Crafting is my thing. You may have noticed that I do a LOT of it. Along the way I've picked up a few tips and tricks. I never really thought much of it, until I was purchasing a new can of spray adhesive. A lady nearby flatly told me not to buy it. "You won't have a single thing in the house that isn't sticky if you buy that crap." What she said was true to an extent. It can be a real bear, but I have something I have always done to deal with it. She apparently does not. So - here is my top ten list of a few tips to help you on your way in a crafty world. Some may be old hat for you, but in the hopes that one or two are new, here we go!
TIP 1: Since I opened with this one I'm not going to leave you in suspense any longer. What do you do when you inevitably get over-spray on your workspace or somewhere on your project itself that it wasn't intended to be? Corn starch. Sprinkle just a little bit on to the sticky offense, rub it a bit and you'll rub the sticky away. Good news is it doesn't leave a white expanse like you think it would. Don't spend money on those expensive cleaner the brands sell. This works better.
TIP 2: Get a nice even coat all over a chair you're redoing by turning it over on a box or, in my case, my garbage dumpster. Just flip it over like they do onto tables when closing down restaurants and bars. You can easily access the undersides of the chair, legs, etc without wriggling all over the ground looking a fool. Tell your neighbors I'm sorry for denying them some funny entertainment.
TIP 3: My scissors tend to be dull. That is to say that the scissors that I have not lost somewhere, when I inevitably need them, will be dull. Use them to cut up some sandpaper and it will sharpen them right up. This isn't as good as a professional sharpening job, but it works in a pinch (and if you're cheap like me).
TIP 4: Hot glue is a godsend to crafters like me. I'm always hot gluing something onto something else. In high school, I actually hot glued some of those glow in the dark stars to my ceiling. What was I to do, I mean, the glue on the back of them gave out. My parents only figured it out when they sold the house and were removing my stars along with chunks of the ceiling.
So, this tip is actually a mini tip list on its own: Store your glue sticks in the freezer to keep the glue from being stringy. Or - put a tiny dab of petroleum jelly on the tip of your gun - strings will find no purchase! In the event that you have strings hanging off of your craft because you didn't listen to me, hit it with a blow dryer and watch them disappear! Put a dot of hot glue on a toothpick and let dry - since it dries kind of tacky you can use it to pick up tiny rhinestones or similar things that are small and your fingers might fumble - refresh glue daub as needed.TIP 5: Need a color of spray paint you can't find at your local big box or hardware store? If you have the time to wait, check out artprimo.com They supply spray paint to graffiti artists which means there are a TON of colors; some you may not have even imagined. And sorry in advance, a couple with pretty dirty names! (Find other online companies by searching "buy online graffiti supplies")
TIP 6: Use gift wrapping paper tubes as storage for your tall and skinny craft supplies, cut one down to size for pipe cleaners and keep as is for dowels. Staple the bottom or use a scrap of paper and a rubberband to make a good floor. You'll keep pipe cleaners from getting bent up and dowels neatly together (instead of somehow fallen behind everything in your craft closet!)
TIP 7: Store your magic markers, paint pens, etc. horizontally instead of standing up. It will keep gravity from jacking up the tip making the ink ooze out completely. This will make sure your markers and pens stay good for much longer! In the long run it'll save you money!
TIP 8: You can buy this saran wrap type of stuff called Press and Seal. Buy it, use it, love it. It works perfectly when you lose a lid to your paint, glitter, or other crafty container! It sticks to any surface and one roll goes a long way. You'll probably fall in love, so buy another roll for the kitchen (can you say - every bowl in your house suddenly has a tight fitting lid? Yay!)
TIP 9: Make the perfect puff of tissue paper for gift bags and other crafts! This is one my boss in marketing taught me years and years ago! Take the tissue paper and pinch the middle. Take it and whip it up and down like the gentlemen in old movies whip their hankies. It will be perfectly gathered and unwrinkled every time!
TIP 10: I get so irritated when I go to open up my glue or decoupage and it won't budge. The glue itself has glued itself shut and that is unacceptable. I wind up going full idiot and cutting the tube open or something. What can I say, I'm a child of instant gratification. Only after am I upset that I ruined the whole thing (that is if I would have ever gotten back into it again, it would be ruined). When you open up a new thing of glue or Mod Podge, rub the threads with some petroleum jelly, touching up on occasion if necessary. You will never scream at a stuck lid again!