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42 votes
7 answers
30k views

How to cut a tiny circle in paper?

When papercutting, one often has to cut very small circles, like below. When I do that, I often break my blade. How should I cut small circles or other small holes? Think about ... Should I apply ...
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  • 900
39 votes
4 answers
11k views

What is the proper way to sharpen a pencil?

I wasn't aware that there could be a proper or improper way to sharpen a pencil till I read this (Keep pencil leads from breaking during transportation?): I sharpen my drawing pencils the "proper" ...
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36 votes
10 answers
65k views

How can paper be glued to cardboard without creating wrinkles?

In my projects, I often wish to affix a piece of paper to a more rigid material, like cardboard, and to do so using relatively large sheets of paper (say, around a square foot or two). However, I find ...
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31 votes
3 answers
11k views

What is the advantage of having an angled drawing desk?

I grew up using normal desks in school and drawing in art class on tables. I have drawn on tables for most of my projects, but every artists desk has a lift to it. What is the purpose of the varying ...
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  • 1,082
27 votes
2 answers
377 views

Calligraphy pens not laying ink evenly

I have a few calligraphy kits, with an assortment of some 20 nibs among them. I believe most are Manuscript brand. They all take the cartridges, and are not dip pens. Out of the box, none of them ...
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26 votes
6 answers
43k views

How can I avoid smudging my pencil drawings?

I'm very new at drawing. I'm not very good at pencil types yet, but it seems like whichever pencil I use (I have a set of 12 ranging from 6B to 5H), I end up with smudges. Is there a way to reduce ...
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  • 783
25 votes
12 answers
6k views

How do I remove labels from glass jars/bottles?

Glass jars or bottles provide a great base material for many crafts, but the least expensive option (reusing food jars or wine bottles that would otherwise be discarded) require me to do some surface ...
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  • 4,266
25 votes
4 answers
1k views

What are the advantages of watercolour paper over sketch paper?

I've been looking around for some paper for watercolour painting. Watercolour paper can be over double the price of sketch paper. What makes watercolour paper better? Should I invest the money, and ...
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  • 353
24 votes
6 answers
11k views

What are good ways to spray paint a QR code on a footpath?

The QR would be of a URL. The QR should be big enough like 4 A4 size papers. I though of cutting out the white boxes from a printed paper and spray on it but what about white dot islands. The ...
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  • 343
24 votes
9 answers
4k views

I need an alternative to leather

This is my first time trying to make a costume out of anything other than cardboard and sheets. I wanted to make Greek armour out of real leather but my mum said that real leather is very expensive ...
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24 votes
2 answers
5k views

I have a model with a latex allergy: what are my other options?

I do amateur make up for a local theater group. We have a few of our actors and extras that have latex allergies. Generally I simply avoid using prosthetics on them since I do not have a good solution....
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  • 464
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why are RGB and CMY the primary colors?

The RGB color model is supposed to describe how additive color works, and the CMY model how subtractive color works. But a number of things don't add up, some even appearing to violate laws of ...
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  • 9,655
21 votes
2 answers
21k views

Differences between HB pencils

Pencils seem to have different types: From what I've seen, there's a few types: HB 2HB B and so on. What's the difference between all the different pencils? When do I use one or the other?
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  • 767
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

Why do pencils offer larger color variety than watercolor?

Please correct me if I am wrong, but from what I observe, you can easily get 100-150 colours in a set of pencils, but if you go for sets of watercolors, there's rarely more than 24-36. Why so?
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  • 363
20 votes
8 answers
35k views

How can I make a sketch under a watercolour painting and have it not be seen?

I usually use a regular pencil to sketch what I would like to paint very faintly, but I find that no matter how light it is, it can still be seen under the painting. Once the paint is dry, I can't ...
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  • 1,124
20 votes
5 answers
1k views

What are good options in colored pencil blending, especially for a traveller?

I generally use the Faber-Castell Colored Pencils, which are vegetable oil based, but I also use PrismaColor Premier from time to time. I normally use Odorless Mineral Spirits to blend, but it is a ...
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  • 3,363
19 votes
3 answers
37k views

How do I cut the bottom off a glass wine bottle?

