The Festive Portal

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s a little more than a week until the big day! Since I still live in a condo, my decorating capacity is rather limited so I tend to gravitate towards door and window décor, which might explain why I’m the one that posts the most about wreaths. Hopefully it comes as no surprise, then, that this week I found some door décor tutorials that I simply must try out! First up is something adorably creepy, this Monogram covered in googly eyes from Craft Cuts:

Now I finally have a use for my googly eye collection, besides putting them on random things and laughing.

While we are on the slightly creepy route, I quite like how all of these are also very cost effective to make, including this dollar store skeleton hands wreath from Tried and True:

A round of applause for this neat wreath!

If you’d like a little more elegance but still keep the spookiness, this tulle wreath from Our Best Bites is just the thing:

And if you feel like adding a spider instead of a raven, you do you!

Finally, because fandoms are kind of our thing on Craft Hackers, a little Nightmare Before Christmas action from Thrifty Fun:

This is DEFINITELY Halloween.

I don’t know which one it will be, but I will certainly be adding one to my personal collection (pending what the dollar store has to offer). Since the weekends before and after Halloween are usually reserved for parties, next week we’ll take a look at some great ideas for last minute costumes!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Free Halloween Tutorials!

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One of my favorite holidays is fast approaching!

I saw a cool free Mommy and Me circle skirt tutorial on Fabric.com a few days ago and wanted to check out Sweet Red Poppy, the designer.  There are so many tutorials and free patterns on her site I just had to share the Halloween ones!

If you would like to add Sweet Red Poppy to your blog lineup, you can find the blog here.

-Toni


Meet the Hackers: Twitch Con

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Today is the start of Twitch Con in Long Beach, Ca and it will be my first time there!

I am super excited to not only connect with my Twitch fans, but to live stream from the convention and attend panels that will make my stream even better!  Make sure you follow my Twitch channel to see all of the live streaming.

I will be set up in the Creative Corner at Booth CC50.

 

Because I am flying I can’t bring my throw pillows, but I will have plenty of patterns, kits, dice bags, and a selection of quilts.

I will also have a special guest, Liz from Seams Geeky!!  I am very excited that Liz decided to join me for Twitch Con.  She will have a limited amount of her embroidered items for sale.

I will also be handing out my own Twitch Collectors Card!!

 

These are limited!  So if you want to get your hands on one make sure you swing by our booth at CC50 to pick one up. (or check out my schedule to see where I am to get one)

-Toni


DIY Tie Die Dog Leash.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

Love this little tutorial from StudioDIY, partly because it’s super easy, but also because it involves some minimal materials to make a great gift for you and your pooch or for another dog lover. I also love that it uses tie dye paint, which is meant to have things dipped in it, and is also meant to blend with the other colours, so makes something like this super easy.

Your first step is to get some tie dye paint – you should be able to find some at any craft store but it can also be ordered. Mix the dye with water in the bottles according to the package directions. The dyes are super bright when made this way, and if you want a bit of a softer colour, you can squeeze some into glass bowls and mix with additional water (1:3 ratio). It just depends how bright you’d like your piece.  You’ll also need to buy a white cotton leash from any pet store.

 

Next, choose which colours you’d like to use, and how long your leash is. If your leash is 6 feet long, you could choose 6 colours, one for each foot. But you can do whatever combination you’d like. Just organize everything beforehand so you don’t have to be fiddling with dye in the middle of your project.

Lay down some protective plastic, make sure you’re wearing some gloves so you don’t dye your hands, and then start dying the handle end of the leash first. Dip it into your first colour and let it sit for about one minute. Remove and continue with the next colour.

The colours will (and should) blend together, so don’t worry if there’s some bleeding or overlap. If you have an extra pair of hands, this will make everything easier, so you might want to phone a friend to come by. When you’re done, let the colour sit in the leash for 8 or more hours before you give it a thorough wash in the sink.

And that’s a super easy way to make gifts for your animal loving friends, to to have a fantastic dog leash for yourself.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Making polymer clay from scratch

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Happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie.

For those of you that use polymer clay, have you ever thought about making your own version? I have researched and tried out several different recipes. I don’t recommend any salt based recipes, as they can be extremely poisonous to pets. Most of the ones out there are air dry clays, can be tinted with food dyes, or painted after dry. The one below is a baked recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups corn starch
  • 2 cups baking soda
  • 1¼ cups cold water
  • food coloring (optional)

Directions

  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a saucepan and stir while heating over medium heat. It will start to thicken. Take it off of the heat and let it cool.
  2. When it’s cool enough to work with, knead it as above. You can add a tablespoon of oil (baby or mineral oil works) and a teaspoon of liquid vegetable glycerin to make it more smooth.
  3. At this point, you can pull off small pieces and color with food coloring. You can also wait until its baked to paint it.
  4. Form pieces into desired shapes. Bake at 250°F for 15-20 minutes. This is not an air dry clay.

This recipe is a great idea, especially if you have kids that want to try polymer clay out, and you may not want them working with the chemicals. Have you tried it? Let us know how it works!

