Crafty Help! Q&A’s

Do you have a Crafty Question?  Then why not ask here?  Write your question below in the comments box and we will try to find the answer for you by asking other crafters on here and on our Facebook page. 

(The names of people who asked the question and supplied the answers will be deleted unless you ask for it to be included).

All Questions & the Answers will be listed below (they maybe edited). Also if you would like to add anything to any of the questions already asked, please leave a comment below, stating the question number.



Q1.         Where can I buy printed name labels made to sew onto things?

Supplied Answers: 

Q2.         Do you know of any businesses that will print your own logo onto cello wrap and ribbon?

Supplied Answers:

Q2a.   Can you recommend someone who sells cheap plain 1.5″ grosgrain?

Supplied Answers:

Q3.         Can anyone recommend a printer that will print on card (approx 240gsm)?

Supplied Answers:

  • Printers which have a flat paper path are best, so the card does not have to bend around rollers. (ie. feed in from the front and comes out at the back on the same level).
  • Cannon Pixma printer can take up to 300gsm weight of card (A4 & A3)
  • An HP Laser Printer can do up to 300gsm pearlised card (A4)
  • Some Epson printers but check the settings.

Q4          Which Die Cutter would you recommend buying?

Supplied Answers:

  • A Cricut, a Bigshot and a Sizzix machine all have their place in a craft room.  The beauty of electronic machines is that you can change the size of a shape. Whereas the Cuttlebug and Bigshot have dies and you can only cut that shape out! Also with an electronic machine sometimes the cut is not always ‘clean’. But with a die cutting machine gives a good clean cut every time!
  • Depends on the budget…. you can get a Cuttlebug for as little as £50. The Cuttlebug can cut up to 6″ width. You can adapt the Cuttlebug and The Big Shot to accept other manufacturers’ dies.  If you have a bigger budget, Spellbinders do a cutting machine, called a Grand Calibur, which cuts up to 8.5″ width and takes major competitors’ dies too.  That costs about £150.
  • The newer Big Shot machines have 2 plates that can fold away if you don’t need them. With the older one, you need to buy a ‘solo thin adapter’ which is approx £7.50 for the thinner dies
  • I own a Bigshot and a Cricut. The Cricut is obviously an investment, but in all honesty I don’t use mine that often. The bigshot is used on nearly every project and can get big bulk buys for a reasonable price. Can use thin and big dies. The only disadvantage is you can’t use grand Nesties unless you buy a Bigshot Maxi.
  • I love my Silhouette Craft Robo. I love being able to create or modify files to what I need or want, instead of being stuck with something someone else wanted to create.
  • I love my bigshot. Like others say it takes many different manufactuers dies.  It gets used almost daily.

Q5        Can a Sizzix Big Shot Die Cutter be used to cut leather?

Supplied Answers:

  • I think it should be just great for leather, I use mine for felt and foam.
  • I agree. It should work fine. I would just say try it! If u feel u are forcing it through then stop. But the bigshot cuts most materials.
  • I’m sure you can use a Big Shot for leather, though I’d advise caution if it is quite thick/stiff/heavy weight.  I’ve seen it used for plastics and fabrics.  So long as the leather is fairly pliable and not too thick, it should be fine.  You may need to experiment a little with the cutting plates – maybe you’ll need to use a thinner plate and add sheets of paper to get the right pressure, if the thicker plates are too much.
  • Either that or the Tim Holtz Vagabond uses steel dies and it’s meant to cut through chipboard, so should be able to do leather. Check on youtube perhaps for any specific hints and tips on cutting leather with it before purchasing of course :-
  • I have the sizzix bigshot and the cutting blades bent when using leather.
  • Depends how thick the leather is but I use it for leather.
  • I have a big shot and it cuts leather fine you’ve just gotta use the right cutters, the bigz dies work fine also the moveable magnetic cutters, can’t remember what they are called but they are the ones you have to have the special base tray for. I’ve used mine loads for leather up to 5mm thick.

Q6       “Has anyone got or knows a UK supplier who has the “Moda” Jelly Roll called “Noteworthy”?

Supplied Answers:

  • Moda release fabrics in USA about 4/6 months before UK to see how they sell. Barbara at quiltessentials in Cumbria has the 2013 catalogue for moda so give her a ring and she will be able to help . 01228 712020
  • also do Jelly Rolls, but not sure if they do ‘Noteworthy’.

Q7  Does anybody have any handy hints on how to sew badges onto a uniform?

Supplied Answers:

  • Lay them out first, before sewing, to check for placement/fit. Once you have them where you want them, put a dab of hotglue under the center of each one to tack them down in place, then sew around the edges.
  • Use ‘wonderweb’ or something similar. You just iron it on with the badge. To remove, simply iron again and pull the badge whilst still warm!
  • Heat n Bond ultra. Just have to iron on & washable, no sewing. Or buy the light version works in same way but need stitch as well.
  • I sew mine on my machine using a close zig zag/applique stitch it takes minutes!
  • If only they were iron You can buy the proper stuff..

