Double-sided Sticky Pads
Removing the backing paper from a double-sided pad can sometimes be very frustrating. To make the removal easier press in the middle of the pad with an embossing tool or pair of tweezers and the edges will lift slightly allowing you to peel the backing off with ease.
Mulberry Paper - Tearing
With its long fibres Mulberry paper can be difficult to tear however with the use of a little water the problem is solved. Dampen a fine artists brush and ‘draw’ a line, then tear along this line. To create a straighter finish to your tear place a rule along dampened line and use this as a guide.
Rubber Stamps - Inking Up
Gently tap the ink pad onto the surface of the stamp, working systematically from one end to the other. Repeat the process to ensure a good even coverage. Do not push the ink pad into the stamp as this will place ink onto unwanted sections of the stamp. This may not only cause your stamp to blur but is also wasteful as you are using more ink than is required.
Decorative Scissors - Cutting A Straight Line
It can be frustrating when you have almost finished the project and the last cut is not straight. So in order to cut that perfect straight line, draw a line with a pencil on the reverse of your paper or card. Then decide which section of the pattern on your scissors you will have placed on the line as you cut. Begin to cut but do not go all the way to the end of the blade - stop short then realign the blade again and repeat until you have finished cutting the paper or card.
Embossing (Heat) - Dealing With Small Items
Burning fingers when heat embossing small items can easily be done, so in order to avoid this hold the item in a clothes peg or similar so fingers are kept out of the way. Alternatively place on a heat resist surface and hold in place with a pencil.
Peel ‘n’ Sticks (Positioning)
Can’t get those stickers in the right place or straight? Well the trick is to take a sheet of peel offs and peel of the surround area. Then take a piece of sticky tape and stick to your hand (to remove some of sticky). Then stick tape over peel 'n' stick, position where required then slowly remove sticky tape.
Paper - stretching
Sometimes when painting with water the paper will bubble and buckle. In order to avoid this stretch the paper first. You will need a flat board and some parcel tape. Simple soak the paper in some warm water, drip dry for a minute or two then attach to the flat board using the brown parcel tape, fixing down all edges. Allow to dry and as the paper dries it will stretch so next time you add water to the surface it will not buckle.
Sand Painting - Small Areas
When sand painting on small areas i.e. when using a peel 'n' stick use a small spoon to add the colours to the area you want covered. Do not shake off excess simply cover the entire image with the various colours of sand then shake off.
Embossing (Heat) - Make Your Own
Have a few pots of embossing powder with just a little powder in. Well don't let it go to waste mix them all up and see what you get!
Embossing (Heat) - Make It Quick
If you place foil under the card whilst you emboss it will help speed up the embossing process as the the foil will reflect the heat.
Embossing (Heat) - Static
If static is a problem then before you stamp sprinkle the surface with baby powder and use a cotton ball to spread out the powder over the entire surface, then remove the excess powder. OR
Wipe over the surface you are working on with a tumble dryer sheet to cut down on static.
Rubber Stamping - Keeping Your Stamps Clean
Want to keep your wooden mounted rubber stamps looking like new? Simply cover the sides and around the wooden part of the rubber stamp with clear nail varnish. Allow it to fully dry and when you clean your stamp after use the ink will come off with ease.
Paint - Tester Pots
When working on small projects which have to be painted tester pots are ideal. They come in a huge variety of colours, are available from most good DIY stores and are economical to use.
Paint - Drying
When working on projects which involve painting the drying process can be awkward. So why not keep a few jam jars around which can be used to balance items on. This keeps your project lifted off the work surface so it does not stick to it.
Card - Scoring
To gain a professional look to your cards always score them first before you fold them. This is easily done simply place a rule where the score is required then run an embossing tool or the nib of a pen that no longer works along the rule. Hey presto one neatly folded card
Jeweley making - stringing up
To create a more robust piece then a double thread can be used for stringing the beads.
Polymer Clay - Stamping
Cover stamp well with ink to ensure a good impression is made. Try not to rock stamp as this will smudge design.
Jewellery making - knotting ends
A small dab of clear drying glue ensures knots do not come undone.
Crochet with wire
As you work try not to pull the wire too tight as it may break.
Stencilling - Sponges
Small triangular make-up sponges are ideal for the stencilling of the background.
Water Soluble Pencils - Alternative
If you do not have water soluble pencils then normal felt tip pens could be used in the same way.
Painting on Tracing Paper
Try to use as little water as possible when blending the colours to avoid the paper ‘bubbling’ too much.
Extra interest can be added to your design. Fray the outer edge of your fabric motif prior to positioning onto the front of your card.
Wax Painting - General
Allow the iron to glide on the card and do not be tempted to press on the iron.
Wax Painting - Foreground
When you come to create the foreground you can add a little more colour or a different colour in order to add further interest.
