Save Yourself

comments (2) August 8th, 2008     

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Jeff_Rudell Jeffery Rudell, contributor
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Craft knives, scalpels, awls, quilling pins, metal triangles, scissors, and more. The studio can be a dangerous place if youre not careful.
A cube of packing foam, rescued from the recycling bin, makes a handy caddy for all things sharp or pointed that would otherwise roll off my worktable.
Craft knives, scalpels, awls, quilling pins, metal triangles, scissors, and more. The studio can be a dangerous place if youre not careful.

Craft knives, scalpels, awls, quilling pins, metal triangles, scissors, and more. The studio can be a dangerous place if you're not careful.

Photo: Jeff Rudell

As a crafter, I am always sharing project ideas with people - some new material or handy technique - but when it comes to safety in the studio, crafters seem hesitant to exchange ideas with the same enthusiasm. Maybe it's because we're all a bit embarrassed to admit that we've gotten hurt (or rather, hurt ourselves) while engaged in a pleasurable activity.

For my part, I work a lot with sharp tools. With multiple pair of scissors, Snap-Blade cutters, countless X-acto knives, a quilling needle, even a scalpel constantly within reach, my craft studio looks more like a high-end butcher shop than a craft room. I was always setting down my X-acto knife to reach for the glue or take up a pencil and, invariably, it would roll off the table and land - point-side-down - in my shoe and my foot!

I tried keeping all my knives in a pencil cup but that just broke the tips off them. I tried a small tray (and cigar box, actually) but reaching into a box of knives while my eyes were trained on my project, didn't make much sense, either.

I tried attaching a little rubber collar around these tools (you find these in the school supply aisle of your grocery store - they're meant to make gripping a pencil more comfortable). I've also tried winding rubber bands around the ends of my tools. In both instances I found that what I gained in safety I lost in comfort, grip, or maneuverability.

Then, by chance, I happened upon a cube of packing foam -- the spongy kind used to cradle glass objects during shipping - and in an instance, I found a solution to my problem. Now, instead of setting my tools down beside me, I plunge them into this cube, where they sink with a pleasant resistance before coming to rest upright and ready for me to grab again whenever I need them. My blade tips don't break off and I haven't cut (or rather, stabbed) myself since.

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Comments (2)

fontgoddess writes: This is brilliant. After two unfortunate crafting accidents this summer, tips like these (and how to give yourself stitches) may save me from more injuries.

It is really fun to say "freak knitting accident," though.
Posted: 12:21 am on October 30th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks for the idea--in addition to sewing, embroidery etc, I am the master of disaster. I see a cube of spongy foam in my future too!
Posted: 10:59 am on August 11th
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