Textile medium is a liquid helper that transforms acrylic paints into washable fabric paints. The advantage of this medium is that you don't have to spend a fortune on fabric paints that you wouldn't ordinarily use (for example, colors for a one-time project). However, fabric paints in squeeze bottles are easy to use and handy to have if you intend to do a lot of painting on fabric. If using textile medium, be sure to follow the directions on the bottle for preparing your fabric and making the painted area permanent.
You should exercise caution when using a glue gun. If you have a high-heat glue gun, even a small drop of hot glue can cause a serious burn. I'd recommend buying and using a low-heat glue gun, especially if you'll be working with kids. You can buy colored and sparkle glue sticks that can be used to decorate projects such as wood, fabric, and metal.
Besides the tools and ingredients needed for special crafting techniques, there are many basic craft supplies that you'll want to have on hand to create your projects. It's a good idea to buy the larger (more economical sizes) of the materials you'll use over and over again (such as acrylic paints, glue, and papers). It's also best to buy quality tools, such as paintbrushes, glue guns, and scissors, that will hold up through a multitude of projects. You may want to buy certain tools that are specific to the project materials you are using. For example, I have a pair of sharp scissors I use only for fabric because other materials would dull them.
One tip for organizing your supplies is to buy and label special bins for groupings of items you'll use together. For example, you can keep all your paints, paintbrushes, cleaners, foam trays, and so on, in one bin, and your paper goods such as construction paper, foam sheets, and copy paper in another bin. Wooden pieces such as Popsicle sticks, clothespins, craft sticks, and such, can also be kept in a separate bin or drawer; and so can yarns, threads, needles, ribbons, and so on. In other words, try to store your ingredients in groupings however it best suits you to remember where they are.
Now that you have an idea of how to organize them, let's take a look at the basic ingredients you should have on hand to become a crafting wizard. This may appear to be a long list, but you don't have to buy everything at once; you can assemble it over time as you create beautiful craft projects.
Paints, Brushes, Markers, and Finishes
- Acrylic or craft paints
- Stencil paints
- Nontoxic tempera paints (for working with kids)
- Special-effect paints such as crackle paint, stone finish paint, and stained-glass paints (You may want to buy these as needed for a project.)
- Fabric paints
- Textile medium
- Assortment of different shapes and sizes of paintbrushes
- Stencil paintbrushes and/or spouncers
- Sponges for sponge painting
- Stamps/stamp pads
- Set of permanent magic markers (I'd recommend ones with a thin point on one end and a thick point on the other end.)
- Basic colors of painter markers (These are optional, but they make painting small projects a snap.)
- Clear acrylic finish spray
- Wood stain
- Decoupage finish
- Paint, peel, and stick squeeze paints (These are also optional, but kids love working with this medium.)
- Plastic template for paint, peel, and stick paints
Papers and Cutting Tools
- Pack of construction paper
- Pack of foam sheets
- Packs of foam-sheet cut-outs
- Tissue and crepe paper
- Textured papers
- Card stock
- Copy paper
- Tracing paper
- Transfer or copy paper
- Decorative edge scissors
- Exacto knife