Helpful Hints

1. To make your own wood aging solution... put a steel wool pad (not the kind with soap) into 1 quart of white distilled vinegar for about two days. Remove the steel wool. The vinegar will still probably look clear but if you brush some on a piece of wood it should age it. If not put the steel wool in for another day.

2. Another method to make an aging solution... is to mix 1 dropper India Ink with 1 oz. Rubbing Alcohol.  You can either add more India Ink or more alcohol until you have the desired gray look you want when applied to wood.

3. Homemade Wallpaper Glue - makes 1/2 in a covered glass jar.

1/4 cup of dry instant rice

1-cup water

1/4-cup warm water

1 tsp. Antiseptic, such as Listerine or Bactine

Put rice in bowl. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and allow to set overnight. Pour this into a blender and add 1/4 cup of warm water. Liquify for 5 minutes. Do not mix or paste will be lumpy. Pour liquid mixture into a saucepan and add 1/2-cup water. Warm for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool. Add antiseptic to prevent spoilage. (With permission from Little Enough News).

4. Strong black coffee or tea ages paper nicely. Either brush it on or submerse the paper in it. Remove the paper and let dry. If a darker color is desired, do it again

5. Red wine can be used to stain wood. It makes a beautiful cherry or maple color.

6. Rubbing alcohol will remove dried paint in brushes. Put some alcohol in a straight-sided jar and put your paint bushes in. Use a clothes pin to pin the brush to the side of the jar so the bristles don't get bent. Leave in until the old paint starts to flow out when you swish the brush around in the alcohol. Even works on oil based paints.

7. Never leave a paintbrush in a water bowl. The metal part that attaches to the wood will become loose and the bristles will fall out. Always wash your brush immediately and lay flat.

8. Brush clear fingernail polish on acrylic plastic to make thin 'faux' leaded-glass windows.

9. The insides of some envelopes make wonderful 1/4" scale wallpaper or 1" scale wrapping paper.

10. A few drops of Vinegar will soften glue that has thickened up. ( With permission from Little Enough News)

11. Fingernail decals make nicely scaled decals for dishes, cupboards, furniture, etc. They are available as water slide type or rub-ons. (With permission from Little Enough News)

12. Upholstery fabric makes great rugs.

13. Painted lead pellets can be used to make vases and bowls. They come in different sizes and shapes.

14. Use felt colored pens to color acrylic plastic to look like stained glass. (With permission from Rik Pierce)

15. Liquid shoe polish makes a great wood stain. It even comes with it's own applicator.

16. Blue painters masking tape is great to use for holding items while the glue is drying. It leaves no sticky residue and can even be safely removed from most types of paper. It comes in several widths.

17. Dried old coffee grounds can be used for dirt for landscaping.

18. Those clear Christmas Ornament Balls that open down the middle are great for creating small scenes for Christmas. Then hang them on your tree to enjoy.

19. These same clear ornaments can be used all year long with any scene. Simply hang them in front of a window.

20. Black sandpaper can be cut and glued on roofs to look like black tile roofs. File folders can also make great shingles. Simply paint the color of your choice. These work better on 1/4" scale roofs.

21. Making water with Tin Foil...These are the instructions that came with my Sea Shanty Kit ... I took a workshop from Mary Jean Emory at the Gulf Show in New Orleans in 2004 and she showed us how to make water with aluminum foil.


We used the heavy-duty foil. It was about 2-3" bigger on all 4 sides than the wood we glued it to. We were doing a large piece of wood about 12" x 15". For smaller pieces the foil doesn't have to be so much bigger and the thinner foil might work better on really small areas. 


 First we applied tacky glue very liberally to the entire wood piece. Then we put the foil on the wood shiny side up but we made sure the 4 edges of the foil were even with the 4 edges of the wood. Then we pressed the foil down in random places deliberately leaving part crinkled up to look like waves. It's hard to describe but try it on a small scale first and you'll see what I mean. I have attached some pictures of my water we made in Mary Jean's class. We let it dry and then we dry brushed paint over the foil. Using white, blue, and brown. You could also use green if you wanted greener water. After the paint dries you go back over the top parts where the foil is sticking up with more white to make it look like white caps.


22. Sharpie Permanent Marking Pens are great to "paint" wood with.  The wood doesn't warp like it can with a water based paint plus it dries immediately.


23. Faux Fabric Instructions (First I want to state that I did not think of this process.  It has been around for a long time.)

Supplies & Tools Needed:  tacky glue, sharp pointed tweezers, and scissors.  You will need something to spread the glue (I use my finger) but if you are doing a large surface you may want to use a spreader such as a credit card or piece of wood.

1.        Cut out around the printie you want to use to make fabric but leave a white border.  Don't cut it exactly at this time.

2.         Cut out a piece of the paper towel slightly larger than the piece of "fabric" you just cut out.

3.        On the back of the "fabric" piece spread a thin layer of tacky glue.  Apply this piece to the paper towel.  Now trim the entire piece exactly around the paper printies.

4.         Immediately, while the piece is still wet turn it over and with the tweezers gently remove one layer of paper towel and throw it away.

5.        Now, while the piece is still wet crumble it up as you would a piece of paper to throw it away.  Then re-open it a press it flat.  You can do this several times until you achieve the look of cloth.

6.         Shape it around the object where you want to use it and leave it alone to dry.


This technique works great to make quilts, blankets, curtains, clothes, etc.