Ideas, Tips & Tricks for Crafty Crafters

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!

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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.

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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).

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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”)

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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!

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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!)

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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!

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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!

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Comments

  1. says

    Really? The first one??
    Aside from the tissue-paper-in-the-middle trick, which is failproof and always results in the perkiest of perky gifts and oh how I wish I could use it in my bra, these other tips are new to me. So THANK YOU.
    (and thanks to pinterest for directing me this way to check out your shoestaches. which are epic.)

  2. Allison Murray says

    Thanks Rebecca! I'm so glad that you found 9 out of 10 tips helpful and I'm really glad you dig the shoestaches. I appreciate your stopping by and commenting!!!

  3. Jaime72 says

    These tips were amazingly helpful! I especially will be excited to try out the whole glue stick tip about the freezer and I will be hitting up some old projects that have strings with my hair dryer stat! Thanks for this info :)

  4. says

    Thanks for the tips!!! A few of these I hadn't heard of before, especially using sand paper on a dull scissors. I had always used aluminum foil, but I will definitely try out the sandpaper, especially for my decorative edge scissors! … And honestly I thought that was just the way or "rule" when adding tissue paper to a gift bag, but I also thought all people were creative or able to turn "trash in to treasure". LOL!!
    Also, have you ever tried using regular saran wrap as lids? Just wondering if anyone has and whether or not they would recommend it. I am coincidently facing this little dilemma at the moment and don't really want to go out at this time to purchase press and seals. However, that is an awesome idea and I'm so thankful that I came across your post!! Well if you ever think of any other tips, don't hesitate to inform us, as I will try to follow your blog regularly. I'm a cheap-o too so what ever tips you have that may not be posted yet, please send my way!!
    I may just have to recommend my blog viewers and followers to view this post; I'm sure there are many others who would appreciate this info as well!! Again, THANKS A BUNCH and happy bloggin'!!!

  5. Allison Murray says

    Hey, Lori! I haven't used regular saran wrap for lids, BUT I tend to have a hard time working with it anyway. Anymore I only really use it to wrap up my tie dye projects so I wouldn't really know. Try it out and let us know how it works for you!!!
    Oh, and you are very welcome. Thanks for coming by the blog and sharing! I appreciate your interest :)

  6. says

    To prevent overspray, I use a plastic file box with a cardboard box as a liner. You just place your components at the bottom of the box and spray evenly with your adhesive. You get a little fumage, but no overspray. Also with the plastic file box, the lid keeps fumes during storage at bay and the cardboard box liner is replaceable once it gets really coated with glue. (which it does, eventually).

    Thanks for the tips. Some of these I hadn't used before. I will be trying the corn starch one and the petroleum jelly on glue lids as well. I know how to get a glue lid open without ruining it, but it's a pain and time consuming. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as they say.

  7. Allison Murray says

    Thanks for sharing your tip to prevent over-spray. It's genius! I appreciate your taking the time to visit and share :)

  8. Denise says

    Great tips !!! The Vaseline on the jars and the scissor sharpener are something that I've heard but forgot all about….now thanks to you I will smile at my scissors and stop whincing every time I have to open yet another tough lid !!! thanks !!!

  9. says

    Hey Allison M.
    So yeah… I tried regular saran wrap and do believe that it's not the best product to use as a spare lid if you would happen to lose a cover for something (paint, glue, ect…). I must admit, I did become a little frustrated and decided to use plain duct tape, which of course fixes everything right (HE-HE); however, I've decided I'm going to give in and purchase the" press and seals!!" The duct tape does work, but of course all my duct tape is decorative and being the cheep-o that I am, it kills me waste pretty tape!! Don't get me wrong, I love to have everything pretty (including my craft supply), but I just know that sometime in the future I will be wishing that I hadn't used that inch or 1/2 inch of decorative tape as a cover because I will need it for something better!! Lol!!
    First thing on this girl's list once this hurricane passes is "press & seal"; it may take a week or two before the stores settle and start operating as normal, but I'll get it!!!

    Lori M.

  10. Allison Murray says

    I totally know what you mean about that 1/2 inch or an inch, Lori. I do that all the time with ribbon or fabric. I figure this little bit won't hurt and next project I'm 1/2 an inch short!!!
    Thanks for dropping by again with your update and best of luck with the hurricane!

  11. DJ says

    Thanks for the tips! Love them all.
    Press and Seal ROCKS! I had to move across country and I have lots of those tool boxes that are tall metal frames with plastic drawers for beads and jewelry findings. If the box tilts a little to the front all the drawers fall out and if it tilts to the sides the stuff spills out of the drawers. I used Press and Seal to wrap each drawer and put the tool boxes in large cartons and nothing spilled at all. Worked like a charm. For the tool boxes with solid backs (the smaller ones) I put a little bit of "Tack it Over and Over" glue on the back of each drawer and they don't fall out.

  12. Allison Murray says

    That is really smart to use the press and seal that way. It probably would have dawned on me when I was already halfway across the country and my things were in zipper bags or something :)

  13. rosebud says

    What about using vapo-rub instead of petroleum jelly to keep lids from being glued shut? Then, when you open the lid and smell that vapo, it will remind you to reapply (eventually).

  14. Sue says

    I love you tips. I have one for the Press & Seal. I wrap my paint roller with Press & Seal and cover my roller tray with it, if I'm not quite done painting but want to stop for the day. It stays "wet" and can safe a lot of time and $.

  15. Allison Murray says

    That is a great tip, Sue! I'm definitely going to do that when I paint again (which, fingers crossed, will be very, very soon!)

  16. Elizabeth says

    These are great tips, thanks! Do you have any suggestions for using specific glues for certain projects? (hot glue v tacky glue v mod podge, etc). Thanks!

  17. says

    My mind is totally rocked right now with all of these tips, Allison. You are a crafting genius! The sharpening scissors and hot glue freezer trick are going to be the next things I try, that is, after putting petroleum jelly on the threads of my mod podge. Thanks, girl!

  18. Allison Murray says

    Oh, goodness. It really is, Sarah. Hopefully Glad will get their act together and bring Press and Seal to Austrailia sooon!

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