Our hints and tips are designed to make your crafting experience easier and more enjoyable by providing some of the tricks of the trade. Check out our Helpful Sewing Information page for sewing related tips and instructions on some of the basic sewing stitches.
Materials and Supplies
* When using Glue Dots - press the item to be glued into the dot THEN peel the paper. If the item cannot be pressed into the dots without getting it stuck to more than one dot, cut apart the paper backing so that you have a piece of paper with just one dot on it. Then, attach it to your item.
* To Dry Brush - first dip your paint brush in the paint then brush most of the paint off on a paper towel so the brush is quite dry then paint on your desired item. This technique is used quite often when you are painting over another color of paint and want to still see the first color through the top color.
*When tracing on black or another dark color - use white chalk or a white crayon so you can see the lines.
*To curl ribbon - buy curling ribbon and tie as desired then using the blade of a pair of scissors, quickly run the ribbon across the blade. Don't be afraid to run the ribbon across a second time if the ribbon isn't curly enough. As always, use caution when using any sharp object.
*To attach a bar pin to a project - heavy duty double sided tape works great.
*To attach heavy duty double sided tape to a bar pin - unroll the end of the tape and stick the bar part of the pin to the sticky side of the tape. Using scissors, cut the tape close to the edge of the pin. To apply the pin to your project, simply peel the paper off the other side of the tape and stick it where you would like the pin.
*To attach cording to a key ring - fold your piece of cording in half and put the fold (loop end) through the ring then pass the 2 loose ends through the fold and pull taught.
*To keep fabric from fraying - use pinking shears to cut it out.
*To make a professional finish on a bow - either cut the ends on and angle or fold the end of the ribbon in half and cut the ribbon on an angle cutting higher on the end where the fold is. This will form an upside down V shape in your ribbon end.
*When filling a frosting bag - fold the top 3" - 4" of the bag to the outside while you fill. It is much easier to fill and you will keep your bag cleaner.
*When applying glue with a glue stick to small pieces of paper - Lay a scrap sheet of paper under the pieces you are applying glue to. This will keep glue from getting on your work surface.
*When cutting out a heart - fold the fabric or paper in half and cut just half of the heart out being sure the center of the heart is on the fold. This will make both halves even when you open up the fabric or paper.
*To draw a shamrock - First make a heart template then use the heart to draw the shamrock by tracing 3 hearts that overlap at the sides and meet at their points then finish the shamrock off by drawing a stem at the bottom of the three hearts.
*When working with glitter - work over a paper towel or a piece of paper. After sprinkling the glitter over the glued area, fold the paper towel in half and pour the extra back into your container. The glitter lasts much longer this way!!
*When tracing and cutting out - be sure the side with the tracing lines becomes the back so no lines show on the front.
*When spreading glue over a large area - squeeze some glue out of the bottle and spread with a popsicle stick, paintbrush or a foam brush (applicator).
*When checking a materials list - if you do not have a certain item on the list look around the house and see if you have something else that will work. For example, when making a snowman that calls for orange craft foam for the nose, if you do not have craft foam use a piece of felt or a piece of orange fabric or better yet paint a cork orange and use it for the nose.
*Many craft foam shapes - are available in small packs or in large buckets which work very well in many craft projects. Also, craft shapes can be cut from a die cut machine available at many craft stores.