Cre8time Tips

If you find when you are crocheting that your base chains are usually tighter than the rest of your work, you can use a hook one size larger for the chains, then switch back to the smaller hook for the next row. - Nikki, Herrschners Customer

A great tip to secure thread at the beginning of a row or color change is to secure the thread tail under the first four or five stitches. - Dawn, Herrschners Customer

When knitting with more than one color, try to run in the ends in a row of the same color as the tail end of the yarn. - Kathy, Herrschners Customer

A great tip I learned in sewing class a long time ago is to keep new pins separate from used pins. I only use new pins when sewing with a delicate fabric. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

When you are knitting, it is important to fix twisted stitches. To fix a twisted stitch, simply remove it from the left needle with the point of the right needle or vice versa and replace it on the needle in the correct position. This will ensure a clean and tight knitted piece. - Susan, Herrschners Customer

A great tip when you are stitching at the end of a row or color is to secure your thread under previously stitched threads on the wrong side of the fabric for four or five stitches, weaving the thread back and forth a few times, and then clip the thread. - Amy, Herrschners Customer

In addition to basic sewing scissors for cutting your fabric, you should also have a small, sharp scissors for cutting threads. - Pat, Herrschners Customer

In most cases, a crocheted hatband will be worked sideways. The first row will be joined to the last row to make it into a circle. - Joan, Herrschners Customer

When you are sewing a collar, trim away the interfacing corners just inside the collar points to minimize bulk. - Sally, Herrschners Customer

When weaving-in the ends of a yarn project, weave on a diagonal line instead of straight across a row. This will prevent the ends from coming loose. - Kathy, Herrschners Customer

If there are holes in between the stitches when crocheting toys, try going down a hook size. This will help keep the stitching tighter so the stuffing will not come through the front. - Donna, Herrschners Customer

Instant coffee works great if you want your fabric to look antique. Use five heaping tablespoons per one cup of water. Soak your fabric overnight, then let dry.
- Alice, Herrschners Customer

Using shoelaces for drawstrings is perfect for small projects, such as bags or children’s clothes. - Cindy, Herrschners Customer

Make your pillow corners sharp by pushing them out with the eraser end of a pencil. - Louise, Herrschners Customer

If you are having trouble loading small beads to a needle, a great tip that works for me is to use a damp Q-tip to pick up the beads. The beads will stick to the Q-tip and make it really easy for you to load the beads to the needle. - Candace, Herrschners Customer

It's a good practice when organizing your supplies that you arrange similar materials in a logical way, such as sorting threads by color or beads by type and size.
- Marilyn, Herrschners Customer

When knitting with hand-dyed yarn, be sure to knit with two skeins at the same time. Alternate skeins for each row. This will ensure a constant look to your knitted project.
- Judy, Herrschners Customer

In addition to having your sewing machine serviced professionally every two years, you should also change your needles often, clean your machine after each project, oil your machine as recommended by the manufacturer, tighten loose screws, and keep your machine covered when not use. - Gloria, Herrschners Customer

When you are beadweaving it is best to use a blunt needle to avoid catching and tearing the thread. Unless you are doing bead embroidery, you don’t need the piercing capability. - Anne, Herrschners Customer

When you are buying a new glue gun, make sure it fits your hand size. It is important that you are comfortable and not putting any extra stress on your hand and arm. A spring feed glue gun would be a good place to start. - Tammy, Herrschners customer

Try dry embossing to accent an area to give it a raised surface. - Stacy, Herrschners customer

If you are having problems with air bubbles and wrinkles, when decoupaging, use an item like a popsicle stick or chopstick, but make sure it has a smooth painted surface on it so that it slides across the decoupage area. - Jamie, Herrschners customer

Use a small coupon accordion file to hold fabric scraps. This is handy and portable when you are on-the-go. - Sammy, Herrschners customer

Cre8time for yourself to Craft, put time aside at least once a week or more. - Herrschners employees

To reposition a hot-glued item, warm the glue with a heat embossing gun and then it will come loose. - Susan, Herrschners Customer

When printing on vellum paper use the “draft” or “fast” setting. This will ensure the ink dries quicker. - Connie, Herrschners Customer

Keep your completed unframed paintings safe by storing them between two blank pages of archival paper to avoid the humidity. - Jim, Herrschners Customer

To prevent paper from ripping when affixing tape, apply the tape to clothing first to reduce its stickiness. - Jane, Herrschners Customer

Always decorate an envelope to match the card you have created. It will create a complete package. - Heidi, Herrschners Customer

Make your own stickers out of scrap paper by cutting out or drawing your design and adding it to double-sided tape. - Elaine, Herrschners Customer

