re sewing fashion masterpieces or just fixing your favorite pants, you should have a good set of pins and a pin cushion. Having all your pins in a pin cushion is much handier than having to pull them out of a box — and less hazardous to your finger tips too.
40 Piece Assorted Pins and Pin Cushion Set, $5.47, amazon.com
If you’re planning on making jewelry or working with wire, get yourself a few good pairs of pliers. I’d start with some needle nose pliers, round nose pliers, and wire cutters.
Craft & Jewelry Value Pack Tool Set, $9.99, joann.com
Ever try to cut a piece of fabric and the end result turned out all ragged? That’s because your scissors weren’t sharp enough. Get a pair of fabric scissors to avoid that — but be careful!
Singer Fabric Scissors, $6.58, amazon.com
This stuff is so cool. You can transfer patterns and designs — usually that you’ve created and then printed onto the transfer paper — onto fabric, wood, glass, you name it.
Martha Stewart Crafts Transfer Paper, $8.99, joann.com
Of course, you’ll need a bunch of crafting supplies, but where will you put them all? Get a multi-drawer storage unit that you can organize by project, product, or use to keep everything in order.
Blue Hills Storage Cart, $31.49, amazon.com