Get a Grip: An Easy Way to Grasp Things (Video)

Jewelry and Coffee with Rena
Video Episode 23

by Rena Klingenberg.

Do you ever have trouble picking up or gripping jewelry tools or components?

Here’s a nifty, cheap solution that’s especially cool if you have carpal tunnel, arthritis, or just find it difficult to grip things:

Transcript of This Video:

Sometimes when we’re making jewelry, we have to pick up things that are slippery, like little cabochons – or things that are hard to grip, like some of our tools.

Gripping these things can be especially hard if you have carpal tunnel, arthritis, or anything else that affects your grip.

But here’s a really simple solution: You can get a roll of rubberized non-skid shelf liner:

Roll of nonskid shelf liner for gripping jewelry tools and components

You can get it anyplace that you can get kitchen supplies; you can also get it at the hardware store or home improvement stores.

It comes in big rolls, and you can use regular scissors to cut it into any size and shape that you find handy.

(You might want to cut a couple of pieces of it into different sizes and shapes to keep in with your jewelry tools, so that it’s always there whenever you need it, to help you grip or pick things up.)

Here are a couple of examples of ways you can use this:

This is a piece I’ve cut to be a little bit bigger than hand size.

For example, if you have trouble gripping your hammer, or if you get fatigued gripping your hammer, you can temporarily wrap this piece of rubberized shelf liner around your hammer’s handle:

Make jewelry hammers easier to grip

It sticks nicely to the hammer handle, and also to your hand.

Now your hand doesn’t get so fatigued hanging onto the hammer – and at the same time you have a nice, firm grip so you have more control over your hammering.

You can also use it with pliers:

Get a grip on pliers

If you take your pliers and put your piece of rubberized shelf liner around the plier handles, you have a nice sticky grip on your plier handles.

Your hand won’t get so fatigued, and it’s really easy to hang onto your pliers.

They won’t be slipping out of your hand, and you have a lot more dexterity with your pliers.

You might also want to have a very small size piece of this shelf liner.

If you’re picking up things like stubborn, slippery little cabochons, sometimes it’s nice to have a piece of it that’s just “pinching size” – so you can just pinch things to pick them up, with a nicely sticky grip thanks to your rubberized shelf liner:

Get a grip on small, slippery cabochons and other jewelry supplies

One other way I’ve used this material is not with making jewelry, but with selling it.

I’ve found that it’s a nice to have a piece of rubberized shelf liner to place under each of your displays when you’re doing shows.

It will keep your displays from scooting across the table – for example, when somebody takes a piece of jewelry out of your display to try it on, now they won’t be sending your display sliding all over the table; it will stay in place.

So those are some helpful ways you can use non-skid, rubberized shelf liner when you’re making and selling jewelry.

I would love to hear any solutions you have for getting a better grip on things or keeping things from sliding around.

Thanks so much for joining me today! I’ll see you next time.

The Jewelry Rena’s Wearing
in This Video:

Tropical Tranquility Choker and Earrings by Rena Klingenberg

Necklace – Tropical Tranquility choker with brass “Om” pendant; Czech glass, wood, sterling silver clasp. By Rena Klingenberg.

Earrings – Tropical Tranquility earrings with Czech glass beads, brass wire, and 14k gf earwires. By Rena Klingenberg.

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  • Mary Anne Enriquez says:

    I appreciate your topic on this Rena…as I have 3 problems: mild carpal tunnel, “trigger finger” and arthritis. I love this rubbery stuff…its great to use underneath beading projects, as the beads do not roll away. I like to use trays for various works in progress, with a cream color lining. Cafeteria trays are perfect, when lined with this rubbery stuff.

    I also line my craft drawers with it…easy to see all those tiny bits that seem to get away from bins and containers.

    Last but my proudest “invention” cut it up in long thin strips to wrap (using E600 or any silicon glue) around plastic hangers to keep my clothes from falling off. I have even glued it on top of thrifted wooden hangers…perfect for holding slippery scarves, shawls as well as pants, and coats.

  • Ann Nolen says:

    Thanks again Rena. You always share such great ideas. I have also discovered this great shelf lining, and use it to keep coins from moving when I am painting them.

