Small Business Feature: Oddity Apparel

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was at a local Anime convention a few weeks ago and was booth neighbors with a lovely lady whom I discovered was the creator behind Oddity Apparel.  Though she wasn’t at that convention selling her wares, we certainly got to talking about them as, of course, I’m a fan of nerd fashion.

She is based out of Montreal, Canada, but goes to conventions all over North America. Not only that, she sells lots online (she’s on Etsy and Facebook) and will take on a custom order if you ask nicely. She sells a dress style that is flattering on many different body types and makes plus size clothing as well. If you would like to see a dress or skirt in a style that you don’t see in her shop, just send a message along and see if she can put together what you’re looking for.

Her fabrics are amazing, and I learned, are created by her. They’re beautifully balanced and avoid the things that I hate about repeating prints. That they either look too repetitive, are too big or are unattractively stretching in inappropriate places.  I’ve even seen patterns that were so unbalanced that the dresses they were printed on made the body look unbalanced. She avoids that by having her own designs printed, and just looking at the fabric, you can see what I mean.

Make sure you go check out her shop to get an idea of the vast array of fabrics that are available. I guarantee that you’ll love the Timelord fabric, and find so many more that you didn’t even know were a thing. Remember, these are hand made, and you’re supporting a real person and their art. Go and have fun with fashion with these prints that are all just so fabulous, you’ll have to start collecting!

Happy shopping!

~ Megan


DIY Casette Tape Wallet

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

This morning, I have a lovely DIY tutorial that works those retro stylings with a cassette tape wallet. Now, I know there are those of you around who have never seen a cassette tape in real life before but they do still exist! Raid your parent’s basements or you can find them at second hand stores or used music stores pretty easily.  By the way, I took this tutorial from Wonderful DIY and you can check out the original here.

Your tools are pretty simple: You’ll need glue (E600 is excellent as it will work on porous and non porous materials), and a screwdriver. You’ll also need some materials: a fabric zipper, scrap fabric, a disposable plate for mixing epoxy and a wooden stir stick, if you’re using a glue that is an epoxy.

Next, you’ll need to open your tape. If your cassette is screwed together, you can use the screwdriver to loosen the screws so the tape will come apart. If they’re welded with fasteners, gently pry the sides apart until the fasteners break. Be gentle and it should come apart just fine.

Empty the cassette of the tape and any other bits, and make sure that you take off anything extra with pliers or a box cutter. You basically just want the shell.

Measure your zipper. It should be the same length as three sides (the bottom long edge will basically be the hinge). Trim the zipper at the right length and sew the end so it doesn’t come off where you cut it. Glue the zipper around the edge of each side of the cassette.

Open the zipper, and start at one side and then the other, apply glue around the inside edges of the plastic and carefully press the outer fabric of the zipper into it. Make sure the side of the zipper with the pull is facing outwards so you can open and close your wallet when it’s done. Let everything dry.

Along the edge of the cassette that doesn’t have zipper attached to it, create a fabric pouch. This will help the wallet open and close. Unzip the wallet and lay the sides open and flat so the unglued sides lay parallel. To do this, measure a rectangle of fabric as long as the middle side. The strip should be about as thick as the zipper when it’s zipped. glue the pouch fabric in place and let it dry.

Cover the holes in the sides of the cassette by gluing paper or fabric over them. Cover the insides of the wallet. You can use graphic fabric or the paper booklet that came with your cassette. Let it dry. Test it, and make sure the zipper works.

Now you have a totally awesome retro wallet that you can reminisce about the good times with your friends when you pull it out of your back pocket.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Colourful Suncatchers

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Today is a special post because this is my last post as a single lady. In fact, I’ll be getting married tomorrow! So you’ll have to forgive the simplicity of the post but I wanted to find something colourful, beautiful and easy to match my mood. So I’ve got a really easy sun catcher tutorial that is just so cheerful that I couldn’t resist. The original tutorial is from Life In the Nuthouse, which can be found here with all the photos you might need.

So I love that this can be made into an upcycling project as you will need plastic cups. Look for ones that are clear and colourful, rather than just the red solo cups. So if you’re at birthday parties through the summer, maybe save some, or you can buy some at the varying places around that carry plastic cups :).  Look for type 6 recycling plastic as those will be the ones that will shrink down. You can buy ones for you to use or you can buy some to bring to parties and then reuse them.

First, you will need to start with clean cups and cut off the base.

Next you will need to punch two holes across from each other.

