Sunday, 22 May 2016

How to care for your brushes so they last a lifetime

How to care for your paintbrushes

What is it they say? Buy cheap, buy twice? At You Can Folk It, we cannot tell you how long we have spent at Folky HQ instructing manufacturers how to create the right, high quality brushes for our Folk It kits, and how many different samples we tried before we found someone who knew how to create the perfect one.

But once you have opened your kit and started your painting journey, how do you look after your beloved brushes so you do not have to replace them?

Well, we do have a few tips we wanted to share with you...

1. Never leave your brushes in your water pot for any length of time. While they are ok for a few seconds, leaving them in there while you make a cup of tea or answer the door is a no-no. Doing this will bend and warp the bristles, something that can never be rectified once the damage is done.

2. Never leave paint in your brush. Always rinse out as much as you can, whether it is before swapping your colour or answering the phone, rinse out your brush! It can be amazing how quickly your paint can dry.  Once your brush gets dried paint in there, it's harder to get back out.

3.  When taking a break, prop your brush on your palette, or, if you have a painting pot, stand it, bristles upwards in one of the holes. The important thing is, that wherever it is laid to rest, it should never be in a position where stress is placed on the bristles.

4. Always pull your brush when creating your brush strokes. Pushing the brush will inevitably cause the bristles to splay.  While this may seem like a given, this is the reason why we suggest mixing your colours with a coffee stirrer or an old paintbrush.  Then there are some of us at Folky HQ who have tried in vain to save brushes from little hands who have got hold of them (as they're far more exciting than their usual chunky paintbrushes!) and the pristine brushes are no more. Thank goodness our dotting tools are available for a bit of family Folk It fun :)

5. This last point is probably the most important one. We can do everything we have mentioned before and still fall at the last hurdle because if we do not wash our brushes properly, as soon as we have finished painting, our brushes are damaged by dried paint.

 As many of you have seen from our DVD's, the key to perfect brushstrokes is loading your brush well enough with paint. So once its in there, how do you know you've got it all out? We have so many questions and queries about how to wash your brushes correctly, we created a video with everything you need to know....

We hope these hints and tips will help you care for your brushes and as we understand that accidents do indeed happen, you can purchase our Round and liner brushes from our website.  What tips do you have for caring for your painting stash? We'd love to hear them.

Happy Folking,

The You Can Folk It team x

Friday, 6 May 2016

Introducing our first Folky Weekend workshop!

Find out how to teach You Can Folk It to others

When we created You Can Folk It, we wanted to encourage everyone to take a leap, to learn something new and use our designs to make the world a more beautiful place. Since our journey began, we have not only seen our dreams become reality, but we have also seen our customers reach out to others to begin You Can Folk it workshops, to hold painting evenings with their friends and even demonstrate the techniques they've learnt from our kits to others; within their community, at their local craft fairs and so much more.

Both Sandra and I were adamant that we wanted to take this opportunity to help our customers in this journey, and after a few discussions and some scheduling, we have now arranged our first Folky Weekend workshop.  We envision this will be the first in a series of 3 You Can Folk It! business focused workshops.  Aimed at anyone who would like to create a business using the You Can Folk It! Kits, I will be passing on information I wish I had known when I was setting up my first teaching studio, more years ago than I care to remember!

It is suitable for anyone who wants to:
  • Hold You Can Folk It! craft parties
  • Introduce You Can Folk It! to existing workshop groups 
  • Set up their own business running craft/upcycling classes using You Can Folk It! 
  • Sell You Can Folk It! in their retail store
  • Demonstrate You Can Folk It at Craft Fairs and other events 

After teaching Folk Art for over 20 years, around the world and in many different environments, from small groups in hospitals and craft workshops, to large groups at craft exhibitions and conference rooms,  I have created a weekend that will prepare you for whatever plans you may have for using You Can Folk It in the future.

Training sessions throughout the 2 days is based around the You Can Folk It! Round Brush Series and it includes:
  • You Can Folk It! Brushstroke skills, how to master them and how to teach them effectively
  • How to demonstrate to encourage sales
  • How to create a lesson plan
  • How to use the You Can Folk It! kits to create your own creative business plan
  • DecoArt Product Knowledge – how to use the products and how to create different paint effects
  • Painting different surfaces – what you can paint and how to prepare the surfaces ready to paint 
Packed full of advice, practical activities and of course, the fun that comes with Folking It, if you would like information on our future Ambassador courses, please email

Happy Folking,

Carol x

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