Six Essential Gift Ideas for Artists and Crafters

QUICK TIPS: SIX ESSENTIAL GIFT IDEAS FOR ARTISTS AND CRAFTERS

six essential gift ideas for artists and Crafters  

I had to have a clear out last week, I had decided that I needed to Feng-Shui my art and craft supplies and make everything accessible again. I’m sure my wife thinks I should appear on some hoarders TV show. 

Over the years I seemed to have amassed a lot of stuff in the arts and crafts line, some things I use all of the time, other things I had purchased that I knew one day I would need, but last week found out that I didn’t.

It's always difficult buying gifts for the artist or crafter who has everything, but this should make it simpler to choose something that's actually useful!

So this week I have written about the absolute essentials that I do use, and provided links to the best deals on Amazon. Although links are from the UK site, you can change the country you are in on the Amazon homepage. 

Please note that I am in no way affiliated to the products listed, but because I am an Amazon affiliate member, the links provided will earn me a small commission. When I say small, I mean really small, but ultimately the price you pay will stay exactly the same, and anything I earn will go towards maintaining this blog every week and make sure it remains free!

The products listed have not been given to me, they are the actual products I use to produce my art and also some of my crafting projects too, and they have all been put through some very hard use!

That’s the legal stuff out of the way so let’s get on with the list of essential tools any artist and crafter needs!

LINE PENS

As many of you know, much of my artwork is digital art but I also paint and draw using traditional methods too. For a few years I searched for the perfect pen for line work and I was tired of buying pens which would run out a quarter of the way through a project. Eventually I found a Zentangle® pen set which made me happy. You can buy them here. The full link is: http://amzn.to/2pkMycw


zentangle art pens 



These are on the UK Amazon site, but these are available on the US site too, (click on the link and choose your country), and are some of the best pens for line work I have used. 

You can also buy a set of 12  here, or here: http://amzn.to/2oMcQCh which is much better value, but what I like about these pens is that there is minimal bleed, and as they are pigment inks, they won’t fade over time.

PAPER TRIMMER

I use a guillotine for cutting paper but again a bit like the pens I used to buy, they generally disappointed me so I invested in a decent one. Previously I managed to get through at least a half a dozen of them, often unable to find replacement blades and it was becoming really expensive. 

So I took the plunge and decided finally on the Dahle A3 Premium Trimmer which is also available in smaller and larger sizes. You can see it herehttp://amzn.to/2qb4WqZ


Dahle paper trimmer arts and crafts

Yes it is a little more expensive than most, but this is a professional trimmer. I get clean cuts even from some quite thick media, so it has the benefit of saving you from having to redo work once it gets torn by cheaper trimmers. 

The other reason I like this particular model is because it is accurate even with thicker mediums. Something that cheaper trimmers just don’t seem to be able to pull off. It also feels like a quality item and as Dahle say, they build things that will last.

HOLE PUNCH

When it comes to hole punches, there is a difference between them. Not all hole punches are created anywhere near equal! 

I often produce quick brochures with my current art prices on by using the PDF sales sheets available whenever you upload your art on Fine Art America. If I change the price on every item I then have to sit and punch holes in another few hundred sheets.

Again I once used a cheap punch but it was always an issue when you couldn’t punch more than a few sheets. I managed to pick up the Rapesco Extra Heavy Duty 2-hole punch with a 65 sheet capacity although I paid way more for it than they are charging on Amazon! You can see this remarkable little tool herehttp://amzn.to/2p6YOhX


rapesco 65 sheet hole punch 

WATER BRUSHES

Water Brushes are brilliant. Nylon tipped brushes which allow you to fill the barrel with any water-soluble medium such as water-soluble ink, watercolour, or gouache. Picking up the pigment from the palette using the water they allow you to create some quite unique effects. These have been a godsend in a recent commission I did which needed some watercolour typography. They’re totally inexpensive and you can find them herehttp://amzn.to/2p7a2TX


Pentel Watercolor watercolour brushes  


CRAFT 'N TOOL

This little tool is a minor miracle. Spellbinders Craft Tool ‘N One is available here http://amzn.to/2qbeMcx and is a multi-purpose tool which makes it so much easier to remove the cut outs when you use a die cutter. 

I admit I thought it might be a bit of a gimmick when I clicked the buy button but it is essential especially if you are producing tattered lace dies which have so many cuts and so much detail.

The brush is useful for removing the slithers of paper from dies and from the die cutter itself, and the levering tool works really well.

tool n one Art and craft tool for die cutting
MOD PODGE PHOTO TRANSFER

No list would be complete without some Mod Podge! This is a photo transfer medium but be warned, you cannot actually transfer directly from a photo, so you will need to print it out on paper first. You can however use acrylic paints, many spray paints and other substances to recreate a piece of art. 

This is ideally suited for transferring your work on to other items such as blank wooden boxes or fabric. It takes a good 24-hours to dry, but the end results are pretty good. You can see it here http://amzn.to/2qbfjeB


mod podge photo transfer

So that’s my essentials list for this week and if you have found it useful, please do leave a comment below and let me know if you would like to see more of these kinds of features. I have spent what must be years browsing art and craft shops, and yes I admit I am a total stationery geek! 

Also, if you have any essential items in your art toolbox, please do let us all know about them!

ABOUT M.A

Mark A. Taylor is a UK based artist who has been producing art for more than 30-years. His work is sold all over the world, and can be purchased from more than 150 retail locations such as Deck the Walls, The Great Frame Up, Framing and Art Centre, and it is also available for streaming on ACanvas too.

If you would like to view Mark’s current collections, please visit his Fine Art Store on this site, or visit his portfolio site here   

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE ON THE SITE!

Is there a particular subject you would like to read about? If there is, let me know! As long as the subject is related to art, technology, and general lifestyle features and art related travel, I will add new topics to the list of things I will be writing over the next twelve-months. 

Do you have an exhibition coming up or other arts event? I'd love to hear about those too. If you get in touch using the contact form (on mobile you need to click on the three line icon in the top left corner to make it appear) and tell me everything you can about your exhibition or event, I will be happy to cover the best ones. You can also let me know on social media too, follow me on Twitter @beechhouseart or on Facebook here

COMING SOON

I have been really busy lately writing a load of new feature articles for this site, so I thought I might let you know what you can look forward to over the coming weeks! 

The decline of cinema is a feature that the cinema industry might want to read if it wants to survive, and I have a quick tips feature post which will give you the lowdown on some of the best iPad apps available for creating artwork and giving your productivity a boost. There's also a quick tips feature on time management, something that has taken me all my life to write!

A new page is ready, I'm just in the middle of creating the graphics for my own artwork showcase. This page will take you behind the scenes in my studio and tell you how each piece was inspired and created. 


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