Loot Carriers Made Easy

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some DIY loot bag ideas and these will not disappoint! 3 of the 4 do involve sewing but they are all pretty easy to make, even for those new to sewing. The first one up is a very simple box bottom bag done in fun Halloween print from Almost Supermom:

Best part is making them to suit the size you want…for more loot.

I think they are super cute and will give everyone some more practice on the basics. Now you’ll have the pattern for a basic box bag! Bonus! Plus the fabric selection is completely up to you – so if your kiddos want a bag to match their costume, there is plenty of fabric out there to choose from (like those new Star Wars fabrics we mentioned?). The second has a similar tutorial but on a much cheaper scale. So if you are trying to save a little money by making your own trick or treat bags, this bandanna bag tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans is the right choice for you:

I am NOT a fan of candy corn but I do love that bandanna pattern.

I think that one is also super cool for customizing as I’ve seen all kinds of themed bandannas out there. Again, this does not have to be used solely for Halloween purposes. Super awesome bandanna bags for all occasions! The third one is interactive and kind of creepy. This “sticky” spider web loot bag from Merriment Design has just the right amount of fun for the little ones:

They also make flies and other bugs that the spiders could have “trapped”…just sayin’.

I love the innovative use of the Velcro to bump up the play factor. The fourth one I found is for those of us that either don’t know how to sew or would rather let our sewing machines have a break after rocking out some amazing costumes. This duct tape bag from Dukes and Duchesses looks simple and useful:

Plus this one is guaranteed to be fairly waterproof in case Halloween is a bit damp.

I’ve seen all kinds of cool, creepy, or even shiny types of duct tape that could be used for those. Hope you’ve enjoyed our festive romp through DIY bags this week. May your bag overfloweth this Halloween season!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY: Mini Mummies

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers!

I found an amazingly cute and easy Halloween decor DIY that I couldn’t pass up sharing with you. They are as the title describes, and the original post I came across can be found here.

For this project you need a few supplies, but they’re pretty easy to find at any craft and fabric shop. You’ll need some styrofoam balls (whatever size you like, or varying sizes), muslin (at least 1/4 yard, but more if you’re going to be making many), eyelets or brads, tea bags, a spray bottle, 22 gague floral wire and glue.

Your first step? Make a cup of tea for you and a cup of tea for your mummies. That’s right… the tea for you is fuel for your day. The tea for your mummies is to give them a spray at the end for colour.

Next, select a styofoam ball and press two eyelets or brads between the middle and top of the ball as eyes (you can dab them in a little glue for better hold, if you like).  For legs, cut two pieces of the floral wire, and bend each into an oval. Stick them into the bottom of the ball. You can choose to make them whatever length you prefer, so if you want a mummy with super long legs and a wee little head, it can be done!

Cut 3/8 inch wide strips of muslin and begin wrapping the ball until it is covered, going around the eyes and legs. Use glue to adhere the ends of the strips on the ball.

Remove the tea bag from the mummy tea and put it into the spray bottle. Spray the mummy lightly and let it dry. When it’s dry, give it another spray and continue this process until you get the colouring you like, and just like that, you have a cute collection of the undead.

Happy Crafting!

~Megan

 


Halloween Out of Doors (DIY Decorations)

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Happy Monday, my crafty little minions!

Last week, I gave you all some ideas and tips for fun and freaky Halloween decorations that can spruce up the inside of your abode. But what about the outside? If you live in a home with a yard or porch/balcony area, this provides a fantastic addition to showing off your Halloween-y adoration.

The website HomeBNC has a lovely article that you can check out here if you want some great tutorials and ideas. A couple of my favorites from this site include Hanging Spider Sacks and Haunting Hooded Ghouls.

    

Another thing that is quick and easy to do and helps creepify your porch or balcony is just pulling some cheesecloth or natural cotton scrim around the railings or from the ceiling, hanging down. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can dye this black, grey, or tan to give it an extra edge.

Nowadays, you can purchase orange colored string lights. These are just as fun to simply wrap around trees or through bushes as they are to hang across your porch. However, you can also take small plastic hollow pumpkins (usually found at places like your local craft or dollar stores), poke holes in the tops or bottoms and slip them over the individual lights. Viola! String o’ lighted pumpkins! (You can also hood the lights with orange Solo or Dixie cups. Draw Jack’O’Lantern faces if you like.) This can be hung or strung as usual or you can tape/staple it down to the top of your balcony or porch railing to display a cute row of glowing pumpkins. (Make sure that you don’t leave them on all night because the plastic could become too hot and melt, creating a fire danger.)

