Stocking your craft pantry!
Do you love to create and make projects? Would you like to know what kinds of things are helpful to have on hand to make projects for your home, family, gifts, and more? Today I’m sharing my list of basic craft supplies–a guide to help you in stocking your own craft pantry!
I work on most of my projects at night, after my kids have gone to bed and the house is quiet. I can fit some things in during the day–like a coat or two of paint, taking any pictures, making small projects, or working on the computer. I can even have my kids work on their own project while I’m doing mine…for a little while. But if it involves a power tool, anything sharp, or an amount of time over 30 minutes at a time, it usually has to wait until bedtime.
With a very busy husband who often works past the time when stores are open, and lots of littles at home with me, my trips to the craft store are not often spontaneous ones. To top it all off, I am not a patient person. :) Many times I will think of an idea, and have to do it just as soon as possible. I love to be able to make just about anything, and do it without having to got to the store.
To allow for all of these things, I have a “craft pantry”, which I keep stocked with all the crafting necessities. Similar to my food pantry, it holds all the basics–things I use all of the time, and items that many crafts will use. I do have projects that require things I don’t usually keep on hand, or I don’t have enough of, and that’s to be expected. It’s just nice to have the majority of it all ready to go.
I wanted to share my “pantry list” here–so if you are trying to build your own craft pantry, you will have an idea where to start. I have been collecting craft supplies for a long time, and I certainly didn’t start with what I have now. Just like your food pantry, you can attain these items slowly–when you see them on sale, with 40% off Michael’s or JoAnn’s coupons (sign up for these online…they will save you a bundle!), or when you can. Look for sales online–Pick Your Plum is a great place to snag things like baker’s twine, paper straws, washi tape, and more. Home Depot is another one of my go-to places to pick up many of the items on my list.
You may prefer different types of projects over others, and some of these supplies won’t be “basics” to you, and that’s okay. Start with the things that you’ll use the most, and then work from there. You’ll get there!
(afflilate links included for your convenience)
Cardstock: neutrals (including white, cream, black, dark brown, and tan), and some basic colors (red, orange, pink, shades of blue and green, and a few yellows). I love the texture of Bazzill cardstock, but I also keep plain white that I buy at Walmart in bulk. A great cardstock is really important.
Patterned: I prefer two-sided paper–the ones with a pattern on one side, and a solid on the other. I usually pick a few pieces up at a time when I see something I like, then file it away for later. It’s also a little heavier, which is nice in many crafting projects. My MOST favorite brand is October Afternoon, in all its vintage loveliness. Having patterned paper in your pantry is really helpful if you want to make cute tags and labels, invites, etc. I use it A LOT.
Newspaper: Just save a few pages of the classifieds, or other pages with a lot of smaller writing. Old phone book pages work well too.
Book Pages: Whenever I go to Goodwill, I always look for old dictionaries and books that I love, then I tuck them away for future use.
Mod Podge: I like matte, and I always buy the big jar. Can you really ever have enough?
Double stick tape: I go through this stuff like water. If you are a member of Sam’s Club or Costco, look for it there. It comes in 10-packs, and it’s usually a lot cheaper that way.
Craft Glue: My favorite is one by Elmer’s–it has two different applicators in one, and has a re-positionable version.
E-6000: Great general craft adhesive.
Painters tape: I LOVE Frog Tape!!
Washi Tape: Technically it’s an adhesive, but it can definitely stand alone, and transform projects with just one piece!
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks:
Duct Tape: Not just boring old gray anymore! Go for a fun pattern or two, and throw in a couple basics.
SEWING & TEXTILES:
Burlap: Oh yes. A lot of it.
Fabric: I love fabric. When I see a pattern I really love, I buy some–even if I don’t know what I’m going to use it for! Cotton, muslin, linen–those are some of my faves.
Scraps: I save all my fabric scraps from sewing projects, and you would be surprised at how often I use them!
Felt: Not only has felt come in handy for crafting, but school projects as well.
Canvas: Canvas dropcloths are awesome!
Wonder Under, or Heat ‘n Bond: Wonder Under is at the cutting desk at your fabric store–you can buy as much as you need. Heat ‘n Bond comes packaged in a pre-set amount. Other than that, they do the same thing.
Fray Check: I use this on all the ends of my ribbon.
Other: If you like a certain pattern or color of curtains, pillowcases, or other items that you aren’t using anymore, keep them. Store them in a container, and save them for a rainy day.
RIBBONS, TWINE, ETC.:
I collect ribbon, and I’m crazy about it. All kinds, every kind. I have a lot of it, but here those ribbons I think are the basics:
Grosgrain: I love the look of grosgrain (grow-grain), so I have all the basic colors in my ribbon drawer, and more!
Ricrac: I’m in love with ricrac–in all different widths and colors. You can buy it in packages, in the sewing section, or at a scrapbook store (if you’re looking for more variety and sizes).
Gingham: I am obsessed with gingham. I use it all.the.time.
Polka Dot: I think I’m obsessed with polka dots, too. :)
Twine (jute): This is so cheap, but can add so much to a project! I always keep a spool..or two…on hand.
Baker’s Twine: It’s inexpensive, WAY cheaper than ribbon, and makes for packaging perfection!