Wax Painting - Sequence of Painting
When creating an image work from the back to the front and do not worry about what is happening at the 'front' of your image until you get there, as any mistakes can be covered as you go. Unfortunately, if you leave a mistake or something you do not like in the backround then it is very difficult to rectify once you have completed the image, as each time the iron comes into contact with the card the wax will melt and change.
Don’t forget, the pieces created by the punch process can also be used to create your cards, so nothing is wasted!
Marbling - Inks
Most inks which are oil-based work for this technique. However kits just for this craft are available from many good suppliers. Some marbling inks require the water to be conditioned several hours prior to the marbling process, so always read the instructions.
Scrap Booking - Originals
If you do not want to use your original images then either scan in and print off or obtain a second print.
Scrap Booking - Avoiding White Lines
To avoid a white line around the photographs, tear from the back checking regularly as you do so.
Scrap Booking - Verses
If you working with animals the web is a great place for obtaining verses from songs, poems and other animal related text.
There are many books however the internet is a useful tool here, so why not try these sites?
Chalks - Fixing Spray
When using chalks it is advisable to fix with a spray. However if you find you are out of this a cheap hair spray will also do the job just as well.
Quilling - glueing end
When quilling to improve the finish tear the end that is to be glued. It will stick better and the join will be less visable when the glue has dried.
Wire Jig - No Jig?
If you do not have a jig a pair of bull nose pliers will do the job however it will just be a little tricky. But with practice you will be able to bend the wire in the right direction and at the right angle.
Bubble Painting - Safety
Keep eyes closed or wear glasses whilst blowing your bubbles.
Bubble Painting - Colours
If you want you can build up colours by bubble painting two or more colours on top of one another. Just let each colour dry completely before painting a second colour over the top of the first.
Bubble Painting - Alternative Paints
If you do not have paints then food dyes are ideal.
Marbling - Rubber Gloves
Always wear rubber gloves unless you want to have your finger tips marbled as well.
Marbling - Paint Instructions
Read the instructions on the paints, some require a water softener to be added before marbling can take place.
Marbling - Feathered Pattern
To create a feathered pattern, dribble the colour back and forth across the bowl. Using a comb (the type with just one row of teeth widely spaced is idea) drag the comb across the lines of colour.
Rubber stamping - Mounted Texture Mat
If your texture mat is not mounted onto a piece of Perspex or wood then use a rolling pin to ensure even pressure over the entire mat.
Spaghetti Painting - Multiple Colours
If you are going to have several colours then start with the darkest first.
Marble Painting - Multiple Colours
Once you have decorated your paper in one colour and it has dried you can if you want add another colour or even two or three.
Marble Painting - Alternative Colours
To do something a little different why not use black paper and use white, silver or gold paint?
Marble Painting - Tray alternative
If you do not have a tray, why not use an empty cereal packet? Simply stick down both ends and cut out one large side.
Leaf Printing - Extra Interest
If you wish to add extra interest use more than one colour paint and use a variety of leaves. To ensure the paint does not become ’muddy’ use a sponge per colour.
Leaf Printing - Safety
When picking leaves ensure you are not picking anything poisonous.
Rainbow Painting - Tartan Effect
If you wish leave gaps between the inks so the paper shows through. Or work in one direction then go over in the other to create a tartan effect. Once you get ‘playing’ with these inks you are sure to come up with lots of different ideas and designs.
Rainbow Painting - Ink Flow
If you find the ink does not flow well from the sponge, spray the sponge lightly before you start decorating you paper.
Polymer Clay - Storing
Clay is best stored in a tin in a cool environment. Wrap any opened packs in wax paper or plain paper. It is best to avoid plastic as some plastics react to the plasticizer in the clay. Keep the clay away from heat and sun as both are detrimental to the clay.
Polymer Clay - Releasing From Cutters
If you find the clay sticks to cutters then use a little talcum powder. If dusted on the unbaked clay with a paintbrush will help stop sticking.
Polymer Clay - Work Area
Use a melamine or glass cutting board to prepare the clay. A ceramic tile will double up as a preparation board and a cooking tray as it will withstand the heat.
Polymer Clay - Pasta Machine
If you wish to roll out lots of thin layers of polymer clay all to the same thickness then investing in a pasta machine is the ideal solution.
Paint - To Dry Brush
Pour a little paint onto a paper plate then pick up the paint just on the ends of the brush. Wipe off any excess paint onto a piece of scrap paper then in long brush strokes work back and forth leaving broken lines of paint. This method is great for giving an aged look to projects
Memory Boxes - Professional Finish
When decorating a wooden box give them quick, light sand prior to painting to give a professional finish. Then between sanding and painting rub down with a soft clothe or a piece of tissue to remove any unwanted dust.
Embossing (Heat) - working with powder
If you are uncertain that the embossing powder has fully melted, stop; hold the project up to the light to check. If not all the powder has melted heat again until it has. It does not harm the embossing powder if you stop half way through the heating process but it is possible to over heat embossing powder so care has to be taken.
