Smith Tips

This section of the website will be devoted to constructions tips I have learned and also ornament specific tips that may be of help to you. You will find some tips within your instructions that may not appear in this area because they are so specific to that ornament.

For now, such tips as keeping your fingers clean, and spritzing the ball are the absolute most important tips I can give you. The next most important tip is to always strive to use the least amount of glue possible when you are drawing a line of glue on the ornament unless you are instructed to do otherwise. You can ALWAYS add another line of glue or increase the line of glue already on the ball – there is no going back and removing the glue unless you want to create a real mess that is most difficult to deal with. Your finding a glue dispenser that will yield a fine line of glue is also of paramount importance. This topic has been covered within the DIRECTIONS button.

If you find a tip you would like to share with others working on our kits, please submit them to us using our email site and we will be willing to post them to this website — especially the really good tips!

Stiffening Your Lace
A new tip I have learned is that I can use the tacky white glue, usually applied to the backside of lace, to give that lace some “starch” so the lace can be worked to conform to a shape I want and it will have some body. One can even apply one coating, set it to dry and then add other coatings depending upon how stiff you want the lace or ribbon to be. This same tip is used when one sandwiches lengths of ribbons “back to back” in order to turn a ribbon from frumpy and floppy to more firm and able to stand out more straight – there are exceptions to this tip tho.

Get The Glue Off!
Ah ha! You did not listen when I told you not to get stray glue on the ball! Do not stress yourself! Here is a tip that I have learned recently. Use a Q-tip and a small amount of one of the “gunk” or one of the “goo-gone” or “goo-off” liquids —- NO BIG SLOPPY AMOUNTS. Test the liquid before putting any on your ball to make sure the liquid does not dissolve your ball fibers or the foam shape underneath! You see, I have no idea what liquid solution you may be using, so do be careful! – and then stroke the dried glue with the liquid using just enough to moisten the glue. Let the liquid penetrate the glue and then gently, I said GENTLY, stroke the glue mess with the Q-tip until the glue begins to roll up or loosen enough for you to pick it off with your tweezers. Of course, you dare NOT damage the fibers on the ball or you are in a real mess big time! There goes the ornament! Wouldn’t it be great if your “spot” will just happen to be covered by some other step in the instructions? Don’t count on it!

Work Site Preservation – I have found that a sheet of parchment paper that is used for baking, makes an excellent addition to ones work surface.  When an item has unset glue on it and that item is placed on this surface, the item has been easy to remove from the parchment paper.  I find this very handy when I am trying to saturate portions of lace with glue for stabilization purposes.

Stay tuned for more helps!

Home » Smith Tips