the toolbox

Upholstery basics

Whether you just want to re-cover a drop-in seat or reupholster an entire chair, Hannah Stanton’s “Style, Stitch, Staple” can help you through the process.

The basic upholstery guide covers the skills needed for a variety of upholstery projects. Stanton, a designer and upholsterer, introduces readers to the tools and supplies used in the craft and teaches them how to refresh their furniture, from fixing a frame to giving their upholstery professional-looking details such as piping and tufting.

For inspiration, she also showcases some projects reupholstered by other people, both professionals and do-it-yourselfers. The creators discuss the processes they used and the challenges they faced.

“Style, Stitch, Staple: Basic Upholstering Skills to Tackle Any Project” is published by Running Press and sells for $23 in softcover.

Bag clip closes large sacks

Handy Camel is like a chip clip on steroids.

The oversize bag clip is 12 inches long, big enough to close bags of garden soil, de-icer, charcoal and other bulky items. The hinged device grips the bag securely and has a built-in handle to make carrying the bags easier.

The clip can be adjusted on the bag for use as a pouring handle, too.

The Handy Camel costs $14.95, or four for $44.85. Shipping is $8.95.

It can be ordered at

Removing melted plastic

Q: I preheated my Kenmore self-cleaning oven, unaware that a plastic silverware holder was inside. How can I remove the concrete-hard melted plastic buildup? Would you advise turning the self-cleaning option on with the hope that the plastic will disintegrate, or is there a potential of toxic fume release?

A: Don’t use the self-cleaning cycle. Besides releasing fumes, it could cause the plastic to catch fire, said Rudy Germeister, owner of Advanced Appliance Service Co. in Akron, Ohio.

Germeister said he’s found that melted plastic is brittle, and if you pry it, it might pop off. He suggested using a stiff putty knife and trying to lift the plastic at one corner.

Be careful not to damage the oven surface, however. He said the coating on the surface is important to the self-cleaning function.

A razor scraper can be used to remove melted plastic from some surfaces, but don’t do that without checking with the manufacturer.

Akron beacon journal