Since I love to DIY as much of my home decor as possible, I have tried and used so many craft supplies over the years. Here are my top 13 must-have craft supplies and how I used them in DIY projects.
My Top 13 Craft Supplies That I Always Keep Stocked
It’s no secret that I love to DIY as much of my home decor as I can to share the ideas with you…hey, after all, it’s my job!!
I’ve also tried out hundreds of different craft products over the past few years. From all my hits and misses I have certain ride-or-die craft supplies that I always have stocked.
So when I get that lightbulb going off in my head at random times during the day I can run down to my workshop and get working and know that I probably have all the craft supplies on hand for the project and don’t have to waste any time heading out to the craft store or ordering from Amazon.
Let me share what the 13 craft supplies that I always keep stocked in my workshop are. These are also my real-life pictures of my craft workshop… it’s down in our basement and is organized but not pristine!!
Top 13 Must-Have Craft Supplies
- Mod Podge
- Joint Compound
- Dried Florals
- Paint Brushes
- Wood Beads
- Seasonal Wood Shapes
- Rub n Buff
- Wreath Forms
Well, this one is a no-brainer!! I use paint for almost all of my craft and DIY projects. I built up a pretty extensive supply of paints and have tried quite a few different brands.
Acrylic Craft Paint
Acrylic craft paint is a definite must-have supply! This inexpensive paint can be used for painting most projects. It has excellent coverage and I’ve used it for everything from painting my own artwork to painting Christmas ornaments. Bonus, it’s really cheap too!
Some of my favorite acrylic paints are Folk Art Metallics, especially antique copper.
Projects Using Acrylic Paint
DIY wall art
Make your own large wall art…you don’t have to be an artist either!
This ugly thrift store planter was upcycled into a stylish vase using paint.
I took a plain terracotta discount store planter and painted it like pottery.
Have you ever worked with chalk paint before?? One thing I love is that you can use it on anything!! It covers wood and glass and everything in between!
Chalk paint is just what it sounds like! It has calcium carbonate in it or another chalky mineral substance and leaves a chalky-looking matte finish when it dries.
I used to flip lots of furniture using chalk paint and loved working with it. Now I do fewer furniture projects but so many smaller craft and decor projects but still love how chalk paint works. The Waverly Chalk Paints at Walmart are great to work with too.
These are a few of my favorite projects…
Spray paint has come a long way in the past few years. There is such a vast array of colors and types of specialty spray paints now. In my paint stash, you will find a few different shades of Rustoleum metallics.
I especially like the “Oil Rubbed Bronze” and “Aged Copper“. My other must-haves are the Rustoleum matte black and satin white…they are just great paints to have on hand for an unexpected project.
spray paint idea
Using a cheap tomato cage and bamboo supports plus copper spray paint I made the prettiest cottage garden tower for climbing flowers.
There are also specialty spray paints now to use for DIY projects. Not a must-have if you are just starting to stock your craft room but I do love what they do! The two that I have are Krylon Sea Glass Spray Paint and also Krylon Looking Glass Paint.
Here are projects I did with those specialty paints:
To make something look like glazed pottery I use the Krylon Triple Glaze. It really mimics that shiny look of a piece of expensive pottery! I used it on this Sea Glass Bird Bath to give it its sheen & seal it for the outdoors.
Spray paint can be used for all sorts of projects but is my choice for outdoor projects because of its durability.
Step 2 Playhouse
Spray Paint Makeover
Check out how I gave my old Step 2 playhouse a spray paint makeover and made it look like a mini beach cottage!
There are so, so many uses for moss in your home! Not only for DIY projects but to just add that little extra touch when you are decorating.
In my craft stash, I have a few different types of moss on hand. Preserved moss, mixed moss, and Spanish moss.
You might have thought this was a weird “must-have” but friends, I use moss all the time! Personally, I just love to add natural elements throughout my home, and using moss definitely adds that!
One of my favorite Spring DIY crafts is to make bird’s nests out of Spanish moss and add a little green moss and mini eggs to it. Those realistic little nests can be pricey at the home decor shops so learn how to make your own.
moss projects to try:
Jute Twine & Rope
There are a zillion uses for jute twine when you are crafting!! You will always find a couple of rolls of different thicknesses of jute twine and also jute nautical rope in my workshop. The good thing is that you can find rolls of jute at Walmart or your local crafty stores and of course Amazon. Dollar Tree is my spot to stock up on the nautical rope.
Use Jute To Make A Garland
Jute makes a great base to create your own garland. It’s pretty strong! One of my favorites is this Pumpkin Garland that I used on my Fall Front Porch last year.
