I will be cutting and selling appliques for etsy.com very soon. However, it's hard to find shapes I love that are not flat. So, I went and found some wooden shapes very cheap, and made "handles" for them from bottle caps. All I needed was some contact cement and a day to dry. Now, I can draw around them to my hearts content! Get it?
If you have something similar like hard cardboard or plastic canvas, and you want to streamline your projects, this will help. If you are working with plastic canvas, make sure you remember not to leave the plastic on paper, fabric, or good furniture, as the glue will ooze through the grids.
Source: My own need to pick them up and put them down easier, saving my nails and my sanity!
By Sandi/Poor But Proud from Yorktown, VA
Debra Frick3 found this helpful
April 15, 2008
These are simple tools that you can make for yourself that are just plain handy to have around. Some are for organizing, some are for actual crafting. You can keep these simple or decorate them any way you like.
Hot glue a cloth tape measure to the edge of your craft table or desk. Now you can measure without trying to hold a tape measure open. A big plus is that you can get the cloth measuring tapes in big numbers to make it easier to read.
Save your old mouse pads to use on your craft table for putting that hot glue down on. You could even glue this down to the corner of your craft table to keep it out of your way but then it is permanent.
Glue or screw different size cans to scrap wood to make small bending jigs for bending wire when doing jewelry or beading projects. This is great for people who have a tough time with their hands or no upper body strength to bend wire.
Recycle that old stereo door or piece of glass. Take off all the hardware and lay it flat on your craft table. Now you can slide your directions for your craft project underneath and it is kept safe and you will still be able to read them. You can also work your polymer clay on it or cut on it and you will have easy clean up. It is also great for when you are painting with the acrylic craft paints because even if they dry before you get a chance to clean them up, they will peel right off or come off with a little scrubbing.
Get a big magnet to set on your table it is useful for picking up scattered pins during a sewing project. It will also pickup any small metal objects that you might have spilled during your craft session.
Keep a large Miracle Whip plastic jar on your craft table for those paint brushes. It makes cleaning your brushes easy and you can put the lid on to keep it from spilling when not in use. The wide mouth makes it great for even the biggest brushes.
Cut the handle off an old table knife and you have a durable folder for your paper projects. Buy one at your local thrift store with a beautiful handle and it will be functional and beautiful. Just make sure that it is a straight handle nothing with curves in it.
Use the big clamp style paper clips that you can get at the office supply that fold over as clamps for projects and chip clips can be used for the same thing.
Save an old smooth curler for using as a jig for making a curly-Q out of wire or paper.
Use one of the new Folgers plastic coffee containers to hold all your paper scissors. Paint it with the new Krylon "Fusions" paint to decorate. Most of my scrapbooking friends have dozen of scissors and this makes it so easy for them to find which one that they need and the big one is big enough that you can even put the lid on. Label it scissors.
Recycle your old recipe box or index card box and use it for storing dried flowers. The dividers can be turned over and labeled with the alphabet so that you can file you dried flowers alphabetically.
Use your old take out container as paint palettes. You can even cut a hole for your thumb.
The next time that you get a new kitchen appliance (toaster or whatever) keep a piece of the packing materials to use as a spray paint stand. Insert small pieces of wire cut from old metal hangers straight up and now you can hang any thing from them for painting.
Make your own small spray paint shed by using an old box to spray paint in. It keeps the over spray from going all over everything.
Clamp style paper clips and an old hanger can be used as a drying rack when doing multiple gluing projects. Just clamp your project on and hang it up to dry.