I am a practical girl at heart, and I love to find ways to make the messy parts of scrapbooking quicker, and easier. That means less time for boring tasks like cleaning and more time for creating!
In pursuit of practicality, I’m not afraid to raid areas of the house outside my studio in search of supplies! Plenty of household supplies can be invaluable in the scrapbook studio… here’s my top seven.
I keep a package of these right out on my scrap table. As any mother already knows, baby wipes have 101 uses for cleaning up kid-related messes. But they can be just as useful on your scrap table as your changing table. They are great when I’m working with ink – I use them for cleaning up my stamps immediately after I use them so the ink doesn’t stain them, as well as for cleaning up my hands so that I don’t transfer ink to my project from inky fingers. They are also useful for cleaning up paint and glue drips (and 101 other things!)
I like to use the large Huggies travel packs that hold around 56-72 wipes (depending on which wipe variety they contain), and have a snapping plastic lid. They are the perfect size for fitting in a shallow drawer like my Ikea Alex unit, and a large enough quantity that I’m not replacing the container every other week. I just discovered that Amazon has a great deal on these – you can buy an 8 pack of the 56ct Huggies Natural Care Fragrance Free Baby Wipes for only $16. I think I’ll be buying mine there from now on!
Blue Shop Towels
These paper shop towels may be designed for grease and other automotive gunk, but they work great for paint and other craft gunk too! They are stronger and way more absorbent than a regular kitchen paper towel – you can use them for applications that require doing things like rubbing mediums onto a surface and they won’t shred like a plain white paper towel. I use mine for wiping my paintbrush on to make it drier for certain applications that I only want it damp for – they absorb water beautifully. They are also great for rubbing ink off of resist chipboard pieces, without shredding or leaving lint behind.
Blue Shop Towels by Scott are available at automotive supply stores and the automotive department at stores like Walmart, for approximately $2.50 per roll of 55 10″x11′ towels.
The garage isn’t the only room of the house you can raid for scrapbook tools…how about the bathroom? My favorite part about these cosmetic applicators is the end with the tiny pointed tip. It’s fabulous for dabbing up glue that seeps out from under embellishments, or for catching paint that runs over the edge of an item. The large end of these can be useful for dabbing small amounts of ink in a specific area. Available in most drugstore and department store cosmetic departments.
Cosmetic Wedge Sponges
Another item that migrated from my cosmetic stash to my scrapbook stash are these cosmetic wedge sponges. They make great disposable paint brushes for certain applications (such as “dry brushing” paint onto the edges of paper) and they also make great ink applicators as well for creating certain effects. The sponges can also help spread mediums like adhesive that it would be easy to ruin a paint brush with. And since they are disposable, there is no clean-up when you are done – just toss it away! These are available at most drug and discount stores but where I live in Florida I’ve found the best ones available are the Publix grocery store brand. They are the most dense of any I’ve tried, and have the best texture to work with.
Blank Index Cards
Why would you need to bring more paper into your scrap room? I keep a big stack of 4″ x 6″ blank index cards on my desk all the times. I use them for notepaper to keep track of supply lists, shopping lists (buy more adhesive!) and all sorts of other things that I need to record. The best thing about the index cards is that they are a similar weight to a lot of scrapbooking paper. This means they can stand up to things like test stamping of images, getting pens started flowing, smudging liquid adhesive that is dripping, and testing color mediums.
Staples sells a 500 pack of 4″ x 6″ blank index cards for $5.99.
These are pretty much what I would call a “unitasker” in the scrap room but still plenty useful. Paper plates don’t always handle it well when you use things like paint on them, but foam plates handle it beautifully. That’s why I always keep a supply of foam plates on hand to use as paint palettes when I am scrapbooking (or doing other crafts). I use the small dessert plate size mostly, although occasionally resort to the dinner plate size for large projects that use a lot of different colors of paint. When I’m done, the clean-up is quick and easy – just throw the plate in the trash!
Comedian Demetri Martin once said that “glitter is the herpes of the craft world.” It sticks to everything it comes in contact with and spreads uncontrollably. But Swiffer refill cloths (which I use for dusting) have a static magnetic quality to them that will pick glitter right up off of any hard surface, like tables, and hard floors. I also use it to clean glitter and embossing powder residue out of my catch tray after I return the extra to the jar. There’s always a little bit left behind and that keeps the residue from mixing with the next color I use when I put it away.
Swiffer refills are available in major grocery and discount stores.
Keep crafting on the brain as you walk around your house. You might be surprised what you find that will be useful!
What is your favorite household item to use for crafting?
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