Arts and Crafts 101: The Bare Essentials

fabrics in different hues

In this digital age, getting into arts and crafts is one of the most revolutionary things you could do. Not only does it involve large amounts of patience and creativity, but it also involves a lot of materials. When you start on your arts and crafts journey, it could be overwhelming to think about every material you’ll need to make your unique project.

But don’t worry: you don’t need every single thing you see at the craft store. Here are some basic items you’ll need for your arts and crafts:

Mark Your Place


It’s one of the most basic materials out there. Get yourself a huge box of crayons, ideally the 64-color one, as you’ll be using most of these for all kinds of projects that need a bit of color.

Colored Pencils

Just like crayons, colored pencils are essential for any arts and crafts hub. They provide the same kind of color as crayons, but a little more muted and elegant.

Oil Pastel

Think of these as updated versions of crayons: oil pastels can be used sparingly and blended with other colors to create unique and wonderful patterns.

Paint With All The Colors of the Wind


If you’re not confident with your painting skills just yet, start with some easy-to-work-with watercolors. Watercolors have the advantage of being slightly-less permanent than other paints, which means they’re more forgiving of beginners.

Tempera Paint

Also known as Egg Tempera, this is a permanent and fast-drying paint that has been used for centuries. Tempera is prized by artists for its lively colors that age extremely well and is best used for arts and crafts projects that’ll be subjected to the elements.


It’s very similar to Tempera, in the sense that it’s permanent, fast-drying, long-lasting, and vibrant. However, acrylic tends to be more ‘lightfast’ than Tempera; that is, acrylic paint is less prone to discoloration when exposed to bright light.

Take note that each paint is best used on different mediums: watercolors work best on paper materials, while tempera and acrylic almost-always work better on canvas. Specific types of paint are also used for wood and fabric materials, so make sure you get the paint that matches your medium.

Bring it All Together

woman doing an arts and crafts project

Punch Board

Punch boards are used to literally ‘punch’ through different types of paper to create unique shapes, patterns, and designs.


Different types of material will require different types of glue: for example, paper products will almost always benefit from simple white glue. In contrast, materials like wood will need a more specific type of glue. Meanwhile, fabrics can either be sewn together or glued together using fabric glue. Depending on your material, you’ll need to stock up on the glue that works best with it.


Of course, if you don’t want to mess with glue, you can always use tacks. Non-damaging tacks like sticky putty can be used for paper materials, while thumbtacks can be used to secure more sturdy fabrics or wood.

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