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A LOOK INSIDE MY CRAFT BLOG TOOLBOX: 50 TOOLS, LINKS AND RESOURCES
As a kid-craft blogger I end up using a lot of tools! And most of them I couldn’t live without! To give you a look inside my craft blog toolbox, I’ve compiled a list of some of my very favorite tools, links and resources.
Interested in becoming a craft blogger, too? Be sure to scroll to the blogging section of this post for lots of helpful resources to get you started!
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure.
Hot glue gun – A simple and inexpensive crafting tool, but one that I use all the time!
Kid Glue and Adhesives – For projects where the use of a hot glue gun isn’t possible, I like to give the kids their own glue stick, glue bottle, or glue dots. And for use as a sealer on projects, we love to use Mod Podge.
Scissors – We have large craft scissors, but I always end up using these smaller scissors along with the kids. They’re easy to hold and cut with.
Markers, Crayons, and Paints – These are must-haves when doing crafts with kids! And there’s no better place than Crayola for these supplies. They even have FREE coloring pages on their website! And, helpful tip: the Crayola “Fine Line – Classic Colors” markers can be used with the Cricut Explore Air machine.
Arts & Crafts Materials – Fill your craft bin with Popsicle Sticks, Pipe Cleaners, Wiggly Eyes, Pom-Poms, Glitter, Buttons, Feathers, and more. Discount School Supply has the best selection of kids craft materials!
Paper – Having a large stockpile of paper is crucial when crafting with kids! Scrapbook.com has a HUGE selection of paper to choose from. And their website has this really cool photo-match color wheel tool to help you find the exact color of paper you’re looking for!
Cricut Explore Air – I cannot say enough good things about this electronic cutting machine! Write, score, and cut on countless different types of material including vinyl, paper, felt, craft foam, and so much more! It has quickly become my favorite crafting tool!
Vinyl – Vinyl is a flexible, self-adhesive material that, when cut with a machine like the Cricut Explore Air, can be used to create your own custom decals, decorations, and fabric embellishments. There are three main types of vinyl that you can craft with. Removable adhesive vinyl (indoor), Permanent adhesive vinyl (outdoor), and Heat Transfer vinyl (apply to fabrics). They sell expensive vinyl at local craft stores, but I prefer to buy mine for much cheaper online! Expressions Vinyl has a large selection of affordable vinyl in 12”x12” or 12”x24” sheets. My Vinyl Direct is another inexpensive alternative that sells vinyl by the sheet or by the yard.
Felt – It’s no secret that I love making kids quietbooks out of felt! There are several different types of felt that you can craft with. Stiff felt – which is what I prefer to use – is great for making 3D projects or creating stability in your felt crafts. Classic felt is polyester made from recycled plastic bottles. And there’s also Wool felt, which is easy to cut and sew. You can find basic craft felt at Michaels craft store, and a selection of stiff felt at DickBlick. There’s also an assorted colors pack of stiff felt at Target. But I’ve found that Createforless has the best selection of felt, and at affordable prices!
Fabric – Fabric.com is a great place to find fabric at below retail prices. And they have a HUGE selection of kid-themed fabrics!
Craft Storage Containers – With all of these craft supplies, it’s easy to find yourself with a large, unorganized mess. To keep everything separated and easy to find, I like to use large plastic containers with labels on them. Discount School Supply has a great assortment of craft storage solutions!
Canon Powershot ELPH – This point and shoot camera was the one I originally used to take every photo of my craft projects. It’s small and compact, and, without having to adjust any settings, it takes all the guess work out of documenting craft projects.
Canon Rebel T5 – If you’re looking to take the next step with a DSLR cameral, the affordable Canon Rebel series is the way to go!
Canon 6D – This DSLR camera is on the pricy side, but you’ll be amazed at the quality of photography you can achieve with this camera. Totally worth the price!
Backdrop – On nearly all of my photos, I use some type of textured backdrop made from patterned contact paper. Apply the contact paper to a sheet of particle board and you’re all set!
Tripod – Having a compact tripod handy has really been a game changer for me. I’m able to take photos from great angles and keep the camera still so my photos turn out crisp and clear.
Lighting Kit – I try to take all my photos using natural window light. But sometimes that’s not possible. In that case, a light kit is essential to get that natural light look, without harsh tones or strong shadows.
Photo Editing & Design Software
Laptop – Probably the most important tool for blogging, is a computer. While I use a Tablet for quick, on-the-go tasks, if I need to do any designing, photo editing, or blog posting I use my laptop. And for those of you who prefer to use a Mac, the MacBook Pro is a great laptop choice!