Want something a little extra creepy? Go buy a skeleton head and arms and stick it into the ground. You can have it look like it’s crawling out from under that big old oak in your front yard or it can be clawing its way out from under the front porch. If you have a felled log or slab of rock in your yard that you consider a terrible eyesore, use it to your advantage. Have this be the thing your skeleton is emerging from underneath.

The best thing I can suggest for your yard or outdoor areas are to use your imagination. Every space has unique aspects to it; use the items around you, incorporate them into your decorations. It can make it feel more authentic!

Happy decorating!

~Scribe Sarah~


A Glance into the Future

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today I have for you a DIY project that is just too cool not to share and (of course) it’s a bit creepy! From Bev at flamingotoes.com, I give you spooky crystal ball candlesticks:

They don’t HAVE to be creepy but they sure look good when they are!

I will say that you do need a few specialty items to make these look great like ink jet printable transparencies and good quality images but the original tutorial has a complete list and some resources for those images! Ultimately you’ll need: Inkjet Transparency film, candlesticks, clear holiday bulbs, hot glue, a candle, and the crystal ball shape pattern.

It starts with printing the images on to the transparency film and cutting them into the crystal ball shape:

Eye see some other great ideas in your future!

Make sure that the little tab at the bottom is included as that will become important in another step. But first, the crystal ball should look a little smoky so the next step is to light a candle and let the smoke drift up into your clear bulb:

Use extreme caution! It will get hot!

As it states in the tutorial, do this is stages so that you don’t burn yourself and the bulb does not shatter. After it is a lovely smoky shade and has cooled, it’s time to insert the image:

Also, make sure you are inserting with the tab facing out of the opening!

Once the image is inserted, the tab should be slightly sticking out so that you may glue it to the rim of the opening. This will make the image stand upright:

Thank goodness you remembered the tab, right?

Finally, it’s time to place it on your candlestick. I would definitely get a feel for the size of the rim to the size of your candlestick opening as you may have to use a little filler if the candlestick is bigger. If not, it’s still suggested that glue be applied for stability:

The eyes have it!

So there you are, some added sophistication and creep factor in your decorating this season. Next week we’ll take a look at some DIY treat bags for the kiddos.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


DIY: Light Up Halloween Tree

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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

 


Easy DIY Halloween Crafts and Decorations

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Hey Crafty Peoples! Sorry about my absence last week; I was on vacation but I’m back and ready to hit you with some sweet sweet Halloween decorations and crafts. Y’all, this is my favorite holiday of all the holidays. I would celebrate this one all year round. Nothing is better than the creepy, the scary and the Halloween-y. In my opinion, that is.

This week, I wanted to focus on some easy and cost-effective ways to decorate the interior of your home for the spookiest of holidays. Next week, I shall direct you to some wonderful sites with ideas for outdoor decor.

There are a lot of crafty folks out there so the majority of these ideas I saw via Pinterest or Facebook. Most of these are ways to re-purpose old household items into fun crafts to keep the kiddies busy or to decorate the house/apartment when you’re pinching those pennies. Some of these are as simple as getting some construction paper or poster board and cutting out Halloween-y shapes. For example, you can cut out bat shapes and either just tape them to your walls (make sure you use painters tape to protect your walls!) or you can pinch them near the middle, attach a string and suspend them from your ceiling. I personally like this way because it looks like there’s bats flying ’round your house and it scares the crap out of people who come by to visit or take care of your cat. You don’t have to stick with bats either. Pumpkins and Jack’O’Lanterns are fun and festive but easy to cut out. If you’re feeling particularly artistic and ambitious, you can cut out witches on brooms, ghosts, mummies, zombies…the possibilities are endless!

For those of you who can’t seem to bring yourselves to toss out those empty pill bottles, you can use them to make some fun and creepy-looking, old-timey apothecary bottles. Magia Mia has a wonderful tutorial here that walks you through making that garbage into Halloween gold. Also, environmentally friendly because you’re reducing the amount of trash you toss. Recycling at it’s crafties.

Another quick and inexpensive way to dress up a room is to give your candles a little makeover. I saw this on Pinterest but the original idea was posted by the wonderfully hilarious (and stylish!) Big Ang Raiola of Mob Wives fame. You can add flourish to small candles in glass by gluing lace around the glass. These have a gothic Victorian feel to them but you can add any kind of ribbon or lace you’d like. Customize to the theme of your Halloween abode.

If you want some scary spiderwebs around your house but you don’t want to deal with that sticky, hard-to-clean fake webbing from the party supply stores you can either just not clean for a really long time (hey, realism in decorations is KEY) or you can make these fun balloon spiderwebs. They are easy to make but it does take a little longer to make than some of the other crafts I’ve posted about here. You’ll want to make sure you have ample time to complete them properly. You can find the instructions here.

