DIY: Antique Flatware Rings

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Good morning, Thursday Crafthackers.

I have to say, I have always loved flatware rings. Whether it’s spoons or forks. There’s one catch though: they need to be silver. Which means you can check out your local antique stores or you can order them on Ebay. I’m using this tutorial from Kristen Danielle Designs as my reference.

So, you do need some specialty tools, but this is also a specialty DIY. You of course will need a sterling silver spoon or fork. A metal cutter, hacksaw or jewelry saw, file or sandpaper – coarse and fine, a dowel or ring mandrel, a paper and pen, a hammer or mallet (optional) and a butane torch (also optional but good for creme brule also). You’ll also have to decide what type of ring you want to make. You can make one that wraps up your finger, like so:

Or you can make one that wraps around itself, like so:

You can make whatever you like, you just need to make the wrap ring (the top image) a little longer.

When you’ve picked out which ring you want to make, pick out your cutlery and make sure it’s sterling silver – it will be stamped on the back of the spoon (900 or 925).

Next, measure your finger. You can do this by cutting a strip of paper and cutting it to measure or marking the overlap. If you’re doing a wrap ring, add an extra 1/4 inch for the overlap. If it’s the other type, you can just wrap it on itself.

For the next step you’ll need your saw or cutter. If you’re making a wrap ring, you’re going to want to cut the handle at the length you measured. The other ring, you can cut it just below the bowl of the spoon. File/sand the cut tend with a metal file or coarse grit sandpaper, and work your way down to fine grit sandpaper to get it super smooth so you don’t cut yourself or others.

Your next step is to bed the spoon. You can bend it around a dowel using the force of your muscles, you can hammer it around the dowel, or you can heat it with a butane torch before you bend. I would test which method works best for you.

If you are going to use a hammer, to avoid scratches, wrap the head of the hammer in a folded dishtowel. If you torch it, you’ll need to heat it for a little while, but don’t let it start glowing orange, that’s bad. The last step is to buff or polish the ring to get it to shine.

And voila, you have rings that you can give as gifts, or sell if you’re so inclined. Have fun!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Teacup Makeup Stand

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Hello Thursday readers.

I found something I thought was rather lovely, and I thought I’d share it with you. At first glance it’s really cool. But on top of that, it’s actually pretty useful for the intended purpose, which is even better. You will need some supplies and tools and a little technical know how: A plate, bowl and cup (it’s really nice if they match, and you can totally find some on the cheap at second hand and vintage stores), a threaded rod for lamps with nuts, 1/2″ (hole) washers, 1/2″ diamond drill bit and drill, spray primer and paint, a drawer knob and 8-32 machine screw for the drawer knob. You can find the original post here from Design by Studio C, if you’d like to check back for reference or check for some other awesome posts.

Your first step is to mark the position of the holes to be drilled into the pieces. You can find the original poster’s video on how to do this here. Using the diamond bit, drill holes and then set the dinnerware to the side. Keep in mind, if you want to add any decor, such as decals or any paint, or you want to decorate the plates on your own, this is the time.

Determine the height of the organizer (and take into account any room needed to grasp the top to move the thing) and cut a length for the rod. You can use a metal primer to prime the metal bits (including the nuts, rod and washers) and you can spray paint them a particular colour, if you so choose.

 

Thread a nut onto the rod and leave it as close to the bottom as possible. Add a washer and then the plate. Add another washer and then a nut to hold the plate securely in place.

Thread a third nut onto the rod and add another washer. Adjust the height for where you would like the bowl to sit. Leave a little room so you can get your hands underneath it to access anything that gets pushed closer to the middle. Add the bowl, another washer and a fourth nut to secure it in place.

Do the same with the cup.

Remember that so long as you’ve left enough height, you can adjust things at this point so that there’s enough space and every piece is at the height you’d like it to be.

Insert the machine screw in the bottom of the drawer knob, making sure the head of the screw will fit through the opening in the rod.

The last step is to glue the drawer knob to the top of the rod inside the cup so that it can be a functional handle. Voila! your project is complete. Super easy and makes a really beautiful gift.

Happy crafting!

 

~Megan

 

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Feature: 42 Nerdtastic Place

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Happy Monday, Hackers!

Today I want to tell you about a wonderful place you should all visit: 42 Nerdtastic Place.

Last month, I was working at a convention out in Schaumburg, IL for the television show, Gotham. It was a small show, it only had a few vendors but there was a new booth that I hadn’t seen before. I was intrigued. A friend of mine and I went over to check it out on Friday night during pre-registration and the young woman I spoke to was an absolute delight. She told me all about her products and that they are all handmade. I told her about my quest to become truly cruelty-free in my product usage and asked about that. She said that not only are her products cruelty-free, they are 100% vegan. What caught my eye was the comprehensive selection of lip balms she had out (and it wasn’t even all that she offers). I had found out that the balm/chapstick I had been using most of my adult life wasn’t something I was comfortable using anymore (short version: the company itself is cruelty-free but the parent company is not). So I had been looking for a balm to replace it and was finding it difficult. You don’t want to spend money on something like that only to discover you hate it and you have this whole tube of it you won’t use. So a lot of the online options I was finding, I was hesitant to purchase. But here, I had testers.

