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Top Ten Art And Craft Necessities
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Top Ten Art And Craft Necessities

When it comes to art and craft, whether you're a novice, fairly competent, or Leonardo Da Vinci himself, having at least these ten things will make your next art and craft project a work of art:

1. An Idea Without one of these, you won't even get out of the gates. Look around your place; is there somewhere in your home that could use a splash of color, a different texture, or a unique conversation point? Browse your favorite style magazine, or take a trip to IKEA, seriously, if you have one of them around, it's like being able to walk through hundreds of different rooms full of design ideas. Whatever you do, get inspired, experiment, and have fun!

2. Scissors Find yourself a good pair of craft scissors, depending on what medium you plan on working with, you may want to use a different type of scissors. Fabric scissors are different from paper scissors. Scissors come in different patterns as well, like zig zag or wave. In some cases, an Exacto knife or a rotary cutter would better suit your needs.

3. Paper Most craft projects involve paper. What type of paper you need will depend on your project:

Newsprint-A smooth, gray to tan color paper usually used for quick rough sketches, not for final work.

Drawing Paper-What distinguishes drawing paper from these other papers is the texture. You can feel the difference in that the drawing paper is rougher, and has very small ridges or bumps that pick up and hold the medium to the paper, allowing richer tones and deeper shades.

Construction Paper-A tough paper in varying colors. Often used in scrapbooking, it can also be used for science projects and experiments.

Tissue Paper-A delicate, light paper with many uses. Try combining different colors in a light box for a stained glass effect, although my favorite use of tissue paper is in gift bags.

Toilet Paper-A paper whose qualities varies greatly, from soft and quilted to sandpaper on a roll. In crafts, a roll of toilet paper can turn a kid into a mummy, or can make a unique do it yourself wedding dress; there are actual competitions for that! The other uses, however, I will leave to you.

In any case, there are a lot of paper choices to be made, and picking the right paper is one important step!

4. Paint Paint is a great medium to get involved with. Depending on what type of paint you will use, this medium could get a little expensive. As always however, there's always a cheaper option. If you're just starting out, I'd try experimenting with watercolor. If you like that, then there's always acrylic and oil based paints too. If you shop around, you should be able to stock up on paints rather cheaply, and remember, you can always mix a couple paints to get the color you want, instead of having to buy that specific color.

5. Glitter Glitter is an easy way to add a certain je ne sais quoi to your project. It isn't just for kids! If your project is going to be emphasized by lighting, consider adding glitter to highlight its' contours. Or you could use it in making your own 'Hallmark' cards. Glitter is like salt and pepper, it's never the main course, but it sure is handy to have if you need to add a little spice.

6. Pencils Pencils will become your best friend if you like to draw, but there's more to them than just the standard yellow pencil. There are many varieties of pencil, ranging from B to HB to H, and many variants between. Those letters tell you about the graphite in the pencil, and what will happen when you put pencil to paper. A high B, like a 9B, will have soft dark graphite, and will leave a larger, darker line than that of a very hard 9H, which would barely leave a line at all! The standard pencil, the HB, is in the middle ground as it were. Experiment with sketches to see which you prefer.

7. Glue Inevitably, you're going to want to stick something to something else, and you're going to use glue. The amount of different glues used for crafts is quite impressive. There are glues that stick glass to cement, tile to wood, metal to foam, and more! If you can think about it you can glue it, but you might have to do a little research first. Other than those times that you have to join 'weird stuff' together, you should be fine with normal white glue, and maybe super glue or two.

8. A Ruler Using a ruler or measuring tape will save a lot of time, guesswork, and waste. The old adage, 'measure twice, cut once' could easily be 'measure twice, glue, or sew, or form once.' Even if you're not cutting anything, maybe drawing or painting, a ruler could come in handy to help you scale your drawing.

9. The Internet The internet is truly one versatile and indispensible tool. I can't tell you how many times I've been stuck on something in my project, and made use of YouTube or Google to help me figure out how to do it right. Besides that, the internet is a treasure trove of ideas for art and craft projects. I recently learned how to make bow ties online, because to quote Doctor Who, "Bow ties are Cool."

10. Soap I saved soap for last, because after all the glue, glitter, paint, sweat and tears; it's time to wash up. Dish soap is pretty good for that, because it's designed to cut through grease and makes a lot of bubbles. In my art classes, I liked a soap called Gojo the most, because it always seemed to do the best job. Whatever soap it is that you want to use, washing up after your project will protect the rest of your house from becoming a sticky, multicolored mess.

Even though this isn't a list of all the art and craft supplies that you might need, like, or encounter, having them at your disposal will let you be ready to make great things at the drop of a hat, and before you know it, you'll be filling your walls with your own personal style and artistic prowess.

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