Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tips Tuesday: Paper Crafting Items from the Pharmacy

FranticStamper has a huge assortment of specialty paper crafting supplies and really should be your first stop for your serious crafting needs, but don't overlook your local pharmacy or department store for some of the basics that can fill in the gaps.

Today we would like to share some tips on items we found at our local pharmacy or department store and how we use them. We probably have mentioned some of the finds before, but thought that we would put them together here along with how we use them in hopes that this would be a handy resource.

Find #1
Fingernail polish: I buy the tiny bottles of polish that are less than a dollar each and get every color I can find. I use the polish to paint on acetate for a stained glass look. I float drops of polish on water to make marbleized glossy card stock. I use clear polish to protect the under-side of my mounted stamps' wooden blocks.

Find #2
Fingernail sanding blocks: I use a block to smooth fuzzy edges on card stock that has been cut with a slightly less than sharp blade; just rub the block gently along the edge. I also use one to distress card stock, sanding around the edges to rough up the surface. I use one to sand off the tips of my paper nibs when I use colored pencils with odorless mineral spirits. And I use one to sand off the top layer of Coordinations card stock that has been pressure embossed to show the inside color. At about a dollar, these are great tools to have at hand!

Find #3
Eyeshadow: These work just as well as stamping chalks for coloring card stock. They can also be floated on water for a faux-marbling effect on non-glossy card stock. I especially like to get packages that have closely related colors in the same case so I can get wonderful shading effects.

Find #4
Binder clips: These clips from the stationery aisle make great handles for small pieces of sponge (or makeup sponges). Simply clamp onto the piece of sponge and never have inky fingers again! And of course, they also make great clips to hold paper layers together (I use them to clamp things when gluing!)

Find #5
Pill cases: These little snap cases work great for storing little embellishments like small buttons, eyelets, and brads. The individual little bottles/jars are also great for holding custom colors of glitter or embossing powder. I found tiny plastic pill jars that I was able to put a round make-up sponge into. I poured in some of my odorless mineral spirits to saturate the sponge. Now when I do my colored pencil technique I can use the mineral spirits without worrying about spilling! I just touch the tip of my paper nib to the sponge and pick up just enough mineral spirits.

Find #6
Baby Wipes: These are great to have on hand to clean stamps, but also to have to clean your hands. There is nothing worse than ruining a nearly finished project with a stray inky fingerprint! Something fun to do with baby wipes is to take 3 or 4 wipes, stack them, fold them in half, and then roll them up tightly. Drop a few drops of water-based re-inker on them and swipe them across glossy card stock. Add more re-inker and swipe again in a different direction. Make your own plaids or other patterns!

Find #7
Dryer sheets: Use these to reduce static before using glitter or embossing powder. These are great for cleaning the last little bit of glitter off your work surface, too. Used dryer sheets can be stamped on and dyed; torn they can make as beautiful a layer as expensive mulberry paper!

Find #8
Goo Gone: This orange-oil based cleaner is great for removing adhesive...but it is also fabulous for dissolving wax-based media. That means it is great for blending crayon and colored pencils. Pair a small bottle of Goo Gone, some cotton swabs, and inexpensive colored pencils (all from this one store) and you have everything you need to do this wonderful coloring technique! Color your images in the areas where the color should be darkest, then blend out with a cotton swab that has been lightly dipped into the Goo Gone. You'll love the results!

Find #9
Simple Green: This eco-friendly cleaner is great for cleaning stamps. I water it down a lot, to about 1 part in 10, and put it into a small spray bottle (found in the travel size area of my pharmacy). I spritz it onto a terry dish cloth (also found in this store) and use it to give stubborn ink a good scrub.

Find #10
Tooth brush: This is a really necessary tool for getting into those crevices in stamps when giving them a thorough cleaning. But it is also perfect for spreading color in a fun spray. Dip the tip of the brush into watered-down reindeer, then rub your thumb across the bristles to let the ink fly. Be sure to have a protected work surface first, though!

Find #11
Painting Supplies: A flat paint pad makes a wonderful stamp scrub! Spritz with just water or your favorite stamp cleaner (like dilute Simple Green!) and scrub away! A small foam roller can be used to make cool water-color backgrounds. Dampen the roller with water, then drop several small drops of re-inker onto the roller. Roll back and forth over damp water color paper and make beautiful background paper! Smaller paint brushes are great for brushing off stray embossing powder and glitter from your projects.

Find #12
Stationery Supplies: The stationery aisle is an obvious stop when looking for supplies for your paper crafting. Paper cutters, scissors, paper, glues (especially rubber cement which can be used to remount rubber stamps, for a solid bond on paper, and as a great resist mask), paper fasteners and clips, markers, crayons and pencils are all obvious choices. But also look for things like double-sided tape, binder folders (they are decorative and a perfect weight for boxes and folios!) transparency sheets (great for clear cards or card windows), foam mounting tape, and labels (great for glitter techniques and faux-tile techniques).

Find #13
Automobile Sponge: Cut into wedges these sponges are great for sponging on ink. Use with clip binders to keep your fingers clean. Cutting up one sponge will give you enough pieces for just about every color family you have!

Find #14
Hand Sanitizer: This stuff is great when used with Copic markers! It performs very much like the colorless blending solution so is great for using to add texture to your colored image. Saturate a piece of corduroy fabric in the sanitizer and then place on your colored image carefully press down, and then lift. The color will spread where the santizer made contact and add subtle stripes to your image. Terry cloth is great for adding a furry texture to an image; add the sanitizer and press onto the image. Use the tip of a cotton swab to add dots. Your imagination is the limiting factor here!

Find #15
Alcohol: 91% rubbing alcohol is a great substitute for blending solution for many alcohol inks on smooth surfaces. Daubed on with cotton balls (purchased at your pharmacy or department store, of course!), it will move the alcohol ink for all sorts of great alcohol ink techniques. Pour a little alcohol into a bottle cap and add a drop or two of alcohol ink for a wonderful alcohol ink wash that can be brushed on with a foam brush (from the painting section, of course!).

We hope that you have been inspired by some of our finds and will use the ideas here to jump-start your exploration of your local pharmacy or Department Store.

If you have some great finds from your store, please drop us a comment and share!

1 comment:

  1. carolb11:45 AM

    I love these tips. Thanks for sharing.