Puff Paint - Drying
To get a professional finish paint puff paint in two layers allowing each layer to dry completely before carrying on with the next step. Leaving overnight to dry in a dust free warm room is ideal.
Polymer Clay - Removing From Moulds
To get clay out of a mould successfully place in the freezer for a couple of minutes before removing the moulded motif. This will make it far less likely the motif goes out of shape as you push out of the mould.
Polymer Clay - Mould Professional Finish
Before removing the motif from the mould rub the edges with your fingers back towards the middle of the mould. In his way the edges will not have any little pieces sticking out giving an untidy finish.
Painting Glass - Peel ‘n’ Sticks
Stick a peel off gold sticker to a glass object and paint between the gold lines. This is a good way to practice your painting without having to find a design to transfer on, or even for decoration purposes only. (Do not forget the sticker will come off if the item is washed, or burn if put in the oven.)
Jewellery Making - Cutting Wire
When cutting wire keep the wire aimed down towards your work area. Cut wire tends to shoot off, so try to control its path. Should you be able to grip the end of the wire between your fingers you will be able to stop the cut off bit in its tracks.
Polymer Clay - Remnants
Save all scraps of clay, irrespective of colour. Mix them all together in a ball and eventually the results will be a very useful grey colour.
Light Box - Alternative
If you do not have a light box but still want to do a little pressure embossing then a good alternative is to use a closed window – of course it still has to be daylight outside for this to work!
Fabric Paint - Drying
After about 2 hr into the drying process gently lift the tulle circles off the grease proof paper for a moment, this will loosen any small areas that may have adhered to the paper.
Teabag Folding - Sticking
To stick t-bag folding papers as you make up the rosette, place a small amount of glue in one of the bottom corners as you put the next folded paper in place.
Chalks – Application
If you do not have any chalk applicators a good substitute are either a cotton wool ball or the little make-up brushes used for eye shadow.
Sealing Spray – Alternative
If you do not have sealing spray then a good alternative is some cheap hairspray, just be careful not to use too much.
Polymer Clay – Baking
If you are making a flat item why not make on a flat ceramic tile that way you won’t have to more the item onto a baking tray for baking, simply leave on the tile. Remember to wear thick oven gloves when removing from the oven.
Polymer Clay – Stamping
When stamping into polymer clay sprinkle lightly with talc first this should ensure the stamps does not stick to the clay when you go to pull it off.
Polymer Clay – Painting Onto
Water based acrylic paint will not adhere to polymer clay if not degreased first so do to this wipe with Methylated spirits first.
Safety First – Methylated Spirits
Remember this is highly flammable so keep away from flame and away from pets and children.
Peel ’n’ Sticks – Handling
If you find it difficult to handle small peel ‘n’ sticks then investing in a pair of fine craft tweezers will solve the problem.
Peel ‘n’ Sticks – Making Individual 1
By using a small pair of scissors or a sharp craft knife, sections of peel ‘n’ sticks can be removed so you can alter the design, therefore making it more personal.
Peel ‘n’ Sticks – Making Individual 2
By combining different peel ‘n’ sticks it is possible to change how they look on the finished project therefore allowing you to make them individual to you.
Peel ‘n’ Sticks – Left Overs
With many designs it is possible to use the pieces of peel ‘n’ stick left on the sheet as embellishments, a great way of stretching those peel ‘n’ sticks over more projects
Cooking – Pastry
If you have time to make it easier to roll out the pastry place in the fridge for half an hour prior to rolling out and cutting out.
Cross Stitch – Waste Canvas
If you are unable to purchase waste or paper canvas then use remnant left over from your last cross stitch project
Cross Stitch – Removal of Waste Canvas
To aid easy removal of the waste or paper canvas ensure you go through holes and do not catch any threads during stitching.
Wax painting: drying a stamped image
To speed the drying process when stamping onto the wax paper, cover with a piece of tissue and rub iron gently over the stamp. Remove the tissue then hold the paper up to the light. If the surface of the ink is dull then it will be dry enough to work with.
Wax Painting - Shining picture
When you have finished painting your picture to give it a more professional finish rub gently back and forth (trying to rub in same direction as smoothing action) with a little tissue paper.
Wax painting - video clip
Have you checked out our techniques section? On there we have some video showing how to create pictures in wax, so take the time and have a look!
Wax painting - transferring onto fabric
Ensure that there is a good even coating of wax so that there is enough wax to transfer onto the fabric. Do not use a man-made material; use a natural fabric such as cotton.
Polymer clay - how to make easy eyes
If you find it difficult to create two eyes the same size for your polymer clay characters then use two small glass seed beads instead.
Spray varnish - testing
Whenever working with spray varnish and other products always do a little tester to make sure the varnish does not interact with the materials you are using. For example some varnishes may make embossing powders lift off.
