In this day and age we all like to get things done quickly and decorating dance outfits is no exception. Many of us have been up late the night before gluing those last stones and wishing it could all be done at a greater pace. Unfortunately decorating only becomes easier with practice however there are some simple techniques you can use to help accelerate the process. These professional tips that may sound silly but you'll be surprised how quickly these tricks will help increase your decorating speed.
Select a bowl with a perfect hemispherical shape. If you don't have one then find a bowl that is as rounded as possible. Lightweight plastic or aluminium are the best.
To be fast you need to be mobile so choose a size that fits nicely in your hand.
Remember from earlier blogs, a round bowl works best to help naturally flip the diamantes the correct way up. Place one or two gross of diamantes into the round bowl, then swirl the crystals around with your finger until the diamantes turn the right way up.
Use multiple bowls for multiple colours
If your design requires multiple colours and sizes then it's best to have each one ready in a separate bowl.
This allows for an instant change over when swapping from one type of diamonte to the next.
The Bees Wax Diamante Picker
It's without doubt this little tool is the best kept secret in the business and contributes the greatest impact on speed decorating.
Bees wax has a perfect consistency to pick up and release the crystal quickly on your glue spot. Other substances such as Blu-Tac tend to be too sticky and won't release the stone easily which then wastes valuable time.
The most important thing here is to make sure you keep the bees wax tip clean of glue and dust at all times. If you go to pick up a diamante and it falls off the picker before being placed... and especially if this happens a few times in a row... then you have a problem. Rather than continuously dropping and losing your stones on the floor it's wise to fix the problem immediately.
Please refer to my previous blog for more detailed instructions for looking after your Diamante Picker... Stoning Tips 16 - Looking after your Bees Wax Diamante Picker
Position yourself correctly
You will waste a lot of time if you pick up a diamonte on your bees wax picker and then transport it several metres to your glue dot. You should always position yourself in a confortable spot and hold the bowl of diamontes as close as possible to the glue you have placed.
To work fast you will also need to work at a convenient angle and with good posture and lighting.
Cushions, weights and pins are also a great way to help position your work.
If you are decorating something that needs diamontes front and back such as a Ballroom dress, remember you will need to allow your work to dry before moving or rotating the dress around. Try to plan ahead by decorating one area and then slowly rotating the area without letting it touch or rest on the table before it's completely dry.
Always make sure you work in a well ventilated area when using any type of glue. Some glues such as E6000 are carcinogenic and safety precautions MUST be taken.
If you have no choice and need to get the job done in a toxic environment then I very strongly recommend using a safety mask. It's a little uncomfortable and might look silly but it saves on expensive medical bills, not to mention any worse outcomes.
Other glues such as Gemtac are water based and as such are much safer to use. They don't carry stringent warnings but either way it is still important the area is well ventilated. Fresh air helps keep you alert so you can work faster!
Last of all is practice. Much like dancing... nothing beats practice to improve your speed and skills. Mastering these techniques will help you get diamontes on your outfit as quickly as possible... the more you decorate the better and faster you become.