I thought i would make a list of tips and tricks that I use to things easier when crafting. many of them you might already know and use yourself.. this list is not exhaustive and i will add to it frequently when i come across things xx so here goes..
1) PVA glue bottles.. sick of trying to unblock the nozzle each time you go to use it?? easy one this - throw clear lid away and just stick a dressmaking pin in the nozzle. the ball on top of the pin seals the nozzle to keep the air out. remove the pin and your glue is freeflowing every time you go to use it.
2) sticky punches... i use the wrapper off warburtons bread as it is waxed... punch through the wrapper a few times with your punch to wax it up and it cuts smoothly once again. (helps if you have finished using the bread first hehe)
3) when colouring in i have a tip for shading that i use for working out where the lighter or darker bits should be... i choose where my light source should be coming from and place something like a pen or a bottlecap there and pretend its a lightbulb.. now imagine light shining down onto your image from the lightbulb.. the first bits it would hit on your image will be lighter...the bits futher away will be darker... also any creases in clothing... or under items etc will have a shadow on the side away from your bulb
4) cant decide on a layout????... when looking through blogs if you see a card you like the layout of.. get paper and a pen and sketch out the design, draw circles with dots in to depict buttons and circles with crisscrosses in to depict gems, a box with squiggles in to depict a sentiment etc...pop them in a file and now when you are stuck you can flick through your file and look at lots of different layouts to choose from
5) cant find backing papers to match your image?? find the papers first THEN colour your image to compliment the papers chosen... that way your papers will always match up
6) if like me you have loadssssssss of ribbons and they sometimes get a bit creased - i use my daughters old hair straightners as a mini iron. just clamp hold of the ribbon at one end and pull it through slowly!! nice flat ribbon!!
7) when you get stamp sets - stamp the sentiments out onto sheets in groups like christmas birthdays etc.. and write next to them what pack they can be found in.... so next time you want to stamp up a sentiment you can browse through your sheets for the perfect one and know where to find them
8) an artists paintbrush stand makes a brilliant tool caddy. I bought one for 99p from the works - its brilliant for poping all your tools into like scissors, tweezers, brushes, embossing tools, wire cutters even your pencils and glue pens.... all to hand in one place
9)if you print out paper inserts for your cards - next time print out 5 of whatever your printing and put the spare ones in a folder under birthday christmas etc... then you have some to hand for future cards to save time
10) when stamping up -use a foam mouse mat foam side up or a sheet of funky foam under your card ... it helps push the card up to your stamp and helps avoid those blank areas you can sometimes get!!
11) glitter tips - if you have a fancy border punch that has a patterned effect.. stick it down with DST covering the holes in the pattern, once stuck down, sprinkle with glitter which will fill in the holes on your pattern leaving a lovely effect. also for glitter trims - run a line of thin DST down your card and sprinkle on glitter. edges of matting layers.. dip the edge in pva then into glitter for instant glitter frames
12) when stamping up... do a couple of spare ones and keep them either in the back of the stamp packet or in a box...now you have one ready for next time
13) if you have a flourish or foilage die...... cut the dies out in white card instead of using your coloured cardstock up.......... then all you have to do is run along them with your promarkers or whatever colour medium you have and match them up to your backing paper or image
14) its always handy to have a stcok of white flowers and white ribbon. that way if you cant find just the right coloured embellishments you can use promarkers to colour the white ones exactly to match.
15) one way to attach charms.......... pop a sticky dot on your card... twizzle a bit of craft wire through your charm and bend the ends out to make a T shape.. stick the ends on top of the sticky dot then pop a bow on top to hide the wire
16) when i put a cluster of flowers on a card i lay a wide strip of DST where i want the flowers to be, then i gently arrange the flowers on top changing them around till im happy how they are. when im completely happy i just press down on them and hey presto theyre stuck
17) if your new to adding paper inserts to cards...cut your insert paper down so its about half a centimeter all round smaller than your card, i then corner punch the insert with a rounder or a fancy punch. keep the insert closed and run a glue runner, DST or a thin line of gluestick from top to bottom on the top layer next to the paper fold.. open your card and position the insert so its straight and along the fold of the card... close the card and press along the fold of the card to stick the insert in. dont put glue on both sides of the insert paper as it wont sit right and may buckle down the center. if you do it this way and glue the insert to the top layer of your card it will fall open to the verse when the card is opened
18) if you use cosmic shimmer sprays or similar you can use an empty Liquitab washing tub as a spray boothe to catch any stray blobs - you dont even need to clean it out afterwards