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19 Things Every DIYer Should Have!

19 Things every DIYer should own.
Hello, my name is Alyssa and I am a craft addict.

"Hello, Alyssa." (I imagine a group of sequins covered, glue gun wielding characters mumble as they pick glitter and super glue out of their nails)

Thanks for that welcome, crafters anonymous! Yep, I'm an addict, and it's become a full fledged obsession for several yearsI took a minute to compile a list of my all-time favorite, must have "tool kit" for DIYing!

Oh and don't worry, nobody paid me for a shout out for spraypaint, 
and nobody at 3M knows I'm a rabid fan of Command Strips. This is just stuff I truly luuuuuuurve! :)

My list of all time fav crafting supplies!
This list consists of stuff I love, stuff I've discovered along the way (over a year now of projects logged on this blog!), and stuff I wish I could have, so, so badly.

How many of these do you have in your arsenal??

#1. Big Girl Glue Gun (with a stand!)
Yeah, I'll be the first to admit to being too cheap to invest in a good glue gun.

I had one of those cheapie $2.99 mini guns for too long! So much time wasted refilling itty bitty glue sticks, trying to get the gun to stand upright, giving up and letting it fall over, only to have it melt into the paper plate I used to rest it on, etc, etc. Enough is enough!!  I finally guiltily splurged on a $29.99 "big girl" quality gun for projects like my fabric flower bow, and what a difference!
19 Things every DIYer should own- a big girl glue gun! Clever nest
I'm not particular about what brand to buy, just as long as it comes with a stand!

#2. Fabric Scissors
I mean a pair of high quality, mightily SHARP scissors.

That means not sharing them with anyone under the age of 10, not also using them for gardening, cooking, or car repair. It will change your life! Oh, and once you own them, write something ominous on the handle so everyone else in the family will know never to go near your scissors!
19 Things every DIYer should own- sharp scissors! Clever nest

#3. Paper Cutter
These are cheap enough, $10-13, and hands down the fastest and easiest way to make straight cuts. Just say no to uneven eyeballing! A scrapbook paper cutter or professional "office" cutter is so helpful to have around for projects like the nautical inspired banner I made for Andrew's first birthday.
19 Things every DIYer should own- scrapbook paper cutter! Clever nest

#4. 3M Command Strips
I freely volunteer to be the Command Strip Girl, throwing these little beauties from a paper mache float. These things are.freaking.amazing.
19 Things every DIYer should own- 3m command strips! Clever nest
As strong as a nail, but without the permanent hole left behind. I use these strips for hanging plates, gallery walls, art, bulletin boards, and seasonal decorations. They have hangers for wire back frames, and hangers with velcro-like strips so you can remove and reposition an item over and over! It takes all the stress out of deciding how high to hang my stuff for this OCD lady!

#5. High Quality Spray Paint
I tried it. It does make a difference.
19 Things every DIYer should own- hi qual spray paint! no cheapie brands. Clever nest

It makes all the difference what brand of spray paint you use. srsly. I learned in why it's so worth it to "splurge" for the $6 cans of paint vs. buying the cheapie brand. One coat of a good brand can do the job of 3 coats of a bargain brand. My faves are Rustoleum, American, and Krylon.

#6. A Level
Gotta have one for hanging mirrors, wall arrangements, curtain rods, mounting TVs, marking wall heights of munchkins, and painting stripes! Thankfully Jason has one that I am allowed to "borrow" all the time.
19 Things every DIYer should own- a level for hanging art arrangements. Clever nest
thanks Baby:)

#7. Scrapbooking Paper
Oh man this stuff is good for everything!

  • matting frames
  • photo backgrounds
  • jewelry
  • origami
  • mod podging
  • all kinds of paper crafts

19 Things every DIYer should own- a selection of scrapbook paper. Clever nest
 Some patterns are even pretty enough to frame all by themselves. I always have a selection of colors and textures on hand, and snag ones that catch my eye at the craft store. You won't be sorry to have a stash!

