Popular Tools Used in Arts & Crafts

Foil Transfer

Countless types of tools are used in the making of artwork and crafts. These can include scissors, paintbrushes, easels, foam brushes, craft knives and more, depending on the craft or artwork being made. Some types of artistry or crafting require very specific tools. Sewing and other textile crafts use tools like needles, thimbles and measuring tape. Calligraphy and other paper crafts use such tools as calligraphy pens, embossing tools and mats. For decorative crafts like stenciling, fashion crafts like leatherworking and even functional craftwork where items are used in day-to-day life, hot tools are often used. 

Hot Tools for Arts & Crafts

Artists and crafters who work with hot tools often have preferences in the tools they use to create or craft their work. The type of tool also differs depending on the type of artwork or craft being produced. Let’s look at several of the more popular hot tools, along with how they’re used when creating works of art and crafts. 

Archival Tape Removal Tool

Tape has been used increasingly since the mid-1800s to mount, hang and mend a range of items, including books, framed paintings and other artwork. During the 1970s librarians, art collectors and others concerned with the conservation of older books and paintings looked for a way to protect the items in their care. 

Archivists began to look at the effects certain types of tape had on these items over time, including the stability of the tape and how easily it could be removed. Newer tapes were thus developed to protect books and artwork, which could be removed with either water or heat. For those tapes that require heat to remove adhesive, an archival tape removal tool was developed. 

These archival tape removal tools can:

  • Clean old books and paper-based archives. 
  • Detach labels or tape from paper.
  • Soften the adhesive from tape when heated. 

Some of the more innovatively designed archival tape removal tools even include tips shaped like spatulas to get under tape or labels so they can remove them without damaging the item. 

Foil Transfer Tool

By combining heat with light pressure, foil transfer tools allow crafters to transfer lettering from transfer foil onto cloth, leather, paper, vinyl and other material. It allows crafters to make decorative and lasting lettering. They are used for a number of purposes. 

Foil transfer tools can be used to create custom:

  • Business cards
  • Décor for parties
  • Decorative place mats
  • Cards for holidays and special occasions
  • Wall art
  • Wedding and other invitations

Using heat, the foil sticks to the toner, leaving a decorative impression on the surface. Different colors of foil allow crafters to create lettering and designs in gold, silver, green, blue, red and other colors. 

Heavy-Duty Hot Knife

Hot knives use electricity to heat a blade that can be used for cutting, shaping and sealing all manner of synthetic material without causing the edges to fray or split. A heavy-duty hot knife cuts without leaving edges, unlike scissors, razor blades or other cutting implements. These frayed edges will eventually unravel, making a piece of craftwork look worn. It works by melting polymer filaments within synthetic fabrics and other materials in a very precise manner, fusing loose ends to create a beaded edge. 

Common heavy-duty hot knife uses include: 

  • Cutting rubber and fabrics
  • Designing upholstery
  • Removing adhesives
  • Removing rubber coatings
  • Sealing fabric material
  • Stripping wires

Though they have hundreds of uses, including for industrial and commercial applications, a heavy-duty hot knife also helps artists and crafters achieve an attractive, smooth and beaded edging in their craft or art pieces. Hot knives can be found almost anywhere that sells items for art, crafts or hobbies. 

Hot Tacking Tool

A hot tacking tool’s various tips make it ideal for many applications, including for applying adhesives to or detaching them from surfaces. They can be used to spot tack artwork or photos into position before placing them in a heat press. Archivists additionally use hot tacking tools for detailed tacking applications in their conservation efforts. 

Lacquer Burn-In Knife

Used primarily to restore and repair items made from wood, a lacquer burn-in knife uses lacquer sticks – sometimes called wax sticks – to fix gouges or scratches on wood finishes. A lacquer burn-in knife can help restore old or damaged wooden furniture, wood flooring and other functional craftwork made from wood into a usable condition.

By melting and then smoothing lacquer burn-in sticks into the grooves or dents that require filling, a lacquer burn-in knife will melt the coating until it attains a creamy texture. These burn-in sticks should match the color of the grain for deeper depressions in wooden surfaces, while smaller dents can utilize transparent burn-in sticks. Different colors of lacquer sticks can even be mixed together to create a variety of shades 

Stencil Maker

Stencils are essentially templates cut out and used to color letters, shapes or designs onto surfaces. Stencil makers create these templates, which can even be used to transfer images onto skin as part of the tattooing process. Using a stencil maker, business owners can also make their own custom signage to add logos or business names to just about any surface. 

Woodburning Tool

These tools are used to burn designs into surfaces, an art form often referred to as pyrography. For this reason, woodburning tools are often referred to as pyrography pens, as they resemble large pens. Using a heated tip, the tool leaves distinct burn marks when applied to a wooden surface. They can also create designs on other surfaces. 

Besides wood, woodburning tools can be used on surfaces that include:

  • Gourds
  • Leather
  • Thick paper structures 
  • Tree bark

Woodburning tools sold commercially often come in woodburning kits with various specialty tips that allow artists and crafters to draw broader or thinner lines, allowing them to create more intricate designs. 

To learn more about M. M. Newman Corporation’s hot tools for creating arts and crafts, or for more information about other potential applications, please contact us today.