Well hello there! It's Jen from Something Turquoise, back again and thrilled to be talking about one of my favorite topics - crafting tools!!! People often warn brides of the "expense" of crafting items for your wedding and some of those warnings are true. If you are looking to make a special project for your wedding day and you need a special tool, it's an added expense (especially if you might never use that tool again). Which is why I say NEVER invest in a tool you think you won't use again! Most often you can borrow it from a friend, modify the project so that you don't need it, or buy the tool used off Ebay or Craig's List.
When buying tools always make sure to always check online retailers like Amazon to see if you can find it cheaper. If shopping in the store, bring a coupon with you! The 10 tools I'm talking about here are all awesome tools that you will use for the rest of your life so there's no worry there. But, spoken as a true crafter at heart... you can never have too many cool tools, too much glitter or too much paper - it's all just so much fun! I've added the cost, the possibility that you'll use it again and buying options for each. What's awesome is this entire list can be purchased for about $100 on Amazon, and if you have Prime you could have it within 48 hours!
Pro tip: this list would also make a killer bridal shower gift for your favorite crafty bride!
Cost: ~ $20 Will You Use Them Again: YES
My biggest pet peeve is trying to cut something with dull scissors. Have you ever done it? Then you know what I'm talking about. If you are a DIY bride and you don't have a fresh new pair of scissors, this needs to be your very first purchase. (Okay, you can buy them after you buy that bride tank top.) Seriously though, let's really talk about scissors. I'm obsessed and I'm serious about my scissors. I have MANY different scissors; small ones, large ones, gold ones, silver ones, shaped ones, paper ones, fabric ones... YES fabric scissors.
Ok, here's the deal; paper and everything else dulls scissors. Scissors need to be their sharpest to cut things like fabric and ribbon, and when you invest in a fabulous pair of fabric shears (yep, shears not scissors) they are not allowed to be used on paper or anything else because it will dull them. I am never more than 5 feet away from a pair of scissors at all times, I even keep a small pair in my purse! I know, total nerd but if you take one piece of advice from this article it should be this; get yourself a good pair of crafting scissors so that all the things you need to cut for your wedding will cut and look beautiful. Amazon is always a great place for scissors but all craft stores will have loads of options for you.
Cost: ~about $5 each Will You Use Them Again: Maybe
Forget the glue gun (it really sucks); for your wedding you need real adhesives. My favorites are:
E6000: You can literally glue anything to anything with it. In the picture below I'm gluing a rhinestone onto a ribbon for a bridal sash. This glue is amazing and it's wonderful for household uses as well.
Glue Dots: Fantastic for paper. If making your invitations or any type of wedding paper crafting you'll want to use Glue Dots to adhere paper to paper or pictures to paper. They have many different types including a removable type in case you want to temporarily make something and repurpose it after your wedding!
Tacky Glue: Just the best all-purpose glue that you will find.
Knowing what you want to glue to what is the question you'll need to ask for each project. If you are matting a picture in a frame, Glue Dots would be perfect. If you are gluing a picture to a metal charm, Tacky Glue should be your choice. Let's say you are gluing a keepsake together, you'll want to use E6000. All large craft stores have these adhesives and more, so does Amazon, so make sure you are buying the right one for the right project.
3. Paper Trimmer
Cost: $20 Will You Use It Again: Yes
Depending on what you plan to DIY for your event, most likely you will need a paper trimmer. They are good for so many things, but they are best for saving money! That's right, instead of spending more for cards or tags that are already cut to size, you can use a paper trimmer to create any size, of anything you'd like and save loads of cash.
If you're tackling larger projects like invitations, programs or seating cards, you'll want to buy one that is 12", so that you are able to cut down large pieces of paper. If you are only going to make small stuff and only need to cut 8.5" x 11" paper, a 9" trimmer will suffice. All large craft retailers have multiple trimmers, but Amazon always has great prices.
4. Hole Punch
Cost: $22 Will You Use It Again: Yes
You might actually overlook this tiny little tool but it's a biggie. If you want to make tags of any kind you are going to need an awesome hole punch and I have the absolute greatest one for you: it's called the Crop-a-Dile Eyelet Setter and Hole Punch. It's built for scrapbookers and it's a hole punch and eyelet setter in one, but it can literally hole punch through a piece of balsa wood (it's that strong!). It's the best hole punch I have ever purchased and you will love it. The handle has a soft grip that is ergonomic, so when you are punching 200 favor tags you will appreciate how nice it is to hold. They come in hot pink and turquoise (you know which one is my fave) and Amazon has the best price, although most large crafting stores carry this item.
