Ask Dear Crafty

Join me each month as I answer your most common quiries about Craft Fantastic products! Do you have a question that you want me to address? Email me at DearCrafty@CraftFantastic.com!

June 7, 2017

Q: What kind of paper do I use for printing photos?
A: The best paper to use is a standard 20lb copy/printer paper. This paper is very inexpensive and readily available at Walmart and office supply stores. The natural inclination is to use an expensive photo paper, but these papers typically have a glossy finish that do not work well with the Glaze & Glue. For more information, visit our FAQ on the blog regarding the best practices for printing photos at home... Printing Photos and Images at Home.

Q: Can I use Craft Fantastic supplies in other projects?
A: Absolutely! The Fantastic Glaze & Glue and Super Sticky Dots are great adhesive additions for card making, scrapbooking and mixed media! The trays and glass cabs can easily be incorporated into a variety of projects outside of jewelry making. Use the trays to create a beautiful frame for a special photo in a scrapbook layout, add a necklace to a handmade card that can be removed and worn by the recipient, add photos to glass cabs and frame out a mirror, the possibilities are endless! Be sure to check the blog frequently for inspiration from our Design Team!

Q: My glass piece fell out of the tray. What happened?
A: If the Glaze & Glue is still pretty wet when the cab is pressed into the tray, it will compromise the structure of the paper, weakening it, and pull away from the glue dot leaving a layer of paper behind. The structure of the paper is restored and it strengthens as it dries, so if you let the Glaze & Glue dry completely before adding it to the tray, the cab will stay securely put. Here is a link to a post on the blog explaining how to get the most out the Fantastic Jeweler's Dots.

May 9, 2017

Q: Some of my jewelry has tarnished, how do I clean it?
A: The silver finish is silver-plate over a base metal, so it will eventually tarnish just like its more expensive counterpart when exposed to air and sunlight. It should clean up easily with a soft jewelry cloth. Here at the warehouse I put all of the samples I make into small plastic bags and store them in bins. This limits their exposure and keeps them looking like new. We have samples that are several years old and have held up well.

Q: I love your images and the paper they're printed on. What type of paper do you use?
A: Our Art Image Sheets are printed by a professional printing company. We don't have access to information regarding the brand of paper used or the exact process. The sheets are printed to our specifications using brochure paper. We cannot be sure that the brochure paper available in office supply stores is comparable to the paper used by our printer. When printing at home, we always recommend using a standard 20lb text weight copy paper. 

Q: How do I remove glue from the front of the glass?
A: Let the glue dry completely and use a craft knife or a pair of scissors to scrape it from any place it has strayed. You should be able to remove all excess dried glue using this technique and nobody will be the wiser. 

April 10, 2017

Q: My scissors are getting glaze build up, how do I prevent this?
A: I recommend dedicating a pair of very inexpensive scissors to your Craft Fantastic Projects. We go to the local dollar store and pick up large quantities of cheap scissors to use at our Make & Take table. They quickly get gunked up with glue so definitely DO NOT use an expensive pair of paper or fabric scissors. Also, make sure to use a cotton swab to swipe away excess glue that has oozed out around the glass before you trim the image away. This will keep the glue build up to a minimum. Once the glue builds up, I use a craft knife to carefully scrape some of it away or I might try to clean them up with alcohol. Once they get past the point of no return, I toss them and start with a fresh pair of dollar store scissors.

Q: I just bought a magnifier for small work, but I can't use it AND use both hands with the pliers. What do you suggest?
A: I would recommend using inexpensive reading glasses to do close up work or getting a magnifier on a stand. I did a quick Google of Stand Magnifiers and it looks like they come in a variety of prices, some being very economical. Each of these options would free up your hands to use the pliers. As a matter of fact, I am now thinking of getting a stand magnifier to use here at the Craft Fantastic office!

Q: Dear Crafty, what else can I put under the glass? Or on the image between the glass and the image?
A: You can put all sort of fabulous stuff under the glass! Here are a few just off the top of my head...scanned copies of family photos, reduced copies of children's artwork, decorative scrapbook papers, wrapping paper, ephemera, postage stamps from exotic locales, map pieces commemorating a special location, paint the backs of the glass with bright nail polish to create jewel tones,  and glitter (can be used on its own or between the glass and the image)! The list goes on and on!

March 8, 2017

Q: Dear Crafty, can I use glue in place of the Fantastic Jeweler's Dots? 
A: Most glues take a long time to set and because they stay wet they will sometimes cause the image to run. Plus they're chemical make-up may react with the inks in the printed images causing them to blur and discolor. The dots work perfectly because they do not need time to set and are extremely strong. Read this post on the blog to get the most from our Fantastic Jeweler's Dots and you will have sturdy pieces that last a very long time! 

