Essential cutting tools for the craft room.

Essential Cutting Tools for the Craft Room

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13 Essential Blades, scissors , and cutting tools for the crafter/maker

These are great tools to have in your craft room.  Either things you can buy for yourself, or for the crafter/maker in your life, or suggestions to give when someone asks you for a gift idea of something you would like to receive. Some are great stocking stuffer ideas, some are a bit larger, either way, they make for a well stocked craft/sewing room.

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Scissors and cutting implements make great gifts for crafters, makers, and sewing enthusiasts because they are such important tools and get used over and over again.  Since I dabble in several hobbies I have a wide variety of cutting tools. I am sharing the cutting utensils I have in my craft room, and some from around my home.

Craft Cutting Machine – Silhouette Cameo

Three models of the Silhouette Cameo

I am going to start with my favorite craft tool, ever.
To me, the Silhouette Cameo is an essential cutting tool. It changed my crafting life. It has so many uses around the house, helping with school projects, crafting, sewing, scrapbooking, I won’t even get into the individual projects you can make using a Cameo right now.  
I first started in November of 2013 with the original Silhouette Cameo. The push-button version of the Cameo (#1 in the photo above).
Then I bought the Cameo 2 (#2 in the photo above) with the touch screen showing (which is my personal favorite) a few years later.
In December of 2017, I got the Cameo 3 (#3 in the photo above).  They all still work perfectly, I just liked the current version so much, I wanted to upgrade.
The first three models of the Silhouette Cameo are no longer being manufactured so if you want to purchase one of those machines you will most likely have to look for a used model for sale or possibly a seller with some NOS (new old stock) machines for sale.
Places to look to by a used Silhouette Cameo are ebay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, etc.

The latest model of the Silhouette Cameo, the Cameo 4 is now available

Silhouette Cameo 4 machine
New Silhouette Cameo 4

The Cameo 4 was released in the fall of 2019. It has such amazing new capabilities, I created a post just for the Cameo 4, Cameo 4 Plus, and Cameo 4 Pro. Read more about the Silhouette Cameo 4 models here.

Is a Silhouette Cameo worth it?

Absolutely! When you consider the gifts you can make for family and friends and items you can make for yourself, a Silhouette Cameo cutting machine can quickly pay for itself, and that is not even getting into creating things you can sell, if you decide to go that direction.

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Craft Scissors and Blades

Scissors and blades every crafter and maker should have

1. A retractable blade utility knife is nice to have for cutting foam core, cardboard, carpet, linoleum, and even some kinds of wood. I have a basic one in my craft room. But in the garage, we have a better version with a handle grip and an auto-load blade.  It is the one I would recommend.

2. I keep these 5” Non-Stick Titanium Fiskars on my craft desk. The Non-Stick blade is a good multi-purpose blade but is especially good for trimming vinyl and tape.

3. These 5” Micro-tip Fiskars are also on my craft desk (mine are red) but I keep them for things that aren’t sticky.  I used them when I made my DIY Balloon Ears. They are great for fabric, paper, craft foam, etc. They make such intricate cuts.

4. General use scissors. Unlike the scissors in my craft room, these are scissors that anyone in the family can use, anywhere, at any time.  They tend to move through the house, so I have about six to eight pair. These Amazon basics have comfortable soft-grip handles and Titanium-fused blades to stay sharp longer than stainless steel.  I keep at least one pair in the kitchen (not for food), office, kids’ homework area, craft room, downstairs, and two in the garage.

5. I love my 56 Piece Precision Hobby Knife Set .  While it is not X-ACTO brand, it has a wide variety of blades and implements for a great price (I can be a little rough on my blades).  It has more than just blades of all angles, it has awls, and other sharp, pokey things too. It has been very handy to have. I keep a blade or two on my craft desk and one in a container on the top of my three tiered storage cart to have handy for cutting cardstock, paper, vinyl, and other things on my craft table.

