DIY Wax Luminaries

Posted on

Good morning, Thursday readers.

I found a really cool tutorial from Candle Tech that caught my eye and initially I thought it might be a little silly, but the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. Tea light/votive holders made from wax. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but what makes it work is the type of wax used. And plus, they look really cool.

You do need some supplies and tools: High-melt paraffin wax – IGI-1260 – (this one is super important – don’t use something that isn’t high melt), party balloons, a double boiler and a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You will need to start by filling your balloon with tepid water.

Your next step is to melt your wax in a double boiler. The best temperature for this project is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using a double boiler will help to keep things from overheating, and you can use a thermometer to double check if you have one.

Slowly dip your balloon into the wax to just below the water level inside the balloon. If you go past the water level, your balloon can pop. Hold the balloon in the wax for a few seconds and then slowly lift it out. Let it cool between dips, but you’ll need to do this a few more times to get a good thickness of wax on the balloon.

When the wax is still fairly warm, put the balloon on a piece of parchment or on a cookie sheet. This will allow a flat bottom to be created so it’s level and won’t topple over. Allow to cool a little, and then repeat the above process a few more times. You’re going to want a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 an inch of wax on your balloon. Set it aside again to let it cool.

 

When the water inside the balloon and the wax are completely cool, holding the wax portion so it doesn’t fall and aiming the mouth away from you, pop the balloon over this sink with something sharp to let the water drain out and toss the deflated rubber.

If the top of your luminary isn’t level, that’s okay. There’s an easy fix, since you’re working with wax. Just heat up a cookie sheet in the oven and place the luminary top down onto the hot metal (you can put some parchment paper down to catch the wax) and melt the edges until it’s level. You can wipe the paper with a paper towel if you’re going to need to do it a couple times.

And you’re ready to go with a tea light or a votive (remember, votives need some kind of container to keep them from melting everywhere). So long as you’re just using those types of candles, the luminary won’t melt. Remember, it’s high temp wax, so you need more heat to melt it. If you want to add some colour to your wax, you can add some crushed crayons (though it might make them a little less transparant). You can also think about adding glitter or even doing a few white layers of wax as a base with a couple colour layers over top. You could even dip the top rim in glitter once you’ve melted it to make it level or you might want to carve your creations afterwards… but regardless of what you end up doing, they do look super cool!

Happy Crafting!

~Megan

 

 

 


Easy DIY Halloween Crafts and Decorations

Posted on

Hey Crafty Peoples! Sorry about my absence last week; I was on vacation but I’m back and ready to hit you with some sweet sweet Halloween decorations and crafts. Y’all, this is my favorite holiday of all the holidays. I would celebrate this one all year round. Nothing is better than the creepy, the scary and the Halloween-y. In my opinion, that is.

This week, I wanted to focus on some easy and cost-effective ways to decorate the interior of your home for the spookiest of holidays. Next week, I shall direct you to some wonderful sites with ideas for outdoor decor.

There are a lot of crafty folks out there so the majority of these ideas I saw via Pinterest or Facebook. Most of these are ways to re-purpose old household items into fun crafts to keep the kiddies busy or to decorate the house/apartment when you’re pinching those pennies. Some of these are as simple as getting some construction paper or poster board and cutting out Halloween-y shapes. For example, you can cut out bat shapes and either just tape them to your walls (make sure you use painters tape to protect your walls!) or you can pinch them near the middle, attach a string and suspend them from your ceiling. I personally like this way because it looks like there’s bats flying ’round your house and it scares the crap out of people who come by to visit or take care of your cat. You don’t have to stick with bats either. Pumpkins and Jack’O’Lanterns are fun and festive but easy to cut out. If you’re feeling particularly artistic and ambitious, you can cut out witches on brooms, ghosts, mummies, zombies…the possibilities are endless!

For those of you who can’t seem to bring yourselves to toss out those empty pill bottles, you can use them to make some fun and creepy-looking, old-timey apothecary bottles. Magia Mia has a wonderful tutorial here that walks you through making that garbage into Halloween gold. Also, environmentally friendly because you’re reducing the amount of trash you toss. Recycling at it’s crafties.

Another quick and inexpensive way to dress up a room is to give your candles a little makeover. I saw this on Pinterest but the original idea was posted by the wonderfully hilarious (and stylish!) Big Ang Raiola of Mob Wives fame. You can add flourish to small candles in glass by gluing lace around the glass. These have a gothic Victorian feel to them but you can add any kind of ribbon or lace you’d like. Customize to the theme of your Halloween abode.

