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15 Sewing Tips To Save Time And Money

(category: Crafts, Word count: 503)
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I still remember the excitement of my first sewing course. I made a skirt for my young daughter and was thrilled everytime she wore it. Since then I have enjoyed collecting sewing hints to save time and money.

Here are few of tips that I would like to share with you:

1. Before discarding pants, cut off the belt loops and use to sew on the inside of children's coats and jackets for a coat loop. No more fallen coats at school.

2. Before sewing on buttons, tape each one where it belongs with a strip of transparent tape. After the first stitches are made you can remove the tape.

3. To avoid pinholes when hemming delicate garments, mark the hemline with tailor's chalk and use clips to hold the fold in place.

4. Prevent future errors in sewing by slipping a memo into individual patterns explaining any size alterations or changes for that item.

5. Prevent fraying by reinforcing the hems with a row of zigzag stitching in a matching or contrasting color.

6. Sew a large button on each end of the drawstring on pajamas and sweat suits. This will keep the string from disappearing.

7. Keep a spool of clear nylon thread on hand. Because it is transparent it will pick up the color of the fabric. This will also work when a bobbin runs out and the spool is almost empty; just put the clear thread on your bobbin.

8. Place a thin sheet of foam rubber under your sewing machine's foot pedal to prevent it from sliding around when you use it on an uncarpeted surface.

9. Store a magnet in your sewing basket to attract loose pins and attach one to your sewing machine to hold extra needles. If you glue a small magnet to the end of a wooden yardstick you won't have to bend over to pick up any pins that fall on the floor.

10. Thoroughly washed and cleaned mascara brushes can be used to clean the crevices of your sewing machine.

11. When letting down a garment hem you can diminish the crease by applying white vinegar to the wrong side of the fabric and steam press it.

12. Try this economical substitute for custom-cut table pads: Place a quilted mattress cover over your table top and trim with scissors for a custom fit. You'll have a sturdy, heat-absorbent table pad to protect the finish of your table.

13. For a substitute needle threader: push the needle through a sheet of white paper, the eye will be easier to see.

14. When shopping for accessories for a recent sewing project, staple a small fabric sample to an index card and carry it with you to the stores.

15. To organize loose buttons: String them on twist ties and twist the ends together for an easy way to store them.

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Cross Stitching Creative And Decorative

(category: Crafts, Word count: 390)
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If you are a person who loves arts and have an artistic hand then craft book is very useful for you. A craft book is a book that provides some sort of information about any specific art. This may include painting, knitting, stitching, candle making, doll making or any other form of craft work. You can easily spend your leisure time creatively and make some useful thing for your home and family. Craft work not only gives you pleasure but also save lot of money if wisely done.

Cross stitch book is a craft book that helps you in making beautiful decorative pieces along with fun all the way. There are some guidelines that you need to follow for cross stitching which is given in a cross stitch book.

Things you require for cross stitching

A graph that you wish to draw, even fabric for cross stitching, a tapestry needle of 24 or 26, embroidery thread or floss, embroidery hoop and scissors.

Steps for cross stitching

1. You need to separate the cotton strands which are usually in six strands in correct number for stitching. There will be a color key that will show the cotton color you have to use for each symbol in the chart. You should start the cross stitch design from the middle in such a way that the stitching you made fits in the fabric without going off from one side. You can find it easily by folding the fabric in four and thus you will find the center but remember that this point coincides with the center of the chart that is normally marked with arrows from top, bottom and sides.

2. Begin stitching by threading your needle and then bring it up to your fabric but leave a short end of cotton in the back and work over this with your first few stitches to secure it. After making enough stitches in place you can start a new color by running it through back of existing stitches. Finish the color by running the cotton under the stitches at the back so that it is secured.

3. You can make single cross stitch, row of cross stitches, half cross stitch, back stitch, part stitches which really looks great when you have finished.

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Everything You Need To Know About Beeswax Candles And More

(category: Crafts, Word count: 431)
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Beeswax candles are made from all natural ingredients made by honeybees. When bees eat honey, they produce this wax. Beekeepers filter the beeswax from the honeycombs, cool it and sell it for use in making candles. Beeswax candles are the most natural candles that you can buy. They are available as taper candles, votives, tea lights and pillar candles. For those with sensitive allergies, beeswax candles allow them to enjoy the warmth and beauty of a burning candle.