Use home-made plant pokes to dress up and personalize any flower or plant. Also great when you are giving plants for gifts. Grandma always loves flowers but imagine how she would like them with home-made plant pokes with her grandchildren’s photos. - Marilyn, Herrschners Customer

I found it wonderful to scrapbook with my child by letting them decorate a 3-ring binder and help create pages of their memories from school, community, and life events. They will thank you when they are older for the keepsake of great memories. - Connie, Herrschners Customer

When you are decorating a T-shirt or other fabric items with fabric paint or markers, place a piece of contact paper on the inside of the shirt or the back side of the fabric. This will keep the paint or marker from bleeding through on to your work surface. - Jo Anne, Herrschners Customer

If you squeeze the air out of your glue bottle when you are done using it, your glue will not dry out and will last longer. - Janet, Herrschners Customer

Always us a single thread to sew beads to fabric unless the beads you are working with have a sharp edge such as bugle beads or crystal embellishments. - Amy, Herrschners Customer

When finishing a beading project, you will get a closer cut if you use a nail clipper rather than scissors. - Sally, Herrschners Customer

As a longtime teacher of knitting, I found it best for beginners to start with a swatch of about 25 stitches. They should knit stitch back and forth until the knitter feels comfortable, then switch to purling. - Barb, Herrschners Customer

I find large medicine bottles great to store your sewing machine bobbins. This especially works well when you have more than one sewing machine. You can write on each bottle top which bobbin goes to which sewing machine. - Rori, Herrschners Customer

Paint palette strips from the paint store make great color tools for your craft projects. - Amber, Herrschners Customer

Use as little paint as possible when stenciling. Less is more. - Geno’s Art Studio

Cover or rearrange sections of a stencil pattern with masking tape to create different patterns from one stencil. - Betty, Herrschners Customer

Paper stencils can be resized to fit any size your project requires. Simply take your paper stencil to a copy machine and reduce or expand the size of the copy as needed.
- Barbara, Herrschners Customer

Use a hair flat iron to smooth ribbon. - Ashley, Herrschners Customer

Put your jewelry wire in plastic pages in notebooks to keep the coils flat and safe. - Mandy, Herrschners Customer

A great glue gun tip is to place a piece of aluminum foil under the gun to catch any glue that might drip out of the gun. - Dawn, Herrschners Customer

Pipe cleaners should be cut using wire cutters You can damage scissors if they are used to cut pipe cleaners or any type of wire. - Maggie, Herrschners Customer

It is best to make sure that all your supplies and tools are clearly marked before you leave for that craft gathering. It will make it much easier to gather everything when it is time to leave. - Cathy, Herrschners Customer

If you are having a creative block, flip through current magazines to review trends and colors. This will help bring out your inner creativity. - Mary, Herrschners Customer

Increase your stash and save money going in with friends to buy your craft supplies in bulk or swapping supplies. - Jamie, Herrschners Customer

Keep a tape roller next to your machine to pick up stray threads from pants, projects, and your work table. - Gloria, Herrschners Customer

If folded cardstock has a jagged edge along its spine, use fine sandpaper and lightly sand the jaggedness away. - Connie, Herrschners Customer

If you don't have a room dedicated to your craft, an armoire or closet can be organized for craft space, or storage containers can turn a basement, garage, or under-bed area into a craft space that is easy and convenient to use. - Judy, Herrschners Customer

Place a trash can at each of your craft stations to maintain a tidy work space. - Jane, Herrschners Customer

A great way to decide how you want to crop your photos is to cut two L-shaped pieces of cardboard about 1 inch wide. You can then hold the two pieces up to your computer screen or lay them on your photo to see what the cropped image will look like. This saves time redoing your cropping and saves you from having to reprint pictures that didn’t look the way you imagined they would once you made the cuts. - Sally, Herrschners Customer

Use French seams on sheer or lightweight cotton fabrics to prevent seams from raveling. - Rosie, Herrschners Customer

A double-turned machine hem can take more time than a machine-rolled hem, but provides greater control around curves and thinner fabrics. - Jacqueline, Herrschners Customer

If you are using perforated paper for your next cross-stitching project, remember to complete all stitching before you start to cut out the shape. Use small sharp-pointed scissors or a craft knife to cut out the design. - Christiana, Herrschners Customer

When finishing off your threads on a counted cross-stitch piece, remember to finish the stitches in the direction that you are working. - Carole, Herrschners Customer

Crafting projects always look better if the glue dries clear. It is best to read the label and packaging of any glue you use to make sure it will dry clear. - Alice, Herrschners Customer

