Saturday, October 7, 2017

Ghost in a Glitter House and Halloween Blocks!

Putz houses have to be one of the greatest things on the planet. They are small, charming, and covered in GLITTER. What could be better than that? But it is not quite time for Christmas crafting, so I made a Hallowe'en version instead. Alpha Stamps has a miniature House Ornament that happens to be perfect for making your own glitter house. I think an entire village of shimmering houses in orange, purple, green, and black would be the bat's wings!

I glued the house together, painted it orange and the window frames silver. The window trims were painted black and then dipped in a pile of black glitter. After gluing on the window trims, each side of the house was slathered in glue and dusted (more like enveloped!) in orange glitter. The roof was added and covered in black glitter, and finally the chimney was glued on top.

The base is a box from a Tim Holtz Configurations Shadowbox but I had to cut and reassemble it to fit the house. I love the candy corn trees, even though my kids informed me that "candy corn is orange in the middle and yellow at the end, geez, Mom!" The trees are dyeable bottle brush trees painted with acrylic paints. 

There is a wee ghostie hanging out inside the house, ready to get his spook on.

And he glows! Before assembling the roof, I cut a hole in the floor of the house that was the same diameter as the flame of one of those LED tea lights. The base also got a hole so the flame of the tealight could be inserted from the bottom and poke through the floor. To make the ghost, I shaped a bit of aluminum foil like a hill and covered it with crepe paper and glue. The foil was removed from the dried ghost and I glued the shape over the hole in the floor. The tealight was inserted under the base and I had an illuminated apparition. OOOoooooo!

The supply list for the glitter house can be found HERE.

Because I want to make all of the Hallowe'en things, but locking myself in the craft room and ignoring my family is frowned upon, I crafted some quick EEK blocks for a friend. Tiny House Jewelry pieces became row houses on top of 1" blocks. I made crepe paper medallions and glued a vintage button on top, then added plastic letters to the front of each block. The houses were painted and decorated with collage sheet images, and that was that!

The supplies used can be found right HERE.

Happy October to you!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pumpkin Guy and Kitty

Eeeeek! It is nearly October! I am both excited about that and surprised at how quickly September vanished. It has been a very busy time for me, but I managed to carve out time to get this paper clay Pumpkin Guy finished. I made his head some time ago but lost interest (or maybe that giant grin was just too much at the time) but after getting another look at him, I figured. "eh, why not?" So, I plunked his noggin on a wire armature, covered the wire with floral tape, painted his arms and legs, added a felt body over the wire, stuffed the body, then sewed clothes over the body.

Such a dapper looking fellow! He has polymer clay shoes and ribbon suspenders, and teensy buttons from Alpha Stamps. They are so small! The most difficult and time-consuming thing was deciding on what Pumpkin Guy was going to hold. Eventually, I settled on needle felting him a buddy with a candy corn tail. Needle felting is still a mystery to me but I like the surprise after finishing something. Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it looks like I should never try this ever again. The kitty didn't turn out looking like The Blob so I stuck him in Guy's arm.

Happy almost October!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Hip Hop Halloween ATCs

This is my favorite time of year. It is beginning to get cooler, the bugs are gone, and Halloween is in the air! Maybe it is because I am a huge fan of orange and no one really appreciates the color until Autumn...but also, HALLOWEEN. There are so many things to craft! I sent a few silly Hip Hop Halloween ATCs to a friend:

They were made with a new collage sheet called Halloween Darlings and some really shimmery, very cool Mica Fragments from Alpha Stamps. They are easy to apply, just sprinkle them onto an adhesive like Glossy Accents, and they will stick forever. I even poured some of the fragments into a plastic bag and smooshed them into a coarse powder and still they glistened. Pretty neat stuff!

Hope you are getting your Hallowe'en on and are crafting all things spooky!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Costumed Kiddos ATCs

Can you believe it is already September? You know what that means- more Hallowe'en crafts! Every square inch of my craft table is covered in black, orange, green, glitter, spiders, ravens, and skeletons. It looks good that way.

Amongst the piles of spooky goodness, I found a few Wrought Iron ATC Cards with a gothic fence and spiderweb borders. The borders are neat because they add a little depth to the cards. Paint them, emboss them, add glitter to them, then half of the card is already finished! I added images from the Little Darlings collage sheet and gave two of them crepe paper costumes. (Do you see that minuscule buckle on the witch? So small!) The third kid got a pair of bat wings from the Halloween Dress Up Half sheet. Done!

To make the cards stand upright, I simply carved out a small section of these fun Jack-o-Lantern erasers and slid the corners of the card in the slot.

Everything I used for the ATCs can be found at Alpha Stamps or to see a supply list, click HERE.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

How To: Mini Peaches in a Jar and Some Other Stuff

A few weeks ago, I shared a miniature cupboard that was full of pantry items and here's a few instructions on how to make a mini paper bag, a wee spice rack, and peaches in a jar.

