16 Jul

Over the years in life you learn many things, you store little snippets of useful and sometimes useless information away in your brain, so when faced with the same challenges, you can recall it and it could mean you don’t make the same mistakes again.  You can also forget many things that you’ve learned too!

In my previous working life as a Project Manager, when I managed a project I had to keep a ‘Lessons Learned Log’.  I would record facts, processes and procedures, useful contacts and note things that went wrong and how they were resolved in it. It was always very useful and was essential when I had to do a similar project, I could look over a previous Lessons learned log and then avoid the same pitfalls etc or make direct contact with those important contacts.

So this got me thinking about Crafting, when you first learn something or do it for the first time after quite a while, you make mistakes, I suppose we all do.  Sometimes those mistakes can be costly, such as buying a piece of expensive equipment and then finding we don’t really need it or it doesn’t do what we thought it would do.  They can also be heartbreaking, like spending hours working on a project then destroy it by using the wrong product etc, I know I’ve been there!  Also I’ve spent hours trying to source products or the right product to do what I want to do.

What I am hoping through this post, is that we can all help each other by sharing little bits of useful information that we have picked up or learnt along the way when doing our crafts.  It might be telling us of a great product or website for supplies, finding that latest gadget was a waste of money or something you could not live without. Or it could be something that you have learnt through trial and error that you wish someone had told you, which could have saved you lots of time and money.

My intention is to publish a Lessons Learned Log page here on the Blog, with all the useful information/facts etc that you share with us, which will be available for everyone to use or add comments to whenever they need.  I will split it down into craft sections, ie. jewellery, general crafts, papercrafts etc if need be.

So to start us of I thought I would share some things that immediately came to my mind that I’ve picked up:

  • If you have stamped using Tim Holtz distress inks and then want to seal them, don’t use Mod Podge, it makes the ink smudge.
  • If you want to emboss or stamp on a slippery surface, cover with clear gesso first to give it something to adhere to and then do the embossing.
  • When making Kumihimo bracelets, it mentions weighting down the cord in the centre.  I didn’t understand why, so I didn’t do it.  It was only when I had finished making the bracelet and wore it a couple of times, I realised it was getting too big for me! It was stretching.  The point of the weight is to keep it stretched!  I still don’t weigh the centre down but periodically pull it to stretch it, so once you have made the bracelet that will be its true length.   Also approx 25” of cord will make 2 x 7.5” bracelets
  • Something that I picked up from Blue Button Press, which has saved me no end of time, is ‘Mirror Image’ printing.  In most printer property settings under page layout, there is a mirror image option.  This allows you to print out words or pictures back to front if you need to when using them in your crafts.
  • A 2 FL oz bottle of 3D Crystal Lacquer (available through ebay or will make a minimum of 50 25mm x 25mm glass pendants.  Also used in scrapbooking, cardmaking and jewellery.

Now over to you?

Linda x


Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Lessons Learned Log


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  1. bluebuttonpress

    July 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    I love this idea!! I’ll come up with a list for you, although you’ve already used my best one 🙂

    • The Crafty Network

      July 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      Sorry!! I know, it’s a really good one, saved me so much time (I will give you credit on the log for it, promise!). Lx

  2. wendy

    July 17, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Wow, what an enormous question Linda! I tend to keep note of these things on my blog… what can I come up with?

    Machine sewing:
    If doing applique work, make sure you use Bondaweb or Heat ‘n’ Bond LITE. the normal Heat ‘n’ Bond will clog up your needle and you’ll end up skipping stitches.
    If you have a tension issue on the back of your work, rethread the machine, take the bobbin out and cut a bit off before putting it back in and trying again.
    When you start sewing, hold on to the main thread and lower the needle, this will prevent the thread pulling out when you start to sew which is really annoying.
    A Clover mini-iron is indispensible for pressing seams on patchwork. Well worth the investment.

    that’s all I can think of right now… I hope I’ve learnt more lessons than that!

  3. Leisure Time

    September 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve learnt that when buying Velcro don’t buy the sticky back stuff as you can’t sew it on with a sewing machine as the sticky stuff gums up the works.


    • The Crafty Network

      September 11, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Sue, thanks for commenting on my post about Lessons Learned in crafting. A useful piece of information about the sticky velcro, thanks. I will add it to the list when I eventually put it all together, which I am aiming to do very soon, fingers crossed, I just wish more people who send information in! Anything else you can think of, please just leave a comment. Thanks. Linda x


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