Technique for creativity: 8 unexpected devices that will come in handy in hand made

We know that you can bake a cake and a cake in the oven, cook chicken, and use a blender to make sauce and puree. But the technique also comes in handy for other, most unexpected scenarios. It turns out that some people send toilet paper to the shredder, and for the same cakes they buy not only ovens, but also printers. What for? For creativity!

The creative imagination of people is truly limitless. Home craftsmen and needleworkers invent work technologies literally from improvised tools. Although for professional work, separate microwave ovens, ovens and other utensils are bought, which were created for completely different purposes. This material contains a selection of the most familiar techniques that come in handy in creativity. If you want to try yourself in the field of hand-made – take a closer look at your kitchen, perhaps you already have a full-fledged workshop for a long time!

The oven is the first assistant of many crafters, from confectioners to sculptors.

Most often, polymer clay works are baked in the oven. This is such a modern material that looks like plasticine, but at a low temperature it polymerizes, becomes strong and waterproof. Polymer clay has become a favorite among sculptors due to its ease of use. Not everyone can do natural clay at home. It is a messy, wet process, and clay firing requires high temperatures of 600 to 1500 °C, which are only possible in special muffle furnaces.

Electric oven DEXP 1M70GCB black 25 599 *
Such ovens consume a lot of electricity, putting a lot of voltage on the wiring, and their use can hardly be called completely safe. At the same time, the error in the readiness of products is large – some explode, crack, split during the firing process. Polymer clay is devoid of all these disadvantages, and it only needs 130-140 ° C to polymerize, which any home oven can provide.


It is impossible to make plates or mugs from polymer clay, as this material should not come into contact with food. It is also not suitable for large sculptures – the material is quite expensive, it is sold in small bars, and the maximum thickness for full baking is only about 5 mm.

As a rule, it is used for small sculptures, miniatures, dolls, jewelry, small decorations and so on.


For large works, the good old papier-mâché is already used – a mixture of paper, glue and other stabilizing additives. In the air, papier-mâché dries sometimes for weeks. Therefore, masters often dry their work in the oven at low temperatures – the process is also long, but still much faster than natural drying.

Also, the oven is the closest assistant to those who work with paper. Many masters of handmade notebooks and albums make their own author’s paper, paint sheets in tea and coffee. When working with hundreds of paper sheets at a time, the oven significantly speeds up the drying of the material.


Even in the oven, plants, herbs and other natural materials are dried for further use in decor or in the creation of handmade cosmetics. You can also melt candle wax in it.

In a word, the oven is useful in almost all scenarios where you need to quickly dry or bake something. If you are seriously interested in home sculpture or other creativity, we recommend purchasing a separate portable oven. The fact is that the vapors of polymer clay are toxic, and then it is undesirable to cook in the same oven. In extreme cases, you need to thoroughly ventilate the chamber and wash it from the inside with soapy water.

Electric furnace Aceline VN-6000 black 9 999 *
A microwave oven in creativity does not become a full-fledged replacement for an oven. For example, it is impossible to bake polymer clay in it with high quality. Dry papier-mache, self-hardening clay, natural materials – too. But it will come in handy where you need to quickly melt, melt or heat something.

Microwave ovens are used by soap makers to prepare the soap base, candle makers to smelt wax. In it, you can also dye threads or restore yarn that has lost its shape and structure. We wrote more about the unusual functions of microwaves here .

Microwave oven Gorenje MO17E1S silver, black 6 999 *
Dryer for vegetables and fruits
This device is extremely convenient for those who are engaged in small works – decorations with dried flowers, decorations made from natural materials such as dried oranges, moss, tree bark, and so on.


You can’t put large parts in the dryer, but much more small items will fit in it than in the oven. Here you can also dry individual elements of papier-mâché, self-hardening clay, salt dough. For polymer clay, the dryer is not suitable due to the lack of temperatures.

Dryer for fruits and vegetables Kitfort KT-1907 white 13 999 *
For many creative blenders with a chopper has become almost the main tool in the work. While polymer clay is very expensive and greatly increases the cost of the finished product, many crafters create their own papier-mâché-based sculpting masses.



Initially, papier-mâché is ground paper mixed with a glue base. The simplest version of glue is a paste made from starch, flour and water. Now many craftsmen add various additives such as dry putty, plaster, chalk, crushed clay to their mixtures. But the main ingredient – paper – is still unshakable. In order not to tear paper bags for streaming with your hands, a blender comes to the rescue. Its powerful knives grind thick paper, egg cartons and other necessary materials into dust.


At the same time, the cheapest and simplest blender will not work – the device must be powerful and roomy enough to knead a thick and viscous mixture of paper and water.

Stationary blender Beko TBS3164X silver 16 499 *
As you might guess, the blender is also useful for creating author’s paper, which is also prepared from a single cellulose mixture, and then cast into finished sheets.

The most obvious use of the iron in creativity is where there is at least some work with the fabric. And these are not only classic seamstresses, but also the creators of backpacks and bags, designer toys made of plush, fabric or in mixed media, when part of the toy is soft, and individual elements such as a muzzle are made of polymer clay or papier-mâché.


