- Home decor projects including adhesive vinyl designs, such as my Ceiling Medallion Wall Clock and my Cable Art Display
- Fabric and wearable projects including heat transfer designs, such as my Ruffled Birthday Cupcake Tee and my new Whimsical Christmas Stockings
- Projects that require cutting many of the same design, such as my Honeycomb Nursery Wall Canvas
- Cutting unusual materials like felt or metal, as I do when making stamped metal tags from Coke cans
- Letterpressed paper crafts, such as my Holiday Gift Tags or my Hands Memory Book
- Unique paper designs, such as my Bewitching Cupcake Toppers or my Paper Rosette Christmas Ornaments
In a nutshell, I personally would recommend the Silhouette to someone more interested in home decor and sewing projects, and the Epic to someone who prefers traditional and paper crafting.
So what’s my take on the Silhouette vs. Cricut debate? After having owned and used both, I absolutely recommend the Silhouette, the primary reason being that the Silhouette is capable of cutting any font your heart desires, without having to use peripheral software. The cartridges required by the Cricut are very limiting, and very pricey.
three. Sewing Machine
You might wonder why I’m including a sewing machine in my list of crafting must-haves. The answer is simple: sewing machines can be used for so much more than making garments or pillows! I love to use mine to add a homespun feel to wall hangings and handmade cards. I have a Brother SE350 (the older version of the SE400), and I love it!
four. Rotary Cutter and Mat
I use my Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set all. the. time. You can not only cut fabric with this setup, but also paper, which makes it extremely functional, and I love the clear ruler that comes with it. (Just be sure to use a different blade for cutting fabric and paper, labeling each with a Sharpie to keep them straight, as cutting paper will dull your blade very quickly!) The self-healing mat is also handy for placing on your work surface when making jewelry items that need to be measured, since it is ruled on both sides. My recommendation here would be not to skimp on the size of your mat and ruler here. There is a set with a smaller mat and ruler available, but I have found this 18×24″ size to be just right for my needs.
five. Hot Glue Gun
My hot glue gun and I are truly BFFs. I have had the same one since my sorority days when I pulled many an all-nighter to make crafty creations to decorate the house for rush parties. It’s still labeled with my maiden name. Truly, as a crafter, you should never leave home without your glue gun. I use it in paper crafting, home dec projects, and so much more.
There are many, many categories of adhesives, but these are the ones I use the most frequently, aside from my trusty hot glue gun above:
- Adhesive Runner. I have tried many, many acid-free tape runners, and I have found the Tombow Mono Adhesive runner to be my absolute favorite. Having an acid-free product is particularly important when you’re making things like memory books that you will want to preserve for years to come.
- Dimensional Foam Dots. Dimension is essential in creating handcrafted items that don’t scream, “I made this at my kitchen table!” I absolutely love using these little guys to up the ante in my paper crafts, such as in my Framed Silhouette Vignettes. I have found the product I like most in this category are the Sticky Doos Adhesive Foam Dots from Hobby Lobby.
- Heavy-Duty Adhesive. E6000 is my go-to product when I need to count on something being held together tightly, such as in the cable art display I linked above. I love that this product can be used on anything from wood to fabric. It really is great stuff!
- Spray Adhesive. This can be used to secure stencils temporarily or adhere things like fabric permanently, as with my diaper box canvas bins.
- All-Purpose Craft Glue. Sometimes a little clear-drying Aleene’s is just what the doctor ordered! You can’t beat it for adding embellies like pom-poms or beads to non-wearable crafts.
seven. Good Scissors
If you are a crafter who works with both fabric and paper on a regular basis, you need at least two pairs of scissors: one for fabric and sewing, and one for paper. Paper wreaks havoc on blades, dulling them very, very quickly! My sewing and paper shears are both made by Mundial, and I love them!
nine. Heat Tool
I use my heat tool for everything from speeding up drying time projects to the traditional use of heating embossing powders used with stamped images.