Keep your ball of yarn inside a pair of stockings. This allows the yarn to come out without any tangles. - Karen, Herrschners Customer

Recycled tabs from your soda cans make great hangers on the back of your pictures. - Gene, Herrschners Customer

Drybrushing is a great technique to use between two colors when painting. It gives it a softly blurred edge and blends the colors. It is applied with a dry paintbrush.
- James, Herrschners Customer

I find it helpful to cover my counted cross-stitch charts with clear contact paper. I can use a dry erase marker to mark my place and it is easy to wipe off. - Alice, Herrschners Customer

Using stickers on your scrapbook pages are fun and easy, but make sure the sticker has a place or purpose on your page or it will look out of place and pull your eye to the sticker and not what is important on the page. - Amy, Herrschners Customer

To protect the edges of your aida cloth from fraying you can do one of the following: machine sew the edges with a zigzag stitch; tape all edges, using masking tape by placing a strip on the front and back of the fabric; or turn in a seam and hand stitch around the edge. - Karen, Herrschners Customer

Painting a room in your house can sometimes be a challenge. A quick tip is to paint all the trim first, then the ceiling, and then the walls. - John, Herrschners Customer

When stenciling with multiple color tones it works best to apply the lightest color first. - Janet, Herrschners Customer

It is best to lubricate your craft punches before using them by punching wax paper with each stamp. - Connie, Herrschners Customer

A magnetized bingo wand works great to pick up stray pins. - Leona, Herrschners Customer

Must-Have Tools for Beading: *Flat Nose Pliers - offers a wider, flatter surface when working with jump rings and soft metals. *Bent Nose Pliers-great for the hard-to-reach places and opening up chain links. *Side Cutter - used for cutting headpins and metal stringing wire. *Round Nose Pliers - great for helping create loops and wire wrapping. *Long Nose Pliers - great help for small, delicate work. *Split Ring Pliers - just what it says, helps open up split rings. *Bead Stoppers - used for holding beads in place when creating strings of beads. *Crimping Pliers - the best tool for flattening crimp beads, gives you a nice neat look. *Jump Ring Opener - very little effort needed when opening a jump ring if the tool is used.
- Jenny, Herrschners Customer

All the journaling I do as I take photos really helps later when I design my scrapbook pages. - Joann, Herrschners Customer

To ensure that seasonal needlework items stay looking their best from year to year, it is important to store them properly. Washable items should be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution to remove any stains or dirt. Allow pieces to dry completely so no moisture remains. Wrap all items in acid-free tissue paper and place in an acid-free box for storage. (Plastic bags or bins can trap moisture and cause mildew and staining.) The box should then be stored in a dark place, free from humidity or extreme temperatures; an interior closet is best. Linens should be refolded twice a year to prevent any fabric creases from becoming permanent. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

I always make my binding at the same time I piece my quilt top, then I know when the quilting is complete my binding will always be ready to go. - Gloria, Herrschners Customer

I find supplies a lot easier if I store the items in see-through containers, such as bags, jars, or bins that are transparent. - Suzanne, Herrschners Customer

When a recent knee surgery left me unable to pull on a warm wool sock, simple leg warmers knit on a circle loom were just right – simple to pull on and they kept me warm on the way to therapy. - Jackie, Herrschners Customer

Use a simple four-peg loom and sturdy string to create ties and holders for use in the garage. A 15” piece tied off can be perfect for hanging a coiled-up extension cord from a peg board. - Maggie, Herrschners Customer

If you are one of those experienced stitchers who makes projects for the family from memory, do your heirs a favor and write down the patterns. That way, sometime in the future your children will be able to create those same projects for their grandchildren. - Alice, Herrschners Customer

Sometimes the smallest projects can make the best gifts. A long time ago, my aunt crocheted a small doily that fits any table. I've used that doily in multiple places in three different homes over the years. Every time I see it, I smile and remember Aunt Irene. - Pat Herrschners Employee

Don't be afraid to experiment with color combinations. But, do so judiciously. Before attempting a complete afghan in a new color combination, make a swatch first. If it looks good as a swatch, it will be great as an afghan. - Joan, Herrschners Customer

Make use of all the vertical wall space in your room. Shelves and bookcases can hold containers, sheets of craft paper, jars of tiny items, books, DVDs and more.
- Diane, Herrschners Customer

Take time to create each day. - Gloriann

Tote bags from the wine store with their separate sections for six different bottles are great for storing yarn projects. They can keep up to six skeins neat and ready to use.
- Mary, Herrschners Customer

Get in the habit of walking through your craft area on the way to or from whatever room holds your TV. You'll be more likely to pick up a project and work on it while you watch TV.
- Sue, Herrschners Customer

