Get Your Craft On

How to Make Paper Feathers – Home Decor Tutorial

I went on a little bit of a decorating frenzy for Halloween, and now I can’t stop!

I couldn’t get the idea of making some feather decorations for Thanksgiving out of my head, and I realized a gaggle of paper feathers would be the perfect #turkeytablescapes project!

how_to_make_paper_feathers_01

These are super easy, and they look so pretty in a group.

I put a cluster in a floral arrangement, but there really are unlimited ways to use your feathers. Use them as gift tags or place holders at the dinner table. Hot glue a bunch around a wreath. Glue them around a mason jar and add a tealight inside. Thread them on some yarn and hang from a chandlier or make a garland! Continue reading…

Indie Designer Spotlight: On Cupcake Moon

The handmade gods must be happy with me lately, because I won TWO handmade giveaways in the past month!

A few weeks ago, I won this super cute skull n cupcakes apron from Deb of On Cupcake Moon.

Doesn’t that just make you want to go bake some tasty cupcakes? I hope so, because I really want a cupcake right now. If you could get on that baking, that’d be great. Let me know when they’re ready.

P.S. I like sprinkles.

Getting awesomeness like this in the mail reminded me that it’s been a while since I did an Indie Designer Spotlight. It’s the perfect opportunity to spread a little handmade love!

Deb also makes the cutest damn holiday cards on the planet:

I love the idea of sending out Krampus cards!

But I’m also quite smitten with this cute little Yeti!

She’s also got cake toppers, cupcake wrappers, banners, and more, so you can have the coolest creepy cute decorations on the block!

Check out On Cupcake Moon:
www.OnCupcakeMoon.com
Etsy
Facebook
Twitter

Happy Halloween!

Here’s my jackolantern for this year! I initially had a much more elaborate design planned with a bat and a spider “hidden” in the vines along with the skull, but it just wasn’t happening.

creeping_vines_skull_pumpkin

CREEPing vines jackolantern

 

Gotta carve the back, too!

Gotta carve the back, too!

 

Unlit

Unlit

Continue reading…

How to Make a Halloween Tree – Home Decor Tutorial

Tree decorating doesn’t just have to be for Christmas! Here’s how you can make a creepy Halloween tree of your own.

halloween_tree_tutorial_how_toCostumed cat ornaments by KilkennycatArt.
Pumpkin teapot by baumanstoneware.

Step 1
Gather your supplies!

You’ll need:

  • A bucket or vase
  • Twigs and sticks
  • Floral foam (for straight sided vessels) or styrofoam packing peanuts (for a bucket like mine, where the hole on top is smaller than the width of the bucket)
  • Craft foam sheet (you can skip this if you have  a straight sided vessel)
  • Optional: spraypaint

When choosing sticks, think about where you’re going to put your tree and how much room you have. If you have a large area, you could do one big branch. I went with 6 smaller branches. I gauged the right size by putting a few in my bucket. Continue reading…

How To Make Halloween Hoop Art – Hand Embroidery and Applique Tutorial

I have a hard time sitting still, so even during my “relaxation” time in front of the TV in the evenings, I like to have something to do. Sewing is kind of hard to do if your machine isn’t already in front of the TV, so one of my favorite Idiot Box crafts is hand embroidery.

Here are a couple of Halloween themed pieces I’ve been working on::

halloween_embroidery_hoop_art_04

halloween_embroidery_hoop_art_02

halloween_embroidery_hoop_art_03

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been obsessed with vintage Halloween decorations lately, so that’s where the inspiration for these came from. Continue reading…

Duck Tape #StickOrTreat Pumpkin

This post brought to you by Duck Brand provided by ShurTech Brands, LLC. All opinions are 100% mine.

Duck Tape® is hosting its annual Stick or Treat Contest! All you have to do to enter is submit an image of a Halloween pumpkin (real or fake) decorated with Duck Tape® at the Stick or Treat Contest™ website.

A Halloween contest? Any excuse to make more Halloween decorations, and I’m in!

The contest is already running and wraps up on October 31st. The winners will be announced on November 11th.

Here are the prizes up for grabs:
First Place: $1,000 and a Cricut Mini® Personal Electronic Cutter
Second Place: $500
Third Place: $300

Here’s my entry:

halloween_duck copy

I’ve been kind of obsessed with vintage Halloween decorations lately, so this is my retro Halloween cat.

This is such an easy way to decorate a pumpkin, it would be great for kids that aren’t old enough to wield a knife on their own. Continue reading…

Boring closet door no more

This post brought to you by FrogTape brand painter’s tape. All opinions are 100% mine.

Behold! The closet door in my studio. Perfectly functional (though knobless), it is boring, boring, boring. Believe it or not, this boring whiteness is an improvement on what it looked like when we moved in, but boring is boring.

My plan all along had been to go a little crazy with the closet door. (Because the lime green on the walls wasn't crazy enough, I guess.) I thought maybe stripes or zebra or chevron.

frog_04

Finishing the door got put on the back burner, but then something serendipitous happened. I got to try out some samples of the new Shape Tape. And guess what? THEY HAVE CHEVRON.

