DIY: Light Up Halloween Tree

Posted on

Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I came across this lovely DIY that is amazingly versatile since you can apply the same techniques to different holidays. All you need to do is use different colours and accents. Since Halloween is coming up soon though, it’s going to be a Halloween one, because it’s a holiday I love. I didn’t make this up myself, so you can find the full and original tutorial here.

You’ll need some materials, but they can be found at craft stores or hardware stores. If you make these a little closer to the holiday, you can often find the seasonal stuff on sale. You will need a 54″ tomato cage (lots of hardware stores sell them year round, but if not in your area, you could always order one) and you could do it any size for your space with a tutorial for making one from a larger cage here, but we will do this larger size for outdoor. You will also need 10-15 zip ties, 2 sets of 100 christmas lights (white works well with any colour ribbon, but keep in mind, if you can find other colours, purple or green would look just amazing), 5 rolls of mesh ribbon, 100 black pipe cleaners and extra seasonal decorations of your choice (like spiders, witches hats, sparkly pumpkins…)

If you’re going to be putting your tree into some soil, in a pot or on the ground, you can cut the widest ring off the cage so you can create stakes to hold them in place.You could also skip this step and have it sit on a flat surface, though you might need some extra ribbon.

Use a zip tie to attach together the top of the tree (the bottom of the cage) to create a tip that comes together.

 

Start adding lights and loop them around and around, using the zip ties to secure them every so often when they get droopy. You’re now ready to cut your ribbon.

 

You can use scissors. But if you have a rotary cutter, you can go for that too. Cut them at 10″ each so if you have 10″ wide ribbon, you’ll end up with 10″ squares.

Attach one pipe cleaner to the cage.

 

Accordion fold two pieces of mesh and hold them side by side.

This photos is with the two sets of two (so there’s 4 accordion folded pieces of mesh)

Twist them in the pipe cleaner. Repeat this at least twice per pipe cleaner, and keep adding the mesh until the tree is covered. You can clip any ends of pipe cleaners if they are a little long, but save them so you can use them to attach the decor.

Attach your little seasonal decorations to the pipe cleaners (or add in any extras you might want to). This tutorial writer even added witches legs, that would be super easy to do and super cute coming out of the bottom of a planter pot.

It just looks so good with the lights, it’s unbelievable!

 

And you’re done. And  you’re fabulous. And the best part is that after this tutorial you have a beautiful Halloween tree that’s covered in sparkly decorations and lights up when you plug it in.

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 


DIY: Vintage Light Fixture Revamp

Posted on

Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

I found a DIY that looks much more complicated than it is, and it is a great way to bring vintage into your home  – or your apartment. The best part is, is that it uses the base of light fixtures that I see in almost every apartment that I’ve been in, and they’re in my apartment right now.

You can find the original tutorial here on A Beautiful Mess, and you really can do any colour you prefer, given that you can use spray paint to either match the pieces to each other or do do it in another colour entirely. You do need some supplies and tools, though. You’ll need a sunburst mirror frame, like this one. You can use any mirror frame as long as it’s easy to remove the mirror so you can use the base. You’ll need a ceiling flush mount light small enough to sit inside your mirror frame, like this one. You will also need gold (or your choice of colour) spray paint, painter’s tape as well as screws and a drill.

As always, we recommend safety first, so since we’re getting into working with light fixtures, you can do this project together with an electrician or a friend with experience, or you can use this guide to help guide your experience. Please make sure that your power is off whenever you’re working on a light fixture. We don’t want any mishaps.

So, depending on what method you choose, you may need to remove the existing light fixture. Since this tutorial uses a light that is a few inches smaller than the mirror frame, paint was added to the ceiling area that would be showing in between the fixture and the mirror. All you need to do is place each fixture where it will go, trace around them and tape off the area that you’re not painting. If you’re worried about using spray paint and the fact that it is airborne and can go anywhere, you can use a liquid paint and brush. Remove the tape when dry (see above).

Using the same paint, paint the base of the light fixture. Just make sure to tape off the back so that there’s no electrical parts that get painted. Add your light bulb and globe shade.

On the mirror frame, you can bend back any tabs that hold the mirror in place and remove the mirror and any backing material from the middle. Just give this frame a coat of the same paint that you used for the rest of the project so that it looks like one unit and there’s no odd colour difference. You can just use 4 screws and wedge them between the spokes of the frame to hold it in place.