Q: Dear Crafty, I have collected a lot of images over the years. What's the best way to organize and store them?
A: Here at the warehouse we use plastic shoe box storage bins with cardboard dividers. The bins are the perfect length to stand the sheets up on their sides. The dividers keep them organized by sheet or subject. The sheets are a little tall for the lids, but we use them so much for samples that we forgo the lids. It makes them easier to get to. 

Q: Dear Crafty, how do I work with the jump rings and the pliers?
A: The instinct is to pull the jump rings open, but then it's difficult to get them to close completely again. Instead, grip each side of the jump ring with the pliers and move one end up and one end down in a gentle twisting motion. To close, twist in the opposite direction. The metal has "memory" so this technique will ensure that your ring retains that nice round shape and that whatever you put on the ring is secure. "Pulling" the ring open horizontally usually leaves some sort of gap when you try to close it and squeezing the ring together will often compromise that nice, round shape making it look distorted or misshapen. Gently "twisting" the ring vertically is much easier and has a better finished look. Watch for a future tutorial on this topic.

February 8, 2017

Q: Dear Crafty, what types of images can I place under the glass cabochons?
A: All sorts of wonderful things! Our Fantastic Art Image Sheets work perfectly, but feel free to experiment with scanned copies of photos and ephemera, scrapbook paper, wrapping paper, book pages, maps, tickets, a scrap from a beautiful shopping bag, etc! The options are endless and you can easily customize your finished pieces to the recipient.

Q: Dear Crafty, how do I print my own images from my home computer?
A: It's actually very easy! And fun! I have created an entire FAQ devoted to this very topic. Here is a link to get you started... Printing Images at Home. 

Q: Dear Crafty, if I don't like how my glass cab turned out, do I have to throw it away?
A: NO! There are no mistakes at Craft Fantastic! If you don't care for how your image looks under the glass cabochon, there's an easy fix. Carefully pry the cab out of the tray using a craft knife. Place the glass cab in a heat proof dish and pour boiling water over it. Let it sit for approximately 30 minutes. During that time, the paper and Glaze & Glue will start to soften and you can easily take your thumbnail and scrape it off the glass. Voila! Now you can start fresh and create that masterpiece!  


January 09, 2017

Q: Dear Crafty, can I use actual photos under the glass cabochons?
A: NEVER use original photos or artwork. Most photos have a glossy coating which will not work with the Glaze & Glue and the application of the glue might even cause the photo colors to run. Preserve your original photos and artwork by making copies or scanning them into your computer. That way you can make as many copies as your crafty heart desires and still have the originals tucked away in a photo album for all to enjoy years later.  

Q: Dear Crafty, are Craft Fantastic products safe for children to use?
A: Absolutely! We're proud to say that the Fantastic Glaze & Glue is acid-free, water based, and non-toxic. Safe for young budding artists to work with. Best of all, the process is so easy that junior Frida Kahlo's and Pablo Picasso's will quickly learn how to create their very own jewelry pieces. We do, however, recommend adult supervision. After all, it's no easy task to clean ANY type of glue out of clothing or carpets.

Q: Dear Crafty, are your glass cabochons really made of glass?
A: Yes! They are made of the finest, crystal clear, jeweler's quality glass. This ensures that whatever image you put underneath remains crisp and the colors stay true. In fact, the domed shape of most of our glass pieces will frequently enhance the image and colors. Though the cabochons have many beautiful artistic qualities, they are still made of glass and may break when dropped or mishandled.  

1 comment:

  1. With respect to the using actual photos for projects: I found multiple copies of old index prints and since I had spares, I decided to try to use them on some small charms. I chose the ones of my son that were close ups because, if you've ever seen index prints, you know the images are really small. I was very careful not to move the glass AT ALL once I had put it on the photo with the glue on it and much to my surprise, it worked great, enhancing the colors & magnifying the image. As it's been about a year since I carried out this experiment and the image is still as clear and vivid as ever, my guess is that it will stay that way, hopefully indefinitely.
    A word of caution though: I discovered that there is a chemical reaction between the glue and the photo ink so that once the glass piece is applied that ANY movement at all before it is completely dry will cause it to smear, distoring & ruining the image.
    It was fun as an experiment, but as Dear Crafty recommended, make copies or scan the images into your computer so that you can print & use them as many times as you want without ruining the original image.

    ReplyDelete

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