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A few of my favorite things...

 

So yes, as I type that the song is playing in my head.  Chances are now it is stuck in your head too - but hey, doesn't that song make everyone happy!!

 

During my past few years of tasking the know how of the homecoming mum, I get several questions a year about specific items I use or work with.  These tools are vital to crafting but are often overlooked. 

 

I know that these can get a little pricey, but let's be honest.  If you buy the $2 glue gun, you are going to be waiting forever to get enough glue out or by the time enough gets out, half is already dry.  Or the $5 pair of scissors, do you really wonder why it keeps snagging your ribbon?   Well for a few years of learning through trial and error, I have settled on my favorite products that I have continued to use the past couple of years and will not switch from.   These products (and I DO NOT get paid, free stuff or anything of the like for recommending these - but boy I wish I did!!) are my personal preferences after many years of testing what works.  These tools are what I personally use and love.  Also to make things easier I will post a link to amazon for each specific item. 

 

 

This is an easy one and there is only one.  No exceptions.

 

STAPLERS:
 

Stanley Bostitch B8 Heavy Duty Plier Stapler. 

 

 

First, the stapler is super smooth.  After as much stapling as I do, my hand doesn't hurt from these.  Super easy to squeeze.  Also I like that no matter how many times I drop it, it doesn't ever break! 

 

It is advertised as anti-jam and I can honestly say I have NEVER had one jam on me.

 

Also the fact that these are top loading makes it easier for me to quickly pull the lever back, throw more staples in and shut it - ready to go!

 

 

 

And look how far it reaches on a 5 1/2" backer! 

Much easier to work with especially for stapling all that ribbon on!

 

And don't forget your staples!!  They are powercrown staples made specifically for the B8 and I use the 1/4" ones

 

GLUE GUNS:

 

Lots to post here!

 

I mainly use 3 different glue guns.  The first is my mini detailer. 

The Surebonder H-195 Mini Detailed Glue Gun

 

I use this glue gun mainly for adding things like rhinestones and lights.  The fine tip is what makes this gun so spectacular.  I can get a little dab of glue or a big glob right exactly where I want it!  It also doesn't get as hot as my other guns so I prefer this for little items so I don't burn myself too badly.  My husband ended up stealing this one from me last year. so I had to buy another :-)

 

 

 

The second one is my most powerful and hottest gun. 

The Surebonder PRO2-100 100-Watt High Temperature Industrial Glue Gun.

 

I use this gun alot for adding my flowers to the backers, gluing the bears down or gluing the mum top to the streamer backer.  This gun getsextremely hotwhich keeps the glue melted longer giving you more time to work with it before it dries.  Elimates the rush of trying to place items before the glue dries!  But be warned - if you burn yourself  - OOOUUCH!!!

 

 

 

 

I saved the best for last.  This is my FAVORITE!   #1 reason this is my fav - dual heaters!  That's right!!! DUAL HEATERS! 

The Surebonder HE-750 Professional High Temp 2 Heater Glue Gun - my most favorite glue gun EVER! 

 

It heats the glue super fast so I can pump lots of glue as fast as I need to  - but make no mistake this one is a super hot gun too so be careful!! It is an 80 watt gun so your glue will stay melted longer as well.  I have never had clogging or leaking problems, it has been nothing but wonderful for me!  The handle feels more ergonimical to me and makes it easier to use.  Best thing about this gun for me - I have three of them and have NEVER had one burn out.

 

Now I do want to note that the nozzles you see on the two large glue guns (The Surebonder Pro 2 and the HE 750) did not come on these guns.  They come with the normal nozzle shown on amazon.  I used the normal nozzles until I found these bad boys last year and this is what you see on my guns now :

 

Surebonder 6000 Glue Gun Nozzle Assorment Set

 

 

 

 

Now this last one will look a little weird and it new to me this year - but so far I am really liking it!  It is the Surebonder 7" Electric Glue Skillet. 

