Thursday, September 22, 2016

Tools of the Trade

Tools used:

Felt-- Basic felt colors are available in 8.5 x 11” sheets at most big box craft stores. They typically sell polyester felt made from recycled plastic under the brand name “Eco-fi.” This works fine for most creations. 
If you find lighter colors have too much visual bleed-through from the background, you might want to try using a wool felt blend. This can be bought in sheets at fancier fabric stores or off the interweb. I’ve had success with felt from Prairie Woolens. Their 35% wool/65% rayon blends are noticeably thicker than full polyester and come in a multitude of colors. Whereas Eco-fi comes in 3 shades of grayPrairie Woolens offers eleven.

Nice Scissors- Keep a pair of scissor to only use when cutting felt. This will keep the blades sharper. Fiskars Titanium Soft Grip are my personal favorites. They aren't too expensive (especially if you use a coupon) and maintain their sharpness reasonably well. Arthritis scissors like the Easy Action scissors are pretty great if you are doing a lot of cutting.

Glue – Tacky glue takes forever to dry and doesn’t always hold very well. Hot glue is stringy and difficult to control. It also will melt polyester if the tip gets too close. 

I’ve had the most success with Fabri-tac. It dries quickly and is relatively easy to control. I keep two bottles: a small bottle with as tiny a hole as possible cut in the tip for detail work and a larger bottle for covering big areas and refilling the small bottle. One note, try not to hold the bottle upside down while applying glue. This creates air bubbles within the bottle which will slowly rise, causing glue to dribble from the tip. Keep a paper towel handy to clean the tip.

For Super Savers Only:
Work those reciprocal coupons when buying your glue and scissors! The following stores will honor each others coupons:  A.C. MooreMichaelsHobby LobbyJoann’s. I buy most big ticket items one at a a 40-55% discount. 

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