If you want some scary spiderwebs around your house but you don’t want to deal with that sticky, hard-to-clean fake webbing from the party supply stores you can either just not clean for a really long time (hey, realism in decorations is KEY) or you can make these fun balloon spiderwebs. They are easy to make but it does take a little longer to make than some of the other crafts I’ve posted about here. You’ll want to make sure you have ample time to complete them properly. You can find the instructions here.

And for my pièce de résistance, a little something for all you Harry Potter fans out there. Ever want your home to look like the Great Hall at Hogwarts? I don’t know about you, but I wanted candles magically hovering above my head from the first moment I saw it in the movies. Well, here’s a way to accomplish this feat, at least for a few weeks. Follow these easy-to-understand instructions over at The Sway to make your home into your very own Great Hall.

These are just a few ways to make your home more festive for this spooky holiday. I highly recommend checking out Pinterest for more ideas and remember to think outside the box. Something you see someone else having posted may inspire you to create your very own unique Halloween decorations.

Next week, I’ll talk about some truly terrifying decorations you can add to your porches and yard (should you be lucky enough to have a property with either of these things) to make your house the most frightening on the block.

Happy decorating, Hackers!

~Scribe Sarah~


We’ve Done some Leather… Now for some Lace.

Posted on

Happy Thursday!

I had an idea in my head for this post for something I had seen done. It was doing a lace design on a cake using fabric lace , but as I was looking around at how to do it (since I couldn’t for the life of me remember how they applied the “paint” icing over the lace) and I came across some other things that were almost as cool, and less tantalizing for your tastebuds if you’re reading this in the early AM.

I decided to run with the lace idea. Lace is usually only really thought of on bridal, honeymoon and scandalous clothing.  There are, however, a bunch of different crafts that are pretty easy that you can do using different kinds of lace. I’ll bring you a couple of my favourites here and post the links to the tutorials.  I wanted to give you a bit of a collection this morning rather than focusing on one item since most of these are pretty quick and easy and don’t require too much explanation.

The first tutorial I found was this.

This picture may make it a little difficult to see, but I really wanted to catch not just the project but the effect.  This tutorial taken from www.donob.com (available there and other sites of course) shows how to make an easy lace globe lamp.  It’s basically the same technique as paper mache around a balloon, but then using the globe as a lightshade.  I just love love love the shadow of the lace on the walls.  These pictures and most tutorials show this done with white lace doilies, but if white isn’t really your colour (as it isn’t really mine) you can dye the white doilies to whatever colour you would like and still get the same shadow effect.  You can also use dimmer bulbs and smaller baloons for smaller fixtures or a less brilliant light, or you can make something big and bright to be the centrepiece in a room. Whatever you choose, this accents not just the light fixture but the walls too.

Another beautifuly lacy and simple craft I came across was this:

This is a very simple cut and paste (or sew) tutorial, and it really just involves you finding the right lace. It can also be done in any colour and the full tutorial is found here.  These make beautiful decorations for any occasion and look amazing all lit up.

The third and final simple lace craft also has many different tutorials floating around the web but I’ve taken this from Martha Setwart and Vintage Pretty Pearl’s Blog.

These beautiful tiles can be done as coasters, as larger tiles for the garden, as decorative pieces around the house. There’s lots of ways to use them and you can get so creative with them. All you need to do is choose your colours, adhere the lace to the tile (with a non permanent adhesive) and spray painting away with the colour of your choosing!

I hope you enjoyed my cheap and cheerful easy DIY.

Happy Thursday!

~Megan


Not Your Ordinary Balloons

Posted on

While not anywhere near the most popular medium, I’ve always been fascinated with balloon animals. I have a book I bought when I was around 12 that taught me how to make basic animals like the classic dog and swan.  But…well, I don’t think they make books for this level.

Colossal Titan Balloon Costume by No Ordinary Balloon Man

Yup. You read that caption right. That’s not only a giant balloon creation; it’s also a COSTUME. How the person inside can see or walk and not pop it is completely beyond me. Think I’ll just tag it as ‘magic’ and move on. 😉

That giant costume (and more like it) are the creation of Bruce Carr who not only creates these fantastical and unique balloon designs, but does performance shows at conventions while he makes them. Something I’ve never seen in all my years attending cons. His work is incredibly detailed for the medium he works in, and one of his creations has actual been turned into a meme.

Definitely give his gallery a look through to see some more video game, Doctor Who, MLP, and all sorts of unique creations. If you live in the Orlando area you may even see him and his work up close at a con or a birthday party!

~Nicole