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Crafts — Page 2

Happy Halloween!

halloween1Here we are, completed costumes and all, ready to trick or treat!

This year, my costume production was pretty labor intensive. My 10 year old wanted to be an Xbox controller, for which I learned how to solder wire so I could make that light up Xbox logo (more on that in a moment). The 7 year old wanted to be a Lego Minifigure, for which I constructed and carved a head out of styrofoam. FTW!

A few more shots:

halloween2That’s the Lego boy at school. That shirt is an exact replica (perhaps “exact” is a little strong) of the Lego torso that he uses as himself when he puts himself into his Lego play.

halloween5Here you get a better sense of the light up nature of the Xbox controller. The 10 year old liked it, too, because he had these little on and off switches that turned the X on, or set it to blink, or whatever.

halloween4Wires showing a bit here, on the Xbox. Ah, well.

halloween6That’s the Xbox at school. He was a little annoyed because so many people came up to him and tried to “play” him, punching his light up buttons.

halloween3That’s me and the Lego at school. I made my costume the night before; not very original but simple and easy to move around!

I will be putting up tutorials for these costumes next week, so stay tuned!

Oh, and rabbit, rabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m happy to be sharing this sponsored post with you today about making a fun Halloween candle scape!

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The people at Scented Candle Shop sent me some fun candles to mess around with to make a Halloween display. My favorite is probably the candy corn-scented votives, but we’ll get to that in a moment!

With just some simple candles, you can make your own spooky candle arrangement without relying on what the industrial Halloween complex thinks is festive. I got some tapers in black, white and red, a few white pillars, some floating red candles, and some scented votives. The votives were Halloween-themed, in “Candy Corn” and “Witches’ Brew” flavors.

I started by putting some black burlap/gauze stuff across the mantel. I found this stuff at Party City.

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I attached it with some Quake Hold-type putty. I wanted mine to look uneven and raggedy.

Next, I put up some spider webs, also from Party City, but during Halloween season you can practically find these anywhere.

Halloweencandles2Nice! Now we’ve got the canvas on which to put the candle display. I gathered a few things in addition to the candles:

  • a galvanized bucket, which I painted with brown paint and then wiped off to give it a dirty look, and then dripped red candle wax on for a bloody effect.
  • 3 small glass cups with water and food coloring inside. Two of them had red food coloring for a blood effect, and one had black food coloring. Spooky.
  • a small black saucer
  • some plastic spiders
  • a small vase with an opening large enough for a candle
  • sand
  • a small, flat, black tray

In the galvanized bucket I added sand so that I could stand the tapers up in awkward angles. I put several tapers in, letting them lean like they had fallen and were in disrepair.

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You can see my bloody, dirty galvanized bucket there, too. Now, since the candles are leaning, there’s one candle that could conceivably drip wax onto the mantle. To solve that problem, I added a small black saucer underneath the wick. In the saucer I placed several plastic spiders, spilling out onto the mantle.

Halloweencandles8So you get this effect, and safety, too:

Halloweencandles6The centerpiece was the black tray with several candles on it. First, I lined the tray with more spider webbing. Then, I took two white pillars and dripped melted red wax onto them, so they seem to be bleeding (search “bloody candles” and you will find tons of tutorials online). One caveat: make sure you use solid red candles for the best pigmentation. In between these two tapers I put several small votives, the ones with Halloween smells like Candy Corn and Witches’ Brew. Another note, here: Candy Corn smells nice and sweet. Witches’ Brew is very spicy, so if you have anyone who is sensitive to smells in your household, I’d skip that one and go with something unscented.

Halloweencandles5In order to make sure that your tapers don’t fall over, secure them with more Quake Hold putty. You might also want to add, as I did, a small piece of wax paper underneath these candles, so the hot wax drips onto the paper and not onto the spider webs.

Halloweencandles3In the cups with colored water I placed the red floating candles. And to finish it all off, I added a black taper in a bud vase.