Long story slightly less long, I fell in LOVE with these balms. It was like smoothing silk onto my lips and the scents were unique but still heavenly-scented. The best part was that they are GEEKY. This woman taylors her recipes and products to a myriad of fandoms.

I walked away from that convention with four new lip balms (two of which were Gotham-themed).

Now, I want to share this fabulous person and her equally fabulous products with you all!

Amanda Mayer launched 42 Nerdtastic Place on Etsy in 2014, starting out with fandom-themed jewelry and coasters. But Amanda’s crafty mind didn’t just stop there. She branched out, wanting to provide a plethora of items for shoppers. She started making other items, like scented candles and melting waxes, lip balms, room sprays, etc in addition to original items like necklaces, bracelets, and bag clips. Her site’s About page states that they “wanted the feel to be of a place you would go to when shopping for your Hogwarts school list or a place you might go to cozy up to fellow enthusiasts.” Amanda and her crack team have accomplished this goal resoundingly!

42 Nerdtastic Place sells both online and maintains a presence at local fan conventions so you have different ways to purchase products. They are also always expanding. The Gotham blends, for example, were created specifically for the Gotham convention (though Amanda had been asked by shoppers in the past). And it doesn’t just stop with television and movie fandoms. There are products that feature animation (both American and Japanese), fantasy creatures, literature, even musicals (I personally need to try the Forgotten Spot in the Caribbean – Hamilton body spray).

42 Nerdtastic Place offers the following items: Bag clips, bracelets, necklaces, Hogwarts House combs, air fresheners, candles, hair care & grooming products (like Asgards’s Finest Beard Oil…You too can have the beard of a god!), lip balms and lip sheers, perfumes, and wax melts. They also have some lovely gift sets and they offer samples (not something you come across for online stores much, in my limited experience).

Amanda has also generously provided all our Craft Hacker readers a discount code for 15% off any regular priced items. Simply input code CRAFTHACKER15 to receive 15% off any of their regular priced items!

Hope you all enjoy as much as I do, Hackers! Be beautiful to each other.


Flower Crowns and Horns

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I know it’s become a big ~thing~ on the internet to give bad guys flower crowns but sometimes you just want your own real flower crown to feel pretty yourself. If that’s you then I’ve got a great shop to recommend.

Hand made in Europe by Katerina Metamorphose, these flower crowns are some of the best I’ve seen. Each flower is made by hand from varying textiles and can be custom tailored to fit your needs. Not into flower crowns and more of a laurels or leaf person, she’s got you covered! You can also find unique horn wreathes, antlers and Unicorn horns to accompany a wide variety of costume possibilities. Yes you’ll have some wait time if you live outside of the EU, but man is this quality worth it. I highly recommend giving her Etsy store a look thru if this at all strikes your fancy. 🙂


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


Tons of Tentacles

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’m not sure how much I have expressed my love of all things with tentacles. I am also not sure where this obsession started, save perhaps vague memories of the large octopus sculpture at the Shedd Aquarium. So I figured this week I would highlight some of the lovely pieces of cephalopod paraphernalia I’ve come across lately. First up being all of these wonderful clay pendants from Indolent Jellyfish:

The teeny pink dumbo octopus is soooooooooo cute! I also adore the sweet purple octo and the awesome vampire squid. The artist also has a plethora of very life-like nudibranchs, nautilus, cuttlefish, and (of course) jellyfish. I would like one of each, please. Up next, I wouldn’t mind giving our living room a bit of a bump with some gorgeous pyrography from Glenouther Crafts:

The patterning and shading really makes it!

Or perhaps if you or someone you love has a special occasion coming up (or maybe an important interview), consider one of these beautiful ties from one of my all time favorites, Cyberoptix:

It comes in the shade of your choice, of course.

Last but most definitely not least, I present a mug I’ve been lusting after ever since they made their debut…tentacle mugs from Dryad Pottery:

I love the blue ones best.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tentacle-y romp this Sunday, next week will be a perfect time to start thinking about fall décor (yes, I can’t believe it’s that time, either).

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Hand-Knitted Ear Warmer/Headband

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The days and nights are getting chillier. Fall is just around the corner. And beyond that…winter is coming… (Sorry, had to make *some* mention of the Game of Thrones finale).

For the knitters out in our little crafting world, I wanted to pass along this very simple pattern that I came across on the interwebs. I have adapted this a bit to custom to varying head sizes. This pattern works best with chunky soft yarn. I prefer the Lions Brand Hometown USA. Whichever yarn you use, make sure that it has a little give because you will want the headband to stretch.

