Learn How To Use Magic Stamps And 5 Simple Steps For Creating Your Own Art Stamps

By Nicole Tinkham


Have you ever seen those blue foam blocks near the stamps in your local art supply store and wonder what they were used for? These are known as Magic Stamps and they really are quite magical. We’ll explain what they are and how to use them so you can impress your friends (or just make some really cool art stamps). Read on for more info!

What are Magic Stamps?

Let us guess, your first question is most likely “what in the world are Magic Stamps and what makes them so magical?”  Magic Stamps are inexpensive ($0.99 each on our shelves right now) blue foam blocks. Don’t get them confused with the Magic Eraser though, although they kind of look similar in shape and size. These are way cooler though, for the artist anyway. Basically, a Magic Stamp allows you to leave an imprint in the foam block and use it as your own custom art stamp. Read on for how to do so in 5 simple steps. Oh and you’ll find something really cool in Step #5 🙂

 5 Simple Steps For Creating Your Own Art Stamps

1.    Choose a textured surface you’d like to create a stamp out of. It can be anything from rubber bands to buttons. Think outside the box and always keep an eye out for fun textures.

2.     Now you want to heat your Magic Stamp with a heat gun (crafting tool) or hair dryer. This will make your foam block moldable so you can leave an imprint in it.

3.    Once the foam block surface is heated, immediately press it into the textured surface you want to imprint. Hold the block down firmly for about 20 seconds.

4.    Congratulations, you have now created your very own custom art stamp! Roll on some water-based ink and stamp away!

5.    Now here’s the really cool part about Magic Stamps. You can’t make a mistake with them because you can simply reheat the foam block with your heat gun and the imprint will vanish before your eyes (hence the name Magic Stamp). The imprint will actually stay on the foam block until you reheat it too so if you like the stamp you can reuse it. To wash your stamp, just use some water and a little bit of soap.

Get excited because these Magic Stamps are so much fun to play with. They’re inexpensive and chances are, you already have the other tools (heat gun or hair dryer, paper, ink, textured surface) right at home so why not give these a try? Oh and if you want to see these in action or explained in more detail, just stop in to visit us and one of our art experts would be more than happy to help you out!

6 Things To Consider When Starting A Craft Group

By Nicole Tinkham


Do you ever find yourself in a creative rut? The best way to get out of that rut is by discovering fresh new ideas. And the best way to discover these new ideas is by learning something new. The answer? CRAFT GROUPS! A craft group is a gathering of creative minds working on projects together. We mentioned crafty parties in a previous blog but now we’re talking about regular meetings. We understand that putting something like this together can be overwhelming with meeting times, location, projects, cost, food, and more. But we’ve also realized how simple it can be if done right. For instance, having a different hostess each month can take a lot of the pressure off of you. Read on for 6 things to consider when starting a craft group.

1. Initial questions – Figure out what type of group this will be and who will attend

What’s the goal of the craft group? – Improve skills? Make new friends? Swap ideas?

Who do you want in the group? – What are they into? How old are they? What other hobbies do they have? What’s their home life like (married, children, etc.)?

When, where, and how often would you like to meet? This can be decided in the first meeting as a group discussion.

What type of projects will you focus on? – Of course you can do a variety of different crafts but it may be helpful starting with something specific like paper crafts or jewelry making.

2. Ways to get started – How to spread the word and invite people

Word of mouth – Start with your group of friends and host your first meeting among like minded people. Then have those friends invite some of their friends next time who might be interested. You can see how this has potential to grow quickly. It depends on the space available but if you have a large area and a few people instructing, you can turn these groups into something huge. But if you want to keep it small, we recommend about 10 people.

Social media group – You can meet a ton of new people in Facebook crafting groups. Form relationships with these people first before inviting them to your craft group and if they aren’t local you could try a virtual craft group.

Meetup.com – This is a social gathering tool where you can find a ton of different groups centered around various hobbies. Create your own to get more local artists in your craft group!

3. The details – What you need to start thinking about

Length of time (we recommend two hour sessions)

How often – Once a month works well for most people.

Each person pays the hostess for supplies – $10 to $20 typically works well but it depends on the project.

Things work out nicely when the hostess provides the supplies so people don’t have to bring their own. However, if they want to bring something special (like a particular craft paper) that’s fine too.

