sweet packages, the best glue stick in the world and other tools I love

ann wood handmade : packaging

I love packaging, the little details of it, arranging things in the box, the string, the tags, all of it. I make most of the tags and labels myself. I probably should not, this is probably an excellent example of something I should outsource but I like doing it.

making handmade tags and packaging

And before we talk about the best glue stick in the world I want to tell you about a couple other tools I use and love to make my packaging (these are entirely uncompensated endorsements).

tonic studio paper cutter, it is awesome

When I started making kits I was cutting the image for the box with an exacto knife and it was a very slow process. I was not expecting much from this little paper cutter but I had about 100 labels to cut one night and it was less than 20 bucks (at the Paper Source Shop on the corner of my block) so I thought it was worth a shot. Almost three months later it still works beautifully. I use it all the time now for everything, labels and cutting my watercolor paper too. So worth it.

packaging for small paintings

die cutting stamps for tags

I also got these die cutting stamps and mini hole punch there. There is something so satisfying about punching out the little shapes. Now I’m curious about other cutting tools, the fancy digital ones like these with software etc. Do you know about these? Have you tried them? They seem so full of interesting possibilities to me. I am intrigued.

paper flamingo cake toppers

And the glue stick. I have tried them all. High end, low end. Everything. The UHU stick is my favorite. I am a heavy glue stick user. In making my packages, flamingo cake topper making, collage and as a temporary hold for fabric ( for some fabric projects I use a washable glue stick).

sketchbook, collage and paint, far away lands

The UHU stick has staying power, even when I paint over it which I frequently do. It will wrinkle up briefly and then smooths out. I usually hit it with the blow dryer, not sure if that helps or just speeds things up, just so you know.

Have you got a favorite tool or supply?

13 Comments

  1. I have a Gemini electric die cutting machine and it is amazing. I use a lot of cereal box card, because I like to recycle, and it will cut even the most intricate dies out of it with no problems. Also a Crop-a-Dile punch will cut through a whole bunch of tags in one go with hardly any effort.
    Thanks for the glue stick recommendation, I’ve tried tons and not found one I like. I will look out for a Uhu one.

  2. Lovely post as usual, I love seeing all your tools and packing material! I use a cotter pin turner (I used to make teddy bears) for stuffing my Tiny Dolls and Mr Socks, it seems to grip hold of the wool. Also use a pair of forceps for poking out corners! But the best tool is the one supplied by you in your wonderful kits….the humble straw! It is all thanks to you Ann I am not still struggling with the forceps!!

  3. I’m a double sided cellotape girl
    But also love using bendable masking tape
    It’s wrinkled so it bends around shapes.

  4. I’m also a UHU user & agree with its effectiveness, but for small paper collage work I like the purple Glue Sticks that dry clear, so I can see where I’ve missed a spot with my gluing. I’m old school, so even though I admit the newer electronic die cutters are amazing with their endless possibilities, I’m kinda glad they’re out of my price range. Like machine embroidery and felting machines, I just can’t get my mind around how much less “handmade” machines like this would make the process for me. Another invaluable, humble workhorse — the wooden clothespin! I have them everywhere……Told you I was old school. :}

  5. Your art work is so beautiful
    I adore the flamingos
    Glue is always helpful. I do mostly machine sewing, I like very little glue, as I use my iron too.
    I usually just use elmers.
    I love the red clips from Japan

  6. Your art work is so beautiful
    I adore the flamingos
    Glue is always helpful. I do mostly machine sewing, I like very little glue, as I use my iron too.
    I usually just use elmers.
    I love the red clips from Japan

  7. Ruth Hoefert

    I have a Cricut and several cartridges. It is so fun, I need to play with it a lot more; really I need to let myself be creative more.

  8. I live in Lisieux, France and just found a UHU glue stick with an adjustable tip. Hope they can be found close to you too.

  9. I make a lot of dolls and also teach dollmaking, so I always recommend the Dritz Quick Turn tools. They are heavy duty straws in different sizes so they are great for turning tiny arms and larger limbs and bodies as well.

    Thank you for the endorsement of Uhu glue stick. The other brands have been failing miserably lately when I work with kids.

  10. Marlene Fox

    Two of my favorite helpers are bamboo skewers and a chopstick. Just the thing for corners and rearranging small pieces that are glued but askew. I even file the blunt end of the chopstick to get a less damaging rounded end for larger places.

  11. Dritz fray check works for thread ends but does leave a slightly shinny result.
    Thank you for sharing yourself Ann.

  12. I agree with the above comments about time-saving gadgets vs handmade and how it affects the finished look of a thing. I have a Curio machine that’s still in the box! I don’t do multiples but eventually it will work for intricate stencils. The learning curve is so steep that I prefer my little plastic-handled scalpels for cutting shapes from my polymer clay. Those and my Fiskar paper cutting scissors are my favorite tools.

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