Posted in Craft Shop

Safety In Your Craft Shop

While crafts can be fun, and create many beautiful designs, the chemicals used to create your projects can be hazardous. As well as some of the tools that provide their own dangers. it is always important to be as safe as possible in your work area. The added need for caution is the fact that many adults share their new hobby with their children. While you know to be careful around certain things; children often times do not. Lets look at two areas to be aware of in your craft building area.

craft area

The first thing you will want to document, is the number of chemicals that are used in your various projects. My previous post mentioned lye that is used in soaps. Undiluted lye can burn the skin and be extremely toxic if ingested or captured in the eyes. In the same category as lye, can be various paint thinners and solvents. Many artists and craft workers live by paint solvents to remove paint and other substances from tolls and/or skin. If you use it to remove things from your hands, you want to make very sure that you wash thoroughly with soap afterwards to remove any leftover solvent.



Another toxin is glue. Hobbyists use a number of different types of glue in their projects. Some as harmless as Elmer’s, and others that have have dangerous fumes. The glue and fumes can be flammable as well. Many people don’t realize that fumes can ignite just as easily as liquid. When S&S Heating and Air does Collegeville heating, they advise the art students to make sure there is plenty of ventilation in the work area, so hazardous fumes don’t build up.

The second biggest risk to safety is tools. many shops have cutting instruments that range from knives to saws. People don’t think about cutting safety until after an accident happens. Every work area should have gloves and goggles available for cutting exercises. If the knife or saw slips, a good strong pair of gloves can prevent a nasty cut from occurring. Goggles can prevent particles from flying up and getting into your eye. Most of these things should be common sense, but many fail to think about them because they are so excited about their craft projects. But a little planning can make everything be safe and fun.

craft saw

Posted in Crafts

Why You Should Join a Crafting Group

Making and creating homemade crafts has seen a surge in popularity lately and people are trying out all kinds of new crafts.  There are lots of craft stores and with the internet you can easily and affordably get your hands on crafting supplies.  Many crafters practice their art all by themselves.  Crafting is used to relieve stress and make some handmade gifts and let’s face it, it can be fun.  Crafting doesn’t have to be a solitary experience though and there are crafting groups popping up all over the place.  You can create your favorite crafts and enjoy the social aspect at the same time.

Crafting groups are available for almost every type of craft imaginable from knitting, crocheting, scrapbooking, quilting, beading and tons more.  You can tap into the expertise of others to help you advance your craft and you can use this opportunity to make new friends.  Here are some compelling reasons why you should join a crafting group in your area and some help on where to find one.

Benefits of Craft Groups:

  1. Meet people and make new friends.  When you are in a group with others doing the same type of crafts that you are you have natural conversations about different techniques, where you are having trouble.  You have the chance to both learn and teach others.
  2. More space to work.  Even if you are lucky enough to have a dedicated area in your home to do your crafts it probably isn’t as big or have large enough surfaces as you would have in a group.  Most people are completing crafts on their kitchen tables but a crafting group gives you more space and more help.
  3. Charity Projects.  Some of the local crafting groups work on big projects to give to charitable organizations.  Some will make blankets or hats for infants in the hospital and some will make clothes for homeless people trying to integrate back into the work force.
  4. You can learn a thing or two.  If you are new to your craft you can tap into the expertise of those who have been doing it for years.  You can pick up new techniques and as you get more experienced you can help others.
  5. Finish big projects quickly.  If you like making quilts, for example but don’t necessarily like taking a year to get the quilt finished then a group can not only help you complete the quilt but give you the encouragement you need to stick with it.

There are tons of benefits to joining a local crafting group, you can learn so much from the other crafters within your group.  It’s a great excuse to hang out with friends and maybe make some new ones along the way.  You can easily find groups on the internet, check out some local Facebook groups that meet up in real time, also MeetUp has tons of different groups that you can check out.

Posted in Crafts

Making Your Own Soap

Making your own soap at home isn’t as hard as you think, on the contrary the process can be fairly easy.  Homemade soaps make with all natural ingredients can be great for your skin and smell absolutely fabulous at the same time.  Making soap is also a great way to turn one of your hobbies into some extra cash, there is plenty of demand for all natural, organic, homemade soap.  There are fewer additives and harsh chemicals that store bought soaps use.  So what goes into making your own soap?

Ingredients Needed for Soap

There are literally thousands of recipes on the internet for making soap, most will have an oil of some kind in the base.  You can use olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil or any of the many other high quality oils available.  You can also use a mix of oils for the soap you make, that combined with other ingredients can make soap that nourishes the skin.

People often hesitate to make their own soap because they don’t want to handle lye.  You can make soap without lye, you can get mixtures from an local craft store like Hobby Lobby.  If you are trying to make soap for the first time then you may want to start with a kit from a craft store.  Anyone can do this, it is called the melt and pour method and it is super easy to do.

Here is how to use the melt and pour method:

  1. Grab a soap making kit from a craft store
  2. Heat the soap in your microwave and then just pour it into a mold, you can use almost any kind of mold that you like
  3. Leave the soap to cool and harden, you can put it in the freezer to speed up the process
  4. Take the soap out of the mold and try it out.

If you want to make real homemade soap then you need the right equipment and material, that will include lye.  Again there are tons of recipes on the internet that you can try.

Here is the process for making soap with lye:

  1. Gather together all the equipment that you will need.
  2. Have a good recipe that you want to try and make sure you have all the ingredients
  3. Follow the recipes closely and always wear protective gear

There are tons of guides and videos showing you how to make soap at home.  It can cost less than $100 to get started with your first few batches of soap.  You can experiment with different ingredients and scents until you get the perfect mix.