Every DIY- man or woman has this other basic tool in his or her house: a small electric drill. Don’t you? If you ended up on this page as a craftsman, you probably have it ànd use it a lot? I am happy with my little ‘Dremel’. (of course, there are other brands that have good quality drills I’m sure)
After the craft table saw ( look here: basic crafting materials the table saw ), it is the second (mini)-machine that I use the most.
What Is An Electric Mini Drill?
In short: it is basically a drill, but mini 🙂 Very easy to use, at a quite high speed, it does all kinds of jobs for you. When you buy a Dremel electric drill (or any mini drill), it comes in a kit with accessories.
The video below is about how to use a particular brand of a mini drill, but you can get a picture on how to use it 😉
What Can You Use It For?
You can use the electric mini drill on any kind of material like plastic, wood, metal, etc. The end of the drill has a little collet where you can attach the drills in all sizes. (my Dremel has 6 different sizes of drills, up from 1,2 mm to over 2 mm).
Again, when you are ready to drill, put on those safety glasses!
Other handy accessories that come with the kit for crafting miniatures are the brash brush, stainless steel wire brush, and a nylon wire brush, which are used to clean up your crafted pieces of jewelry for example.
Then there are little cutting wheels that actually even cut through metal like nails.
Also in the basic accessories, there should be sanding drums that go onto little rubber pieces. You can use those also for sanding and cleaning up metal and wood pieces.
There also should be tiny felt bulbs that you can use to polish up your artwork or jewelry or of course your miniatures if needed.
So basically you can drill, you can cut, you can sand, you can polish and you can cut through any kind of materials, except stone I think that’s not possible. The limits are endless on what you can do with the mini drill and accessories.
Years ago I also got the Dremel workstation for my birthday ( people always know what to get for you on your birthday when you like to craft ), but so far I hardly used it. Maybe you could also ask for a present like that for your birthday or holidays :-). It is very handy though when you really need to drill something very straight and with a steady hand.
I have written five detailed reviews on mini drills right here.
Other Materials Needed For Crafting Miniatures:
– Fimo clay or polymer clay :
To make miniature food, plates, cups, figurines, and thousands of other stuff, most miniaturists use Fimo clay.
Of course, you could use any ceramic clay, they are cheaper when you buy them in bulk, but Fimo clay you can buy in all kinds of colors and are easily mixed to get any color u like. Plus, you can get them in glitter, glow in the dark, clear and pearlescent.
I personally think that’s pretty cool. Also, ceramic clay dries out very quickly in my experience.
Polymer clay has a consistency of plasticine and it can be bought in different degrees of hardness. You can always soften it up by working it manually or using a pasta machine. It will fire at around 130°, which is way less than ceramic clay.
Obviously, you shouldn’t be eating polymer clay, but on its own, it is considered non-toxic.
This is different from ceramic clay because that one can dry up and leave a powder that can cause health issues when inhaled or ingested.
In any case, whatever you might use, baking clay in your home kitchen oven is fine, just make sure to use a disposable baking sheet and don’t use it to prepare food.
I have written an extensive article about clay for crafting right here.
– Tools To sculpt Your Objects In Clay With :
I don’t think you can do without sculpting tools when you want to for example craft mini-food. There’re all kinds of brands on the market, of course, I have not tried them all out, I’m happy with the set I have now and they will probably last me a lifetime.
– A Craft Knife :
Now this one I use a LOT. I prefer to use a real craft knife instead of a scalpel, because the blade is thicker, and thus more pressure can be put on it, to cut clay, paper, cardboard, foam, plastic, etc in straight lines. If you use a scalpel, the blade is more bendable and breaks off more easily. (again, wear eye protection).
– Acrylic Paint And Paintbrushes :
What paint are you going to use?
There’s a multitude of miniature paints on the market. If you would ask me which brand of paint for painting miniatures is the best, I can’t really answer that, because it all depends on what YOU are going to paint (glossy shine or not, etc).
I would advise you to try different kinds of brands for miniatures. I haven’t found any other paint than acrylic paint that works well for miniatures, if you do know, let me know ;-).
Of course, the smallest brushes you can get to start with are the handiest in the miniature world.
– A Cutting Mat:
– Tacky Glue :
This is so well-known in the crafting world, it’s fantastic for crafting! Ok, it dries up rather slow, but it’s a very clear glue. It is always ready to use (no need to shake it to get the glue to the bottom). It is very strong and non-toxic and won’t yellow over time. Cleans up very easily with soap and water before drying. A must-have for miniaturists!
To conclude, have a look at my video on Youtube, where I show you my own personal crafting place:
I think this basically covered it all on what you need to start building a dollhouse or/and miniatures or is there anything else I would definitely need and is missing in this article? Feel free to tell me!
There will be other things that you will need in the future, but I will be adding articles about these as I am going further with my website and when I will talk to you about tutorials and other interesting information!
Also, I will soon add reviews on small electric drills, keep an eye out for my site and bookmark it!
Do you have any questions about this subject? Go ahead and leave a comment below or join me on my newest Facebook group. I will reply as soon as possible.
I wish you happy crafting!