For this Fall Garland, I grabbed the nautical rope and all the decorations at the Dollar Tree!
It also makes a nice alternative to ribbon for wrapping presents. A simple brown kraft paper gift wrap with jute and dried flowers.
Mod Podge is like magic in a bottle!! It’s fantastic for paper projects and decoupage. Since I like to create my own artwork each season…it’s such a $$ saver…I always have a big bottle of the Matte Mod Podge on hand!
A perfect quick Spring project is this Spring Sign with Free Printable. Simple & Pretty to add to your entryway table or a shelf. After I printed out the image on cardstock I frayed the edges and used Mod Podge to adhere it to a small rustic wood square sign, then covered the entire thing with another layer of Mod Podge (making sure there are no bubbles).
Make Your Own
where I Find Free Art
Letting you in on my best free spots to find print-your-own artwork online!
Joint compound has been the key element on so many of my favorite projects (and yours) over the years here at Cottage on Bunker Hill!
The first time I used it was to create a small faux brick wall on a boring corner of the house. It’s still one of my favorite things I have created with my hands!
here are a few projects…
So many projects that I do, especially seasonal ones need that touch of ribbon to finish them off! Especially all the wreaths that I make to share with you all.
My best tip is to buy at the end of the season when everything is marked down 50% or 75% off! That’s when I stock up on rolls of ribbon.
Lately, I have been gravitating towards 2 particular ribbons: frayed chiffon ribbon and frayed velvet ribbon. The best price I have found for the frayed velvet ribbon is at Hobby Lobby, their rolls are $3.99 and $4.99 and they have a beautiful selection of colors to choose from. You will find the ribbon over in the fabric department.
The chiffon ribbon was the perfect way to finish off this Fall Garden Wreath for my front door. It’s so pretty how the ribbon drapes.
The corner of my workbench and pegboard is filled with a variety of dried flowers from my garden. There are a few flowers I grow with the intent of using them for drying like statice, strawflowers, baby’s breath, & celosia.
No worries though, you can usually find bunches of baby’s breath and a few other flowers you can use for drying at the grocery store.
…But if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby that would be my go-to!! They have the best, most affordable selection of flowers plus they carry dried pods and stems sometimes too!
A small bunch of dried flowers just adds that extra something to this vintage copper kettle (a great flea market find!!).
A few dried strawflowers were the perfect accent to this cute Spring bunny wreath. If you are a gardener I highly suggest you add strawflowers this year. They are now one of my favorite flowers in my cutting garden and bonus, such an easy non-fussy flower to grow!
This one is a no-brainer! An assortment of different paintbrushes for little and big DIY projects is a must-have in your craft supply.
In my workshop, I have a bunch of small (cheap) art brushes, sponge-tipped brushes, chip brushes, angled paintbrushes, and a few more expensive chalk paint/furniture brushes.
- Furniture: Synthetic Oval Brush, Black Dog Salvage Furniture Brush,
- Wax/ Dry Brushing: Chip Brushes
- Paint/ Mod Podge: Foam Sponge Brush
- All Purpose: Art Brushes
To update a console table I grabbed some chalk paint, wax, and a big brush to give it a fresh new look and decorate it with some thrift store finds.
My smaller art brushes are so useful when I’m painting smaller projects or layering on paint colors like on this Spring Flowers in a Wood Crate project. The wood crate was painted a graphite gray first and then I layered a taupe color on top to create detail.
When I am using Mod Podge I use either a foam sponge brush or a chip brush to spread it around the surface of the project. This is a print I used when I was decorating my Spring entryway table.
Clay is such a fun medium to work with when you are crafting!
Maybe because it’s so tactile and you get your hands (a little) dirty but I really like playing around with it.
There are a few different types of clay for crafting: air-dry and oven baked are the most common.
Another homemade clay that I make is salt dough which is also baked in the oven.
Let me show you some fun ideas for projects working with clay!
Oven Baked Clay
Sculpey oven bake clay is really easy to work with and is perfect for making small items like ornaments or pinch pots.
For this project I made trinket dishes with leaf imprints…and they were soooo cool!! One of my personal favorite projects from the Fall but you could use these year-round actually!
Working with air-dry clay is almost the same as the oven baked but you just leave it out and let it naturally dry which will take a day or two. You can find air-dry clay in different colors besides white like terracotta and a cement shade.
For this project, I used DAS terracotta air-hardening clay to make pressed flower imprint plaques
botanical imprint ornaments
This air-dry clay project is perfect for making tree ornaments, bridal shower favor, or gathering a few together to hang.