You don't need to add any scent to a bees wax candle because the wax is naturally scented with honey. Therefore beeswax candles rarely have any additives and this includes color. The natural yellow color adds to the ambiance of a bees wax taper candle and the scent of honey will perfume the air. Like soy candles, bees wax candles burn longer and cleaner than paraffin candles. However, one of the disadvantages of using bees wax taper candles is that they cost more than soy or paraffin candles.

The wax used in making beeswax candles can vary from white to a light brown. In some cases, candle makers may add bleach to the wax to lighten the color of the bees wax. Candles that have been bleached may not have as much of a honey scent to them, but you won't be able to smell the scent of bleach. The bleach also helps to filter the beeswax. A candle made from unfiltered bees wax may contain small bits of wood or even parts of the bees.

Over time, you may notice that there is a white powder on the outside of your beeswax candles. This does not mean that the bees wax candles are no longer any good. The development of this powder is a natural occurrence with beeswax taper candles and is called blooming. You can easily wipe the powder off of the beeswax candle. It is actually a good thing for this to happen because it will tell you that your bees wax taper candles have been made from pure beeswax.

If you like making your own candles, beeswax candles are the easiest ones to make at home. Beeswax is sold in sheets and you don't have to bother with any additives, colors or candle scents. The bees wax that you buy is already filtered so you don't need to bother with bleaching it. All you have to do is melt down the bees wax and pour it into your molds to have the perfect beeswax candles.

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How To Make Great Gifts With Crochet Afghan Patterns

(category: Crafts, Word count: 818)
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Dear Friend,

Thanks for visiting and finding my article. What follows is information that I have pulled together from many different sources. The secrets, tips, and techniques you read here are from my book "Crocheting Made Simple". I hope you find it both interesting and helpful.

Simply stated, crochet afghan cover patterns are one of the favored crochet projects enjoyed by both beginners and advanced crocheters. A crocheted afghan cover is a grand giveaway for relatives and friends. It can serve as a wrap or shawl as nicely as a blanket during cold nights. The title afghan was derived from the textiles that are produced in Afghanistan whereas they are comparable to the shawls and wraps worn in the region.

Furthermore crocheted afghan covers can be used in various ways. There are assorted crochet patterns for afghan blanket covers. An afghan blanket can be used as a mattress cover for the top of the bed or as a comforter and even as a bedspread. It is critical to choose the proper pattern that will fit the dimensions of the planned project.

With that in mind afghans also fashion grand gifts for birthdays and holidays as discrete motifs can be incorporated into the lay out. A Christmas afghan can warm cold winter nights while personalized infant afghan blankets can become family heirlooms.

Complimentary Crochet Afghan Patterns

As we have seen free crochet afghan patterns are a huge way to put together a charming afghan for giveaways or for individual use. Crochet afghan patterns can be very easy or complex depending on the option of the crocheter.

In any event a crocheter may opt to pick a easy crochet afghan pattern that makes use of numerous granny squares that are put together to shape the whole blanket. On the other hand, complex crochet afghan patterns may consist of geometric shapes that attribute innovative crochet stitches.

There are a variety of resources like craft books, crocheting magazines and crafting websites offer complimentary crochet afghan patterns. These patterns furnish complete instructions beginning from what type of yarn and hook should be used for the design. In most cases, a crochet pattern may also incorporate useful tips on the differences between yarns.

In addition, crochet afghan patterns can also serve as enlightenment for a crocheter to conceive their own one of a kind design. Keep in mind that patterns can be adjusted to accommodate the purpose of the project. Crocheters should not limit themselves precisely to the instructions of the pattern. It is important to employ some individual judgment that will help enhance the appearance of the design.

Creating an Afghan from Crochet Patterns

First of all, creating an afghan based on crochet patterns is simple. There are numerous crochet patterns for afghan blankets that can be huge as gifts or furnishings at home. Basic afghan covers can even possess a central theme. For instance, an afghan pattern may facet a floral lay out as adequately as the national flag.

