Easter Eggs, Dyed Naturally.

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I was thinking about the traditions we had when we were kids with dying eggs that were hidden for us in the morning by the Easter bunny. When I was a kid, we always used the little vinegar/food colouring pellets. In the last few years, I’ve done Ukranian egg dying, which was entirely different and special also (you can see the post about it here). Today, I found a tutorial for how to not only make your own dye from natural ingredients, but how to dye these eggs with reliefs of interesting leaves.

The original tutorial is from Cynthia Weber and can be found here for the full tutorial. The dyes are made from cabbage, onion and beets, and as you can see, the colours that they make are pretty darn awesome. To do this, boil separate pots of chopped up red cabbage, onion skins and chopped beets (covered with enough water that when you add eggs later they’ll be covered). Allow to boil for about twenty minutes and let them cool slightly. Add 4 tablespoons of vinegar to each pot.

 

While the pots boil, you can get your eggs ready. You will need nylons, twist ties or string, and some interesting pieces of foliage either from outside or from the herb garden. Use thin nylons for this, as if they are too thick, you won’t get enough of the dye to the egg to do it’s job. Cut the toes out a few inches to make a pocket (you can use the rest of the nylons, just cut pieces large enough to encircle your eggs). Place your interesting herb or flower into the nylon and lay the egg on top. Tie the nylon off so that the plant is held tightly against the egg.

When your eggs are ready, put them into the dye of your choice, and bring that pot back up to a slow boil and boil them for at least 20 minutes, though for more vibrant colours, you can let them sit in the bath for longer.

Pull your eggs out, remove the nylons and herbs, pat to dry and rub with oil. The cabbage dye makes a blue colour, and you can make two tone eggs by dying them first with the nylons and the foliage, then taking that out, taking the nylon and the greenery off, and letting it sit in the cabbage pot.

I love the natural colours, and I love the look of the leaves on the eggs. I hope you guys have a very nice holiday, and as always…

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

 

 

 


Salt Dough Easter Ornaments

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Hey there, Hackers!

As the Easter holiday comes upon us, I wanted to share with you one easy and homemade decoration you can use to spruce up your home for the festivities. Now I know that Michael’s and Joann Fabrics tend to have really awesome and beautiful decorations and that they are usually quite inexpensive. However, the downside to this is that everyone and their mother probably also goes to those same stores and buys all those same decorations. All the houses on the blocks become Stepford Easter houses. Wouldn’t you like to add a little unique flair to your abode? Here’s how you can!

Salt dough is a time-honored holiday decoration technique and is great if you have kids in the house. It’s like playing with playdoh! It’s also really easy and cheap to make. All you need is the items listed below:

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 water

Items Needed:

rolling pin

spatula

straw

Easter cookie cutters

parchment paper

baking sheets

Acrylic or spray paint

Paint pens (optional)

Directions:

Mix flour, salt and water in a bowl until it makes a dough. Kneading the dough helps to make it smoother so don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Once your dough is mixed thoroughly, you will want to roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick. Use your cookie cutters to cut out your ornaments. Using the straw, poke a hole near the top of your cut-outs (make sure it’s not too close to the top or it will break when you try to hang them later).

Cover your baking sheets with the parchment paper, lay out the cut-outs and bake at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. Once thoroughly baked, allow to fully dry and cool. Then you get to paint however you want! Make them colorful and vibrant or light and pastel. Or both! The sky’s the limit.

Once the paint has fully dried, you can use ribbon or twine to loop through the holes in the ornaments and hang around your home.

Happy Easter, all!


DIY: Easy Easter Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a beautiful little tutorial for you to make an Easter/spring time wreath. The best part is this wreath reuses plastic egg containers that you find all over this time of year for toys, chocolates, and such. So make sure you’re hanging onto the ones that you get, or you can also find plastic eggs in craft stores also.

The original post for this tutorial can be found here, and what you’ll need for this project is relatively simple and easy to find (at your local craft shop). You will need a Styrofoam wreath form, pink (or your choice of colour) streamer paper, and a selection of small, synthetic flowers that match your eggs,  plastic Easter eggs – this tutorial used a package of pink eggs that were purchased from a store, but you can  use any colour you like, decorate your own plastic eggs, or reuse ones that you have laying around from this time of year. You’ll also need a glue gun (low temp to avoid burning) and a wire cutter.

