Great for trimming furniture, adding texture to artworks and detailing objects, leather also is a naturalistic complement for presenting found objects in nature, for example shells, driftwood and dried flowers, as well as for adding a masculine touch to more feminine elements of design.
A great photograph or print can stand on its own, but often just the right boarder sets it off even more as a work of art or treasured portrait. Sets of heavy cardstock matting squares in assorted colors and widths help frame an image within its outer frame and complement the colors or textures they surround.
Silver, gold and bronze, as well as colored metal inks, aren't just for creating holiday dazzle on homemade Christmas cards. They are great tools for adding borders to scrapbooks, personalizing wedding and baby shower invites, and even for adding fine details to woodworking or fabric projects.
Needle and Thread
Needlework and embroidery have been around for centuries and were traditionally considered part of a young woman's skill set. Contemporary works in needle and thread include the old-school method of sewing through pre-printed needlework patterns, as well as adding complex and intricate detailing to clothing and household fabrics. Bargello, a form of Italian needlework popular in the 1970s, has seen a return to popularity as enthusiasts try to circulate designs and techniques from rare and hard-to-find pattern books.
From microscopic brush heads fit for painting on grains of rice to dense mane-like brushes the size of your hand, paintbrushes come in a multitude of sizes, shapes and materials to fit not just the scale of the project but also the medium. Brushes for watercolor painting aren't the same as those for creating posters or detailing pottery.
This paper and glue technique dates back to ancient times and is still being used for shaping everything from animals to planets. Colors and sealants that preserve the formed and finished products keep the art form alive and innovative into the 21st century.
A favorite medium of serious artists for centuries, pastels are surprisingly user-friendly even to novice artists and make rich color statements unique from paint effects. Pastels do rub off but are ideal for framing in small- or large-scale formats.
Having a ready supply of photo albums on hand for decorating with personal touches such as stenciled names and dates or for filling with photos and children's artwork on a rainy day provides both gift-giving options and personal storage and memorabilia projects.
Pinking Shears and Scissors
Straight, serrated or super-sharp, there are scissors for just about any crafting job, and often, having the right tool for the needed cut makes materials easier to work with and the finished product neater. Pinking shears for cutting jagged edges in cloth and fine, short bladed ones for sizing small papers for scrapbooking are just two specialized types.
Portable Sewing Machine
Hemming or adding trim to curtains, pillows and clothing is a snap with a handheld or portable stitcher that can follow curves and finish craft projects without having to maneuver a larger machine and cumbersome swaths of fabric.
Traditional printmaking involves carving or cutting out a pattern, inking or coating it with paint, and pressing it into surfaces to capture an image. While that process is still popular, technology also adds printmaking techniques that are less time-intensive but hold on to the crafty aspect of making an original design for reprinting on various papers or fabrics. Digital printing is a computer-generated method of printmaking for home artists and professionals.