To illustrate this, the favored crochet patterns for afghan covers frequently feature a stained glass layout or can be part of a set of patterns. The afghan crochet pattern can be part of a gathering that may embody patterns for a crocheted pillowcase or coffee table doily. A striped crochet pattern for an afghan cover is another charming layout that both beginners and innovative crocheters will appreciate.

Of course creating an afghan from crochet patterns can also be the start of a wonderful tradition that a mother can pass on to their daughters. A free crochet pattern for an afghan cover is not only a great way to start but it is also fun. A mother and daughter can learn how to crochet at the same time by following a simple afghan crochet pattern. Once completed, the finished product can be given away to family or friends.

Crochet Afghan Design Patterns and Color Schemes

There is no doubt that mothers and especially grandmothers will cherish a handcrafted afghan cover created by a young lady from a crochet pattern. When selecting a pattern for the afghan be certain to pick a pattern and color design that would fit the character of the intended party. The type of yarn to be used should also be calculated, as it will directly act upon the weight of the finished product.

Incidentally, afghan blankets also make grand gifts for retirement and nursing homes. The elderly will genuinely treasure the labor that went into creating the afghan. At the same time, they will value the warmth of an afghan.

To sum things up, Afghans are an ideal project for anyone interested in learning how to crochet. Afghans are relatively simple to put together and are a great way to understand the basic crochet stitches. At the same time, afghan covers make exceptional gifts and keepsakes that last a lifetime.

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Create Pretty Recycled Notepads From Junk

(category: Crafts, Word count: 335)
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This is how to turn brown paper, paper bags and any other paper scraps into cute and useful notepads and scribble pads. It is simple to do, so even little children can help! They make great little presents and if you start to save your paper now, you will have a good collection in no time. Set aside a box for collecting half-printed pages from the desk, paper shopping bags, scraps of pretty wrapping paper or wallpaper samples, and put them to good use!

You will need:

A pile of scrap paper

Scissors

Scrap cardboard

PVA glue (white glue or school glue)

Decide on the size of your notebook and cut a piece of cardboard as the backing. Use this to cut out a number of pages for your notebook. You can mix and match papers and textures or stick to one kind.

Stack them up with the cardboard underneath, bang them gently onto a hard surface so that they lie true, and then put them flat on a table or counter with the top edge protruding slightly over the edge. Weight the stack down with a heavy book but leave the top edge uncovered.

Paint along the top of the stack with the PVA glue, making sure that all the pages come into contact with some glue (a finger comes in handy for this!). Leave to dry.

The notepads are now ready to use, but you may prefer to embellish them a little - especially if you intend to give them as gifts. Try painting on an extra thin layer of glue and dipping into glitter. Use a small piece of ribbon or braid along the top edge, stick on buttons and bows, or just use an attractive piece of gift wrap as the top page and finish by adding a further, folded strip of the same paper to neaten. The possibilities are endless and you will have fun experimenting.

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Creating Rubber Stamps Not All Methods Created Equal Part 3 Of 3

(category: Crafts, Word count: 643)
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Welcome back to "Creating Rubber Stamps: Not All Methods Created Equal." In parts one and two of this three-part series, the advantages and disadvantages of the laser-engraving and photopolymer rubber stamp-making processes were discussed. In this final installment, you will learn how to make custom rubber stamps and art stamps from the comfort of your very own home!

When making stamps at home, a chemical or non-chemical process can be used. Whether chemical or non-chemical, for homemade rubber stamps and art stamps, a flat eraser will become the artist's palette. To use a non-chemical process, take a pen and outline on the stamp the image to be etched. Using a sharp item, such as a box cutter, steak knife or linoleum cutter, etch away the non-inked eraser so that all that is left is the raised image that the rubber stamp will impress. If you are not confident in your drawing skills, you may want to use a piece of tracing paper and trace the image you would to place on the rubber stamp. Once the image has been traced, flip over the tracing paper and rub the outline onto the stamp. A pin, fork, or other hard surface can also be used to make indentations of the traced surface. This may not give the most precise image; however, it will provide some guidance for artistically-challenged individuals.