Recently at a party, I saw empty wine bottles that had the base cut off so it could be placed over a candle. It made an elegant and interesting centerpiece, and I have some very pretty wine bottles ...
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  • 4,266
19 votes
6 answers
62k views

What can I do to smooth and polish hand cut glass edges?

I make small frames and boxes and I like to put in mirror and glass in those projects. In trying to avoid dealing with the question I usually frame in the mirror so that no one will see the clean cut ...
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  • 10.9k
19 votes
3 answers
9k views

How to prevent the paper from getting damaged due to a steel compass?

I intend to draw nested circles for a Mandala drawing. When the compass point is placed on the paper, it creates a tiny hole. How do I keep the point from damaging the paper?
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19 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the difference between cheaper oil paints and more expensive ones?

I use Winton oil paint that I get for £8 for a 200ml tube (for any colour). Some tubes from other ranges (from the same shop) cost up to £160 for a tube the same size - and there is different pricing ...
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  • 1,808
19 votes
3 answers
8k views

How do you choose a stitch length when straight stitching an arbitrary fabric?

When looking to sew a piece of fabric, what factors are looked at to determine the correct stitch length?
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  • 415
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

How can I safely sharpen a small craft knife?

I have a small craft knife (almost like a scalpel, really) that's become rather blunt over the years. It's no longer safe to use because it's so blunt, so I need to sharpen it. What are the safest ...
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  • 641
18 votes
1 answer
379 views

What's the difference between crochet, knitting, and tunisian crochet?

What's the difference between crochet, knitting, and tunisian crochet? At the end of the day it seems to me that all three crafts results in similar knitted texture fabrics. What makes the key ...
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17 votes
3 answers
364 views

How to prevent "tufts" in paper when cutting fine details?

In the winter I'm big on making detailed, six-sided paper snowflakes. I use crafting knife to cut everything out. Usually I use printer paper or origami paper. My issue is when cutting inside ...
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17 votes
3 answers
180 views

What are food safe finishes for woodworking projects, e.g. turned bowls?

There are many different products to finish your projects with. What types are food safe and what should one look out for when finishing a project that needs to be food safe?
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  • 1,133
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

How do I know when my sewing machine needs a service?

I have inherited a sewing machine from my grandmother and have just started sewing. How do I tell that my machine needs a service? Is there a recommended schedule or some tell-tale sign that it's time ...
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17 votes
1 answer
534 views

Making thin brittle sand design that holds together

I'm trying to make pretend coins out of sand, so that they are solid enough say, to hold it by the edge and it not bend, but brittle with so that if I crushed it in my hand it'd crumble back into sand....
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  • 321
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is a good technique for drilling holes in glass bottles?

How do you drill holes in glass bottles (safely)? Do you need special drill bits, or tools? High speed drill or extra slow? I tried once on my drill press and I shattered the bottle. I've seen ...
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  • 1,133
16 votes
3 answers
10k views

What should I use to draw under oil paint?

I was drawing onto my primed canvas in pencil, in preparation to paint over the top in oils, but a friend told me that I shouldn't do that, since over time the graphite will rise to the surface of the ...
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  • 1,808
16 votes
5 answers
43k views

How do you bond clear acrylic to wood?

I am trying to glue a piece of clear acrylic 2mm thick to a piece of plywood that is 5mm thick. They are both 76mm by 50mm and rectangular in shape. They have some cutouts in the middle. It's supposed ...
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  • 375
16 votes
2 answers
7k views

Can I use an airbrush inside?

I'm looking into buying an airbrush for painting miniatures, but one thing I can't figure out is if it's safe to use it inside and if I need to use any protection for breathing if I'm going to spray ...
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16 votes
5 answers
395 views

What criteria should I be considering when looking at a second hand sewing machine?

I understand the basic concept of how a sewing machine works. I also know there are many varieties of sewing machines e.g. they are capable of doing their own sets of stitches and what not, supporting ...
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  • 10.9k
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

What are the little pieces of wood that come with pre-made canvas for?

I buy pre-made canvases, and they always come with a little packet of wooden things: What are they for? How should I use them?
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  • 1,808
16 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the difference between linen and cotton canvas?

