Arts And Crafts Projects For Adults

Additional Craft Information:

Working with precious metal clay can be a rewarding and lucrative hobby, craft and business. However one of the biggest questions for someone new to the craft is how and where to start. The craft offers a wide array of metal options including silver, gold, bronze, copper and steel. Each material has it's own personality for lack of a better term and shrinkage rate. Even the same type of clay from different manufactures requires different considerations.

DIY Craft Essential #1: Washi tape

You'd be surprised at how many things you can do, and how many tutorials out there are obsessed, with washi tape. The versatile paper tape with adorable designs makes great wall decor, paper crafts or can even spruce up your furniture.

DIY Craft Essential #2: Needle nose pliers

This tiny tool is great for small projects. "This is not only your go­-to tool for opening and closing jump rings, bending wire, and securing crimp beads and ribbon ends, but pliers are also great for cutting through jewelry chain and wire," said Morin.

Then there is the tools you will need. This is the easier part as all the precious metal clays share common basic tool set. Any exceptions will be mentioned below in each clay type descriptions. It is suggested that you maintain a separate tool set for each different clay you work with in order to prevent cross contamination of metals.

Tools -Common to all clays (about $35.00)

Non-stick work surface – Teflon Sheets are the standard

Clay roller

Tissue blade

Needle tool

Deck of playing cards

Sand paper in assorted grits

Brass brush

Craft knife

Non-stick oil for your hands and tools- Olive oil works great

And anything thing else you can find around the house. Think Play-Doh as for the most part that's what it is like to work with
**The options of tools are endless but this will get you started

DIY Craft Essential #3: X-acto knife

If you love stationary crafts, jewelry crafts or any delicate work -- you'll need a proper cutting tool. Not all scissors can do the job. "Remember first using scissors and cutting along the dotted lines in grade school?" Morin asked. "Hopefully, you’re attempting more challenging crafts as an adults."

DIY Craft Essential #4: Spray paint

Acrylic paints are also great for any DIY starter kit. However, if you're looking for a perfect, seamless finish on your furniture, art and home decor -- make some space to spray. It doesn't hurt to keep some cans in your favorite colors (as long as you store them properly).

Firing method( $25.00 to $800)
This can be propane torch from local hardware store or kiln depending on metal you are working with

Metal Clays

Silver and Gold

Both Art Clay and PMC both offer silver and gold clay. Both of these metals while expensive are the easiest and most forgiving to work with. They can all be torch fired which helps tremendously in terms of equipment costs. Which should be around $65 including propane torch + material. Both manufactures offer several versions for different needs such as slower drying, shrinkage, rates and strengths. Gold and silver clays are arguably the most documented on the Internet as well. This makes it in my opinion much easier for the novice to find answers to common questions.

Bronze and Copper

There are two current manufacturers that I am fond of. One is Metal Adventures and the other Hadar's clay. We will start with the common traits they share. Both are very inexpensive to purchase in comparison to gold and silver. Both require a specialized setup such as kiln, activated carbon and firing container. They cannot be fired with a torch. Having said that with a little trial and error amazing jewelry and artwork can be create with them.

Metal Adventures clay comes pre-mixed and has shelf life of about 7 months or longer depending on storage environment. Keeping in the refrigerator is suggested. This clay is a solid product and once you learn how to work with it very rewarding

Hadar's Clay's is not premixed and therefore has a distinct advantage of an indefinite shelf life. It also has a very nice feel to work with. Hadar is constantly refining her formula so when working with it I advise as an artist to keep update with her latest instructions. She also offers bronze currently in 3 different colors.

Steel

Hadar also has Steel metal clay. This is a new edition to her product line. It also needs to be mixed so shelf life is not a problem. It is relatively a new product so I will not comment too much on its working characteristics other then she readily answers all questions and is diligent about updating working instructions.

DIY Craft Essential #5: Painter's tape

Painter's tape is "perfect for for attempting the c​olor block trend," said Morin. Plus, you'll need something to keep your projects neat and tidy, no matter what type of paints you use.

DIY Craft Essential #6: Hot glue gun

There are some tools that are too functional not to have. "This is one DIY workhorse tool you shouldn't do without," said Morin. Hot melt glue works on a variety of materials.
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