Saturday, 10 May 2014

Kissing bells, meet ribbon wands. Now KISS!

I'm sure that around the internetsland of wedding DIY's you've come across kissing bells and ribbon wands... well here's how you can make a combination of the two!

Kissing bells will save your glassware from getting broken (our in our case, make it so that we can use plastic cups) and they're also not as loud and obnoxious as the tinking of glasses.

So to start of you will need:

Wood dowel- I got 3 ft long pieces for $.49 a piece at Michaels which I then sawed into three pieces. You can also buy them in sets of 15 precut into 1 ft lengths, but they're $4.99 a pack.
Ribbon- I used two different colours and widths of picot edged ribbon. You'll want about 1 ft lengths, so make sure that you have enough feet of ribbon on a roll per wand you plan to make.
Bells- I got 100 silver jingle bells off eBay. I wish that I had gotten slightly bigger ones, because the ones that I got aren't very loud
Hot glue and a glue gun.
Measuring tape.
Masking Tape.
Optional: A fine tipped permanent marker.

So first you're going to need to peel the labels off of your dowel. It took me about fifteen minutes just to do this cleanly. Luckily I was watching Kitchen Nightmares, so Chef Ramsey was doing the frustrating swearing for me.

Next measure out 12 inches and put a marker on a table with masking tape.
Use this to measure and cut your lengths of ribbon.

Make sure to keep your ribbon tidy so it doesn't end up as a big, knotted mess.

Next use your tape marker to measure 1 ft increments on your dowel. If you do one from one end and one from the other, you will end up with three equal sections.

Then you will cut along your markings with a saw. Carefully. And preferably with a partner. And ending this project with all of your original digits.

This next step is totally unnecessary, time consuming, and adorable. I added the saying "If you want us to kiss, you have to ring this!" with a fine-tipped marker to all of them. Pain in the ass. Super cute.

Now if you are using multiple colours of ribbon line them up ends overlapping.

Using about an inch of glue from the end, attach them together.

Using a pea-sized dab of glue, attach the end of your dowel to the ribbon.

Now add another inch-ish long line of glue and roll the ribbon around the end of the dowel.

You'll want to make sure that your jingle bells function properly... I attached a couple of jingle-less bells before realizing and then I had to remove them and replace them with bells that worked. Luckily I have about 45 extra bells here, so a few lemons weren't a huge deal.

To attach your bell put a pea-sized blob of glue on the tip of your dowel and give it a couple of seconds to cool down a bit- not completely, just enough so that you can still poke your bell into it and have it stay there.

Tip your wand mostly upside-down so that the ball inside of the bell doesn't get stuck in the glue (another thing I learned along the way) and hold the bell in place until the glue has cooled solid.

And that's it! Repeat about 5-500 times depending upon your wedding size and you'll have a pretty send off, and safe crystal.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

How to make those awesome Chalkboard Signs- the easy way

If you've fallen madly in love with the gorgeous fad of chalkboard lettering like I have, but don't have the typography ~skillz~ of Dana Tanamachi, then perhaps I can help.

I made this chalkboard sign completely from scratch for less than $5.

How to:
You will need:
-a piece of plywood (I got this almost cardboardy stuff at Home Depot for about a dollar per 2'x2' piece)
-a sample size of black (or any colour, really) matte paint+primer- around $5 at Home Depot
-about a tablespoon of unsanded grout (mooched some off my cousin)
-chalk. Any chalk. I got a buttload sized box from target for just over a buck.
-paint pens (eBay. A dollar each. AND they come in lots of colours.)
-your design printed out to size (you may need to use multiple pages and tape them together)
-a pencil (and a sharpener, because it's going to get reaaaally dull.)

The doin':
1. Thoroughly mix the grout with the paint and then paint your plywood, making sure to give it a good coat. Let it dry overnight.
2. Print out your design at full size. You can make your own, or use the free printable below.
3. Rub chalk all over the BACK of your printed design.
4. Being careful to keep your design straight, place it ink side up/chalk side down on what is now your chalkboard.
5. Using a pencil, colour with firm pressure over the printed portion of your design- this will transfer the chalk onto the chalkboard. (This is a good task to do with your partner(s)- which also makes it go much faster)
6. You should now have a faint copy of your design on your chalkboard. Mist it lightly with hairspray. This will keep the chalk from moving around too much.
7. Go over your design with the paint pen to make it brighter and more permanent.
Tuh duh!

The printable:
 All of the fonts (including the frame) came from either or were stock fonts in Photoshop.
If you plan to share this printable, please link back to me.

Now you can create as many chalkboard signs as you want!