If you have just a few colors of floss to separate for your project - use a pencil. My grandmother had a collection of pencils with 10 grooves in each that she used for sorting small batches of floss for felt projects. - Pat, Herrschners Employee

I like using a turkey baster to move paint from a large container to my small bottles. - Geno’s Art Studio

No matter if your craft project is big or small it is best to plan your project to make sure you have all the materials and tools you need to create the project. - Amy, Herrschners Customer

A great sewing tip, when using your sewing machine, is to make sure you have the right needle for the thread type being used. The wrong type of needle may cause breaking and twisting of the thread - Linda, Herrschners Customer

It is best to use shears which have longer blades when cutting multiple layers of fabric, also the handle accommodates two or more fingers. Scissors are great for cutting paper and other light cutting tasks. The blades are smaller and accommodates a single finger. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

I found using a picnic utensil basket makes a great container for organizing your tools on your crafting table. And the handy handle makes the container easy to move for room to room. - Jane, Herrschners Customer

Use a lotion-infused tissue to wipe the tip of a glue tube before closing it. The lotion will also keep the cap from sticking. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

Keep flower arrangements alive longer by mixing a crushed un-coated aspirin in the water. - Katie, Herrschners Customer

To store unframed paintings done on paper, place between blank pages of archival paper and be sure to avoid humidity. - James, Herrschners Customer

When felting with yarn, be sure to give the yarn fibers room to work themselves together. Knit at a looser gauge than normal. Generally you'll want to knit the garment that's nearly twice the size of the intended, felted size. - Nancy, Herrschners Employee

Using a round–nose pliers helps create prefect loops and rounding hard wire for jewelry making - Jenny, Herrschners Customer

Corn starch works great when you need to clean up a spray adhesive mess. Just sprinkle the sticky area and rub lightly. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

When you need to baste layers of fabric together, I find using silk thread works best. It is easier to remove and it does not leave marks in the fabric. - Jane, Herrschners Customer

If you cut the wrong thread while stitching Hardanger, it is easy to correct. Just move the fabric thread you’ve cut , then either take a strand of cotton embroidery floss the same color as your fabric or remove a fabric thread from the raw edge of the fabric and darn it in and out so that it replaces the accidentally cut thread. Leave a long thread hanging on the wrong side. Needleweave or wrap this section to anchor the threads, then trim the long thread. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Remember to always clean your stamps as soon as you are finish using them. The quality of the stamp will affect the stamped image because of the dried-on ink. - Linda, Herrschners Customer

To ensure that seasonal needlework items stay looking their best from year to year, it is important to store them properly. Washable items should be cleaned with a mild soap and water solution to remove any stains or dirt. Allow pieces to dry completely so no moisture remains. Wrap all items in acid-free tissue paper and place in an acid-free box for storage. (Plastic bags or bins can trap moisture and cause mildew and staining.) The box should then be stored in a dark place, free from humidity or extreme temperatures; an interior closet is best. Linens should be refolded twice a year to prevent any fabric creases from becoming permanent. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Your ink pads will stay moist if you store them ink side down. - Kerry, Herrschners Customer

Don’t toss that dryer sheet, reuse it! There are so many ways to reuse dryer sheets, here’s a few: 1. Clean Paint Brushes – place paint brushes in warm water with a dryer sheet, it helps get the paint off. 2. Use in a scrapbook or paper crafting project to add texture to your design. 3 Wipe up messes, those little spills of glitter and such, the dryer sheet helps to attract the mess making your clean-up quick and easy. 4. Tame your unruly thread. Run your needle and thread through the dryer sheet to help keep your thread from tangling. 5. Clean your scissors. Shine up your scissors by wiping with the used dryer sheet. 6. New or used dryer sheets can be tucked in office drawers or storage bins to provide a fresh scent. - Nancy, Herrschners Employee

The ideal height for a cutting table is just above your waist, so your elbows are at right angles to the horizontal surface. It should also be wider then the fabric. - Angela, Herrschners Customer

Traditional embroidery needles won’t always work when it comes to stringing small seed beads. Avoid frustration by using a beading needle instead. Specially designed to be thin and flexible, it has a small eye to allow the beads to pass over easily. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

Black cross-stitch fabric can pose a problem for some stitchers who find it hard to see the holes in dark fabric. Placing a piece of white fabric on your work surface or lap will often help to see the fabric holes more clearly. For even more visibility, illuminate the fabric holes from the underside by stitching over a light box. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

To get the most precise cut, you should always remember to turn the piece you are cutting, not the scissors. - Bonnie, Herrschners Customer