If more precise guidance than tracing paper is preferred, a chemical process can also be used. First, a clear black-and-white photocopy of the image will be needed. Wet the image with acetone using a cotton swab or ball, and press the dark side of the image on the eraser. As acetone is highly flammable and may irritate skin, stay in a well-ventilated area and make as little contact with the chemical as possible. Remove the paper from the eraser; the ink will have transferred to the rubber eraser. Using the box or linoleum cutter, carve away the non-inked areas of the eraser; this will create a rubber stamp out of the raised surfaces.

After the rubber stamp has been carved, you may want to mount it on a piece of wood or other hard surface. This will promote the longevity of the stamp and keep it from suffering too much "wear and tear" while stamping. Mounting the eraser will also help the user to stay away from the ink while stamping. Another advantage of using a mounted stamp is the guarantee of a hard surface and quality impression with every imprint.

Although making a stamp by hand is an attractive option, it requires extensive hand-customization and allows little room for error. If the carver makes a mistake, they must adjust the image for the mistake or, in a worst-case scenario, start completely over. In addition to the extensive time required, there are also costs that must be incurred for each stamp created. For example, to create a 1? x 1? wooden-mounted stamp, the costs would be approximately:

$0.75 1? x 1? wood block

$0.50 rubber eraser

$6.00 Small utility knife and/or linoleum cutter

$2.00 acetone

$9.25 TOTAL

In comparison, the average cost for a 1? x 1? stamp online is $4.00-$6.00. While the carving tools and acetone may last for quite a while, the other costs, lack of precision and hassle-factors may prove incentive enough to purchase stamps from an online or retail store.

Whether you're laser-engraving, creating photopolymer molds, carving rubber stamps by hand or shopping for rubber stamps online, take the knowledge from this three-part series to make your decision! If you are looking for the precision of laser-engraving, the economy of photopolymer, or the homemade look of erasers, each stamp-making method has something to offer. Remember that, when it comes to art stamp and rubber stamp customization, the possibilities are endless!

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Family Time Can Be Scrapbooking Time

(category: Crafts, Word count: 628)
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Involving kids in scrapbooking is a wonderful way to spend family time together. Depending on the age of your kids, they can help you with your album or they can create albums of their own.

Step one is going through photos. Children love to look at pictures. Young children love to tell you who the person in the picture is. Older children love to tell the story of the photo or ask you to tell the story of the photo. Both of my kids always love to look at the photos my mom has, many are in black and white. They love to see the differences between life back then, and life today. Of course my mom enjoys sharing with my kids about life back then.

Again, depending on the age of your kids, they can help you choose the color of the paper used, the stickers you use, any lettering you use and can help design the overall layout of the page. When you open a scrapbook there is a page on the left and a page on the right. Often, my kids will each design one side. If you have all of the supplies organized, it's very reasonable to be able to create several pages in one evening.

The adhesives I use are all zots, or precut small squares that are double sided. These adhesives are very simple to use. Even young kids can attach one side to the photo and then when ready peel off the other side and then press into the album. I am not an artist by any means. I also can not cut a straight line. One of the things my own children most love about the albums I've given to them is that every album has crooked pictures. We truly laugh until tears roll down our faces about how I can not even attach a photo straight onto a page. So, even if your young children do attach a photo a bit crooked, seeing the album, knowing you and child made it together will bring you great joy.

If your children are old enough to write, have them do some of the journaling. Help them write their story about the pictures they are putting into the album.

Scrapbook pages all should be in sheet protectors, so even small fingers can't smudge photos. It really is a joy to watch young children take out the scrapbook album they helped to create and watch them tell their dolls or imaginary friends all of the stories behind the various photos.

Scrapbooking is multi generational, allowing young children and even great grandparents to participate in an activity together. One thing that always makes my own children giggle are the bathing suits my grandparents wore in one photo we have. My grandparents were both born in the late 1800's and so the bathing suits were quite different from what we see today.

I was born in New York and so we have photos of me in a baby carriage in the snow. Living in California today, these photos are all of a different place and different time to my own children. They have so enjoyed my own mother telling them about life in New York. Since both of my children are older (driving age) and since we live in California, neither has ever driven in snow. Asking my mom about driving in the snow has provided conversation that would not have taken place if we didn't have the photos and scrapbooks to talk about.