Your first step is to wrap your wreath form in your streamer paper. Just a dab of glue to hold the ends in place will do, and make sure when you’re wrapping, that you’re keeping it tight. You can also use thick ribbon or even tulle for this step. Whatever your preference is!

Start adding your eggs to your wreath. Use a generous dab of glue, and mix up the colours and positions to create a more random style. Make sure to add eggs to the inside and outside edges of the wreath. It’s advised to keep the wreath’s back on a flat surface as you work so that you don’t over egg your wreath to the point of it not laying flat on your door or wall.

Cut your artificial flowers from their stems using a wire cutter, though just make sure to leave about an inch of the stem at the end of the bloom. Add your flowers to the wreath by poking them straight into the foam – this will hold them in place. Fill in any gaps between your eggs with the flowers, and you can put as many or as little as you’d like, and keep adding them until you get the mix of eggs and flowers that you like.

Just as an fyi, this is a better indoor or covered porch wreath as it is slightly fragile. So keep that in mind when you’re looking for a spot to hang. Also keep in mind that if you wanted to add any glitter, or glitter any eggs before attaching them you can do that too!

Happy crafting!

Megan

 


DIY: Valentines Day Ornaments

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I have a couple small tutorials for you for making some Valentine’s day ornaments. I think that it’s a neat idea to have a little “tree” where you can hang themed ornaments. Now we’re not talking a Christmas tree. I mean branches gathered into a vase to give you a bare tree. My mother always has done those and I just love the idea of themeing those trees to the season. So here are a couple wee tutorials that are super cute and pretty easy to dress up the trees.

This first one is from Dozi Design and you can find the original tutorial here, as this will be a condensed version of it.  Basically you will need some coloured construction paper of your choice, and you will need to cut a 4″ x 4″ circular spiral – you can also make different sizes for different flower sizes.

You’ll need to cut out your spiral and then begin rolling it up to look like a rose starting from the outside, rolling to the middle, and then gluing it closed. Just make sure you’ve left enough room in the centre for it to be popped onto a branch.

The second tutorial is from Some the Wiser and the original tutorial can be found here. In this tutorial, you will be using a corn starch glue to mould some yarn ornaments. You will need yarn of your choice of colour cut into 12 inch pieces, heart shaped cookie cutters in the sizes of your choice, parchment paper and ribbon. You’ll also need to make a corn starch glue which is done by combining 1/4c of cornstarch with 1/2c of water and some glitter of your choice. Combine the cornstarch and water in a saucepan and stir until smooth. Heat over medium heat, constantly stirring until it’s thick and smooth. Remove from the heat, stir in 1-2 tbsp of glitter and allow it to cool enough so it’s cool to the touch. If the glue becomes too thick, just add water a tsp at a time until it is easier to work with.

Lay your cookie cutters on parchment, and when your glue is warm, rather than hot, coat a piece of yarn with the glue. pull the yarn through your fingers to remove any large clumps and then arrange your yarn in the cookie cutters. Keep adding gluey yarn to the heart until it’s the thickness you’re looking for.

Add more glitter,and then remove your heart mould. Repeat until you have as many hearts as will fit on your parchment paper (that’s on a cookie sheet). Place in a warm oven (150 degrees F) for 2-3 hours until the hearts are hard. Remove from the cookie sheet, let them cool, then string them up to decorate with ribbon.

Hope you enjoyed these quick and easy ornament tutorials.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


DIY Valentine’s Day Wreath

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

Valentine’s Day is just one day that doesn’t get a lot of decorating opportunities around the home since it isn’t one where we really decorate the outsides of our homes. Where we like to keep things classy, I love to see a little touch of holiday decor around this gloomy time of year. So for today I have a really neat tutorial for making a heart shaped wreath out of dyed coffee filters, so not only is it pretty and fluffy, it’s also cost effective and the materials are easy to find. The original tutorial can be found here from Bye Bye Soccer Mom.

There’s some materials and tools you’ll need: A large piece of cardboard (think old boxes), a utility knife, pencil, a medium glass or plastic container for the dye bath, a Phillips head screwdriver, needlenose pliers, a package of 8-12 basket style coffee filters, some red poster paint or watercolour, a craft brush, ribbon or yarn for hanging and some strong tape.