I am painting in oils, and I normally paint on cotton canvas. I've often wondered what the difference is between cotton and linen canvases - linen canvases appear to have a slightly different texture, ...
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  • 1,808
15 votes
10 answers
4k views

What are some waterproof materials that meet my criteria for folding origami stars and cranes eggs?

One of my future projects involve folding A LOT of origami stars and crane eggs and turn it into a curtain. However, I want to insure that my hard (and very tedious) work do not go to waste by making ...
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  • 555
15 votes
10 answers
7k views

What can I do to ensure I only erase the smaller details without affecting the area around it?

I don't draw much and can't even call myself an amateur yet. As a result I make a lot of mistakes and also many test strokes when drawing. For small touch ups and mistakes the eraser is my best ...
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  • 10.9k
15 votes
6 answers
4k views

How to plan a drawing?

When I am drawing, I have a lot of good ideas to use, but I always have trouble envisioning the drawing I want to make! I end up starting to draw and then erasing it countless times before I get close ...
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  • 533
15 votes
2 answers
25k views

How do I get a blur (blended) effect in pencil drawings?

When drawing pictures with a pencil, I often want to create a more or less solid darker colour in some region. It's easy to shade an area so that it appears a solid dark colour from a distance, e.g. ...
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  • 1,976
15 votes
5 answers
24k views

What is the way to clean a kneaded eraser?

I can see black patches on my kneaded eraser. What is the right way to clean the kneaded eraser so that it doesn't leave any marks on the paper?
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15 votes
3 answers
19k views

How can I prevent watercolor paper from buckling?

Watercolor paper comes in various weights and the lighter variants can buckle (also known as cockling) when they get wet. How can I prevent or reduce this from happening? Is there a preferred ...
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  • 3,363
15 votes
2 answers
11k views

How do I choose which adhesive or material to repair action figures?

I have several types of action figures that need minor repairs (small details broken off) and major repairs (limbs broken). Some of these parts are soft, flexible plastic, some hard, and some are ...
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15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is there a way to determine the fiber content of a yarn if I've lost the label?

I try to keep the label that comes with the yarn I buy but I do have a few balls of yarn where the label has disappeared and I don't have an additional, unused ball (that would still have the label). ...
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  • 585
15 votes
3 answers
12k views

Determining a station point for a perspective drawing

For simple perspective drawings, you don't really need to get into having a station point (or vantage point, not vanishing point) at all. As I'm looking at more complex methods, a station point ...
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15 votes
2 answers
292 views

Durable T-shirt design methods

I would like to compare the durability of different methods for designing T-shirts (printing/drawing), where I would like to restrict myself to print methods that can be achieved at home (with a ...
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  • 624
14 votes
6 answers
38k views

Which glue should I use to attach paper to glass?

When making things that go in bottles (primarily beer), I want to add labels to the bottles. I like the look of matte paper labels such as those found on fancy wine bottles, but I'm having difficulty ...
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  • 2,264
14 votes
2 answers
947 views

Does knitting needle material make a difference in knitting?

Knitting needles are available in wooden, metal and plastic materials. Are certain needles more forgiving of mistakes? Does the material itself have any effect on the process or product, besides ...
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  • 257
14 votes
1 answer
230 views

What do you call "negative" paint?

Many months ago, I came across an art medium used by painters. I cannot remember the exact term for this medium. It is white, but is transparent once used, I believe... having the consistency and ...
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  • 143
14 votes
2 answers
989 views

What is the conversion for UK and US crochet hooks to mm?

The UK and US use numbered or lettered hook sizes in their patterns rather than a standardized measurement. What are the conversions between the hook sizes depending on whether I'm using US or UK ...
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  • 3,436
14 votes
4 answers
21k views

Is there a way to cleanly cut styrofoam?

My roommate is a bit of a pack rat and has several old TV and computer monitor boxes with styrofoam supports. I am thinking of cutting the styrofoam into little "bricks" and building a small house ...
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  • 555
14 votes
3 answers
5k views

How to protect & preserve water color paintings

Is there a particular coating that I should be using to protect a watercolor painting? And what is the best storage option for preserving paintings?
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