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The essential useful box

There's nothing worse than deciding on a particular activity and then being forced to renege when you realise you don't have one or more of the essential supplies. Every house with a crafty little person inside needs to have a useful box, and importantly, that useful box needs to be useful. Here are my tips for putting together a useful useful box.

The truly useful box actually has two different components to it – craft supplies and paraphenalia. I have listed all the supplies that I would include in my perfect useful box (believe me, mine does not have everything on the list) and have asterisked those supplies which I believe are essential to contented crafting. So, if you're just starting on your useful box it's a good idea to focus on these items.

Craft supplies

These items can be bought from a good newsagent or stationery shop:

Selection of coloured paper*
Selection of coloured cardboard*
Paste (eg, clag)*
Kids pvc glue*
Glue stick*
Kiddie scissors*
Crayons or pastels*
Acrylic paint*
Watercolour paint*
Brushes and sponges*
Glitter and/or glitter glue*
Pipe cleaners*
Beads - large ones with big holes are easier for little fingers to manage*
Tissue paper*
Sticky tape*
Stickers - Get a good selection of them from your local discount shop.*
Paper clips
Paper punches - you can get fancy ones from scrapbooking supply shops
Contact - I find that the clear variety is the most useful
Patty pans
Cotton wool balls

The following items can be found in good craft supply shops:

Googley eyes
Coloured feathers
Styrofoam balls
Coloured match sticks
Coloured paddlepop sticks
Pom poms - you can often buy a bag of mini pom poms
Old fashioned wooden clothes pegs
Felt squares
Fancy scissors and hole punches
Origami paper
Fancy specialty paper with interesting textures or holograms


Stocking up on craft supplies can be quite expensive but the good thing about stocking up on paraphenalia is that you normally don't have to fork out a cent. Just keep your eyes peeled and before you throw anything away take a moment to consider if it could be an asset to your collection.

Here are some examples of what I have in my collection:

Wool scraps
Fabic scraps
Lace scraps
Bits of ribbon
Bits of rick-rack
Collection of odd buttons
Box of pictures cut from magazines
Pieces of styrofoam
Bubble wrap
Egg cartons
Cotton reels
Cardboard rolls
Small square boxes
Wooden skewers
Plastic bottles
Bottle tops
The box that our television came in

This list is a work in progress – please get in touch and let us know if you have any additions or suggestions.


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