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The whole display looked like this:

Halloweencandles9And when it was lit?

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Halloweencandles13Hope you enjoyed! Happy Halloween to all!

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Ombre Paper Jewelry

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Have you seen all the cool paper jewelry there is out there? My favorites are the ones from Jessica Jones at How About Orange. They are perfect and geometric and super cool.

I decided to do my own take on these pendants, but adding one extra element. And what is the one thing I will always add if I can? OMBRÉ!

It occurred to me that since you are stacking up piles of paper, you could use different shades and get a kind of fun gradient effect. Check it:

ombrepaper15I love how the ombre is subtle but gives your pendant some depth. And it makes it reversible, too, so that you get a light color on one side and a dark color on the other, so you can switch it up whenever you want.

If you want to make some, the easiest way to make a complex paper cutting is to use a cutting machine, like the Silhouette. If you don’t have a machine, though, you can make slightly simpler ones with paper punches. I’m going to show you how to make them using a punch, since that’s the easiest tool to acquire, but the process is the same if you use a cutting machine to make your shapes as well.

Here’s all you’ll need for the pendant:

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  1. 3 or 4 shades of one color of scrapbook paper (this should be cardstock, not regular printer paper)
  2. A punch of your choice
  3. Mod Podge Hard Coat (optional, really)
  4. Spray adhesive

Start by cutting out your shapes. You ultimately want to have about 12 layers, so if you have 4 colors you can cut 3 of each color.

ombrepaper2Pile your shapes by color.

ombrepaper1Now it’s time to start gluing. Begin with the darkest color. Spray one of the pieces with spray adhesive and attach it to a second piece, making sure you line them up exactly. (Keep in mind that if your shape is not symmetrical, you’ll need to be gluing backs to fronts to make sure things line up perfectly.)

ombrepaper3Continue gluing by spraying a single piece and attaching it to your already-glued pile of shapes. Once you’ve glued all of the darkest color, start on the next-darkest shade. Continue gluing until you’ve used up all your shapes. It will look like the photo below when you finish. And you will have spray adhesive all over your fingers like I do here, too. (Try using Goo Gone or vegetable oil to remove it.)

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You’ll have a nice pendant that is the darkest color on one side and the lightest on the other, with a pretty ombré side.

ombrepaper6If your shape doesn’t have a hole that you can use to thread a chain through, punch a hole at this point. You may need to punch from both sides to get all the way through your pendant.

ombrepaper7To dry, place your pendant in some wax paper and stick it between two heavy books to keep it flat.

After the glue is dry, coat your shape with two coats of Mod Podge Hard Coat. This step is optional; you could be good to go from here, but if you want to give your pendant a little more durability and a nice, satin sheen, the Mod Podge will do it for you.

ombrepaper8 Let it dry completely. Now you’re ready to attach a jump ring and a chain.

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A cute little pendant that you can wear with the dark or the light side facing upwards. It’s almost like you have two!

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This necklace I made with a Silhouette cutting machine. The shape is so complex, but it takes no time to cut them out with a machine and stack them together.

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ombrepapercollage2Hope you enjoy!

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Neon 80s Ribbon Barrettes

NEON!

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I was in JoAnn Fabric the other day and I happened to see that the Offray 1/8″ satin ribbon—the very ribbon I use for the 80s ribbon barrettes—now comes in neon! I bought every color they had.

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And then I set to making some barrettes. My favorite, by far, is the one that’s neon pink and pale pink. I like the contrast and I think it gives what might be a normal pink barrette a nice pop. I tried several different combos; all neon, using the bright orange and green, then neon yellow with white, and of course, the pinks.

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Which is your favorite?

If you’d like to make some of your own, see my tutorial here.

I tried desperately to find a link to these ribbons online, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I got mine at JoAnn Fabrics, so if you have one of those in your area, you could pop in to see if they’re in stock. I don’t know if Michaels or other fabric stores will have them around, but let us know if you look for them and find them!

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