I have restraint issues when it comes to buying craft kit, which is exactly the reason why my desk is now adorned with half a dozen pairs of scissors, at least the same number of pin cushions, storage containers and of course the button collection, which could teach rabbits a thing or two about reproduction.
I have always thought it was because I hate not having what I need to finish a project, but after reflection over a hot cup of peppermint tea, I think it's a kind of stalling tactic slash confidence builder. There's a bit of me which thinks that I have all the gear - then yes I can. It worked for everyone who voted for Barack Obama in 2008, so why not me?
The point is that I am well stocked on the general craft front and I thought it could be good to share what I think are the basics that any wannabe crafterella might need. In this instance I thought we'd stick to, well, cutting and sticking.
Chop chop. When it comes to cutting tools, buy once and buy well. I have invested in more than one pair of fabric scissors over the years as I failed to look after the first pair, which meant they became blunt in no time. I am sure I could have had them sharpened but I just went and got more and relegated the others to general craft purposes. So now I have a few pairs, mostly the inexpensive kind, that are for paper, cardboard and the like, as well as one pair strictly for fabric use, and another delicate pair which are for cutting threads only. Pinking shears (which give a zig-zag edge) are handy too and I confess that while mine are for fabric, I have been known to use them for paper crafts and they're not much worse for wear.
I also have a craft knife, and a scalpel blade which I tuck at the back of the drawer where little fingers don't find it. I'm mulling buying a rotary cutter too, but I'm not sure if there would be an occasion I would need it where my "good" fabric scissors wouldn't do. I have marked all my scissors so that if my husband uses my "good" scissors to cut wrapping paper he can expect the verbal equivalent of a nuclear winter.
When it comes to gluing, stick to the instructions. I have a whole box of different types of glue and tape. A hot glue gun would rate as one my most useful and fun possessions. It's satisfying to put in that solid white little glue stick and be rewarded with clear, hot glue just seconds later. It can be tricky to work with as it's stringy, but it's also forgiving and tough - two of my favourite traits.
PVA is the crafter's companion but I also love Mod Podge, which is a general craft glue that gives a nice finish too. It's a must-have. I have both the matt finish and the lustre kinds for different purposes. I can't get by without my double-sided tape (lampshades!).
I'm partial to washi tape too, though I use this more for decorative than functional purposes. Washi tape is, it seems, everywhere at the moment from online tutorials, craft books and shops. It's a Japanese masking tape that comes in a huge number of pretty colours and patterns. Its uses are endless, Google it and see.
Have I missed anything major? These are the things I can't do without but maybe I am missing a trick too?
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