Get Your Craft On

How to Make a Mini Top Hat – DIY Fashion Tutorial

Nothing completes a costume better than a mini top hat! It’s like the cherry on top of the sundae. And nothing could be easier than making your own custom top hat.

I think it would be super fun to have a Hat Making Party with some friends.  Serve tea and make it a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party!

Provide the hats and the decorations and have everyone bring a glue gun. You should probably make sure to get a few hats per person, because no one will want to stop at just one.

And as long as an adult is there to supervise and operate the glue gun, this would be a great party activity for kids. Everyone gets to take their own hat home as a party favor!

tophat_01In addition to being a great addition to a costume, you can also display a few of your hats as a decor feature in your house. Make seasonal themed hats to display for holidays: Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas!

Hang them on the wall or display on your resident skull.

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This tutorial is available in video and text format. Here’s the video:hatvid

Continue reading for the text-and-photo tutorial!

Where do we get started? With supplies, of course!

SunshineShoppeSupply has a whole rainbow of hat colors, so choose one that will compliment your costume. Once you’ve chosen your hat, select a handful of coordinating bows, flowers, feathers, etc. You can go monochromatic or multicolored. All of the items in the photo below are available at SunshineShoppeSupply.com!

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I went with a red + black color scheme for the red hat, black + white for the black hat, and purple, green, and aqua for the purple hat.

Take a moment and assess your selection of decorative items. Check your stash and see what goodies you have that you could add- buttons, lace, fabric scraps. Get creative! You could use small toys, watch gears, hardware, and more. Continue reading…

Garden Fever

If you follow me on Pinterest, my apologies for the bajillion garden photos I just repinned. I’m a little bit obsessed at the moment.

It’s been unseasonably warm the last few days, which made it a little hard to get outside to do much, though I’ll try not to complain after the super frigid winter we had.

I’ve got a nice batch of winter sowing containers going with seedlings for both my flower and veggie gardens, but the most exciting thing in my garden right now are the bulbs! I’ve mentioned before how much I love bulbs. If you’ve got a black thumb, try some spring bulbs. You won’t be disappointed. They are so easy, it almost feels like cheating.

IMG_3305Grape hyacinth – I was experimenting with using my 50mm camera lens backwards as a make-shift macro lens.

forgetmenotForget-me-nots: the only non-bulb that’s blooming right now (aside from the cursed dandelions!). I didn’t realize I had some in the yard already and bought seeds for them a few months ago. Oh well, the more the merrier. Continue reading…

Two new retro inspired sewing patterns!

You kept begging so I had no choice but to obey! The two newest WhatTheCraft sewing patterns are my retro swing dress:

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And my high-waisted zipper back pencil skirt:

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Both patterns are available XS-XL and use stretch knit fabrics! And don’t forget: the more patterns you buy, the more you save!

Also, for a limited time, my Fingerless Gloves pattern is just 99 cents! That’s practically free!

gloves

How To Sew a Circle Skirt – DIY Fashion Tutorial

The moment you’ve all been waiting for: a circle skirt tutorial that has the math already done for you! Download my FREE circle skirt template, and you’re ready to go!

For detailed instructions, watch my video tutorial here:

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I tried to address all the questions you guys have asked about circle skirts over the years: how to hem a circle skirt, how to avoid hemming (heh), how to determine how much fabric you need, what to do if your fabric isn’t wide enough to cut the skirt in one piece, and so on.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

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This tutorial was filmed using a Creative Labs Vado HD Digital Video Camera, a Canon Rebel (for still shots), and edited in Sony Vegas Movie Studio.

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ARCHIVED TUTORIAL BELOW – The following is my original circle skirt tutorial, which includes the steps that show you how to do the math.

Continue reading…

7 Newbie Seller Mistakes

Starting a handmade business is daunting, exhausting, and confusing. You’re bound to make mistakes (and that’s okay!). But here are 7 common pitfalls you can try to avoid.

1. You listen to the people that say your prices are too high.

There will always be someone that wants it for cheaper… if you price based on how much money someone wants to spend, you might as well give it away for free.

Just as many people made comments about my “high prices” or asked for discounts when my dresses were priced at $25 (good god, what was I thinking?) as they do now that my dresses are priced at $125 and higher. I ignore them because generally, bargain shoppers aren’t my market.

polka dot swing dress by SmarmyClothes

2. You believe that raising your prices would scare away your buyers.

As I mentioned above- when I started out, I really was selling things for $15-25 a piece. I’ve steadily increased prices over the years, as I’ve grown more comfortable with valuing my time and my work. Raising prices has never EVER killed my sales.

I had a friend that was selling handmade corsets for $100. She should have been charging at least double that, considering the amount of work and attention to detail she put in. She was constantly swamped with orders, and one of the ways she was finally convinced to raise prices was that it might slow the orders down a bit. She raised her prices by $25 as an experiment. Her orders actually increased over the next few months, which was a bit of a mixed blessing. But at the very least, she was making a little more money to justify the long hours.

scared comic book girl earrings by SugarPlumRobots

Continue reading…

How To Make a Fabric Gift Bow – DIY Fashion Tutorial

What better way to get #fabulouslyfestive than to festoon yourself (and others) with bows?
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This bow would make a great topper for a gift since it’s the classic gift bow design… but the bonus is that since it’s made from fabric, it can double as a hair bow, brooch, or bracelet!
 
Of course you can use the same procedure for making a bow out of ribbon, fancy paper, or go the upcycled route and use some old magazine or newspaper pages!
gift_bow_tutorial_fabric_02Step 1
Here’s what you need:
  • fabric (or paper or ribbon) cut into 3/4″ strips
    • three strips measuring 8.5″ long
    • three strips measuring 7.5″ long
    • two strips measuring 6.5″ long
    • one strip measuring 2″ long
  • 2″ square piece of felt
  • high temp glue gun
  • scissors
  • (optional) brooch clip, head band, hair clip, or bobby pin
When it comes to choosing fabric, you can use woven or knits. Woven fabrics will tend to fray, so keep that in mind. Lighter weight fabrics may need a layer of fusible interfacing so they don’t wind up too floppy- this may also help prevent fraying.
I’m using a scrap of holographic foil printed spandex for mine.
 
If you have a rotary cutter, it will make cutting the strips much easier than scissors. Continue reading…

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!

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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
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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.

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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…