Beaded Dragon Brooches

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Okay, I know we’ve all dabbled in beads for bracelets and necklaces at one point. Maybe you used seed beads and a stand to weave one just made some nice jewelry, but these? These dragons are something else entirely.

This is one of many custom designs by Russian artist Alyona Lytvin, and they are all just jaw dropping amazing. They are made mostly from beads and thread, with some wire and paint reinforcements for the fins.

I know they’re brooches too, but man I’d just want to keep it as a decoration piece! No way I’d risk something happening to this!! I love the addition of the sequins as scales for the sea dragons. Man they’re just all so beautiful!

I wish I could give you more info about the artist and the process but little it up in English about it on the store front, so I’m afraid we all just have to admire the shop and wonder. Perhaps even buy one yourself so you can study it up close. ūüôā

A new year brings change

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Hello to all of you! I’m Kim from Fantastical Menagerie. Toni from Quiltoni asked me if I would be interested in contributing to the blog spot here on Crafthackers, and I was delighted.

I have been running my own art business for twelve years, and full time since 2011. I work mostly in polymer clay, and some mixed media. I tend to work with sculpting animals into wearable art. Besides doing a number of ComicCons and Art Shows each year, you can find my things on Facebook at or on Etsy at

I am hoping to have some tutorials over the next few months, along with ideas to inspire you to create! If you would like to see one I posted here in September, here is the link. It’s on clay pumpkin earrings.

DIY: Pumpkin Earrings and Pendant

We have a new year in front of us, and so many things to try.


Cosplay Supplies

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Hi there Thursday readers,

Good day, all you cosplayers. That’s right, I’m looking at you. I come bearing good news! ¬†I have found something wonderful, a treasure trove of DIY cosplay wonders. ¬†This is a wonderful little shop called Sussman’s Bridal Supply, but don’t let the name fool you. They’re not just bridal, in fact, I would argue that the most accurate part of the name is “supply”. Once in Toronto, and now in Hamilton, you can find Sussman’s online, and they have an Etsy shop where you can order all the supplies you can want! You can keep up with their updates on their Facebook page as well.


I first found this store when it was originally in Toronto and the owner is lovely. She’s helpful and super knowledgeable about the products They have a wide range of crafting supplies, and some of the widest selections of supplies I have seen in my travels, and the first thing I noticed almost as soon as I got in? ¬†Feathers. See my photo above. Not only did they have a wide selection of colours but…


They had some of the most interesting and usable feathers I had seen in a long time. I loved the designs and the quality, and I can see a lot of different uses for these.

The second thing I noticed was the beads and the stones. Again, the selection in store was huge….


Rows upon rows…


Upon rows and shelves upon shelves, if there’s a colour or a style you’ve been looking for, I can see you finding it here in this rainbow cornucopia of beads. Not just do they have these, but there are lots of appliques that are available.


One of the things that I used this store for when I was in Toronto, was their selection of trims. I found that they had a large selection of them when most of the other stores around did not, and that made me a very happy girl.

So cosplayers… You’re welcome. Check out their shops and keep your eye out on Instagram of their posts showing you what they’ve got going on in store.¬†Remember, buying local keeps our economy going and supports small business owners who work their butts off for what they love.


Vino Tiki Torches

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Hey there Thursday readers.

Spring is right around the corner and you know what that means? DIY projects that encourage sitting outside and having parties! So I’ve found a tutorial for wine bottle tiki torches to make your decks and balconies glow. ¬†You’ll need just a few materials: Your wine bottles – pretty, curvy ones if you can find them, crafting pebbles or marbles (look at your craft or dollar stores), Tiki fuel, tiki replacement wicks, and a brass coupling. This tutorial, which was taken from Armchair Sommelier¬†recommends a¬† 3/8‚Ä≥ x 1/4‚Ä≥ coupling, while another tutorial recommends a 1/2″ x 3/8″ coupling. I would measure your wick to see which width you need. These wicks¬†you can find at any hardware store. You might need a little something to make the coupling fit tightly, if so, you may find yourself in need of teflon tape which you can also get at your hardware store. You may also want to purchase a copper cap in the same size as your coupling so you can cover your wick and keep it from drying out.

