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 Library of Tutorials

If you go to a tutorial in the list below, you will need to return to this page to resume the Linked Page System

Ann's Tool Box: Best tools to have to make Paper Minis

Aging Pre-Printed Paper Minis

Bow Maker: Make a gizmo for creating mini bows

Candy Bon Bons

Cutting Small, Detailed Items Such as Paper Dolls

Fabric Printing Using an Inkjet Printer

Inkjet Printer Optimization

Light Box for Macro (Miniature) Photography (Home Made)

Paper Minis Assembly Tips

PDF Printing Tips

Plate Making (dinner and dessert)

Printie Assembly Tips from Newsletter

Selecting Printer Paper

Update on Assembly Tips


Water-Slide Decals Using a PC and Printer


 Tips for Assembly *

Every once in a while I discover something that makes my life so much easier, and these goggles are the latest and greatest tool in the 'Ann tool box.' I found these for $11 on recently in a liquidation sale. The set comes with four interchangeable lenses. I have been using readers for many years to help correct my up-close vision, but these goggles do a much better job. You might not be able to buy a pair for just $11, but I did notice there were many good deals up there on-line. Thought you would like to know.


This caddy is my Christmas present to myself, and what a life saver it is! Everything I need to make miniatures--including my camera--is stored in it and I can carry it everywhere. Next, I will find a cutting mat that fits in the center compartment. I found this caddy at WalMart for around $17.00. However, if you do not have a WalMart, the tag says, Large Deluxe Organizer, EVM-6479, RN#128183, Bentonville, AR 72712 (bar code is 12259 03077).

Assembly Tip:
When I make a prototype of my designs, my work area is set-up as if I were a customer; the priority being to keep pieces to the kit at hand safe and easily retrievable. You might think that if a piece is lost here, all that is needed is for me to quickly print out a new one. But that does not happen, because that is not something you could do. To ensure pieces aren't lost I keep a small box next to me and place pieces into it. Before I detail cut parts, I separate the pieces and place them in the box. This helps eliminate the possibility of accidently throwing out good parts with scraps while I am pre-occupied with detailing. Remember to keep your wiping towel away from parts, it's sticky and can easily pick up your good parts without you knowing. These precautions may seem simple-minded, but could keep the frustration of losing a piece at bay.


I have found that the best way to get the laminated sleeves (these come with Paper Minis book kits) to stay glued is to use a combination of plastic cement and fine grit sandpaper.  Plastic cement is the generic name given years ago. It’s what is used to build model ships and planes and is plastic in nature. It’s clear, smells paint-like chemically, and historically was made by Testors. More than a few companies sell it now and I show photos below. It's not hard to find. Most hobby stores sell it as well as places like Wal-Mart.

The only time I use this glue is for the laminated sleeve that comes with my book kits. First, scruff up the tab well with fine grit sandpaper. Then use a little plastic cement and hold tight with tweezers until it bonds. By the way, if the glue is old and comes out of the tube in balls and isn’t loose and flowing then the bond will not happen. To get the most from a tube, save up a bunch of sleeves and glue them all at the same time with fresh new glue.

Testors Contact Cement  Elmers Contact Cement 
e6000 Contact Cement   



I always loved this little real-estate saver and organizer trick.  I've used baby food jars before which are a good size for hardware such as tacks, nails, screws, etc. Use a glue such as Gorilla Glue to glue the jar tops to the underside of a shelf. Think about this carefully, however, for it is a permanent solution!


I live in the middle of nowhere and so it can be challenging to find craft and sewing items. Something I looked for recently was a way to gild some miniatures I designed. I had a gold pen, but it did not flow well on the coated high-end paper I use. I found an inexpensive can of spray gold paint by Krylon. It's e most realistic gold I have seen.


What I did was spray a small puddle on waxed paper (anything will do). Then I used a flat artist's brush to apply the gold embellishments. Wash the paint brush with plain alcohol.



If you let acrylic paint or craft glue dry on paint brushes one of the following will probably work to clean and soften them once more: Isopropyl alcohol, fabric soften and/or hair conditioner.



