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A Peachy Halloween

31 Oct finalfull

Happy Halloween!  Despite the fact that I spend most of my time crafting, I of course waited until the last minute to craft my own costume.  That is why today is super, duper last minute costume day!  A friend gave me a lovely pink dress and white gloves to be Princess Peach for Halloween, but of course I didn’t think about the accessories until an hour before the party.  What to do?!?

Princess Peach wears shiny blue earrings and a gold crown with pink and blue jewels.  Since I have been working a lot with bottle caps lately, I got an idea.

I flipped through a magazine until I found the perfect blue – an ad for Tiffany’s jewelry!  I paired the blue with some gold bottle caps from my collection.

goldandbluecap

I wanted my jewelry to sparkle and shine so I spread a layer of glue on top of the blue and sprinkled on some glitter 😀

glitter

shimmy shimmy shimmer!

Then I painted some craft glaze on top to seal the glitter and give the “jewel” a smooth texture and nice shine.

glazing

Once the glue dried, I used pliers to clamp the edges around the jewel to make it look like it was set in gold.

clampingedges

fancy!

Now it’s time to turn my lovely jewels into earrings!  I took some sewing pins and cut the pointy part off.  Then, I used a hot glue gun to drop a little bead of glue onto the back of the jewel.  I stuck the pin head down into the glue, perpendicular to the earring, and held it while it dried.

earingbacks

Next I cut two little chunks of pencil erasers to use as earring backs and my bedazzled ears were ready to go!  Now, to crown the Princess 🙂

To make the base for the crown I glued together some gold colored paint samples from the hardware store that I happened to have handy.

paintchips

glueingcrownstrip

Then, I cut little triangles into the crown to make the pointy tips.

cuttingcrown

cutcrown

Princess Cut!

I took the extra blue and pink jewels I made while making the earrings and hot glued them on.

flatcrown

I glued the ends of the crown together and glued little strips of ribbon on the underside so I could pin it to my head.  Real Princesses are supposed to be able to balance crowns on their heads but I’m a bit clumsy so pinning seemed like a good alternative.

insidecrown

The final results were just peachy!

final close up

These accessories really made the costume!  Now if only someone could rescue me from Bowser… 😉

finalfull

A Sweet Treat: Recycled Bracelet

28 Oct

Welcome to bottle cap bracelet day!  This craft is awesome because it uses recycled materials and it is completely customizable to match your outfit, your mood or even your favorite cat.

finalCU

The finished bracelet

Total Craft Time: About an hour

Materials:

– 7 or 8 bottle caps depending on the thickness of your wrist

– 7 or 8 bottle cap sized images

-pliers

-hot glue gun

– 8″ of 1″ ribbon

– 1″ x 1/2″ square of velcro (both sticky and non-sticky side)

I found this super cute image of a girl in a cupcake store so the theme of this bracelet is sweet treats!treatpage

I made a little template by tracing a bottle cap and then I started tracing circles around all the tasty treats.

drawingcircles

I then cut out the circles, glued them inside bottle caps and painted a layer of craft lacquer on top to give the cupcakes a nice sheen.  After it dried, I used pliers to clamp down the edges and the freshly pressed treats were ready for braceleting!

caps

Check out my bottle cap ring post for a complete, in-depth tutorial on how to make these little bottle cap trinkets.

Now, it’s ribbon time!  I chose a nice blue ribbon to go with the pastel colors in my dessert themed bottle caps.

ribbon

pretty in blue!

