The Toolbox: Paint Handy; paper flowers; preventing underarm stains

  • Updated: October 1, 2013 - 3:13 PM

“Paper to Petal” contains instructions for creating 75 paper flowers.

Paint caddy averts spills

The Paint Handy is a spill-proof paint caddy that takes the place of a paint cup or miniroller tray.

The plastic caddy has an absorbent liner that soaks up paint like a sponge and then releases it with the tap of a brush’s tip or a few strokes of a roller. The liner holds the paint in place, even when the caddy is turned upside down, the manufacturer says.

An adjustable strap holds the caddy to your hand. You can even turn the caddy so it’s resting on the back of your hand, freeing your grip so you can hold on securely as you climb a ladder.

The caddy will hold about a half-quart of paint at a time. A loaded caddy can be stored for a few days in a zippered plastic bag to keep the paint from drying out, and excess paint can be scraped back into the can when you’re done.

The Paint Handy sells for $37.99 at www.painthandy.com. Shipping is extra.

The product is also scheduled to be on QVC.

The art of paper flowers

The art of making paper flowers has advanced considerably from the days of facial tissue pompoms.

Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell, who make up the photography and design team Thuss and Farrell, share instructions for creating 75 paper flowers in their new book, “Paper to Petal” (Potter Craft, $24.99). Some are realistic, some are playful and some are artistic, but all have a character and handcrafted quality that set them apart from other artificial posies.

Thuss and Farrell provide instructions for making the flowers, along with plenty of photographic inspiration for using them to dress up a gift package, clutch in a bridal bouquet or just add a little cheer to a table.

Removing underarm stains

Q: I have several white T-shirts with colorful images on them. Even though I use antiperspirant, the underarms of the shirts are getting stained. How can I remove the stains?

A: Those stains are often a combination of perspiration and a buildup of aluminum or zinc salts from deodorant, and they can be difficult or even impossible to remove. A product called Deo-Go claims to take them out. You can order it online at www.getdeogo.com.

It’s probably a better idea to focus on preventing underarm stains. Janis Stone, a retired textiles and clothing specialist with Iowa State University, recommends rubbing a little liquid laundry detergent into the underarms of your shirts before you launder them in warm water, or soaking in a pre-soak product and warm water for 15 to 30 minutes before laundering.

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