Preheat your oven to 250 Farenheit, and line your pans with parchment paper. Place the cups top side down. They won’t really melt too much, but leave a little room between them so they can collapse. If they aren’t completely flat, use a spatula right after you remove them from the oven to flatten them. If your oven is hot, it will only take 2 minutes for them to melt. Scoop them off and let them cool either on a cool pan or if you have a granite counter top, you can let them cool on there. Don’t use cookie racks or you’ll have indents.

When they’re cooled. use some string/yarn/fishing line to string them up with an outer circular layer and an inner one.

For the top of the chandelier, you can use any round plate but the packing boxes from clocks from Ikea can be repurposed and painted. Since the clock used was octagonal, 8 strands of discs made sense, as well as an inner ring of 8 for a total of 16 strands. The outer ring has 5 discs (one of each color) and the inner ring has 7 discs, so that they would hang down a little more.

Hang your strands how you like them, and for your last step, you can glue a last ring to the top of the sun catcher facing the ceiling (with a string hanging from the holes) so you can hang it. And voila, you have a cheerful, beautiful sun catcher.

Hope you guys enjoyed and as always…

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 

 


DIY Spindle Windchimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Last week I posted on a DIY for sun catcher wind chimes. This week, I have a tutorial for you from Confessions of a Serial DIYer on making some wooden wind chimes, and the full tutorial can be visited here.

I love wooden wind chimes for a number of reasons, but the biggest is probably the sound. Its pretty unique and you can use different wood types and lengths to make different sounds. The other part of this tutorial that I love is that the tools and materials are very simple.

For this project you’ll need spray paint in the colours of your choice, spindles from old chairs (for a good size). You can also use wooden dowels in various lengths for different sounds, or cut these ones to varying lengths. You’ll need fishing line, scissors, a drill and a very small drill bit (the size just needs to be big enough to drill holes through the wood for the fishing line) and super glue. For the hanging base, you will need a round piece of wood like the one pictured, but you can find bases like this attached to lamps or candle holders at thrift stores, or you can just buy a round disk of wood to use to the same end. You’ll also need a metal ring, the size is up to you, but you will just need something to tie your fishing line to so that you can hang your chimes.  Your last thing is a topper. it isn’t necessary, but it can be something you find in a thrift store, or something at home you’d like to repurpose.

Your first step is to spray paint your wooden parts. Please do this in a well ventilated area outside, and give them some time to dry.

When they’re dry, your next step is to drill tiny holes horizontally at the top of each spindle. For safety, wear safety glasses and have a spare piece of wood underneath where you’re drilling to catch the drill bit. This should keep you and your furniture safe.

Next, mark and measure where the spindles will hang on your base.  They should be hanging around the base in a circle, and be more or less equidistant from each other along the outer rim. The tutorial writer sanded everything to antique it a little, but this is a step that you can skip if it isn’t your preference.

Next, you can thread your spindles. Cut enough fishing line for each of your spindles. Cut half of the lengths at 12 inches, and half at 24 (so if you have 8 spindles, you’ll be cutting 4 and 4).

Thread the sorter string through the hole in the spindle, and then thread both ends through the top of the disk. Tie the string so that there’s a knot big enough not to fall through. If your holes are a little too big, you can thread a button onto the end and tie the thread around the button so that you basically have an easy peasy stopper.

With your 24 inch thread, thread it through the spindle and tie a couple knots a few inches up from the spindle before pulling it through the holes in the top piece – this will keep them from pulling through the top  and you can use the same trick with the button if your holes are too big.. Try to keep them hanging at about the same length as the 12 inch pieces, and then tie them to the ring when they’ve been threaded through.

Next, use superglue to affix your topper, whatever you’ve chosen it to be. Hang in your garden and enjoy!

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


DIY: Suncatcher Wind Chimes

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a really neat DIY project for you. I was looking around at DIY wind chimes, as I absolutely love them. I grew up with someone in my family who always had them, and though I can’t remember who it was, I am always transported back to that time. There’s quite a few different tutorials online for making your own wind chimes, and I might post another one next week. But I came across this:

… and I just fell in love with the idea of suncatcher wind chimes, and thanks to this tutorial from Hands On as We Grow, there’s an easy way to make them, and not just that, but to have it be a project that you can do with your kids. You will need some supplies to do this though: Contact paper (you will want transparent rather than a patterned one) that can be found at any craft store, and maybe even some kitchen stores, scissors, a marker or pen, rings (your choice of size) from mason jar lids, string or cord, and a sturdy stick. Outside of these materials, you will need to go in search of foliage to actually keep inside the suncatcher portion of these chimes.

