Craft Glossary

Craft Glossary A-C

Acrylic Paint

One of the faster-drying paints, acrylics have an almost plastic appearance when used thinly or thickly and they dry and harden so it's easy to build color on color or texture upon texture.

Airbrush Kits

Airbrushing used to be a niche for professionals because of the tools required, but its popularity has led to wider availability of kits for achieving a fine mist of even color with subtle fades to just about any surface, from cloth to plastics. Even makeup artists "craft" painted faces with airbrushing kits.


Faux pearls, strings of garnet-like beads and pyramids of crystal are well-suited for gluing and wrapping flat and three-dimensional works and objects from books to frames to urns.

Blank Cards

Greeting cards aren't the dime store bargain they used to be, but one of the main reasons we like to make our own isn't the cost, it's the fun of doing it and making it our own. Many discount chain stores now stock what used to be found only at craft stores, and box sets in plain colors or embossed trims are ready for the special treatment before being sent to that special someone.


Not just for painting, canvas is stretched and dimensional, and it can be wrapped in fabrics, covered with photos and shellacked with pieces of colored paper or objects glued into place underneath. Even painting canvases in solid hues adds a touch of color to rooms, and crafty people without formal training in how to paint can create bold stripes or geometric designs on canvas to suit a space.

Canvas Cloth

Useful not just as drop cloth to catch paint splatters, canvas cloth also is a sturdy option for large wall paintings, curtains and upholstery. It holds up well to wet techniques such as ink printing or spray painting, too.

Calligraphy Pen

A metal-tipped pen with specially sized and spilt tips that allow for curvy and elegant scripts in pen and ink. Often used for wedding invitations and dining place cards.

Candle-making Wax

Scented and unscented candles can be costly and you can burn through them fast, but making them at home is one option for saving money and stocking your favorite colors and aromas. Most candle-making supplies are sold locally or can be ordered in bulk online.


The black, white and gray tones of charcoals are perfect for shading and for creating tone-on-tone works to break up color projects. Completed projects in charcoal should be covered to keep them from blurring and fading on contact and over time.


A fabric often used for draping, wrapping or adding a soft filter to a surface, chiffon is very adaptable for interior design projects from bed canopies to curtain scarves, as well as for adorning photo albums and scrapbooks.


A natural material that is plastic when wet, and used for making pottery, etc. Projects that call for relief work, or dimensional add-ons, are good starting points for learning clay techniques.


A crafty relative of knitting, crochet involves yarns and knots and know-how but creates a different finished product than knitting. Fortunately, it has become popular over and over again, having a fashion spring in the '60s and '70s and again in the 21st century, as hipsters and traditionalists find new ways to start chains and count loops with fine yarn.

Curios and Boxes

Plain wooden or ceramic containers can be painted, decaled and treated with varieties of beads, jewels and bits and bobbins, and even sturdy cardboard boxes can be painted and stacked for storage, gift-giving and décor. They're even great for storing more craft items.

Cutting Blades

Knives and cutters in varying sizes are useful for making cutouts in fabric patterns and scrapbooking pages and for carving in details for paint layers or woodworking. Size, sharpness and shape of cutting tools varies depending on the job, and kits for specialized arts and crafts or for a variety of crafting needs include a range of types.