Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great Halloween Craft/DIY/Everything Sites

Hey Malloweenies,

Instructables has a great Halloween thread. Its got a bit of everything too! Make up tutorials, cool decor tips, snacks, pumpkin carving. You won't regret it.

Brit+Co has really great tutorials on Halloween crafts and costume ideas. I've always liked how Brit+Co's team isn't super professional and glossy with their crafts. They look like anyone can, and has, done them.

So You Think You're Crafty (who once hosted BK in their competition) did a Halloween contest in their 17th season.

How About Orange's Halloween paper crafts are amazing. So cute and so versatile.

BK

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Thrift Store Costumes

Hey Costume Ceepers,

I love pulling together a Halloween outfit from the thrift store because you can get a better quality and more authentic version of your chosen costume character than if you buy it from the store. If you take like $10 bucks in, I bet you can get a great costume. The trick here is creativity. Any of these can be turned into a zombie.

A dude and a Fortune Teller
Tourist: Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts, any camera with a strap (can be broken); Bonus detail: Fanny pack

Fortune Teller: Long skirt, blousey top, scarf; Bonus detail: Chunky jewelry

Bride (Miss Havisham)/Disney Princess: Any bridal or prom dress; Bonus Detail: The signifiers of your character usually a necklace/crown/veil

Professor (could be a Harry Potter thing if you find a black graduation robe which thrift stores love to trot out before Halloween): Tweed suit or jacket; Bonus detail: Patches on the elbows, colors of your HP house

Rosie the Riveter: Blue work shirt (men's dress shirt), bandanna, red lipstick; Bonus Detail: Voice bubble

Lady Liberty
Grunge Rocker: Flannel worn open with a concert/band tee or while tee, baggy jeans (holes option but recommend), wear hair down; Bonus Detail: Guitar Hero guitar

Marley from Xmas Carol: Grey suit, buy plastic chains at Home Depot, dark grey spray paint; Bonus Detail: Scarf around the head

Sherlock Holmes: Trench, two baseball caps (one pointing forward the other backward; Bonus Detail (twofer): Cover the baseball caps with some plaid or tweed, pipe.

Have a blast and please send photos of your Halloween costumes!!

BK

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Spoonflower Design Contest: Pies!

Pumpkin Pie !! by demigoutte
Hey Fabric Fiends,

Spoonflower's most recent contest is Pie themed! Check out my Spoonflower Pinterest page to see my votes. I tend to lean towards two groups, geometric and cutesy pie designs. I always love the 50's like designs with a ton of tiny images in a design. But the design above was my number one favorite, Pumpkin Pie !! by demigoutte. I love that it looks a bit Halloweenie in its color scheme.

BK


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Cheap Halloween Decor

Cover a surface and change your mood!
Hey Practical Pumpkins,

I have a handful of tips on cheaply decorating for Halloween.

Using the Joann's app for discounts: I like Joann fabrics for two reasons; they often run deals of 40% off and if they are not, we have so many options to get the discount. Joann's has coupons in their weekly mailer and their app always has several coupons. They also just have really cute, quirky decor for Halloween.


Checking the remnants bin: Right now there are a ton of fall remnants lurking in the bin. Burlap, upholstery fabrics, and sheer net blacks are all great options for Halloween/Fall decor. I made a table runner from a half yard of burlap. I also had the great luck of discovering the remnants were 50% off when I went in!

Spray painting things: One can of black spray paint can go a long way. This year I bought a can of matte black and experimented with pumpkins and empty wine bottles. The wine bottles I soaked and scraped the labels off and plan to attach potion labels printed off the Internet (tutorial to come). You can also slap a coat on weird shaped jars, frames, figurines, branches, etc. The world is your oyster. To make a safe, clean space to spray, cut one side of a cardboard box and place it outside. Recycle it when you're done!

Easy webs: Cotton ball or hot glue webs are really easy and I bet you have both in your place right now.