When stitching a design on pre-finished clothing you should start by putting the garment on and pin or tape the design in place. This will help to align the design with the fit and drape of the garment, before you transfer the design and begin stitching. It is best to not wash pre-finished garments before stitching on them, unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. The sizing in the fabric will help the piece to hold its shape during stitching. When finished, wash and dry the garment, always following the manufacturer’s instructions for fabric care. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

I found that an emery board used as sandpaper works really well on small parts or areas where regular sandpaper is too large for the part or area. - Jenny, Herrschners Customer

A great tip for paint-by-number is to take your time. For best results, apply gentle pressure to slightly bend the tip of the brush as you glide the brush along the surface. Think of it as the canvas drawing the paint off the brush rather than using the brush to “push” down the paint. - Nancy, Herrschners Employee

When using Kreinik Braid it is better to stitch with short lengths of thread, about 18" (46cm) or less, to avoid excessive abrasion when pulling the thread through the fabric. Using a large enough needle to “open” the holes in the fabric will also allow the thread to pass through easier and reduce abrasion. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Your glue will always be ready and free of air bubbles if you store it capped with tip down in a glass. - Dawn, Herrschners Customer

It is really easy to add length to a bracelet or necklace by attaching a piece of chain for an extender using a jump ring. - Josephine, Herrschners Customer

When stitching with metallic threads, the use of a thread conditioner will reduce the wear on the thread as it passes through the fabric and the eye of the needle. It's also especially handy when threading the needle, as metallic threads often have a tendency to untwist at the cut ends. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

A craft project is a great way for children to explore their creativity. It builds their confidence, and they learn how to express themselves. - Connie’s Daycare

It is important to sign and date a completed quilt. It is a work of art and should be treated like all master pieces. There are many different ways to do this and a large amount of books available to guide you. The label should reflect the style of the quilt, the occasion or person for which it is made and the quilter’s own style and talents. - Gloria, Herrschners Customer

I find it helpful, to keep your pins sharp, to make a pin cushion and stuff it with steel wool. When you push and pull the pins the steel wool will sharpen them. - Dorie, Herrschners Customer

A lint roller works great to clean up a glitter spill. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

Unless otherwise indicated, always begin stitching the center of your design in the center of the fabric when stitching a counted cross-stitch piece. To determine the exact center of the fabric, fold the fabric in quarters. Draw a strand of floss through the fabric at this point to mark the center. For some projects, it is helpful to baste along the two fold lines. Always use light-colored floss for basting so the floss does not leave any marks when it is removed. The point where the basting lines cross is the center of the fabric. When your stitching is complete, remove all basting stitches. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

When felting with Yarn be sure to give the yarn fibers room to work themselves together. Knit at a looser gauge than normal. Generally you'll want to knit the garment that's nearly twice the size of the intended, felted size. - Nancy, Herrschners Employee

Stitching with seed beads requires very fine needles that will slide through the holes. Two readily available options are a #8 quilting needle, which is short with a tiny eye, and a long beading needle, which has a longer eye. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Adding ribbon around a photo makes a great frame and pulls colors together when creating a scrapbook page. - Dawn, Herrschners Customer

Now that you’ve created your garment, afghan, etc. follow these tips to reduce pilling when an item is machine washable. Turn garment inside out before washing. Wash with only a few other items at a time or nothing else at all. This helps prevent abrasion and friction. Wash in gentle cycle, again to minimize agitation to prevent abrasion. Use fabric softener to reduce static cling. The best way to determine your yarn’s pilling potential is to knit test swatches, wash them and subject them to normal wear and tear. This will help you decide the best use for your yarn. - Nancy, Herrschners Employee

When stitching on a pre-finished item for counted cross-stitch, it is best to not wash pre-finished items before stitching, unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. The sizing in the fabric allows the piece to hold its shape during stitching. When finished, wash if desired, always following the manufacturer’s instructions for fabric care. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

If you are working on paint-by-number and see shapes with two numbers in them, this is to indicate that you are to mix the two colors together. Using equal portions of each should result in a suitable color, just be careful to not contaminate either color. Mix the two colors on a non-porous surface, and then paint the area. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

When working with frequent color changes, on a counted cross-stitch piece, use several needles to avoid rethreading the same needle over and over. Work a few stitches in one color, bring the needle to the front of the fabric and put it aside. Introduce the next floss color and needle and continue. - Carol, Herrschners Customer

Hot glue guns are an easy and waterproof option for art and craft projects. They are great for sticking things together, but don't stop there. You can also use hot glue to add texture to surfaces. Go a step further with paint or glitter. - Nancy, Herrschners Employee

To be sure you get clean and straight folds on your paper you should score your paper first. - Geri, Herrschners Customer

When finishing a round latch hook rug, trim unworked canvas around the hooked area to 1”. Fold the 1” of canvas firmly to back of rug. Clip and overlap canvas where necessary to make it lay flat. Baste in place. Sew on edge of rug binding all around the outer edges of canvas. Sew other edge down (easing in excess binding) covering the outer edges of the turned back canvas. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Stockinette Stitch is the name of the pattern you are creating as you continue with row after row of stitches alternately knitted and purled. The purled or ridge side is the wrong side. - Herrschners Technical Advisor.

