Have you taken up chalking as a new hobby? I have a basic supply list for chalking posted but it focuses on the Chalk Couture supplies you will need. This list is items you cannot purchase from Chalk Couture and will make your chalking fun easier.
Of course, this is only my opinion, but I have been chalking for awhile now. Here, in no particular order, are the 10 non-Chalk Couture items I could not do without in my chalk studio:
1) Small but sharp scissors. Yes, I have transfer trimmers but I only use them for actually trimming transfers. I have small scissors I use to cut length of jute, trim edges away if I need to, cut a fancier edge on ribbon and all the other multitude of reasons to reach for scissors in my craft room.
2) Tape. Masking tape or painter’s tape will both work equally well. It is best to use Chalk Couture placement tape if you are working with fonts or anything you want to line up at regular, even intervals but I use masking tape for everything else. You want it to be a type of tape that is easy to remove so not really, really sticky. That is why painter’s tape works so well. I use it for a lot of things: taping the edges of transfers that have design close to the edges to prevent pasting over the edge, taping off parts of the transfer when I am using multiple colours on design elements that are close together, holding the transfer still when reverse pasting on glass. Because I am using it all the time and in the middle of projects, I recommend you use a tape that is easy to tear as well as lift.
3) Tupperware Citrus Peeler. I love the citrus peeler in my craft room. In fact, I have several. It is like having a mini-multi-tool. I use it primarily to stir paste but also to drop paste on the transfer and the flat end is great for lifting the edge of a transfer to get it started for the peel and reveal.
4) Sealer. The brand is a matter of preference but for most projects, I use the Krylon spray sealer in satin finish. You need to seal chalk paste designs to make them permanent. I never seal projects I do for myself, friends or family because then I can erase the design and change it up seasonally. Chalk paste is very durable once dry, forming a hard surface you can dry dust to your hearts content. You can even get it wet as long as you do not wipe it when wet. It will dry again and stay crisp. But if I am selling an item or it is going to be displayed outdoors, I will seal it to protect the design.
5) Jute. I keep both natural and white in my chalk studio. I am always looking for a tied hanger or jute tassel, garland string or something like that for almost every design. If it is close, I can grab it quick.
6) Crop-a-dile. I am not normally stuck on a specific brand for the things I use but in the case of the Crop-a-dile, you absolutely want to get the We R Memory Keepers brand which is specifically branded as the Crop-a-dile. They come in many varieties, from super fancy that do eyelets, snaps and punch holes to the simple, basic, just punches holes variety. As long as it is We R Memory Keepers brand, it will work. I have found no other punch that will put crisp, clean-edged holes in the Chalkable Chips without cracking them. Chalkable Chips make great garland embellishments, fridge magnets, gift tags, board embellishments and so much more! Most of what I use them for, requires them to have a hole I can run jute through.
7) Damp soft cloth. I admit, I am a messy crafter. The cloth keeps my space clean and more importantly, my hands clean. When I get my hands covered in chalk paste, I can easily spread it onto the design where I don’t want it. I am also bad for getting chalk on the board where I don’t want chalk. A damp cloth easily wipes those things away. Plus, if I get crazy with colours and squeegees, I can use it to quickly wipe off a squeegee or citrus peeler so I can use a new colour without mixing colours in my paste jars.
8) Paste wax. I use Minwax but any will do. It is used to prepare a wood, metal or paper surface for chalking. It prevents the transfer from sticking so hard you cannot get it up off the surface. It also prevents the transfer from pulling the paste up when you peel and reveal, which can happen if the transfer sticks too hard to the surface or if you have allowed the chalk paste to dry completely before lifting the transfer.
9) Small paint brush. I couldn’t even list all the things you might use this paint brush for. It can be used for fixing mistakes both by applying chalk paste and as a cleaning tool when dipped in distilled water. And there are tons of techniques, such as watercolour pasting, that use a paint brush. I have even use it for Ombré.
10) Disinfectant wipes. Lysol wipes is my preference but any brand should do. Do not use baby wipes – they have a moisturizer added to them that is not good for your transfers. I use the wipes very sparingly to wipe the sticky side of the transfers after washing, then I let them air dry. One wipe will do several transfers. My transfers are an investment to me and disinfectant wipes extend their life. They bring the stickiness back to the transfer in a way that water alone does not. Don’t ask me why. It just is.
There would be designers that would argue that a heat gun or hair dryer should have made this list. I agree that when you are trying to do a project in a hurry, say for taping a demo, it is handy to have a heat gun to dry paste between layers. But that is not how I craft on a day to day basis. I always let my paste air dry between layers. I do not want to blur design edges or melt my transfers – both of which I have seen done on video with a heat gun. If you use one, use it carefully. There are only a couple of things that can completely ruin a transfer and melting it is one of them. There is no recovering from that!
Reach out if you have any questions, I am always happy to chat chalk!
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