Your first step (other than collecting flowers) is to cut a piece of contact paper and trace mason jar rings onto the paper side of the stuff. Do as many as you have the rings for. Then you’ll want to peel the adhesive off and – very carefully – lay it on the table with the sticky side up.

When you have your foliage where you would like it, peel the other contact paper, and try to stick it as smoothly as you can over your creation. Cut out the circles.

Tie a knot around the rings using the string, and then simply push the suncatcher circles into the ring. They might be the right size enough to fit, or you might have to tape them in place. Then just attach them to a stick to turn them into some beautiful windchimes to hang near your window.

Hope you enjoyed this easy and beautiful tutorial.

Happy Crafting,

~Megan

 


Finch and Cotter: Personalized Gifts

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Good Morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a small business feature for you, and this is one that I just used myself to buy a gift and I was so thrilled that I had to share it with you all. Especially given that everything can be done online and not only that, but this business was started by a husband and wife team that employ a small team of employees.  You can check out their website here to see their full range of products, but they specialize in custom printed pillows, prints and maps, and I can tell you that what they offer is all reasonably priced and of quite a high quality.

Their personalized pillows are amazing they make it easy to create something custom and meaningful to you or your gift recipient. You choose from a gallery of templates for a design that will best suit what you’re looking for and you can give them your own information to fill in, or to add into the design.

You can personalize places, names, coordinates, lyrics, almost anything you like that is meaningful to you. And this trend travels across their full range of products.

Personally, I bought a star map of the night’s sky. You can select a particular date, time and place to be immortalized on your wall and they will produce it for you, framed if you desire, in custom colours, with custom details – I ordered mine without a grid on the sky, but including constellations.

What is even better, is you don’t have to just rely on your information being taken and processed correctly. Finch and Cotter will send you a proof so that you can OK your design before they create your beautiful piece. I know it made me feel very secure in my ordering and I appreciate the personal touch – this really screams small business  in the best possible way. If you pay a little extra, they’ll even gift wrap your gift for you.

Please check these guys out. They are so great, and their product is so sentimental and amazing, I just love it.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Upcycled Paper Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

If you’re living in a condo where decorating might need to be kept to a minimum, or in an apartment, or really anywhere where you have a front door that is safely kept away from all the elements, this paper wreath might be just the thing for you! It’s beautiful, upcycled, and can be customized more than what is shown. The original post can be found here from A Piece of Rainbow.

You will need a few things: Some old books, about a cup of white craft glue, natural twine for hanging, and any embellishments you’d like to add. You’ll also need an old stock pot so that you can get a circular form without using a foam wreath form, and clamps or possibly clothespins would work, to hold things together while they dry. The original poster used outdoor faucet handles, but you can add anything to spruce this puppy up.

Cut some book pages out, and glue 2-3, end to end to make a longer piece. Make about 20-30 pieces.

Crumple each piece and dip in glue that has been diluted with an equal amount of water. Squeeze out the glue while twisting and rotating to make a paper vine, and then drape your vines over the outside of a stewpot laying on its side. You’ll want to cover the size with a garbage bag or a shopping bag to keep the glue from sticking to the pot.

When the vines are dry, take three pieces and glue them together to form a circle. Use your clamps to hold everything together until the glue dries.

After they’re dry, add three more and glue to the mid point of the first three pieces. This will give a base to start with and provide many openings to weave the vines.

When the base is dry and sturdy, weave the rest of the paper vines around and through the base in a circular way so that they look like they’re growing around each other. If you find anything feels loose, just add some glue to secure them down.

To make flowers from the book pages, just cut two connected petals, crumple in the centre. Do this a number of times as all you need to do is glue a few pairs of these petals together to make beautiful flowers. You can tie your flowers to the faucet handles, or just glue (if you’re not holding something heavy) or tie them to the wreath.

Keep in mind that here’s where you can decorate and use your imagination. you can add rhinestones, glitter, you can add painted details, or paint just the flowers to give them some pop. You can add antique jewelry findings, or old coins that you have laying around. With the book prints, old and antiqued accents look amazing.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial and as always,

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 

 


Easter Eggs, Dyed Naturally.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was thinking about the traditions we had when we were kids with dying eggs that were hidden for us in the morning by the Easter bunny. When I was a kid, we always used the little vinegar/food colouring pellets. In the last few years, I’ve done Ukranian egg dying, which was entirely different and special also (you can see the post about it here). Today, I found a tutorial for how to not only make your own dye from natural ingredients, but how to dye these eggs with reliefs of interesting leaves.

