Halloween Celebration!

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Happy Halloween everyone! I know it’s on a boring old Tuesday this year, but make sure to have some fun with it in a small way. Be it taking kids trick or treating, enjoying a scary movie, or ya know, decorating your house elaborately for the Holiday.

No, it’s not that other guy, this is a light display done by Tracy, a California music school teacher set to one of the best Halloween songs ever: “This is Halloween”. A fun watch though, I think I’d go crazy if I lived near anyone that does these big light displays. Definitely invest in some black out curtains at the every least, lol.


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~


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

 


DIY: Wine Bottle Chandelier

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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


Blinded by the Light!

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Hey Hackers!

It’s me, Scribe Sarah, filling in again on our fantabulous blog. Today, I wanted to enlighten you regarding some truly inspiring work from a company out of Seoul, South Korea; WyseFactory!

First, let me tell you a little about this company. They are a distribution brand of Wyse & Control Corp, which has been in business since 2008. WyseFactory joined the Etsy-sphere in 2016 and offers a plethora of items from handbags to mugs to light fixtures. All items are handmade with an incomparable skill and passion. Honestly, you can tell from the products that they are lovingly crafted.

While there are a myriad of pieces on their Etsy shop (link provided at the end of the article), the ones I really wanted to bring to your attention are the metal craft table lamps. There are not many of them, however, they are true works of indelible art.

These lamps are crafted from a variety of metals including copper, iron, and aluminum. They also utilize metal items such as nuts, bolts, and screws in the design. Not only is this a unique way to repurpose old metal objects, it also provides a space with an inimitable piece of handmade art. These lamps help lend a kind of “Wall-E” feel to your office or living space. There is the ETY Muscle Man, the ETY Explorer, and the ETY no. 1 (my personal favorite). Each of these lamps features movable, poseable joints that can be tightened to maintain a specific posture. They can be powered by 12V power adapter down to a USB adapter. None of these lamps is too large and they are adaptable to really any small space.

Metal Craft LED Table Lamp - ETY Muscle Man / Free Shipping

In addition to providing much needed light to an area, these adorable little metal men give the sense of having your very own robot friend or assistant. They watch over your work, whether that be cross-stitching or writing, offering a silent sort of support in all your endeavors.

If you love unique crafts, please check out WyseFactory’s Etsy shop.
And special thanks to Nicole for pointing me in the direction of this charming shop and its fare!

Scribe Sarah

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Illuminated Couture

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So in my search to find a good shade providing umbrella, I’ve stumbled upon this wonderful Etsy store called Illuminated Couture. They specialize in light up clothing and accessories, including this awesome tie-dyed umbrella.

Vegas artist, Ronnie Brust, has been pushing is costuming limits for over a decade and LEDs have become his latest passion with them. His glowing products allow you to stand out however you chose; be it with a subtle pocket square or an elaborate headpiece. All of his work is well made an guaranteed to show the world just how much you glow. 🙂


Illuminated Illustrations

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Created by Etsy artist Trysogodar, these Paper Cut Light Boxes are beautiful scenes cut straight from fantasy worlds and stories. The way they’ve layered their paper (not to mention the expert precision cutting of the designs) is nothing short of beautiful.

To quote the artist,”The paper cut light box are made using layers of hand-cut 160g art paper which are placed in shadow boxes and illuminated by LED light strips.

At first glance, the light box appear like any other paper cut work. When the lights go out, however, the light box suddenly take on a magical quality; The LED strips make the backgrounds glow and cast rich shadows, revealing tiny worlds within the boxes.”

These would make excellent replacements for nursery nightlights, imho, and I may even look into them just for that reason in the future. They are very reasonably priced as well, but they do ship from the UK, so maybe not the best idea for this holiday season. 😉

 


Light Up Your Life

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Happy Sunday, all!

There was a third vendor at Philly Comic Con that I really must gush about. Dan at Altruistic makes some of the most wonderful wooden geekery! They make clocks, pendants, amazing cosplay accessories, and other nerdy goodies.

AltruisticGallifreyClock  AltruisticVaultBoyPendant  AltruisticMasterSword

Their most unique creations, though, are the tea light boxes. Small, carved wooden boxes in your favorite fandoms with your choice of different colored battery operated tea lights!

AltruisticGreenTealight  AltruisticJSTealight  AltruisticMKTealight

These would make absolutely fantastic night lights for the kids (or yourself) or great accent pieces for your game room. The best part is that the “faces” are interchangeable, so you can buy some to make everyone in the house happy and just switch them around when you like. Let it be noted that if you don’t see your heart’s desire on their site, they also do custom work!