Monday, 17 March 2014

Clean ALL the things! (With just one make-it-yourself, environmentally friendly cleaner)

So I know that I haven't posted in ages- I do apologize.

I spent two weeks in Indonesia on a buying trip for the shop.

I went through some less-than-pleasant medical things.

I've been so busy with planning the wedding.

But now that the sun is out and I have more energy, I am going to try really hard to be back!

I'll try to come up with tutorials as often as possible.

So here's one that's not-so crafty and more-so homey.

Make-It-Yourself Environmentally Friendly Multi-surface Cleaner for cheap (like 2 dollars cheap):

Notice how I changed it to "Em Works"? Yeah. Cause I'm witty like that.

So first off, you're going to need a spray bottle with a mist setting. I used the bottle that the expensive brand of all natural home cleaner came in... and I shall never go back to that stuff. If you need to buy a spray bottle, you can find them at the Dollar store or any gardening store.

Then you're going to need to collect your ingredients:

Don't you just love my retro vinyl counter tops?

Hydrogen Peroxide- Safe to have around food, kills germs. Win. -$2 for the whole bottle. I also use it to whiten my teeth. Love this stuff.
White Vinegar- Kills germs. -$4 for the entire jug, so I used maybe 50 cents worth.
Essential Oil- Makes it smell better than just vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide. - This is the fancy stuff that I get directly from an organic plantation in Bali, but you can get essential oils for like $5 a bottle. My few drops would probably be about 10 cents worth.
All-natural dish soap- I have yet to figure out how to make my own. If anyone has a recipe, I would love to try it! - $3 for the whole bottle, so maybe 10 cents for the tiny squirts.

Now to mix it all together.
Squeeze a couple of squirts of the dish soap into the bottom of the spray bottle. Add a few drops of essential oil (the more you add, the more scent it will have. I don't mind the vinegary smell, so I only add a few drops per batch). Pour in about 2/3rds of a 500 ml bottle of Hydrogen Peroxide and then fill the rest with vinegar.

Shake shake shake. Shake shake shake. Shake your cleaner. Shake your cleeeeaaaaner.

Now you can use this on your kitchen counters, stove (especially nice since if you get it on your element burners it doesn't smell like death when you turn your stove on the next time), inside your microwave, on your bathroom surfaces, on the floor, on your glass coffee table, inside your fridge... the list goes on and on.

I spray this stuff all over my kitchen, leave it for a minute (especially if I have delicious dried-on gunk on the stove) and then go ahead and wipe it away. It seriously takes care of EVERYTHING.
When I have pans with crud burnt on to them, I dust a little bit of baking soda on them and then spray them with this, leave them over night, and the burnt crap all just lifts away.

It is my miracle. It makes cleaning the kitchen not a giant chore. It makes cleaning the bathroom not a giant chore. It makes cleaning not a giant chore.

So for around TWO DOLLARS for the entire bottle (which even with my addiction to the stuff lasts for like four months) you've got almost every cleaner you could ever possibly need.

Try it out and let me know how you like it!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Help me design my business cards...

So now that my Etsy shop is open, it's time to start promoting myself.

I've started working on some designs mock-ups for business cards.

What do you guys think?

This one...

Or this on the front with...

This on the back?
Thoughts? Suggestions? I'd love your feedback!

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Now presenting (doo doo doo DOO!) my Etsy shop!

So I finally got around to opening my Etsy shop!

I'll be listing some items from my tutorials (for those of you that might think to yourselves "Yeah. Nah. I'd rather just buy that one.") and eventually I'll be carrying clothing made for my fellow Curvy Crafters!

So let me know which items from my tutorials you'd like to see up for sale and I'll do my best to make a listing!

In the next few weeks I'll be working on a whole bunch of pretty flower crowns like the ones in my last tutorial to put them up for sale.

So without further ado, I present:!

Also, let me know if you'd like me to work up a tutorial for my first ever listing:

the Cowl Scarf Hood! (or: How to Knit Something Straight in a Day That Looks Really Cool.)

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Flower Crowns

So flower crowns are super in... for going to music festivals, as wedding accessories, for wearing to your next Mason Jar convention... for pretty much anywhere that you want to feel extra pretty.
However, seeing as I'm over the age of 17 and I rarely wear jorts (jean shorts for those of you that aren't cool enough to be in-the-know) and NEVER wear bikini tops instead of shirts, I'm pretty sure that the only time I'm ever going to be able to pull one off is at my wedding. I also think that my four-year-old niece/flower girl will look insanely adorable wearing one, especially in combination with what she has been calling her "Harry Potter princess dress"- I have yet to figure out exactly what her imagination has decided this is, but I assume that purple and tulle will play a large role.

