Hook Up Some Halloween

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Halloween is getting so close, Sunday readers!

But it’s not too late to work up some super cute decorations. As I’m pretty sure I’ve expressed many times over, I’m a big fan of cute amigurumi and I’ve definitely found some Halloween themed ones that fit the bill. For instance, first there are these adorable little traditional pumpkins:

So plump and traditional.

So plump and seasonal! They could double as Thanksgiving décor.

Or if you are a fan of the most notorious Halloween candy, these candy corns with a twist would make an excellent addition:

The eyes have it!

The eyes have it!

I personally like to indulge in a little bit of harmless deviltry around this holiday and these little cuties can help with that:

It's really wickedly cute, isn't it?

It’s really wickedly cute, isn’t it?

Or, of course, appealing to the geeky fandom side of things is always a good way to go. This crochet Oogie Boogie from Nightmare Before Christmas is a sure bet:

You can definitely opt to not fill it with bugs...

You can definitely opt to not fill it with bugs…

So there we go! Have fun adding to your ami collection while prepping some spooky décor.

Next week, I’ll take you through a nice tutorial for making a creepy and elegant Halloween wreath.

Stay crafty!



Spider Web Quilt (2 sizes)

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In 2013 Life in the Scrapatch shared an amazing tutorial for a small Spiderweb quilt.


This amazing quilt uses these materials:

Small Spider Web Quilt Fabric Requirements
80 2.5 inch squares (two mini-charm packs, a charm pack, strips, FQs or yardage … or just use up scraps!)
1/2  – 2/3  yard of black (for web sashing and border and binding)
2 inch black circle for the center applique 
30″ square of backing fabric and batting
The quilt will finish at about 30″ measured across the points of the web.
Then in 2014 they updated the Spider Web quilt to be a little bigger.
The materials for this quilt include:
168 squares 2.5″, 21 are needed for each of eight sections
2 yards of black fabric for web, backing and binding
40″ square of batting
Quilt Finishes at about 34″ point to point.
I can’t believe I didn’t see these tutorials until now.
They are both really cool quilts and I am really tempted to make one!  The directions are really easy to follow and free!  Click on each of the pictures to be taken to the site for the instructions or to check out the other cool projects that Life in the Scapatch has to offer.

Creepy Glowing Pods

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers,

I come to you today with another super cool tutorial for a funky Halloween decoration. These glowing pods look kind of like irradiated spider sacs, which seems super gross but is awesome for this creepy holiday. You can find the full tutorial here at DIY network.

Your materials and tools are quite simple. You’ll need white craft glue and water balloons that you will inflate, coffee filters – the round ones as opposed to the cones. a paint brush (at least an inch wide) and if you’re feeling super ambitious, some white/nude nylon stockings (keep it cheap and do yourself a favour by buying these at a dollar store).

Your first steps are quite simple, you’re going to inflate balloons (about 4-6 inches) and mix paper mache paste which is 4 parts white craft glue to one part water. Mix this mixture until it’s well combined and smooth. Cut your coffee filters into quarters.

Paint a layer of the glue mixture to each side of the coffee filter and apply it to the balloon. Cover each balloon with 4 layers of coffee filters.

Cover all your balloons with 4 layers of coffee filters, then tie strings to the ends, and hang them (at least 5 inches apart so they don’t bang into each other and stick) so that they can dry overnight.

Once your balloons are fully dry, you can cut the knots off of the balloons. This will pop them and you will be left with a lovely shell. You can choose to hang these in two ways. one, you can pierce two holes at the top of the balloon so you can thread some string to hang these beauties (seen above), or you can use the nylon pantyhose to create a little hammock by tying an end, and inserting the pod inside. With the nylons, you can hang them directly to a tree so they will look even more like a spider sac.

Crack a glow stick, drop it in each one – from a low height so you don’t break through the bottom – and hang at varying heights from your trees, house, or even just have them laying around the garden or stuck in a bush!

Hope you enjoyed it, guys, and happy crafting!



Crafting Memory Lane

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Last week Facebook gave me a memory of a blog post from 2 years ago. I started my blog back in 2010 as a way of keeping track of things. I thought it might help me keep on track of current projects, and it did do that. However, having been blogging for 6 years now, there are a number of un-sung benefits from it. So today is about those not-so-talked about reasons why you might choose to blog.


Crafting in public, be it on a blog or just posting progress pictures on social media, has been great for making me finish projects. When you work in secret its easy for a project to fall onto the UFO pile and never be seen again. But when you start posting about what you’re working on, even if the only people who follow you are friends and family, someone will inevitably ask “How did that embroidery you were working on turn out?”

It may not be a big deal, but for me, it makes motivation a lot easier to find when I know someone will eventually ask to see what I’ve done. Deadlines don’t work well for me, as I am constantly prey to the planning-fallacy trap. But the subtle social pressure? Yup, works like a charm.

