More tools of the Craft

Once you have your basic tools and materials you can start building on what you have to give yourself more options.

As you progress in your crafting here are options you will want to add to your crafting tool box (Click on the image to go to my Amazon affiliated links and pick up the item for your own craft space):

Once you begin crafting you will realize that you go through certain colors very quickly. Black would be the biggest culprit but grey and brown are also used very often. You can reduce your paint cost by picking up larger volumes of these often-used paints

A self -healing cutting mat should be one of your first upgrades. Not only will it protect your workspace from penetrating razor knife cuts it is a great way to measure as the mat has a one-inch grid printed on the surface. You can even paint on it and wipe the paint off afterwards. (I recommend putting a scrap piece of cardboard over the mat when you are doing heavy painting though as it can stain the mat)

At some point a box cutter won’t be enough. Small X-Acto bladed knives give you the control you won’t get with a box cutter. This precision cutter has a nice grip and comes with 70 blades so no worrying about having a dull blade in the middle of a craft.

Black-bombing is when you prime a craft object with black paint. Spray paint makes it quick and easy to base paint objects and prep them for crafting. I have included the 6 pack here as it is the most economical. Warning-be aware that spray paint is messy and emits fumes. Only spray in a well ventilated area and in a place that the overspray will not harm surrounding objects

A warning about using spray paints on Styrofoam and XPS foam. Spray paint will melt foam and not give good coverage. You have several options. You can cover the foam with a barrier coat of Elmers-Glue All (see craft page one) or matte mod podge and or hand paint with black acrylic craft paint. (Jeremy at Black Magic Craft mixes black acrylic paint with mod podge as a sealer and primer all in one)

After spraying a can or two you will realize the value of this tool. Not only will this grip give you much better control of the amount you spray it will also save you having a sore finger as the nozzle is hard to push and will quickly cause finger strain. Take my word for it…Get This Tool

Spray painting outdoors helps to disperse the fumes from spray painting but do yourself a favor and get a respirator mask. Your lungs will thank you. I don’t strap the mask to my head I just hold it tightly up to my face with my left hand while I spray with my right

This is my go to when adding gloss to selected areas of a project. It dries to a clear finish and will not yellow over time. It is also water clean up, so you don’t have to deal with noxious solvents.

If you want to cover a whole craft with gloss I recommend this spray. It dries crystal clear and gives the project a super slick look. Great for objects that you want to look slimy or wet.

In my original concept for 2.5D tiles I used this spray to quickly create stone tiles. This spray can quickly create a stone look but a word of advice. Prime anything you are going to paint with this flat black first then you will only have to use a fraction of the stone texture spray you would of had to use to cover the object.

I love this stuff. It has so many craft uses. It is a sturdy yet flexible medium that you can paint on with a brush. I have used it as filler but mostly I use it to get subtler textures that are hard to get with the gluegun. Painting it on mini bases gives the base a nice subtle texture. I also use it quite a bit for fur textures. To get a nice fur texture simply apply a generous amount of paste then drag a toothpick through the paste making short strokes. It takes a little practice but once you master it you can apply fur to minis and terrain objects.

As I have gotten older it has become a real challenge to see miniature details. This Magnifier Visor has really helped me to be able to see and paint those micro details. The visor has a LED light for illuminating what you are working on as well as a box of lenses to change up the magnification. For the price this is a must have item for the miniature crafter.

Cutting craft sticks can be a real chore. The sticks can be very difficult to cut cleanly with regular scissors. This tool makes cutting them much easier and has the bonus feature of a built-in miter.