From one "crafty" person to another, here are a bunch of ideas to try out while you're crafting or sewing to make your life a bit easier, and to save a bit of money and time in the process.
1. Use inexpensive index cards to staple on fabric swatches or ribbon; very handy to take with you to your fabric or craft shop.
2. Old pillowcases make handy cover-ups for children! Cut out a large hole for the head and two smaller holes for the arms and just slip over their heads. They can even decorate them with tie-dye, fabric paint or iron-ons.
3. If you use rubber stamps for your projects, clean them with a mild detergent after each use, making sure you keep the wood parts dry. Use a paper towel to dry the stamp and then store them with the stamp side down, away from direct sunlight.
4. Large bottle caps make handy disposable containers for paints or glue.
5. Use a toothpick to apply glue to a small part; less "glue-y" fingers!
6. A damp Q-tip can pick up small items such as seed beads or rhinestones.
7. Keep a magnet handy in case you drop needles or pins on the floor.
8. A coffee can is great for storing balls of yarn when crocheting or knitting. Simply punch a hole in the coffee can lid and poke the yarn up through and out; then close the lid.
9. Use cardboard emery boards as sandpaper for small parts or areas where regular sanders or files will not reach.
10. Shred your leftover wrapping paper to make pretty "stuffing" for gift baskets and bags.
11. Use your lint roller around your sewing table to pick up bits of thread.
12. Don't toss out that old plastic tablecloth when you buy a new one. Use the old one as a table protector when crafting.
13. For larger projects, use an old plastic shower curtain as a drop cloth or cut it into smaller table protectors.
14. Tweezers make great holders for those small parts you're trying to glue or paint. Less glue and paint on fingers.
15. Lubricate the tip of your needle before sewing by pushing it into a sliver of soap.
16. Keep a roll of paper towels on your worktable to clean up spills, wipe your hands and even to use for creating texture in your paintings.
17. Use an old coffee can sitting in a pot or pan of hot water on the burner to melt leftover pieces of candles. Make sure you handle the hot coffee can with oven mitts. Add an old candle, the long, tapered kind, to a cardboard milk carton. Add ice and then the melted wax. After the candle is set, tear away the carton over your sink to drain the water and you'll have a unique "Swiss cheese" candle to use. You can toss out the coffee can after its use. No worrying about cleaning a pot with wax residue.
18. Use an old (or new!) fishing case, with all its many compartments, for your small craft parts.
19. Hate throwing away the last sliver of soap? Break it up into pieces and place in a rubber baking mold. Melt more soap, either left over or purchased inexpensive soap, cool slightly so it won't melt your soap bits and pour into mold, let harden and pop your new soap out of the mold!
20. Tape a small plastic grocery bag or a small paper bag to your sewing table so it hangs over the side. Handy for tossing out bits of cut thread and fabric scraps.
21. A small metal parts cabinet (the kind for bolts, nails and screws, etc.) is great for storing small crafts parts and sewing items. I even have two of them housing all my earrings and necklaces - one or more drawers for each color!
These were just some of the handy hints I've used over the years. There are TONS more out there which may result in "Handy Craft Tips Two" - hey, you never know...stay tuned! Oh, by the way, if YOU have any great tips to share, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article Source: 21 Handy Craft Tips