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Arts and Crafts Tips and Technique

Please find the arts and craft tip or technique you need in the list below, then click on the link to go to detailed instructions. These helpful suggestions flesh out instructions provided for various arts and crafts projects found throughout the website.

Batik Tips and Techniques

Choosing and Preparing Fabric for Batik

Read about batik fabrics to learn which fabrics work best and why it is important to wash your fabric before beginning a batik project.

Candle Making Tips and Techniques

How to Remove Candle Wax

Candle making is great fun but it’s impossible not to make a mess. Spilled wax is par for the course! Here are tips on how to remove candle wax.

Here are helpful arts and crafts candle making tips on how to remove candle wax. (Hey, unless you use a no-melt method, it is impossible to make candles without spilling wax!)

Removing Candle Wax from Fabrics and Other Soft Surfaces

To remove wax from clothing, rugs, and other soft surfaces, apply ice cubes or an ice pack to the wax. This will harden it and make it more brittle.

Then gently scrape off as much wax as you can. Don’t use anything too sharp. A credit card, wooden stick, or non-serrated knife usually will work well for this purpose.

Next, lay a paper bag (or several of layers of paper towels) over the wax. Place a paper bag under the fabric too.

Gently iron over the top paper. (Set your iron on medium to high, depending on the fabric.) The paper will absorb the wax. Repeat this process with a clean paper bag until all the wax has been removed.

Throw the paper bags in the trash once the wax residue has cooled.

 How to Remove Candle Wax From Carpet

For wall-to-wall carpeting, follow the steps outlined above except you will not be able to place a paper bag under the carpet, of course. However, you still should be able to remove the wax. It just might take longer.

Removing Colored Wax from fabrics and Soft Surfaces

Apply ice until the wax is brittle, then scrape away. If any discoloration remains, treat as you would a regular stain.

Temperature of Beeswax Sheets for Rolled Candles

Use these tips for the Bees Wax Candles and Beeswax Taper Candles projects:

For best results, the wax sheet should be at room temperature. If it is too cold, it will crack. If it is too hot, your fingerprints may show on the honeycomb.

If the beeswax sheets are too cold and brittle, you can warm them with a hair dryer, but be careful not to melt the wax or let it get too hot.

General Painting Tips

Craft Painting Tips

These craft painting tips will help you set up and use your acrylic and enamel craft paints.

Opaque Paint Markers

For many projects, using an opaque paint marker is a great alternative to painting with a thin brush. Three excellent choices are Sakura Permapaque Artist’s Gift Paint Markers, Uchida Decocolor Paint Markers, or Sharpie Paint Markers.

Remember, most paint markers need to be shaken before each use, and they also can get clogged between uses.

How to Paint Leather

Paint does not always adhere well to leather. In order to stick and to last, the paint needs to penetrate into the leather – the deeper the better. Here are some tips I have learned on how to prepare leather for successful painting.

clean the Leather Surface – Remove Coatings and Surface Oils

Before applying paint to leather, clean the surface thoroughly. Wipe it with a water-dampened cloth or a small amount of mild soap and water. lcohol to remove surface oils and any protective coatings from the areas where you will be applying paint. Then lightly sand the areas that will be painted, using fine sandpaper or emery cloth.

Take the Shine Off

Suede leather usually holds paint well, but smooth, shiny leather often has a wax or oil finish that prevents the paint from adhering. Be sure that you have taken the shine off portions of the leather that will be painted.  

Using Water-Based Acrylics, Apply Paint Following These Steps:

  • Water-based acrylic paints are more flexible than other paints. Check the label to be sure they are safe to use on leather. Always do a test sample, prior to painting the object.
  • Mix one part water to one part paint and apply the solution to the leather’s surface using a paintbrush or dauber. This will prepare the leather’s surface for the application of undiluted paint. If the solution is not being absorbed, add a little more water. If you are covering a large area, use a large brush and long even strokes.
  • Apply one or two coats, allowing the solution to be completely absorbed into the leather between coats. The leather should remain slightly damp. Then apply undiluted acrylic paint. Several thin coats of paint are more durable than one thick coat.
  • To help prevent the paint from cracking, flex the leather between coats of paint and several times during the drying process.

Scratchboard Art

How to Prepare Your Scratchboard Surface

Read how to apply India ink to your scratchboard paper.

Tips for Crafts Using Wire

Craft Wire Width Conversion Table

This conversion table lists various gauge numbers and provides the width of each in inches and millimeters. Basic rule: The higher the gauge number, the thinner the wire.

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