#8. Mod Podge
I was a Mod Podge virgin for way.too.long. This stuff really does rock! I love it now! An awesome tool for decoupaging, varnishing, sealing, gluing, and jewelry making.
19 Things every DIYer should own- mod podge. Clever nest

And as I found out in my experiment, it really does beat any homemade version on Pinterest.

#9. Clear Nail Polish
I always keep a bottle handy. Add a dab on knots to make them stay put, seal or glaze small items, fix chips in wood, keep the ends of ribbons and string from fraying, coating metal to prevent rust, keep nylons from fraying, prevent cheap jewelry from turning colors. That's just the short list!
19 Things every DIYer should own- clear nail polish, for stopping frays, rust, sealing knots, and more. Clever nest

#10. Clear Storage Boxes
This is my personal preference. Some people may love the look of opaque boxes, but I like to be able to see where my stuff is without having to do a lot of digging.
19 Things every DIYer should own- clear storage bins for organizing the craft closet. Clever nest

A set of clear plastic bins with lids will work wonders for craft room organization!

#11. Super Glue
It works so well, almost too well. I'm always a little freaked out when using it. I'm thinking, "Ok, ok you got this. Just squeeze gently, and... Oh, oh, nooo! Omg!! omg!! My fingers are stuck! My fingers are going to be stuck together for life! Somebody call 911!"

I'm sure you'll be fine. Just craft responsibly.
19 Things every DIYer should own- super glue, but it scares me a little. Clever nest

#12. Glue Sticks
Helpful for preschoolers and hardcore DIYers alike. They've got restickable, permanent, washable, and color changing. I'm a sucker for the purple kind that fades to clear. It's great when I'm in a hurry and need to see where my glue is going. You know, for all that speed gluing that I need to do.
19 Things every DIYer should own- purple glue sticks to know where you put the glue. Clever nest

#13. Assortment of Brushes
Sponge brushes, large and small art brushes, rollers, a good "painting the house" type brush, and even eye shadow brushes. You'll always have the right brush handy for the right job :)
19 Things every DIYer should own- assortment of brushes. Clever nest

#14. Scrapbook Adhesive Strips
My life savers for matting pictures in frames, and working with paper in general. I usually cut one tab in half and that makes the roll go super far.
19 Things every DIYer should own- scrapbook adhesive strips for mounting photos. Clever nest

#15. Coupons
Never go to the craft store unarmed! Retail, shmetail. Craft stores like JoAnn and Michael's have apps you can download to get coupons right on your smart phone. When you're in the store, ask to sign up for their mailing list to receive even more coupons! Society of Stampaholics has a fantastic post about how to save even more when using coupons.
19 Things every DIYer should own- coupons! how to get more and how to make the most of them. Clever nest
p.s. did you know that Michael's accepts competitor's coupons??

#16. Exacto Knife
Box cutter, utility knife. Tomato, tumahto. My husband and I can't agree what the proper name of this thing is. Whatever it's called, it's my best friend when cutting shapes out of cardboard or foam core, like for my sparkly stick wreath.
19 Things every DIYer should own- box cutter for cardboard projects. Clever nest

#17. Cordless Screw Driver
So much easier than using one with a cord! We're always busting it out for hanging items, installing curtain rods, or putting furniture together. And they come in pink too!
19 Things every DIYer should own- love this hot pink cordless screwdriver! Clever nest

#18. Silhouette Machine
This is on my wish list. I can't tell you how many times I'm stuck cutting out a bazillion little fishy shapes, and thinking, why don't I have a Silhouette machine yet? why?

