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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tips & Tricks

I added another category,  so I switched the name of the post from Craft Tips to Tips & Tricks


**When using a stencil to paint, begin painting on the edges of the stencil, working toward the center, rather than from the center outwards. This helps prevent paint from getting under the edges.

**Apply the lightest color first when stenciling and blend to create multiple color tones.

**Use as little paint as possible when stenciling. Less is more

**When painting on glass be sure to prep the surface first by cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. This will remove any oils on the surface that might keep the paint from sticking to the glass. And after you clean it be sure not to touch the surface as this will transfer oils from your hands.

**After painting, set your brushes in fabric softener for about 10 minutes and then clean as usual. This works for brushes used for all types of paint, even oil based paints. You can also use  hair conditioner after using acrylic paint.

**Recycle large plastic lids by using them for a painter’s palette or cutting them up for stencils. I use a ice cream bucket lids for a palette when I paint.

Punch 3 to 4 holes in lip of paint can using a nail. This allows the paint in the lip to drip back into can while allowing the lid to make a better seal keeping the paint fresh.


**Keep glue sticks for glue guns in the freezer. It keeps them from getting stringy while gluing.

**Heat from a blow drier causes strings of hot glue to disintegrate immediately.

**Repurpose clear glass jars as containers. Baby food jars are ideal for small items like beads and jewelry-making supplies, medium sized jars can hold buttons and large jars can hold markers and colored pencils.

**Install simple curtain rods or towel bars on one wall of a closet or utility room to hang rolls of wrapping paper.

**Use clear, plastic containers to group similar items - craft supplies are easier to find and use if you can see the contents of the containers that hold them.
**To clean rubber stamps use baby wipes immediately after stamping. Baby wipes are already acid-free and gentle.

**Lubricate craft punches before using them by punching wax paper.

**If your scissors start to go a little blunt, grab some aluminum foil and cut that to sharpen up the scissors, you can also use sand paper for the same effect.

**Shoelaces make perfect drawstrings for small projects, such as bags or children's clothes, and they come in a variety of colors to match any project.

**Store pipe cleaners for kid’s crafts inside of a paper towel tubes


**Paperclips make great stitch counters. Just pop one on the stitch you want to mark. Safety pins work great too, and are a little easier to put on and take off.

**If your knitted item tends to curl at the edges, adding a row of single crochet may flatten it out.


**To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.

 **To create natural markers, write the names of plants (using a permanent marker) on the flat faces of stones of various sizes and place them at or near the base of your plants

I will be adding more tips as I find them...

If you have some favorite craft tips you'd like to share, send me a message,or leave a comment and I'll add them to the list.


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