Candles from the last Ladies Craft Night
Table cloths: I love table cloths for many reasons including their easy flat storing and they keep messes on your furniture to a minimum. But the number one reason is that they they cover a large area with a holiday or themed pattern. It is an instant change in mood. You can cover a desk, end table, coffee table or dinning room table. And it takes a half hour max to hem a yard of fabric and throw it over a table.

Paper chains: The safest, easiest, most classic craft of all time. Looks festive and is great for young crafters. Glue, tape, or staple closed.

Remember have fun while saving a bit of cash. Let me know if you try anything out!

BK



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Pinterest!

Hey Halloweeners!

I love Halloween with all my heart and have been decorating since September! If you are trying to figure out what to dress up as, how to decorate your home, or what to make for a spooky supper follow me on Pinterest for ideas! I'm still trying to decide what to be for Halloween and I've been thinking about it since last October 31st!

BK

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Homemade Fire Starters

Not pretty but does the job
Hey Firestarters,

During my recent Ladies Craft Night: Poured Candles I squeezed in a second craft that has been on my crafting bucket list for years. Fire starters!

I make quite a few bonfires during the summer months and my ability to forget what I need to start a fire is unmatched (Get it? Matched?) I was inspired by The Art of Doing Stuff's Homemade Firestarters post. From top to bottom, the whole craft is very simple. Just keep a few candles that have burned out for their residual wax, an old paper egg carton, and your dryer lint (other more ambitious option include wood chips, paper towels, cotton balls, pine cones, and sawdust). I used them on an overnight trip to a few WI State Parks and they worked like a dream! Just cut them apart, stick under your future fire and light.

A few tips for prepping this project:
  • The original blog post suggests that you can melt your wax in an old can on the stove. I just put my wax in a Pyrex and stuck that bad boy in the microwave for a minute and a half or until it melted.
  • Take the metal wick holders out of your old candle wax before you put in the microwave.
  • Place your carton on a surface that you don't mind catching wax that has seeped through. Maybe lay down some paper grocery bags first.
Fanning the flames of my heart, BK




Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ladies Craft Night: Poured Candles

Hey Crafters,

I just had an amazing Ladies Craft Night.

I offered my services to a organization near to my heart for their silent auction. The deal was I would facilitate and gather all supplies for an evening of crafting if the winner hosts and  invites guests. A friend bought the package and we decided to make pour candles. We played some late 90's boy band tunes and danced in the kitchen. We ate some great dips (artichoke onion garlic dip!!). We made some candles. It has been a long time since I've been able to host a Ladies Craft Night and this one was a tremendous success.

I used a mass DIY Survival Candle recipe from Teowawki Blog and figured out how to add fragrance. We made the candles individually in a Pyrex measuring cup so we could change the fragrance by guest preference. It was so easy and a real big blast.

BK's Slightly Adjusted Soy Candle Recipe

Supplies:
  • Soy wax, flakes or chips (est. 3 8oz. candles per 1lb. of wax, so do the math!)
  • Wicks with metal base
  • 8oz. Ball jars
  • Candle fragrance
  • Pyrex measuring cup (at least 8oz.)
  • Spoon
  • Microwave
  • Pot holder
Optional: pot with cold water and butter knives

Instructions:
  1. Pour soy wax up to the 8oz. line of your Pyrex, microwave for 1:30 mins.
  2. Pour a finger's width of wax in the bottom of each jar. Put in a wick and let cool. Use your butter knives to keep the wick up right by laying them across the top of the jar. This will keep your wick in place as you fill. *This is also where you may place the jars in your pan of cold water to speed up the cooling process.
  3. Pour soy wax up to the 8oz. line, microwave for 1:30 mins.
  4. Stir in three drops of fragrance and fill to 6oz. with more wax. Microwave for 1:30 mins.
  5. Stir and pour into jar.
  6. Wait for the candles to cool before cutting the wicks to a half inch.
**To make large batches follow the original Teotwawki Blog link.

Keeping the light on for ya, BK