True, they're a bit on the pricy side, $200-$300 depending what extras come are offered with it. I'm still dreaming about owning one someday. And if you have a used one that's gathering dust in your closet, drop me a line! I would like to take it off your hands! :D
19 Things every DIYer should own- I want a silhouette machine so bad... Clever nest

#19. Sewing Machine
Even if you don't consider yourself a pro sewer, you should still consider owning one. They have real simple, inexpensive models these days that would be worth the purchase. If you find yourself using the no-sew iron on strips all.the.time, it probably means you could use a sewing machine!
19 Things every DIYer should own- sewing machines aren't so scary. Clever nest

I love mine for quickly hemming curtains, making simple bedding, lite clothes altering, and making throw pillows.

There you have it! Do you agree with the top 19 I chose? What would you add to the list?


FYI: I wasn't paid by anyone for endorsing any product in this list. These are things I really use, and really love :)

Winner announced! + Andrew is 20 months

Thank you everyone for participating in my birthday giveaway! It's time to announce the big winner. Ready??

Congratulations to Kim Forgey! 

Yay! Kim, I'll be contacting you about how to redeem your prizes. :)

Life as I Know it
Since I'm still working on this week's post (hope to get it out tomorrow!), I thought I'd share some pics of what we've been up to around here lately.  Cue the gratuitous baby pictures! :)

We decided to splurge this year and buy Disneyland passes.

It made sense since Andrew's young enough not to need a pass yet (20 months), yet old enough to understand slash maybe remember the experience. He talks about "Buhh" (Buzz), "Mimi" (Mickey), and the gorillas on the Jungle Ride all.the.time.
 Sometimes I let Andrew drive.

Wise man once say, "Rocket rides look innocent from the ground, but terrify in the air". Sometimes it's hard to judge what is age appropriate. Needless to say won't be hitting the rockets again for awhile! Sorry, Bud. I'll pay for that counseling session you'll need later.

We mostly stick to the mild rides, everything in Fantasy Land, and It's a Small World. I've learned, lots of things to look at + music= good, jostling, dips, or too much spinning= bad. At least for now!

As far as appetite goes, my son is a "good eater".

Understatement of the year. I'm pretty sure he would eat half a gallon of yogurt, a box of graham crackers, and a treefull of bananas if I let him have his way. Where does this appetite come from???

This picture always cracks me up. He tried tofu for the first time, and after sticking it in his mouth, gave me this look. He loves it now!

We are big on water. Like bonkers big. Andrew freaks out for the pool, sprinklers, the hose, the bath, and public fountains. There's a fun splash zone at our local downtown area and it's always hard to fish him out when it's time to go home.
"Don't drink the wa....!" too late. Also, I get extra points if I let him go pantsless.

"Hello, ladies."

He is fastidious (read ocd like his mama) to say the least. He does things like lining up berries in a row. 

We spend most days getting out and doing things in the morning, coming home for nap, and spending time with Daddy when he gets home.

He wants to do whatever Daddy does, including working on the computer.

 I am blessed!!

I'll have a more DIYish post out tomorrow. For now, thanks for reading! Have a great Wendesday. :)


Birthday Bash: Fossil and Mary Kay Giveaway!

This giveaway has ended. Scroll to the end to see who won!! :)

It's my birthday, it's my birthday! Today I turn the ripe old age of 29, and what better way to celebrate than to have the BIGGEST giveaway in Clever Nest history!?

Here are the items in my Birthday Bash prize package:

Fossil, Mary Kay, and Scentsy giveaway! omg! :) ends 5/22/13

Fossil, Mary Kay, and Scentsy giveaway! omg! :) ends 5/22/13

Yes, that's $165 worth in prizes!

This giveaway is for the continental US only. I hope to offer more international giveaways soon! Entering is easy!

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kim Forgey, you are the winner! I will be contacting you about how to redeem your prizes! :)

That's it! You can easily find Clever Nest projects to pin here in my gallery, and here on my Pinterest board. Good luck, I can't wait to see who wins! And don't forget you can pin and tweet up to once per day!


Sharing Wednesday at We Like to Learn as we Go
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