Explaining Clears Up Your Thought Process

As any teacher will tell you, you need to really have a good idea of what you’re at if you’re going to explain it to someone else. Its not just that you understand what you’re doing, but you need to understand why the way you are doing something works or doesn’t.

Blogging can be many things, but craft-blogging tends to be about process. So when you write your blog post about your particular project, you provide guidance for others who may be doing something similar. You teach, whether you intend to or not.

Writing has a way of helping you put your thoughts, the whys, the reasons, and the hows all into a nice little package. It can even give you help if you’re torn between several options. Why did you choose to applique instead of paper-piecing? Well, if you can put it in words, you can justify it to yourself. And that can be incredibly helpful in figuring out tough projects.


Ready Made Journal

There have been a lot of things written about the benefit of journaling. What they often fail to realise is that blogging can be a lot like journaling.

For one, looking back at blog posts can be like taking a trip through a diary or journal. You can relive projects that you enjoyed, be reminded of tips you’d forgotten, and even maybe realise how much you’ve learned since then.

Blogs can be memory lanes. Did you make a project as a gift? You can still revisit it, even if the actual work is far away. Did a project help you deal with a particular time in your life? You can find that strength again too.

I haven’t managed to blog as much this year as I have in previous ones, but I do hope I get back to it soon. I need to go make more memories.

~ eliste

Humble Bundle – Cosplay Special

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Humble Bundle is a site we won’t mention often, but one that certainly deserves recognition. The company makes agreements with mostly game publishers and book publishers to get items it bundles together for a low cost that can then be purchased. Not only are these costs low, you can actually choose how much you want to pay for it. Seriously. Only have a dollar? That will get you some of the professional quality items. Notice I did only say some as obviously the more you spend the more you get. Typically only requiring a minimum of $10-15 to get all the items in that week’s bundle. So besides getting games or books for a very low cost, the humble part of this that part of the money goes to charity. There are actually sliders at the bottom that let you chose how much money goes to the publishers, charity, or back to the site. This also means you can pay well over the minimum and donate most of the money to charity. You can even chose which charity you want to donate to if you so wish.


So what does this site have to do with crafting?  Well normally nothing as the topics of the bundles varies often, and the video games tend to take the spotlight over the comic or book bundles they may be offering. Not so this week. This week they are offering a bundle deal on some excellent cosplay and prop making reference books.


Paying even just $1 gets you ebook versions of Make: Getting Started with Adafruit FLORA; Make: Wearable Electronics: Design, Prototype, and Wear Your Own Interactive Garments; Make: Design for 3D Printing; Kitchen Floor Vacuum Former; and the Adam Savage Moldmaking Primer. That’s a crazy amount of knowledge for only $1. There are 2 other minimum tiers ($8 and $15) and you get not just that level but all the books at the previous tiers as well. So for a minimum of $15 you could be the proud owner of 14 books all about cosplay design that will help you make the best costume possible, while also making a donation to charity. It’s a crazy good deal; one I’ve already taken advantage of since books on prop making will certainly help with the various crafts I do.

The offer ends in 8 days from the date of this post (around noon EST on Oct. 26th, 2016), so you have some time to think it over. If you’ve ever wanted to make better props or costumes though, now is the time to get great professional resources.

Coffee Mug Sweaters

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While the weather can’t quite get there on my part of the eastern shore, it is officially fall and hot beverage season. 😀 The only thing I like more then being able to cuddle up at night with a hot drink, is to have an adorable container to drink it out of. It just makes me feel so cozy, and what’s more cozy then a sweater.

Thanks to the folks at MugSweater, you can now bundle up your drink in an adorable sweater that will keep it warmer and your hands from burning off. They make all sorts of lovely designs and are even kind enough to offer their pattern for purchase for those of us that would like to make our own. 🙂 If you can knit or know someone who can, now might be the time to start dropping gift hints.


Honoring Veterans

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I had the pleasure of listening to Carol Miller who works closely with Veterans here in my home town of London, Ontario.  It was interesting to listen to the history of the veterans hospital and the issues facing them today.  She was there to ask us to make and donate quilts to the Veterans of the hospital.  Her talk got me thinking though about the other ways crafty people can help.

There are a ton of different quilt programs out there to benefit veterans and soldiers and I try to donate when I can.  Some of these programs include:

Quilts of Honor


Quilts of Valor


American Hero Quilts

There are of course many, many others that are just as worthy and amazing.  But what about the other ways we can help if we don’t sew?


Help Hospitalized Veterans (HHV) provides Arts and Crafts Kits that help recovering veterans by keeping their hands active and minds alert.  HHV Craft Kits are uniquely designed to bring pleasure, healing and purpose back into the lives of veterans and military personnel.  You can get involved and help Veterans receive these kits.


Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages filled with food, entertainment, hygiene, and handmade items, plus personal letters of appreciation to Veterans, First Responders, New Recruits,  Wounded Heroes, their Care Givers, and to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas and their families waiting at home.