Q8.  I’m after some good quality chocolate to melt and mix in with other ingredients but not cake. Has to be reasonably priced.?

Supplied Answers:

  • Lidls actually do a few nice chocolates.
  • Lindt 70% is the way ahead
  • Try  The UK’s leading supplier of Chocolate,Ingredients, Packaging and Machinery for Chocolate, Bakery and Patisserie work.

Q9. Where can I get some simple information about starting up/registering a business when you are running it with a friend?”

Supplied Answers:

  • Your local Chamber of Commerce or the Federation of Small Businesses should be able to advise you.
  • You would need to file a partnership return. If you ring HMRC and ask to speak to a technician as those are the people who know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING within the tax business and all partnership queries go to them.
  • I would call the HMRC helpline, they are very helpful and not at all scary!

Q10. What is the best type of daylight lamp to buy?  It needs to be easily portable, have a flexible head and not too pricey?

Supplied Answers:

  • I just use a diy store bought angle-poise desk lamp with a daylight bulb, however It stays in place, not moved about the house.  I used to have a ‘real’ daylight lamp with magnifier built-in, never really used the magnifier and it seemed to get through bulbs really fast.
  • I have a ‘third hand’ with a led light it consists if 3 sets if croc clips in adjustable arms and a magnifier that also has a smaller x20 area on it plus led lights in the rim of the mag… I love it… Bought it from China via eBay and was here in about 5 days excellent purchase that wasn’t over £10 !! Hope this helps?
  • I use the daylight lamp a lot as it helps with miniature work. I use a floor standing one as I found table ones gave me a headache as the heat and light were too near my head.

Q11. Which internet selling sites would you recommend?

Supplied Answers:

  • Facebook has been my best platform to sell, I have tried, etsy & I am also with Wow Thank you, no sales at all from them but loads from my facebook page.
  • I use etsy & folksy. Also of course my own website as well as through facebook.
  • Folksy, there is a lovely community with chats going on all the time, lots of fantastic work and a real friendly feel.
  • I use Folksy, it is easy to use and friendly.  I have also just started with Wow Thank You and the lady who runs it is extremely helpful and always there for support.
  • Also check out our Page on On-line selling sites: HERE.

Q12.  I am knitting with black and white yarn, the black fibres are discolouring the white, should I wash black yarn first?

Supplied Answers:

  • You could try washing a little in a mesh bag in the washing machine on whatever setting it suggests, put something white in the washer (something you don’ t need or don’t mind getting discoloured like a white handkerchief or a face wipe) and see whether the colour comes out (this is only important if the garment you’re making needs to be washed once it has been made (e.g. clothing). Make sure you measure the yarn before you put it in the machine, then you can measure shrinkage as well as see how much colour comes out – that will allow you to see if you have enough yarn for the project if you decide to wash it all. Then try knitting with the piece of black yarn once washed and see whether it’s any better. If it’s better and there’s not too much shrinkage, then I’d say wash it all!

Q13. Can you recommend some software or someone who does the profile banners for Facebook business pages?

Supplied Answers:

  • HoO”s Help Desk
  • Photoshop.
  • Pagemodo App on Facebook.
  • MS Paint and Windows Live Photo Gallery, excellent for exposure on photos, editing backgrounds, resizing etc.
  • I use Paintbrush.
  • Pic monkey has ready sized templates to choose from and you just upload your photos and save it. It’s free and easy to use.  Click Link HERE (Select > Create a Collage >Layouts >FB Cover).

Q14. I’m looking for a supplier to supply the following items:   * plain wooden photo frames in different sizes and that can be decorated.  * small chalk heart (without string)?

Supplied Answers:

  • The Blueberry Patch has the small chalk hearts – just let me know what size you want and quantity.
  • Ikea is very good for cheap wooden photo frames.
  • Claire Creations for chalk hearts.
  • The nearest Range store is quite good for crafty bits.

Q15.  I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for cheap but good website building sites for a new small business?

Supplied Answers:

  • WordPress is excellent.
  • Wix is free and easy.
  • I’ve just set up one with Moonfruit – the one I have chose is free.  If I add anything else there will be a monthy charge.
  • I’ve just set one up with a company i found on here £5 Websites. The guys are amazingly helpful and talk you through it every step of the way and have just put tutorials on their site to help too.Go and have a look,i highly reccommend them ❤
  • I used Weebly which was really easy to set up and use. Mine was free to create and there are lots of themes and backgrounds to use or you can change them slightly to create a unique site.
  • Mr site.
  •  Excellent customer service and tech support. Can’t fault them.
  • I used shopify, they are very professional and helpful.x
  • Web Dependence
  • I use Merchant Moms which are especially for work at home mums, so they are very reasonably priced if that helps.
  • Vistaprint has 3 or 4 levels depending on what you are looking for.

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