And for my pièce de résistance, a little something for all you Harry Potter fans out there. Ever want your home to look like the Great Hall at Hogwarts? I don’t know about you, but I wanted candles magically hovering above my head from the first moment I saw it in the movies. Well, here’s a way to accomplish this feat, at least for a few weeks. Follow these easy-to-understand instructions over at The Sway to make your home into your very own Great Hall.

These are just a few ways to make your home more festive for this spooky holiday. I highly recommend checking out Pinterest for more ideas and remember to think outside the box. Something you see someone else having posted may inspire you to create your very own unique Halloween decorations.

Next week, I’ll talk about some truly terrifying decorations you can add to your porches and yard (should you be lucky enough to have a property with either of these things) to make your house the most frightening on the block.

Happy decorating, Hackers!

~Scribe Sarah~


Apothecary Accents

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s October!!! Hopefully you know what that means around here…if not, be prepared for fall/Halloween posts galore! To start us out, I wanted to showcase a craft I’ve been wanting desperately to try out: DIY apothecary jars! I’ve always loved the look of the apothecary jars you can purchase from big box stores but the price tag and possibility of cats knocking over my precious purchases often discouraged me. Now, thanks to this lovely tutorial from Ria’s World of Ideas, I won’t feel half as bad if I make my own from dollar store items:

For fall, there are a wide array of fillers to choose from. If you like to keep it classy and colorful, some fall leaves and pinecones (perhaps with some hidden pumpkins) would look wonderful.

Plus it makes for a great “I Spy” game!

Or keep it classic by throwing some seasonal gourds into one.

I love weird shaped gourds for some reason.

Or keep it natural with some acorns, pinecones, and bits of wheat.

Just make sure if you harvest your own acorns/pinecones, that you check for any little buggy “friends” that may tag along on them.

Let’s be honest here, though. If it’s me we are talking about, there will be some kind of creepy element added to these jars, more than likely some skulls.

Ah, eyeballs and skulls, that’s more like it.

I’ve seen plenty of posts that include different arrays of colorful beans (natural or the jelly kind), Halloween candy, and mini terrariums that would also be amazing displays for the season. Bring a little bit of those fall colors inside!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


DIY: Halloween Burlap Table Runner

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I’m not sure about where you’re living, but where I’m living, a spectacularly hot few days have finally ended and we are into weather that is more appropriate for fall. This gets me thinking about jackets, hats, scarves and of course, Halloween. There’s something beautiful about Halloween decor that is not only season appropriate but also a beautiful addition to the home. It tickles something inside me and reminds me of my youth. I have a tutorial today for you to make a table runner which is highly customizable and looks so cool when it’s done.

You can find the full tutorial here, but I’ll be giving you the rundown. You will need a few supplies. Burlap, being one, and some form of cheap fabric to line the runner with – it can be unbleached cotton or muslin, but check out your remnants bin at your local craft store and see what’s there. You can either buy a section long enough for your runner, or you can sew a couple sections together if you’d like to be a little more economical. You’ll also need freezer paper, spray paint, some kind of cutter or exacto knife. I would say that instead of spray paint, you could also use some stenciling brushes and paint if you’re got some already at home, or there are colours you want to use. Just keep in mind washability. Since this is a seasonal item, I usually don’t worry too much about it, but you might want to get some fabric paint that you’ll be able to wash afterwards.

Your first step is to decide how long you’d like to make your runner. Make it long enough so it can hang nicely over the edges of your table. This tutorial had a finished size of 11″x88″, but it isn’t necessary for it to be that long. Next, cut your burlap wider than you’d like the actual runner to be. Burlap can fray very easily, so leave an inch and a quarter on each long side of your runner.  You will want to cut your lining material 1 inch wider than your finished runner.

Next, with the waxy side of your freezer paper facing down, cut out the design. You can either hand draw your design, or you can print it out on regular paper and use that as your negative design – just make sure that you attach the freezer paper to it so that your burlap is fully covered. Use the knife to cut out your design, and just be careful to have nice clean edges. To help you get cleaner edges, you can iron your freezer paper to the burlap with the wax side down so it will stick and give you some nice sharp edges.

You can  put designs anywhere you want, whether it`s just at the edges or along the centre as well. Just make sure that you cover any space you don`t want painted as if you’re using spray paint, you can have quite a wide spray radius.

 

 

Next, spray over the designs onto the burlap, or use your stencil brush and paint to fill in the negative space. Make sure your paint is even and when everything is dry, you can remove the paper.

You can now place the runner and the lining together, with right sides together and pin. The burlap is bigger than the lining, and that’s okay, remember, we wanted to account for any fraying. Stitch a half inch seam down both sides, leaving the end open. Trim off any excess burlap so that your seam allowances are even.

