Many moons ago, I attended a monthly craft group. Most of the attendees were avid and skilled knitters who brought the most gorgeous array of fibers and objects-in-progress to work on. I was (and still am) a lapsed knitter who can’t even remember how to cast on, and really have no crafting skills to speak of. But I would show up, my giant craft bag in hand, and inevitably cook up something fun from its bizarre and varied contents.
On any given day, my craft bag may contain leather scraps, grosgrain ribbon, faux pearls, bits of feather boa, and buttons. But here are some items that, as a lazy crafter, I’ve come to see as essential.
- Super glue: I can’t remember the last time I cooked up a project that DIDN’T involve super glue. The ultimate in laze, this product allows you to bypass truly permanent adhesion techniques that require actual know-how in favor of squishing two things together and hoping the bond holds. Seriously, though, aside from fabric there are few things that super glue can’t successfully adhere. It’s fab for all manner of jewelry and accessory projects.
- Rotary cutter and self-healing mat: These two constitute a bit of an investment, and may seem a bit too specialized for a truly lazy DIYer. But mine have come in handy at least a dozen times since I purchased them. Want to hack 4 inches off the hem of a thrifted dress for the world’s easiest infinity scarf? Want to make those leather pants into leather shorts? Unless you’re a scissor ninja, having a very sharp cutting tool, a safe surface on which to use it, AND guides for snipping straight lines will prove invaluable.
- Jump rings: You might not know it, but the entire world of jewelry is held together by jump rings. Take a look at your necklace or bracelet clasp. That simple ring of metal that can be pried apart? That’s a jump ring. And without it, your adornments would suffer. Having a bag of jump rings on hand is especially beneficial for jewelry repairs, but also essential for jewelry creation.
- Sewing kit: You know those little boxed kits you can buy at the gas station that have a tiny pair of scissors, needle and threader, and a few colors of thread? Yeah, those things RULE. Whoever decides on the thread colors is a supergenius, as I’ve absolutely never needed to run to Michael’s for a closer match. And just having access to the basics of hand-sewing is incredibly helpful. Any button, cloth, or ribbon-based project will undoubtedly require needle and thread, so keep one of these kits on-hand.
- Needle-nose pliers: I find these so useful that I actually have two pairs. Your hands generally lack the strength and agility to do everything that a pair of tiny pliers can, and although they’re mainly helpful for jewelry projects, they come in handy for all manner of crafts.
Secondary items include a spool of silver chain, a crimp tool and crimp beads for finishing bead/strung projects, earring and pin backs, and tigertail. But if I could only take five crafting items to my proverbial desert island, I’d pick those listed above!
Originally posted 2011-01-11 06:02:02.