DIY: Seed Starters

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

In an effort to encourage the cold to go away, I’ve got a simple little tutorial for you that would be really nice as Valentine’s day gifts, wedding or shower favours, or just an I’m thinking of you gift. With the warm weather coming, and gifts of all types being needed for all kinds of different spring and summer celebrations, I thought this might be nice to post. The original post is from Hands Occupied, and is meant as a valentines day tutorial, but looking at it, there’s a lot of different ways you can decorate and manage these special little gifts.

You will need a few supplies: mini mason jars, rubbing alcohol, potting soil, coffee beans or small pebbles, glass adhesive or a stencil of your choice, glass paint, a stiff bristle paint brush, thread, scissors a hole punch and a spoon. You’ll also need the seeds to your favourite plant!


Use the rubbing alcohol to clean the jar and place your adhesive stencil if you’re going to use one.You can also just paint the glass freehand, add glitter, spray paint it, really whatever you like. The simplicity of the little hand painted heart is just so sweet.

Dab the glass paint over the stencil with the stiff brush until the stencil is completely filled. Let the paint dry before removing the stencil.

Cover the bottom of the jar with coffee beans or small pebbles – these will help with the drainage for the plants and seeds – nothing that grows likes to drown. Since there’s no holes in the bottom of the mason jar, this is an important step. Add potting soil to the jar and leave enough room for your seeds to be added and the extra soil they’ll need on top. Give your seeds some water (follow the directions on the seed packaging), but as a general rule, enough water so that the soil is moist  with a little water along the bottom with your beans.

Your last step is to cut a little card and attach it to your mason jar. If it’s for Valentine’s day, a little heart might be sweet. If it’s another event, think of a little vintage style tag. You may want to include how to take care of the seeds: Water regularly but not too much, keep in a warm, light filled area, remember to transplant to a bigger pot once they’ve sprouted.

These little beauties can make great little votive candle holders when the plant has been transplanted. Hope you enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan


Lightweight Wearable Horns

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As someone whose just thinking about putting their toe into cosplay, I’ve always wondered how the pros deal with the weight a good costume can bring. Mostly if it’s on your head cause I don’t know about other people with long hair but if I keep mine pulled back all day? Man oh man am I in for a headache/pain in the evening. So when I stumbled across Grave Glamour, I knew they were someone I should share to help save others from this fate.

Grave Glamour specializes in lightweight, but durable, horns that you can wear all day long with no problems. Each set only weighs a few ounces (ranging from .5-2.5oz currently) and is easily hidden under a wig/hair thanks to the ribbon they’re attached to; as you can see above.

She also makes various crowns and occult based items (wands, spell books, etc) that you can find in her etsy shop. The work is really quite lovely and if you’re in the market for some horns then I highly recommend giving the shop a look over. 🙂


DIY Doorstops out of Concrete Patio Stones

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It’s Monday, my friends, and today we’re going to talk about doorstops. If you’re like me, you live in an older building and while they do have tons of character, they may also have one other thing; uneven rooms. Most of the doors in my apartment don’t stay open when I want them to. What’s a girl to do?

Well, a girl can go to any home improvement supply store and pick up a few concrete patio stones. You can use regular bricks as well, but I like the patio stones for the shape. Having the wider bottom lends to creating some fun and interesting little characters to hold open your doors for you. However, I feel obligated to point out to you that you can paint regular bricks to look like books, which is also super fun decor (at least if you are a book nerd like myself).

What else might a girl need for this little project? A girl will need some acrylic paints and sealer. I highly recommend getting a large bottle of them at a place like Blick Art Supplies or Michael’s as these bricks are pretty large and you will most likely need more than one coat of paint. A girl may also choose to have decorative items such as ribbons, scraps of fabric, googly eyes, and felt on hand as well. And finally a girl will need paint brushes in many varying sizes and a hot glue gun. (If making these for outdoor use, make sure to get outdoor paint and varnish.)

I will now stop talking like a Faceless Man and move on to describing all the fun things you might want to do with your concrete patio stones. Since they are so easy to make and don’t cost a fortune, you can potentially make one for every holiday! Below are examples of Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.

     

But you don’t just have to stick with holidays. Maybe you really really REALLY like chickens? Or dogs? Maybe you want something special for the door to your new baby’s nursery. Perhaps you live on a farm, or run a dog shelter, or a daycare? These three examples would work great!

     

To make these adorable decorations, start by washing your concrete patio stone with soap and water, then let it dry completely. This removes any dirt or dust that may prevent the paint from sticking to the stone. Once the stone is dry, paint on a layer of the sealer so that your paints don’t “soak” into the stone’s pores. Next, you’ll add your first coat of paint. Since the sealer isn’t going to block off those pores completely, this is why you may need multiple coats of paint for a nice, smooth finish. You don’t have to paint both sides of the stone but you can if you want to.