If you are knotting and are having problems getting the knot to sit where you want it to. Tie the knot loosely near to where you want it then take a large darning needle or similar and place it in the centre of the knot. Now use this to slide the knot into place then pull tight.
Glass painting - bubbles
If you get bubbles in your paint then burst with the tip of a cocktail stick.
Glass painting - smudges
To remove any unwanted smudges use the tip of cotton bud to remove.
Candle making - smoothing edges
If once you have popped your candles out of the mould you find rough edges use an old stocking wrapped over the tip of your finger to remove and neaten.
Candle making - supporting wick
If you find the wick will not support itself then balance a cocktail stick or lolly stick across the top of the mould, which will in turn support the wick as the wax cools.
Glass painting - prior to painting
Always ensure the glass is clean and grease free by washing in warm soapy water and allowing to dry naturally.
Glass painting - drying
If you have pets and are afraid pet hairs will ruin your glass painted piece then place in a box whilst drying.
Candle making - melting wax
You should never melt wax (unless an advanced candle maker) over a direct heat. So either invest in a double burner or simply finds two pans, one slightly larger than the other. Place the water in the larger pan, the smaller pan inside this then the wax in the small pan.
Candle making - safety
Always stay with the pan whilst the wax is melting and never let the pan boil over or run dry. To melt wax ensure the water simmers rather than boils.
Candle making - dipping wick
When making rolled or floating candles it is easier to used a pre-dipped wick. Simple cut a lenght of wick and place in the molten wax whilst in the pan. Watch as the bubbles escape from the wick, once no more bubble escape remove the wick. Hold over the pan to allow wax to drip off then place to one side ready for use.
Candle making - working out how much wax
Although there is a complicated formula to work out how much wax you will need for a mould a simpler way is to fill the mould one and a half times with the wax granules.
Candle making - stearin
Stearin is added to wax to improve the burning qualities and to help release the wax from a mould. However never use normal stearin when using a rubber mould, as it rots the mould. To work out how much stearin you need, weigh the wax then use 10% of this weight in stearin.
Candle making - wick size
Wicks come in many widths and to ensure a good burning candle it is important to use the right size wick. The wick size is dictated by the width of the finished candle. When buying wick it will be labelled with the size, this relates to the size of the candle. So simply match sizes to pick the correct wick.
Candle making - heating a wicking needle
Sometimes you may need to heat the tip of your wicking needle. To ensure you do not burn fingers hold the needle in a pair of pliers.
Polymer clay - lustra powders
Once heated and your polymer clay has been allowed to cool rub the surface of the object with a soft tissue paper. This will shine up the powder and remove any excess.
Polymer clay - varnish
If you want to add a little extra life to your polymer clay there is a varnish that does just the job. It is easy to apply with a small brush and dries within a few hours.
Polymer clay - attaching findings
If you are are having a problem with your findings coming away from the polymer clay items during wear then sand the backs lightly with a little sand paper to help the glue adhere better.
Polymer clay - working with different shades
When working with different shades of polymer clay have a baby wipe to hand so you can wipe your hadns between shades and one does not contaminate the other.
Ribbon embroidery - securing ribbon on the needle
To secure ribbon on th needle: thread the ribbon through the eye of the needle then push the needle point through the tail of the ribbon, about 10mm from end. Then pull the remaining ribbon back through the needle.
Ribbon embroidery - starting your stitch
Bring ribbon up through material and leave a tail approx 1cm on the under side. When you have finished your first stitch go back down through the material and ensure you also go through the ribbon tail to secure it in place.
Ribbon embroidery - finishing your stitch
On your last stitch, once you are through to the underside stitch through the ribbon on the underside to secure.
Ribbon embroidery - to stop fabric fraying
Before you cut out your fabric make a line using clear nail varnish where you are going to cut - the nail varnish will stop the fabric from fraying.
Polymer clay - sticking onto projects
To help a polymer clay item to be easily stuck to a project i.e. box or card score the back of the clay with a craft tool before baking. This will give the glue something so adhere to.
Shrink plastic - stamping
If you stamp on your plastic a way to improve how they come out is to lightly sand first, then stamp onto this side of the plastic to better results.
Shrink plastic - not laying flat
If your plastic does not lay flat then simply reheat then quickly press down using a flat object, the back of a large rubber stamp mounted on a wooden block is excellent for this job.
Shrink plastic - sticking to work surface
Finding your shrink plastic is sticking to your work surface then use some greased baking paper under it to solve the problem.
Shrink plastic - adding colour
Want to add colour to your image then use water colouring pencils. They are easy to use and give great colours.
Chalks - alternatives
Do you have an old eyeshadow just the right colour your project then use that rather than investing in a new chalk.
Light box - alternative
Make your own with the aid of a large glass or plastic bowl and a cheap touch!