When stitching on Waste Canvas using a sharp needle is recommended. It is easier to penetrate through the base fabric and the sharp point will prevent any damage to the fabric. When stitching, be sure the needle goes up and down in the centers of the waste canvas holes. This ensures the stitches will all be uniform and that no stitches will pierce the threads of the grid, which would make the final removal of the waste canvas more difficult. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Garter Stitch, is the name of the pattern you are creating as you continue to knit row after row of stitches. Both sides of the work are alike. Two rows form one ridge. When inserting your needle into each new stitch, be certain to pass more then just the point of your needle through the stitch. Knitting your stitch on the point will make it too tight. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Take time at the end of every day to clean up. Leaving your workroom/area clean and organized for the next day will keep you motivated. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

Add a drop of liquid soap in acrylic paint. It will prevent it from separating and beading on the surface. - Geno’s Art Studio.

When crafting with kids it is ok not to follow the instructions step by step, be creative and remember that fun is what it’s all about. - Connie’s Day Care.

When using a hoop, try putting a sheet of white tissue paper in the hoop on top of the fabric. Tear away the tissue paper in the area where you are stitching. This keeps oils from your hands from getting on the fabric and helps keep the needlework piece free from stains. And whether you use a hoop or not, always wash and dry your hands completely before starting any stitching. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

An embroidery hoop can be a real help to you. It will stretch the fabric and keep it taut to avoid puckering . Your work will go faster and the tension on the thread will be uniform reducing the amount of the distortion in the fabric caused by pulling stitches unevenly. - Kim Herrschners Customer

When stitching with over-dyed floss, complete each cross-stitch in full before moving on to the next. This method will keep the gradual color changes of the floss in your stitching. The traditional method of completing an entire row of half cross-stitches before going back and finishing the full cross-stitches will result in a more uniform color because the subtle variations will be lost. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Always start latch hooking at the lower left corner of the chart. Work in horizontal rows from left to right. A rug frame is helpful when you're working a large canvas. - Dawn Herrschners Customer

To block a knit garment, pin it to a board or even your ironing board, wrong side up, with rustproof pins. Stretch to the desired measurements. Steam lightly with moderately hot iron over a damp cloth. Steam press seams. Leave garment pinned to board until it is dry. - Debbie Herrschners Customer

During the movement of stitching, the needle naturally twists which can cause loops and knots in the thread. To prevent this, work several stitches, then make note of which way the thread unwinds when you hang it straight down from your work. Give your needle a partial turn in that direction with each stitch to keep the thread from twisting. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Mix equal amounts of acrylic color and wood sealer for one-step painting on wood. - Geno’s Art Studio

To begin painting with ballpoint paints, hold the tube vertically and press down slightly. Never squeeze the tube. If the tube is not flowing, press gently from the top of the tube to work the paint toward the point. Then try again. Use long smooth strokes to outline the area you are painting. Then color in that area solidly with all strokes going in the same direction to create a smoother look. Ballpoint paint may be blended to create new colors and darker colors may be painted over lighter colors for shading. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

How do I change the design size? Most cross-stitch designs can be adapted to different sizes just by changing the thread count of the fabric. To determine the final design size when stitched on a different count of fabric, just divide the stitch count by the thread count. A design that is 100 stitches high will work out be 10" high when stitched on 10ct. fabric, or approximately 5 1/2" high when stitched on 18ct. fabric (100 ¸ 18 = 5 1/2"). Remember to use half of the thread count when stitching over two threads. Look under the Design Size listings for information on alternative fabric counts. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Do not overlook the “Stitch Gauge” given at the beginning of each crochet instruction. It is essential to the size and shape of your creation. - Tammy, Herrschners Customer

How to block you’re needlepoint-cut a piece of brown wrapping paper to exactly the size your finished work should be. Place the paper on a padded board (drawing board or old table). Place the finished needlepoint piece, face-down, on the paper. (If piece has been worked with raised stitches, block right side up.) Now dampen lightly, using a spray bottle or mister filled with cold water plus a few drops of vinegar to prevent any running of yarns or thread colors. Square off and secure the four corners with rustproof pins or tacks through the bare edge of the canvas, never through the stitched area. Place additional pins or tacks about 1” apart in a straight line along each edge of the canvas, pulling the needlepoint into shape as you go. Do not remove canvas until thoroughly dry. If piece is still somewhat warped, reblock - Herrschners Technical Advisor