The hostess should also be the instructor but the hostess can switch from person to person each month.

It’s a good idea to email the invites and have recipients RSVP by a certain date so the hostess can get everything ready. Also consider requiring those who RSVP pay the fee even if they don’t show up.

You can also host the group at a place where you can rent space if you have little room in your house.

Have others bring the food. We recommend keeping it simple and nothing too messy!
Set up supplies ahead of time, make sure you have plenty of space, and have extension cords ready if needed.

Complete an example of the project so others can mimic it. Also be sure to float around to help others when they have questions.

Consider dry time and the tools needed. Some projects may not be dry in time to do the whole thing in one session. And certain tools like a saw for wooden projects may not be the best idea in a group like this.

4. Your first meeting

Do something simple that doesn’t take long.

Plan for future meetings and brainstorm project ideas together. You can even vote on projects that people want to do in the future.

Act as if this is a trial run. It doesn’t have to be perfect but from the first meeting you’ll learn and be able to make changes for future meetings.

Start with just a few close friends so you don’t overwhelm yourself.

Do a project you’re confident with and can easily explain.

5. Why form a craft club?

To try things you wouldn’t normally do on your own

To learn new things from other creative people

To meet new friends in your area

To gain a social life and escape the stresses of life

To be inspired and get your creative spark back

6. Craft ideas

Holiday themed projects




Get more ideas on Pinterest and get the whole group involved

Don’t let the planning part of a craft group hold you back from starting your own! Determining what type of group it will be with what type of people, switching hosts every month, planning it out as a group, and having a fun purpose behind it sets you up for success. The key is having fun. It doesn’t matter if there are slip ups or few people attend your first one. Make it fun anyway!

Tell us, do you have a craft group you’re part of? What are your best tips for starting one?

13 Fun Ideas For Hosting A Crafty Party

By Nicole Tinkham

13 Fun Ideas For Hosting A Crafty Party

There may be times you prefer to work on your art alone and that’s perfectly fine, but sometimes being around other super creative people can spark your creativity and get new ideas flowing. A great way to work on some art together is to host a crafty party. We can’t take credit for this idea, though. We’ve actually been inspired by one of our Facebook friends and her creative and fun parties she throws with her girlfriends. She always has a theme and decorations, prepares yummy snacks, and has fun creating various projects with close friends. We figured you’d want in on this idea so we came up with a list of 13 fun ideas for hosting a crafty party plus helpful tips to keep in mind for hosting your next one.

1.    Adult coloring book: It DOES NOT have to be a solo activity! We love coloring book parties because anyone can participate at different skill levels.

2.    Holiday themed (think pumpkin carving or holiday card making): These are always a great way to get into the holiday spirit whether it’s Easter, Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s Day.

3.    Cookie decorating: Food decorating can be so much fun to create and even more fun to eat!

4.    DIY terrariums: Creating a terrarium is probably not your typical craft project but we think you’ll really enjoy getting creative with a project like this. A terrarium is basically a mini garden in a cute little glass container. Learn more about how to put them together here.

5.    Jewelry making: Sharing colorful beads and different design ideas is great to do with other creative minds and will help you get out of your comfort zone and try new techniques.

6.    Scrapbooking/art journaling: Scrapbooking together can be so much fun to reminisce on the past especially with friends you’ve known for awhile.

7.    Zentangle: This is the perfect escape with friends after a long and stressful week.

8.    Art supply exchange: Every year we host a Used Stamp Sale here at Keeton’s where artists bring in any art supplies (not just stamps) they are no longer using and sell them. We thought an art supply exchange would be a great party idea too and the perfect opportunity to clean out the art room and get rid of some supplies (just to fill it up again with new ones).

9.    Knitting and crochet: This is great for the chatty Kathy group of friends 🙂

10.    Painting: Have you ever experienced a Painting with a Twist workshop or something similar? You can do the same thing right from home with a group of friends. Look up simple painting instructions, pick up canvases and paint when it’s on sale, and have some fun.

11.    Glass painting: Our friend who inspired us to write this blog also does incredible painting on wine glasses. We are seriously blown away by her work every time we see it. We thought glass painting would also be a really fun party idea for this list.

12.    DIY signs: Painted wooden signs seem to be the DIY project to do these days. They are super simple to create with so many different options, making it a really fun party idea. You can all collaborate to make a sign together too.

