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Maker's Monday: Top Ten Tools

I've been putting in some extra hours at work and by the time I get home, I'm pretty much done for the evening. That means I haven't been crafting, much to my disappointment. For today's post I decided to share some of the fun tools I use to make things.

10. GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is one of my favorite image editors! It is free (nice!) and pretty similar to PhotoShop. I've made book covers, doctored up vintage photos for Halloween decorations, and created images for marketing materials for my day job. It was tough learning GIMP but I watched a lot of free step-by-step tutorials online so that helped.

9. My Recollections heat tool is my friend! I used to scoff at buying a heat tool when I have a perfectly good hairdryer...until I used a heat tool. It dries alcohol ink and Distress Stain super fast and gives you amazing control. Now that I have one, I don't think I want to craft without one. I haven't used it for embossing yet, but if I ever get the urge to, I'll be set.

8. I have quite a collection of EK Tools paper punches and use them a lot. From leaves to trees to octopi, their designs are simple and they work like a charm every time. They're totally worth the investment, especially if you make your own cards.

7. My Spellbinder's Artisan X-plorer machine is a little gem! I bought it to cut sheets of copper for the Susan Lenart Kazmer Media Mixage dies and it has been tried and true. It is simple to use and I've even (don't tell!) used the Tim Holtz Bird Crazy Framelits in it! It is hand-cranked so it can be tedious, but it cuts like a dream!

6. I like my Lisa Pavelka UV Light and it has been very useful for jewelry and other projects I've used Magic-Glos for. The cure time is relatively quick (10 minutes or less) and it is easy to load/unload my pieces. My only complaint is that it isn't very big. There are some projects I'd love to make but the bezels are far too large to fit in the light area. I could possibly cure in sections, but I'm clumsy and things might end badly.

5. The 7gypsies Binderie Punch has been a staple for quite a few years. The machine punches through chip board and small stacks of paper. I've even used it on felt and it cut very well. It runs on batteries or can be plugged into an outlet. This machine has saved me and my hands on many a crafting adventure!

4. The best Christmas present I ever got was my Sizzix Vagabond machine! It is a powerful little machine that die cuts and embosses and since it isn't hand-cranked, it cuts down on crafting time. Sadly, mine has broken but I'm in the process of returning it.

3. I love the Tim Holtz Ranger Alcohol Ink Applicator Tool! I use this little gadget for alcohol ink paintings and (don't tell!) for regular Ranger inks! It picks up as little or as much ink as I want and it blends like a dream.

2. Canva is something I use at least once a day for my day job and for crafting. I create eye-catching images for social media, flyers, presentations, and even ads. It is pretty simple to use, there are quite a few free images and the fee-based images are affordable. Plus they look great. I'm a font fan and their selection is wonderful. I upped my subscription and can use my own templates to create different items based off one original design. Love that!

1. Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents Glue is my favorite crafting tool. Yes, I know it is an adhesive and not a "tool" but I use it for so many things, it surpasses being a glue. It glues, it seals, it adds a bit of shine...it fixes my mistakes...

There you have it, my favorite tools for crafting! Are our lists similar? What have I left off that you can't craft without?

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