Photo credit: Darren Hester (http://500px.com/darrenhester)

What tools are in your basic mixed media toolkit?

What do you keep in your basic mixed media toolkit and take with you to workshops? Last year, we were all sitting in a workshop and someone needed a specific tool. Our pal Susan whipped it out of her bag without any hesitation. I don’t remember what exactly the tool was, but I was impressed at how prepared Susan was. She had just the right thing and it wasn’t even on the teacher’s supply list! It got me thinking about my own basic mixed media toolkit and what I am never without and what I need to add to my little suitcase.

I asked Susan to give me a list of what she carries to every workshop…in her very large and well-stocked bag.  Susan takes fiber art classes, drawing, watercolor, oil painting, mix media, assemblage, jewelry, and spirituality workshops.

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Susan says hi

Susan’s Big Bag of Shit She Can’t Do Without!!

  • 12” fabric ruler – it’s clear and has multiple lines for accurate measuring
  • Large pair of scissors and small
  • X-acto knife w/replacement blades
  • 12×12 cutting mat
  • Paint spatula (flat)
  • Bone folder
  • Stylus
  • Awl or ice pick 🙂
  • Japanese hole punch
  • Paint brushes – fine liner, scrubber (my fav), round or flat, medium and large.
  • Black stazon pad & refill
  • Baby wipes (a must)
  • Glue stick. Tape runner. Glue Dots. Either Beacon 30-in 1 or a bottle of Ultimate glue – they make anything stick to anything!!! Pack of 3D foam adhesive.
  • Sharpie fine & extra fine marker
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Mechanical pencil w/replace eraser & lead
  • Pental Clic Eraser
  • Small water spray bottle and one 91% alcohol spray bottle
  • Ranger fastener (stapler) with refills
  • Several gift cards for scraping
  • White chalk pencil
  • Aquralleable Stabilo pencil – black, white or red.
  • Needle nose pliers
  • One wooden skewer and one chop stick
  • Distress inkpad for edging, i.e. vintage brown,
  • Matte ModPodge or matte medium
  • Masking tape
  • A date stamp
  • 12×12 paper cutter w/replacement blades and score blade
  • Lotion & lip balm & floss picks
  • WeR Memory Keepers – QuickStik
  • Blending stumps & sander
  • SAND PAPER PAD!!! For sanding shit.
  • A couple hat pins for re-opening glue bottles
  • One pipette
  • And sometimes – small hammer, versatile screwdriver (Phillips and flat head),
Leighanna Light shows off her basic mixed media toolkit
Leighanna Light shows off her basic mixed media toolkit

I also asked assemblage artist Leighanna Light what her basic mixed media toolkit always has in it. She said:

  • Brushes
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Tin snips
  • Bone folder
  • Awl
  • Sandpaper
  • Waxed paper
  • Pliers
  • Scrap paper
  • X-acto knife

Of course, the list is going to vary depending upon what type of class you’re taking, but I want to know what you’re never, ever without when you take an art class. I’m still working on my basic mixed media toolkit, inspired by Susan, and will post it in a future blog entry. Comment here and tell us what you pack for a workshop!

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