I rolled out the clay & used heart cookie cutters plus dried flowers to make imprints.
Salt Dough Clay
For the past two Christmases, I have made a big batch of cinnamon salt dough and used it to make decorations and wreaths. It looks just like gingerbread…but does not have as many ingredients and is cheaper to make!!
On my supply shelf, I have a basket of different-sized unfinished wood beads that come in handy for accenting a project like the clay heart ornaments and the pumpkin bead garland from earlier.
There is an easy trick I have for “staining” wood beads quickly…I use fabric dye!!! It’s so much easier than trying to actually use stain them.
You can check out my Rit dye staining technique and see how to make your own bead wreath, this one was for Fall but you could use any seasonal floral picks to dress it up.
With some of the large unfinished wooden beads, I have made two different garlands…both were inspired by items that I saw in the Pottery Barn catalog.
Seasonal Wooden Shapes
I’ve never met a holiday I didn’t like…man, I love to decorate so any excuse is fine with me!!
One craft supply that I stock up on is seasonal wooden shapes usually from Dollar Tree or Hobby Lobby. So when I get that spark of creativity I can pull out my supplies and craft something.
They are perfect for making a garland or adding that extra little seasonal touch to something.
Like attaching a little bunny ornament to a wire basket full of Spring pansies out on my porch.
This Spring wreath was made from mostly Dollar Tree items!! A wire egg-shaped frame, wooden bunnies & eggs, plus moss. Such a cute one!!
My latest project using wooden shapes is this Heart Shaped Wreath where I layered different-sized hearts to create a 3-D vibe.
Rub n Buff
Rub n Buff is a little tube of magic!!! Run out and buy a tube of the Antique Gold and thank me later!! This stuff is so cool…and guess what, I didn’t even start to use it until last year!! OMG, I didn’t get what all the fuss was about until I finally tried it on a project!
Rub n Buff completely transformed a pretty beat-up thrift store find in about 2 minutes time!
In the Fall, I made a set of bowl fillers using wooden shaped acorns & pumpkins. For the pumpkins, I used the Rub n Buff and on the acorns, I did my Rit dye trick.
A little bit of the Rub n Buff transformed this black/red frame into something that looked a little more vintage to go with this DIY artwork.
OK…I LOVE to make wreaths!!! Even if you don’t think you are super crafty I am telling you that you can make your own wreaths!!
First, you will save money because some of the premade store-bought ones are expensive, especially the nice ones!!
So knowing that I make a bunch of different wreaths every year I grab wreath forms when they are on sale and at Dollar Tree when I see them.
My Dollar Tree sells out of the metal seasonal wreath forms quickly so I’ll get a couple of each to have. I hang my backstock on nails that are up high on my workshop wall in the basement so they are out of the way but I can still see them…because I will 100% forget what I already have.
I also have grapevine wreaths in a few different sizes from 24″ right down to the teeny 3″ ones!
For Christmas, I made sweet vintage angel ornaments with the small ones & chiffon ribbon.
Now, if you see the bunny head wreath form at Dollar Tree…grab it!!!! Then make this pretty Bunny Head Wreath for a non-cutesy Easter wreath.
Another inexpensive wreath idea was this one I put together using a square metal wreath frame, $1 foam pumpkins, and dried hydrangeas from my garden. On top of it being under 10 bucks to make…it took about 10 minutes to put together!!! Love that!
Well, those are all my must-haves that make my craft studio work!! It’s so much easier to have all the basics on hand and ready to go!!
It’s such a time saver…even with quick Amazon delivery, it’s great to be able to jump right in when the spirit moves you!!
Hopefully, I gave you some fresh ideas to try using some products that you might not have thought of trying before!! ~Jennifer
cottage on bunker hill
Thanks for stopping by today! Being able to share my projects, DIYs, and decorating ideas with you is amazing. Leave a comment below; I love hearing from you! Feel free to drop me a note here if you have any questions.
Kim Waldorf says
I still need to get and play with the air-dry clay. You have the perfectly stocked craft space!
Rachel Harper says
I’m always picking up supplies before I need them. But that has came in handy more times than I can say. Great post.
Jennifer Howard says
Seriously, I think your brain probably works like mine…and when the idea hits you gotta start on it right away!!
Jennifer, Thanks so much for sharing your list of must have craft supplies and how you organize your workspace. Very helpful info!!! And some great DIY ideas:)
Jennifer Howard says
Thanks so much, Vicki!! I started writing and couldn’t believe how many projects I had made with each supply…I had to cut myself off before I wrote a book!!