 

It has an adjustable temp on it and uses the little Diamond Cubes Hot Skillet Glue.  I am using this mainly for dipping the back of my bears in it before putting on the mum.   Also adding picks and sprays to the top, it's easier to just dip the stem in the glue!  In the picture you can see it sitting on a pink heat resistant silicone mat.  These are essential with the glue guns, the glue just peels right off and it protects the table as well.

 

Now this last one will look a little weird and it new to me this year - but so far I am really liking it!  It is the Surebonder 7" Electric Glue Skillet. 

 

 

It has an adjustable temp on it and uses the little Diamond Cubes Hot Skillet Glue.  I am using this mainly for dipping the back of my bears in it before putting on the mum.   Also adding picks and sprays to the top, it's easier to just dip the stem in the glue!  In the picture you can see it sitting on a pink heat resistant silicone mat.  These are essential with the glue guns, the glue just peels right off and it protects the table as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCISSORS:

 

These are actually new to me this year and I LOVE THEM!!  They are the Fiskars 5" Titanium Micro Tip Easy Action Scissors  and have a spring handle action which makes clipping a breeze.  The tiny fine point lets you get into really tight corners.

 

The Tonic Studios Tim Holtz Non Stick Micro Serrated 7" Snippers are amazing.  I have two pairs and swear by them.  The tiny tip gets into tight corners but these things are also incredibly strong.  I have cut all guages of wire and plastics with these and they just keep on cutting!  The wide handle makes them easier to hold too.

 

MY # 1 CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT SCISSORS!!!!!!!    The Gingher 8" Gold Handle Knife Edge Bent Trimmers.  I actually thought I lost them last year, panicked and immediately bought another pair (turned out they were hiding under the couch).  These are not cheap but MAN they cut through ribbon LIKE BUTTER!!!  Thick ribbon, thin ribbon it doesn't matter what kind of ribbon - they are hands down my favorite scissors.

2nd Fav!   These are Gingher also.  The Gingher 8" Featherweight Dressmaker Shears are extremely light weight (making them my hubby's favorite).  They are excellent at cutting ribbon and never snag.

 

 

 When my hands are hurting or cramping I reach for these Fiskars 8" Premier Easy Action Bent Soft Touch Scissors.  The spring loaded scissors are much easier on the hands.  Like the fine tip ones at the beginning, these have a safety latch.  Once open, instead of pulling your hands out to open scissors, they automatically stay open and you only close them to cut.   If your hands tend to hurt while crafting or cutting alot, you would really benefit from these!!  The picture on the right is what they look like when you turn the safety latch to off.  They automatically stay open.

 

 

Misc Other Tools:

 

These are a MUST for me.  Tweezers.  But not any tweezer, the push to open tweezers.  I tend to have to pick up rhinestones and stickers with these and I love that I don't have to keep pressure on them to hold them.  The tweezers automatically use the right pressure.  I must say too, that all of these are not equal.  I have tried several different brands and the EK Tools Craft Tweezers are by far superior to the other.   A close second would be the new cricut ones that have come out.  I tried the We R Memory Keepers but they were way too weak and wouldn't hold anything.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We R Memory Keepers Crop-A-Dile.  I know this is super weird looking but I have the small one and the large one both and use them all the time to punch holes.  They have two different hole punch settings, but are so helpful for me to punch holes anywhere I need to on the backer or on ribbon to tie onto.

 

 

                           Large Crop-A-Dile II Big Bite

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ott Lamps.  We overlook the lighting factor alot, but once I put money into good crafting lamps, I found it is much easier on my eyes and of course you see true color better when you are working at 2 am.

 

 

1" Hole Punch.  I like this style punch personally but any brand would do.

 

 

Ranger 15" by 18" Inkssentials Craft Sheet.  I love this - everything comes off of it (ink, glue, etc.).  Even though I have a large mat on my table, I like this to have an area where I do messier stuff.

 

 

A

ND MY SCENTSY!!   I swear, I do not sell the stuff.  The only other thing I sell other than mums isJamberry Nails but that is for another time :-)  I am just an addict and love having one in my craft room!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there you have it!  These are the tools I can't live without!

 

Hope you enjoyed!!

Melissa Ansley

Melz Mumz

 

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