Wacom Intuos Drawing Tablet – This drawing tablet is amazing! It connects to your computer via USB. In place of using a mouse, you use a specially designed pen and everything you draw on your Wacom Intuos tablet converts onto the screen! So cool! And a must have if you use art programs like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. And, BONUS, this tablet comes with a FREE download of Corel Painter Essentials drawing & painting computer software!
Adobe Photoshop – The industry leader for photo editing. It can do anything from simple retouching to complex editing. I’m a big fan of this program! Before I post any photo on colorthemoon.com I edited it first with Photoshop.
Adobe Illustrator – Create beautiful vector art that can be scaled to any size without loosing image quality. This is the program that I use to design all my SVG cut files for my Cricut Explore Air cutting machine.
PicMonkey – A great FREE online photo editing tool that allows you to add filters, text, and affects to your images.
Canva – A free online graphic design program that allows you to create designs for print or web. Includes a ton of free design templates.
Blogging – Want to start your own craft blog? Check out these helpful resources!
WEBSITE DOMAIN NAME – A domain name is what people type into their browser to find your website.
- Hover – Hover is the company that I used to purchase my domain name (colorthemoon.com). And, as an added bonus, if you purchase your domain name through this link you’ll get an extra discount on your purchase!
WEBSITE HOSTING – Your host is the company that stores your website on their server.
- BlueHost – BlueHost is an excellent hosting option for beginning bloggers, with unbeatable pricing – costing only a few dollars per month. They also have unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth.
- Flywheel – Another great choice for beginners, with low starting costs and many impressive features like free nightly backups and super fast speeds.
- MediaTemple – A premium website hosting option that gives you a lot for your money. With plans that support higher traffic blogs, MediaTemple is a great choice if you’re looking for hosting that can grow with you.
WEBSITE CONTENT MANAGEMENT – A software system with administrative tools to manage your website content.
- WordPress – This is the platform where you will physically write and post content to your blog. This content management software, used by 99% of bloggers, is what I use to manage colorthemoon.com.
WEBSITE THEMES – The theme you choose for your blog determines the look and design of your website.
- ThemeForest – ThemeForest offers thousands of website templates and themes starting at just $2!
- Genesis Framework – Rather than simply using a generic theme for your website, most bloggers choose to utilize the Genesis Framework! This allows you to structure the look of your blog with a solid framework and a custom child theme. StudioPress, the creator of Genesis, has several sleek and professional child-theme options that work within the Genesis Framework.
WEBSITE SECURITY – Keep your website safe and running smoothly.
- CloudFlare – This security and caching service can help with bandwidth and website security on your blog.
WEBSITE STORAGE BACKUP – You’ll want to keep a backup of your site, should any problems arise and you need to revert back to an earlier version.
- Dropbox – Backup your blog directly to your Dropbox account. With this free cloud storage, you can keep your files safe, share, collaborate, and bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere.
WEBSITE EMAIL MARKETING – The most important thing you can do for your blog is to grow your email list!
- MailChimp – Free for up to 2,000 subscribers. This is a good email marketing provider for those of you who are just starting to build your email list.
- ConvertKit – ConvertKit is the BEST email marketing provider out there. It was created specifically with bloggers in mind, and has so many features that make it easy to grow your business through email.
SOCIAL MEDIA SCHEDULER – Pre-scheduling your social media posts can save you time and allow you to post at optimal times without having to sit in front of the computer.
- BoardBooster – This is the pin scheduling service that I use to circulate my blog content on Pinterest. You can pre-schedule your pins, and not have to worry about doing it manually.
WEBSITE MONETIZATION – Want to make money with your blog? These tools can help your blog put some money in your pocket.
- Google AdSense – This ad network allows you to place ads on your blog, and you get paid a small amount each time a visitor to your site clicks on one of the ads. AdSense is a great place to start monetizing your blog! Once you set it up, you don’t have to do anything but wait for visitors to click on them.
- Amazon Associates – Share links to products you love on Amazon using a unique tracking code. When a visitor to your site clicks the link and makes a purchase, you’ll earn a commission! You can also refer people to their Amazon Prime, Amazon Kindle Unlimited, and Amazon Music Unlimited programs. Amazon Associates is the affiliate program that I use most often because Amazon has so many products in one place, I can almost always find what I’m looking for!
- ShareASale, LinkShare, and CJ – These middleman affiliate networks allow you to sign up with them and then apply to affiliate programs for various companies. Once you are accepted, you’ll receive a unique tracking code to place on your site. When a visitor to your site clicks the link and makes a purchase, you earn a commission. ShareASale, LinkShare, and CJ each have their own unique companies that they work with. But I’ve had the most luck finding craft-related companies through ShareASale.
- VigLink – Unlike other middleman affiliate programs, VigLink allows you to sign up for their program, and you automatically have access to all of the companies they work with.
I hope this list was helpful!
Are there any other tools or resources that you’ve tried and love that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!