What does The Palette Muse use? I’ll tell you! These are my go-to resources, the tools that I use most often and don’t think I could do without. I’ve divided them into three general categories so you can easily find what you’re looking for: DIY/Home Improvement, Crafting, and Blogging/Biz. These are the topics I get the most questions about, so I’m giving you a crash course right here in one place!
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DIY / Home Improvement Resources
Laser Level – A good laser level is key to hanging everything from picture frames to curtains. The first thing I did when I realized recently that I had misplaced mine was to order exactly the same one again. This one is the perfect size, with all the right functions for everything I need.
Scotch Blue Tape – It’s not fancy or expensive, but this stuff is good for so many projects. From its originally intended use for edging paint lines, to keeping your grout lines neat, to holding flooring or tile in place while it dries, this tape is a must-have in any toolkit. I once bought a knock-off brand and learned my lesson. This is one time when the brand is the only way to go!
Good Drill – Personally I prefer corded drills, since I can never remember to plug in the battery when I’m not using it. This has been my favorite drill of all the ones I’ve used!
My Go-To Paintbrush – I have a lot of paintbrushes, but this Wooster Shortcut is my favorite and the only one I carry around in my toolkit. It’s the best for edging, and great for everything else as well. Plus, its short rubber handle is super-comfy on my hands when I’m doing a lot of painting.
DecoArt Paints – Hello my name is Meredith and I’m a color addict and DecoArt is my dealer. I’ve loved every one of their products that I’ve ever tried. My favorites are the Satin Enamels, which are great for furniture and cabinet makeovers. No sanding required! You can see how I made over my entire kitchen using Satin Enamels in this blog post. I also love Curb Appeal, which is an exterior paint, specially formulated for when you want to give your front door a facelift. I used it in this front porch makeover. DecoArt really gets people like me, who like to add a little color to almost everything, with as little work as possible.
Hobby Lobby Coupons – Y’all know I love to save money. Hobby Lobby is my favorite craft store for many reasons, but one is because they always have a 40% coupon. I have their app on my phone, but you can also easily access the weekly coupon from their website. I use this thing every time I go in the store, and I can’t even add up how much money it’s saved me over the years!
Expressions Vinyl – I have such a blast making things with my Silhouette Cameo. I’ve made stencils for my block printing business, decorative signs, and even my own logo T-shirt. When I need vinyl for a project, I get it from Expressions Vinyl. They have the best selection of, well, everything a vinyl crafter could want. And their prices are great.
Dollar Tree – Yes, I’m a sucker for the dollar store when it comes to sourcing craft supplies. But did you know you can order online too? That way, if you need 35 of each type of a certain flower for a wreath making class (What, that’s just me?), you can get them all in one place, delivered right to your door. And for the same $1 you would spend in the store!
Blogging / Biz Resources
Tailwind – Someday I’ll tell you the story about my whole blog grew out of my obsession with Pinterest. But for now, let me just say that I love Pinterest, and this blog probably wouldn’t exist without it. Because of that, I am strategic in how I use Pinterest to attract viewers to this blog, and Tailwind plays a key part in that strategy. If you are using either Pinterest or Instagram to drive traffic to your business, you need Tailwind. They have mastered the art of scheduling, and make my biz life so much easier, not to mention more productive. (And if you’re not using Pinterest or Instagram to bring in customers, you probably should be.) Plus, you can get a free month through this link!
PicMonkey – I use PicMonkey for almost all my photo editing, as well as creating Pinterest images and Color Palettes. I love how easy it is to use, and they have a TON of helpful videos to help you learn their system. I learn new tricks all the time, and they continually develop their software, offering more and more capabilities all the time. PicMonkey has a free option which is great, but I happily pay the small annual fee to get the most use out of their system. Want to see what PicMonkey is all about? Sign-up for your free trial today!
QuickBooks – I am NOT a numbers person. The less I have to think about business accounting, the better. QuickBooks keeps me organized, without me having to spend hours trying to make sense of their sytem. You don’t need an accounting background to understand their setup and instructions, and they have videos to help you get started. Plus, they have a help line where you can speak to an actual person if you run into trouble. QuickBooks makes my bookkeeping totally…bearable. Give QuickBooks a try, with a 50% discount!
Big Scoots – These guys are the best at web hosting! I’ve been with a couple of different hosts over the years, and I can say without reservation that Big Scoots is my favorite. They helped my site speed, are so easy to work with, and I’ve never had such great customer service – from real people! If I ever run into these guys at a blogging conference, I plan on giving them a big hug.
Etsy – It’s hard to overestimate how much Etsy has impacted my business. Between running my own shop, and browsing all the other beautiful shops out there, it makes my creative heart happy, and my business more profitable. I love supporting other artists and makers, and it’s a constant source of inspiration for me. While I’m no longer selling through my own shop, it’s worth mentioning here because I also got my website design from a designer on Etsy. Always check here for any creative products you might need, and if you’re interested in starting your own shop, Etsy is the way to go.