Monday, 25 August 2014

Creating with household items

I think a lot of my non-crafty friends and family imagine my workspace to be full of expensive tools, storage units and the like.  But in reality, while I have a set of trusty jewellery pliers and crochet hooks which I use for various projects, you will often find common household items in use on my desk!

1. First off is Blu Tack. Have you ever stopped to think about how many uses can be found for this innocuous little item? When working on pieces such as the Mr Darcy cuff below, I often struggle to visualise the best layout of my cabochons.  I like to be able to see and feel exactly how each cabochon fits around the others while attached to the curved and bumpy surface of the piece I am creating at the time.  Blu Tack allows me to try out my imagined design on a temporary basis; in this way, my cabs can get moved around, added or removed at my leisure before I settle on the final design.

image mr darcy bangle cuff blu tack

2. Another highly useful household item is my container of toothpicks!  I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with glue (and other adhesive liquids), so toothpicks are probably my most common go-to household item.  With my handy toothpick I can dob on exactly the amount of glue or adhesive glaze I want onto a cabochon without worry about blocked applicator nozzles or squirting too much out.  Toothpicks are also great for evenly spreading adhesive glaze across pieces such as my literature brooches and thumtack sets below.

image anne of green gables thumbtack set toothpicks

3. My third handy household item is definitely my set of slant tip tweezers (and hey, when your eyebrows are nearly non-existent as mine are, you don't need them for tweezing hair).  As already mentioned, glue and I don't play well together, so tweezers are great for holding onto tiny cabs so that I can apply glue and attach them to their correct position rather than getting them stuck onto me or completely coated in glue.  Jeweller's tweezers are available at most craft stores, but for my kind of work, the cheap tweezers I already owned are fine for the job.

image tweezers slant tip two cheeky monkeys mr darcy headband cabochons red turquoise pride and prejudice

4. My final handy household item is the ubiquitous fishing tackle storage box.  I have been given any number of these by friends and family and they are GREAT for storing beads and other supplies.  I love that each different supply can have its own compartment and, even better, I can see what's in a box just by looking through the see-through lid.  And should I ever have any boxes not in use, they are also great for storing small hardware items and for organising the Two Cheeky Monkeys' loom band collections!

image fishing tackle box bead storage


Do you use household items in your creative or other endeavours?   Are you a lateral thinker when it comes to finding alternative uses for common items?

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