As is obvious, the iron is capable of smoothing, leveling, smoothing, as well as cauterizing and melting.

Iron Philips GC4563/30 purple 6 999 *
Therefore, they also smooth prepared dyed paper for future notebooks, make blanks for patchwork – sewing from scraps of fabric, glue thermal applications, fuse prints on polymer clay, fabric, plastic, fix acrylic painting on clothes.


Another unusual way to work with an iron is thermal mosaics and encaustics. Thermomosaic is more fun for children. These are sets of plastic beads that are attached to the base, melted with an iron and turned into a mosaic picture. The finished figurine is removed from the reusable base, and it can somehow be used in decor, enjoying the nice result.


Encaustic is wax painting. Wax paints have been known for a very long time and were used more than a thousand years ago in the creation of early Christian icons. Although it is believed that for the first time it was encaustic – burning with wax paints on a marble board – that the ancient Greeks took up. Now there are ready-made paints for encaustics, and ordinary wax crayons are suitable for the first amateur experiments.


For melting wax, an iron is most often used, sometimes soldering irons, an ordinary hairdresser’s or building hair dryer, and even heated needles and awls for small parts.

Noodle cutter
Another tool to help polymer clay creators. And no, they don’t make noodles out of it. A noodle cutter is needed in order to roll out the clay into even layers of the desired and uniform thickness. The fact is that polymer is a hard and unyielding material. Before work, it must be properly kneaded, and this is still an unpleasant task for the fingers. Therefore, when sculptors work with polymer clay in large volumes, it is often first rolled several times through the rollers of the noodle cutter to soften it. Also, thin layers of clay become the basis for many creative techniques, from creating flat substrates for pendants or three-dimensional panels to creating patterned bars for jewelry.


In the creative segment for working with polymer clay, there are specialized pasta machines, although the principle of their operation is exactly the same as that of a noodle cutter. This is a device with shafts through which a sculptural mass is rolled with a pre-set thickness of the future layer. It is important to remember that after working with creative mixes – especially polymer clay – the pasta cutter can no longer be used in cooking.

Noodle cutter Aceline FTC-2206 1 499 *
Office equipment
Printers, scanners, MFPs, paper cutters – all this is a must-have for those who work with notebooks, albums, and create works using decoupage technique. A good laser printer with high quality color printing helps to create lined pages for notebooks, tabs with pictures and illustrations, author’s endpapers, cards, tags. Modellers also often use the printer to print graphs, drawings and plans for figures.


On a conventional printer, pictures for decorated cakes are printed on food paper. To do this, a conventional inkjet printer is refilled with food coloring cartridges instead of conventional ones, and rice or sugar paper is used instead of cellulose paper. However, there are already ready-made solutions in the form of printers for food printing, but it is not so easy to buy them and they cost more than standard inkjet printers.


For small author’s workshops on a home printer, you can also make branded packaging, name tags, postcards, magnets and other image elements. Of course, on an industrial scale it is much more profitable to apply for this at a printing house, but if you have 5-10 orders per month, then you can print labels for packaging at home.

Canon PIXMA G1420 compact photo printer 14 199 *
Particularly advanced bookbinding masters put at home special typographic cutters , which in one motion cut a block of sheets into a straight line with a perfectly smooth cut that cannot be achieved with an ordinary knife.

Roller cutter KW-TriO 13022 15 899 *
Life hack: make a candle from the remains of wax
If you love homemade candles, then you probably still have cinders that can no longer be lit and somehow used. Also, candles can burn out unevenly, forming unaesthetic border tunnels, which then have to be cut off. From such remnants of old candles, you can make a completely new one in 15 minutes using a microwave.

You will need:

Pieces of old candles. It is important that all parts for a future candle be from the same composition – for example, only from soy wax or only from paraffin, otherwise the mixture will turn out to be heterogeneous and may peel off during solidification.
Capacity for a new candle.
Wick. In our case, a special wooden wick for candles. You can also use ready-made waxed wicks or a strong cotton cord, which must be soaked in wax or soaked in vegetable oil for half an hour before use.
Disposable utensils – a cup for melting, a skewer or a plastic spoon for stirring. Disposable tableware is good because after use it can be safely thrown away, since washing hardened wax from household dishes is troublesome and unpleasant.
Optionally – essential oils or candle flavors that can be added to a future candle for a pleasant smell.

1. We take out the remnants of wax from the old candle and cut them into small pieces with a knife. The finer the wax is planed, the faster it will melt. During cutting, we remove all blackened, melted, dusty parts – we leave only pure wax.

2. Prepare the wick. If you use a wooden one, you can simply put it in the center of the candle or fix it on a drop of glue. Waxed cord can be hung on a skewer or toothpick and placed on top of a candle.


3. Pour the wax into a plastic cup and send it to the microwave at the highest power. Periodically we take out and check the melting process. In our case, it took 8 minutes for a small candle.


4. As soon as all the wax has melted, add a few drops of essential oil or flavors to it. We stir.

5. Pour the wax into the selected container and leave to harden at room temperature.


6. Done! We enjoy the result and a new beautiful candle.