There are a lot of great organizations that help soldiers and veterans.  Take a look around your home town at the services and hospitals.  They would love to have anything you can donate.  If you are in the London, Ontario area, feel free to reach out to me to see how you can help us create the quilts for the Veterans in our city.


Cross Stitch Quilts

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I have been a huge fan of Eleanor Burns and her Quilt in a Day series since I started quilting seven years ago.  I didn’t realize until yesterday that she had a book about converting cross stitch patterns into quilts!  It is a different method than the one I use for my quilts, but very cool and interesting.  The method uses gridded fusible interfacing using 1 1/2 inch blocks.

Here is the Quilt in a Day episode talking about the Cross Stitch Quilts.

You can buy the Quilt in a Day series book through her site as well as a step by step DVD to walk you through the method.

stitch1 stitch2

Happy Quilting!


Pet Ghost in a Jar

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Hello Thursday Readers!

Given that Halloween is soon to be upon us, and I love crafts of the spooky variety, I bring you something cool. It’s just as the title reads, a ghost in a jar. But wait, it gets better. It GLOWS! I am borrowing the tutorial from PennyWise, and there are lots of photos to help you along.

Your materials are pretty simple. You will need a large clear jar or container (you can use a leftover one or a mason jar), fiberfill or faux cobwebs which  you should be able to find at your dollar or craft store around this time of year, glow in the dark spray paint, a wire coat hanger, silver toned paper, glass paint and beads for eyes, a battery operated votive candle and a printer for some printables to make things extra easy. You’ll also need some other general craft supplies, like your choice of paint and brush, and something to cut the coat hanger with.

First things first. Paint the inside of the top and bottom of the jar with your paint. I would recommend a metalic charcoal (like the blogger did) or you could do black, white, grey, whichever you prefer (it doesn’t matter too much so long as it is suitable for glass painting). Next, either paint the lid a matching colour or cover the lid (if it’s a mason jar lid) with fabric and/or ribbon.

Next, fashion a piece of coat hanger into the shape of a lightbulb or head, with enough extra curling around the bottom so that it can stand upright. Attach this via glue gun or packing tape (or both) to a piece of cardboard so it can stand upright.

Choose a Victorian “frame” scene/label from an online printable or this graveyard scene from The Graphics Fairy, and cut an opening in the centre so you can easily see the ghost through it.

Cover your pet ghost with the fake cobwebs and mush them around until you can get a shape that you like, with arms, if you so choose. You can do a few layers to camouflage the base and the wire. Use your glue gun to add his eyes and spray him with a couple coats of glow in the dark spray paint. Don’t do too much otherwise you might lose some of his texture.

Glue your ghost to the bottom of the jar, and insert your silver paper (trimmed down to fit) behind the ghost on the inside of the jar, with the reflective side facing the ghost. Do the same thing with your label/Victorian scene (having the scene facing out through the glass, glued to either the inside or the outside of the jar) and centre the hole you cut to frame your little ghost friend and glue this to your jar as well.

Cut another section of thin cardboard, that you can fold to create a lowered cradle to hold your votive tealight. Be sure to cut a hole in the centre for the “flame” to poke through, and make sure that the carboard is thin enough that the jar lid can be screwed over top of it (to hide it, of course). This will give you a super cool light and will make it easy to turn on and off.

You can add any extra touches, like labels and little knobs, to make it just that much more awesome, but that’s it! You now have a new pet to add to your collection.

I hope you enjoyed this wee little guy,

Happy crafting!



A Sticky Sort of Craft

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Happy Sunday, all!

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, the summer was full of all kinds of cold treats but the most popular definitely came on the end of a stick: popsicles. Now that it’s getting cooler out, we can make the switch to caramel apples and other fall goodies but what about all the popsicle sticks from the previous season? Should they just be tossed out? Of course not!* There are much better things to be done with them, especially when they provide hours of fun for the kiddos in your life. We can add a further element of fun by making them seasonally appropriate.

For instance, with some paint, glue, and pipe cleaners, you could make these pumpkin door hangers to greet your guests:

It guarantees a gourd time!

It guarantees a gourd time!

Or if you have some leftover yarn and some spider rings, you can creep them out with some fantastic spider webs:

This is a craft to get stuck on.

This is a craft to get stuck on.

If you only have some paint and popsicle sticks, that’s still ok! Easy monster sticks are just some paint away:

I think some googly eyes would make these even better.

I think some googly eyes would make these even better.

Of course, if you and the little ones want to build an entire village of cool Halloween stick crafts, you are going to need a haunted house to complete the look:

This is pretty spooktacular.

This is pretty spooktacular.

Have fun making your own stick creations!

Stay crafty!


*Please note that if you either didn’t think to save popsicle sticks or are grossed out by the idea of using some that have had little mouths all over them, there are always packs of stick to be found at your local craft store.