When your light fixture is secure, you’re done! It looks fabulous in the gold, but if you’re going for a different kind of retro vibe, you could use a beautiful teal spray paint, or copper. Whatever colour suits your mood and decor!

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Hand Felted Stone Rugs

Posted on

We’re bringing the outdoors indoors today with some really awesome looking handmade rugs. 😀

Crafted and sold by Etsy shop flussdesign, these rock rugs start at around $160, but the one pictured above costs $940. They come in all sorts of colors options too. So, yeah, if you’re low on cash now might be a good time to learn how to make felt stones, lol. I’ve never hand felted before, but I do know it’s very time consuming work so you’d better be prepared for that.

Maria Schuhman is the artisan behind these beauties and she also makes matching pillows, baskets, and loose decoration rocks! Her work is really well done, and i could see this rug working well with a crochet grass style rug to really bring your outdoor love into the clean dirt free space of your home. All of her felt stones are super soft and made from 100% wool so do be aware of any allergies you may have before falling in love. 😉


Spring Quilt Market

Posted on

Today is the start of Spring Quilt Market!  What is Quilt Market?

It is a credentialed quilt trade show.  This means you need to be a quilt shop owner or industry professional (professional quilter, teacher, designer, or publisher).  The fabric manufacturers, wholesalers, and companies that we want to see will all be there.  This is the show where we get to see everything new coming out!  I have seen a few previews and am SUPER excited about the new fabrics I will be able to get.

I am also super excited to see new products from some of my favorite Companies, Arrow and Sew Steady.  They have both agreed to give away products!

I will be giving another chair away from Arrow!

If you watch my Twitch live stream, you know how much I LOVE my Arrow sewing chair.  It is comfortable the wheels are amazing.  you really want one of these for yourself.

Another super special giveaway will be from Sew Steady.  We will be giving away their Ruler Work Kit.

I will be holding the giveaways today and tomorrow as well as live streaming, sharing photos, and maybe an interview or two!  Make sure you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see all of the goodies.  I won’t be picking winners until Monday so make sure you find the giveaway videos on my Facebook page, watch the video, and comment to win!

-Toni


DIY: Wine Bottle Chandelier

Posted on

Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!
I have for you a super cool tutorial that is relatively easy but still will take some time and some tools. The end result is super cool, and there are a number of different ways that you can do something like this.

There’s a number of different styles, and a number of different complexities in doing the electrical wiring for this. I thought this one was super cool. To do this you will need wine bottles – these ones were clear and then painted for colour, but you can absolutely do regular wine bottles if you like the green/brown hues.  If you’re liking the look of this (the original can be found here at Mod Podge Rocks Blog), and others like this tutorial, you might need this previous post on how to cut bottles safely. Make sure you follow the steps to sand down the edges, and if you would like to take any labels off, now would be the time.

This tutorial uses Mod Podge sheer colours, but there are methods to make the colours yourself with just one jar of Mod Podge (see if you can find a sheer one) and food colouring. You can find my tutorial for the ratios and the how to on the colour here (including how to set it). Use whichever you have the time and comfort level for. You’ll need the basics of the world of crafting, so craft paper/wax paper or a non stick craft mat, a craft knife, and you will also need the pendant light hardware kits which you should be able to find easily at any hardware store, or at an online retailer like Amazon.

Whether  you make your own colours or buy pre tinted Mod Podge, your first step is to get the inside of your bottles covered. You can do this by adding a generous amount of glue/colour to the inside of the bottle and swirling it around inside until it is covered. Try to get as far up the neck as possible so you get consistent colour all the way up. Do this to each bottle. Whether you use the same, themed or different colours is up to you. If you’re making your own colours, remember that you can change your one batch of colour just by adding other colours of food colouring to change the tints. You’ll either need to follow the directions in the previously mentioned tutorial for baking the wine bottles, or you will need to let them dry overnight (sitting on the mouth of the bottle to get maxiumum air flow) After they’re dry, if you want to add any stencils or glitter, now is the time.

The original poster used a light fixture like this. They didn’t use the switch on the cord, and cut the cord before that point since they manually are wiring everything together.

The wiring was cut about 2 feet from the bulb socket base, but you can do them longer or shorter based on the needs of your space. If there is a switch on your fixture, you can cut below it if you aren’t using it. Above if you would like to keep it.