I just got my order from you and I am very excited. I am currently working on a set of game dice. It's listed to use self hardening clay, I don't buy stuff like that. I just wanted to say that hot glue works well. I used hot glue to fill the cans so they would keep their shape. Awesome products. I will be ordering again. Your products are wonderful. Thanks Patricia Jankey



My PC crashed this week and one reason: I am a negligent computer cleaner! I used to do it every month, but just got too busy. It's not hard to do, actually, it's just that it never got to the top of my to-do list any more. Well that has changed. My life is on that PC! If this story is hitting home for you, then you will want to make the change along with me. I found a great site that tells you exactly what to do and what not to do to keep your PC healthy. Here is the website's URL. Take a few minutes and read it! Then clean that PC!


 Printie Tip: Use Acetate
 Strips to Position Minis
 in Diorama Boxes
A couple things I have learned over the years of stocking dioramas is 1) if the miniatures are not glued down they will--without fail--fall and make a mess, and 2) if you glue them down they will not fall but you will never again be able to see them up close and personal. What I have discovered is a happy fix. Now I use acetate sheets cut into strip and I glue the miniatures to the strips. This minimizes the negative effects of man-made earthquakes, and allows me to remove the strips from the display box. Another benefit is I can change the arrangement without leaving torn paper spots in the diorama box. The acetate I use is common 8.5"x11" office-use acetate sheets. Here's a sample of the shelves with preliminary stocking arrangements and also a photo of a shelf of miniatures removed as one long strip for me to examine them closely!

stocked shelves

Every toy on, under or besides the counter is glued to acetate sheeting. I can lift the entire arrangement.

strip of miniatures on acetate
 Printie Tip: Gluing
 Tabs Tip #1
 Office Clips for Help
 in Printie Assembly
I finally, after many years, went to the Dollar Store and bought lots and lots of black office clips in 3 different sizes. No more double gluing tabs and lining panels!! Whoo! Whoo! Try it, you will like it.
Clips and boxes
 Printie Tip: Gluing
 Tabs Tip #2
 Scotch double-sided tape
High-end paper manufacturers are uniformly coating the backside of paper with a slick covering that is frustratingly resistant to even the best fast-grab glue. I have found a solution to this particular problem. That solution is Scotch brand 2-sided tape (I use the .5" wide version). This method also helps if you are sloppy like I am and have glue spots all over your project. By the way, this method does not work with books.

You will need a pair of scissors that can cut up to the tips, tweezers to press bonds, and a piece of paper towel to wipe unwanted tape pieces.

Scotch Brand 2-sided tap

This tape is a very thin thickness, so it does not affect the fit of your tiny pieces. I use the 1/2" wide type of tape because it makes nice thin width pieces to fit easily on tabs.

scotch tape 2 sides

Hopefully, you can see that I have pulled out a length of tape and used scissors to split it lengthwise. Then I used scissors again to snip a tiny piece for a tiny tab. The piece is still on the tip of the scissors.

scotch tape example

Here I have placed a strip across the tab (in the front of the photo). Use tweezers for placement because the tape sticks less to the tweezers than it sticks to your fingers. In this case I placed the tape along the outer edge so edge will not pop up. Once placed, snip the over-hang tape. Wipe the little snipped pieces to a piece of paper towel.

 Printie Tip:
 Making Colored
 Mini Marbles

...a method for painting clear no-hole beads is to use spray paint. I put the beads in the lid of a shoe box, then very lightly spray paint on them with plenty of space between the beads and paint nozzle. Then gently shake the box top in between spurts of spraying. If the paint starts to get wet--stop! Let the paint dry as you gently roll the beads with your fingers. The point is not let the paint get wet. If you feel in your bones that it's getting to that point, stop and give the process some rest time. It's a little fussy, but I get beautiful beads.

BTW, did you know that no-hole beads are actually sign reflector beads? That's why there is not a great choice of sizes. I would love some 3mm beads!!

If you buy pre-colored no-hole beads, chances are they have been colored in someone's kitchen. Before you glue them to your sweat-and-toiled miniature, test to see that the color does not run in the glue. Color me learned the hard way!

See more tips at the on-line tutorial library, subcategory:

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