Frequently Asked Questions

 Q: I was wondering why on some of your ornaments you put down glue before you tuck the fabric while others you just tuck and go?

A: You will see me gluing the fabric to the foam when watching my older videos. This was a rookie mistake on my part. Glue is only necessary when using batting. If you use glue directly between the foam and fabric it will often bleed through the fabric and ruin your ornament.

Q: When you use batting behind your fabric, what effect does it offer?

A: I think it creates soft 3D effect to the surface of the ornament.

Q: What do you do if when you are cutting your design you end up cutting out the foam section rather than just cutting the design into the foam.

A: I start over because I’ve ruined my ball. Sometimes I can fill in the space with extra batting but usually it doesn’t look right so I just start over with a fresh ball.

Q: I’m having a bit of a challenge finding my poles as the balls I found have no indications only the equator lines. What should I do?

A: One way is to put your ball under a very bright light and examine it for faint patterns made during manufacturing. A magnifier glass might help too. You might see fine circles that start from a pole point and get bigger as they get further from the center point. Also check out my video about drawing lines on a bare smooth foam ball.

Q: How deep do you cut into the ball?

A: About 1 cm.

Q: How much do you overlap the sequins?

A: I overlap the sequins as much as needed to hide the foam beneath. I think the best looking ornaments hide all the foam under the sequins, ribbon, glitter, fabric, etc.

Q: What are the cap thingies you use on the top of some of your ornaments?

A: They are called bead caps and I find them in the jewelry making section of my local craft shop or in bead shops.

Q: What kind of compass you use?

A: The compass is nothing special. I got it at the local 100 yen shop, Japan's version of the dollar store. I had to change out the pencil it came with to a pen as pencils can’t mark foam. The pen was to big so I had to cut the plastic so it would fit into the hole.

Q: What kind of pins do you use? Can I use normal pins or do I need special pins?

A: I use sequin pins from Cartwright’s. Sometimes I use 1/4 inch pins and sometimes 3/4 inch pins. The thickness of these pins is good for the 15/0 seed beads (also purchased from Cartwright’s) that I use. Also, I have found that with regular longer straight pins purchased at the sewing shop, they are too long and start running into each other if I’m doing a mostly sequined ball. I do like the longer pins for the top and bottom of my ornaments. They are perfect for pining large beads and thick bows. Cost is also an issue. The smaller packs of normal pins tend to be much more expensive and for as much as I do it’s not reasonable. However, with all that being said, way back in the day before the internet, I used to use regular long straight pins purchased from various sewing supply shops. They were not ideal but I made it work.

Q: What kind of glue do you use?

A: It depends on what I am making. When gluing sequin pins, I use a general purpose white glue. Elmer's school glue is sufficient. For gluing cord trim on seams when making a kimekomi ball, I use glue stick. Any glue stick works. I have several different types of glue stick that I use depending on the design I’m doing. I glue stick that dries completely clear.

Q: How do you make the glitter paint?

A: Please refer to the Glitter Ornaments page.

Q: Why don’t you paint the ornament before you put on the sequins?

A: I don’t like to waste anything. I hate to paint something I'm just going to cover up with sequins and ribbon later. Also, I use the mold line to make perfectly straight lines and judge where the center of the ornament is. If I can’t see the line because I’ve covered it up with paint it’s hard to keep things symmetrical.

Q: Why do you use glue on the pins?

A: So the pins don’t fall out. Although, depending on storage and handling the pins might fall out anyway over time. It’s important to handle them with care.

Q: Do you always use the sequin cup facing outward ?

A: Yes. Just a habit. I prefer the way it looks.

Q: What size sequins do you normally use and why?

A: I like 5 mm sequins. It’s mostly habit. That’s what I’ve always used.

Q: Do you sketch your ideas out before you start or are you simply going with the flow?

A: Sometimes I sketch things out but usually I just go with the flow.

Q: Will you be coming out with DVDs of your work?

A: I have no plans offer DVDs. If I decide to sell videos in the future I will do so using an online platform.

 Check out this Q & A video for even more answers to your questions.