Monday, May 16, 2011

Color Pencil Conversion Charts

Pat asks:
Can you tell me the color conversions for Faber-Castell to Prismacolor Premier colored pencils.

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you!

This one took a while to find and I had to turn to my friend Cody Goodin for help.  He suggests you go to  the Making a Mark website and review the article on this page; they have links to various color pencil charts.  He also sent me two charts he found on the WetCanvas website.  I've attached them here for you (click on them for a larger pic). 

Prismacolor-Polychromos 2

Prismacolor-Polychromos 1

Hope this helps.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Is it best to stamp or stencil onto muslin

Jennifer asks:
whether it's better to stamp or stencil (or other) an image onto small muslin gift bags, like these. Is there a particular method or ink that will work best? I'd love to use soy-based or other environmentally friendly ink.

Thank you!

I think it really depends on how much detail you want your image to have. A stamp will give more detail than a stencil. You can use ink on fabric and heat set it, no guarantee it will be permanent unless the ink is specifically made for fabric. You can add textile medium to paint to make that permanent. I like to paint onto a stamp and use that on fabric. Just be sure to put a piece of cardboard inside the bag so you don't bleed ink/paint through to the back.

Good luck!


Thursday, April 7, 2011

How to glue paper to wood

Payankey asks:
What is the best glue to adhere a printed picture to wood? I used several kinds and they all made the paper bubble up. Can you please help me with this situation?

My expert, Judy Leasure, has the following advice for you:There is a colored pencil artist named Janelle Johnson who adheres handmade and collage papers to wood surfaces all the time. She recommends Lineco Neutral PH Adhesive. She sells it on her website and you may be ablet to find it at a fine art supply store. Janelle has an instruction page on her website for how to use the product. Her website is

Also, part of the bubbling problem may have to do with the thickness of the paper. If you are using really thin papers, then it may be nearly impossible to eliminate bubbling. Heavier papers will not do that as much.

Good luck!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Justin asks:
Can you tell me what the best paint marker to use on plastic crafts such as painting a water bottle that won't wash or smudge off?

thank you.

The problem with plastics such as a water bottle is that they are too smooth and there is nothing for the paint to grab onto. Even Sharpie markers wash off after a while. I don’t know of a medium that wouldn’t smudge after a while … sorry! You would have to change the surface of the bottle to make it accept paint. If you are willing to do that here are instructions. Good luck!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

How to make acrylic paint permanent for outdoors

Marty asks:
I'd like to how do I get acrylic paints to be permanent on slate? What finish should I put over it? It will be used outdoors. I am putting on a coat of Marine Varnish now.

Your Marine Varnish should work just fine. You could use any outdoor varnish. Some people do nothing at all over the acrylic paints and have had rocks or garden stones outside for years with no damage to the paint

Best of luck.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Difference between fusible web and iron-on Pellon

Kerrie asks:
I'd like to know the difference between fusible webbing and iron-on pellon. Fusible webbing I think has a paper backing to it but I have been given I think iron-on pellon which I have attached to an appliqué which should have been fusible webbing??? The iron-on pellon does not seem to have a pull off backing to it. For me to be able to appliqué stitching to it, I think I will have to try and remove the pellon without destroying the water-erasable pen markings that I have already put on it. Can I put fusible webbing straight over the top and still be able to stitch through or will it be too difficult?

Fusible webs are glue or plastic based see through materials that are either encased in paper like the double sticks, or have paper on one side only. They are used to bond the applique pattern pieces to the background fabric.

The iron on pellon is an interfacing – which has glue on one side and is meant to strengthen certain areas of clothing, such as cuffs and facings.

You can put the fusible webbing on top of the interfacing but it will make it stiffer and possibly harder to sew through. I would test it out on a scrap of fabric and see how it works for you.

Best of luck.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Rebaking polymer clay

Tara asks:
I'm using Genesis heat set paints on a baked polymer clay sculpt. Is there a limit to how many times you can re-bake this clay so that there's no cracking? Would it even crack at all? I've never tried it and don't want to destroy the reborn sculpt I just created by painting it!