For your pattern, you can either use graphite paper to transfer a traced pattern onto your stone (you can even purchase patterns from sites like The Winfield Collection) or you can free-hand your own pattern onto the painted stone with a pencil (use light strokes!). Use your pattern to paint on the details for your doorstop. Faces, spots, hands and feet…whatever your pattern calls for that you don’t think you’ll use other mediums to depict. Example of other mediums; wooden cut-outs of hands and feet that can be affixed to the stone and give it more of a three-dimensional feel. Once all of that is dry, put another coat of your sealer on to protect the design. If you are using other mediums (such as those cut-outs or the googly eyes or pacifiers), use your hot glue gun to attach these items once the sealer is completely dry. And that, as they say, is that!

Baseball players, brides & grooms, cows, turtles, ducks, cats… you name it, you can probably paint a concrete patio stone to look like it. The heft of the stones makes them perfect for pretty much any door in your house (unless you live in a castle, like Hogwarts). As with most of my posts, these are great gifts for people as well. They’re functional and fun. They’re ‘fun’-ctional! (Get it? I know, I know… that was such a dad joke. My father would be proud.)

Happy painting, crafty people!

~Scribe Sarah~


Simply Charming

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Happy Sunday, all!

We are back from MAGfest and I find myself with a rather nasty bit of con crud but we definitely had a great time! As promised, I scouted out some new and amazing creators, this first of which I realized I’d already met before. Apparently when I purchased adorable Calcifer cameo and Kodama in a bottle necklaces from Stephanie of Charming Little Fox at Anime Central last year, I didn’t post about it. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa?!?!? I know! What is wrong with me??? So here we are giving her absolutely cute cutey cute creations a spotlight. Did I say Calcifer cameo? I did:

Lookit this widdle mean and scawy fiwe demon…

She makes all of these crazy tiny beauties by hand with clay so each one tends to be somewhat unique (which I love) so mine actually has a pretty teal background. The main pendants that truly captured my attention the first time around, though, were her terrarium necklaces like Totoro here:

This one looks so confused, too, like how did I get in here?

My little Kodama is just as tiny and detailed plus it glows in the dark! It’s these bitty details that really set her apart. Just think about the amount of time it takes to make things like these teeny sushi rolls or this koi pond:

 

Super duper cute, right? She also does do some slightly larger but no less detailed pendants like this lovely octo I would just love to put in my own rotation:

All the tentacles to hold you!

I would highly encourage you to take a look through her Facebook or Instagram for more examples of stunning clay artwork and once she comes back from a brief hiatus, you can purchase a piece on her Etsy shop. Next week I have some new leather wares to take offer.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY: Paint Chip Calendar

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers,

I saw this and though tit was pretty awesome, so I thought I’d share it with you. It’s a customizable calendar made out of paint chips. Which does mean that you can do whatever colour scheme you’d like and you can absolutely customize the sizing outside of what we’re showing you here. You can find the original tutorial here at DIY Projects.

For this project you will need a few things: A 12″ by 16″ picture frame (check your craft stores – they often have interesting and larger sizes), 35 paint chips in your choice of colours, scotch tape, scissors, a ruler and a dry erase marker. Your first step is to open the frame and take out the stock photo they have there. If you want a white background, just flip this over and use it as your background. If you’d like something a little more festive, you can use a piece of wrapping paper, wall paper, or you can wrap the back cardboard piece in fabric (though you may want to use a glue gun in that case rather than tape).  Next, measure a paint chip and cut it into a 3 and a quarter inches square – do this for all of them.

Lay out and affix the paint swatches to your board, and put 5 chips for each day. You can use a piece of some of the chips as a header for the day of the week if you like. Affix these by using tape – don’t worry, the picture frame will hold everything securely in place.

Your last step is to use your marker to label the calendar – the glass will work with the dry erase so you can customize it every month and add whatever you have going on through the month.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Let’s Get Organized

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Happy Sunday, all!

This week we are at MAGFest, one of my absolute favorite geeky festivals so expect some posts in the coming weeks about any new vendors/cool stuff I’ve found! For today, though, I thought we’d delve into one of those favorite new year’s resolution topics: organization. New year, new you and all that, right? Each of these four DIY projects do involve some wood, power tools, and probably a rather large work space so if you live in an apartment or condo (like me!), plan on sweet talking someone with at least two of those three (preferably the tools and space).

First up is what seems to be the easiest, quickest, and one I am contemplating making for myself: a storage ottoman from Mon Makes Things.

There are so many different ways this can be adapted to your needs!