So now something that would have taken a weekend of prep and measuring and stencilling and painting only took me about an hour and a half!

frog_03

The taping and prep took the longest (and I've learned that putting in the time for prepping is often the difference between a good paint job and a bad paint job). But the time I spent taping made the painting part a breeze!

frog_02

Done! The turquoise (or Smurf blue, as Mr. Smarmy calls it) was leftover from a hallway we painted upstairs.

frog

After all the painting we did when we moved into this house, I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the subject, so here are my tips!

  1. No matter how small the job, always always always change into old clothes. I didn't follow this advice and wound up with a glop of paint on my NEW shirt and BEST jeans 30 seconds into this project. Dumb!
  2. Invest in a few quality brushes- they make a huge difference, and if you take care of them (i.e. wash them well when you're done), they will last forever! For water based (latex and acrylic) paints, make sure you buy brushes with synthetic bristles. Natural bristles will absorb the water in water based paints, and you don't want that.
  3. Do your paint research! Buy the right paint for the right application (interior or exterior? flat or eggshell or gloss? water based or oil based?), and find a brand with good reviews before buying! In my first painting projects, I had drips like crazy! I thought I was a bad painter, but it turns out, I was using crappy paint.
  4. As I mentioned briefly above: proper prep can make or break your paint job. Make sure your surface is clean and dust free. Fill and sand any holes and allow the proper drying/curing time for the filler. Apply quality primer if necessary. Put down drop cloths to protect your furniture and the floor (YOU WILL DRIP AND SPLATTER. Trust me.). Apply tape as needed and press all tape edges with a flat edge to make sure you've got maximum adhesion.

Check out FrogTape® on Twitter.

Visit Sponsor's Site

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

This post brought to you by Dollar General. All opinions are 100% mine.

Halloweeeeeen!

In addition to being my favorite holiday and time of year, it’s also by far my busiest season. So I often wind up short changing myself on the celebration front.

Not this year! This year I promised myself I would set aside time to decorate and craft. There will be baking! And candy making! And pumpkin carving! And the crafting of spooky things! And most importantly: decorating!

halloween_dg

This is a little vignette I set up in my kitchen, featuring some of my All Hallow’s Eve decoration- some new and some old.

(Mr. Smarmy even said he liked the decorations- totally unsolicited. Usually he’s not one to comment much on such superfluous things, but it just goes to show: NO ONE can resist the temptation of HALLOWEEN! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, loves Halloween.)

The jackolantern filled with xmas lights was the first faux pumpkin I carved a few years ago- I’ve decided to carve a new one each year, so eventually I’ll have a jackolantern army (which will spend most of it’s time guarding my garage, I suppose).

The owl is a vintage thrift find of my brother’s. He was brown up until a few days ago when I gave him a Halloween makeover (quickie tutorial coming soon!).

And I scored the set of metallic jackolanterns on clearance last year after Halloween.

The new additions to my collection are all decorations I snagged from the Halloween supplies at Dollar General: the glittery orange skull, jackolantern tin that I filled with pinecones, mini pumpkins, and rubber bat ($1 a bat… I seriously wanted to buy the store out and string them up in the trees outside).

Check out your local Dollar General and let me know what favorite Halloween goodies you find!

Don’t forget to check out Dollar General on Facebook and Dollar General on Twitter!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Crafty Business Advice: Make your handmade goods truly unique.

I’ve read your article about pricing, and while I love the theory of pricing based on labor and I agree that my skills should be at least $20 or more, who in the world would pay $60 for a little scarf just because it’s handmade?

Take a look at Etsy and there are plenty of scarves selling (just check the seller’s sold items and number of sales) for $60 and more. Yes, there really are people who will pay the price of handmade simply because they appreciate the time, and they value the quality.

There are even more people who will pay a premium if it’s really something special- perhaps it’s because you use the highest quality fibers, or dye the yarn yourself in patterns and colors no one has seen before, or because the particular crochet pattern is something unique.

Rococo Knit Shawl / Wrap by ElenaRosenberg

This is where the frustration comes from when people say, “I could get that for $5 at Walmart.” Because no- there is not a single item in my shop you could get a Walmart. Yes, you can buy a dress at Walmart or a dress from me, but they are certainly not the same dress. Not even close.

That being said, if you are selling something that really could be had for $5 at Walmart, then that may be a problem. It would be very difficult to compete directly with the largest retailer in the world- even other large retailers have failed at that.

The trick is to find that magic “something” that makes people go, “Oh! I really can’t get that anywhere else!” That takes the competition right out of the game.

Garden Update, Fall 2013

My busy season started a little early this year, so I haven’t been posting garden updates like I had intended.

Well, hold on to your butts, because here come some pictures of flowers and things.

The first up are nasturtiums. Usually I get whatever mix they have at the store, but then I saw this photo of the trailing nasturtiums in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum courtyard in Boston. I NEEDED trailing nasturtiums!

These are what I settled on:

moonlightnasturtium

“moonlight” nasturtium

They’re called “Moonlight”. A nice creamy yellow. The foliage (which always reminds me of lily pads) is a little darker green than the nasturtiums I’ve grown before. Continue reading…