Monday, June 15, 2009

Crafty Tools Part II

Here are some more of the crafty tools I use alot. Like the ones I posted about last week, most have come from Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn or the Wal-Mart craft section. Some things, like alligator clips to cover, are harder to find, so I order them from Etsy or Ebay if they aren't on Etsy.
1. A rotary cutter, which you can find in the quilting or sewing section ofcraft stores. There are rotary cutters designed specifically for fabric and those designed specifically for paper (Martha Stewart crafts makes a nice one for paper). There are different blades you can use for different projects. Rotary cutters make it super easy to cut a straight line when you press the blade up against a straight edge (see below). 2. Three-dimensional, double-sided adhesive foam dots. There are lots of brands, and unlike the ones shown here, I don't get mine in the craft department. Instead, you can find them in the home improvement section of Wal-Mart or Target or in the picture hanging section of craft supply stores. The key is to look for the word "permanent," as opposed to "re-positionable." I stick these onto the back of covered buttons, wooden disks or Scrabble tiles to attach magnets or pushpins. In my experience they hold better than glue, and they are alot less messy. I wish I could take credit for this idea, but I actually first saw it on a gorgeous promotional magnet I received from artist Rachel Austin, and it has stood up to my two-year-old playing with it all the time.

3. An ergonomic craft knife, like this awesome one from Martha Stewart crafts. It's basically an Exacto knife, except the rubber handle allows for a more comfortable and safer grip. This thing is especially effective for cutting scrapbook paper and chipboard.

4. A clear acrylic ruler. These can be found in the quilting section of craft stores, and sometimes they are sold with a rotary cutter. The idea is that you can see through to what you are measuring to make sure your measurements and markings are accurate. Acrylic rulers are really thick, so you can put your rotary cutter up against it for cutting straight lines. You can also use it to measure and mark fabric or paper like a regular ruler.

5. Alcohol-free baby wipes. I use these for cleaning ink, paint, glue, etc., off my hands when I am in the middle of something. They are also good for cleaning ink off of rubber stamps when you need to change colors or don't have a chance to wash them right away. However, you will still want to wash your stamps in warm soapy water when you are finished with your project. Baby wipes are also good for wiping a lot of different things off of a lot of different surfaces, just be sure to get the alcohol-free ones.

That's all I have for today, but I'm sure once I'm back home and have a chance to look around the craft room, I will be able to post a Part III.


Rachael W. said...

I love this post! A friend uses her rotary cutter all the time, lately for cutting craft foam for VBS. I've been seriously considering splurging. Now, I need to add the Martha knife to that. I love my exacto, but when I'm using it a lot it does tend to get uncomfortable. Wipes, I use all the time, I have two small children so they are always available and work great cleaning up paint and even wiping down dusty items I find at Goodwill. My favorite tool you mentioned is the see-thru ruler. I've had mine for awhile, I bought it to make a quilt for my daughter, but I just discovered how handy it is for measuring my paper and wood. Thanks so much for posting this. I'm going to check out some other stuff on you blog. Have a wonderfully crafty day!

amybluestar said...

Ashlee. The ergonomical craft knife. You are SO right.

Also agree with the rotary cutter. For me personally, I also have a Martha Stewart circle cutter that I couldn't live without. Who knew I could cut so many circles??

Melissa ~ A BumbleBaby Mommy said...

Don't forget the bone folder! I learned that in design school - it makes folded edges super crisp!