Your first step is to prep your dye-bath.  Fill your bowl with water about 1 inch deep and dip your brush in red paint. Rinse it in the dye bath water. Divide your package of coffee filters into a few separate batches (they can be stacked in the batches, but you don’t want to do them all at once) and place them upside down in the dye bath, and then remove them immediately for a nice ombre.

Load your wet brush with a little paint and touch up the edges of the still damp filters so that there will be more pronounced colour on the edges. Put the batches of filters somewhere to dry for at least several hours, or overnight if you can.

Using the knife, cut out your heart shape on the cardboard (you can use an outline shape or a solid shape, as you prefer), and poke holes with the screwdriver about 1.5 inches apart, all over your base. You can use the pencil to mark where you’d like them.

With your pliers, widen each hole to about one quarter of an inch in diameter to make it easier to put the filters into them. You can also skip this step and use hot glue instead, it just depends on your preference. Separate your dry filters and make flowers by pinching the middle and twisting.

Feed these flowers through the holes in your cardboard.

Continue this step until you’ve filled in all the holes, and you’re done! Attach a piece of ribbon if you’d like to hang it or you can have it resting on a bookshelf.

Where red or pink is beautiful for Valentine’s day, keep in mind you can do other colours and other shapes. You could add glitter, or whatever else you can think of.

Happy crafting!

~Megan

 


DIY Stained Glass Votive Candle Holders

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Good morning, hacky friends! Happy start of the week to you all! I hope that you all had a restful weekend (but if it wasn’t restful, I hope it was at least productive).

By now, you all know how much I adore DIY projects and refurbishing things around the house. Well, this weekend, I decided to try out an idea to make your own stained glass votive candle holders. This is a very inexpensive way to decorate for whatever occasion you want. All you need are the following items:

  • Tissue Paper
  • Matte finish Mod Podge
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Glass Containers that hold votives
  • Paper Punches (optional)
  • Q-Tips (optional)

You can pick up glass containers that fit votive candles at any Dollar Tree. But look around your house too. You never know when and where you will find the perfect items to rehab.

First, you want to cut out your shapes from your tissue paper. You can use the scissors to make you own shapes or paper punches to save some time or if you want a more uniform look. Once you have those cut out, set them aside.

Next, scoop out a bit of the Mod Podge with your paintbrush. You can use school glue if you can’t get your hands on Mod Podge. Thin it out very slightly with some water (don’t add too much water or it will saturate your tissue paper, causing it to tear more easily). Place the tissue paper onto your glass and gently affix with the Mod Podge. Be patient and gentle brushing the Mod Podge on or your tissue paper will tear. Once you have your shapes affixed how you want, let the object dry completely.

The dried Mod Podge will give any portion of glass without tissue paper a frosted appearance. If you don’t like or want that, take a Q-Tip and some hot water and scrub the glass sections clean. of the Mod Podge.

Once complete, place a votive candle into the glass, light it and enjoy. You can make holiday specific ones or just everyday decoration. These also make great centerpieces for weddings and banquets. As projects go, this one was easy and inexpensive and thankfully, did not turn into a “Pinterest Fail.”

Enjoy!

~Scribe Sarah~


DIY Doorstops out of Concrete Patio Stones

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It’s Monday, my friends, and today we’re going to talk about doorstops. If you’re like me, you live in an older building and while they do have tons of character, they may also have one other thing; uneven rooms. Most of the doors in my apartment don’t stay open when I want them to. What’s a girl to do?

Well, a girl can go to any home improvement supply store and pick up a few concrete patio stones. You can use regular bricks as well, but I like the patio stones for the shape. Having the wider bottom lends to creating some fun and interesting little characters to hold open your doors for you. However, I feel obligated to point out to you that you can paint regular bricks to look like books, which is also super fun decor (at least if you are a book nerd like myself).

What else might a girl need for this little project? A girl will need some acrylic paints and sealer. I highly recommend getting a large bottle of them at a place like Blick Art Supplies or Michael’s as these bricks are pretty large and you will most likely need more than one coat of paint. A girl may also choose to have decorative items such as ribbons, scraps of fabric, googly eyes, and felt on hand as well. And finally a girl will need paint brushes in many varying sizes and a hot glue gun. (If making these for outdoor use, make sure to get outdoor paint and varnish.)

