Craft Tools We Use and Why

Wood skewers & Lollipop sticks
The assembly instructions explain how to adjust wood skewers or lollipop sticks in multiple places to connect various parts.

wooden skewers (bbq skewers)

A bag of 100 wood sticks costs $1 – $2 from grocery stores or craft stores such as Michaels.

You can also use lollipop sticks.  There’s no dramatic difference between wood skewers and lollipop sticks, but if you happen to have both options, we suggest wood skewers. First, they’re cheaper. Lollipop sticks cost twice as much as wood skewers. Second, the sharp point of the skewer helps when punching a hole through cardboard and passing through holes during assembly.

You’ll want to check the diameter of the sticks. As long as they are within 3-4mm ( ⅛”), you’ll be fine. Some skewers or lollipop sticks have larger diameters which are 5mm+. In that case, you may need to enlarge the holes in the parts we provide.  You can find lollipop sticks in the candy-making aisle at the craft store.

A knife cutter with snap off blades is an easy way to keep your blade sharp. Just be careful when you snap off the blade!

Knife cutter: Any type of knife cutter (“box cutter”) is okay as long as it’s comfortable for you to hold. Do check the sharpness of blades regularly and replace dull blades. A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one, because you’ll need to press harder, and then it can slip and hurt you.

wire cutter

Small wire cutter: A wire cutter is good for cutting skewers.

Scissors: Scissors, while not ideal, are a safer alternative to a knife cutter or a wire cutter. We provide individual scissors in workshops with younger students and limit the number of knife cutters and wire cutters to be sure that students use them under supervision.


Hot glue sticks – you can even find them in different colors with glitter.

Hot glue: our tutorials use hot glue as the adhesive. A dual-temperature glue gun will help you avoid messing up a desk while not using it.  Be sure to purchase the correct glue sticks for your glue gun. Glue guns and sticks come in different sizes as well as different temperatures.

A liquid wood glue (like Titebond II) provides firm and flat adhesion for layering pieces of mat board – this is useful if you find that hot glue is too “bumpy”.  Note that Titebond II dries faster than the original Titebond.

Turbo tacky glue – strong hold, dries quickly.
Elmer’s paper craft glue.

Some of our team’s other favorite glue options include craft glues like Turbo Tacky (a quick-grab tacky craft glue) and Elmer’s Craft Bond (not school glue or all-purpose glue).

Pro tip:  spread glue using a small stick or toothpick to keep things tidy!

duct tape

Duct tape: Duct tape is used for attaching a servo motor to a case part.

Double-sided tape: Double-sided tape is used to set paper linkages by attaching overlapped parts.

painter’s tape

Painter’s Tape:  This is good for temporarily holding things (like motors) in place before using hot glue.  Painter’s tape is easy to peel off without leaving a residue.

A long (at least 30 cm or 18”) ruler is good to have. We use rulers mostly for cutting, so a metal (aluminum or stainless steel) ruler is best, especially for beginners, as plastic rulers can be cut.

small screwdriver (eyeglass repair size)

Small screwdriver
The connection of a gear to a servo motor may be weak. Adding a small screw from the servo motor package can strengthen it.

punch for a small hole

Round hand punches
These are for assembling open-close linkages. One is for a small hole to fasten a wood skewer (the diameter is generally 3-4mm) tightly, so the diameter of the punch must be around 3mm (3/32” or 7/64”). The other is for a big hole for a skewer to pass through without friction: It can be 5~7mm (¼”).  Look in the scrapbook aisle of your craft store to find the punch for the smaller hole.


Cutting mat
This will protect your desk!