Essential Giftmaking Supplies

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Specific Supplies for Specialized Crafts

You'll want to have some specific tools handy if you decide to get into more specialized crafts, such as mosaics, candle making, or soap making. If you enjoy these projects, watch for the supplies to go on sale and keep them stocked in your work area.

Gifting Glitches

Learn which ingredients can be substituted in projects and which ones can't. The wrong kind of paint can ruin a project:

  • Don't substitute craft paint for stencil paint; it will smear and run under the design.
  • A thick paste made from flour and water can substitute for glue when gluing paper only.
  • You can usually substitute super glue or tacky glue for hot glue.
  • Fishing line can replace bead wire, and a shoelace can usually replace cord for larger beads.
  • Feel free to substitute shredded paper towels, crepe paper, or cardboard for newspaper in papier-mâché. You'll like the different look and texture of these materials.

Here's what you'll need for the crafts just mentioned.


  • Plastic molds
  • Grout and spreading tool
  • Tiles, marbles, decorative glass pieces
  • Tile cutting tool (if desired)
  • Mosaic adhesive
  • Sponge
  • Mosaic sealant

Candle Making

  • Sheets of beeswax
  • Candle wicking
  • Paraffin
  • Colored wax pieces or crayons for color
  • Molds, jars, and glasses to form candles
  • Liquid candle scent

Soap Making

  • Block of clear glycerin
  • Decorative soap chips
  • Food coloring
  • Soap molds
  • Liquid soap scent

Now that you know what to buy, it's time to get out there and shop. If you're serious about trying new mediums, I suggest you photocopy the list provided and head to your local craft or discount store, computer source, or supply catalog.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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