Run the cut end of the cord up through the neck of the bottle so that the bulb socket fits nicely in the taper.

Expose the ends of each of the wires using your wire cutters to peel away the plastic coating (there will be 12 wires, hot and a neutral for each lamp or 18 if the kit is wired for a ground). This tutorial used a room that already had a simple ceiling fixture on a wall switch. This made it easy to take down and I just used the existing junction box and cover plate from the old light to mount my wine bottle chandelier. With the wall switch OFF (throw the service breaker for extra safety) take down the old ceiling light and find the white (neutral), black (hot), and green (ground) wires. Pull them down out of the box and make sure you have enough room to go back with the new wire bundle you’re going to create.

Next, combine all the neutral wires from the lamp kits together into one pigtail. Do the same for the hot and the ground if present. Use some electrical tape to help hold them all together while you get ready to connect them to the junction box. Using an appropriately sized wire nut, connect the white pigtail of the lamp kit to the white (neutral) wire from the ceiling. DO the same with the Black (hot) and ground (green, if present). Carefully push the wires up into the junction box and allow the weight of the lamps to be carried by the bundled lamp cords over the junction box support bar.

Slide the fixture cover you used from the old light up into place to cover everything.

You should be able to flip your switches and bring light! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and remember to work safely with any electricity!

Happy crafting.

~Megan


DIY: Rustic Magnetic Knife Rack

Posted on

Hello Thursday Readers,

Here’s a nifty little tutorial I found for something I’ve always had a soft spot for: a magnetic knife rack. Now of course, if you’re going to do this tutorial, you’ll need to ensure safety first, so when choosing a place to mount this beauty, you will need to make sure that it is out of the reach of any little hands, and not in any danger of being knocked off accidentally. The original tutorial for this was posted here, if you’d like to visit the source.

You will, of course, need some tools and materials. You’ll need a wood board 15 inches by 3.5 inches. You can reclaim wood, or even use driftwood. You can pick it up at the hardware store, sand and stain it yourself. It all depends on how you want it to look. You’ll also need some sandpaper, a tape measure, trigger clamps (these are optional) a power drill with a 1 inch round Forstner bit, 1 inch round ceramic magnets (54 of them), some gel adhesive, a 5/32 drill bit, and 2.5 inch wall mounting screws (two of them).

Your fist step is to measure and cut the board to your desired size. For this particular tutorial though, it was made to be 15 inches long. If you’re buying wood at a hardware store, they will generally cut wood to your preferred size for no extra cost. You will need to clean and sand the board to your desired finished. As I said, if you want to apply stain and sealer, now is the time. Decide which side of the board you’d like to display and then turn it over to measure the back where you will be inlaying the magnets.

Allow one inch on each end of the board for drilling the wall screws into and then mark two straight lines 2.5 inches apart. This will help you line up your two rows of magnets. On each of the lines, mark nine points that are 1.5 inches apart, and you’re ready to drill. Your goal is to have two central rows of nine holes that measure half an inch apart.

It is now time to make the holes so you can inlay your magnets. Use your Forstner drill bit, which will drill a solid round well into the wood. The key to having a good, strong magnetic hold is to get the magnet as close to the front of the wood as possible, so you want to drill as far as you can without drilling through the surface. You might want to practice this a couple times before you begin for realsies, and when you find the right depth for the drill, you can put a piece of painter’s tape on your drill to mark where you should stop. This will take the guesswork out of your drilling.

You can use trigger clamps to hold the wood in place to allow for more overall control during this step. Then you can drill your 18 holes (two rows of nine) as close to the surface as possible, leaving about 1/8 inch of wood where the magnets will sit.

Now is the time if you’d like to have starter holes for your screws in the sides. Measure and drill a starter so you don’t have to guess where the screw will be going.  So for the strongest hold, stack three 1 inch round ceramic magnets together. Use your adhesive to glue your magnets to the back of the board. It isn’t necessary to glue the magnets to each other… they’ll stick to themselves.

Use your wall mounting screws to mount the rack in place on your wall, and then you’re ready to display all your wonderful knives!

 

I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial. I thought it was really neat, and such a cool way to display some pretty amazing sliceware.

Happy Crafting!

~ Megan


DIY Pom Pom Rug

Posted on

Got a nice simple project today with spring break coming up for many. It’s a super cute and easy DIY rug that would work great in the kitchen, kid’s room, or heck even a dorm room.

