[FAO Tool Junkies]: Top 10 ‘MUST-HAVE’ craft tools!!

There are a few crafting tools and equipment I’ve been drooling over for some time now and I thought I’d share with you what’s out there that makes crafting so much easier and fun! They all bear different price tags……some of them a tad bit hard to justify buying right now so I’m earnestly hoping that some bright and sunny day I’m able to get my hands on a couple of the more sophisticated machines (like the Cameo machine!) to give it a test drive ;) So, here they are: BLOG STRIP_craft tools WEB

  1. Craft Punches by Woodware – brilliant for scrapbooking, card-making and general paper-crafting ranging from shape punches, border punches, corner punches and more! Mind you….do be careful not to go crazy on the purchasing as it can easily happen! :D
  2. the Cinch by ‘We R Memory Keepers’  – perfect for sketchbook, scrapbook and journal making where this portable tool makes the task of binding a lot easier – take a look at this video. Another product that provides this is the Bind It All that is a lot smaller than the Cinch and you can preview it here.
  3. Lino block printing tools by Speedball – perfect for those who are into creating your own personalised arty stamps. Here’s a preview at the endless designs you can do with this lino carving kit. This is my latest addiction this year as you can see from my post on my recent workshop. :D
  4. Button Badge machine – these are brilliant if like me you are obsessed with button badges. With this gadget you can see the final product be created in front of you as oppose to having to send your designs away to have them made. Obviously if you are to make 100+ badges then I’d still highly recommend having them created in mass elsewhere unless you are a tad been insane :P There’s many brands out there but here’s a tutorial of how it’s done…..isn’t it fabulous!?
  5. Adana tabletop Lettepress printing machine – if you saw my post on my letterpress workshop you’ll see I mentioned this there. It’s a compact printing press that allows you to do smaller scale letterpress printing (from business cards to postcards) using the traditional printing methods with woodblocks or lino cuts. Here’s a little short clip showing you how it’s done.BLOG STRIP_craft tools2 WEB
  6. Japanese Gocco Printing Machine – I LOVE this machine but sadly these bad boys have been discontinued but you are still able to get hold of them through various sellers on Ebay. With this fella, you don’t need the luxury of a large studio with all the screen printing tools and frames but the comforts of your own desk at home to create some wonderful printed goodies be it on paper, cardstock or fabric! Check out this preview and drooooool! I’ve held of buying one as the supplies get harder to get but I have heard various artists coming up with alternative d.i.y. solutions to keep them going (i.e. the light bulbs etc). HOWEVER….(drumroll!) I have stumbled across this brand YUDU which is similar to the Gocco……so this could indeed be the replacement we screen-printing-enthusiast are looking for? Here’s a video tutorial on the product in action. Well it does look promising and I’m getting rather excited about this one!!! :)
  7. Sizzix Big Shot – is a beast of a machine when it comes to cutting and embossing. And after reading through a few reviews, it amazes me the variety of materials crafters use with this machine! Cardstock, aluminium, felt, acetate, plastic, wallpaper, cork/chip board – as long as the material is no thicker than 3mm then it can pretty much take anything. It really is a sturdy machine and particularly great if you fancy recycling materials and putting them to good use! Here’s a demo of the product and here’s one showing you how to use it on fabric!
  8. FUSE Creativity System  (Die cut + Letterpress) by Fiskars. This littHere’s a little taster on what this machine is all about.
  9. QuicKutz Letterpress (combo kit with die cuts)  from Lifestyle Crafts, or ‘L’ is another little tool that lets you die cut and letterpress. Here’s a ‘How To‘ tutorial to give you a glimpse into how easy paper-crafting becomes with this tool! 
  10. Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine from Creative Printers – this is the sexy super car of paper-crafting! Not only do you drool over the sleek compact design but what this digital cutter can do is simply to die for!! All I can say is “I WANT”!!! This one is high on top of my wish list!! Just take a look at this video  and drool with me!!!

Well then, that’s all the eye-candy I have to share with you! :) Have you used any of the above?? If so, I would LOVE to hear what you’re reviews/verdicts are in the comments section as it will no doubt be beneficial to all future users! :) Also, if you know of any other crafting equipment out there that I’ve missed then please do let me know!! In the meantime, enjoy drooling over these and happy crafting folks! xx

[Our D.I.Y. Wedding] Its all about button badges

To personalise our big day even more, B came up with the idea of creating button badges for our guests, as well as our wedding party, with various phrases that summed ‘us’ up perfectly. It was decided that these would be affixed to each individual place cards that would not only make a creative difference to the somewhat traditional place cards but also adds an element of fun and surprise amongst our guests on the tables.

The overall design was kept simple using vintage inspired fonts and by sticking to our primary colour scheme. B used InDesign to set out the 38mm circular templates to use for the designs.  The phrases ranged from common Irish expressions to things we like and our initials to personalised ‘roles’ for the wedding party. Once the designs were finalised, the PDFs were sent off to this fantastic (and highly recommended!) french outfit called Modern City who specialise in custom-made button badges…B found them far more efficient than the few outfits he came across in the UK. So, anyway…. here are a few photos we took of the bad boys!

Here are a few of photos, courtesy of our guests, to give you an idea of how it looked on the day….pretty cute huh? :)