Buttons - removing shanks
Need to remove the shank from a button then use a pair of old nail clippers. They are safe and easy to use and much cheaper than buying a special tool.
Ink pads - storage
If your one colour ink pad is looking a little dry then store up-side-down for a while and the ink should travel back up to the top of the pad.
Ink pad - storage
To extend the life of your ink pads then try to store in a place where the temperature does not fluctuate to much. Too cold and the ink may seperate and too hot and they will dry out.
Glitter glue - making your own
Don't have a glitter glue just the right colour? Then make your own using a little clear drying craft glue and some fine glitter. Place in a small syringe which can be purchased from most chemists and away you go. To store place the glue in an old film canister, as it will dry out in the syringe.
Mulberry paper - sticking in place
Some of the finer mulberry papers show glue so use brads or eyelets to hold in place for a really decorative alternative.
Mulberry paper - sticking in place
Use spray mount to stick without unsightly glue showing. However remember to ensure you use this type of glue in a well ventilated room.
Brads - disguising backs
If you use brads to attach something to the front of your card then to hide them on the inside cut a piece of card the same size as folded card and stick on the inside.
Eyelets - disguising
If you use eyelets on the front of your card then to disguide the backs then cut a piece of decorative paper slightly smaller than the card and use it to line the card.
Micro beads - storage
Many makes of micro beads are sold in small plastic bags, so once opened store them in old film canisters.
Rubber stamps - ink stained
If your rubber stamp is ink stained then use a little baking soda, warm water and an old tooth brush to remove the staining.
Teabag folding - neatening hole
If you feel the hole in the middle of your rosette is a little untidy or large then either use an eyelet, brad or a flat backed crystal to neaten off.
Teabag folding - matching papers
If you want to use this craft for scrapbooking then why not cut up a 12 x 12 paper or two to match your pagelayout perfectly.
Teabag folding - cutting out
If you have a paper cutter then use that, the squarer your teabag papers are the neater your finished rosette will be.
Teabag folding - making creases
After each crease run the tip of your finger along the folded edge, this will ensure your teabag pieces sit flat when stuck together.
Teabag folding - sticking together
Some people prefer dry glue stick to a wet glue. However you will note from our video techniques we prefer a wet craft glue with a fine nozzel so only a small amount of glue is placed hidden inside on the folds.
Teabag folding - won't lay flat!
If you find your rosette or design will not lay flat place under a heavy book for 10 minutes or so to cure the problem.
Double-sided sticky tape - cheap option
Looking for a cheap option for your double-sided sticky tape then look in your local hardware store for some carpet tape. You'll just need to cut it down to use for your crafting.
Rubber stamping - positioning stamp
If you are working with a wooden backed rubber stamp, to work out the postion of the stamp insert a pin into the fabric where the edges of the stamp need to be.
Rubber stamping - dealing with mistakes on glass
The great thing about stamping onto glass is that if you make a mistake before the embossing process it can be wash off, the glass left to dry and you simply start again.
Rubber stamping - dealing with mistakes on embossing foil
If you smudge the image then simply wash the ink off of the embossing foil, allow it to dry naturally then start again.
Rubber stamping - stamping on glass
If you are finding it difficult to stamp on the glass without smudging the ink then place the inked rubber stamp face up on the work surface and place the glass onto the stamp. Press only where the stamp touches the glass then lift directly off for a smudge free image.
Rubber stamping - safety first
When embossing onto glass the glass will get very hot so place the glass onto a thick piece of card and whilst working do not touch the glass with the heat gun or with your fingers. And always allow to cool for a few minutes before picking up.
Rubber stamping - embossing on glass
You will find embossing powder will stick to areas you do not want it so use a fine artists brush to wipe this excess powder off.
Rubber stamping - onto embossing foil
Once you have stamped onto the foil and allow it to cool why not add extra interest by adding a little pressure embossing to the design?
Rubber stamping - onto glass
Always clean the glass item you are going to stamp on first in warm soapy water then allow to dry naturally to cut down on static build-up and finger marks.
Rubber stamping - freshening up ink
To freshen the ink before you stamp breath on it slightly, the moisture from your breath will liven the ink up again.
If you do not have any sticky ribbon then it is simple to make your own by simply running some double sided sticky tape down the middle of the ribbon.
Sand painting - tidying up
When working with fine sand it sometimes will stick to sections of your project you do not want it to. To remove this unwanted sand simply brush lightly with a small brush.
Sand painting - varnish
To ensure a good even coverage of varnish and so you do not rub off any of the sand use a spray varnish so give a long lasting finish to your projects.
Stencilling - cleaning
AFter using inks with your stencils clean them easily with a baby wipe.
Embossing (heat) - on paint
When working on a painted project some paints may blister, so always do a test first.
Embossing heat - cut down on blisters
When heat embossing over paint sometime the paint will blister. If you allow the paint to dry over night this can sometimes cut down on the chance of the paint doing this.
