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Santa gave me "Shopping for Customizing Supplies" ~Please help me spend my $$

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Hi All,

Santa gave me a $50 gift certificate to the local arts and crafts store (as I'd been bugging him about needing customizing supplies.).  ;D

Here is a link to the local chain store: Michael's The Arts and Crafts Store

Sooo....where do I begin. So far I have 000 and 001 (?) paint brushes, enamel paints, and possibly a dremel on my wish list. But I'd love to hear from you expert customizers as to what you see as "must have" items. 

Many thanks,

Diana (beginning customizer)

Oooo I love Michaels  :-*

If you don't have them yet then I would suggest rather than just the 000 and 001 that you look for a set of nylon (white or red) small brushes. Sometimes you can find sets that have varying sizes and widths for a better price than individual brushes. Also - don't be afraid to buy the "craft" type brushes - the ones they display with Tole Painting things for instance are just as good for these purposes as expensive "artisits" brushes. 

You are going to want some acrylic medium if you don't already have it. I recommend both glossy and flat/matte types. There are uses for both, and I have found that I actually like the sheen I get from one layer of glossy covered by a layer of matte. That seems to approximate the shine of Playmo plastic better than just one or the other.  The medium is used put on over the top of your final paint coat - it dries clear - but be aware that it can lift up color that isn't fully dry - or color from an ink jet printer.

Paints - I have expensive artist acrylics that I use, but I also use the less expensive craft paints. If you are interested in acrylics check out the racks for Windsor & Newton or Shiva artista acrylics for unusual or specialty colors. The gold I used on my nobleman is fantastic and matches Playmo gold very well - it is a Windsor color I believe. Also check the craft paints for basic colors including black and white. There are some fun craft paints such as glitter, irridescent, and glow in the dark also. All of this applies to acrylics only - you will have a harder time finding enamels there - though there should be some.

X-acto knives - they  carry them and if you don't already have an assortment I recommend you look at them. Of particular use to me are the finer chisel point flats for cutting out printed designs to applique on, and the small saw blades. They have a larger saw blade and Mitre box that I have used for bigger things, but they also make small saw blades that fit in a standard x-acto knife handle that are great for cutting smaller items. (also good for detail work on jack-o-lanterns)

Paper - check out the artist papers for colors you like. I use the large sheet artist paper in a mid-dark grey for the background of all my photos for Animobil. I find it works better than white or black since the contrast doesn't mess with the digital camera's light sensor so much and I get more accurate color with less fixing needed afterwards.

They carry a zillion different specialty papers for scrapbooking. Look for ones that would make nice backgrounds or wallpaper for structures.

Beads - there is a big bead section - you might take a look if the Simon42 style has ever appealed to you.

There are also more obscure things like gold leaf available.

Just a few things off the top of my head. :)

In my experience enamel paint is better than acrylics regarding spreading out and durability.  The thin brushes are fine; you may find it useful to have a few flat brushes as well for larger areas. X-acto knives are very versatile with lots of blades; I usually have the sharp pointed blade (or balsa blade, I think it's no. 21).
A small vise can be useful too when drilling holes, a set of needle files, some fine abrasive paper (waterproof, grade 600, 800 or 1000) and polyurethane adhesive for glueing Playmoplastic (sand the surfaces first for better adhesion; the glue needs several hours to set, but it works).
A customizers toolbox has usually quite a lot of tools. ;)

I also recommend the x-acto knives ... I use mine for everything.  Try to remember where you keep it though, I've stabbed myself a time or two, not paying attention when I was looking for a detail pen.

I really like my paint pens.  Easier to use than a brush at times (unless your Jean Luc, of course  ;) )  You can get a decent fine line with one after a few minutes of practice.  You don't want the ones you'll find in the scrapbooking section ... I usually have to ask where they have them. 

A gold leafing pen is great, too

Zona saws if they sell them are useful for fine cutting.  For cutting thick plastic sheets, Ofra do a good knife.


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