Turn the runner right side out and iron, design side down. Please put an old towel underneath your design so you don’t get any paint to stick in places you don’t want it to.  Fold the ends of the runner so that the raw edges are tucked in, and if you want to put some trim on the edge of your runner, cut a piece to fit and pin, then top stitch all the layers together – do this for both sides.
That’s all you need to make this beauty! I love that it works for us creative types that can’t actually draw, and so that makes me a happy lady.
Hope you enjoyed the DIY, and happy crafting!
~Megan

DIY Fall Floral Arrangements

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Happy Monday, Hackers!

My favorite season is now upon us and most people seem to be super-duper excited about Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I, however, most look forward to two very important things related to fall: Fall decorations and Halloween (my favorite holiday so be forewarned…my October posts will ALL be Halloween-related).

I usually put up fall decorations right around Labor Day and most of these I procure at Dollar Tree because they are cheap and easy and well, we all love cheap and easy. But there is one thing that I do every single year not only because they add lots of those beautiful fall colors to my apartment but they are also really cheap and easy and FUN to make. Floral Arrangements!

Using fake leaves and flowers are a wonderful way to dress up your space without having to maintain a plant. It’s also beneficial for those of us who have furry friends and family (since many real plants can be toxic to our beastly brethren). You can customize these easy arrangements to your specific decorative vision. Unlike real bouquets and plants, you can create something that you know you’re going to love.

All the supplies I gathered for the small piece I made for this post were obtained at my local Dollar Tree. They always have a pretty broad and diverse selection of flowers and leaves to choose from and it’s an inexpensive place to find the foam forms and floral moss you’ll need to stick the pieces into and dress up your arrangement. Other stores that you can find great and usually inexpensive supplies at are Michaels and Joann Fabrics. But also check out your local craft stores, especially those independently-owned ones. Support local businesses!

 

For this piece, I wanted something small for the little table by my recliner so I chose this lovely white ceramic bowl with a festive fall leaf design around the rim. I then placed my foam form into the center of the bowl. You’ll want to find a form that is just slightly smaller than the dish or basket you are placing your arrangement in. It should almost fill the space, leaving room for you to dress with moss around the edge and over the top. There are also large forms that can be cut down and shaped to whatever you need.

 

I like to choose a center focal point for my arrangement. This gives me an idea of what colors I’ll want to use, the different levels I’ll want to achieve and where the rest of the flowers and leaves will be placed. While you don’t necessarily want your arrangement to be perfectly symmetrical, you do want to have a sort of uniformity to the piece. Using a focal point helps to accomplish this.

Then, I put my floral moss around the edges and over the top of the form to hide it. Once you have that finished, let your creativity flow. Play around with what flowers, berries, or leaves you want where. Use different lengths to the stems when you cut them (you can use a regular scissors to cut them but it is a little tough to get through the wire stems so I recommend having a wire cutter handy). Poke the stems into the form to place the flowers; don’t be afraid to angle the stems, bend them to place the flowers exactly where you want.

 

Move the pieces around as you go, play with the arrangement until each item is exactly where you want it.

Once your arrangement is complete, all you need to do is set it out in whichever room you want to display it. Don’t forget you can also redo them anytime you like. Just take the flowers out and rearrange them or add new ones whenever you feel like a change. You can make small arrangements, like the one I made here, or you can make them as large as you like. I made this slightly larger one last fall and still love it. It will definitely be a part of my fall decorating tradition for years to come.

The best part of this fun and simple DIY is that it is not season or holiday specific. You can use any color or type of fake flowers, add touches like holly for Christmastime or eggs for Easter. You can make them with school colors for graduation parties or as gifts. The possibilities are endless.


Special Delivery for Mom

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Happy Sunday, all!

Next Sunday is Mother’s Day here in the U.S. and there is still time to find excellent items for that wonderful Mom in your life. During my usual romp through Etsy, I found some great ideas, starting with this cute mug for those that don’t live near Mom:

So she can think of you every morning!

Up next, I was never really a fan of those children/grandchildren necklaces with birthstones until I came across these “family tree” style ones that look like leaves:

A monogram leaf and a birthstone for each child/grandchild looks so elegant.

The third idea I came across that really hit close to home for me was a custom printed recipe towel. My Mom, Grandmother, and I used to spend a lot of time in the kitchen together, making family recipes. This seems like just the thing to bring that nostalgia as well as preserve some of those treasured recipes:

Grandma’s Snickerdoodle recipe can be immortalized in towel form!

Finally, I won’t call this a cop-out gift but it IS kind of a default in our family…chocolate. We can bump up the special factor a bit by personalizing the message on the chocolate at least:

A tasty treat and a cute sentiment.

I love giving my Mom homemade gifts, even if they aren’t made in my home!

Stay crafty!

~Laura