My Essentials for DIY Home Decor
The sunshine has not been cooperating with me this week, so I wasn’t able to photograph my next project reveal for Henry’s new room – boo! It’s a good one too, so I want to make sure I photograph it really well. Anyway, since that post is on hold until the sun shines again, I thought I would sit down to write out a post that I’ve had on my “To Write” list for a while now.
Every now and then, a reader or a personal friend will ask for my input on what tools or supplies they should invest in so they can start to make their own home decor. While my craft room is filled with seemingly endless amounts of machines and do-dads and notions and supplies to make anything you can think of, I’ve found that, time and time again, I consistently reach for the same set of tools. If you’re looking to start making your own home decor, or you want/need to add some hard-working tools to your arsenal, here’s what I use the most to make the decor in the images you see here on the blog!
Btw, this is not a sponsored post for any of the items I talk about here. AND, I know this post is seemingly in contradiction to what I talked about on Friday (about the burden of and desire to have too much stuff). Please don’t consider this my attempt to persuade you to buy things you don’t need; because honestly, if you’re not going to use them then you don’t need them! Rather, think of this as me suggesting the basics, so you can make lots of things with as little “stuff” as possible. Phew – okay – disclaimer over. Let’s get started!
A sewing machine. Okay, this one is kind of a no brainer for me, as my sewing machine is probably the single most used thing in our entire house. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but it’s a close tie with my toothbrush and coffee pot 😉 While there is a ton of no-sew home decor ideas out there, if you’re serious about saving significant cash on things like curtains and pillows and bedding and more, strongly consider investing in a sewing machine (and teaching yourself to sew if you don’t know how!) I’ve been using my very trusty Husqvarna Scandinavia 200 sewing machine for 9 years now; and I still love it as much as the day I pulled it from the box and taught myself to sew at my dining room table. These days, there are so many wonderful tutorials and videos available on the web, that learning to sew is easier than ever. In my mind, a sewing machine is worth every penny if you love to decorate and do it often!
Rotary cutter, 24″ clear ruler, and cutting mat. For the longest time, my least favorite aspect of sewing projects was measuring and cutting everything out. Crawling all over the floor on that big cardboard cutting board to end up with wonky cuts made me crazy! About 6 years ago, my mom taught me how to use a rotary cutter with a 24″ clear ruler, and it changed my sewing life forever. These three items have a permanent home on top of my craft counter as I use them on almost every project I make. They’re not just for fabric cutting either; I use these tools to cut down contact paper, vinyl, wrapping paper, craft paper, etc! Again, check out some videos on YouTube on how to really use these items right – you’ll thank me 🙂
An e-cutter. You can choose your own “team” here (Cricut or Silhouette), as they both have their own pros and cons; but no matter which way you go, the functionality an e-cutter provides is second to none for home decor. Anything from monograms or images for pillows, lettering for subway art…the possibilities are endless. I fire my machine up to make everything from birthday presents to seasonal decor and LOVE being able to get great images on paper, fabric, vinyl and more without tracing and cutting myself!
Photo editing/digital designing software. At first I wasn’t going to include this one because I realize I use my digital designing software (My Digital Studio) mostly because I’m a blogger. However, I also use this software to make printables for my walls, food labels and decor for my parties, and try out ideas on photos of my home before I actually execute them. I’m hankering to up my skills and get savvy with Photoshop; but even if you’re not a blogger, using a program like this one (or even free programs like PicMonkey) can open up a whole new range of decor possibilities!
A glue gun and craft brayer. I’m going to lump these two little guys together. While I use all sorts of things like scissors, craft knives, glues, paint brushes, etc, these two items pull more than their fair share of the crafting workload! A glue gun is somewhat obvious – almost anything can be held together with hot glue. It’s strong, fast, and somewhat mess free when you get good at using it. Sometimes I hem and haw and hem and haw on how to put something together when it occurs to me hot glue will do the trick perfectly! A craft brayer is perhaps a less obvious choice for inclusion on an “essentials” list, but honestly, I use mine all.the.time. From smoothing bubbles out of shelf liner and wall decals, to attaching images or labels to jars or boxes, I am constantly reaching for this simple little tool. My little man also LOVES it, so it’s an easy and safe thing to give him in the craft room when he wants to be near me!
Ultra-Strong Hean’n’Bond. Okay, I know this isn’t exactly a tool, but I use it so much I had to include it. At first, I thought bonding mediums were for people who didn’t want to sew. After years of crafting up projects for my home (and my family!), I’ve learned it’s an invaluable asset to my craft arsenal. Heat’n’bond can be used to attach images to pillows, hem up curtains, add labels to baskets, create storage solutions, make kids’ gifts and more. I am constantly coming up with new ways to use it – in fact, a project I have coming up next week puts it to great use! I keep a few yards of it in my stash all the time.
While there are certainly many other things I use constantly (i.e., fabric, pins, scissors, markers, paints and more!), these listed here are just a few things that, if you’re just getting started in home decor, are worthy of consideration. Each one offers a lot of capability for their pricetag; and if researched and invested well, can be long-term additions to your home and hobby!
How about you? Do you share my devotion to any of these items? Is there something you use all the time that I left off my list?
Fingers crossed the sun is shining while you’re reading this and I’m snapping photos of my next project. If all goes well, I’ll see you back here Friday!