SCISSORS & PUNCHES:
Scissors: I have a good pair of scissors that I use just for crafting–they will last longer that way. I also have a pair for fabric only.
Paper trimmer: I have the regular small Fiskars one–it’s 12 inches high, and 4 inches wide, but measures out to 12 inches wide. I have had it for years. I have never needed a bigger one, but those are nice as well.
Hole punch: The one I use the most is just the standard sized hole punch–especially in combination with ribbon. I also have a tiny one!
Circle Punches: I have a 2 inch circle punch by Fiskars that I use ALL the time. LOVE. A 3/4 inch size is perfect for cutting out circles for the bottom of Hershey Kisses!
Crop-o-dile: This all-in-one punch can punch through just about anything! It’s a great basic tool.
PAINT & MORE:
Spray paint: I use a lot of spray paint, and I put it on just about everything! From frames to furniture, it gives many things a new look. I always have white, black, and cream spray paint on hand. I use the Rustoleum brand from Home Depot–they have a million colors to choose from, and it holds up really well.
Clip-on sprayer: You can buy this at Home Depot for around $6. It clips on to the top of your spray paint can, and will make your job a million times easier. Not only will it give your finger a break, but it eliminates some of the gloppiness and drippiness that can happen and gives you a more finished end product.
Foam brushes: I keep a variety of sizes…great for craft paint and Mod Podge.
Craft Paint: I don’t use as much craft paint, since I prefer spray paint for just about everything, but I do have a lot of it. :) There are just some projects that have to have it!
Stain/Glaze: I rarely make a wood project with using some kind of stain or glaze. My favorite stain is Dark Walnut tby Minwax. The Ralph Lauren glazes are good as well–the Faux Antique Glaze, or Smoke Glaze.
Chalkboard Paint: Oh yes. One of my faves, for sure. I have the spray paint version, and the craft paint version.
Fabric Paint: I’ve done quite a few projects using fabric paint, and I like having some on hand in basic colors, like black and white.
Vaseline: I use this as a distressing technique.
Distress ink: I have black, and several shades of brown. You really only need one of each though. I use this ALL the time.
Alphabet Stamps (and ink): I have a set by PSA Essentials that I use ALL the time. I love to monogram notecards, gift tags, and projects, and these are the perfect size. I also have a fun set of foam stamps that I love, and small typewriter style stamps.
Stapler: I love using a stapler to add ribbon to a cute note or invitation.
Button magnets: I suggest the extra-strong ones.
Clothespins: Regular size, and tiny!
Glitter: Because it’s fun. :)
Buttons: Collect & save all your extra buttons.
Saved containers: I save any container I think I can use–oatmeal canisters, gallon ice cream buckets, baby food jars and plastic containers, formula cans, juice can lids, Crystal Light containers, tin cans, and more!
Paper Sacks: (both the grocery size and lunch size) I adore paper sacks. They make adorable cards, and perfect packaging!
Book Rings: Oh gosh, I’ve used these for so many projects! LOVE them!
Name Badge Holders: I’ve made enough different things with these now that I always keep a package handy.
Mason Jars: Really, is any explanation needed here? :)
Paper Straws: ♥
Wood scraps: If you buy lumber of any size, for whatever reason, keep all your scraps. You will use them. I use 4×4 posts and 2×4 lumber the most, but inevitably I use it all!
Sheet metal: I love this stuff! It comes in large sheets if you buy it a hardware store, and you usually won’t use it all. I like having extra sheet metal around, because I love the look and inevitably end up using it.
Drill: I believe every girl should know how to use a drill. You will use it time and time again.
Power Sander: One of my favorite tools ever, and since I do a lot with wood, probably the most used. It will cut your sanding time down SO much.
Router: This will give the different edges on wood projects, and really takes things up a level.
The first two are the most basic power tools, and you will use them a ton. A router is another that I suggest if you want to work with wood–it puts the finishing edge on your projects, and makes a huge difference in the finished product. They are worth the investment. If your husband owns others–like a circular saw, miter (chop) saw, or table saw, have him teach you how to use them. You can totally do it, and it’s nice not having to wait for them to do it for you. If you want to make frames or furniture, I suggest getting a pocket jig. They are AMAZING–and make all the difference.
SILHOUETTE & PRODUCTS:
My Silhouette is still the most utilized item of all. I use it so much it’s ridiculous. If you don’t have one, and love to create, decorate, and craft, start saving! :) Labeling, organization, home decor, clothing, packaging, gift giving, and more…it’s just endless! I stock up when there’s a good sale, and then use it until the next sale.
The products I use the most are:
Cutting mat for Paper
Adhesive-backed Paper for labels
There are many other products that I don’t always have on hand, but I do use occasionally. It really just depends on what you use the most!
So, there you go. It probably looks overwhelming, but you might be surprised at how much of this you already have. Just start small, and start adding little by little. Pretty soon you’ll have your own craft pantry!
Did I forget something? If there are any items not on this list that you just love, and have in your craft pantry, I would love for you to let me know! What are your favorite supplies?
Kierste Wade is a published author, blogger, and mom to six. With more than 20 years DIY and project experience, she has been sharing ideas on her blog since 2009. Focusing on simple and doable projects, she loves to share attainable ideas for all things home, holidays, and family. Kierste has been featured on Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, American Farmhouse Magazine (print and online) Taste of Home, Country Living, and more.