The answer is from polymer goddess Christi Friesen at :

I've never used the Genesis paints - although I've heard good things. I use acrylic paints and regularly rebake the antiqued pieces with no cracking, bubbling or problems. If I am guessing correctly, your polymer piece is fully baked, and now about to be painted and all you'll need is to bake it long enough to set the Genesis paints. If that's so, then you shouldn't have any trouble with your polymer cracking - polymer definitely can go through multiple bakings without cracking. If in doubt, paint some scrap thing you don't care about and bake it to see what happens, but I'm pretty sure you'll have no trouble with it!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Printing on muslin

Jody asks:
I fused wonder under to muslin and ran it through my inkjet, copying the images I had placed on the copy machine. It worked great! Is there any reason not to do this? Do you know if the fabric would then be washable...would the image remain?

You have to use treated fabric if you want the image to be stable, otherwise it will wash out. You can buy a few different types of products and/or prepared fabric to do this. Bubble Jet Set is one pre-treatment you can find at quilt stores, you use it on your own fabric. There’s lots of pretreated fabric around – you can buy it the package at most craft shops. Have fun!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Can you cover charcoal with gesso?

Brenda asks:
I want to sketch with charcoal on canvas board, then gesso the board before painting with acrylics. Will that work? Why or why not?

As far as I know, all gesso is opaque—either white or black. Therefore, it will cover up your charcoal work and you will not be able to see it. Further, gesso is generally applied with a brush and would smear your charcoal drawing. To do what you are describing, you need to spray your charcoal sketch with a clear fixative (either charcoal fixative or a crystal clear water-based varnish. This will seal your charcoal sketch and allow you to paint over it with your acrylics without smearing your charcoal.

Hope this helps.

Judy Leasure, TDA
My art blog:
My art pictures:
My art store:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

How to make fabric banners

Dasha asks:
I'd like to know how to make large fabric icons on a flexible material, such as muslin or drop-cloth type canvas (flexible) to hang in the newly painted hallway. They will hang like banners. I hope to have them there for some years to come. The actual painting will be done by the kids, ranging in age from PreK to High School. Adults will do the prep work. What do you suggest for a primer and finisher. What do you suggest? Thank you. Dasha
I would do this project as simply as possible. Whenever working with children, the KISS method (Keep It Simple Sweetheart) is definitely the best way to go.

First, select your fabric—a heavy muslin or sailcloth would work well. You want something with enough weight that it will hang straight without having to weight the bottom. Try to get something with a fairly smooth texture. Wash the fabric to remove any sizing and put in the dryer without any softener. At this point, I would make my banners: cut to size, hem all edges, reinforce the top edge with a rod pocket so that you can run a dowel or wooden slat through it so it will hang straight and flat, attach hanging rings or tabs, or whatever mechanism you are going to use to hang them on the wall. Finally, press your banners so that they are flat and without wrinkles.

Now you are ready to paint. If I were doing this project, I would use DecoArt SoSoft fabric paint. This brand stays flexible, does not require heat setting to become permanent, and you can apply it using regular paint brushes. The downside is that it comes in rather small bottles. It does not require a lot of paint to cover an area, however. Once finished, leave them to dry for at least 24 hours. You can then press them lightly to remove any wrinkles and hang them up. No special finish is necessary and they should last for many years. They will also be washable if that is a concern. I have painted clothing with these paints and they wash and dry very well without fading, chipping, or cracking. For a piece that will simply hang on a wall, wear should not be a problem at all.

If you choose to use regular craft acrylic paints, you can do that instead. The preparation would be the same. The finished product may be a little less washable, but again you are not wearing these pieces and they should not get terribly dirty. Acrylic paints also would not need any sort of primer or finish coat to make them quite permanent. If you choose to use regular acrylics, I would use DecoArt Americana or Delta Ceramcoat. These are both high quality paints and will hold up well over time. You do need to be careful not to apply the paint too heavily (thick). If you wish you can add textile medium to the paint prior to applying it.

For brushes, you can use regular craft paint brushes for either of these approaches. You may find that flat or filbert brushes with somewhat shorter hairs will work better because they will be able to scrub the paint into any texture on the fabric. If you are highlighting and shading any of the elements in the design, working with the fabric paints will allow you to blend while the paint is wet. For any line work, you will want to use long-haired liner brushes. Make sure your table is covered with craft paper and do not move the piece while it is being painted. The paint will go though the fabric and you don’t want to mess up your painting by moving it around an picking up paint off the table cover.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further help. Let us know how your icons turn out.

Judy Leasure, TDA

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What glue to use with stretch fabric

Rachel asks: Can you please tell me which fabric glue is the best for applying lace (and other fabrics) to Tank tops and T-shirts that are made out of stretch fabric? I need a glue that will not show thru the lace or on the actual tank top (an invisible glue, if possible). And please remember that the shirts I will be working with are made out of stretch fabric therefore the glue must work with the fabric as well.

