Saturday, October 26, 2013

Essential Tools and Materials for Your Craft Room

     I do a lot of different crafts. In fact I tend to try a craft, do it for a little while and move on to the next one just because there are so many out there. Below is a list of the craft tools and materials I use the most for those of you who want to start crafting or just want to add some things to your craft closet.

Glue and Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Craft Glue
  • E-6000 
  • Masking Tape
I like to keep a few different types of glue on hand. On some projects I will just use one type of glue and on others I may choose to use two or three types. For paper crafts a glue stick, Elmer's Glue, Tacky Glue, Glue Running Bond and my Hot Glue Gun all work, but I have the E-6000 for heavier materials such as metal. If you are working with photos you will want a glue that is made specifically for them.
Extra: Glue Types

Writing Utensils and a Ruler
  • Markers
  • Pens
  • Pencils 

Stamps, Stencils and Ink Pads
  • Black Ink
  • Brown Ink
  • Gold Ink
  • Silver Ink
  • Distress Ink in Vintage Photo and Tea
  • Color Inks
  • Ink Stamps
  • Ink Dauber
  • I also have felt squares I cut for my ink dauber not shown in this photo

Clear Stamps and Stencils

  • Card stock
  • Scrapbook Paper
  • Tissue Paper 
  • Construction Paper
  • Printing paper
  • Wrapping Paper
  • and any other kinds of paper I can get my hands on since paper can be used in so many projects

 Paper Punches
I only have a few paper punches. My favorite shapes are the ones pictured above since there are so many things you can make from them such as butterflies and numerous styles of flowers.

Cutting Tools
  • Scissors
  • X-Acto Knife with blades
  • Hole Punch
  • Craft Scissors that make shaped edges such as zig-zag and wavy
  • I use a fabric-marking, rolling blade to help make clean folds in paper
  • I like to use the tool on the far right that I found in the polymer clay section of a craft store  to poke small holes, get ahold of the edge of things that need repositioned or glued down and place small objects
  • Paper Trimmer

Paint and Paint Brushes
I have no particular favorite brand of paint, although I think the Martha Stewart Pearl paints are absolutely beautiful. You'll find some paints have better coverage than others, but it really depends on your project what is best for you to use. I tend to grab paint as I find it on sale. You will also need a jar or can with some water in it to rinse your brushes and I like to keep a couple of bowls handy to squeeze a little paint into or to mix paint colors.

Helpful Tip: I save my milk bottle caps and use them to hold the paint I'm using. I will stick a little piece of tape on the underside of the cap to keep it in place. Once I'm done I can wash and reuse it or toss it out.



Other Items I Like To Keep on Hand
  • Stapler
  • Mod Podge
  • Gesso
  • Modeling Paste
  • Small spray bottles to make paint sprays
  • Baby Wipes for quick cleanups and to place over areas of a project I want to protect from paint and glue
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Roll of brown paper to keep my work surface cleaner
  • Wax paper
  • Mica Powders such as Pearl-Ex
  • Beads
  • Wood and/or foam letters
  • Some scrapbook embellishments since they can be used on cards, tags, etc.
  • Material

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Some of My Favorite Craft Storage Tips Found on the Web

Better Homes and Gardens
My favorite is the heater vent to hold Stamps and the cup holder to hold markers since I've read that markers should be stored on their sides for longevity.

The Inking Spot of Crain Creations
The woman who runs this blog used a drain spout to hold her Copic markers by cutting the drain spout into pieces and then adhering them together. It's cute, a great organizing idea and the cost was under $10.00. If you don't own Copics, I'm sure there are a lot of other craft items to use this idea for.
This is for Stickles storage and I don't own any Stickles yet, but I own Adirondack Inks from Tim Holtz and this looks like a great storage idea for them as well. "Used 11x14 free standing acrylic frame, strips of Velcro, and Velcro dots on bottles. Will hold 44 bottles of Stickles."

I'm not sure what the name of this particular website is, but it showed that you can use a spice rack for your Glimmer Mists and paint sprays. You could also use it to store your acrylic craft paints and be able to see all the colors. Now I wish I hadn't of thrown that old spice rack out.