I will now stop talking like a Faceless Man and move on to describing all the fun things you might want to do with your concrete patio stones. Since they are so easy to make and don’t cost a fortune, you can potentially make one for every holiday! Below are examples of Easter, Christmas, and Halloween.

     

But you don’t just have to stick with holidays. Maybe you really really REALLY like chickens? Or dogs? Maybe you want something special for the door to your new baby’s nursery. Perhaps you live on a farm, or run a dog shelter, or a daycare? These three examples would work great!

     

To make these adorable decorations, start by washing your concrete patio stone with soap and water, then let it dry completely. This removes any dirt or dust that may prevent the paint from sticking to the stone. Once the stone is dry, paint on a layer of the sealer so that your paints don’t “soak” into the stone’s pores. Next, you’ll add your first coat of paint. Since the sealer isn’t going to block off those pores completely, this is why you may need multiple coats of paint for a nice, smooth finish. You don’t have to paint both sides of the stone but you can if you want to.

For your pattern, you can either use graphite paper to transfer a traced pattern onto your stone (you can even purchase patterns from sites like The Winfield Collection) or you can free-hand your own pattern onto the painted stone with a pencil (use light strokes!). Use your pattern to paint on the details for your doorstop. Faces, spots, hands and feet…whatever your pattern calls for that you don’t think you’ll use other mediums to depict. Example of other mediums; wooden cut-outs of hands and feet that can be affixed to the stone and give it more of a three-dimensional feel. Once all of that is dry, put another coat of your sealer on to protect the design. If you are using other mediums (such as those cut-outs or the googly eyes or pacifiers), use your hot glue gun to attach these items once the sealer is completely dry. And that, as they say, is that!

Baseball players, brides & grooms, cows, turtles, ducks, cats… you name it, you can probably paint a concrete patio stone to look like it. The heft of the stones makes them perfect for pretty much any door in your house (unless you live in a castle, like Hogwarts). As with most of my posts, these are great gifts for people as well. They’re functional and fun. They’re ‘fun’-ctional! (Get it? I know, I know… that was such a dad joke. My father would be proud.)

Happy painting, crafty people!

~Scribe Sarah~


Ringing in the New Year

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Happy Sunday and happy New Year’s Eve, all!

Holy cow, this year went fast! I can’t say that it has all been bad or especially good but I can say that I have definitely learned some new crafty skills and even enhanced some of the old ones. I also find it a little mind boggling that all of the bloggers here have still been churning out new and interesting topics consistently through another whole year. Go us!

To celebrate the end of this and the beginning of a new year, there are some traditions that I love to keep and I thought I would share them with you in case you needed some last minute inspiration for your own NYE par-tay.

1. Wear silly hats. Ever since I can remember, my Mom either helped us find or make hats for new year’s. If you like to keep it simple (which we often did), here is an easy little tutorial from Skip to My Lou for a basic newspaper hat:

This can always be enhanced with glitter glue and feathers, rest assured.

As I grew older, though, I didn’t mind taking a little more time to create “fancier” hats. So, likewise, here is a tutorial (and some templates) from Happy Thought UK for some festive mini top hats:

These could also be slightly enhanced for a more steampunk themed occasion.

2. Make a festive mess. We usually found those little plastic popper bottles that were filled with confetti strings and Mom would boot us outside before we popped them. But sometimes they were duds and that made for some disappointment. So why not make sure they aren’t by making your own? If you just want to make a big poof of confetti and streamers, this great tutorial from Ehow is just the thing:

These can also be filled with confetti made from used wrapping paper if you want to keep it green.

Or if you want to add in a little more fun and class, you can use this amazing infographic from Wonder How To and make some paper hat/small prize/confetti containing crackers:

Yes, the “cracker” inserts can easily be found on Amazon and other sites.

3. The final thing we do (besides supply massive amounts of food and drink, of course) is make a lot of noise to ring in the New Year! So how about a few different types of noise makers from Kid Friendly Things to Do, Jman and Miller Bug, and I Heart Naptime:

   

I can honestly imagine turning these into more geeky versions by introducing a theme…like Harry Potter house colors. Whichever way you choose to celebrate, be safe and have fun! We’ll see you in 2018, fellow Hackers!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Happy New Year!