6. Speaking of craft table.  Although this is not a blade, it is very important to have a way to protect your table or counter from cutting.  My craft table is covered with a large, 36” X 59” self-healing cutting mat like this one.  I have a few smaller sized self-healing cutting mats for cutting at my desk. At 18” X 24” and double sided, this is a good desk sized cutting mat and a small one like this one is nice to have too for small projects.

If you have limited hand strength, or arthritis, these spring loaded Titanium micro tip scissors are very helpful.
They are also so nice to have for cutting lots of pieces of crepe paper petals for making crepe paper flowers.

Sewing Scissors

Five cutting tools for sewing projects (other than my Cameos).

7. Silver 8″ Gingher Dressmaker’s shears are classic all purpose fabric scissors. Mine were handed down to me from my mom.

8. Designer Gingher scissors are so beautiful to work with and the designer patterns can be collectible. The “Casandra” ones (teal floral) in the photo were a gift from my mom.  If possible, I highly recommend a pair of Gingher’s in gold or designer edition like these Designer Series “Barbara”.
You can see by these Designer Series “Alicia” Dressmaker’s Shears can get very expensive due to their limited production pattern.

9. A pair of 4” Gingher embroidery scissors are perfect to keep by the sewing machine to trim threads.  The leather sheath is nice to keep the point of the scissors sharp and help prevent me from poking myself.

10. Up until recently, I used the embroidery scissors to rip seams too, until I finally asked for a seam ripper for my birthday.  It is so much nicer to have the right tool for the job. I am definitely a novice when it comes to sewing. So this Dritz Ergonomic Design Large Seam Ripper is mandatory for any sewing project I attempt.

11. A rotary cutter makes cutting patterns and fabric easier and faster  Just slide the orange lever on the top to click the blade out and cut, and click the button on the side to retract it. The blades are pretty fragile though so a set of replacement blades is nice to have ready when you need them.

TIP: Use a rotary cutter for cutting vinyl down to size. It is quick and easy to cut a straight edge using a square or a quilting ruler. You want to use a blade just for vinyl though because it can get sticky .

Blades for Silhouette Cameo

12. Extra Silhouette Blades. The ratchet and autoblades are still being manufactured but there are shortages everywhere. If you can find one, it is good to get a backup because you don’t know if you will be able to get one when you need one.
Here is a link for where I get my blades. You can also find them on Amazon but be careful because the shortage has led to people reselling them and driving the price way up. You might check your local craft stores to see if they have any in stock.
The Silhouette Premium Blade is made of a more durable material to last longer. It is built in the same shape as the ratchet blade so it can be used in any of the Silhouette machines and in the Cameo 4 models using the black adapter.
It is good to have a separate, dedicated blade for paper, a blade for vinyl, and a blade for fabric because they tend to dull when you cut paper and can get sticky when you cut vinyl.
The blade with the blue housing called the “fabric blade” is the same as the blade with the black housing, it is called a fabric blade because the color is supposed to help you distinguish between your different blades.
The deep cut blade can cut materials up to 2mm thick. It is supposed to be for the Silhouette Curio but will work in the Cameo 3 or in the Cameo 4 models using the gray adapter.
For the Cameo 4 I have the auto blade that came with the machine, and a couple of the rotary and the 3mm high pressure kraft blade. See the blade options for the Cameo 4 here.

Paper Cutter

Guillotine paper cutter in the craft room.

I have always loved these big paper cutters. I remember wanting to use one as far back a elementary school. I eventually got my fair share of using one when I volunteered in my son’s class when he was in elementary school, but I still love them.

The guillotine style paper cutter by Swingline takes up more space than a rotary paper trimmer but it keeps a nice sharp blade and cuts up to 15 pieces of paper (depending on thickness) at a time.  I don’t usually cut that much at a time though. I found my GBC 15” cutter at Goodwill, SCORE! I have no idea how old it is but it still cuts great! I really like the 15” platform, and the laser on it even worked a couple of times.  If you don’t have time to scour Goodwill you can find the one I linked above on Amazon. If you only cut scrapbook paper or smaller, then a 12” cut length version should be just fine.

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Essential cutting tools for the crafter.

What cutting tools are essential in your craft space?  Tell me in the comments below. Maybe there are some new tools I need?

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