You’ll want to have US size 10 needles and a pair of scissors and a yarn needle handy as well. You will need two different color yarns; one will be what you knit the band out of and the other will be your accent color to finish the warmer. If you want to dress up your headband, you can also have a plastic or fabric flower handy or some felt shapes cut out to be stitched to the band. This is also a slightly more difficult pattern in that it uses the seed (or moss) stitch. This requires knowledge of the knit stitch and the purl stitch.

First thing to do is the make sure you’re spotted. I like to have a knitting buddy for this.

Just make sure your buddy doesn’t try to play with the yarn. *wink*

Cast on 10 stitches. On row 1, start with one knit stitch, then purl. Repeat this to the end of the row.

Row 2: *p1, k1; rep from * to end of row.

All odd numbered rows will start with a knit stitch; all even numbered rows will start with a purl stitch. I highly recommend using a stitch counter to track your progress. You can lose track of which stitch you need to start on very easily if you’re not paying attention. Your seed stitch should look like this.

Continue this pattern for 70 rows. You’ll want to keep your tension loose so that the headband will still have some stretch and give. If the tension is too tight, the headband will not fit. Once you get to row 70, bind off your work.

Then stitch the ends together to make a knitted circle. Then take the ends and tie around the ends to bunch the band in one spot.

 

Once that’s tied off, you will take your accent color and pull it through the center of the band. I usually have about 3 feet of yarn on each side, then wrap it around in a chunk. Once you have it fully bunched up and covered in your accent color, you will tie off the ends and snip it close. Then tuck the knot into the threads to hide it. Flip your band inside out and you are finished! You can decorate the band with anything you choose; buttons, flowers, whatever ideas you can think of.

This pattern can also be adjusted for head size by either increasing or decreasing the number of rows stitched. It can be completed in a couple hours and make great gifts!

(Note: you also may want to make sure your buddy doesn’t fall asleep on the job. LOL).

~Scribe Sarah~

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Etsy feature: gorgeous flower hats by FilcAlki

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Good. Opening and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. I’ve spent most of the last five weeks on the road going from show to show, and I’m finally on the way home for a few weeks of much needed rest.

Yesterday I felt in need of a pick me up. I wandered through Asheville, did some shopping, and ate at a few local little places with great food. I also browsed a bit through Etsy and debated getting myself a treat for my hard work. I stumbled upon an amazing shop with some gorgeous felted hats. The Shop is FilcAlki, and she is an artist based in Poland. Her work is vibrant, crisp and bright. She offers hats, gloves, and some felted scarves. It’s the hats that really shine to me.

Her flower hats are sassy and bold.

Also in love with these architectural gems.

I have worn felted hats with a great coat and scarf in winter, as an addition to a cosplay, or simply to celebrate the season. Reasonably priced, handmade and unique, I’ll be adding more of these to my personal collection!

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Couth and Nail: Unique Jewels.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have for you a jewelry designer who specializes in the unique and slightly macabre when it comes to jewelry. She had her work purchased for the tv show Winona Earp and creates some really interesting pieces to sell.

Skeleton key encased in quartz.

She started making interesting jewelry and trinkets out of leather and fabric for friends and family and then moved into making things out of metals, gemstones, wood and the remains of small insects and animals. All of her materials, however, are responsibly and ethically sourced and collected, and that means that her pieces are unique and that the same item may not be available at later dates.

I absolutely love the little touch of darkness to her work combined with the delicate flowers, the sparkle of gold leaf, or the shine of gemstone. It is such a beautiful and unique combination that you don’t see anywhere, and that will set her pieces apart from others.

A mink’s tooth set in a wristwatch – inspired by Victorian mourning jewelry.

She has so much to look at and she keeps producing all kinds of new things. You can peruse her wares available now at her Etsy shop, and you can also find photos and keep up to date with her latest creations on, Pintrest and on Facebook as well.

Check her out. There’s lots of stuff to look at from the dark to the light. Not only does she work with bones and small animals, but flowers as well.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Custom Fantasy Wedding Gowns

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It’s wedding season again, and this year I’ve got a really kick-ass designer to share with anyway of you getting married! Well…married next year though cause these beauties take time to make.

This stunning gown is just one of many design by Firefly Path Bridal. They’ve been making custom fantasy based wedding gowns and accessories for over 10 years and it shows. Every dress is custom made to fit the bride from the ground up and can be made to match just about any fantasy theme. Fairytale wedding? Boom! Beauty and the Beast dress.

Anime themed wedding? No problem! Check out this Tsubasa Chronicles inspired dress.

And then of course the one that drew me to this fabulous collection; Legend of Zelda based gown:

This is just barely scratching the surface of the collection of gowns Firefly Bridal has created. I wish I’d known about them 4-5 years ago cause hot damn, I would’ve been all over this for my own gown! If you’re interested in getting a design idea/quote you can reach them here. No location is too far either as they have no physical shop so all orders are done online and through the post. If you do live where their workshop is in LA, you can rent some of their gowns for photo shoots or events. 😀 If you’re just looking for some kick-ass accessories to go with your dress then you may find what you need over on their etsy page instead.