Scrapbooking and photos truly are a way to provide conversation, to bridge the gap between generations and to provide a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with your children.

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Craft Book For Kids

(category: Crafts, Word count: 140)
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Kids of all ages like to work on different craft projects. Craft projects can be an ideal way to enhance skills of kids especially during summer vacations. However, not all parents and teachers have the time, energy or creativity to come up with ideas on their own. To overcome this problem today one can find different type's of kids craft book.

Kids craft book provides different project ideas for kids to make at home. Craft books can provide a break for parents from their kids to do their work. Crafts book are of different types

1. Preschoolers Crafts

Preschoolers love activity. They love to make things happen. A preschooler craft book can provide a perfect craft kits for young ones including mess-free paint kits, play dough and college kits. Some examples of preschooler crafts are

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Making Rubber Stamps Using Liquid Polymer

(category: Crafts, Word count: 681)
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If you are interested in making rubber stamps and have investigated other rubber stamp making methods you should seriously consider polymer stamp production as a serious option.

What are Polymers?

Tiny molecules strung in long repeating chains form polymers. Why the chemistry lesson? Well for one thing, your body is made of them. DNA - the genetic blueprint that defines people and other living things - is a polymer. Proteins and starches in the foods we eat, the wheels on our skateboards, and even the tyres on our bikes and cars are polymers. In fact, we are surrounded by polymers every day, everywhere we go. Polymers also form one of our recyclables, which is good for the environment.

Polymer Curing - How stamps are made with chemistry!

In polymer chemistry and process engineering, curing refers to the toughening or hardening of a polymer material by the cross-linking of polymer chains; this is brought about by chemical additives, ultraviolet radiation or heat. Rubber stamp polymer is supplied as a liquid and is cured using ultraviolet radiation. Although natural sunlight can cure polymer, liquid stamp polymer requires precise exposure to UV light to make rubber stamps.

Polymer in a bag

The most exciting development of recent is a new innovation where polymer is injected into a flat rectangular sealed bag; this new product does away with backing sheets, foam tape and coverlay film normally required for stamp production. Processing times are reduced by about 50% when using these new bags; this reduced labour cost negates the extra cost of the bagged product. The bags are available in a range of sizes to suit production demand. Polymer in a bag has also eliminated the problem of air bubbles during processing; this common objection to polymer stamp making has now been overcome.

The Polymer Rubber Stamp Market

You have two distinct markets for rubber stamps. The first is the traditional business stamp market where stamps are affixed to handles and self inking units.

The second market growing rapidly is the craft industry; craft stamps are affixed to wooden or clear acrylic blocks and are used for card making and scrapbooking. Craft stamps such as an artist's range of stamps that follow a theme are traditionally made using the vulcanizing process due to it being more suited to mass production of the same stamp. Nowadays card makers want custom designs and clear see through stamps of which polymer is making some significant inroads. It is not economical to offer custom made stamps using the vulcanising process as plates need to be made up each time designs change.

Polymer 'Jellies'

Be aware that some polymer stamps called 'jellies' are being sold to the craft industry, these polymer stamps adhere to an acrylic block without adhesives due to the back of the stamp being sticky after processing. In theory this works well, the problems are that the back of the stamp can pick up dirt and that distortion of the stamp can occur. In some cases the stamp can tear easily as it has no structural backing.

The development of a clear silicone mat has solved this problem, InstaGrip is a very thin mat that has 'cling' properties and clings to both the acrylic block and the plastic back of the stamp, if it loses it's cling properties due to a dust build up you just rinse it under water. see www.instastamp.com.au/instagrip.php

So where is the polymer stamp industry heading?

Business stamping seems to be just as strong as it always has been, with the introduction of the bagged polymer many more manufacturers will be offering polymer stamps due to the bag's labour saving benefits and the lower entry cost for polymer processing equipment.

The craft stamp industry will see much more polymer in the future for much the same reasons. The demand for custom made stamps through services such as stampsearch.com.au where you can select craft artwork online and then have that image made into a stamp will help the polymer stamp industry making craft stamps develop in a positive manner.

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