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The countdown is on, Thursday Crafthackers!

If you’re throwing a New Year’s Eve party, then you are in countdown mode (literally) for figuring out food, outfit and of course, decorations!  I’ve got one for a photobooth backdrop that is super impressive and really festive!

The first is from Oh Happy Day (the original post can be found here). The only thing that you will need to get ahold of is large sequins, which might be a little challenge to find but they can certainly be ordered here or here, or you can check the craft stores near you to see what they have available. You can use any size, but the larger they are, the less you need, the less time consuming. At 60mm, you will need about 600 of them.  You will also need 6 pieces of thin foam board at 1/8″ thick, and 32″ x 40″ wide. 2 rolls of cheap gold or silver wrapping paper to cover the board, good masking tape (that comes off the walls without tearing the paint), 600+ sequin pins (really short straight pins, one for every sequin), a ruler and a long piece of posterboard to make a guide.

Your first step is to attach the foam board. Tape it to the wall, so that we can have an undamaged wall after this project. Stack them from the floor up so that the weight is on the floor and the tape just holds them in place.

Next, tape the wrapping paper on top of the foam board. Don’t worry about the seams, when the sequins are added, you can’t really see them.

Next, add your first row of sequins, starting at the bottom of the wall. You don’t have to start at the very bottom, just below where your camera will capture. Figure out how far apart you’d like the sequins. This tutorial used 2.5″ between each pin, and, to get it straight, use a ruler :).

For the second row of sequins, you can test out how you like the spacing. They look nice when they’re staggered, so they nestle between each other.

 

You can now make a guide so that you only really need to measure those first two rows Use a long piece of poster board the exact distance between the first and second row of pins. Using a ruler, make a pencil mark every 2.5″ on one side of the guide. Make a few marks on the other side to line up to the pins that are already in place.

Your next step is to pin them all up! When you have your guide, you can place it on top of the second row of pins and you will know exactly where to stick your pins into the board. It’s good to try to be accurate but it will get easier once you get going. The sequins cover up many flaws. Just try to make sure that they are parallel with the floor, that way they won’t sit against the wall, they’ll dangle and sparkle and move when people walk by. Hanging it towards the front of the pin will give you maximum shine!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years!

~ Megan

 


Winter Crafts for Kids – Snow Edition

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Happiest of Christmases to you all, my crafty little elves!

For today’s post, I wanted to focus on the fact that many of us will be spending time with family. And sometimes that family includes children. Children can become bored very easily. So I thought I would share a number of fun and easy craft projects that are fun for children and adults alike. Since not everyone celebrates Christmas, this post will focus on SNOW! Even if you live in a place where snow isn’t prevalent, this fluffy white stuff has sort of become synonymous with winter. Snowmen, snow ice cream, snow angels…Snow can be so much fun! These crafts all feature snow (fake, not real. Real snow crafts wouldn’t hold up indoors too well).

Tea Light Snowmen from One Little Project At A Time…

These little snowmen ornaments are not only easy but they are not just your run-of-the-mill ornament. By using tea lights, your ornament helps light your tree as well.

Find the simple instructions on how to make these adorable little guys here.

Handprint Snowmen Ornaments from Simple Fun for Kids

This project will be sure to get the kids excited because it’s MESSY. I mean, come on, what kid wouldn’t want to get paint all over their hands and then touch things that they normally wouldn’t be allowed to touch? This one is simple and cheap and the instructions can be found here.

Popsicle Stick Snowflakes from The Chaos and The Clutter

Not all ornaments have to go on the tree. These snowflake ornaments can be hung in windows or around the house from ceilings and in doorways to make it look like a winter wonderland inside as well as out. Sharla over at The Chaos and the Clutter lays out a beautiful and instructional blog post on making popsicle snowflakes here.

There are a ton of easy, inexpensive ways to have fun with kids. And the internet is just full of people willing to share those ideas. I also recommend checking out the sites I linked above. These bloggers are fun and informative and may just help inspire you in your next crafting adventure.

Stay snowy, Crafty Hackers! And Merry Christmas!

~Scribe Sarah~