We’ve really wanted some sort of storage ottoman for our game room and I think with a few tweaks, this could really be great in there! Next up requires a jigsaw! I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned my slight obsession with power tools before but once we finally move into a true house, I plan to stock the garage/workshop with one of everything. Back to the second organizational DIY: a pullout baking sheet drawer from Two Feet First.

I need one of these yesterday!

With as much baking as I do and the amount of baking sheets I have, this would be just wonderful in my cabinets. Third up is for yet another different area of the house, the bathroom. I’m really quite in love with the idea of this one as I’ve wanted a full length mirror somewhere in our condo and haven’t quite been able to make it happen yet. The storage space behind it in this mirror storage case by Shanty 2 Chic is really a bonus:

Who doesn’t love more storage?

Finally, I have saved maybe not the *best* for last but certainly one of the most overlooked areas of our place – the laundry room. This mobile laundry station from Hoosier Homemade is just plain awesome:

Much better than the three sad looking baskets we have stacked inside each other at the moment.

I like the idea of being able to use the top as either more storage for your laundry detergents or as a folding space. So there you have it, let’s start the year off right by getting a little more organized.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY Scented Firestarters

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Good morning, Crafthackers!

It’s Friday morning, and here in Hamilton where I live, it’s snowy and cold. And when I say cold, I mean cold. With the windchill it’s -30 degrees Celsius today, so as you can guess, my day will consist of tea, sewing and embroidery! I was wandering around the internet though, and thought what a nice gift this would make for anyone who has a working fireplace. This tutorial is from Design Sponge, and it is relatively simple but super impressive! They’re pine cone fire starters.

Now I know what you’re thinking. That pine cones are natural fire starters… and they are, but for an indoor fireplace, you sometimes need a little extra burn time, and the scents that you can add to this project make it just that much better. You will need some stuff: You’ll need pine cones – which you can find yourself or you can often buy them at craft/hobby stores, twine (or candle wick), a double boiler (or a saucepan and large glass measuring cup), candle wax (about 3/4 cup per pinecone) – you can use beeswax or paraffin wax, it’s dealer’s choice. You will also need some bowls for setting the wax as well as any essential oils you’d like to use to scent the wax.

So, first get your double boiler boiling, and pour the wax beads/pieces into the top portion of the boiler, and add a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. Cinnamon or vanilla are great warming smells for the time of year that requires a fire.

Wrap your twine around the base of the pine cone, and feel free to be generous with your wrapping, but do keep it closer to the bottom of the pine cone – we’d like it to stay covered in wax – with the exception of a tail to hang outside of the wax (I’d leave a few inches)

Find a bowl (or other container) that the pine cone fits into nice and snug so there’s room for the wax but so that the edges of the pine cone are close to the edges of the dish. You’ll need to rub some oil all around the inside of the bowl to make it easier to get the wax out. Place the pine cone into the bowl with the wick tail sitting outside the bowl.

When the scented wax is fully melted, slowly pour it into the bowl. If the bowl is clear it will be hard to tell how full it is, but do what you can as you can always add more wax once it’s dry. 3/4 of an inch of wax is a good place to aim for.

When they are cooled, twist and pull your fire starters out of the bowl, and trim the wick down to about 3/4 of an inch , and you’re done. They’re ready to be used or gifted!

Happy crafting and stay warm out there!

~ Megan


Meet the Hackers: Magfest

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This is my favorite time of year.  The days are shorter, the world around me has a bit of chill while the snow falls.  People are crammed into small spaces shopping for their favorite goodies and the sounds and songs ring out through the festive air.

It is Magfest.  Always happening in the coldest part of the year, video game bands sing their songs and people shop for their favorite goodies.  I love Magfest.  Short for “Music And Gaming Festival,” MAGFest is a four day-long event dedicated to the appreciation of video game music, gaming of all types, and the gaming community.
The event runs 24 hours a day, and offers consoles, arcades, tabletop, LAN, live video game cover bands, chiptunes, vendors, guest speakers, and much much more.

Nicole and I are returning once more!  There are no maps to find us so you will have to look for the tower of pillows and quilts!  This year Nicole is launching a line of hats!  I will have new quilts, pillows, and of course patterns.

So swing by and say hi!  Not going to Magfest?  It is definitely a convention to consider for the future.

-Toni


Personalize Your Drinking

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I hope you are all enjoying a healthy and wonderful new year already. A few weeks ago, I did a fun little craft with my 4 year old niece. It was a gift to her parents, but I thought this was a fun and relatively easy way to personalize a cup, glass, or mug. How does this fit into your new fitness routine or eating healthy? Easy! I am currently cutting down on caffeine, but I still drink coffee (decaf) or even lower caffeine level teas. Or you can do a version on a glass for your water.