I took my ribbon and wrapped it around my wrist to measure just how much I would need.  I added and extra 1/2″ so the velcro can overlap. Meanwhile, I plugged in my trusty glue gun so it could start heating up!

measuringribbon

Then, I lined up all of my bottle caps along the ribbon to make sure they fit and arranged them in a pleasing color order.

linedup

I took my nice and toasty glue gun and put a dollop of glue on the ribbon and placed the cap on top.  I continued this all down the line until all the caps were glued.  The reason I used a little dot instead of a long line of glue is so that the caps are still flexible to bend around the natural curves of the wrist when the bracelet is worn.

gluedot

Once the caps were all glued it was time for velcro!

velcro

I attached the prickly side of the velcro to the side of the ribbon with the bottlecaps and the soft side the the underside of the ribbon.  Then I put the bracelet on and spent the day drooling overvmy wrist!  Mmm cupcakes 😀

closeup

fullbodyfinal

You can make bracelets like these in any color and with any images.  They make a great personalized gift for friends, too!  Enjoy 🙂

 

Girl Scouting is My Bag

24 Oct

This weekend I went with my little buddy on a Girl Scout Camping trip.  This trip was right up my alley because we visited a colonial village where we got to try our hands at all sorts of traditional crafts such as candle dipping, butter churning, weaving and writing with a quill and ink!  Before going on the trip we had some crafting of our own to do – making  swaps!  Swaps are little objects such as beads, buttons, origami and anything else you can think of attached to safety pins.  Girl Scouts make about 50 each and bring them to camping trips like these in order to swap with their friends and collect all the different ones; hence the name “swaps.”  We had a pretty hefty crafting set-up:

supplies

This is a great craft for using all the leftover scraps you may have saved from other crafts.  I used a penny, a seashell and a scrap piece of fabric to get us started.

pennyandfabric

First, I put a dollop of hot glue on the penny and placed it on the back side of the fabric.

glueingpenny

gluedpenny

Then I put some glue on the penny and folded in all the fabric edges to make a diamond.

gluedfabric

Lastly, I flipped the diamond over to the clean, non-gluey side, hot glued a pretty seashell on top and glued a safety pin to the bottom.  Ta-da!

finalfabricswap

We continued cutting and hot-glueing away, pairing together pretty random objects until we ended up with this lovely assortment:

finalswaps

Lots of use out of those bottlecaps!

And a high five for a job well done 😀

highfive

Check out my sweet girl scouting t-shirt!

After a four hour drive out into the woods the swapping began!

swappingswaps

 Now, a hundred years ago when I was a kid it was all the rage to pin your swaps to a hat like a fisherman.  It seems the cool thing to do now is pin your swaps to a lanyard around your neck.  Kids these days. 😉

lanyard

After the swapping was complete we checked out other crafts.  Here we are learning to churn butter.  The woman in the picture told us it would take about 2 hours to make one cup of butter by hand!

churningbutter

 

We also learned how to write with feathers that come from turkeys and geese.  I have a whole new appreciation for my ballpoint pen!

quillandink

Lastly, we got to learn about my favorite craft: weaving!  This type of weaving was done on a very small, hand-held loom which was great for learning.  The kids learned all about the warp and the weft and the shuttle.   You can find an in-depth weaving tutorial in one of my earlier posts here.

womanweaving

kidsweaving

I was a Girl Scout for many years so this was a great way to re-live the experience and spend some time out in nature.  Visiting the colonial village reminded me that although most of my crafts are a luxury, the whole concept of crafting began out of necessity to make the things we need in order to survive!

T-shirt Skirt!

19 Oct

Apparently this week I am a little t-shirt happy since this will be the second t-shirt themed post of the week!  It must be because I’ve been cleaning out my closet and I have piles of old clothes to upcycle 🙂  Today we are making a cute little skirt out of an old t-shirt.  For this project, the bigger the t-shirt the better.

All you need for today’s craft is a t-shirt and a pair o’ scissors.

