I do most of my crafting 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, or working on the computer. But if it involves a power tool, anything sharp, or an amount of time over 15 minutes, it has to wait.
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 thought I would post that list here--so that if you are trying to build your own craft pantry, you will have an idea where to start. Again, 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.
Another huge key is keeping everything organized. As you start building, dedicate a place you can keep your things. It doesn't need to be fancy--you can use totes, plastic drawers, a closet--wherever you have space. Separate each section of items as much as you can, so you can find them when you need them.
1. 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 generally have on hand colors that I use a lot, and colors I use in my home. I love the texture of Bazzill cardstock, but I also keep plain white that I buy at Walmart in bulk.
2. 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.
3. 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.
1. Mod Podge: I like matte, and I always buy the big jar. It lasts forever--just keep the lid on tight.
2. 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.
3. Wall putty
4. E-6000: Great craft adhesive.
5. Painters tape:
1. Burlap: It's cheap, and is all the rage now! I usually have about a yard.
2. Scraps: I save all my fabric scraps from sewing projects, and you would be surprised at how often I use them!
3. Felt: Not only has felt come in handy for crafting, but school projects as well.
4. 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 & YARN:
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:
1. Grosgrain: I love the look of grosgrain (grow-grain), so I have all the basic colors in my ribbon drawer, plus some polka dot.
2. 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).
3. Sheer: Black, brown, red, cream, and some polka dot. These are the colors I use the most, and that are in my home. You will want to do the same--buy what you think you will use!
4. Gingham: I am obsessed with gingham. I use it all.the.time.
6. Embroidery Floss:
*Both Michael's and JoAnn's have small spools of scrapbooking ribbon for $1 or less--they usually have between 2-4 yards of ribbon on them, and are a great deal. I have found a lot of my favorites in those sections, and it doesn't break the bank, either!
SCISSORS & PUNCHES:
1. Scissors: I have a good pair of scissors that I use just for crafting--they will last longer that way.
2. 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.
3. Hole punch: The one I use the most is just the standard sized hole punch--especially in combination with ribbon.
PAINT & BRUSHES:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Foam brushes: I keep a variety of sizes...great for craft paint and Mod Podge.
4. Craft Paint: I don't use a lot of craft paint, since I prefer spray paint for just about everything, but I do keep a few neutrals on hand: black, white, chocolate brown, and a barn red. I mostly use craft paint with my foam stamps.
5. Stain/Glaze: I rarely make a wood project with using some kind of stain or glaze. My favorite stain is Minwax Provincial. The Ralph Lauren glazes are good as well--the Faux Antique Glaze, or Smoke Glaze.
1. Twine (jute): This is so cheap, but can add so much to a project! I always keep a spool on hand.
2. Distress ink: I have black, and several shades of brown. You really only need one of each though. I don't use colored ink much, but if you like it, I would just wait until you need it.
3. Stapler: I love using a stapler to add ribbon to a cute note or invitation.
4. Button magnets: I suggest the extra-strong ones.
6. Sandpaper: Medium grit
7. Glitter: You just never know. :)
8. Buttons: Collect & save all your extra buttons. These can be used for lots of different projects.
9. Popsicle sticks:
10. 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, etc.
11. Paper Bags: both the grocery size and lunch size
12. 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.
1. Wood scraps: If you buy lumber of any size, for whatever reason, keep all your scraps. You will use them.
2. 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.
1. Drill: I believe every girl should know how to use a drill. You will use it time and time again.
2. 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.
3. 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 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, I suggest getting a pocket jig. They are AMAZING--and make all the difference.
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!