The price estimates in our projects assume you have some items on hand. Here’s what I have in my craft supply “on hand” drawer:
Everyone has scissors, but do you have the right kinds for the job?
- Sewing Scissors: You should have one dedicated pair of scissors used exclusively for cutting fabric. Make sure everyone knows they should NEVER be used on paper!
- Pinking Shears: These are the scissors that make a cute little jagged edge on fabric when you cut, and are used when you want to use a raw edge on fabric but keep it from fraying. These are a handy tool for dollar store crafters who like to make quick sewn crafts without bothering with extra hems. Obviously, some sewing requires hemming, but when it doesn’t, pinking shears are great!
- Embroidery Scissors: Small, sharp, and helpful for fine cutting or tight corners. Especially helpful in crafting with felt, as these make nice sharp lines.
- All-Purpose Scissors: Just your standard everyday scissors that are good for cutting paper or other craft supplies you might use in dollar store crafting. You can use the ones you already have in your drawer for this, or pick a pair up at the dollar store.
There are so many kinds of glue, and each kind works best for different applications. I have a few favorites, but if you aren’t sure what kind of glue to use for a specific project, check This to That – a site that advises you on what kind of glue is best when trying to stick two different kinds of material together.
- Glue Stick: Easy to use and no-mess, these are best for paper projects and for attaching light embellishments. I like the disappearing kind – they start out purple when they’re wet, and then dry to clear – because then I can see where I’ve glued. Glue sticks usually dry within minutes. I like to stock up on glue sticks during back-to-school sales in August.
- Elmer’s Glue (white glue): Another basic glue to have on hand. Works well for paper (when brushed on lightly), or for light building materials like popsicle sticks or cardboard. Needs several minutes to an hour to fully dry. I like to stock up on white glue during back-to-school sales in August (usually about a quarter for a regular-sized bottle), but you can also get it by the gallon which is good for some projects like the string lamp.
- Hot Glue Gun: If you don’t own one of these, you should! You can enter the hot glue gun market for about three bucks – including glue sticks! Some dollar stores sell them, but if not, any big box or craft store also carries them. There are several different kinds of hot glue guns (high-temp, low-temp, fancier ones), but any one will do. Hot glue is a great multi-purpose glue that is easy to apply and is great for many crafts (usually ones that won’t be handled too heavily.)
- E6000 Industrial Strength Glue: E6000 is a must-have for gluing many things together, and works well for non-porous items (like glass marbles and metal). It’s super-strong, and a great glue for many projects large and small, from jewelry-making to building furniture. It’s also waterproof and slightly flexible when dry. You’ll need several minutes for E6000 to set, and up to a day for it to fully dry. Also, it’s smelly, so don’t use it in an unventilated room (and probably not the best choice for use with kiddos). You’ll have to spend a few bucks to get a tube of this, but it has so many uses, you won’t be sorry.
- Mod Podge: Visit Mod Podge Rocks and you’ll see how many uses Mod Podge has in crafting! It’s a decoupage glue used for papercrafting, and also very useful in waterproofing and protecting crafted items. I haven’t used it much myself, but many of my readers swear by it.
- Craft Glue: One of the only supplies in my first box o’ craft stuff back in college (ha ha, I only had a SHOE BOX full of stuff) was the good old craft glue in the gold bottle, Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue. It takes awhile to dry, but it is useful for a wide variety of materials and is a great go-to for craft projects. Also comes in a few different formulas (like Quick Dry, for those of us who are impatient, we know who we are!)
Specialty items that will make your life easier but aren’t strictly necessary:
You can do most Dollar Store Crafts without these items, but some of them are so nice and worth the extra expense! Put them on your wishlist for your birthday or other holiday!
- Rotary Cutter: A round blade that looks and works like a pizza cutter, but for fabric. This is SO nice when doing sewing projects. I lived for 15 years without one, and I finally inherited one (along with a self-healing cutting mat and ruler) from my grandma, and I have to say, these are awesome. I could have saved so much time and done much more precise cutting if I had invested in one of these long ago.