The first thing to do is take that collar and streeeeetch it out by pulling at opposite ends with both hands.  The collar is going to become the waistband so stretch it as much as you can!  If you can’t stretch it enough to fit around your waist you can always put little snippets in it.

stretchingshirt

Once you have stretched to your heart’s content, its time to step into the collar and pull the shirt up around your waist like it’s a real skirt!  Make any stretching or snipping adjustments needed to make sure the collar fits snugly around your waist.

sizingwaist

Next, make a little snippet with your scissors or use a pencil to mark the length of your skirt.  I wanted my skirt to fall just about the knee so I made a little mark right there.

markinglength

Then take your skirt off and lay it flat on the floor.  The first thing to do is cut open the seam that holds the sleeves together.

cuttingsleeve

Then cut straight across the t-shirt at the place where you made the mark, cutting through both the front and back layers of fabric.  If the sleeves are longer than the rest of the skirt you can trim them to make it all the same length.

cuttingfront

Cut all the way across and down the sleeve at the other end.  The fabric that t-shirts are made out of is called jersey knit and it’s a really great material to work with because you can leave the edges raw (un-hemmed) and they won’t fray or fall apart.  The raw edges actually add a cool, grungy feel to the garment.

cuttingothersleeve

cutskirt

Once you are done cutting, put your skirt on and make any adjustments to length or jagged edges and then you’re ready to go! I turned my skirt around so the graphic was in the back 🙂

finalskirtback

finishedskirtfront

Stay tuned for another DIY t-shirt craft of epic proportions coming soon!

Tutorial Tuesday: T-shirt Bag Edition!

18 Oct

Hi!  Welcome to Tutorial Tuesday!  It’s bonus tutorial week because I also did a tutorial yesterday for a Pikachu Halloween costume. Thank you for your wonderful comments and feedback on the costume, it has inspired me to try to squeeze in a few more costume tutorials before Halloween!

Today we are going to recycle an old t-shirt and turn it into a bag!  This is like a recycling project squared because the bag is the perfect size and shape to hold groceries and save plastic and paper bags when shopping. I chose an old concert t-shirt from a band I loved as a teenager 😀

beforeafter

What you will need for this project:

-t-shirt

-scissors

-sewing machine

-thread

-pins

-seam ripper

Step 1: Use your seam ripper to detach both sleeves from the t-shirt.  You can also just cut the sleeves off but seam ripping makes for neater edges and more fabric to work with.

rippingsleeves

removedsleeves

You could always stop here and have a sweet sleeveless cut-off t-shirt circa 1992!

Step 2: Set those sleeves aside while we work on the main part of the shirt.  Take some scissors and cut open the seam at the shoulders.

cuttingshoulders

Step 3:  Now, lets sew up the bottom hem of the shirt to get it really looking like a bag!  Just turn the shirt inside and sew along the bottom hem.  You can pin the hem together to make it easier to sew and you can also round the edges a bit as you sew so the corners aren’t so pointy 😀

sewingbottom

sewnbottom

all sewn up!

Step 4:  Start just at the outside of the collar and cut a bib shape around the neckline of the shirt.  The bottom of the bib shape should line up with the armpit where the sleeve used to be.

cuttingcf

Step 5:  Using the bib shape in the front as a guide, cut the same shape out of the back of the shirt.

centercut

Step 6: Now that the main part of the bag is done, let’s revisit those sleeves!  Take your handy seam ripper and take out the seam that holds the sleeves together.

seamrippingsleeve

opensleeve

Step 7: Cut off the hem and the curve of the sleeve so you have one nice, straight line.  Do this for both sleeves!

cuttingsleevehem

cuttingcurvysleeve

Step 8: Pin the sleeves to the cut ends at the shoulders to make the strap. Pin the right (correct) sides of the fabric facing each other so the wrong sides of the fabric are facing out.  Then fold the strap over and pin it to the back shoulder also with right sides together and wrong sides facing out.  Do this for both sides.

pinningfrontstap

pinningbackstrap

Step 9:  Head on over to your sewing machine and stitch up those seams.  Don’t forget to remove your pins as you sew! And voila!  Now you have a handy dandy bag that will forever remind you of that beloved old t-shirt that you just don’t wear anymore. Happy shopping!

finalbag

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Make Bottlecap Jewelry!

11 Oct

A few months ago, I mounted a household campaign to save all of the bottlecaps we twist off of our beverages!  I didn’t know exactly what I would do with them at first, but I just couldn’t resist amassing a large collection of colorful tin.  Now that I have a sizeable sack of caps, I have been playing around with different usages.  Get ready for a slew of bottlecap related posts!  Today, I am going to show you how to make a bottlecap ring using almost all recycled materials!