Rubber stamping - masking
Masking is a great technique but can be time consuming. So if you know you will be doing alot of masking with a few of you stamps keep the masks you make stuck to a page in a folder so you can use them time and time again.
Rubber stamping - making a mask
To save on the ink don't bother re-inking you stamp just to stamp the mask, as long as you can see the outline enough to cut around that it enough.
Rubber stamping - using masks
When masking using a stamp with little outline detialing try to cut the mask slightly smaller than the stamped image. This way you will cut down on the halo effect you can get around the image when you have finished your project.
Stencilling - adding colour
When adding colour through stencils using sponges then start with the lightest colour first. This will cut down on the amount of cleaning you will have to do on the sponge you are using and will not 'muddy' colours.
Stencilling - working with colour
When trying to create an image with a stencil, i.e. layering then start at the top of the iamge and work down. In this way the elements of the image at the bottom will be in the foreground, making your image more realistic.
Ink pad - using as paint
If you have an ink pad just hte right colour it can be used to render your images. Simply dampen a fine brush pick the colour up on the tip of the brush and paint away.
Paint efects - working with colour
When working with two different colours, one on top of the other it normally works better if the colour beneath is lighter than the top colour.
Paint effects - sponging
To ensure you do not place to much paint onto the surface when sponging dab the sponge onto a piece of scrap paper first to remove the excess paint.
Paint effects - damp brush
When trying to create a soft effect with our second coat of paint try using a damp brush. This thins the paint just enough to give a more sutble effect than dry brushing.
Paint effects - even base
When trying to create any paint effect it is important to get an even base coat. So try to work with long smooth brush strokes for a more professional finish.
Paint effects - sponging
When sponging you can use a mad-made sponge however if you want a more random effect they why not try a natural sponge. Just remember to turn the sponge around as you work so you do not get a repeat pattern from the holes in the sponge.
Paint effects - sponging over stickers
When sponging over stickers to make them stick out more try to make the surrouding area slightly darker.
Paint effects - resist stamping
If you want a bolder effect with this technique then use a solid stamp rather than one with a fine design.
Paint effect - a professional finish
When creating a painted project for a really professional finish paint the inside of the project as well with either a toning shade or the same colour.
Embossing (heat) - on large projects
When working on large projects to make life easier work on one side at a time, in that way you will not smudge embossing powder as you work around the project.
Rubber stamping - working on large projects
When working on large projects it is sometimes nice to get the stamped design to go around the corner. Simply press the stamp on one side then pick up the project taking care not to move the stamp, pivot the stamp on the corner and bring down on the other side.
Rubber stamping - random design
When working on a project which requires a random design sometimes taking part of the stamp off of the edge improves the look.
Polymer clay - brushing with lustre powders
If you want to add lustre powders with a brush but don't have a soft one then raid your make-up bag and use an old make-up brush.
Flowers - attaching
To make sure the flower heads stick and hold at the correct angle it is a good idea when removing the flower heads from their stalks to trim the flower head stalk a little (aprox 3-4mm). But be careful not to cut to close to the flower as it could result in the flower falling apart
Pressure embossing - removable tape
If you find your stencil and paper keeps slipping then invest in some removable tape which will not ruin your project when you remove it.
Pressure embossing - tool keeps on sticking
If you find your tool keeps on sticking on the paper then rub over with some wax paper to solver the problem.
Pressure embossing - embossing on dark paper
Check out our video for embossing without a light sourcce and use the same method for easy embossing onto dark paper or card.
Pressure embossing -- thin paper
You will often find think paper can tear during embossing so to cut down the chances use the largest balled embossing tool you have and push gently going over the design a couple of times rather than pushing heavily and only going over the once.
Pressure embossing - paper weight
The ideal paper or card weight for pressure embossing is between 120 - 150 gsm although lighter and heavier weights can successfully be used.
Pressure embossing - found stencils
Look out for 'found stencils' these can take on many forms and food packaging for example easter eggs are a great source for 'found stencils.'
Pressure embossing - 'blind' embossing
If you are unable to see through your paper or card and do not want to pencil mark on the back rub gently over with a small spoon, this should start your embossing off making it eaiser.
Pressure embossing - only part of image has come out
If you find you have forgotten a section of the design and removed then simply line back up, tape back down and go back over the design.
Pressure embossing - intricate designs
In order to try and avoid missing out sections of an intricate stencil then start at the top and work down. In this way you are less likely to miss a section.
Pressure embossing - leaving out part of design
If you are only using part of a design but are making lots of cards for example for a wedding. Then in order to ensure you miss out the same section each time mask over this section. This will cut down of errors.
Pressure embossing - lettering
Remember when embosing lettering emboss otherwise when you turn back over your letter will be back to front.
Pressure embossing - sharper images
If you place your card or paper onto the light box and allow it to warm for a minute or so before you beigin you will find the paper will take to being pressure embossed more readily.
