Sunday, December 1, 2013

10 DIY Projects I Must Make

Crafting takes time and time is money. School is ever-so-busy, but I have compiled a list of future projects I must try over the holiday break.

1. The vinyl record bowl:

2. This gorgeous button tree:

3. (Speaking of bowls and buttons) The button bowl:

4. The CD Christmas ornament:

5. The wine cork board:

6. These adorable snowmen ornaments:

7. The tea cup candle:

8. The ribbon board:

9. Crochet slipper booties:

10. Cake mix gifts:

Christmas time always gets me in the crafting mood. I will share my results next month! Stay tuned!

- Katie

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DIY Nails: Glitter Jelly Sandwich

This week I decided to take on a tutorial from another blogger and recreate the Glitter Jelly Sandwich. For those who don't know, this technique involves "sandwiching" glitter nail polish in between layers of transparent jelly polish. There are various glitter and colour combinations, which is what makes this technique so much fun.

Jelly polish is named for its semi-transparency and almost gel-like appearance.

Glitter polish would be any type of polish with flecks of glitter or confetti. For this manicure, you ideally should use a polish with larger pieces of glitter in order for the effect to show properly.

I used this tutorial from PackAPunchPolish to help me with today's manicure:

My version of the technique uses Revlon's "Royal", (which is an affordable and high-quality jelly polish) and China Glaze's "Pizzazz" (also affordable and very pretty.)

Here is my take:

The video tutorial recommends using one coat of glitter and two coats of jelly, but I enjoy the look of several layers. In my version, I have three coats of glitter and four coats of jelly polish. It definitely requires a good hour of drying time, but the final effect is absolutely mesmerizing. I'm going to be sad to take this manicure off for work next week!

- Katie

Thursday, November 21, 2013

DIY Legend of Zelda Key Holder

My latest project was inspired by this key holder on Etsy.

From time to time, my boyfriend has a hand in the crafting projects I attempt. For example, we have spent hours perfecting our technique of watching tutorials and producing miniature clay food. He has proven to be an awesome crafting partner. (Thank goodness!)

Anyway, my boyfriend has a close friend who absolutely loves Legend of Zelda (he has a giant sword from the game tattooed on his back, if that gives you any idea.) We found the Etsy website and decided it would be a perfect gift for this friend's house-warming party, but then had the crazy idea to make it ourselves.

So, dear reader, here is how we constructed a DIY Legend of Zelda Key Holder.

- wooden plaque
- black paint and paintbrushes
- Mod Podge
- 2 hooks
- colour printer and paper
- scissors

The required materials vary. For example, you may want to find a wooden plaque at the craft store. We found that a cutting board from the dollar store worked just as well. As well, it would be nice if the image had fit the entire plaque, but to fix this we painted the whole board black:
Once the paint has fully dried, you will need to have your printed image ready. It is best to find a high-resolution image, like this. Use the scissors to cut it down to size and make sure all white edges have been trimmed away.

Use a paintbrush to spread an even coat of Mod Podge across the wooden plaque. Then, spread an even amount of Mod Podge on the back of the printed image. Carefully place the paper onto the plaque. You have a minute or two before the substance starts to dry, so use this to arrange the paper in the centre. There will be many air bubbles under the paper, so you will need to slide your hands across to eliminate as many bubbles as possible. Allow this to dry for 15-30 minutes.

When the paper has dried, you then spread Mod Podge over the entire plaque to seal the image to the wood. The substance will be white, but be sure to cover everything as it will have a clear, glossy sheen when dry. Allow this to dry for 1-2 hours.

The final piece of the project is attaching the hooks. 
There are various ways to do this. For example, you may choose to put the hook over the sword in the centre. We decided to place two hooks on either side of the sword. My boyfriend took over this part, carefully turning the hooks until they screwed into place. To aid with this process, you may want to drill a small pilot hole before trying the hooks.

In order for the key holder to hang on the wall, you should then attach a wall hanging device. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and had to bring the gift sans wall hanger. These devices can be found at the dollar store, a craft store, or Walmart, and are fairly easy to install.

We have plans to make more crafts like this. Share your ideas for other key holders in the comments below!

- Katie

Thursday, November 14, 2013

DIY Crayon Costume

Halloween is always a fun time of year, and it's especially exciting to see the people who have put real effort into their costumes. This year I decided to get a little crafty too and put together a simple blue crayon costume, which only cost me about ten dollars. I found all of the necessary materials at my local Fabricland and Walmart stores.

The inspiration for the costume was found here.

The formal plan for costume construction included my sewing machine, but it's currently back at home with my parents. I decided to make do with a hot glue gun, which worked surprisingly well!

Materials used:
- Felt (approx. 2 metres of the crayon colour, 1 metre of black)
- Scissors
- Tape
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Bristol board
- Hook and loop tape (aka Velcro strips)

I started by first downloading this font. I loaded it into Microsoft Word, expanded it to size 250 and printed out the letters of "Crayola".

I realized that the paper would be too flimsy to use as a stencil on the heavy felt, so I glued the letters onto index cards for extra support. This made the letter stencils much more durable. I used the stencils to cut out the blue felt, then glued the letters onto an oval of black felt. 
The next step was a little tricky to do alone, so I would recommend having an extra set of hands to help you fit the felt around yourself. I wanted to make sure the costume would fit as loosely as possible, as I always seem to be an inconsistent size and wanted to be comfortable. 

The exact location to cut off excess felt was a very rough estimate. I chopped away and then attached several strips of Velcro to the interior. 

Thankfully felt is a rather forgiving material to work with, (it doesn't fray at the ends) but I still wanted a closed edge on the costume. I folded in about three centimetres of material around all four edges and secured them with glue.

The logo was then attached to the centre of the costume. I just guessed where the centre was and stuck it on.

To make the stripes for the ends of the crayon, I cut long thin strips of black felt, then made an irregular squiggle cut through the middle just like this. These strips were then glued on as close to the edge as possible.

The final part of the costume was the pointed hat. I rolled a sheet of Bristol board into a cone shape and cut off the excess until it fit snugly on my head. I then secured the inside of the hat with tape and glued blue felt around the outside. To wear the hat, I attached two safety pins to a headband and the inner rim of the hat.
The outcome was much better than expected!

Tell me below: What did you wear for Halloween this year? Have you ever made a costume from scratch?

- Katie

Thursday, November 7, 2013

What It's All About

I'd like to introduce my very first blog post. Reader, meet blog. Blog, meet reader.

Phew. Now that we have that awkward moment out of the way, I'll talk a little bit about where I see this blog going in the future.

After much thought and deliberation, I've decided what I would like to write about.  I have such an interest in Do-It-Yourself arts and crafts. I love finding new ways to make my own stuff, and other people are always intrigued by what I make. Apparently Mark Twain is the man behind the famous quote "Write what you know." Like many great authors of the 19th century, Twain's a genius. The real goal here is to establish myself as a professional DIY craft blogger, obviously.

Some of my past work has included crocheting and knitting, sewing clothing and quilts, moulding clay, creating collages and decoupage. I am also a nut for nail polish and have created some amazing nail art designs.

One of the best things ever is finding a fellow DIY fanatic, and I hope that this blog will help me find some of the other creative souls out here on the internet.

So...I must ask you, dear reader, what sorts of DIY do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below!

- Katie