    Another good use for it is to line half size jewelry trays with the black colored shelf lining. I use them in the booth to give to customers while they are shopping, if they have full hands. They can safely put the pendants they are considering on them, and if they are a little distracted, the jewelry doesn’t slide around in the tray. Works much better than the velvet pads that you can buy for trays, and still looks professional.


  • Karen says:

    I keep a roll of it with my jewelry tools. Since I never quite “got the hang of” using thimbles, I use some of it to pull needles when beading or even just doing some hand sewing. Another thing I have found to be very helpful is a pair of forceps. You can get them on I use them to hold on to the flex wire when I’m crimping. They keep the wire in the position you want it, while crimping. When using forceps on sculpting wire, you can put a little piece of the shelf liner in between it and the forceps, to avoid damaging the wire.

  • Renee says:

    I’ve used this in a number of different ways including those above. Recently my pliers kept slipping off of wire I was trying to manipulate, after trying a couple other things I took a piece of this liner and glued it to a pair of older pliers. Then trimmed it even with the jaws. Not wanting to wait for the glue to set up I hit it with my blow drier for a minute. Picketed up the wire and had no further problem manipulating the wire where I needed it.
    Plus side no tool marks!

  • Pauline says:

    Oh thank you for such a wonderful idea! I’ve been recently having trouble with my hands and these rubber things would be ideal. I need to go write it down on my next shopping list.
    Renee, I love your idea of using it on pliers. Soon as I started reading your comment I was seeing how it would protect the wire. JUST what I need too!

  • zoraida says:

    What an awesome idea! I would never have thought of it. I have arthritis in my hands and apparently my left shoulder. I won’t let this stop me from creating jewelry out of the 14ga wire or metal sheet!! Thanks so much for this advice. I’m off to my local hardware store.

  • Laura says:

    I’ve bought rolls of this at the actual dollar-dollar store and love it.
    I glue a little piece to the bottom of all the small plastic containers
    I store my beads in. Since I started doing this I haven’t had a single avalanche!

  • Lynn says:

    Karen has just solved my biggest problem by suggesting forceps to hold the wire while crimping. I’ve really been struggling with this due to loss of dexterity in my fingers as a result of Parkinsons. Thank you so much, Karen!! And thanks to all of you for offering such helpful suggestions. Every one of your ideas will make my life so much easier!!

  • bj says:

    Thanks for this great tip. 🙂

  • Sharon Banks says:

    I love your ideas of how to use the rubberized shelf liner, you have given me some ideas that I will try at home.

  • sandra says:

    Love the ideas! Iuse it on my car dashboard to stop things from sliding.

  • Marty says:

    Such great tips and ideas. Hugs, Marty

  • Diane says:

    What a great idea.

  • Tammy says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Linda says:

    Thanks for sharing this great info with us!

  • This is really so smart. I have a difficult time with grip because I had an accident that damaged the muscles in my palm and my pinkie. I love jewelry making but I’d be lying if I didn’t get frustrated when I’ve dropped my pliers for the tenth time on a single bracelet. I will be doing this. Thanks so much 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    What a helpful life hack! Thanks for sharing!

  • sara says:

    Thanks so much Rena, great tip, wishing you a great holiday season, and looking forward to reconnecting in 2014!

  • Carli says:

    Smart! I always keep a roll around the house and I use it for so much!

  • Loopydesigns says:

    Great idea — you are awesome. I make jewelry when riding on long trips–I have used velour blankets and cut them up — but this sounds even better.

  • Phyllis Churchill says:

    What a great Idea! I have been having a “challenge” ( translation, frustrating problem 🙂 ) with my displays slipping at shows! I WILL be using this solution this weekend!!! THANKS Rena – Such great Ideas!

  • Quiana says:

    I use shelf liner as a bead mat. I started beading on a very small to no budget and I’m glad I did cause I can make my mat as big or as small as I like.

  • Cece says:

    Love non slip items. I also am starting to loop a wrist support on my most used round nose plyers, so even if my grip fails, they are looped to my wrist and easier to regrasp. I have the same thing on my walking cane too so when it starts to fall over, the wrist loop keeps it from falling far.
    Thanks for initiating these discussions.

  • Pam says:

    Mary Anne Enriquez I LOVE you! I also sell handmade scarves and your idea to put thin strips on hangers is just BRILLIANT!!!

    Thank you SO much for sharing!

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