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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DIY Dye Jobs – Clothing or material

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Hello again, fellow Hackers of Crafts. Scribe Sarah here with some helpful tips I came across whilst attempting to fix a portion of a Renaissance-y cosplay I wear yearly. You’ll be seeing more of me as I will be posting every Monday here on the Craft Hackers blog.

We’ve all been there. You search and search and search for just the right article of clothing or a specific shade of fabric. But alas, your efforts are for naught. You have either too specific an idea in your head that you can’t find that perfect item to match or you run short of time and money and must make do with what you can get. The latter happened to me last year for the Bristol Renaissance Festival. I had spent months putting together the perfect cosplay and it came down to one last item. All I needed was a pair of leggings. I had put this off to the last thinking that finding a pair of either olive or chocolate leggings would be the easiest thing in the world. Leggings are all the rage right now, right? Well, apparently, I was wrong and the best I could find on short notice was tan leggings. They worked.  But I got multiple comments about how it looked like I wasn’t wearing any pants (which is true).

A friend first suggested, then my sister seconded that I just dye the pair I had to a darker brown. I had put it off, thinking that I had a whole year to try and find a better pair. Guess what? Life happened. I got busy, I forgot about it, I got even busier…you all know how this goes. We all experience it. So here we are, a year later and I’m going to Ren Faire next weekend. I never found a better pair of leggings. So I thought, “I’ll try this dying thing…”

I have never dyed cloth before. I have watched other people do it but I was nervous. What if I messed it up and ruined my one pair of leggings? Then I really WOULD have to go pantless! So I thought that I would document my little DIY journey for others, just in case you find yourself needing to break out the RIT.

The first thing you need to do is look at the type of material you want/need to dye. My leggings were a bit more difficult because they are 85% polyester. Most regular dyes don’t work as well on blends or synthetic fabrics. I went to Joann Fabrics and diligently perused the dye selection. There were the regular RIT dyes and then a couple specifically designed for synthetics and blends. I opted for the one to the right because the color was closest to what I had envisioned.

 

Now, the first hiccup I came across with this process is make sure that you read the packaging BEFORE you purchase the product and get it all the way home and start your dying process. This particular dye required boiling. That’s right, I basically had to boil my pants in dye. It was a learning experience. However, it ended up being a fun process and not nearly as difficult as I first anticipated.

Tip number two: Read ALL the instructions before you start. I was a tiny bit anal-retentive due to fear I’d ruin my clothing so I read them three times before starting and then also constantly referred to them as I proceeded. But I cannot stress enough how much easier everything was knowing what steps I had to take and when. Follow the directions and you’ll do just fine.

Tip number three: make sure you have rubber gloves to wear during this process. I used kitchen dish gloves because they come up the arm further and protect more of your skin. I also highly recommend either having an old apron to wear as you work or make sure the clothes you have on are ones you don’t care about. As I stirred and shifted the leggings around in the pot, sometimes they would slip off the spoon and *plop* back into the hot water, making little splashes of chocolate brown water.

The dishes you chose to use should be ones that you are never going to use with food again. My old spaghetti pot will never be the same, sadly. But it was the only thing I had that was big enough for the leggings. The spoon wasn’t as big a deal but truly, make sure the tools you have at your disposal match your needs. This was my second hiccup, sort of in correlation with my first (had I paid attention to the fact this needed to be boiled, I would have gotten the other dye that you can use in warm water in a stainless steel sink).

During disposal of the dye (which is septic and safe to pour down the drain), either pour it down the stainless steel sink (or a utility sink, should you have one) or resign yourself to immediately scrubbing your tub with Ajax or a bleach cleaner. My third mistake; I thought, “oh, I’ll dump it down the tub drain so I won’t splash up on the kitchen counter!” Not my best idea ever. Half the tub looked like I hadn’t ever cleaned it. So I had to immediately take care of that before the permanent dye set in. In related news, Ajax really is a great cleaner! Not as good as Francis, but….

All in all, the process wasn’t hard or time-consuming, as long as you prepare fully beforehand. It is possible to have that perfect colored fabric or clothing item and it won’t cost you a fortune! Now that I’ve done it once, I feel like it would be fun to experiment with designs and maybe even mixing my own custom colors. Uh oh, I think I have a new hobby….Couldn’t you just DYE?


Little Petal

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Two years ago I talked about Little Petal and how impressed I was with their dresses.  

They are here again at Awesome Con so I have finally broken down and bought one of my very own.  I chose the Amazon Warrior dress to go with my Amazon Warrior quilt.  The best part is the dresses are convertible!

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These are just a few of the ways you can wear the dress.  To see them all, take a look at the listing on their site.

In addition to making amazing dresses that embrace a body positive image, Little Petal also raises money for great causes.

For the month of May they raised money for Planned Parenthood and last night they held an amazing Awesome Con after party with the proceeds benefiting To Write Love On Her Arms- a nonprofit for those who need help with addiction, depression, and suicidal ideation.

Empowering women and raising money for good causes?  This is definitely a company we can get behind and support.  If you would like to support Little Petal as well, visit their Little Petal website here, their Facebook here, their Instagram here, and their Tumblr here.

-Toni

 


Adding whimsy to cosplay

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Happy Wednesday! I am here in Chicago this week, prepping and waiting for C2E2 to start. If you are attending the show, I can be found in Booth 273, along with Blacky Cat Creations. My friend and I have been checking out some local museums, landmarks and amazing food. I love to cosplay when I vend at shows. Even though I work with polymer clay, sometimes I see accessories I love but someone else makes really well.