5. Paint Brushes
Cost: $6 Will You Use Them Again: Yes
If you will be repurposing frames, furniture, vases, or decor of any kind, you will need good paint brushes! This could include small paint rollers as well. It's so easy to be able to take an item and refresh it with a new coat of paint.
For wood, fabric and basically anything other than glass or Ikea surfaces, you'll need paint brushes. You'll need larger brushes for larger surfaces and fine brushes for detailing. If you'd like to repaint an Ikea frame or glass jar, because of the smooth surface it will turn out best if you roll it using a mini-roller.
6. Painters Tape
Cost: $4 Will You Use It Again: Maybe
Painters tape or stenciling tape works wonders when you are painting a project. It can protect surfaces you don't want painted and add a design element all at the same time. It's super inexpensive and you will most likely use it again, so it's a great buy. The appeal of painters tape verses regular tape is that it's low-tack and promises not to lift freshly painted surfaces. Easy to find on Amazon and your local hardware store.
Cost: $4 Will You Use It Again: Yes
You will need a ruler, period. But what kind? A regular ruler, a tape measure or a measuring tape? A ruler is used for paper and all things flat that are within 18". A tape measure is what your Dad has in the garage and it's very helpful when planning out your reception space and large elements. A measuring tape is for garment measuring and sewing.
The type of "measuring device" you'll need is based on the projects you are undertaking, but I'll guarantee you'll need at least one of the above. You don't need a new one, so if you already have one or someone around you does, then great!
8. Xacto Knife
Cost: $7 Will You Use It Again: Yes
From cutting paper to carving wood, Xacto Knives are always good to have around. They are cheap and most people already have them in their homes. If you don't you can find them at almost any store from Vons to Michael's, and of course Amazon. Make sure that this little tool is in your DIY bride arsenal.
Cost: ~ $3 - $15 each Will You Use It Again: Maybe
Every DIY bride will need paint of some kind, whether it be acrylic paint, spray paint or water colors. The type of paint you will need is 100% dependent on the project you are making. You might need professional grade paint if refurbishing furniture for your event, you might need spray paint if re-painting something small like vases, or craft paint for small details like custom champagne glasses.
I would bet money that each and every DIY bride has to buy at least 2 paint related items in her journey. For instance, you can buy the ugliest jars and containers, add a coat of metallic spray paint and you have mis-matchy vases for your tables. Paint is glorious.
Cost: ~ free Will You Use It Again: It's trash, but... maybe?
Am I the only one who saves any and all pieces of good quality cardboard? I hope not. Cardboard can be used for sooooo many different things within your wedding planning journey. So from the moment you get engaged, start saving any good cardboard you see!
First use, to paint on. It makes a fabulous protective surface for paint of all kinds. Second use, to pack and separate your wedding decor. After you've gone to all that work to create your gorgeous wedding decor you can pack it all up and protect each piece by adding a small strip of cardboard around it. Third use, save and reuse ANY mailing box you get to pack wedding decor in... and then moving stuff! You will have loads of stuff to transport to your wedding venue, so much that it might blow your mind. So start saving all large boxes you get in the mail (I'm telling you, you'll thank me later).
***BONUS*** 11. Cricut Explore
Cost: $250 Will You Use It Again: Absolutely
This tool is for the hardcore, no messing around, DIY or die Bride. The Cricut Explore is complete awesomeness wrapped up in a small white and green box. You can cut paper, leather, vinyl, iron-on... and so much more. It attaches to your computer and takes commands with ease. You can cut and upload your own designs, use their free designs, buy inexpensive designs to basically cut your wedding heart out. From tags, to escort cards, to invitations, programs, table numbers, cake toppers, signs and more - they sky is the limit.
If you are even wondering if the price outweighs the value... don't, because it does. This device has single handedly changed the way I craft forever and honestly I could go on and on about it. There are SO many killer features I could be here for days explaining them. You can always ask your fiancé for it as an engagement present or register for it and hope you get it at your bridal shower!
Jen Carreiro is the turquoise crazed, master crafter and editor behind SomethingTurquoise.com, a creative wedding blog that truly embraces the DIY bride. Known for her detailed wedding DIY tutorials, Jen is hoping to rid the wedding crafting world of the term 'craft fail', and hopes to share techniques that will ensure 'craft wins' for you every single time. Follow her and her trail of turquoise into wedding crafting heaven. You can find her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.