It’s no secret that I’m a crafter. Whether it’s sewing, painting, or puppet-making, if it’s messy, creative, and a bit quirky—I’m into it. And time and again, I find myself using my Pro Tech Toolkit in the craft room as often as I do in the shop.

Wait, what? That’s right, I use my precision tools for crafting. Crafting is a form of repair in and of itself. Sewing decorative patches on to a pair of jeans, constructing a picture frame out of recycled wood, mending a torn teddy bear—it’s all breathing new life into something you already own. Lucky for me, iFixit’s tools team is as passionate about quality tools as I am about googly eyes and my glue gun. And when it comes to craft tools—quality counts. Here are a few of my favorite crafty uses for my Pro Tech tools:

  1. Spudger (pointy end)
    1. Sewing turning tool—Great for pushing corners out to get nice, flat seams.  
    2. Sculpting—I love using my spudgers in clay to carve detail into my work.
    3. Poking through the little stuck cut-outs on my Cricut projects—A spudger works great for removing any little pieces that don’t quite get perfectly cut out.
    4. Picking out fur that gets caught in seams—Running a spudger through the loops of caught fur and pulling it out of the seam saves a lot of stitch-ripping.  
  2. Spudger (flat end)
    1. Bone scoring—Great for crisp folds on handmade cards or paper toys.
    2. Scraping glue off my table—I told you I was into messy.
    3. Sculpting—The flat end of the spudger is great for getting smooth surfaces and lines into clay.  
    4. Applying gold leaf—Or anything that needs to lay super flat, honestly.
    5. Pushing out seams—When you sew two fabrics of different weight, sometimes the seam will try to roll. I love having a spudger handy to push the seam back into place. 
  3. Jimmy
    1. Marking foam before cutting—This is a great way to score foam.  
    2. Cutting styrofoam—The Jimmy makes a smooth cut or indentation in styrofoam.
  4. Halbert Spudger
    1. Emergency crochet hook—You never know when you’re going to need to crochet.
    2. Parting doll hair (or more often, monster fur)—The hook also works well to achieve more detailed hairstyles and shapes.
    3. Untangling puppet strings—It’s amazing what happens when you turn your back from a puppet.
  5. Metal Spudger
    1. Removing the stuck-on bits of paper from my Cricut mat—The metal spudger is great for scraping off stuck-on bits on just about any work surface.  
    2. Sculpting—Like the other spudgers, the metal spudger is great for sculpting. The rounded shape makes great instant dragon scales or owl feathers in clay.
    3. Holding a tight corner out while ironing—Inserting the spudger into the corner of a seam while you press it can help hold it in place, just don’t leave the iron it the spudger too long!
    4. Emergency palette knife—Not kidding, when I am in the painting zone, there is no way I am hunting for a specialty tool if my Pro Tech is sitting nearby.  
  6. Tweezers
    1. Picking up small strings and threads
    2. Removing masking fluid
    3. Setting tiny paper cut-out pieces
  7. Reverse Tweezers
    1. Seed bead wrangling—Seriously helpful when working one bead at a time.  
    2. Keeping track of a thread or string while I mess with one end of it.
    3. Holding up small objects while I glue, glitter, or paint things on to it.
  8. Angled Tweezers
    1. These suckers are crazy sharp. If you need to poke a tiny hole, these tweezers are perfect for the job.
    2. Setting sequins or rhinestones into tiny dots of glue
    3. Pulling out threads
    4. Guiding small sewing projects through your sewing machine
  9. Picks
    1. Spreading glue
    2. Spacers—Great for creating a narrow gap between pieces.  
    3. Tracing rounded angles—Sure, I have an oval template, but picks work great too!
    4. Creasing folds without leaving marks—Picks are great for creasing crepe paper and other delicate materials without leaving much of a mark behind.  
    5. Preventing a needle from going through too many layers—Tuck a pick in between a few layers of fabric while hand-sewing to make sure you don’t sew a pocket shut.
  10. Bit Kit
    1. Adjusting the tension on my bobbin case
    2. Opening paint cans
    3. Stamping tiny bit shapes onto paper or fabric
    4. Fixing the loose towel rack—Helpful when you’re constantly washing glitter glue off your hands from crafting so much.

Brittany McCrigler is the Director of Education Services at iFixit. She also teaches technical writing, creates resources for the technical communication classroom, and is on the teardown team. Brittany has a background in physics and astrophysics. She is a pluviophile, a patron of many local coffee retailers, and loves everything DIY from power tools to puppet-making.

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