Tips & Hints

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PINE CONE ART - Clean the cones with a brush to remove dirt. Place any sticky cones in a 200 degree oven for a few minutes. After cones have cooled, rinse them and dry. Magazine Name, Date & Page here

She found a helpful product to seal fabric edges prior to cross stitching. It's called "Fray Stop". It's a type of glue which dries clear and flexible saving lots of time since you don't have to sew the edges to stop them from fraying. Thank you, Amanda, for the helpful hint.

Use iron on interfacing, or slip stitch felt or wide silk ribbon to the back of the bookmark to hide the back of the stitches. Nostalgia

Music stands are ideal for holding your chart or book. They are adjustable in height and can hold your highlighter or pen for marking off which part of the design you have stitched. You can also clip a light with a daylight bulb to the stand. Nostalgia

A QUICK TIP TO STOP PAINT CAN SPLATTERING - Just use a common nail to tap a couple of small holes into the rim of the can. These holes allow extra paint that's trapped in the rim to drip out.

How can I remove the paint from my project? Most paints can be removed with a lacquer thinner (available at most paint stores). Krylon

HOW TO MAKE A PERFECT SQUARE PILLOW - If you round the corners (cut off just the tips) before sewing the back and front together, they are a lot easier to sew up, and look really good when you turn them.

PREVENT TWISTING AND LOOPING THREAD - After completing about 2/3 of an 18" lenght of yarn, hold your work upside down and let your needle hang free. Check the direction of the spin. As you work roll the needle in the other direction.

MOVE YOUR NEEEDLE - As you stitch, the portion of the thread that loops through the eye of your needle gets the heaviest wear. Move the yarn 1" or a little more during stitching to prevent the unavoidable fraying.

To prevent a power sander from tilting near the edge of a workpiece and rounding over the corner, place another board that's the same thickness up against the workpiece. This way, the sander rides across the edge instead of rounding it over. ShopNotes

Dry hands? Are you having a tough time with rough, dry hands, yet you do not wnat to use a greasy lotion? Try bag-balm. Many needlework stores carry it (as do many farm supply stores). Needlework Designers of Canada

Be cautious if your project uses hand-dyed threads such as Overdyed Floss, Watercolours, and Silks they should not be laundered as the colours will run. Attach charms after washing. Needlework Designers of Canada

Liven up a plain lampshade by gluing on items such as seashells, coins, and dried flowers. Country Living

Use a small piece of masking tape to mark your place when you stop quilting. That way, you can pick up your needle and begin again without wasting time looking for where you left off last. -Birdie Martingale & Company

When appliqueing small, narrow strips (such as stems), put washable stick school glue down the center of the underside of the strip. This keeps the small, thin pieces from wandering while I stitch them in place. -Susan Collins Martingale & Company

Try using a sofa or throw pillow as a laptray when stitching. Your small project pieces will cling to the pillow's fabric top, and the corners work as handy pin cushions! Shirley at BH&G Craft Group

A fisherman's tackle box the perfect place to sort and store beads of different colors and sizes Ann Better Homes and Garden Craft Group

Use an over-the-door shoe holder with clear pockets to store my crafts supplies. They're perfect for organizing glues, scissors, brushes, and other things. Susan Better Homes & Garden Crafts Group

When starting a new project put everything you will need in one 2 gallon zip lock bag (fabric, thread, book etc). Bags protect your project plus are reuseable, inexpensive, and lightweight. Smaller bags are great for needles, charms & scissors. Cheryl Kramer-Rosetta

When threading a needle for hand sewing, lick the end of the needle instead of the thread. (We don't know why this works, but it does!) Martingale & Company

Remember that transfer ink doesn't wash out very well! Be careful when you transfer the design so that it ends up just where you want it, and isn't smeared.

When stitching an afghan, try rolling the edges and holding in place with bicycle or quilting clips. The Stitchery

Is your cutting board warped? Fill your bathtub with hot water, lay your board flat in the water. When it is pliable, take it out, dry it off and lay on a flat surface. Voila, fixed. sew-what'

RIBBON SPOOLS - Organize spools by color, untwist the top of a wire hanger, thread spools onto the hanger, twist top of hanger closed, hang in your craft closet. Handy dispenser. By Penny Wadham at Nancy's Notions

GLUING - Before being tempted to wipe up wet glue that has squeezed from the joints, let it dry for almost and hour and lift it from the wood using a chisel. The Winfield Collection

POLYFILL - To manipulate the fiberfill tightly into corners, insert a straight pin or a T-pin through the project and work the fiberfill into position. Fairfield

SWEDISH WEAVE - Do not knot ends of thread. When finishing a row you will weave back a few stitches and clip close to work. Crafts Across America

CRAFT TIP - Empty boutique tissue boxes make excellent receptacles for crafting trash and scraps.

CRAFT TIP - The salon carts used by beauticians makes a great cart for sewing needs and arts and crafts. Sylvia Smith

Baby oil is the best and most economical product to get oil paints from hands,(and arms, face,etc.)after tole painting. Tole World - Tip by Pat Bennett

Two strands of sport yarn held together will replace one strand of 4-ply. From Doris at Crochet Cache


When you finish for the day, leave your work set up. You'll be more likely to sit down again later if everything's ready to go. Jon R. Osborn


Use masking tape to cover the raw edges of your projects. The masking tape comes off easily and does not leave a obvious mark. STITCHRIDER


When cutting reed for your baskets, patterns usually call for different horizontal and vertical spokes. By cutting longer lengths diagonally and shorter lengths blunt or flush, you will know which are which without having to measure again. In a hand basket


There are cases in which it is hard to identify a wrong and right side of reed, but normally when it is bent over your finger, the wrong side "splinters" and looks very "hairy" while the right side remains smooth. The Basket Book by Lyn Siler and Carolyn Kemp copyright 1988


PUTTING A HANDLE ON A BASKET - Always put the handle on the outside of the rim. Think about it - if the handle hoop is on the inside of the rim hoop, it can move, but where can it go if it is on the outside? The Basket Book by Lyn Siler and Carolyn Kemp copyright 1988


To replace a broken stake, simply cut a length of reed similar in size and slide it into the weaving on top of the broken stake down to the base of the basket. The new piece should be exposed to the outside of the basket. The Basket Book by Lyn Siler and Carolyn Kemp copyright 1988


To sharpen ribs, an electric pencil sharpener usually works, a hand-turned one works better. Even a little hand-held school sharpener will work, but a sharp knife works best. The Basket Book by Lyn Siler and Carolyn Kemp copyright 1988


Make wooden twig beads from the branches of the trees in your yard to use as embellishments for your baskets or as a garland or necklace nature craft project.


Make sure the water is boiling. Add Rit, either powder or liquid or both and stir well. If the dye bath is hot and concentrated, dyeing will go faster and the colors will be brighter. Tidewater Basketry Guild

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Annette & Chris are a mother/daughter team. We've brought you craft projects and tutorials through this web site for over 20 years.

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