For this project you will need the following materials:

materials

 

 

-pencil

-a bottlecap

-duct tape

-scissors

-a magazine, photo or drawing to cut up

-key ring, wire or a ring you no longer wear

-glue (or crafting glaze)

-pliers

Step 1: Trace the outline of a bottlecap onto a scrap piece of paper.

tracingbottlecap

Step 2: Cut out your circle template.

cuttingtemplate

Step 3: Find an image you would like to place inside your bottlecap ring.  I looked inside magazines for mine, but yours could come from anywhere.  You could even draw it yourself!  Trace your template around your desired image.

tracingcircle

Step 4: Cut out the circle around your image.  I found a bunch of cool images but in the photo below I’m cutting out a cool old postage stamp.

cuttingcircle

Step 5: Dab some glue on the back of the circle and glue it face-up on the inside of the bottlecap.

glueingcircle

Step 6: Dab and spread around some glaze on top of the image as well to make it nice and shiny 🙂

glazingtop

Step 7: Wait for the glue to dry and then use pliers to clamp down the serrated edges of the bottlecap.  For this one, I chose a bottlecap that would match the cool red robot image inside.

clampingedges

Step 8: Flip the bottle cap over and tape the ring down in the center with some duct tape.

       apedring

Step 9: Slip the ring on your finger and admire your handy work!  I chose a lovely picture of Audrey Hepburn for my final ring.  This is a very versatile project because you can make as many rings as you want and have one to match every outfit! 😀

final-ring

 

 

The Art of Recycling

10 Oct

Happy Columbus Day!  After a week long hiatus due to moving and some re-decorating, I am back in action!  Over the weekend, I helped my local elementary school spruce up their recycling cans!  This was a hands-on project for the kids in order to help them learn the importance of recycling and how it can benefit their school.

Remember, only decorate your trash cans if you take them to the dump and/or recycling center yourself.  They may look pretty, but the city won’t be able to collect your trash if it’s too beautifully disguised!

The first thing to do was hose down and wipe dry all the cans.  No surprise there!

trashcanbefore

Next, I used typical house paint to paint the cans a solid color to work with as a background.  I painted one light blue and one green.  You could use acrylic paint for this as well, but house paint is definitely more cost effective.

solidcolor

After the background colors were completely dry, I assigned one of the cans to the kids to go to town on.  It was like a painting frenzy, especially once I broke out the metallic silver and hot pink paint!  I think something about being outside in the sunshine and painting something that isn’t a piece of paper really got their creative juices flowing.
kidspainting

The kids recognized right away that this was a collaborative piece of art and did a beautiful job working together to create a cohesive and colorful piece.

kidspaintingfront

Here is their finished product from all sides!
kids-can-finished

While supervising the kids, I worked on my own can to get across a slightly more concrete message about recycling.

melpainting

I also painted the words ‘cans’ and ‘plastic’ on the top so everyone would know which is which!

paintingwords

And the finished product!
bunnycanfinal

Luckily, we still have two more trash cans to paint another time so stay tuned for more trash can art!  It’s good to be back 🙂

T-shirt Time Travel

21 Sep

Today we will travel back in time to the 80’s and breathe new life into an old t-shirt!  Grab a too-big-tee from your dad’s closet, under your roommate’s bed or from the local thrift store and a pair of scissors to get started!

I found my t-shirt in a pile of old clothes a friend was giving away and I thought it was just too cool to pass up; however it was way too big to be anything but pajamas for me.

80steebefore

Put on your oversize t-shirt and stand in front of the mirror.  Make little snippets on either side of the shirt where it hits your hips.  It is important to do this while wearing the t-shirt so it doesn’t end up too short or too long.  Be careful to cut only the shirt and not yourself!