The best way to bind a latch hook rug is start by cutting away the excess canvas leaving a 1" border around the last row of knots on all sides of design. Clip off each perpendicular corner ½" from the knotted area. Fold the edges under and tack to back of latch canvas with heavy thread. Cover the folded canvas edges with rug binding. Stitch rug binding around outside edge of rug. This will ensure that the rug lies flat. It is recommended that you baste along the outside edge of the binding and then make a second line of stitching inside the initial line of basting (closer to the knotted edge.) This will give a double supported edge to your rug. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

Take time now to write the date and any other important information on the back of your children’s projects. Years later you will be happy you did. - Susan, Herrschners Customer

What helps keep the spills off my table top is if I cover my work surface with freezer paper plastic side down. - Andy, Herrschners Customer

Your old t-shirts make great paint smocks for your kids, with minor adjustments. - Kelly, Herrschners Customer

Embroidery floss comes in a twisted length made up of six strands that must be separated before stitching can begin. Even though the floss looks perfectly uniform, it does have a grain. By following the grain you lessen the wear and tear on your thread as you draw it through the fabric. This results in stitches that look smoother and silkier. To find the grain direction, cut a length of floss. Loop the thread over so both the cut ends lie next to each other. Do not allow the two ends to bundle together as you must be able to differentiate between them. Holding the cut lengths close together, about 1/2" from the tips, use one finger of your free hand to gently tap the cut ends. Watch carefully—the end that balloons most is the end that should be threaded through your needle (and is the shorter tail). This tiny extra step can make a significant difference to the look of your finished stitching! - Herrschners Technical Advisor

For the best result, when sewing on knit fabrics, use a ballpoint sewing needle instead of a regular machine needle. The rounded point penetrates between the fabric fibers instead of through the fabric fibers helping to prevent holes. - Susan, Herrschners Customer.

What works for me when I am painting paint-by-number is starting with the darkest color and ending with the lightest colors. This will help you with blending and creating nice tones between colors. - Mathew, Herrschners Customer.

Gauge samples, from cotton, can make great coasters or dishcloths. Just add a decorative edging. - Liz, Herrschners Customer.

The first thing you should do when you open up a puzzle is to spread it out on a table and turn every piece over so the picture side is facing upward. It may become very tedious, but putting the puzzle together will be a lot easier. - James, Herrschners Customer.

To help you plan your future projects make a list of occasions coming up during the year so you don’t forget anything. - Katie, Herrschners Customer.

Q-tips come in handy as paintbrushes and glue applicators. - Joan, Herrschners Employee

To make sure your glitter is not being wasted, coat a plastic tray with a nonstick cooking spray. The glitter will slide right off and back into the container for future use. - Crafty Mom, Herrschners Customer

Always test out a new tool before you buy. Just ask your local craft store if they have a sample tool. - Alice, Herrschners Customer

Host a craft supply swap. Have attendees bring leftover craft items they no longer want or need so they can trade them for supplies they may need. - Amanda, Herrschners Customer

Keep a notebook in your purse to fill with magazine clippings, color palettes, ideas and sketches, so you will always have inspiration at your fingertips. - Maggie, Herrschners Customer

What I found best that removes glue or sticky residue from washable surfaces is applying a small amount of trumpet valve oil to a rag and then gently rubbing on the affected area. Rinse with damp cloth once residue has been removed. - Kerry, Professional Crafter

Everyone has those large plastic lids laying around from old margarine tubs and coffee cans, use them for paint pallets or for applying glue. When you are done rinse and recycle. - Jenny, Herrschners Customer Service

Create a portable work surface for gluing or painting using a cookie sheet. Simply place some wax paper on the cookie sheet then paint and glue your item then set the cookie sheet aside until your item is dry. - Kim, Herrschners Customer

To avoid paint and glue brushes from becoming stiff, rinse with water then rub the brush with your hand with mild soap and rinse well. This will keep your brushes soft and in good condition. - Kevin, Herrschners Customer

If you run out of room on your shelf for craft supplies, use the underside of the shelf by attaching baby food jar covers and filling the jars with small, lightweight crafts supplies. - Angela, Professional Crafter

Don’t waste that last bit of glue in your bottle, set it in warm water for a few minutes so it will flow easier. - Gloria, Herrschners Customer

