We know it’s common sense to follow safety rules when working with arts and crafts materials, but it’s better to prevent than be sorry, right? Some things are obvious, but some surprise us especially when crafting with some toddlers around us or even older children.
Let’s begin with… the beginning
When using an electric device (your new Cricut might not be that easy to use the first time), you start with reading the instructions carefully. In the case of materials, it’s also good to read the expiration dates.
Organize and keep all your crafting materials in one place as many accidents happen when you’re trying to find something in another room and leave the room unattended…
It’s also a good thing to keep the tools around you, in a semi-circle. This way they are in your sight and easy to get.
Having a crafting room is ideal and if you’re lucky enough to have it, make sure that it’s also large enough. Crafting is safer when your working space is large enough since cramped spaces are more dangerous.
If you’re using glues and paints, it’s always a good thing to keep the room well ventilated. This goes also when using other chemical materials or dust.
Our pets might be interested and avid spectators of our crafting so make sure they’re safe when you’re creating in the crafting room. This goes especially for your children who should never be left around a cutting machine, a pencil sharpener, or some toxic materials.
Long way ahead
Some get inspired when having some chocolate cookies or a tea, but it’s always safer to not eat/drink/smoke when crafting.
Even though paints are not toxic on the skin, avoid using the dyes/paints directly on skin (for a fun party with your children) or in food. There are other products specifically made for these kinds of things.
We know that boxes of the tools/materials take quite some place, but it’s wiser to keep these boxes as they contain precious info. If you really want to win more space, simply cut out the important notes from the boxes and put them in a new container.
Stay away from improvisation and only get creative when crafting, and not when using the electric tools. Fix the frayed cords and use the right equipment in a proper way.
This might seem tedious, but…clean up your crafting zone and pick up the scraps of materials and the tools all the time. Keep the working area clean and dry as any drop of water might be fatal when using an electric machine.
We may be feeling like your mother but here we go: ”Wash your hands after crafting!” The traces from some toxic material might get into your food or dishes and the last thing you want is to put your family in danger because of your crafting.
Last, but not least…Studies say you are more creative when you’re tired. If so, keep the part with the tools or toxic materials for when you’re well rested. Always take your time when crafting and stay away from distraction. You can’t have safety when the music is too loud, the dog is barking…and so on
Crafting safely…the whole nine yards
There are some other important things to do when we talk about safety when crafting.
It’s better to protect your ears as you risk damaging your hearing if the noise level is uncomfortable. Protect your eyes and ears as much and often as you can, since they can get injured quite easily when crafting. Use some goggles for your eyes and simple foam earplugs for a minimum of noise protection.
When your crafting needs some plugging in and out…the situation changes. The safety rules differ and multiply, but they are all for a noble cause: your own (and others’) good!
Read carefully the manual of all your machines that require electricity. You can explain that to your child also so that he knows how to use it.
Make sure that your tool is up to full speed before using it. as some tools need some seconds to start rotating.
Never ever leave the tools unattended and always turn them off (or unplug them) before leaving the room.
Use all the guards and safety devices when you use power tools and always unplug the power before replacing or adjusting them.
Physical force is not always a solution so avoid forcing your tool. Try to seek the problem and take it step by step.
Keep the cutting tools sharpen but…stay away from the cutting blades. A sharp blade is less dangerous than a dull one, but they are both dangerous either way.
We need to specify once again not to ever drive nails, staples or other metal objects through electrical cords. Be safe with extension cords and keep the power tools properly grounded.
Even though this is a practical solution, be careful of multi-plug adapters as they might overload a circuit and cause a fire.
Check to see if the fuses are the right size for the circuit and do not bypass. Clean the fuse box or the circuit breaker box from time to time.
And…of course, no drop of water near the electrical tools. Never use water when trying to stop a fire from an electrical device either.
…and the fun from a glue gun
Glue guns are both useful and tricky to use, even by adults. It takes some time until you handle them right and quite often they can be avoided.
This also goes for a soldering iron or a stove. Think seriously if your kid is up to the task but keep in mind that it’s safer to watch your kid anyway.
Watch your child handle the glue gun or the soldering iron before you plug it in, to see if he’s comfortable enough handling it. This way you also give him the chance to find the best position for holding it safely.
Find a place to rest the hot tool when you’re not using it and keep it out of your way. There are special stands for these tools but you can always go for a large ceramic tile.