So this is a pretty simple tutorial for something that is so cool. So basically you need to fill the jars 1/3 to 1/2 way filled with pebbles. They may not all fit. You can decorate other things with them. Or drop them in the fish tank. Or… well. You can be creative with them. I imagine that other than using glass pebbles or marbles you could also use stones (you can get small ones from pet stores for fish tanks) that you by or find. Whatever will work for the look that you want.

The next part is the tricky part. ¬†You need to use a brass coupling and fit it into the wine bottle. Before you do this, you need to do 2 things. First, if your coupling doesn’t fit snugly into the bottle, you can use the teflon tape to wrap the end of the coupling. Make sure you check how much you need as you’re not ready to just shove that piece in yet.

image courtesy of gerardotandco

When you have your coupling all set up, you’ll need to fill your bottle with outdoor lamp oil. Please please please use lamp oil that is designed for the outdoors. These lamps are designed for the outdoors. They are big flames. They CAN set things on fire.

Your last step is to insert the coupling into the mouth of the bottle, and then thread the torch wick through the hole. You will need to trim thoe wick to 1/4 of an inch or less. Following the manufacturers directions for this is extremely important for the safety of you and those you party with. You can also check out this other tutorial for how to make wine bottle Tiki torches that you can fasten to a wall.

After you let the wick soak for a bit, you can light it and party the night away.



The Buds of Spring

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While we may still have bits of snow on the ground here and there, I’ve found little hints of impending Spring popping up all over! On my craft feeds there have been birds, bunnies, and flowers but more intriguing have been the budding trees. In a few particular cases, these trees contained the most fabulous sparkles because they are actually made of wire and gemstones!

The crafts are alive with a hint of green leaves!

The crafts are alive with a hint of green leaves!

I’ve been known to play around with wire and gemstones in my jewelry making days but nothing as complicated as some of these wonderful sculptures.

A tiny little wire hideaway to escape those pesky chores!

A tiny little wire hideaway to escape those pesky chores!

I think the ways some of the artists capture movement and detail are just stunning!

So lovely, I can practically smell it's leaves blowing in the breeze.

So lovely, I can practically smell it’s leaves blowing in the breeze.

If you are longing for these lovely buds in your own living space and are especially adventurous, Cut Out and Keep has a fairly good tutorial on creating your own wire tree masterpiece:

So lovely, especially if you already have a wire and bead stash! Spring cleaning and new crafts all in one!

So pretty, especially if you already have a wire and bead stash! Spring cleaning and new crafts all in one!

Next week I think it may be time to take a look at some of the fuzzy little critters that emerge from their winter burrows in the Spring (especially the crafty kind).

See you then and stay crafty!




Ready for my Cameo

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Cameos are something I’ve always loved the aesthetic of. They evoke bygone eras and always look classy. Bunny’s Beads is a shop from Glasgow, Scotland that specialises in cameos, particularly geeky ones, but I want to highlight her not just for the gorgeous pieces she makes, but the awesome way she displays them.

What drew me to Rachael’s table was the clever way she displayed her wares- with cards!

I just love this. Its clever, appealing, simple and very effective. Display options are often a second thought with many convention stands, and it pays to find something that is unique and appealing. Plus, I reckon this is also exceptionally cost efficient and makes a major impression in the mind of the customer, making me both take a look at first and remember her later!

Bunny’s Beads is also talented in what they make as well. From necklaces and bracelets to lockets and cufflinks, her stock is adaptable and enjoyable to browse.

I fell in love with her cameos, which range from standard portrait cameos of your favorite character to quotes from various movies and fandoms.

Although cameos and her display are what drew me to Bunny’s Beads, Rachael makes lots of unique jewellery pieces, so you can pick up your own Awesome Mix. Vol. 1 or a number of other cool pieces if you browser her catalogue.

Bunny’s Beads can be found on Etsy and Facebook.

~ eliste

Sunday Funday with Laura!

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Hello all and welcome to the very first installment of the Sunday blog with me, Laura! In this first post, a bit about me: I am a very enthusiastic lifelong geek that also has a penchant for creating things. I come from a long line of crafters/makers and was continually surrounded by handmade objects while growing up. Because of this, I have great respect for the time and effort that goes into making items from “scratch”. Like the lovely sloth hat that I very happily purchased from Dani Cat Designs¬†(who was featured yesterday), I enjoy patronizing crafter booths at various conventions and fairs.

