As you probably know, I make all my polymer clay stitch markers by hand without the use of moulds. I have very few tools and have only recently bought some to make things easier.
This is what my tiny work station looks like when I am about to start on a new marker:
There's the white tile I work on (you can also cure your items directly on the tile in the oven), clay, a craft cutter blade, and a short skewer I use to add details to pieces. Then of course there are headpins and the snag-free rings that complete my stitch markers. That, basically, is all you need for most things. Some weeks ago I finally bought a set of three embossing tools to help me make even indentations in different sizes (for eyes or ear holes, for instance), which look similar to this one here:
To complete the markers, I need to add findings that are easily put in place with my trusty pliers and cutters:
I don't know where I'd be without them! Whether you make jewellery, markers or other small things, I definitely recommend getting the right tools for the job. In my case, I bought a whole kit from a local bead shop long before I set up a business. With time you will recognise what works best and which tools you should invest in to make your work easier and more efficient - and, being German, I am all about efficiency.
What tools are essential for your craft? What's your favourite?