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What you need to get started crafting

What You Need to Get Started Crafting

Crafting can be expensive and a little intimidating at times. With a massive selection of crafts available today, you don’t always know where to start. In this article, I'll go over crafting for beginners, great starting points, essential tools as well as easy crafting ideas to get started with. Then, I’ll take a look at what you need for additional crafts.

crafting materials for beginners

What tools you need to craft with will depend on what you want to create. Card projects are usually the easiest to start off with. They don't require a skill level, are a popular craft and need only a few items. But, if you are working with HTV or sublimation, you will need additional tools like a heat press.

As exciting as it is to jump in and buy all the tools, it’s a good idea to start off small. Let’s get going with the basics.

Did you know that Design Bundles offer many awesome and totally FREE Designs and FREE Fonts? Start downloading today for all of your crafting projects.

Basic Tools for Easy to Make Projects

Our amazing and independent designers on Design Bundles go out of their way to make products accessible to everyone. They create files for both customers with and without cutting machines.

Take this 3D Paper Christmas House bundle for example. It includes files for your cutting machine and for cutting by hand too! You can create a little Christmas village as a centerpiece. Add a LED candle (not a real one as it may cause a fire!) inside each house.

You can also try your hand at a FREE 3D Thanksgiving Turkey SVG or something simpler like this FREE Monarch Butterfly. Yep, you can also cut these designs out by hand!

The 3D Turkey can be framed or created as a card for guests.

thanksgiving 3D turkey svg easy crafting for beginners

Use the Butterflies to decorate gifts, as a cake topper or decorate a little one’s room for a magical touch.

easy crafting butterflies

Below, I have listed the most basic of materials and equipment needed to get started.

Materials and Equipment

Purchased or FREE design from Design Bundles

Cardstock - any color you need, 230gsm is a good start

Scissors

Craft knife

Glue, double sided tape, glue dots or thin mounting tape (for 3D look)

Printer - to print the outline for cutting by hand

Print out the PDF templates on your colored cardstock. Grab your cutting tools, a hot or cold beverage and settle down to cut out your design.

Next, follow the helpful step by step instructions provided and glue all the pieces together. If the design doesn’t contain instructions, check if the designer added details in the product listing.

To take your crafting up a notch, you do need additional tools.

Take Your Crafting to the Next Level

You’ve just bought your first cutting machine. YAY! The next step, for most just starting out with crafting, is either Permanent Vinyl or Heat Transfer Vinyl.

Permanent Vinyl Tools And Crafts

Permanent Vinyl doesn’t require heat to transfer but you do need transfer tape. The vinyl uses pressure to adhere to surfaces like glass, acrylic, ceramic, wood, metal, notebooks and cardstock. It will not work on fabric.

Below I have listed a starting point for tools you will need to get going.

Materials and Equipment For Permanent Vinyl

Design Bundles SVG - like this Christmas Dog Memorial Bundle or FREE Hello Fall Round SVG

A Cricut or any other cutting machine

Machine software - If you are learning about Silhouette Studio, you can use the DXF format or upgrade to a paid Designer Edition to use SVG files

Permanent Vinyl - in a color of your choice

Transfer Tape - to transfer the vinyl to your blank

A weeding tool - this can be Cricut Tools, a craft knife or even a pin attached to a pencil

Blank product like a round acrylic ornament

A Brayer - not necessary but a nice and handy tool to have

If you’re like me and have just joined the Cricut world, there are quite a number of tools involved. This article on Cricut tools and hacks gave me a lot of insight into how each tool works.

Go ahead and cut your vinyl with your Cricut or any other cutting machine. Gently remove the vinyl from your mat then weed or remove the excess from the design.

easy crafting vinyl cutting

Next, place your transfer tape over the vinyl. Rub over the front and back with a scraper or old gift card. Then slowly peel back the tape.

Your vinyl should adhere to the tape. If you find some parts are not adhering, lay the tape back down over that area and burnish with the card again. Do this until all of the vinyl has transferred to the tape.

Finally, place the tape and vinyl on your blank. Burnish again over the design and gently peel back the transfer tape. In the image below, I made a memorial Christmas ornament for my tree.

easy crafting permanent vinyl

Heat Transfer Vinyl Tools And Crafts

Heat Transfer Vinyl or HTV, is a vinyl that is transferred to materials using a heat source. The vinyl is attached to its own heat carrier sheet where you weed out the unwanted areas.

Now, depending on the type of HTV, you may be able to get away with using an iron. But, to get the best results that last the longest, you need a correct combination of heat and pressure.

The pressure adheres the vinyl to the fibers of the material. This is key to making your vinyl stay put after washing. So you will need to invest in a type of heat press if you intend working with HTV in the long run.

So what exactly do you need to start using HTV?

The list of tools for Heat Transfer Vinyl is the same as for permanent vinyl with the exception of a heat source, HTV and Parchment paper (if layering).

You can apply HTV to various materials like fabric and other items that can withstand heat. Need more information on how to use a heat press? In the video below, Crystal takes you through step by step.


Materials and Equipment For HTV

Cutting machine, weeding tools, blank item such as a shirt or pillow case

Design Bundles SVG - the Christmas SVG Bundle or this FREE Funny SVG are perfect for these projects

Heat Transfer Vinyl in a color of your choice

Heat Press or Cricut EasyPress

Parchment paper/Teflon sheet

With these materials and tools you can create so many amazing projects like shirts, pillowcases, bags and more. If you are on a budget you can always start out with a small heat press. My current heat press is a small A4 but I have pressed full sized adult shirts without any problems.

Why not check out this easy to follow tutorial on making your first Glitter HTV shirt to get you started? I used my A4 heat press to make the shirt along with a Cricut Joy. It was so super easy to do.

glitter heat transfer vinyl shirt crafts

Getting ready for Christmas and need a fun, festive crafting idea? We know you will love this guide on how to make a personalized Santa Sack.

Other Craft Ideas To Look Into

Sublimation

In the crafting community you will most definitely hear about Sublimation. You do require specific paper and ink as well as a high count polyester product for this to work. For information on this and more, we have an in depth Intro to Sublimation for beginners article just for you.

Wood Burning

Did you know that you can burn wood without the need for special tools, years of experience or a large amount of time? There are two very popular ways of achieving this.

1. Using Ammonium Chloride and Food/Beverage thickener to create a past

2. Torch Paste or Wood Burning gel

A stencil is cut out of permanent vinyl, adhered to the wooden surface then the paste or gel is applied in a small amount. You use a heat gun to activate the paste or gel and create a wood burned effect.

Direct to Vinyl or DTV

Siser DTV is still a very new but incredibly popular product. It allows users with inkjet printers to print onto a specialized vinyl, cut out with your cutting machine or by hand, then heat press to your material.

DTV is so popular because it doesn’t fade or lift after the first wash like other vinyl printing materials. It can also be used on 100% cotton. This gives crafters access to use sublimation PNG files without the need for a sublimation printer.

Want to learn more? We have a great article how to use Siser DTV!

There’s always the saying that buying crafting tools is different to actually using them. Before you go out and buy (then hoard like me), start off with what interests you first. Build on from there and your crafting opportunities will be endless.

Above all, have patience with yourself and enjoy what you do.

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