Prism Moon Designs on Etsy makes amazing horns, antlers, antennae, and alien pieces.

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Beautifully crafted with amazing detail, her work shines brightly in a sea of clay. Her prices are reasonable, and she does take custom orders.

 

Her work can be found here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/prismmoon


Indiana ComicCon is coming up!

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Good day and happy Wednesday! This is Kim with Fantastical Menagerie. This week I’ve been on supersonic prep for two shows I have coming up. This is my second year at both events, and they are two of my favorite ones!

This weekend you can find me at Indiana ComicCon, which is April 14-16. They are featuring some amazing guests, including Val Kilmer, Cary Elwes, Nichelle Nichols and Jewel Staite. More details of the show can be found here.

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Custom Felt Witch Hats

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I know it’s not the ~typical~ season for it, but too bad cause these things look awesome!

This is just one example of a custom designed felted witch hat made by etsy shop owner HandiCraftKate. You can customize each of the main 3 parts (brim, colors, and end curl direction) to suit your needs. Wanna be a rainbow witch? Done. How about a frosty Ice Witch? Done. Or perhaps you’re less witch and more Pixie or Druid? She even makes custom woodland inspired things like these lovely fox and deer hoods.

All her hats are handblocked from 100% wool, and will keep you warm and looking cool come this fall. Her items are on the higher scale ($200+) for cost, but you’re getting a wonderful and unique piece that will certainly last. I highly recommend giving her shop a look through.


DIY Zelda Shekiah Slate

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With less then a month until the release I just cannot contain my excitement for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 😀 So, in case any of you out there feel the same (or just wanna make a really great cosplay prop), today I’d like to share a great step by step DIY video for how to make your own Shekiah Slate.

You will need several supplies to make this excellent looking prop, including:

-EVA Foam
– Hot Glue Gun + Hot Glue Sticks
-Acrylic Paint (Orange, Black, Blue)
-Spray Paint (Gold, Brown)
-Scissors
-Xacto Style Knife
-Clear Plastic Tube
-Sand Paper
-Wood Filling Paste
-Tiny LED Lights
-Wire Cutters
-Electrical Tape
-Plastic Sheet

There are a few more tools you could get to help you make it easier, but as you can see by the materials list, this project is gonna take some time to make. Worth it though for the awesome prop piece you’ll have by the end. ^_^


Cosplay Crafting: Breath of the Wild Bow

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Yes, yes, I’m a sucker for any and all things Breath of the Wild right now. My excitement for this game is probably the highest it’s been for any game in at least the last decade. So, I wanna share with you other fans and cosplayers a fantastic tutorial that had been created for making your own Breath of the Wild style bow!

Made and designed by , this is one excellent tutorial on making Link’s bow as well as custom fantasy bows in general. The base bow they got was from Amazon and is not practical for hunting/shooting, but great for cosplay. Obviously metalic paint was used, but you’ll need to get your hands on craft foam (a cosplayer’s best friend) to make the added on guards at the very least. You’ll find the whole detail process here, and I highly recommend it if you were thinking about adding a new costume to your closet this year. 😉


A Demon of a Good Time

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Hello Sunday readers!

This week we are at MAGfest! The Music and Gaming Festival that takes place at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, MD is one of our favorite events of the year. It includes non-stop gaming, fabulous music, and wonderful geeky camaraderie. Every year has a different theme and this year’s is Castlevania so I figured we could take a look at some cool, appropriately themed crafts.

Many of the results of my search ended up on fuse bead art, which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a rather large fuse bead color stash.

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

You can find the tutorial for this one at Cut Out and Keep!

But I like to mix things up a bit and my first craft of choice has always been stitching. Hence, my love for this Castlevania stitched coaster from the Sprite Stitch Forums:

I haven't tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it's time to give it a whirl.

I haven’t tried my hand at needlepoint in quite a while so maybe it’s time to give it a whirl.

Or, for the more ambitious, this Pixel Hobby Dracula by Deviant Art user EveningEmma is super amazing:

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

That took a lot of dedication and patience!

Or if you are into the cosplay scene, this combat cross prop made by Deviant Art user weaselhammer would complete any Belmont clan costume:

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

To smite the shiny demons and vamps!

I have a lot to work to do if I am to build up my collection of evil-bashing art, so I guess I better get onto it.

Stay crafty!

Laura


Closet Cosplay 2: Leia

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Its Rogue One premiere day here in Ireland! Like last year, I’m out to it in a casual costume. Last year I went as Han, which turned out to make the evening a heck of a lot more heart-wrenching, so I chose a character who I was fairly confident would not die in this movie, Leia. So here are some closet outfit suggestions from me to you in case you want to represent Her Highness on your way to the cinema.

The classic and easy option is her senatorial gown that she spends most of her time in early on.

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All white dress, white shoes, and a silver belt and you will definitely be giving a nod to the original trilogy’s heroine, especially if you add the classic Leia buns. But I’m more interested in another, warmer option out there- that of her Hoth outfit.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-11-33-31 White shirt and pants with an off-white fuzzy “Wampa” furred vest and grey boots and you’re done! The hairstyle for this will be a bit more difficult, with the long braid around the head, but this will keep me much warmer as I venture out into the rain that has finally come to Dublin.

Rogue One is looking like it will be amazing. Have a happy Star Wars week ya’ll!

~ eliste