Best Crafting Tools – My 15 Favorite
Those two words are music to my ears! One of my favorite things to shop for is new crafting tools.
When I enter a store to grab paper or fabric, I’m often distracted by the gadgets and gizmos meant to make me a more crafty crafter.
Just the selection of scissors alone is enough to make your head spin. There are fabric scissors, paper scissors, decorative scissors, pinking shears, craft scissors, and embroidery scissors – it’s mind-boggling.
As I do not have time to try all the various crafty doodads available, I tend to rely on the experience of others to guide me before I buy. So I read reviews, ask others for their recommendations, and when I find something I love, I snap it up.
What's In Your Tool Kit
The tools you have in your crafting arsenal will largely depend on what you craft.
My focus is on fabric, felt, and paper in the costume and Halloween niche, so the tools in my studio lean heavily toward these mediums. But – I have accumulated tools for other things, such as crochet, jewelry-making, wood-burning, etc.
I’ve been crafting for most of my life, and some tools are decades old, but I’m always game to check out the latest and greatest crafting tool.
Stocking The Studio
Recently I took stock of what I have in my craft studio to reorganize and purge. As I tidied up, I realized that I use some tools consistently – some even daily.
So I decided to share my go-to’s and why they hold such a high honor in my crafting toolbox in the hopes that this might help you determine whether a tool is right for you.
Each item on this list is one that I own and use. There are no stock pics here; the photos are from my studio. And you’ll see that the regular use makes most of my tools look less than pristine.
I’ve linked all of my favorite and best craft tools for you so you can get more information and read reviews.
Making The Cut
Since the project dictates the tool required, I do not have my list in any particular order.
So, without further adieu, here is the list of my 15 best crafting tools – plus a few honorable mentions.
Clover Pom Maker
I’ve been making pom poms since junior high. We used to make poms for our roller skates, cheer shoes, and anything else we could find to decorate.
We used cardboard that we cut into circles and sandwiched together to craft poms in various sizes. I still remember how to make them using this method, but when a costume piece called for a multitude of poms, I decided to modernize my tools.
In my quest to find the easiest-to-use pom maker with the best result, I ended up with three or four brands. Essentially, I purchased every pom maker I could find in my city.
I tried each one and found that, though there is a bit of a learning curve with the Clover Pom Makers, they turn out the best and most consistent poms. I like them so much that I own every size they make.
Dritz Drawstring Threader
As the mother of two (now grown) boys, I can’t tell you how many times this little gadget has saved me tons of time and frustration. Even if you don’t craft, this tool is a must-have.
There is no more need for safety pins and a plethora of patience when you have this tool.
The drawstring threader makes quick work of running drawstrings through sweats and hoodies. And it makes stringing elastic and ribbon through casings in the sewing room quick and painless.
That Purple Thang
I stumbled upon That Purple Thang on Amazon several years ago and am so glad I snapped it up.
It’s super simple and compact, but it is a huge help at the sewing table.
The TPT, as it’s called, is excellent for pushing out freshly- stitched corners and stuffing polyfil into tight places. From pushing fabric through your machine to measuring 1/4″ (the square end is precisely that) to threading elastic – you’ll wonder how you got along without it.
I use mine so much that I accidentally ran it through my machine, which explains the needle hole in the end.
Olfa Rotary Cutter
Oh. My. Lanta. When I got my hands on my first rotary cutter, that totally changed the fabric-cutting game.
I love the rotary cutter when cutting almost any fabric layout, but I especially love using it with a straight edge. You snug it up to the ruler and roll and cut.
I get less fatigued when cutting big projects using rotary cutters instead of shears, and I’m more accurate with my cutting.
Although rotary cutters are not made for every situation, I have several and use them to cut fabric and felt, and I even have one for paper.
Olfa Lip Edge Ruler
This lip edge ruler landed in my studio after a trip to the thrift store.
I had always passed by this item in the craft store because I’m not a quilter and couldn’t see a need for it. However, the price at the thrift was too good to pass up, so I brought it home and now use it regularly.
It pairs perfectly with my rotary cutter as the lip edge butts up against the cutting mat, so there’s no need to worry about the ruler slipping.
This tool makes short work of cutting straight edges, even for us non-quilters.
Olfa Self-Healing Cutting Mat
A couple of years ago, I decided to move up from my well-used, decade-old cutting mat and graduate to a self-healing mat. However, I was not convinced that I would like it, and since these are a bit pricey, I grabbed a small one.
I love it! The mat provides a continuously smooth surface.
It sits on my small counter area along with the lip edge ruler, ready for any quick cut I want to throw at it. I keep the rotary cutters close by to cut fabric, felt, paper, and ribbon in a snap.