Polymer Clay - to hard
If you find your polymer clay is to hard then to soften place in a plastic bag, seal and put into some hot water for a while.
Polymer clay - keeping warm
If you have a wheat bag, the type use for pulled muscles these are a great way to keep your polymer clay warm during use. Simply heat wheat bag in normal way and place your polymer clay on top.
Polymer clay - sticking
If you need to roll out your polymer clay but do not have a suitable surface then roll out on tracing paper or baking parchment.
Polymer clay - sticking to hands
During hot or humid weather you may find the polymer clay sticks to your hands. Simply keep a bowl of cold water to cool your hands as you work.
Polymer clay - making canes
Having trouble keeping your canes in shape during cutting? Place in the freezer for a little while before you cut and they'll keep their shape better.
Polymer clay - making easy canes
To make a simple cane why not use small cookie cutters? Simply roll out two think circles of clay, cut the middle out with a cookie cutter, swap middles and away you go.
Polymer clay - making canes
If you find your cane does not keep its shape leave at least a day between the making of the can and the reducing of the cane. This will cut down on the cane going out of shape.
Polymer clay - making a hole
A great way to make a small hole in polymer clay is to use the middle of an old biro/bic pen. This not only makes the hole but removes the unwanted clay giving a neat finish.
Polymer clay - making eyes
Using small beads is a great way of making character eyes. To attach place on the end of a cocktail stick and as you press into place give a small twist. This embeds the bead better but also releases from the cocktail stick.
Polymer clay - keeping flat
Once baked and removed from oven you may find flat projects may curl slightly. To avoid this place a heavy smooth surfaced item on the top whilst it cools. This should solve the problem.
Polymer clay - baking
When baking on a baking tray sometimes the back of the project will become shiny. To avoid this simply bake on paper towel instead.
Polymer clay - equal segments
If you need to cut equal segments from a block of polymer clay use a comb to mark out before you start cutting. Simply press the teeth of the comb into the surface of the polymer clay block and use these marks as cutting guides.
Quilling - using an needle tool
Paper often slips when using a needle tool to quill so dampen the end of the paper on your tongue before you start to avoid this problem.
Quilling - beginning to quill
When learning to quill the slotted tool is the easier tool to learn but it does leave a larger hole with a slight bend in the paper in the middle whereas the needle tool makes the tight circles perfectly.
Quilling - keeping glue fresh
TO ensur you waste as little glue as possible pop a little into a film cannister or one of those small jam pots (you often get served in tea rooms) and use this instead of a large pot of glue.
Quilling - cutting for fringed flowers
If you think you will cut to far into your paper either draw a pencil line and use this as a guide or place your paper into a bull dog clip, with the paper only 2-3mm in the jaws and simply cut up to the bull dog clip, this will obviosly stop you from going and further.
Quilling - storing tools
An old childrens wooden pencil case is often a great way to store your quilling tools.
Quilling - making longer paper
If you only have short paper and wish to lenghten it simply tear the ends of two pieces of paper and overlap slightly sticking with glue, to create a longer piece jsut right for your project.
Quilling - creased paper
Sometimes paper will get creased during storage. To flatten out simply run through your fingers or if really badly creased under a cool iron.
Quilling - glueing down
With most projects it is best to place the glue onto the quilled paper rather than the project, in this way you will use less glue therefore less will show.
Quilling - fringed flowers saving time
If you plan to create more than one fringed flower place three or four pieces of paper together and cut them at the same time. This will save you bags of time!
Quilling - scissors
You do not have to shell out for an expensive pair of scissors often a pair of nail scissors are all that is needed.
Quilling - making you own paper
Some crafters have found that they can make interesting quilling paper by using paper from a shredder. As long as the strips are long and wide enough using a good quality paper may give you some lovely results.
Quilling - hiding the join
When working with loose coils try to ensure the seciton pinched contains the join, in this way the join will become hiddne in the design.
Quilling - lenghts of paper
Quilling paper can come in different lenghts so when following a pattern which states half a lenght you may need to test half a strip first, and if you find your quilled project smaller or larger than thiers simply adjust the lenght of paper you use.
Pumpkin - keeping fresh
Once cut to keep your pumpkin fresher looking for longer, keep in a cool place or in the fridge.
Pumpkin - keeping fresh 2
On the sections cut out from your pumpkin rub a little vegetable oil, this will slow the process of the skin browning.
Knitting - labels
Keep a track of your labels from the balls of wool and keep in a laundry book so you know exactly how to wash the items you make.
Straw craft - double layering
When creating a star with double layers you may wish to use the tip of your finger to hold straws in place as you work.
Straw craft - securing straws
When securing straws always wrap thread around each set tightly and to make easier place the end of the thread in a needle to help wrap thread around straws.
