Favorite Tools

Favorite Tools

I’ve updated my favorite tools! These are Amazon affiliate links, which means I make a small commission if you buy something, which helps support the site. Let me know if you have any questions!

ACRYLIC PAINT: I use Heavy body Liquitex for my paintings on canvas, and also most of my wood projects. If you have an artist at home, this is a nice starter set with primary colors so they can explore mixing.

TUBE SQUEEZER: I love using these for getting all of the paint out of my tubes!


CAMERA: I’ve had had my D700 for a few years, but now you can get the Nikon D750, which also shoots video. Nice! I have an iPhone 11 Pro, but it still doesn’t do what these can for quality. Also, for almost every photo on Made by Joel I used this fixed  50mm lens. It has zero distortion, which is amazing for taking photos of people and crafts.

PRINTER PAPER: For Paper City, etc. I use a matte photo paper and a basic ink jet printer. The images are way clearer on the matte photo paper, as opposed to regular paper, and the matte is easier to photograph than glossy photo paper. If you’re just coloring for fun, then regular paper is plenty good.

DRAWING PENS: For drawing coloring sheets and Paper Cities, I use Sakura Pigma Micron pens. They have a very consistent flow, and the ink does not bleed so the edges of your lines are very clean. Super nice!

NON-TOXIC PAINT PENS: My favorite paint pens are Painters Opaque Paint Markers by Elmer’s. I use them on fabric, cardboard, and also to decorate wood toys. They’re non-toxic and have virtually no oder. (Except for the metallic colors, which do smell.) If you use them on fabric, then blow with a hot hair dryer to set the ink. It will then be permanent and even withstand washing.

NON-TOXIC WOOD FINISH: The wood finish I use is a food grade beeswax polish by Three BEEautiful Bees. Just rub it on with your fingers. Great for your skin, and wooden toys!

SAW: I use a scroll saw for almost all of my wooden toys. They’re great for cutting out small shapes. Also, they’re not very powerful, and they cut very slowly, so they’re great for beginners. I have a very old one. You can often find them used for very little money. I actually had one in my bedroom when I was 9 years old. What a nice mother I have! And she still has some of the toys I made with it! Also, this is a great, easy to cut, birch plywood!

WOODBURNER: I’ve had a woodburner since I was 9 years old. It’s a nice non-toxic way to decorate wood toys. You can find them at most hardware, or craft stores. Just be careful, because they get very hot!