I saw something interesting in a used travel trailer a friend bought. There were small jars hanging from the underside of a cabinet. The lids had been attached to the wood with screws and all you had to do was unscrew the jar as you needed it. I liked this idea because it would be a great way to keep small embellishments organized and you can easily see the contents. The underside of shelves and cabinets are often overlooked for storage. Of course you could use plastic containers if you're afraid of breaking a glass jar or don't want to add much weight to a thinner shelf.

I have been working the past couple of months to set up a room for my crafting and art materials. I'm always looking for an inexpensive and easy to access way to store materials. I use a very inexpensive curtain rod to keep my burlap and wax paper on. Since the curtain rod does not have to be opened very far it is quite sturdy. I think the small shelf will get the underside treatment for my inks.

Fun with Hot Glue

I'm absolutely loving the new Hot Glue Molds by Plaid!

In no way am I getting paid for showing products on my blog. I show them because I like them and want to share my experience with you.

I used Pearl-Ex Powder on them and they are so detailed. Now that I've found these molds I have a quick and easy way to make flowers for texture in my art, such as my mixed media projects, but I will also use these for cards, picture frames, scrapbook layouts and jewelry. They were clinging to my glass cutting board after they were dry so I may be trying a few of the roses out on a small mirror I would like to decorate. Just don't put any paint or powders on the backs of them.

I was so excited I looked for more molds to get and they do have more, but while searching I came across this video and thought the Hot Glue tools were very nice. I especially liked the hot glue spreader that makes your hot glue lay flat instead of being a bump under your project. If you try them out, let me know what you think.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mixed Media Canvas Collage: "Junk Princess"

Updated Post


I made this mixed media canvas collage for my Craft room to brighten it up and also to show that everything can be beautiful. Some of the items I used from around my home were an outlet plate, hair cutting comb, old hinges, scrap wire, puzzle pieces, scrabble letters, buttons, wooden cabinet knob, a spring, and computer components. I also pulled paper flowers I made, fake flowers, butterflies, lace, and gauze from my craft stash. I used the white gauze around the area with the words by painting it with Mod Podge and then bunching the gauze to make thick texture in an oval shape. 

This type of collage is a very fun project to do. You can plan ahead of time or just go with the flow as I do. I started out just gluing scrapbook paper on a blank canvas, placed gesso on everything, but the areas I wanted to show and then began placing my metal items, flowers, etc. Every time I wanted to add something on the top of something else I would paint some gesso on the bottom piece, let it dry and then use E6000 glue to hold them together. In the very end I painted just about everything with a thin layer of gesso and then I used Martha Stewart's Pearl Paints and some regular acrylic craft paints that I made into sprays to give the entire art piece color. When I used the Gesso over everything I didn't worry about any color showing through from the items I used, unless they were dark an ugly. For example, the original colors of the flowers looked nice muted with Gesso so I didn't have to use more than one layer of Gesso on them, but the rusty electrical plate, bolts and washers had to be covered completely.

Give this project a try.

Happy Crafting! 

Copyright © 2014 Angela Conklin - Heartedly Handcrafted
All Rights Reserved

Relax with Zentangle or Doodling

Copyright © 2011 Angela Conklin - Heartedly Handcrafted
All Rights Reserved

This was my first Zentangle that I made a couple of years ago.

I never made a masterpiece while talking on the phone, but I always doodled as I sat and talked to someone. I found it relaxing to repeat patterns and then start a new pattern off the one I completed. Plus it's a very accessible art form since it only requires a writing utensil and something to write on which can be anything, especially if your using a permanent marker like I used above on a piece of paper. If you're feeling frustrated with a craft project or just need something different to do, try out Zentangle or Doodling. 

Note: Make sure that the writing utensil you're using has a fine tip. A fine tip makes it much easier to add interest, like small dots and lines for shading.

Not sure where to start? Try tracing your hand or a jar bottom, make a squiggly shape or draw a few flowers and then connect them with patterns like I did above. Check out the videos (below) that I found on YouTube. If I run out of pattern ideas, I just type patterns in Google search which gives me fresh ideas.