The original tutorial is from Cynthia Weber and can be found here for the full tutorial. The dyes are made from cabbage, onion and beets, and as you can see, the colours that they make are pretty darn awesome. To do this, boil separate pots of chopped up red cabbage, onion skins and chopped beets (covered with enough water that when you add eggs later they’ll be covered). Allow to boil for about twenty minutes and let them cool slightly. Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar to each pot.

 

While the pots boil, you can get your eggs ready. You will need nylons, twist ties or string, and some interesting pieces of foliage either from outside or from the herb garden. Use thin nylons for this, as if they are too thick, you won’t get enough of the dye to the egg to do it’s job. Cut the toes out a few inches to make a pocket (you can use the rest of the nylons, just cut pieces large enough to encircle your eggs). Place your interesting herb or flower into the nylon and lay the egg on top. Tie the nylon off so that the plant is held tightly against the egg.

When your eggs are ready, put them into the dye of your choice, and bring that pot back up to a slow boil and boil them for at least 20 minutes, though for more vibrant colours, you can let them sit in the bath for longer.

Pull your eggs out, remove the nylons and herbs, pat to dry and rub with oil. The cabbage dye makes a blue colour, and you can make two tone eggs by dying them first with the nylons and the foliage, then taking that out, taking the nylon and the greenery off, and letting it sit in the cabbage pot.

I love the natural colours, and I love the look of the leaves on the eggs. I hope you guys have a very nice holiday, and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 

 

 


ETEE: Reusable, Biodegradable Food Wraps

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Hello there Thursday Crafthackers!

I don’t have a DIY for you today, but I have a business I’d like to talk about, which has done some amazing things for amazing reasons. The company is called Etee: Everything Touches Everything Else, and it supports a cause that is near and dear to my heart. It’s also a small(ish) business that is based out of my hometown. The gentleman behind Etee has done something amazing, and it involves making an impact in the plastic that we throw away.

 

After getting tripped up in plastic that was floating in the river on a cold day, he was inspired to try to find a way to help us use less plastic. To try to take some of it out of our ecosystem, so he developed (in his basement) a food wrap that is not only reusable, washable, but it’s also biodegradable when it’s no longer usable.

You can buy their products online at the Etee website, which I did the other day, where you can learn not just about the product, but about the story behind it. They don’t have many options to choose from when buying, but their prices are reasonable and they offer reasonable options. I got a pack of 3 in different sizes and can’t wait to use them. I’m excited that someone out there is thinking about the earth, and that they’ve made an affordable solution, and built a business behind it. The best part is, they are hand made in Toronto.

So, not only are we helping to reduce the plastic that goes into the garbage by investing in this beautiful alternative, you’re helping to support a hand made, small business. You’re helping to support a local guy who wanted to make the world a better place.

Happy crafting!

Megan

 


DIY: Easy Easter Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a beautiful little tutorial for you to make an Easter/spring time wreath. The best part is this wreath reuses plastic egg containers that you find all over this time of year for toys, chocolates, and such. So make sure you’re hanging onto the ones that you get, or you can also find plastic eggs in craft stores also.

The original post for this tutorial can be found here, and what you’ll need for this project is relatively simple and easy to find (at your local craft shop). You will need a Styrofoam wreath form, pink (or your choice of colour) streamer paper, and a selection of small, synthetic flowers that match your eggs,  plastic Easter eggs – this tutorial used a package of pink eggs that were purchased from a store, but you can  use any colour you like, decorate your own plastic eggs, or reuse ones that you have laying around from this time of year. You’ll also need a glue gun (low temp to avoid burning) and a wire cutter.

Your first step is to wrap your wreath form in your streamer paper. Just a dab of glue to hold the ends in place will do, and make sure when you’re wrapping, that you’re keeping it tight. You can also use thick ribbon or even tulle for this step. Whatever your preference is!

Start adding your eggs to your wreath. Use a generous dab of glue, and mix up the colours and positions to create a more random style. Make sure to add eggs to the inside and outside edges of the wreath. It’s advised to keep the wreath’s back on a flat surface as you work so that you don’t over egg your wreath to the point of it not laying flat on your door or wall.

Cut your artificial flowers from their stems using a wire cutter, though just make sure to leave about an inch of the stem at the end of the bloom. Add your flowers to the wreath by poking them straight into the foam – this will hold them in place. Fill in any gaps between your eggs with the flowers, and you can put as many or as little as you’d like, and keep adding them until you get the mix of eggs and flowers that you like.

Just as an fyi, this is a better indoor or covered porch wreath as it is slightly fragile. So keep that in mind when you’re looking for a spot to hang. Also keep in mind that if you wanted to add any glitter, or glitter any eggs before attaching them you can do that too!

Happy crafting!

Megan