We don’t suggest gluing anything that will be washed. You should probably sew it. That said – Aleene’s does make a stretch fabric glue but they state it will hold up to hand washing only.
Hope this helps,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Making a removable painted decal for clothing

Dolphin45 asks: What type of paints and pens should I use on my daughter's tutu? I have to make a silver or gold design on it and it needs to look professional. Do you know of anywhere to get these items and names of products so I can get them asap.

I wrote and asked Dolphin45 what the tutu was made of - the answer was lycra.

I don't like to paint on lycra because I think when it is stretched the edges are never sharp looking. What I suggest is making your design separately and then attaching it to the tutu. There is a new product called Styli'Stick (from Pebeo) that will allow you to make a decal that can be ironed on to the lycra. I think this is ingenious because you could make a nice design and then because the decal is removable you can use the tutu for other shows. The Styli Sticks come in many colors as well as metallics.
Hope this helps!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

When good thread (floss) goes bad

Joyce asks:
How do I keep DMC six strand cotton embroidery floss from shredding.
The last that I purchased seems to twist and shred badly. I have used wax and Thread
Heaven and that does not help.Has something happened to the quality of their product?

I've used DMC for YEARS (because it really IS better than Coats & Clark) & MOST of the time it's excellent. But like all mass-produced things, sometimes a batch slips through that just - well - SUCKS! I've gotten ahold of a couple of bad DMC batches & had the same trouble you are having. Truth? Your best bet is to either salvage what you CAN of it, or TOSS it & get some more. But DO write to the company before you toss any & let them see some of the 'bad' threads! They need to know when their product isn't the quality it should be!

Good luck! Kai

Friday, January 4, 2008

What glue to use to hang slate

Chrissy asks: How do I stick hangers onto the back of slate so I can hang it on the wall without drilling holes in the slate?

I would try the two-part epoxies. They have been used for tack welding metal so it should be able to hold the hanger to the slate. I would use some sandpaper to scuff up the slate, if possible, before gluing.
Hope this works!

Friday, December 14, 2007

How to set glitter on wood

I'd like to know how to get the glitter on wood to set. I have spread glue and then sprinkled glitter on wood and want it to stay and not come off or shed. Is there a spray that I can spray on the glitter to make it stay without the glitter shedding off? Thanks.

I asked the Queen of Glitter - Jean Bernard to answer this for me ... here's what she says:

I would apply a few thin coats of clear glossy varnish over the glitter. Next time mix the glitter 50/50 with the varnish :) You could find some Krylon super gloss sealer and try a test spot before you cover the entire area if this is a big project. Sometimes even the super glossy spray will cloud the glitter and it will loose its sparkle :)
hope this helps ya :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Can I use acrylics instead of gesso for base coat?

JK asks:
Can I use white acrylic paint instead of gesso for the base of my oil painting?

I can tell you what I do. I don't gesso anything. I don't even think I own any gesso. Most of the stretched canvases you purchase today are already prepared with gesso and so are ready for painting. I like to use board rather than canvas. I personally don't care for the texture of canvas in my finished work. I purchase gesso board. This is masonite that has had gesso applied to one side. It comes in a variety of sizes from 4x4 inches to quite large. I generally work with smaller sizes: 4x4, 5x5, 6x6, 5x7, 8x10. You could purchase a piece of double faced masonite and cut it yourself then apply gesso if you wish. I'd rather buy it prepared. There are several different brands. The one I prefer is Ampersand and can be purchased from a number of on-line sources.

That said, you can paint oils over an acrylic base. I frequently do a value scale underpainting in Burnt Sienna and then appply my oils over that. Robert Warren actually base coats his canvases with orange acrylic and then does a value scale underpainting using black acrylic before applying oils. I have also used unprepared masonite. With this product I sand the surface to remove the shine and then apply two coats of bottled acrylic paint with a roller letting it dry between coats.

Many of the gessos you buy today are acrylic based. So, the short answer is yes, you can paint your canvas in whatever color acrylic paint you would like before applying your oils. There is no rule that says you have to start with a white surface, In fact, because most oils are translucent, the base color of the canvas can influence your finished piece in some wonderful ways. Gesso is a thicker product and if you are stretching your own canvases using unprepared canvas, then a couple of coats of gesso will give your canvas more body and seal the fabric so that it will accept paint properly. At the end of the day, for me it is too much trouble. I'd rather purchase my supports ready to paint. I'd rather paint than prepare surfaces.