 


The Cheap Dye That is Surprisingly Decent

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Dying things can be a long and expensive process sometimes. Not to mention all the steps you have to go through to prepare it so that it’ll stay. Thankfully, the internet has come to our rescue once more! Today I’ll be sharing the secrets of using the cheap drink brand Kool-aid as your all purpose dye.

I first started looking into this when I can across a post were a leather user talked about how they decided to try this just for laughs while making a drink:

I was making a drink while cutting the snaps off some new straps for my pauldrons and I got curious, so I tried it, thinking, “ok even if this works, it will just wash out.”

Nope.

It took the “dye” (undiluted) in about 3 seconds. After drying for about an hour and a half, it would not wash off in the hottest tap-water. It would not wash out after soaking for 30 minutes.

They then go on to talk about how it took boiling the dyed leather to even slightly remove the dye. O.O That’s some pretty powerful stuff there. So, what can we learn from this and apply for ourselves? Well, after some experimenting and reading on my part, I’ve found that Kool-aid as a dye works pretty well for a variety of natural fiber mediums such as leather, wool, cotton, hair, flax, jute, silk and so on. You’ll also need to make sure that you’re not just making Kool-aid proper and then adding your items to it. It needs to be the flavor only packet/liquid as the pre mixed once have sugar. The sugar will make your end product sticky and unusable down the line. That’s no good for anyone

Also, you’ll want to heat the dye water up, just like you would with commercial dyes. This helps stimulate the molecules and ‘activate’ the dye to help the color permeate. Once it’s set for 20-30mins, let it dry and then rise in cold water to remove the excess. 😀 Several people have even made charts to help others achieve desired colors! A quick google search gave me this one, but there are loads more, including yarn results which very much so appeal to me, lol.

So there you have it. Never think that dying something it out of your budget as long as you have access to Kool-aid. ^_^


Loot Carriers Made Easy

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some DIY loot bag ideas and these will not disappoint! 3 of the 4 do involve sewing but they are all pretty easy to make, even for those new to sewing. The first one up is a very simple box bottom bag done in fun Halloween print from Almost Supermom:

Best part is making them to suit the size you want…for more loot.

I think they are super cute and will give everyone some more practice on the basics. Now you’ll have the pattern for a basic box bag! Bonus! Plus the fabric selection is completely up to you – so if your kiddos want a bag to match their costume, there is plenty of fabric out there to choose from (like those new Star Wars fabrics we mentioned?). The second has a similar tutorial but on a much cheaper scale. So if you are trying to save a little money by making your own trick or treat bags, this bandanna bag tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans is the right choice for you:

I am NOT a fan of candy corn but I do love that bandanna pattern.

I think that one is also super cool for customizing as I’ve seen all kinds of themed bandannas out there. Again, this does not have to be used solely for Halloween purposes. Super awesome bandanna bags for all occasions! The third one is interactive and kind of creepy. This “sticky” spider web loot bag from Merriment Design has just the right amount of fun for the little ones:

They also make flies and other bugs that the spiders could have “trapped”…just sayin’.

I love the innovative use of the Velcro to bump up the play factor. The fourth one I found is for those of us that either don’t know how to sew or would rather let our sewing machines have a break after rocking out some amazing costumes. This duct tape bag from Dukes and Duchesses looks simple and useful:

Plus this one is guaranteed to be fairly waterproof in case Halloween is a bit damp.

I’ve seen all kinds of cool, creepy, or even shiny types of duct tape that could be used for those. Hope you’ve enjoyed our festive romp through DIY bags this week. May your bag overfloweth this Halloween season!

Stay crafty!

~Laura



Star Wars the Last Jedi Fabric

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With the new Star Wars trailer released this week all I can think about is everything Star Wars!  Just in time Camelot has released a new line of fabric!  You may be able to find them in your local quilt store now!

Tomorrow I will share some amazing free patterns you can use this fabric to make!

-Toni


DIY: Mini Mummies

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I found an amazingly cute and easy Halloween decor DIY that I couldn’t pass up sharing with you. They are as the title describes, and the original post I came across can be found here.

For this project you need a few supplies, but they’re pretty easy to find at any craft and fabric shop. You’ll need some styrofoam balls (whatever size you like, or varying sizes), muslin (at least 1/4 yard, but more if you’re going to be making many), eyelets or brads, tea bags, a spray bottle, 22 gague floral wire and glue.

Your first step? Make a cup of tea for you and a cup of tea for your mummies. That’s right… the tea for you is fuel for your day. The tea for your mummies is to give them a spray at the end for colour.

Next, select a styofoam ball and press two eyelets or brads between the middle and top of the ball as eyes (you can dab them in a little glue for better hold, if you like).  For legs, cut two pieces of the floral wire, and bend each into an oval. Stick them into the bottom of the ball. You can choose to make them whatever length you prefer, so if you want a mummy with super long legs and a wee little head, it can be done!

Cut 3/8 inch wide strips of muslin and begin wrapping the ball until it is covered, going around the eyes and legs. Use glue to adhere the ends of the strips on the ball.

Remove the tea bag from the mummy tea and put it into the spray bottle. Spray the mummy lightly and let it dry. When it’s dry, give it another spray and continue this process until you get the colouring you like, and just like that, you have a cute collection of the undead.

Happy Crafting!

~Megan