How to Zentangle

Zentangle Ornaments

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Repurpose: A Plastic Jar for Decorative Craft Room Storage

Want something that makes you feel good in your craft room, but also serves a purpose? 

Try re-purposing a peanut butter or mayonnaise jar.

I use paper, cloth, coffee filter, clay, plastic and metal flowers and buds in the majority of my craft projects. I will mix the different types of flowers in a project once in a while, but usually I'll just stick to one type at a time so I want them separated. Plus, I don't want to store them together as the heavier flowers can crush the delicate ones. Previously, I had put them in boxes and that worked for storage, but then I had to label all of the boxes and was missing out on how pretty they looked.


  • Lace
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun (or craft glue)
  • Flower arrangement foam (I prefer the type that doesn't crumble for this specific project)
  • Jar
  • Paint
  • Flowers with stem
  • White Tulle
  • Wire (strong enough to penetrate the foam)
  • Wire cutters

First I prepped my flower arrangement foam for hot gluing by placing a card-stock circle on the bottom of it. This just gives me a smooth surface for gluing and keeps me from melting and therefore disfiguring the foam when I'm doing my last step. If something were to go wrong now, it would be much better than happening at the very end of the project.

I coated my lid with some Gesso so my silver paint would stick, but you can cover the lid with a cloth or paper circle that goes down over the sides.

After the paint is dry I hot glued the very top of my lace to the lid overlapping slightly where the lace meets in the back.
Next, I worked on my flower arrangement. I made sure that the flowers were stuck in the foam securely with hot glue since this is something that I will be touching often.
I used tulle to fill in the gaps between the flowers. I also love how delicate tulle makes flower arrangements look.

And here is my finished project . I love it!

I did not fill the back in as tightly so there is enough play in the arrangement to butt the container up against a wall when placed on a shelf. If you want to place it on a narrow shelf, avoid making the flowers too close together on the backside so they move out of the way easily.

I have a narrow wall shelf next to my desk that I have some of my glitters on. I think it would be a great place to put it to enjoy each day.

This project would also make a great gift holder for candy or cookies. There are MANY things that can been done with a plastic jar, so I don't throw them out.

Altered Box: Loving Blue, Brown and Green

I wanted to give an altered box a try and I'm so glad that I did. I had been storing my lace pieces in an ugly box. No matter where you sit it or how you stand it, it's ugly! So I gathered my homemade paint sprays and glitter mists together, some Gesso, modeling paste, cream colored, yellow and white flowers, brown ribbon, a birds nest, a blue bird and got busy. 



The Result is Fabulous!

I'm so excited! I am now hooked on altering boxes and I'm looking at all those other ugly boxes I have that I'm storing my craft items in. This would make a great gift and/or gift package too.

Steps I took to make my Altered Box:

1. Apply Gesso to the entire outside of the box in thin coats (I used my heat tool to dry the coats of Gesso quickly). You can also use paint instead of Gesso, but I used Gesso to get more texture).

2. I used my home-made paint sprays and glimmer mists to color the box and my heat tool between colors to keep them from mixing too much. I also sprayed enough some of the time that I could get the colors to run which I think is a nice effect.

3. Use your ink stamps to decorate the box as you wish. I didn't do a lot of stamping, just a few here and there.

4. Using a template with modeling paste allowed me to create the leaves and flowers on the sides and top of the box.

5. You can decorate your box with silk flowers, make your own flowers or use something else such as Christmas decorations, etc. Just let your creative juices flow. I used white, cream and yellow silk flowers and sprayed them with my blue glimmer mist. Since the flowers were different colors they came out different shades of blue and the yellow flowers became green.

6. After the flowers dried I began arranging them with the bird and nest on the box. I used a hot glue gun to adhere them to the box lid and each other.

7. I wanted some sentiments (a little inspiration) so I found some foam letters and placed words on my box that could be read from different directions since it sits on an open shelf.

That was it. It took me just a few hours to make. I let the modeling paste dry overnight before going to the next step.