Dry large amounts of flat flowers by placing them face down in a telephone book. The paper dries them faster and the darkness keeps their colors. - Maggie, Herrschners Customer

It may seem helpful to wet the end of your thread before you put it through the eye of the needle, but what your are really doing is expanding the fibers. The real trick is to wet the eyehole of the needle it will suck the thread right through. - Connie, Herrschners Customer

To help keep your markers from oozing out at the tip, store them horizontally, instead of upright. - Sally, Herrschners Employee

If you are having trouble picking up small beads use a damp q-tip to pick them up, then you can load your needle while the beads are on the q-tip. - Morgan, Herrschners Customer

A plastic party table cover for messy crafts works much better the newspaper, and can be used more than once. - Connie’s Day Care Center

Use the laser side of junk mail CD's as a paint pallet. It has a finger hole to hold it and colors mix well, and wipe or rinse off easily. - Geno’s Art Studio

If your polymer clay hardens while in storage, add a few drops of mineral oil and let it sit for an hour, then mix. - Joseph, Herrschners Customer

Your glue will always be ready to use without waiting if you store the bottles upside down in a jar. - Maggie, Herrschners Customer

Paperclips or safety pins work great for stitch counters. Just pop one on the stitch you want to mark. Easy to put on and take off. - Candy, Herrschners Customer

Use a blow drier to remove hot glue strings, they will disintegrate immediately. - Dawn, Herrschners Employee

If you tend to knit or crochet tightly, work cast on, or foundation row using one size larger needle/hook. - Bernie, Herrschners Employee

Keep glue sticks for glue guns in the freezer. It keeps them from getting stringy while gluing. - Marge, Herrschners Customer Service

Even colorfast floss may sometimes bleed onto the fabric, and red floss often does so. To prevent any potential problems, presoak the floss in a mixture of 1 gallon of water and 1 cup of white vinegar to set the dyes. Allow your thread to dry completely before stitching. - Herrschners Technical Advisor

If your knitted item tends to curl at the edges, adding a row of single crochet may flatten it out. - Herrschners Customer

Keep a supply of baby wipes in your craft space. They are terrific for cleaning rubber stamps or a sudden spill. Because they are baby wipes, they are acid-free and very gentle. - Carmen, Herrschners Employee

Ice cube trays can be great organizers for small things such as seed beads or jewelry findings. - Stephanie, Herrschners Customer

I found the coolest tool at the local hardware store. It is a magnet that is lit at the tip and has a telescoping end. It is fantastic for picking up pins that fall between couch cushions. - Pat, Herrschners Employee

Organize your craft space with pegboard hooks and hangers. Everything will be easy to see and reach. - Ava, Herrschners Customer

Saturday morning is my crafting time. I wake up same time every day whether I'm working or not. So, on Saturdays while the rest of the family sleeps in, I have time to myself. - Cassie, Herrschners Employee

I bring my crochet projects to my kid's sporting events. They keep me grounded amidst all of the drama. - Virginia, Herrschners Employee

We like to stop at our neighborhood watering hole a couple of evenings each week. Last week I brought along one of my projects to work on while we visited. This week two others brought projects as well. - Keri, Herrschners Employee

Turn off the electronics for a time at the end of each day and take out your crafting projects. You'll be amazed what you can accomplish in just a few minutes a day. And, you'll sleep better too! - Kate, Herrschners Employee

Make crafting a priority—schedule time in your daily planner, Outlook calendar, or phone calendar. Keep this appointment with yourself just like you’d keep a doctor’s appointment. - Capri, Herrschners Customer

Carry your projects with you—they are so much more fun than playing games on your smart phone. Work on portable projects in the doctor’s office, while commuting, or during lunch time at work. - Leigh, Herrschners Customer

Use a project box or basket to store your in-progress Cre8time project. Keep it next to your favorite sitting area, so it's always easily accessible. When you complete your project, fill the box with a new project right away! - Katie, Herrschners Customer

To find time for Cre8tions, I set aside a time for crafting. I work in a comfortable area and put up a do not disturb sign. Sometimes it is only 10 minutes, sometimes I have 2 hours. Always when I’m done, I’m relaxed and pleased with my progress. - Pat, Amherst, WI

Start a Family project night - find a project and assign each family member to complete one part. Request feedback from family members - they may have good ideas. The only thing more fun that Cre8time is Cre8time shared with family or friends. - Charlotte, Racine, WI

Have a Crafter’s Night Out - find a place where you and your friends can meet for coffee and crafting such as a community center, library, local home town restaurant, or take turns crafting at each other’s homes. - Maggie, Norfolk, VA

cre8time™ to craft - RECLAIM YOUR CREATIVITY
 
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