Straw craft - laying down sections
When placing straw into the placement ring ensure the slightly curved side (which was the outside of the straw) is uppermost. This gives the finished star a better finish.
Straw craft - interupted
If you get interupted whilst working place the inner section into the ring to hold the straws so you can return later to finish your project.
Strawcarft - thread/floss
IF using a multi-strand thread/floss then draw out one or two threads to work with so the thread is less obvious.
Knitting - tension
Tension is important to obtain correct size of garment, so adjust needles if neccessary.
Knitting - with two yarns
Before starting to knit you may find it helpful to thread both yarns through a piece of drinking straw or needle grip to keep both yarns running together. Move the straw or needle grip along a little as you pull out your yarn from the balls.
Candle making - finishing edges
If the base or top of your candle is a little untidy then get a pair of old stockings and place over your finger. Then rub the edge and the stocking will remove and tidy up.
Candle making - wick
If you do not have papercore wick then it is possible to make a substitue. Simply dip some standard wick into melted wax, do this twice (double dip) and you will be able to use this dipped wick instead.
Candle making - aid setting
If you are in a rush then speed the setting time by placing in the fridge. Do not leave in there for to long, as it is possible that when you remove the shock to the wax will make it crack.
Candle making - safety
Wax if heated above 100°c (210f) can spontaneously ignite, so keep a constant eye on the temperature of the wax.
Candle making - if catches fire
Quickly turn the heat off at source. DO NOT attempt to move the pan but smoother with a damp cloth or metal lid. Allow to cool completely before returning to continue your work. Gases can be given off so open windows and if any gas has been inhaled seek medical advice immediately.
Candle making - spills on you
If you spill wax on yourself it should not be hot enough to cause bad burning. However if it does, run under cold water until the burning stops and seek medical advice.
Candle making - work surfaces
Wear old clothes just in case of spills and cover work surfaces with baking parchemnt or similar rather than news papers.
Candle making - left over wax
Do not pour unwanted wax down sinks or drains as this may cause blockages. Wax can be saved in pots and used later.
Candle making - safety burning candles (1)
Try to ensure candle is placed in a position that is away from other combustible items such as soft furnishings and cannot be knocked by someone walking passed.
Candle making - safety burning candles (2)
Keep candles out of direct drafts.
Candle making - safety burning candles (3)
Never leave a candle burning in a room that has been left unoccupied.
Candle making - safety burning candles (4)
To cut down on pissible damage to walls, ceiling by smoke ensure the candle is positioned a good distance away.
Candle making - safety burning candles (5)
Put candle on a heat resistant surface and never directly onto a polished surface.
Candle making - safety burning candles (6)
Keep the well of wax which forms when buring clear of debris for example the remains of matches.
Candle making - safety burning candles (7)
Ensure that when 'snuffing' a candle out, the flame is fully extinguished. Do not move the candle until all wax has solidified.
Candle making - spills on carpets
If you do get a spill on your carpet using an iron set on synthetic and some kitchen tissue paper will help you remove most if not all of the spill. Care must be taken in order to avoid burning or scorching your carpet.
Candle making - smoothing base
Have a wonky bottomed candle? Then use an iron without steam hole set on a low heat to straighten up.
Candle making - air bubbles
Small air bubbles can get trapped between the surface of the mould and the surface of the candle, to get rid of simply tap the side of the mould with your finger to release.
Candle making - improving burn
If you find that the candle you have created does not burn well then next time you make a candle change the amount of Stearin you used. You can add up to 30% stearin.
Candle making - improving burn
If you want to improve the quality of your candle add 2-3% microcrystalline wax (hard) to your molten wax before you pour into the mould.
Candle making - soft microcrystalline wax
Soft Microcrystalline wax creates a wax that is slightly sticky; helping your stripes to hold together better if you mis-judge timing.
Candle making - burn time
Burn time can be reduced if candle is put in a draft, so stear clear of drafts.
Candle making - colour fade
If you make a candle with strong colours placing in direct sunlight will cause the colours to fade.
Candle making - sunlight and heat
If you place your candles in direct sunlight it is possibl the heat of the day will distort the shape of your candle, so keep out of the sun!
Candle making - increase burn
To produce a candle that will burn slowly then plut in the refrigerator beofre burning. So the wick does not get damp, wrap inside a plastic bag.
Candle making - trim wick
To ensure a good burning time keep the wick trimmed to 0.5 cm (1/4”).
Candle making - floating candles
If you are displaying floating candles in a clear decorative bowl, to reduce the build up of scaling use distilled water. Rather than purchasing distilled water simply boil and allow to cool.
Candle making - putting out
To put out the flame dip the wick into the molten wax. This should eliminate any smoking during the next burn and always re-centre the wick. this will ensure the candle burns at an even rate next time.
Candle making - putting out
When burning a candle try to allow a pool of wax to form before putting out. This should make the candle burn longer and more evenly next time.