i got a fancy cordless dremel tool for christmas last year, and i was sooo excited. i used it today, for the second time since i got it. anyone use one of these regularly? i used it once to grind off the shank of a plastic button, and today to grind off the tips of some tacks that were a little too long for the piece i was working on. anyone else have any interesting uses for this tool? i would really like to use it more, i feel like it was wasted on me! lol
Me, Me, Me! I am a Dremel Artist. I have done some work for them. I am on their focus group and meet with them regularly. I have several Dremel rotary tools and all the attachments/accessories. I use them several times a week in my mixed media art, art jewelry, and metal working. They have a FREE DVD out now that explains how to use the tool and have some projects on there - not art related though. You can get that off their website. You can email me offlist with specific questions.
Belinda aka crazyartgirl
I found some cowrie shells that didn't have the "bump" removed. I had to use a Dremel tool to grind off the bump. as I bought them to sew onto an art quilt. I had to invent a holder for the shell while I was grinding, as obviously I couldn't hold it.
My now-deceased husband bought the Dremel, don't know what he ever used it for. I haven't found a use for it since the cowrie shell project.
Marti in Houston, Texas
I use a dremel for all kinds of things - art, housework, garden needs. I adore the dremel and have a huge box of "bits" thanks to my brother who gave me the 100 pc set last Christmas. I've cut egg sheels into pieces, done small alabaster sculpture, drilled holes in garden pots, drilled holes in craft wood pieces and seashells...I do a lot of hole drilling come to think of it. I like making holes in things (Dr. Freud, please, vat can it mean?). I put holes in the dowels I use to hang art quilts. Polished earrings, smoothed edges. My dremel stays on the garage workbench. I return it to the case to keep out the dust, but I never put it away off the bench. Enjoy your new gadget - - Mary J
mmmm..... I never thought about using the dremel. My poor husband is going to wonder where all his stuff is disappearing to. First it was the soldering iron, then the heat gun, then all his fantastic stencils, pigma pens and derwent pencil crayons (in school he had to do manual drafting) and now his dremel. Any other ideas on what I scam out of his stash?
Well, that depends on what is in his stash. What is in my stash is well beyond what is in my dh's stash. He comes and raids my stash. My dh comes and uses my tools all the time instead of the other way around. How about that? I am the tool chica around here since I use so much of it for metalworking and jewelry.
For quiltingand mixed media, there's no end to embellishments that you can "borrow". I will give you a partial list that I can think of off the top of my head that you could possibly have lying around the house or in your garage. I am huge on found objects (everyday things, pretty much - what you find) and hardware items. I am a kid in the candy store at the local Menards.
Net or wiring makes for a great template - depending on the type of material and the spacing of the grid, you can use paint or ink it with a stamp pad to create a pattern on fabric or paper. If it is a plastic, nylon, or softer material, you can lay it on the surface and use it as an embellishment. For example, a piece of chicken wire is a great template. You take a cheap brush and load some fabric paint on it, different colors on one piece, press into fabric, lift off wire. You have a great background design. You can put something in the wire grid design or leave blank. You can repeat the wire design over and over again on the piece of fabric in a random fashion.
I take washers and nails of different sizes and sew them onto my art quilts all the time.
Different types pliers are invaluable. Just look for pliers with jaws that have the smooth jaws. The serrated jaws can leave marks in your metal. For some applications, that does not matter.
Foil - you can crumple it, paint on it, and then sew with it You are not limited to the silver foil. There is also copper foil, too. Copper foil is easy to sew on. You can easily paint on it with acrylic paint with some Golden 200 stuff or you can use some alcohol inks.
I am trying to think what is in my toolbox or what I look for when I go to the hardware store in relation to quilting/mixed media. If you made charms, there would probably be nothing safe in your dh's garage that couldn't be used as charm material.
Have you tried the glue gun and gold paint pen thing? Try this on a piece of scrap paper first. Draw a line with your your glue gun, make it thicker first so you can practice. Wait until the line is completely cooled before you do the next step. Get the gold paint pen going and go over the glue line with the gold paint pen. Pretty slick, eh? Works well with metallic paints, too. I use my finger when I use the metallic paints.