First, the paper bag. You'll need a rectangle of paper, glue, and something to wrap the paper around (like the end of a sketching pencil, a length of rectangular balsa wood, or the handle of a wooden spatula). Wrap the paper around the end, fold the paper on both sides as if wrapping a present, then add a dab of glue. Pinch top together, then roll paper down. 

The spice rack is made from basswood trim. Decide what length you wish your rack to be and cut two pieces to that size. Cut a third piece that is slightly shorter for the base. Finally, cut two itty bitty ridiculously small side pieces. Don't saw off your fingertips.

Glue back piece to base and add side pieces. Let dry. 

Wrap a bit of sandpaper around a thin dowel and sand sections along one long edge. The spice jars will rest in the recess.

Glue front piece to rack. Paint as desired.

The tiny spice jars are actually dollhouse baby food jars (with removable lids!) that came from Alpha Stamps. They will hold a fairy sized amount of something and are just too cute.

And lastly, here are the peaches in a jar. You need polymer clay in orange, yellow, and translucent, a ball end stylus, chalk pastels, tiny glass jar with cork top, Ice Resin, scrap of fabric, and string.

Mix the three colors of clay together. Pinch off tiny amounts and roll into balls, then flatten one side. Make an indention with the stylus.

Brush the insides of the peaches with red-orange pastel dust. Bake at 265 degrees for a nanosecond. Seriously. My first batch was scorched beyond recognition because I fed the cat in between putting them in the oven and taking them out. At least the cat was happy.

Spend 20 minutes meticulously arranging the peaches in the jar with a toothpick and then fill the jar with the mixed ICE Resin. Realize all of that arranging was fruitless (haha) because tiny air bubbles collected in the dimples of the peaches and spend another twenty minutes poking around at all of the bubbles with a stick pin, thus ruining the arrangement. Add cork and snip off top.

Place a circle of fabric on top, wrap a string around to hold it in place, then admire your mini handiwork! Happy miniature making!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Mattress Tutorial for Witch Bed

Yesterday I posted a little witch bed made from a neat Spider Web Wrought Iron Playing Card from Alpha Stamps and am now going to show you how to sew the mattress. It is pretty small, so if you prefer to hand sew it, it won't take too long. I used the sewing machine to make it a bit quicker to finish.

Heavyweight cardstock, watercolor paper, any thick paper will do
Mattress Fabric
Stuffing of any variety
Needle and thread
About an hour

Here is the template for the mattress. I posted how this is made yesterday. This will be inserted inside the mattress, making it rigid. Because I wanted a tufted mattress, I poked holes in the cardstock template so I could later sew through the fabric and the template. Mine aren't even but that's okay.

For the mattress stuffing I went with wool roving, mostly because I have a huge bin of it. Polyfil would work, or thin upholstery foam, or a bunch of unrolled cotton balls; dryer lint would be fine too. A few layers of wool were stacked together, the template was placed on top, and I cut around the template.

Trace around the template onto two pieces of fabric and cut out, leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. The strip of fabric with diagonal lines will be used to make piping around the top of the mattress and the other strip will go along the middle of the mattress. I did not measure these- it was a completely eyeballed project- but the piping strip is somewhere around 5/8" wide and about 16" long. The middle strip is 1" wide by 16" long. (so I guess I did measure them, huh?)

Fold the piping strip in half and sew close to raw edge. I considered placing a length of embroidery floss inside the fold, thinking it would replicate real piping a little better, but hey. It worked out okay without it.

Match raw edge of piping with raw edge of top piece and sew around with 1/4" seam. Turn under the raw edge of one end then place it over the other end to join.

Couldn't even be bothered to change out the thread. Lime green it is!

Match raw edges of mattress side piece to raw edges of front, right sides together, clip corners, and sew around, 1/4" seam again. Don't forget to fold under the raw edge of the end!

Place back piece on top and sew around, leaving one long side open.

Insert stuffing and cardstock template inside.

Sew closed.

Now to make the tufts. Thread a needle and knot the ends together. From the back of the mattress, fish around until you find a hole in the template and poke the needle through. Pull thread almost all the way to the front, insert the needle a little below where it came out, then push it to the back. Insert needle between the threads and pull tight. It will dimple the fabric on the front.

Then move to next hole, but when you come through to the back, slide the needle under the thread next to the hole, then under the loop. Pull tight and make another knot in the same way. You could be neater about it and just make all the tufts the same way the first one is made then snipping the thread and repeating. 

Turn your mattress over and be amazed at how cute it is! 

It needed sheets, so I placed the mattress on my sheet fabric and cut around, leaving an inch on all sides. The corners were cut out then the edges were folded up (right sides together) and sewn along the straight edge. Repeat for all corners. 