13.    Gift swap: We love getting crafty with gifts around the holidays but it doesn’t have to be a special occasion to give. Why not have a craft party and exchange what you make at the end?

Tips for hosting your next crafty party

•    Theme: Creative people and creative parties deserve a creative theme!! It’s not necessary but it makes it way more fun 🙂

•    Fun invitations: We always enjoy going a little old school with handwritten invites to a party. It’s more personable and exciting than an email.

•    Food: Finger foods, appetizers, and sweet treats are perfect for a craft party. You don’t want anything messy that can get all over the projects. But be sure to have plenty of paper towels anyway.

•    Have enough room: Before you start inviting everyone you know to your next craft party, take a look at how much space you have. Do you have a large enough table? Enough chairs?

•    Instructions: Be sure the project you choose to do is simple enough for everyone to understand. Either print out instructions or a guide for everyone to follow or you can act as an instructor yourself.

•    Provide supplies or let them know what to bring: Be clear on what you want people to bring to the party. Will you provide all supplies or will they need to bring their own? If they’ll be bringing their own, be specific on what they need.

Alright, we just threw a bunch at you all at once. Your mind may be going a million miles a minute with all these ideas. One thing we want to make clear is that it’s all about having fun! You don’t necessarily have to put a ton of work into throwing a crafty party and you shouldn’t stress out over it. If you’re not sure which idea to go with, poll your friends and see what they would love to do. You can even have them help you plan it so you don’t have to do it all on your own. And don’t freak out if your first party doesn’t run smoothly. Your friends won’t mind and you’ll know what to do differently next time!

Tell us, have you ever hosted a crafty party? What did you do?

9 Tricks for painting on glass

By Nicole Tinkham

9 Tricks for painting on glass

Glass painting is huge right now and with the holiday’s right around the corner, they make excellent personalized gifts. But painting on glass can be tricky when you haven’t done it before. There’s a certain type of paint to look for, special tools to fix mistakes, a shortcut for non-artists and many more to keep in mind when starting your next glass painting project. Read on for our best tips and tricks!

1.    Read the label
Not all paint is made to be used on glass. Many types of paint are toxic and not to be used on pieces that you eat or drink out of. Be sure to choose paint specifically for glass. We recommend Pebeo Glass Paint.

2.    Choose your brush wisely
You can use the brush of your choice when painting on glass but note that synthetic brushes will leave brushstrokes and natural hair brushes can pick up more paint resulting in a smoother surface.

3.    Create a guide
You won’t be drawing your design right on the glass. Instead, you’ll be drawing it on paper. To get the correct size of the design, roll a piece of paper so it fits inside your glass. Trace the top edge of the glass onto the paper. Your design shouldn’t be larger than this marked line.

Next, draw your design in pen or marker so it’s easy to see and put back into the glass, using a little tape to hold it in place. This way you’ll be able to see the design through the glass without having to mark up the outside of the glass.

4.    Keep it clean
Clean your glass and work area thoroughly before beginning. It may also be a good idea to wear latex gloves to prevent oily smudges from your fingers to become part of the design.

5.    Don’t apply too much pressure
When you apply a lot of pressure with your brush when painting glass, the paint can easily be wiped off the slippery surface. Apply lighter pressure to avoid this.

6.    Apply thickly
Glass paint tends to take awhile to dry and can crack if painted over too soon. To avoid applying layers, paint one thick coat on the glass.

7.    Fix mistakes with a cotton swab and toothpick
You can dip the cotton swab in alcohol to get rid of any mistakes and use the toothpick to scrape away mistakes that have dried.

8.    Use painter’s tape for clean straight lines
You don’t necessarily have to hand-draw your own design. Use painter’s tape for crisp lines or a stencil if that’s what you prefer.

9.    Set the paint
Setting the paint ensures that it will last a long time. You can do this with the oven method. Place your glass in the cool oven. Heat the oven up to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and let it completely cool down before removing the glass. Note: The glass will break if not heated and cooled gradually.

Painting on glass may be something entirely new to you and could feel a little odd at first. We suggest purchasing an inexpensive glass to experiment on so you get the feel for it. Just practice until you get it! We love the idea of giving a painted glass as a gift or maybe even putting together a glass painting party with a few friends. Just have fun with it!

We want to hear from you! Share your best glass painting tip in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.