August 22, 2014

My Tools of the Trade




I'm always curious what products other bloggers use and what specific items they can't live without. I thought I would share a few of the items I use on a daily basis not to mention my go to products that make my DIY's easy.
In no particular order:

Before this printer, I had a Kodak Easy Share. I purchased the Kodak because the ink was so inexpensive. But after having to purchase ink every month, I figured a new printer was in order. After some research it was clear Canon printers are the best. I've used this a lot more than I ever used my old printer. It's so easy to print out things since it's wireless and I haven't had to replace the ink once. I used it to print out my daughter's iron on design for her Birthday:
I had originally used my Kodak to print one out and it flaked off. As you can tell from the picture it printed out perfectly and has held up exceedingly well. I do have to mention, I do work a little from home. If I had to do all over again I would have gotten a top loader printer so it would make scanning a bit easier. I do have to scan each document one by one. For $10 more I could have gotten this printer:




Moving on........
I know this is something weird to put on a list but I used to use those cheap disposable tape dispensers for so long when I finally broke down and bought this for $4.99 from Target I couldn't believe I hadn't bought it before.

I think I might have even bought it on clearance. I purchased the off white color. Anyway, it has seriously made my life so much easier, wrapping presents, decorating, hanging...I use tape a lot. No more using two hands just to tear off one piece of small tape or wrangle my husband in to tear off tape for me. Recently I found a gorgeous one that I just might purchase for my craft area.
This one:

Everyone needs a little Kate Spade on their desk.....don't you think? Acrylic tape dispensers range from $10-$35, depending on what you what to spend. This particular one is $28.

3. Mala Drawing Paper roll
MÅLA Drawing paper roll IKEA
Ikea keeps rolling out with great ideas and cheaper alternatives. A few years ago I bought a kraft paper roll dispenser off Etsy for a great price. I purchased some expensive kraft paper from Office Max and used it for Christmas. It made wrapping that year so easy. I also had the freedom to decorate the packages in anyway I wanted....with stamps, stickers, bows, ribbon & washi tape. I loved it so much. Frankly, I didn't like paying the $40 for the kraft paper. I came upon Ikea's Mala Drawing paper. Not only is this paper simple beautiful white it's only $4.99!! Thats for almost 100ft of paper. The only draw back? Its only 47cm wide. I still plan on using this for Christmas and whenever my children need a drawing space or even if I need to ship out a package. So many uses for this product.

I can not make a list of products I use on a daily bases without mentioning this product. I could seriously go on and on about how this is the perfect gold and how I've used it on tables, bowls, frames, wreaths, figurines and so on, but I won't. ;) You've seen it on my blog before....you know how I feel about this wonderful spray paint.

5. Q-tips
Yes, q-tips. You would be surprised how many uses there are for q-tips. I use them for touching up spray paint...just spray some paint on a paper plate and use the q-tips as your brush for quick touch ups. I use them to clean my car. It's always hard to clean around the vents and cravases in your car. With these babies you can deep clean anywhere.


If you're looking to give a newly engaged or married couple a great gift, this is it. My father in-law gave this to us in our first year of marriage. We lived in an apartment at the time and I thought it was a bit bulky and unnecessary. My husband was over the moon for it. We used it from time to time to hang things or put together Ikea furniture. It certainly made things easier. When we purchased our first home I'm so glad we bought a Ryobi Rechargeable Battery because we were using it all the time. We had to keep one charged and used the other on the drill. Recently we drilled through brick to hang our new house numbers. If you love DIY you'll love this awesome piece of equipment. I am a bit timid when it comes to power tools and I can even use this, self taught actually. Your husband will want you to come up with things for him to do around the house so he can use it!

I've used this roller to paint my chalkboard countertops, my kitchen cabinets & pretty much every wall in my house. What's so special about this roller? It's lighter than normal rollers. Don't let the mini size worry you. It covers about the same as a regular size. It twists to lengthen so you can reach the ceiling, it has a soft grip handle for easy control. Because of it's small roller size it's easier to get in those hard to reach spaces and corners.

They used to sell them at Home Depot but I haven't seen them there in years. I almost gave up hope of finding them again, mine were getting in pretty bad shape from so much wear, and then I found them on Amazon here!  Just buy one and see how you like it. It's one of those things you just have to use and you'll know.

A few years ago I purchased a Brother Sewing machine (Project Runway Ed.) off Ebay for a decent price. The first project I did was a pillow. It turned out really well. After that, I was hooked. I found a comparable one on Amazon.


These are easy lightweight machines. They are compact enough that they don't take up much space. Not to mention it comes with an instructional DVD. If you need more direction on threading or dealing with your bobbin check out this helpful Youtube video:


I go back to this video to make sure I haven't forgotten a step. Sewing can be a little intimidating sometimes. I'm self taught so I needed a visual to look at for reference. I would love to sew more. It really is satisfying being able to mend something together.

9. Small tape measure


I can't tell you how many times I've been so glad I have a small tape measure in my purse. Whenever I'm looking for something specific or special for the house, I take a note of the size or length and put the dimensions on the note section of my phone. If I'm out and about and find something I think might work, I can take out my handy tape measure. In the old days I used to guess and had to return things all the time, it got very tiring. This has saved me so many times. Also if I see something and wonder if it could fit in a space I don't have the dimensions for I can measure it and then come back home and see if it would fit. You don't want to have to lift or carry anything that won't fit in your home, not fun.

In my most recent post I mentioned using Frog Tape to tape off my bowl. I used to think tape was tape. Not true! I used the cheap blue painters tape and paint would seem through. I just figured I had a heavy hand. No, it was the poopy tape. After using it on the Striped wall in my Master bedroom, I never looked back. It was the one project I really couldn't have any paint seeping through. It had to be clean and crisp. It's totally worth the few extra bucks to not have to repaint or touch up afterwards.

I hope you liked hearing about my favorite items I use for all my projects. They all have made it so much easier to get the results I am after. With DIY I would say half is technique and the other half is your tools. A good tool can make the biggest impact.

Enjoy!

-There are affiliated links included in this post. However, all opinions and Ideas are my own. 

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