So I went a-searchin' on the internets to try and find some purdy flower crowns that she and I can don for the big day.

And obviously this one from WhichGoose is gorgeous, but at nearly a hundred bucks a pop, they're a lot out of my price range.

So I took a closer look and thought to myself, "I could totally make that." (as I pretty much always do with crafts, because I'm ambitious and arrogant and assume that I can conquer anything, so long as I have a glue-gun in my hand.)

And here's how I managed to save myself a lot o' money:

What you'll need:

1. Artificial Flowers- Smaller is better unless you're going for that massive boho look. I got mine at a dollar-type store for $2 a sprig, but I suggesting checking eBay for their huge selection.
2. Florist Wire- This is a roll of 18 gauge Rustic Wire by Oasis that I got at Michael's for $7.
3. Any other accessories you might want to add. (I put the pearls on my bridal crown, but here I'm just going to show you how I made my niece's- don't want to spoil the surprise!) If you like them, you can find them on eBay here.
4. A glue-gun and sticks.
Optional- Wire cutters. I learned that big, hefty scissors work, but my hands sure would have appreciated some lil snipperoonies.

So with two sprigs of flowers and one roll of wire, my total cost was just $11 per crown (and I used the one roll of wire for both crowns with plenty left over)- not too shabby!

So now to start assembling.

Take your wire and start articulating it in about one inch wide curves. Keep doing this until you have something about the size of your head.

Once your crown is big enough to fit your head, cut it off of the rest of the roll leaving about two inches to spare on either side.

Wrap the spare ends together to keep the crown together and to keep the sharp ends from poking out.

Now do the same with another piece of wire in the opposite direction.

Wrap the ends around the other wrapped portion.

Now it should look like this. Pretty, right? Just wait until it's all flowery. OoOoOoh.

The flowers I chose have wired stems- this comes in pretty handy when you're attaching them. Leave them with a nice, long stem when you detach them from their sprig-buddies.

Then strip the rubber/plastic decorative crap off. We ain't gon' be needin' that.

Twist the wire around a crossing section of the crown. This will both secure the crown into shape and attach the flower to the crown. Then add a dollop of glue to the back to keep it in place and to cover any pointy wire bits that might become annoying head-stabby bits in the future.

You can spread your flowers evenly or group them together or... whatever the heck ya want! It's crafts! WOOOOH. Fun.

Mix in different kinds of flowers, different greenery, cover half the crown, the whole crown, just put on one flower, drown the thing in flowers. WHATEVS. It's your party, and you'll glue if you want to.

Et voila! You have a pretty flower crown that you can subtly mention you made. All of the time. Because it makes you feel good when people go "really?!" and you get to act a little bit smug.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Buy it or DIY it: Lace Appliqué Shoes

Whilst on the hunt for my wedding shoes, I came across these gorgeous lace appliqué shoes:

They're from Walkinonair on Etsy. They carry them in tonnes of colours, different styles and heel heights, and every size, perfect for matching your wedding theme and personal style!

Too bad they're $72 before you add on the shipping and handling...

So I decided to make them myself!
This is one of the easiest DIY's ever, so if you're worried about screwing them up, don't be!

Here's what you'll need:

1.  Spray adhesive- super useful, so I happened to have some on hand, but you can get it at just about any hardware store for about $5 a can.
2. Shoes- these are purple suede flats, but you could use pretty much any shoe you want. I found mine on eBay for $16.
3. Lace appliqués- make sure that they'll fit on your shoes somewhere (about an inch wide at their widest point should fit.) You could have different colours, but I liked that these made my shoes a little more... 'bridal.' Again, I found them on eBay for $4.
So all total, my supplies cost just $25.

So now that you've acquired the necessary items, let's glue this bitch!

First, head outside. Spray adhesive has a lot of angry looking ~*DANGER*~ symbols on the can, and whenever something I work with has fire and an exploding skull on it, I take it outside. That makes it automatically safe.

Second, put something on the ground that you're okay with getting spray adhesive on.

Like this fancy deconstructed Life Cereal cardboard box. High tech.

Next, play with the placement of your appliqués.

Now figure out which side is the back of the appliqué and mist it with adhesive. Seriously. Mist. No need to soak it, this spray glue is strong-like-bull! A little bit goes a long way.

Now wait a couple of seconds for the glue to get tacky and then REALLY EFFING CAREFULLY (because this glue will make suede shoes ugly if it gets on a spot it's not supposed to be on) place the appliqué on your shoe wherever you decide you want it. Push down on any bits that are sticking up to make sure they adhere.

Repeat on the other shoe.

Leave them to dry.

Pose them and take a bajillion photos of how frigging pretty they are.

Now wear them to boogy the night away!