Hope this helps.

Judy Leasure

Saturday, December 1, 2007

How to make cloth doll joints

Gloria asks:
How do you make joints for cloth dolls?

There are many ways to joint a cloth doll. There are button joints, hinge joints, tab joints, the list goes on. The best thing to do is get the late Susanna Oroyan’s book Anatomy of a Doll. She has a whole section on the different ways to joint a doll. If you can’t buy it right now, try your local library – if they don’t have it on the shelf they should be able to inter-library loan it for you.

Hope this helps!

Friday, November 2, 2007

What is the best masking fluid for watercolor work?

Ruth asks:
I'd like to know of all the masking fluids out there to use in watercolor, which one is the very best? Many thanks.

All of the masking fluids are pretty much the same. They are a liquid latex material. The biggest difference is that some of them have a colorant and others are white. Some of the colored ones are blue and others are yellow.

There is one product called Masque-Pen that comes in a smaller plastic bottle with a writing tip. I tend to use that one a lot becasue I can create lines without using a brush or I can put some out in a puddle and apply it to a larger area with a brush. At the end of the day, which one you choose is a matter of personal preference. I like the ones that have color because I can see where I put it. The white ones look just like the paper and it is hard to see where you have been. Unless you are going to be using masking fluid really often or on very large areas, I would buy the smallest container you can find. The fluid will congeal into a solid mass over time and then it is no good.

Hope this helps.

Judy Leasure,TDA

Monday, October 29, 2007

How to transfer your drawing to Wonder Under

Kristen asks:
I'd like to know how to transfer my drawing onto the back of the Wonder Under.

You should transfer your drawing to the paper side of the wonder under. You can do this by either using a light box or taping the drawing to a window and placing your WU on top of it and tracing.

If you have an inkjet printer you could cut a piece of WU slightly smaller than a piece of bond paper, then tape it to the paper and run it through your printer. As long as there is no heat it should work (laser printers use heat so that's a no-no).


Saturday, October 20, 2007

How to make a blackout lining for bamboo window blinds

Susan says:
I have bamboo roll up blinds on 2 windows. They are see through at night. How do I make a privacy cloth backing for them? Thank You.

Our decorative painting expert, Judy Leasure, has made some Roman Shades recently and this is her suggested solution:

I have made Roman shades and with those you sew your fabric and the lining together and then sew rings on the lining side. When the shade is finished, you thread cording through the rings and across the top to one side. To raise, you pull on the cords (which are all joined together so they pull uniformly). To lower, you release the cords. If the bamboo shades work the same way, you would have to find a way to create a channel around the cords so they will move once the backing is applied.
You might try making a liner of black-out fabric by cutting a piece of fabric 2 inches larger all around than the shades. Hem all 4 sides with a 1/2-inch double hem. (machine stitch). Then align the liner with the shade and hand stitch with a heavy thread vertically along the sides and vertically in one or two rows in the center. Your stitching would wrap around every other bamboo rod on the way up the shade. Whip stitch the bottom around one of the bamboo rods and you may need to do the top as well. In this way, the mechanism should still work and the fabric will stay in place with the shade.
This appears to be a lot of work, but I can't think of another way to keep the functionality of the shades. Again, I'm not 100% sure how the roll-up mechanism works.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to transfer images to card stock : Ink Jet Transparency Method

Lorraine asks:
I'd like to know how to transfer pictures from my computer to hang tags. Someone told me to use wonder under. cut it and insert it in your inkjet printer and then iron it on the tag?

Have you tried this before? Does it work?

I haven't tried fusing wonder under to paper. The problem there is that since wonder under is a two sided fusible you would have one glue side that would remain. The glue would be tacky although it would eventually dry. I know of fabric artists that paint their wonder under and fuse it to fabric, then let it sit for a couple of weeks so the stickiness goes away.

I have recently had the opportunity to (finally) do some ink jet transparency transfers. I have to say this is the easiest and most successful transfer I've ever made. I just printed my image onto the rough side of the transparency and then I brushed some Modge Podge onto my substrate (which was a photo mat), laid the transparency ink side down (remember to reverse your image if need be) and then burnished it with a bone folder.

So this method is what I would suggest you try. Only drawback is that it could get expensive to make lots of tags because the transparency film isn't the cheapest. Make sure to buy InkJet Transparency film.

Good luck!