Sloth Hat Close-up

It’s very warm, soft, and those hand mitts can double as extra pockets!

My crafting/making experience runs the gamut. I stitch (embroidery/cross stitch), I bead (jewelry and Perlers), I crochet (this is relatively new), I sew, I bake, I paint…the list goes on! Most of my art contains some kind of geeky flair, as you can see.

An entry to a monthly challenge at Sprite Stitch. A tribute to Green Arrow and Hawkeye earrings that were made for a friend. Staypuft cookie

I especially love combining mediums.

Cross stitch and jewelry, who knew?!

Cross stitch and jewelry, who knew?!

This, my entry into the blog-o-sphere, all stems from a wonderful bit of luck and circumstance. A few years ago while working on a design for a Perler bead project, I stumbled across a website called Sprite Stitch and found a whole community of like-minded geek crafters. On that wonderful site, I met Toni the Quilt Wizard and instantaneously fell in love with her designs but more importantly, her business drive. When she founded Craft Hackers, I jumped on the convention bandwagon and volunteered to be a booth assistant. BEST DECISION EVER. Because of the inspiration I find on this site and on the road with the Hackers, my craft scope has widened and deepened. I hope to be able to do the same for others in the future.

See you next Sunday and stay crafty!



Meet the Hackers: Anime Next

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This weekend is Anime Next and one of our newer members Geek Mythology Crafts is going to be there!  If you have been to any Anime or Video game convention in the Pennsylvania/MD/New York area you may have seen some of their fantastic perler bead creations.


This weekend they will have something very special for you though, the opportunity to commission a specialty sprite just for you!  Would you like your own avatar to be used on line, have a special occasion and want something pixelated, or just want something cool in pixel form they can do it for you.  They can be found at Booth 6.


Want your own pixelated creation but not going to AnimeNext?  They can still make one for you.  You can contact them through their commission order form.  If you are going to AnimeNext, have a great time!


Perler Wall Art

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While I typically see perler beads used for small things like magnets & keychains, occasionally I will find the ones that make massive yard/meter long pieces. While I’ve always assumed these piece aren’t meant to be displayed on the wall, I’ll admit that I’ve never been quite sure what the best way to go about that would be. Thankfully, one artist I’ve come across recently has solved this dilemma with her lovely custom framed pieces that she makes instead.

Jack Skellington Headshot by Amber Lynn

Amber Lynn uses perler, hama and nabbi beads to get the best possible color gradients with her work; something you can easily see with all the grey in the Jack Skellington Piece above. What I love more then that though is her ability to properly frame and display her finished pieces instead of always leaving them as is. Her thought to the background design is just as important as the beads themselves in someways, with my favorite piece being the Metroid one she designed.

I’m not sure if she runs the convention circuit, but if she does I would love to see her work in person one day. Until then the majority of her custom and finished pieces can be found in her deviantart gallery. Definitely worth a look through if you enjoy video game art. ūüôā


Looking for Beads?

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Are you working on a project right now where you need beads and have no idea where to get them? ¬†It could be for knitting or cross-stitching or something completely different. ¬†You’ve been to a couple general craft stores and haven’t found anything quite right. ¬†Well, I’ve found it! ¬†The haven of beads! ¬†BeadFX is where you want to go! ¬†I spent an absurd amount of time last night searching this site and buying 33, count them 33, packs of beads!! ¬†What I’m going to do with them all still remains to be seen!

They have an excellent online store but also a retail store!  The prices are amazing, the shipping very reasonable, and quality is great!

Their products range from beads of all kinds Рseedbeads, Swarovski crystal, metal, stones, pearls and more Рto tools, leather and other supplies!  Everything you need to get that project completed or start a new hobby altogether!

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BeadFX also offers classes!  Or you can also arrange for a private class.  For January, some of the classes they offer include making a double-sided tennis bracelet, a medallion pendant, or bead weaving on a loom.  Something I would definitely be interested in trying.

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More information on BeadFX can be found on their blog or Facebook page. ¬†And remember that when 2 hours passes and you’re still looking at different beads, that it’s okay and there are other people right there with you!

– Lindsay