Top Crafting Tips for Beginners from our Pros

Do you have a thirst for knowledge? Do you ever just WISH you knew the secrets that would help you every time you crafted? Well, you’re in for a real treat today! We spoke to a few of our presenters and guests to get their professional tips and tricks for you – here are the top 12!

Janice on Hochanda

Janice Phillips

I wish I had known…
  1. Glass matts are so important and easy to work on. That way I may have saved my dining room table.
  2. How easy Acrylic paints are to use and blend to make amazing backgrounds, and I wish I had seen Gel plates and brayers before – they are fantastic fun to use!
  3. That I was going to get so much encouragement and feedback from our lovely The Craft Store viewers. I may have started sooner!

Louise Withers on Hochanda

Louise Withers

I wish I had known…
  1. To get a colour wheel!
  2. To always go for the best products you can afford – buy cheap, buy twice. Also, don’t be fooled by thinking all paints, mediums etc. are equal.
  3. To start a colour chart for paints, inks, powders and pens, so I could easily match up colours, make my own and then use my colour wheel.

Paula Pascual on Hochanda

Paula Pascal

I wish I had known…
  1. The right adhesive for the right job! It’s a good idea to invest in a variety of flies and test them for different techniques and materials.
  2. Not to be afraid. It’s just a piece of paper or fabric!
  3. Everything has a creative use.

Jo Channon on Hochanda

Jo Channon

I wish I had known…
  1. More about storage solutions for my crafting stash, as I have spent money in the past on buying various different containers/boxes and would have been better off spending a little more on quality storage so it lasted.
  2. To stick to multi-purpose use adhesives, they do all the jobs and it really helps not having lots of different ones stuck in a draw just in case you need them!
  3. To look around for inspiration. Whether it be in nature, fabrics or the work of other artists, it gives you a great scope for ideas going forward. Get inspiration from wherever you can!

So, there you have it, the top 12 things they wish they knew when they started crafting! Make sure you put them into practice to get the most out of this advice.

Are there any more tips you would’ve added? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for craft supplies and additional craft inspiration? Click here to visit our website and view our shows.


  1. Carol Morrison says:

    I have learned that buying craft supplies and crafting are two separate hobbies. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

  2. I wish I had known how addictive crafting is and therefore how many crafts you end up doing.

  3. Jayne Gossling says:

    Don’t be afraid of stamping get a platform & some blocks. When you start you will enjoy it.

    Understanding inks & uses

    Relax & let your creativity go

  4. i wish I had taken a photo of all the successful projects before sending them. I now do this along with a description in a book f materials and methods in case I want to repeat

  5. Linda Kitto says:

    I wish I had known how much it was all going to cost…..,I would have married a millionaire!!!!!!!

  6. Margaret Sydenham says:

    Most important thing I have learnt is that when you do something regardless of what craft it is and you look and think I really don’t like that, don’t throw it away, put it in a box, drawer etc and leave it at a future date you will wonder what was wrong with it in the first place, if by any chance you still don’t like it donate it to another crafter who may love it.

  7. I wish I had catalogued every stamp as I bought it -preferably into topics -so I wouldn’t buy twice. I now have several thousand and not catalogued. Same now applies to dies, but they didn’t have those when I started (in 1993)!!
    Also keep a list of all stamp pads and colouring media you own. If collecting (like Distress Oxides) list what you have to save buying twice -how do I know this??????
    The main piece of advice I’d give -WASH YOUR HANDS often -especially when stamping with black waterproof ink, or using colour mediums. It’s SO important. Many a piece of artwork has been spoiled by a black smudge that can’t be covered. Buy an ink rubber too, but it won’t always work.


    I could not craft without my distress oxide ink pads. I have never been very good at blending inks but with these I find I can do loads of different things, wonderful.

  9. Mrs Dawn Holmes says:

    12 Things I wish I had known before I started crafting.

    1) Buy a glass mat. 12 x 12 or A3. This will be your best friend. It is the best cutting surface and you can use it as a mixing pallet too. Easy to clean with a wipe, it saves a worktop from damage.
    2) Stick to a monthly craft budget. You can quickly bankrupt yourself otherwise. Don’t buy anything on impulse as you will end up with more stash than you have space for.
    3) Buy a good set of scissors. Large ones for fabric cutting ONLY. Large ones for paper cutting, medium ones for the same, down to small ones for fiddly jobs. Don’t buy cheap ones, that’s false economy. If you get glue or sticky bits, clean the blades at once. Get a scissors rack with them and always replace them in the rack when you set them down. That way you won’t mislay them.
    4) Watch as many tutorials as you can, YouTube is a valuable resource. Make notes, sketch ideas.
    5) Keep a notebook at the side of your bed in case you wake up with an idea. You won’t remember it in the morning otherwise. Make a note there and then.
    6) Make a colour chart for every item you buy, be it pen or paint. This way it is easy to colour match various mediums. Pink in one brand of pen is very different to a Pink in another brand of paint. Colour names mean almost nothing. The colour itself is what’s important. Keep your colour charts together in a folder so you know where they are at all times. That makes cross-referencing quick and simple. Stick to the same type of card or paper for these swatches – that does make a difference.
    7) Buy the best tools you can reasonably afford. OK, don’t use Sable brushes for acrylic paints, you need the right tool for the job. Buying cheap is false economy. Think of it this way, a children’s set of watercolour paints will not get you a similar result to a student artist’s set of paints. If you buy a cheap paint you will probably be disheartened when the fault is due to the paint and not lack of skill.
    8) Always Gesso MDF before painting it with a colour. You will hear that it isn’t necessary, but a coat of white under a colour will give you a much brighter colour and you will use less paint overall. Try it on a piece of scrap for yourself. It makes a huge difference. Saves time and money,
    9) Take pictures of your first efforts and keep them to look back on. I kept some of my first works and then threw them out in horror after a year. If you take photographs, you can see how much your skills have grown and will be less tempted to delete them.
    10) All card is not the same. Some papers contain more chalk than others and ink and paint will work differently. What is best for your projects can take time to learn but sometimes when you think the unwanted effect is down to your lack of skill, it can be simply down to the type of card you are using.
    11) Store your craft products, your stash, properly. It will keep the products you worked hard for in good condition and if you can find what you need quickly, you lose less crafting time. Label your boxes and make sure little fingers are kept away from your scissors, knives and pokey tool.
    12) The biggest problem an adult has in starting to craft is often overlooked. That is use of time. Write yourself out a permission slip – permission to play and put it on the wall so you can see it. There is always cleaning and cooking to do – and still will be long after we ourselves become dust. Give yourself permission to be creative, to take time out for yourself and feed your soul. Time out from the family is beneficial for you all. Give yourself permission to play. Don’t be scared – it’s a piece of paper and you will learn something whether you feel the end result is good or not.


  10. Angela Liversage says:

    My tips would be:
    – Buy a pair of Teflon coated scissors &keep them only for double sided tape &3D foam tape. – they never him up!
    – Buy the best quality you can afford it really does make a difference to the end result.
    – Don’t be afraid to try new techniques -it’s only a piece of card
    – Don’t throw mistakes or things you don’t like away. In a few weeks or months, you’ll like them or be ready to alter them for a project

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