Sew a little casing around the raw edge, insert thin elastic in casing, tie ends of elastic together. Place on bed. All done!

Happy mattress making! :D

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Witch's Bed and Table

This month, the design team for Alpha Stamps was sent a few new die cut playing cards to...well, play around with! The Spider Web Wrought Iron one caught my eye and I decided to transform it into a bed for a witch. My decision to use the spider web card had nothing to do with the need to craft Hallowe'en things, I swear. The table was an afterthought, made by gluing a wood finial to a wood disk, painting it, then adding a Dresden trim along the edge. The table top has an embossed design using a stamp from the Curiosity Cling Stamp set. 

The construction is quite simple, and I'm going to show you how to do it. You will need:

Spider Web Wrought Iron Playing Card
Balsa wood approx. 3" x 4 7/8" x 1/4" (bed base. It is the same dimensions as the card)
Basswood Strip 3/16" x 2/16" cut into lengths of the following size:
                              4" long- cut two (headboard legs)
                              2 1/2" long- cut two (footboard legs)
                              3" long- cut two (supports)
Basswood Strip 3/16" wide by 4 13/16" long (side supports)
Scrapbook paper

First, trace around the card back onto heavyweight cardstock/drawing paper/watercolor paper, then scootch the back about 3/16" down and trace around the end again. Cut along traced line. The card back will become the headboard and footboard and the cardstock will later become part of the mattress. The mattress needs to be shorter to accommodate all the bulk. You will have to adjust the length of your mattress if you plan on using thicker fabrics for bed linens. I will have the tutorial for the mattress tomorrow.

Measure 2 3/8" from top of card back and 1 1/2" from bottom of card back. Cut along lines. The larger piece will be the headboard and the smaller, the footboard. Save the middle piece, we need a strip of that for the footboard. Cut the card front using the same measurements. See those two skinny bits? They come in handy if you have to apply glue to something small. Or fold them in half and use them as paper doll stands. Or just throw them on the floor and sweep them up later. 

Next, trim off 1/4" from the headboard front. I wanted my headboard to be flush with the bed base, so I trimmed off 1/4" which is the same width (or is it depth?) as the balsa wood I used for the bed base. Because we want the footboard to be nice and tidy, we need to add a piece along the bottom to frame it out. Cut a strip from the saved bit that fits inside the footboard. I eyeballed mine, and it is crooked. Meh.

Paint all the pieces! Including the balsa wood bed base, supports, and legs.

Paper all the pieces! No, not really. Just the headboard and footboard. Ink around the paper edges and add color to the webs if you like. 

Next, glue headboard front to headboard back and footboard front to footboard back. Also glue on the extra trimmed bit. See how nice that looks? Grab the bed base and glue a 3" long support to both ends of the bed. (The photo after the next one will show you exactly where to glue the support for the headboard, whereas the footboard support is aligned with the end of the bed base.) Here you see the headboard and legs, footboard and legs, the balsa wood bed base with two support pieces glued on either end, and two additional supports pieces that don't belong in this pic and should be on the floor with the rest of the unusable pieces.

As I said, the headboard support is glued to the bottom of the bed base but with a tiny bit jutting out. The headboard will be resting on this and hopefully make the bed sturdier. The footboard support is glued flush with the other end since I did not want to see the support from the front of the bed. The purpose of that support is mainly to have additional surface area to glue on the footboard, thus making it durable. It makes sense in my head anyway! 

Headboard freshly glued flush to bed base and on lip of support.

Footboard glued to bed base.

Okay, now there are probably a thousand better ways to glue on the legs but this is the kooky way I did it.  Maybe because it's wine in my mug and not coffee. The bed is 1" from the floor, so I placed it on four 1" cubes and then weighed it down with something heavy. (EasyMold kit worked pretty well!) Glue the 4" long basswood strips to the headboard and 2 1/2" long ones to the footboard.

Lastly, glue 4 13/16" long side supports to both sides of bed. It's a bed!

The bed needed a mattress:

Sheets and a pillow:

And finally, a blanket with a really cool design (courtesy of the All Seeing stamp in the Curiosity Cling Stamp set). I used another one of the stamps to emboss the top of the table. All of the stamps in that set are interesting and will most likely show up in a lot of my projects. Thanks, Leslie!

Supplies List:

Spider Web Wrought Iron Playing Card
Basswood Strips 3/16" 
Curiosity Cling Stamp Set
Tiny Antique Silver Crown
10mm Clear Glass Marble
Large White Turquoise Skull
Ceramic Black Cat Bead
Astrology Backgrounds collage sheet
Alchemy Collage Sheet
Tiny Divination Cards collage sheet
Tim Holtz Vignette wood Finials
Thin Looped Dresden Borders- Black

3" wooden disk, bag of balsa wood (assorted sizes), modeling wax, toothpick. Happy crafting to you!