Tips & Hints

Find many craft tips and hints for many types of crafts. Craft storage tips, basketry, beadwork,glue gun, paint, ribbon and many more tips!

Tips & Hints

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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

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

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


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 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


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.


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 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


When cutting out your spokes - cut the horizontal spoke ends straight across and the vertical spoke ends at a diagonal. This way you can easily tell them apart when you are laying out the base. Just Patterns Magazine


The more clothespins you use on the first rows of your basket, the better your basket will turn out. Just Patterns Magazine


If laying out a twill base with dyed reed, pack it tight as you go. If you try to pack it later, the dyed reed will have bled onto the other spokes and you'll have a mess. AllCrafts


When rewetting dyed reed before weaving into your basket, add a handful of salt, or a cup of vinegar to the the COLD water. Then pull the dyed reed through a dry paper towel to absorb excess water. This will help keep the colors from running. Sandy Atkins


You must air dry damp / wet reed before storing in any kind of a container, including paper bags. If you put away wet reed, it will mold and grow "hair" or mildew. Sandy Atkinson


When gluing beads, insert a bead on the end of a toothpick until it fits snugly. Apply glue, place bead on project, and hold the bead with your finger as you remove the toothpick. Kraft Shack


Keep your sterling silver and silver plated beads and jewelry in a zip lock bag to prevent tarnishing. Ben Franklin Crafts


Use a damp q-tip to pick up small beads. They stick to the q-tip and make loading a needle much easier. Hobby Industry Association


When you use a "stop bead" to keep the beads from sliding off the end, choose a bead that is a different color or size. That way you won't accidentally incorporate it into the piece on which you are working (and ruin the pattern). Bead It Babe

Beadwork - Bead Stringing

When you are bead stringing, use a clothes pin or an "alligator" style paper clip clamped on the end of the wire to prevent the beads from sliding off. It works better than taping the end, and doesn't leave any sticky residue. Bead It Babe


A 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 Needlework


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 Needlework


Make gift tags by cutting out the pictures on Christmas cards or other cards. On reverse side, write the "to" and "from" information. by Annette at


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


Learn how to keep tools and supplies for a project at your fingertips.


A quick tip idea is to repurpose jars (such as peanut butter jars, mayonnaise jars, etc.) and store craft and sewing supplies.


Mini mason jars are a way to store small craft and sewing supplies and other items.

Crepe Myrtle As Craft Material

Crepe myrtle dried seed pods and branches are an excellent resource of free craft material. It can be used for many different craft purposes. Learn more about this resource.


When cutting with a craft knife various designs out of templates and stencils try cutting on glass. The glass will allow the knife to glide through the paper by not cutting into any surface / pad resulting in cleaner precise cutouts. Ecstasy Crafts


Do you need a funnel but do not have one? Cut the bottom out of a 2 liter soda bottle or a smaller water bottle to use as a funnel. Staff


Organize and protect your crafting patterns by slipping the printed patterns or patterns cut from publications in plastic sleeves.


When using a hot glue gun, practice a swirling motion to break the stream of glue to help combat glue strings. The Needlecraft Shop


Heat from a blow drier causes strings of hot glue to disintegrate immediately. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop

GLUE GUN - Work-Area Savvy

Use inexpensive plastic place mats in the work area when gluing. Glue-gun drips won't stick to the plastic, and the entire place mat, with the project on top, may be moved aside to finish later. Plastic Canvas Today Magazine


To clean glue from a glue gun use a used dryer softener sheet. Learn more here. Associate


When gluing keep the glue bottle upside down in a plastic cup. The glue will always be ready to use.


To remove glue strings from your hot glue project, simply use an embossing tool to melt them away. Free Craft Unlimited


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


Break mirrors, plates, or tiles for projects by sealing them in a heavy-duty zip lock bag and breaking with a hammer. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop

Nutcracker as Cap Remover

Clamp the nutcracker around the top of a glue, nail-polish, or beverage bottle to give you extra gripping power. Your reward: Tight caps no longer drive you nuts. Real Simple


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


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 trapped in the rim to drip out into the can. Staff


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.

Pipe Cleaners

Cut pipe cleaners with wire cutter. Scissors are damaged, if used for cutting any type of wire. Craftionary


This quick tip shows how to stop ribbon from fraying. Associate


Store your spools of ribbon in baby wipes boxes. Cut slits in the top of the wipes long enough to slip the ribbon thru. Free Craft Unlimited


For easy edging: Use straight scissors to cut out or trim the piece first, then edge with the selected Paper Edgers. Fiskars


Cutting out an inside area: Draw the cutting lines on the back of the project. Use a straight scissors to poke a hole in the center, cut to the corners or side. Trim excess paper away, cut on the line with the Paper Edgers. Fiskars


Are you looking for craft ideas for mismatched socks? Some craft suggestions to recycle the socks are sock puppets, sock animals, a hacky sack, dust mittens, Barbie doll tube tops, bean bags, hot packs.


Styrofoam cuts easily with a serrated knife, hacksaw, floral knife or X-acto knife. Wax the knife blade with an old candle for easier, smoother cuts. Ben Franklin Crafts and Frame Shop

STYROFOAM - Crafting with Styrofoam

Low-temperature glue guns set fast and hold tight on Styrofoam. Hot glue guns bond instantly but may melt a small portion of the foam. Stryofoam Crafts


For a fast, sure bond, use a low-temperature glue gun. Hot glue guns can be used but the hot glue may melt a small portion of the foam. White craft glue is a tried and true favorite for STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Dow Craft

STYROFOAM - Stamping with Styrofoam

Press metal cookie cutters into a 1/2" thick sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Gently remove the shape from the cutter and "sand" rough edges with another piece of foam. The dip cut out shape in paint and stamp out greeting cards and wrapping paper. Styrofoam Crafts


Instead of plain thumbtacks, decorate your bulletin board with large, fancy buttons. Glue them atop the round part of a thumbtack, allowing the glue to harden completely. Free Craft Unlimited


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

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