This is a download you won’t want to miss!
If you know me you probably also know who Mabz is… We do a ton of signage projects together (liiiiike, murals and storefront windows and big menus and stuff… In fact we have a video HERE showing us doing a job start to finish together!) .
We get a LOT of questions about it, mostly about what tools we’re using for the specific project/sign we’re doing whenever we post about our jobs together. Sooo we decided to show you EXACTLY what’s in our toolkits (we each have our own) that we always bring on site with us.
We actually also made a free download for you that has a picture of each tool, and we explain what it is and why/when we use it.
You can download the Ultimate Signage Toolbox PDF here:
Honestly I recommend watching the full video if you’re looking for a fun (yet super informative) video. Mabz is hilarious, and we really enjoy working together. If not, definitely check out the free download – everything is super streamlined in there!
First Things First…
The links below may be affiliate links where appropriate. This means that your purchase through these links may result in a few cents in payment to me, to support creating further resources like this one! That being said, I will never suggest supplies that I do not personally use and fully recommend.
Rather watch than read? No problem! You can watch me and Mabz unpack our kits in real-time by clicking the video below!
Let’s Get Started!
Before we made this video and post, we each prepared our own toolkits as if we were going to be going to do an unknown project and needed the absolute essentials. And we didn’t compare beforehand… We pulled out one item at a time and saw if we both packed it.. We also wanted to see what things we may NOT have both packed. Normally when we go on-site, we kind of just bring our toolkits with us and hope that we have everything we need between the two of us. We usually do. Usually.
We have A LOT of things packed into these little toolkits. Some things are really commonly used. Some things are like “pro hacks”. We’ll talk about what we have and what exact tools we usually use. Make sure you’ve downloaded the PDF because that’s going to be the best place for you to get a recap of everything here.
First things first – just the kits themselves crack me up. Who’s kit do you think belongs who?
It’s pretty clear who’s is who’s based on our personalities.
Mabz: Mine is a Caboodles make-up case. I actually got it at Target in the states a little while ago. It’s so cute! I have mymain Caboodles kit for markers and little things, and then I have a big box for things that don’t fit there.
Becca: Mine is just from Michaels. Michaels sells all sorts of different tote things like this. I really like this one though – it has a locking lid, a handle, and has two layers (the top one comes out). It’s definitely handy. I also always use the top of my kit as my surface to press down my markers. (Mabz has a separate area inside her kit she uses for this.)
Next, we pulled one item out at a time and to see if the other person had it.
Becca: Okay. my first item would be a pencil
Mabz: And I absolutely have a pencil.
Mabz: My trusty Stabilo ALL Pencil (I have it black and white).
Becca: I have a white one as well.
Stabilo All Pencil: Check
Again, in the PDF, we explain all of these items. If we tried to do that in this video/blog post, it would be way too long. So we just tried to go quickly through things. But in the PDF, there’s a little section about what each item is for.
Becca: This probably shouldn’t count, but I have a chalk pencil. It’s similar to the Stabilo ALL Pencil but made of chalk.
Mabz: I have one too!
Becca: Yours is a China pencil – more for mirror and glass. Mine is a Pastel pencil. Mine works on chalkboards.
Mabz: I don’t have one of those.
Chalk Pencil: Not Check.
Becca: Next is this pencil.
Mabz: I didn’t know you’d have one of these too!
Becca: It’s super tiny – essentially a mechanical pencil but with chalk. It’s for suuuuper tiny details. Honestly, it’s not super common for big chalk signs, but I always have one with me.
Bohin Chalk Pencil: Check
Mabz: Uhhh. What’s next…. How about just a regular permanent marker.
Becca: That’s not fair. You saw it sitting in mine!
Mabz: No, I didn’t! I was paying attention to my own stuff. I actually have normal sized one and a big one.
Regular Sharpie Permanent Marker: Check
Becca: My next thing is a Magic Eraser.
Mabz: I have a little sheet. The thinner kind.
Magic Eraser: Check
Mabz: Plain ol’ chalk.
Becca: I have it too!
I gave Mabz a hard time for storing her chalk in an empty medication bottle. She said it works great though – the pieces don’t break and fit perfectly. I have a big container I put mine in, but they CONSTANTLY break in there. Maybe Mabz is on to something here…
Becca: My sharpener. Which I keep inside my chalk container.
Mabz: Yep – a two-hole sharpener.
Becca: For people who don’t know, that’s not just for sharpening pencils. That’s for sharpening the chalk!
Mabz: Then I’m going to go and say a calculator.
Becca: A calculator?! No. Hard no. Yours even slides – this just gave me a serious flashback to high school. I don’t think I’ve seen a calculator that does that since high school.
Mabz: Yeah. This is probably from high school. I don’t want to rely on my phone because it often dies, and I’m bad at math.
Becca: Okay. Well how about this then? A phone charger! I would never bring a calculator. I rely on my phone for a lot. And also because normally when I’m on-site, I film stuff. And my phone dies really fast. I always, always have a charger.
Calculator: Not Check
Phone Charger: Not Check
Becca: Chalk markers.
Mabz: I don’t. Actually, it’s not something that I’ve been packing for a while. I used to always have chalk markers on me.
Becca: It’s true. I don’t use these often. These are a super just-in-case item. Like I don’t actually use them very often.
Chalk Markers: Not Check
Mabz: Water-Based Sharpie Marker.