Fabric Scissors / Shears
One of the first lessons I learned in Home Ec (back in the day) was to have a pair of fabric scissors and use them only on fabric.
Sewists take this very seriously – my hubby, not so much.
I still remember the two of us taking my fabric scissors in for sharpening after he had used them to cut paper. The ladies in the shop had a good laugh over it and then made him promise never to do it again.
I have two pairs of fabric scissors, one Singer and one Mundial. Neither are high-end, but they do the job for my purposes. I keep them sharp, and I keep them away from the hubby.
Brother Sewing Machine
The first sewing machine I had as an adult was vintage. When I say vintage, I mean that it was an old black Singer in a cabinet. I had to let it go when, in the middle of making the crib bedding for our first kiddo, the thing quit.
I moved up to a basic White sewing machine. There were no frills; it was just the basics, but it helped me craft home decor, holiday pieces, more crib bedding, and many costumes.
The next and current machine I have now is a Brother – Project Runway edition. This machine is lightweight, has oodles of stitch options, and I find it very easy to use.
The Project Runway limited edition is discontinued, but I’ve been so happy with this machine that I recommend checking into their other models.
Another game changer is these heavy glass pattern weights. No more pinning down patterns; I just lay the weights on top and cut.
Some projects still require me to pin down my pattern, but I use weights whenever possible, saving me a ton of time.
I am currently using the glass weights, but you can get these in a variety of options to fit your needs and budget.
My sewing pins will feel neglected as, in addition to the pattern weights, I invested in some sewing clips.
These clips are another quilter’s tool that has spilled over into the crafting sphere.
I use these to bind almost anything – fabric, felt, paper, ribbon, pattern pieces, etc. They are easy to use, easy to store, and very affordable.
Fiskars Finger Loop Detail Knife
Are you making fine cuts that require detailed precision? Then, this little knife is the go-to.
The finger loop offers excellent control, and the knife is plenty sharp, giving accurate cuts.
I still use my X-Acto knife, but this is perfect for small, intricate work and when you need a quick cut. Keep it close to the cutting mat because you’ll probably reach for this a lot.
Fiskars Paper Cutter
I picked this up back in my scrapbooking days. It’s been a staple in the studio for so long that I can not even remember what I used previously.
This cutter has gotten me through two kids with their school projects and numerous paper crafts.
The cutter is tucked in the top drawer of my crafting table, so it’s easy to grab. I always keep extra blades on hand as I would hate to be caught without a sharp one when a cut needs to be made.
This crafty tool is another newer addition to the studio and an item I hesitated to purchase as I wasn’t convinced I needed it.
Well, I was wrong.
I’ve had this for less than a year, and it’s already found a prominent location in the studio.
The light box is perfect for lining up printable patterns, tracing, weeding vinyl, and more.
The design is lightweight, super-slim, and even dims so that you can control the light level.
Surebonder Glue Guns and Glue Sticks
A glue gun is a glue gun is a glue gun, right? I thought so too, until my old glue gun bit the dust and I had to purchase a new one.
After reading a few reviews, I decided on the full-size Surebonder glue gun. Well designed, it’s cordless (heats up when plugged in), gets plenty hot, and has a drip catcher.
After my experience with the full-size model, I also scooped up the mini.
I major in hot glue, so I keep both of these in the top drawer in my cabinet so I can grab them and get gluing quickly.
The Cricut Maker may be the biggest game changer in my tool belt. This thing is incredible.
I was a little late to the cutting machine bandwagon as I only purchased the Maker a few years ago.
I read reviews of several machines and did a lot of research before taking the plunge.
I chose the Cricut over other machines because it seemed to have the largest user base, which meant lots of info, tips, and tricks floating around on the web.
I found Facebook groups and websites dedicated to this crafty tool, and by the time my machine arrived, I was less intimidated and ready to start crafting.
I use my machine to cut felt, cardstock, scrapbook paper, glitter paper, chipboard, vellum, stiffened felt, craft foam, plastic, foil, and more.
It’s been a huge time saver, and I use it nearly every day.
Keeping the list to the 15 best craft tools was challenging, so I want to mention three other crafty tools I often use.
Fiskars Curved Craft Scissors – I keep these near my sewing machine to carefully snip off threads.
Needle Beetle Needle Threader – This little critter is super helpful in threading needles and even has a led light.
Clover Liner Pen – This fine-point chalk liner allows for slim, accurate lines when transferring patterns or other markings.
Whew! What a list.
I hope you find this list helpful as you consider what project tools you want to add to your toolbox.
But tell me, is there anything that I missed? Do you have a favorite go-to craft gadget you can’t live without? Let me know, as I’m always looking for tools to make my crafting easier.
Until next time, keep it crafty.