Here’s your materials list:

  • 4-6 yarn balls (thick or ultra thick)
  • Large container lid, chair back or other household item to wrap yarn around
  • Scissors
  • Rug base canvas

And if you don’t like videos, you can find the full written out steps here on Hello Giggles. 😀


DIY: Stenciled Glass Tabletop

Posted on

Good morning Thursday readers!

I found something that’s super cool that I thought I should share with you, for anyone who has a table with a glass top inset who wants to spruce it up.  I am using this tutorial from Nomadic Decorator as a how to, and you can go to her website to check out the full tutorial for this and other really neat ideas.

Now that you’ve seen it, don’t you want to make it? You will need some tools and supplies for this project. Obviously, your clear glass surface (that has been cleaned with glass cleaner), a ruler, a stencil of your choice, stencil brushes and stencil cream paint. You can see the specifics of brand and paint colours in the original tutorial. There are paints that are designed for glass, though you can be a little less concerned about that if you are painting the underside of a table that won’t get bumped, scratched or cleaned. Which you use is up to you though.

With stenciling on glass, you need to paint your colours in reverse – so your background should be the last thing you paint. You will also want to make sure that your glass is clean so that dust, fingerprints or anything else won’t be forever painted onto the glass. So the first step is to do any foreground detail you would like first, and this blogger did copper specks all over, so she did that first by flicking a brush with paint on it to get a very fine spray.

The next step is to use the ruler to find the centre of the table, and put the centre of your stencil there. After your stencil is where it should be you can use one paint colour or a combination of hues to paint your design. Just remember to use your stencil brush properly, so rather than brushing in strokes, you will be tapping the brush up and down onto the stencil, so that the paint doesn’t run, or move the stencil or have a harsh blending of colours. This will almost be like painting with a sponge. Remember that you can have the paint be as thick or thin as you choose, and this technique will allow for a smooth transition between multiple colours. This tutorial mixes 3 different metallic shades, but use whichever colours speak to your soul. Just make sure your design paint is thick enough that you won’t see your background colour through it. You might need a couple of layers for this.

Your last step is to remove the stencil and use your background colour to paint over the entire stencil, making sure to get to all the edges. Again, you might want to do this in a couple coats to make sure that you get good coverage. You can also use a bigger stencil brush to speed the process along.

Though I can’t take credit for it, I thought that this was just a beautiful way to give new life to old pieces of furniture, and gives an option to those who are shopping through second hand and vintage stores a new idea for how to turn a regular coffee table (or something larger…) into something with a definite wow factor.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


Retro Video Game Shadow Boxes

Posted on

My husband and I have started a collection of the games we grew up on (NES and SNES mostly), but this person blows our simple little plastic cases out of the water.

Designed and made by Glitch Artwork, these shadow boxes give a bit of art and style to your gaming collection. They layouts are well thought out and visually appealing; so much so that the gaming cart isn’t the first thing to grab you. Quite a feat when it takes up about 1/4 of the space.

If you’ve got your own collection, or maybe a few favorite games you’d like to keep, I’d recommend giving their shop a look. The frames range from $35-75 and are definitely a way to class up your home, while still showing your gaming love. 🙂


New Studio!

Posted on

My studio is finally finished!

It took a lot of hard work, but I am ready to start live streaming and record tutorials!  Here are some of the pictures of the studio in progress.

I was super excited to unbox my new Olivia Sewing Cabinet by Arrow.

The sewing area is a lot wider than the Ikea table I used before allowing me to work on larger quilts.  The extension table on the back prevents quilts from hanging off and adding weight and pressure to the machine/  The new chair is very comfortable and give me a perfect height to use my machine.

The other new additions are my two Mod Thread Cabinets.

They hold all of my thread and I still have room for more!  They are super easy to use and all I need to do is spin around, pull out the right rack, and choose a color.

The last addition is the lighting set up and cameras to record.

This will allow you to see what I am doing without any shadows.  So where will I be streaming?  On Twitch!  Twitch is the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers, video game culture, and the creative arts.  As a video game and comic book quilter, I think it is a perfect fit.

Follow my Twitch channel and then watch when I sew!  My streaming schedule can be found here.   My backers on my Patreon page will have input on when they would like to see me and what they would like to see.  Streaming starts next week!

Now to get sewing.