I always "borrow" pieces of wood to work on. I like to use that because they are nice and stiff. I like to adhere fabric to that and then paint on it. Muslin and wood work great together. Beeswax and wood are also a great pairing.
You could use his drill press to make charms or to drill holes into dominoes to make pendants. You can also root around his tool box and look for anything that would serve as a bezel and get some resin to turn that into a pendant. You could always use that on an art quilt. Heck, just wear it.
If you like the rusted look, there are books and lots of posts online that tell you how to rust metal. You could always do it on a piece of fabric and have a great background while rusting metal for another project.
Wire - you can use it on art jewelry and for your art quilts as an embellishment. I also use it with my fabric books.
Just a partial list. I could probably tell you more if I knew more about your husband and knew what he had! I could tell you what you could "borrow" from him. Good luck!
Thanks Belinda. You gave me some good ideas. I don't do any jewelery of metal work so you have put forth a lot of ideas from this area that never would have crossed my mind.
I do have a glue gun but have never thought of applying metallic paint to it. I am going to have to try this. Do you need to seal it with anything?
Rusting.... I love rusting. You should see the stuff I have pulled out of the garbage that he throws out!
Chicken wire/plastic netting.... I have oodles of this stuff. Unfortunately it has just been taken out into the garden for my vegetables right now. Something to think about for the fall for sure.
I am going to have to go dig around in the garage tomorrow. He is the king of tools and I know he has multiples of things that he won't even miss.
wow! thanks for all the great ideas! i am always raiding his shop for things, and i took his dremel a couple of years ago for drilling, maybe that is why he bought me one for christmas, so he could have his back!
belinda, do you use the flex shaft often? i have been looking at it, as well as at the little drill press thingy you can get to put it on. wondering if i would use it more with these attachments.
its really funny, my husband is always bringing me stuff and i am always poking around his garage for bits and pieces i can use. he is a weekend mechanic (he is building a 63 cadillac right now) and he is always saving me stuff he finds on his adventures to search down rare car parts. and i never miss a trip to the hardware store. especially harbor freight, you never know what cool stuff you might find to use. last time i went there, i spied a gadget that cuts circles out of metal and a block you use to hammer those discs into little bowls or curves. (i don't know what it's called, i just know i want one! lol)
No, I have a couple of the flex shafts and don't use them. Lots of people swear by them though esp. jewelry people. I prefer the tool itself. Yes, Harbor Freight is a great store. You are talking about a disc punch and a dapping block. Email me privately if you want a source for copper sheet. The Dremel workstation (drill press) is a good thing. I use that all the time.
The drill press workstation definitely kicks the Dremel tool up another notch for all kinds of hobbying tasks. I also have the "router table" and router bits, which allow for decorative edge work on small projects. It also works for putting small grooves in wood to fit things together.
the most fun thing I have seen done with dremel tool was at the state fair a few years ago. They had a bowling ball carving contest. It was amazing. They took it to a real art form.
I still smile when I think of it.
OMG, someone else mentioned Harbor Freight to me just tonight, in regards to rotary cutters! I guess I am going to have to check them out. I have to admit, I'm scared of my husband's dremel. I always think I am going to injure myself. I have used it for Kelli Perkin's altered silver spoons from CPS a while back. That was a fun project.
I just LOVE Harbor Freight Tools and have already bought a package of 45mm rotary blades there, also a can of compressed air, clothesline, nylon rope, etc. My husband doesn't "tinker", but my Dad did and I have fond memories of standing by his side at his workbench! A hardware store might as well be a candy shop. As a retiree, I am going back to my roots of drawing and painting and feeling inspired to meld it with sewing skills into art quilts. Have enjoyed QA magazine for a while but today is the first time I checked out the website and forums. Everyone's posts, questions & answers are so helpful.
Welcome cmdfnp! I hope you enjoy the forums!
Cheryl / Muppin
A jeweller friend is helping me make etched pewter plaques as embroidery embellishments. She has a Dremel which we use for polishing. The problem is the holes for attachment. I have in the past used a metalworker's bench mounted drill, the type where the drill is fixed and you offer up the piece to be drilled to it rather than taking the drill to the piece. This is much safer for the fingers but is an expensive piece of kit. Is it possible to use the Dremel as a static drill?