Apartment Living BlogDiy › The Essential Craft Kit for Renters

Whether it’s giving hand-me-down furniture a makeover or creating inexpensive artwork to fill your empty walls, doing it yourself (DIY) is often the best way to personalize a rental space. Even if you don’t have the space, budget or need for a dedicated craft room, it’s helpful to keep a variety of supplies on hand. Today, we’re breaking down the essentials you need to create many of your favorite Pinterest projects, as well as sharing smart craft storage solutions for the tightest of apartments!

You don’t need a whole room or closet to store a plethora of craft supplies. Instead, a cart, shelf or cabinet outfitted with various-sized cups, trays, boxes, clips and rings is often enough to hold a sizable stash. All the supplies we’re showing today are stored on this single rolling cart!

Do you need a bigger craft room solution for all your hobbies and supplies? Get our tips for carving out a creative space in your tight place!

No matter what hobby you prefer, here are our top picks for assembling the ultimate craft cart!

Crafting Tools

Writing and Coloring: From scrapbooking to coloring books, stock up on single sets of good-quality coloring tools such as (from left to right) paint and chalk markers, high-quality markers, colored pencils and crayons.

Paint and Paint Supplies: Fill your cart with small bottles of acrylic paints in an array of basic colors, as well as a large bottle of white paint for color mixing and base coats. A few cans of spraypaint in coordinating colors will also come in handy.

Whether you take on small crafts or larger projects, invest in a few good-quality brushes to get the job(s) done right. We recommend (from left to right) a good-quality 1.5” angled paintbrush, a 2” foam roller, three to five small brushes, two to five foam brushes and a sanding block.

Glues and Adhesives: You certainly don’t need all the different glues available on the market, but it is helpful to keep a few specific adhesives on hand.

To successfully work with a variety of mediums, stock up on fabric glue, Gorilla Glue, Mod Podge and an all-purpose spray adhesive.

Also add a glue gun (and sticks), as well as painter’s tape, roller tape adhesive and paper glue, to your kit!

Cutting Tools: From fabric to paper and ribbon to cardboard, different cutting tools make each job easy and precise. These cutters are not only easy to use but also have multiple functions: (from left to right) large all-purpose scissors, small detail scissors, rotary cutter (with cutting mat and ruler), X-ACTO knife and utility knife.

Punches are expensive, bulky and hard to store, but a basic square, circle, scalloped circle and standard hole punch all come in handy for a variety of projects!

You may not have the space or money for excessive craft supplies, but if you want to have maximum crafting capability in a single machine, we recommend investing in a die-cut machine. From decals to labels and gift tags to scrapbook pages, this single machine can do it all. No matter which brand you choose, most offer all their graphics, fonts and projects via online software … meaning you’ll have less to store and keep.

Die-cut machines are typically light and slender, making them easy to store and pull out for craft sessions. Store cutting mats and other supplies on your cart using hooks and cups!

Basic Tools: Larger projects will certainly require a more comprehensive toolkit, but for some craft projects, having a few basic tools on hand can make all the difference. A hammer, Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, pliers and level are must-haves in our craft kit!

Supplies and Notions

Storing all the various crafting tools is one organizational scenario. Storing the actual fabric, yarn, paper, stickers and other items you use on your projects is an entirely different situation. By limiting yourself to buying only what you need or use and employing smart storing systems, you can keep a variety of supplies on hand without needing a bigger craft space! So that you can craft without having to run to the store each time, consider keeping these items on hand:

Yarn: Yarn can be used for knitting or crocheting projects, needlepoint, lighting projects, artwork, wreaths, pillows and more. Keep a few skeins on hand that coordinate with your color scheme.

Vinyl: Vinyl can be used for wall treatments, labels, kid projects and more! Vinyl is inexpensive and easy to find, and it comes in any color you can think of. Stock up on a variety of colors, and keep them rolled up for easy storage.

See four creative ways to use vinyl on your walls here!

Paper: Cardstock can be used for a variety of projects, from scrapbooking and cardmaking to art projects and wall décor. Store it safely in flat boxes or accordion paper organizers.

Fabric: Even if you’re not a sewer, having some fabric (especially a variety of prints that all coordinate) will come in handy for projects, gifts and more!

Sewing Supplies: If you enjoy sewing (or really want to learn!), you don’t have to accumulate a bunch of fancy tools. Assemble a box of the basics and keep it handy for when the sewing mood strikes.

In addition to a sewing machine (another compact machine that will offer worlds of capability!), we recommend these sewing essentials (from left to right): a seam ripper, a seam gauge, needles (both machine and sewing needles), removable marking pens, bobbins, a tape measure and straight pins. Iron-on hem tape is a must for hemming or fixing clothes, curtains, pillows and more!

Ribbon: Ribbon is a great notion to keep on hand for a variety of projects, but the cardboard rolls it comes on makes for a storage nightmare. Consider re-wrapping ribbon onto more compact bobbins for more compact storage!

From the most frequently-used tools to the most common notions, collecting the items we have listed here will ensure you can tackle a variety of projects! By eliminating packing, using smart storage solutions and limiting the amount you keep on hand, you can store everything we have shown here in a very compact space. With an ultimate craft kit assembled, you’ll be ready to take on any number of projects and make your rental your very own!

About :

Hi, I'm Megan...wife to a U.S. Marine and mom to a high-energy baby boy! We are a military family, moving into our 5th home in 8 years! I started this blog as a way to chronicle the various "homes I have made" over the years, as well as to be a resource for ideas, tips, and tricks for making any temporary space a cute, cozy and comfortable home! I hope you'll stay a minute, take a look around, introduce yourself, and hopefully...find something you like! Have a great day!

Visit The Homes I Have Made


  1. Lynne J says:
    What an excellent article this has given me so many ideas thank you for sharing all the information the list of tools and craft supplies were great.
    The cart that was chosen for this display was perfect. l love that it has a top shelf to put your diecutting machine on, where can we find it ???

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