Give making an Altered Box a shot and please share as I would love to see them.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Repurposing: Turning a Queen Bookcase-Headboard into a Craft Desk and 6 Organizational Tips for Your Craft Room

      My craft area is not some white, light filled, dream room. In fact I'm surrounded by dark stained woods, so I have overhead lighting and multiple lamps to make sure I can see well. My desk is made up of a big slab of pine for the table top, two file cabinets to hold it up and a queen headboard is being used as the tower to my desk. Yes, I said queen headboard. It's screwed into the pine and the wall and is heavy as heck, so it's not going anywhere. It was my daughter's headboard. She decided she didn't want it anymore and removed it from her room. In the end I found a good use for it and was glad she didn't want it. It holds a lot of the craft items that I use daily and was a nice step up from the small desk I used that shared space with my computer, junk mail and bills.

In the photo below I numbered the different items I keep on it and while going through it I was surprised how much I have stored on there.

1. Small flowers with stems  2. Metal embellishments and items for mixed media collages  3. Moss and leaves  4. Holiday embellishments  5. Wire and wire crafts  6. Wood embellishments and Popsicle sticks  7. Plastic embellishments  8.Small stuff like beads, rope, strung pearls, glass pieces, sand and buttons  9. Ribbon for card making  10. Pearl-Ex Powders  11. Lace spools and larger ribbon  12. Alcohol inks  13. Glue  14. Craft scissors  15. Embossing powders  16. Paper punches  17. Containers of small items like loose pearls and brads  18. Regular scissors, rulers, hole punch, tweezers, etc.  19. My homemade glimmer mists and paint sprays  20.  Hot glue  21. Glass cutting board.

6 Tips:

Tip 1:
Make sure your hot glue gun has a special place of it's own away from your other craft items. I use a small glass cutting board under it that I bought for a dollar and the lid of a glass candle jar to catch all the hot glue drippings. There is a plug-in strip attached to the right side of my desk behind the hot glue gun and by having it so close and the chord secure I know that no one will trip on it or knock it off. If your looking for a hot glue gun with a small nozzle and high/low temp option, I got mine from Walmart and love it. The one I chose is the Ad Tech for around $10.00. It says cordless, that's not really the case. You'll have it plugged in 99% of the time but it is convenient when you can unplug it at the gun handle for a few minutes for hard to reach places.

Tip 2:
I use an old glass cutting board from my kitchen on my main work surface. It doesn't easily break, can take heat, paint, inks glue, gesso and they all come off of it. There is a rough side and a smooth side, use the smooth side as it cleans up easily. If you have glue or paint that has hardened on it just take it to the kitchen sink and use a spoon to clean the surface while running under hot water, it will come off easily this way.

Tip 3:
I talked my son into giving up a few of his Connects pieces and they worked out perfectly for organizing my small spools of ribbon because they're quite light. I was afraid it would not be strong enough, but I use the ribbon constantly and have not had a problem. In fact if I need to remove a spool I find it very convenient to pop out one side of the Connects holder, take the spool off and reconnect it. The connects hang from cup hooks on both sides and one in the center.

Tip 4:
A Lazy Susan is perfect for holding glimmer mists and paint sprays.

Tip 5:
I found some pie holders at the thrift store. They came in a stack of three. I don't bake pies and didn't know what I would do with them, but knew I would think of something eventually. Well, they're perfect for holding bottles of acrylic paint. I placed it on a Lazy Susan as well, stored it on a shelf beside my desk at arms reach and it works great.

The photo below I found on a Google search and is from Which leads me to mention that I've heard Martha Stewart's paper punches are the best out there. If you have used them, please let me know about your experience with them. They looked very pretty hanging in the store.

Tip 6:
If you have the same size bottles of paint which when all stored give you a level surface and you're short on room you can stack the pie holders. Just make sure that what you put on top is not extremely heavy and can be easily supported by the paint bottles.

-You can also paint them to go with your decor or decorate them with something that gives you inspiration-

That's it for now, but come back for more craft storage tips as I will be posting them soon.