Becca: Yes, I have that I have medium size, and you have giant size. What about Sharpie Oil-Based?
Mabz: Yeah, both.
Becca: I would put these in the top three items to be in a toolkit: Sharpie oil-based and water-based paint markers in different sizes. And you know, what’s funny is I only have the medium sized one, but Mabz has the big one. And like I said, we usually show up and assume that the other person will have something, and it normally just works out.
Sharpie Oil-Based and Water-Based Paint Markers: Check
Becca: Let’s just continue on the pen front then – Posca. I have every size of white Posca.
Mabz: Mhmm yep.
Posca Paint Markers: Check
Mabz: Ooooh Q-Tips!
Becca: Do you have one single Q-Tip in your kit??
Mabz: Three. I have a few more in here too.
Becca: Again with our personality differences. I have a nice little handy case of its own for Q-Tips with all different cotton swab sizes.
Mabz: This is a weird one, but I like to make sure I have a thick elastic rubber band. The best ones are from broccoli. I like to have these when I have something that’s hard to open, like paint-fused. If I can’t open it, I put the rubber band around it to give friction, and then I can open it.
Becca: That is a very niche item. I don’t have that.
Rubber band: Not Check
Becca: Different tapes.
Mabz: Yep – different sizes.
Becca: Masking tape, Scotch tape ( like a low-tack artist’s tape).
Mabz: Oh I usually have that too.
Becca: Painter’s tape – I like this one with the measuring tape on it for different things. And then just normal masking tape. All different types of tape. Always handy.
All Different Types of Tape: Check
Mabz: I usually have a straight blade, but I also have an X-Acto knife. But I guess this could be a straight blade.
Becca: That’s why I have it…
Mabz: OMG. I have a super small actual straight blade too.
Becca: I have this for for cutting, but if I ever need a straight blade, I just pop one out of the knife.
Straight Blade / X-Acto Knife: Check
Becca: Rhodia paper or any notebook.
Rhodia Paper: Check
Apparently Mabz had several niche items in her kit – like a lollipop. LOL Mabz literally had multiple lollipops. Mabz also had a microfiber lens wipe, an extension cord wrapper, a nail file, a reusable straw, an eraser, lip stuff…
Becca: This is stuff I keep in my purse.
Mabz: What if I forget my purse? This way I always have it. Oooh business cards!
Becca: That’s smart!
All of Mabz’s Random Niche Items: Not Check
Becca: A measuring tape.
Mabz: I forgot mine today but yes. Super important.
Measuring Tape: Check
Mabz: Rulers. All sizes. I even have one that’s a level and a ruler.
Becca: Yep, rulers. I have the level/ruler too. And a set square (even though it’s a triangle). I also have a T-square (which I taught Mabz how to use yesterday). She’s got the level. I’ve got the T-square. We’d be set on a job…. Literally.
Becca: One thing that I don’t think you’ll have because we only ever need one between the two of us is a chalk line.
Mabz: We’ve used this? When did we use this?
Becca: We use this for murals. You pull it across and then you snap it. We used it for the gym mural.
Mabz: When I saw your chalk line, I thought you were pulling out a laser level.
Becca: Yep – different leveling tools. I have one, but I do not keep a laser level in my kit. I would put these as the same in that we each have a leveling item though.
Becca: Next is paper towel.
Mabz: I don’t have paper towel, but I have the fancy blue stuff.
Becca: I like that stuff, but it’s more expensive.
Paper Towel: Check
Mabz: Microfibre cloth!
Becca: Yep. Me too.
Microfibre Cloth: Check
Becca: My next item is alcohol or acetone.
Mabz: Yeah. Yeah, I do. Yes.
Becca: Okay. And my last item is Windex.
Mabz: I do!
Mabz also had heavy duty cleansing wipes (for removing paint) and plastic wrap (just in case she had a wet paintbrush she didn’t want to dry), which was a great introduction to my next question:
What are things that were missing apart from our kits aside from the things we would pick specifically for a certain job?
Obviously if we’re doing a mural, we’d bring all sorts of things that are specific to the job… But I would still bring my normal kit (all of the things we just went over). But then we would add things to it. In our course,Signing Up, we talk about the those tools you need to add to your kit specific for each job.
But to be clear, everything we talked about in this post – this is the toolkit you bring for every and any job. Once your kit is set, you can then you add things in depending on the job you’re going to.
Becca: Is there anything else we’re missing? There’s some big things that don’t fit in a kit like a step ladder, big rolls of tracing paper…
Mabz: A knee pad!
Becca: Did you just have that sitting there waiting?
Mabz: Do you know what? The other day I forgot my knee pad, and I was very upset. So it’s not a must, but it is a “happy to have when you need it” item.
Knee Pad: Not Check
And that’s a wrap!
I think that’s pretty much it… We covered A LOT of things, and I’m impressed with how many of them overlapped. Apart from Mabz’s weird items…. What’s funny is that she’s a mom, so I was surprised honestly that she didn’t have snacks in her kit… And she reminded me of her lollipops. LOL
That’s it! All of the stuff is recapped in the free PDF, and you can grab that below. You can also get on the list for our signage course that we’ve written together at SigningUpCourse.com.
If you’re looking for another post, here’s one I think you’ll like.
GRAB YOUR ULTIMATE SIGNAGE TOOLKIT DOWNLOAD!
And finally, your dad joke…
Who’s the king of all the supplies in my toolbox?