Fun Art Projects

Additional Craft Information:

Torch Flame Control:

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.

Soldering requires concentration and practice. Get to know the torch that you are using so that you can confidently adjust its air or oxygen ratio to its gas ratio; this allows you to easily switch from a tight, neutral flame to a bushy reduction flame.

Most handheld butane torch models have a tab or plastic collar that allows you to adjust the flame. Oxygen / Propane torch sets are typically sold with interchangeable torch tips which yield flames that range from a small tight flame to a large bushy one. Torch setups that include gauges allow you to not only adjust the oxygen to gas ratio, but to control the line pressure as well, which allows you to easily go from an oxidising flame to a reduction flame.

Heat Sinks:

Aids that prevent heat from travelling where you don't want it (e.g. a previously soldered join) are called heat sinks. Strategically placed cross locking tweezers will draw heat from an area, effectively acting as a heat sink. Be sure not to use heat sinks sold for electronic work to solder handmade jewellery; these are not made to withstand the high temperatures required to melt jewellery solders.

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).

Troubleshooting:

“I kept heating the metal but solder didn't flow” – You need to use a large enough and hot enough flame so that you can get in and out quickly. If your flame is not hot enough, you'll slowly burn off the flux, which causes the metal to oxidise, which in turn prevents the solder from flowing along the join. Solder can also tarnish over time, which prevents it from flowing. Use a brillo pad or fine-grit sandpaper to remove tarnish from your solder.

“Why did my join fall apart” – One of two things probably occurred during soldering: 1) the join was moved before the solder solidified or 2) one of the metal pieces was not at soldering temperature.

“I vaporised my earring post. What happened” – It takes more time to heat up the metal you are soldering the post to than it does to heat up the post. Aim the flame from underneath or to the side to heat the metal you're attaching the post to. And use a hot flame so you can get in and out quickly.

Soldering Aids:

– Different sizes of firebrick.

– Soft soldering pad with steel T-pins.

– Insulated cross-locking tweezers.

– Third hand with cross-locking tweezers.

– Titanium solder pick.

– Cast iron bowl containing soldering grain.

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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