Double Duty


Recently I took an art class at our local college.  While working on the final project (it was a very large size compared to the prior pieces), I was having difficulty getting the longs strips of heavy watercolor paper to stay flat and adhere to the base before the glue (rubber cement) dried.  At one point I was working in my kitchen and grabbed my rolling pin which happened to be handy.  As soon as the rubber cement was applied, I quickly began rolling the rolling pin back and forth until  the two pieces of heavy paper were soundly glued.  Success!  This worked so well that I added the rolling pin to my bag of art supplies.   During the next class, my instructor watched me intently as I rolled away at adhering papers together.  He smiled and said, “I never would have thought of that.  I think I will add rolling pins to my list of supplies for my next year’s classes.”

Recycling?  Sure!  We all do it at sometime or other.  It not only saves money but “kills two birds with one stone” as the saying goes.  It is especially handy while doing art projects.  Here are some other items I have found to have two lives:

Chop Sticks-When we order Chinese to go, we get these chop sticks with the dinner.  I use them to get the last of the hard- to -get glue out of my glue bottles.  No glue is wasted, and there is no clean up: throw the sticks away when done with them.  They work especially well with the tall bottles.  (popsicle sticks are not long enough to reach the bottom of the bottle)

Phone books: (Especially the big thick ones)  If you don’t have a cutting mat handy, these make a good substitute.  They will protect your surface from getting marred or scratched.  I have used one while cutting with a Xacto knife, as well as while using an awl to poke holes while making a Japanese Stab Binding book.

Plastic Pillow Case Holders (the kind that have a zipper):  These are made of heavy duty plastic and work great for  storing just about anything you can think of.  I use one for all my drawing pencils, erasers, etc., and another one for all my gray scale markers and black pens.    You could use one for your child to take to school as a carrier for his/her pencils and such.  Or keep sewing supplies in it.  The list is endless.

Empty yogurt cups:  Make great water holders for watercolors.  Easy wash up.

Piece of wallpaper from a sample book:  Tape it to your surface and kids can work with play dough or clay on it.  These substances tend to resist sticking to the wallpaper piece, making easy clean up.  (make sure you use a piece that has a smooth vinyl type feel to it)

These items could  have more lives, maybe even nine!  Maybe you have some tools that have done double duty for you.  If so, please share!



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