If you like what you see and want to add some clever geek pieces to your home, Altruistic can be found on Facebook and their website.

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Galaxy Lanterns

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I know these have been making the round everywhere but I just had o share them cause they are beautiful. What are they? Well, as the title says they are galaxy lanterns but these arn’t mass produced. Oh no. They’re hand painted.

Created by Etsy user OwnTheSkyART, these works of art even have tiny pin holes to give your place a starry light show after the sun has gone down. If string lanterns aren’t your thing, they also have others designs up in their shop, including a stand alone table lamp that I think is just lovely. Definitely worth a look if you or someone you know enjoys all things space.

~Nicole


Beautiful Sun Jars

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Hello Thursday Readers!

I have a super cool tutorial for you, especially for all the parties that will be coming when the weather gets nice and warm. They’re called sun jars and I think they’re super cool as the idea is that you can leave them out in the sun to charge so that they can glow through the evening’s darker hours. I love that they are reusable as well, and they  are super pretty. I’ll admit, they do take a little deconstructing that requires a couple of tools, but it is all pretty straightforward and I will link you to the full tutorial from Life Hacker so that if you you would like you can see an expanded version of my simple explanations.

 

You will need a few things before you get started. You will need 4 Mason jars that have lids that can be locked down and hermetically sealed – you can buy these at any hardware store for a pretty reasonable rate, and most of the lids for jars like these are pretty uniform, which is the important part. You will also need glass frosting spray paint (those who read my posts know that I love this stuff, and you can find it at hardware and craft stores), you will need sun lamps – the kind that you stick in your garden that charge during the day and glow at night. You can find these at hardware stores, and I’ve seen them at dollar stores, so take a look around and find the cheapest option for you.

There are a few tools you’ll need to aid in assembly: Pliers, a large, flat head screwdriver, a small Phillips head screw driver, packing tape, and possibly some snips that will cut metal, depending on which lamps you buy.

Your first step is to frost the jars. On the outside. But you will need to keep the lid clear, so please aim carefully or you can cover the lid with plastic wrap to avoid getting any frosting paint on it. Please follow the directions on the bottle.

Next you will need to take apart the original lamps. The original poster used some lamps from Lowes which you can find in the lighting section. They’re the “Portfolio Solar Black Pathlight” item#190519. Taking apart the solar lamps is much simpler than you might think. Use a screw driver or a skinny chisel to gently pry the solar panel loose from the aluminum housing. The wires and important stuff are nearly dead center so as long as you don’t shove the screw driver in deep or jerk it up hard, you’re very unlikely to damage anything.

Once you have the panel pried away from the housing you’ll see three glue-like smudges underneath. These smudges are some sort of silicone-like paste used to cover the screw heads. We didn’t bother to scrape it away, just push the head of a small Phillips head screw driver into it and start unscrewing. It isn’t very thick and scrapes away when you pull up the screw – see below!

Gently wiggle the electronic guts free from the aluminum case. The guts are pretty simple and sturdy, if you need to gently pry with the same screw driver you used to pop off the solar panels, everything should be fine.

This may look complicated and like delicate and dangerous work, but it’s not, really. just be careful not to damage any wires and you’ll be fine!

Unless you want to have to resolder everything, you’ll need to cut the aluminum housing to keep everything intact without the hassle of repairing all the wires. We used a small pair of snips to snip the aluminum and then two needle nose pliers to pull the metal apart and slip the panel and guts free. If you don’t have snips you can use two pairs of pliers to gently flex the metal back and forth until it snaps.

This is what your finished, disassembled  product should look like.

Once you have these, you will just need to secure them into the tops of the Mason jars. You can be more secure than using tape, but tape seemed to work just fine and was pretty easy. So I would stick with that. You can glue or caulk it if you’d like, but me? I’d stick with this easy and cheap and clean alternative, so long as everything holds together okay.

Now here’s the coolest part. If you’d like your glow lamps to be coloured, you will need to attach a filter. All you need for this, are plasticized labels from water bottles like Aquafina for blue and Gatorade for the orange/red tint. As long as the label is very translucent, you shouldn’t see a drop in the lamp brightness, either, which is super awesome. All you need is a 1″ square from the label and tape it over the light, though you’ll just need to tape it down very securely so you don’t get any white light escaping out of the sides.

There you have it! A super cool diy that looks really complicated that isn’t really that complicated at all. Have fun!

~ Megan