Then, take off the t-shirt and lay it flat on a table.  Start at one of the slits you cut and work your way across the t-shirt towards the other side.  For some added flare, you can cut in a slight arc.

cuttingarc

completed-arc

Next, cut the collar off of the neck.  Cut as close to the collar as possible, or else the shirt might fall off your shoulders!

cutcollar

All the cutting is done! Now to try it on and make sure it fits.  You can always make small adjustments if it’s too long or you don’t like the shape of the arc.

cuttshirt

afterlongsleeves

To complete the look, you can roll up the sleeves 😀

And the finished look!  Hello 1985 🙂

tshirtafter

80’s fashions are totally trending right now, what a great way to stay in style and recycle old clothes without breaking the bank!

Garage Reno – Craigslist Warrior Edition

13 Sep

Today I would like to share a rather large-scale craft: a garage renovation I did in my own home!  I consider this to be a craft because I made almost everything myself and on a literally non-existent budget.  Really had to get the creative juices flowing here!  The garage is HUGE, it is really like two garages connected.  I only wanted to renovate one side of the garage which meant I had to put up a wall.  Here are some pretty scary before photos – look at that red paint!

The gap in the wall being hidden by a file cabinet

Drywall for patching up le gap

Kind of like a dungeon...

This garage needed everything.  In addition to a wall it needed paint, furniture and just some general TLC!  The thing that made this reno especially interesting was that I had NO money to spend on it.  I decided to take advantage of free Craigslist and see if I could really get enough supplies for a full scale renovation.  Free Craigslist often advertises leftover paint in various amounts and colors.  I spent about a month driving around the city collecting about 20 partially full cans of paint and then I laid them all out and tried to figure out how to mix them all together in order to make enough paint to cover the walls and create colors that would go well together.  This is the color combo I came up with:

After I gave the room a color make-over, I had to figure out how to furnish it!  I had a pre-existing table that I painted brown to use as a desk and for the rest I turned to Free Craigslist.  I got some great vintage fabric that I used to make curtains and I went with a generally minimalist decor.  I think the end result was really great – much homier than the dingy garage I started with!

I painted the floor the coral pink color in order to mask the cement. I was even able to find some cement sealant on free Craigslist to help keep the paint from chipping.

The painted door is my favorite part!

It’s still not the lap of luxury, but for a garage and a shoe-string budget I think it turned out just fine!  Enjoy 🙂

AT-AT Garden

27 Aug

This week, I found a fabulous THEMED crafting book at the library!  A long time ago, in a craftaxy far, far away…

Star Wars Craft Book!!!

This book has some truly unique and very creative ideas for making all your favorite nerdy knickknacks.  I was immediately drawn to the AT-AT herb garden craft.  What a great idea to take a machine built for destruction and make it grow flowers instead!

This craft was not especially difficult, however it was quite time consuming.  I used the following supplies:

4 Pringles containers (with lids)

4 plastic instant soup containers (with lids)

1 plastic storage bin (no lid needed)

1 plastic berries container

1 crushed can

2 straws

1 roll of duct tape

plants!

Recycled art!

Step 1: Remove lids from Pringles containers.

Step 2: Wrap everything in duct tape!

Step 3:  Using a hammer and a nail, nail some holes into the bottom of the storage container where the flowers will be planted so that the water can drain through.

Step 4: Tape Pringles containers to upside-down soup containers to make the legs.

Step 5:  Tape Pringles lids to the middle of the Pringles containers to make the knees.

Step 6: Tape completed legs to the storage container to make the body.

Step 7:  Tape the crushed can to the body to make the neck.

Step 8:  Tape the berry container to the crushed can to make the head.

Step 9:  Tape the straws to the berry container to make the guns.

My neck was a little droopy, so I taped a wooden dowel along the underbelly, neck and head of the AT-AT to support the structure.

Step 10:  Fill the bed of the planter with dirt and plant the flowers of your choosing.

Completed AT-AT garden!

Some smurfs snuck into that photo too!  And we have successfully turned evil to the side of good, while recycling and being green at the same time.