Monday, October 15, 2007

What glue to use to apply paper to masonite

Gloria asks:
I'm making a collage by gluing bits of paper I've cut from magazines to a piece of masonite. What type of glue should I be using for this? I've been using regular Elmer's white glue, but I'm afraid it won't last long term. Also, what should I use to seal the final project?

I would suggest using Modge Podge to attach the paper to the masonite. Actually any white glue would work but Modge Podge is thinner, easier to spread, and has been developed for that purpose. To seal it you could give it a topcoat of Modge Podge. I believe you can get either a gloss or matte version.

Good luck!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

How to make your own glitter glue

Is it possible to make your own glitter glue? I tried it with gel glue and glitter and it didn't work very well.

I think the gel glue probably was too thick to mix the glitter well. I have heard people having good luck mixing the glitter with Mod Podge or Elmers. Just be sure to stir well.

Best of luck,

Monday, October 1, 2007

How to make a tomato cage witch

Peg asks:
I'd like to know how to make a large witch using a tomato cage and paper twist.

I couldn't find how to make one using paper twist but I did find a couple of other tomato cage witches that you could possibly use as a starting point. There was a Carol Duvall episode that teaches how to make one and McCalls has a pattern for a tomato cage witch also. Good luck and have fun!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How to get Wonder Under fusible off your iron

Anonymous asks:
When you make a mistake and get Wonder Under fusible on the iron, how do you get it off?? My iron won't iron. Help!!!

Easy to make this mistake, I've done it myself. I double-checked with the Pellon folks, makers of Wonder Under brand fusible, and their solution is the same as my own. You need to buy some hot iron cleaner - you can usually find this in the craft stores or fabric stores. It comes in a tube of some kind and you put it on the iron when it's hot. Then you wipe the iron down with a clean piece of cloth - like a washcloth. It should get it off. Hope this helps.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What glue to use to attach rhinestones to glass

Rita asks:
I'd like to put some glass rhinestones on my eyeglasses, what glue should I use?

E6000. This is a glue used a lot in jewelry applications. I would put a tiny bit of the glue on a pin or toothpick and put the rhinestone on the pick. Then place it where you want it and pull the pick away. Push into place and use another pin/pick to clean up any excess. You can pick it off easily when wet.

Hope this helps,

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vintage iron on transfers

I'd like to know how to look for cowgirl, or western hot fix iron on heat transfers. Does anyone know who specifically carries this type of transfer. Thanks.

This was tough - I wasn't sure if you meant hot fix as in templates for hot fix crystals or just pre-made iron on transfers. I actually found that you can find both at eBay. The key to searching for the pre-made transfers is that they are now considered vintage as most of them are from the 90's. With the advent of ink jet transfer sheets and ink jet t-shirt transfers crafters are making their own art. Just go to eBay and search on 'western iron on" and/or 'cowgirl iron on' and you'll get lots of choices.

Best of luck!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How to make clothing labels

Barbara asks:
My daughter is starting in daycare and I wanted to find the best way to put her name on her clothes . . any creative ideas?

Depends how artsy you want to get! There are always the 'laundry markers' you can buy to write her name on the labels - not artsy at all! This might be fun though - you can use a sheet of pretreated printer fabric and print her name with a little graphic - then use an iron-on adhesive (like WonderUnder) to iron the labels to the hem or waistband of her clothes. If you use one of the mailing label templates in Microsoft Word you could design it once and print an entire sheet of labels.

Have fun!

Monday, July 9, 2007

How to reconstitute glitter glue

Catherine asks:
I'd like to know how to salvage some glitter glue I have.. It is made by Elmers called 3D Shimmering Shapes and comes in a bunch of colors with all kinds of different glitter. Thanks so much!

Brian Rumschlag, Consumer Response Analyst for Elmer's, says that by simply mixing in a small amount of water you can reconstitute the 3D Shimmering Shapes glitter glue.

So, there you go! Another question answered!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Can you paint a suede jacket?

Connie asks:
I'd like to know if it is possible to stamp or paint a suede jacket. It's a nice enough jacket but I'd just like to tizzy it up a bit, or perhaps I'm better off just to add a braid trim?

I talked to the folks at Dharma Trading Company which is a firm that specializes in dyes and fabric paints. They said that without knowing exactly what your design or application is if you want good control use a thicker product like: Lumiere, Neopaque, Setacolor or Jacquard Textile Color. Keep in mind that you will need to heatset the paints. Depending on what the lining of the jacket is you could probably put it in your oven to heat set. So, yes, you can use fabric paints on your jacket!
Best of luck!