Supplies:
Whatever mug, cup, or glass you want to decorate
Acrylic paint (you can use one or more)
Medium or big point permanent markers
Duct tape or stickers
Foam paint brush- circular is good for dabbing, but to paint straight lines consider a flat rectangular brush
Clear spray paint that will stick to glass (if you are decorating a glass)

Directions:
You can do a few different things but the first step is to thoroughly clean the surface of the cup and ensure it is completely dry before starting. Next step is to place stickers or duct tape in a pattern or spell out something that you want to be on the cup. You can use sharpies to create a multicolor pattern of dots around the pattern or word(s) you made with stickers or the tape. If you chose to use paint, I’d highly recommend doing dabbing or painting of one color, let the paint dry, then do another color. When you’re all done with the paint or marking it all up and things are dried, peel off the duct tape and/or stickers.
Now, the key to ensuring a glass won’t have any issues with the paint coming off, I’d use clear spray paint that will adhere to glass. I found my can for less than $4 at Ace Hardware. It was quick drying but you’d want to have ideal temperatures and circulation of the air. However, you decide to decorate it, remember to just use your creativity.
When I started this project with my niece, it was right as I found out her dad doesn’t drink anything hot. So I adapted and bought a set of plain glasses to decorate. Her dad likes his soda and water and her mom drinks a lot of different kind of drinks so it was the easiest way to ensure the whole set of glasses were used. My niece was super neat but I’d still recommend if you have a child helping that an old set of clothes or a smock of some sort is used. I also covered the table with plastic bags to protect the table. I then had to improvise to ensure this didn’t become an epic fail. I let her do her thing so she did some dabbing then layered on paint in other areas. She wanted to paint the entire outside of the glass too. I let her roll knowing her parents would just use it as a semi-permanent art piece if necessary.


Then when I was dealing with peeling paint from the glass as I took stickers off. That was where going to Ace Hardware paid off for me. The biggest thing to remember, is you may want to primarily hand wash glasses. Or do a test run with a decorated one in the dishwasher before you use it in the dishwasher. It all worked out and my friends how things were done.


Miniature Magnetized Handmade Calendars (Year)

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Happy New Year, my crafty little friends! I hope that you all had a very fun and safe celebration to say farewell to 2017 and welcome in 2018. I raise a proverbial glass to new and exciting ventures for us all in the new year!

My extraordinarily brilliant and crafty mother provided me with this week’s blog post in the form of one of my stocking stuffers this year; a small magnetized calendar that she had made herself.

She had gotten the idea from a lady at her church. I though it was such a cute and easy thing, I have sort of reverse-engineered it to share with all of you. Since it is the first day of a new year, this calendar will come in quite handy and can be completely and totally customizable.

All you need is one of those 4×6 plastic picture frames with no border. If you can find one with a magnet already attached to the back, great! If not, you can also purchase strips of magnet with adhesive on one side and just stick it to the back of your frame yourself. You can find some on Amazon.com here. You will also want to have some card stock (white is preferable if you are planning to color and decorate each month but you can also use different colors for different months as well). Also have some markers or crayons or colored pencils (all of the above?) and, if you like that sort of thing, rubber stamps. Other items you can use to really make your calendar unique are stickers and washi tape…maybe even some thin felt or eco-glitter (if you, unlike me, don’t abhor glitter and how it gets all over EVERYTHING FOREVER). Just go the to craft store and look around, the options are endless.

Here is one adaptable part of your project. If you are tech savvy, you can play around with formatting and design of the calendar part on the bottom of each month’s card and then print them out. If you don’t want to fiddle around on the computer or you simply like working with your hands, you can use a ruler and hand-write the month and days into the bottom of the card. You get to decide how much effort and time you want to or can put into this. This adapting applies to the top part of your card as well. As you can see from my mom’s example, you can use the rubber stamps to give fun themes to your months and simply color those in.

You can also use stickers, draw pictures (or have your kids draw pictures!), put inspirational quotes on them, or even print or paste family photos on each month. The sky’s the limit!

Once you have your calendar and picture done, simply cut the card out to fit into your magnetized frame. (You can cut this out before decorating if you wish, it’s up to the creator’s preference.) You will need to make twelve cards total; one for each month of the year. It’s quick and easy to swap out at the change of each month.

These adorable calendars are great for use at home or in the office (the magnet should stick to most metal file cabinets) but they also make wonderful and useable gifts for others. You can make as many as you’d like and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can get a bigger sized frame and make larger ones. Recommendation though, don’t go above 5×7 as the frame and card stock inside it may be too heavy for the magnet to support. You can try gluing more than one magnet on the back of the frame if you want to try making an 8×10 but there is no guarantee that will help support the weight. But play with it, experiment, make the project your own!

May this fun craft help you keep track of all the busy days 2018 will surely bring us and may it also remind you daily of the simple and fun things we all can look forward to in life. Have a fruitful year, friends!

~Scribe Sarah~