Fabric, Paper, Glue, and Other Essential Supplies - Part 4

I took a short hiatus last week from the essential supplies mini-series, but I'm back this week with a round of my go-to tools.  I use a lot of these for more than just home improvements and heavy duty projects.  In fact, you see some of these popping in my sewing and jewelry projects all the time.

Tools 2
Tools 1

Read on for the full list.

Screwdriver: If you're short on space (and even if you're not), just grab the kind with the interchangeable bits. Then you always have the right kind no matter the screw.  You can often find these in nice little sets that include a wrench and a ratchet.

Wrench:  I'll admit that I've only every used my wrench for plumbing stuff.  Maybe you don't do much plumbing in your home, but to be fair, some plumbing projects are super easy and reap both practical and aesthetic rewards (e.g. changing out your shower head). Again, the easiest way to get one of these and check off other things on this list is to buy yourself a set.

Ratchet:  Honestly, I'm not sure that I have ever used my ratchet set.  I actually have like 3 sets because people keep buying me tools for Christmas (I get tools.  Michael gets booze paraphernalia).  But you know, I like the idea of having them around just. in. case.

Electric Drill:  I use this sucker all. the. time.  If you follow my tutorials, you know that I'm constantly drilling holes in wooden stuff for various creations (jewelry, clocks, more jewelry, decorative sculptures).  Personally, I like the kind that you can either use cordless or plugged in.  I say this because I recognize the value of using a cordless drill, but I like never remember to charge the drill.  Don't forget to pick up a pack of drill bits.

Multi-Purpose Tool:  I got this Dremel Multi-Max tool for Christmas (See.  I get tools for Christmas).  I love it.  It sands. It grinds. It scrapes. It cuts.  I've used it for three of the four already.  It's a wee bit of an investment, but it's a pretty compact (key small space!) power tool that does quite a few things.  Worth it, I say.  Watch out, though.  The bits/attachments can be pretty pricey, which I found a little shocking.  For example, a grout grinder set me back about $30.

Mini Screwdrivers:  These usually come in those multi-tool sets.  They're good for sunglass repair and random little things like that. I'm pretty sure you can buy a set of these for like a buck.

Stapler:  This is basically an amateur upholsterer's best friend.  It's great for recovering seat chairs and other small projects.  I really do mean amateur, though, because if you're going to take on a serious project (like publicly doing a bad job of recovering a chair with good lines, for example), a piddly little manual stapler like this will kill your poor hand.  You need some sort pneumatic awesomeness for that kind of thing.

Hole Punch:  A utility hole punch that you can find at either a craft or hardware store is great for punching holes in leather and other hefty materials that have some pliability.  My new favorite way to add handles to bag is using leather and rivets (example, example).  It's fast and easy, and a hole punch is a must for this technique.

Utility Knife: It's a box cutter.  It's nice to have around for cutting various things (duh).  Just think of it as a heavier duty xacto knife (another essential supply for another day).

Rubber Mallet:  I primarily use my rubber mallet to install snaps, to build Ikea furniture, and to close paint cans.  Yeah, those are pretty specific uses, but I guarantee that you'll find some great uses in your own home.

Tack Hammer:  Again, this is an upholsters' tool.  It's for hammerin' tacks (gasp).  It's also good for hammerin' small tack-like nails into the wall (double gasp).

Measuring Tape


Pliers: not pictured I'll cover these in my forthcoming essential jewelry making supplies, but you should get yourself a little set of pliers.  Often, they come in sets with other tools (e.g. small screwdrivers).  I mostly use them for working with chains for jewelry and other such projects.

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  1. Thank goodness you didn't need your stud finder for this post.

  2. Great list! I need to raid your craft cabinet! But I think it's time for me to invest in a drill :)


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