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My Essential Kit

by Emily


I’ve always had a bit of geek love for the tools used by designers in any craft. I’ve spent a good few hours transfixed by the various paraphernalia in my local craft supplies shop. Classic wooden handled palette knives, bone folders, paper piercers, rifflers, rasps, afghan crochet hooks, double ended needles, thimbles, air guns and inks.

But what I love most are the non-standard bits of kit we use to achieve certain patterns, shapes and textures. The bits we pick up from around the house that we know will create that perfect mark on the paper, or the ideal indent on a piece of clay. In my Grandfathers studio he always had a teaspoon hanging on the wall with his tools. I was always intrigued as to its purpose.

When I started to learn about rubber stamping and block printing I wasn’t able to go and spend heaps of cash on all the tools I was ‘told’ I should be using, so I too started finding bits and bobs around the house that I felt I might be able to….. re-use.

As the first in a new feature called My Essential Kit, here are my top 10 items for rubber stamping…..



1.Daler Rowey 6B pencil for creating my designs.

2.Tracing paper, from the kids craft cupboard. I draw my final design onto tracing paper so that it was be transferred onto…

3. Foam, also from the kids craft cupboard. It saves me a fortune on ordering custom rubber stamps.

4. Faber Castell PITT Graphite 2B. For transferring my designs onto the foam.

5. A very sharp pair of Fiskars stainless steel scissors. For cutting the foam accurately. This was one of my few purchases but one I’m very glad I made. There are some bits of kit you can’t scrimp on.

6. Super glue. I love super glue. For sticking the foam pieces securely to…..

7. Wooden blocks. Found in my Dad’s shed. Not as easy for positioning as acrylic mounts but it works well for me.

8. Ink. A cost I can’t escape but an essential item that I do spend hours choosing!

9. An old decorators roller for applying the ink to the pad. Replacement pads can be bought cheaply and the old roller frame serves me well.

10. Some old card, fabric or paper to test on.

We’d love to have a good dig around your tool boxes and find out what essential items you cannot live without as a designer/maker. If you’re interested, please send a clear photograph of up to 10 items, with a list describing each one as above, to me at emily@folksy.co.uk. The quirkier the better. We will try to use as many as possible but can’t guarantee all will feature. We look forward to hearing from you!




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nickynackynoo September 7, 2011 - 7:03 pm

Lovely post, and I absolutely agree – the simpler the better. When I did a printmaking course a couple of years ago, the first session was all about making marks with things from a box of “junk” – broken jewellery, dog combs, coins, bent cutlery. It was great! Completely agree about big spend on scissors too – I now buy Japanese stainless steel scissors which are amazingly sharp.

Booboo September 15, 2011 - 11:41 am

Great blog I have the same sort of issues got all sorts of bits and pieces some I use others are just there to covert lol

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