Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DIY: T-Shirt Fabric Flower Pins

DIY: Fabric Flower Pins
November 26, 2014

DIY: T-shirt fabric flower pins

I made a few of these pins to give as gifts and to wear.  Using old (and clean) t-shirts or buying them inexpensively at your local craft store means the fabric will not fray like other fabrics.  Felt could also be easily substituted.  I followed this tutorial, except made a template from chipboard using one of the flowers on my Cricut (the cartridge I used was borrowed from a friend, and I can't remember which it was).  I also cut 1 1/2" circles from chipboard for the felt.

Craft Felt
Pins, barrettes or headbands. (I used these pins purchased at Michaels.)
Temporary/removable glue (I used this glue)

Here is the tutorial I followed from Emily's Little World, which I found via Pinterest.

I did use some of repositionable adhesive on the chipboard templates to temporarily attached the fabric to the template to make cutting the flower shapes much easier.  I did the same for the circle template and the felt.

Flower and circle templates with some cut shapes and finished flowers.

Felt Circles

DIY T-shirt fabric rose pins
More finished flowers.

These flowers could be attached to barrettes or headbands as well.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DIY Mickey Mouse Ears Headband

DIY Mickey Mouse Ears Headband
November 25, 2014

I made this headband as a joke for a friend when I was making the Hello Kitty Ear Headbands.  This turned out really well and was very easy and fast to make.

DIY Mickey Mouse ears headband

Headband (this was from a 4-pack at the Dollar Tree)
Black Craft Felt (9x12” sheet used here)
Glue gun
Mickey Mouse head template (readily available online)
Black yarn if your headband isn’t black

Step 1:
Download and print a Mickey Mouse head on regular copy/printer paper in the size you want for your head. Cut the ears out leaving a tab at the bottom (See picture)

Mickey Mouse Head Template

Step 2:
Fold the felt and place the “tab” at the bottom of the ear along the fold. You can pin the paper to the felt to make it easier to cut. Cut the felt with scissors using the paper as your guide.  Once cut, open up the felt and it will resemble a figure “8” or dumbbell. 

Cut ear

If your headband is black, skip to Step 4

Step 3:
Wrap the headband with black yarn attaching the starting end with hot glue and gluing every few inches for extra security. Once the entire headband is wrapped in the black yarn, use hot glue to secure the end of the yarn and headband.  Trim excess yarn.

Step 4:
Fold ears around the headband (use the original template for spacing), and add hot glue to the center “tab” area to secure it to the underside of the headband.  Add hot glue around the edge of the ear and at the topside of the headband.  Press the ear sides together and down towards the headband to secure.  Repeat on the other side.

Ears attached to headband
Use template for proper spacing of ears.

Hot glue the ears
First ear attached.

This is a quick and inexpensive craft which is perfect for that trip to the Disney Parks, or a Halloween costume, or for use as a photo booth prop.  Add a felt or fabric bow for Minnie Mouse!

Voila! Mickey Mouse Ears headband is complete!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marvel Avengers Party Ideas

DIY: Avengers Party Ideas
November 18, 2014
DIY: Marvel Avengers logo tote bag
Avengers Tote Bag

Last year I threw myself a big birthday party, the kind of party kids have.  I had the party at the beautiful Los Encinos State Historic Park.

I also made some PVC bows and arrows using this tutorial, but I didn't curve the PVC as I found they worked better (arrows shot much farther) if I left them straight. This meant they didn't look like bows, but they worked so that's what was important to me. I also used pencil top erasers as the "arrow" and that also worked well.  

I made a Hulk Smash Box similar to this, but I used one of the boxes I had received from ordering all the candy favors online. I used white foam core board and cut holes in the cardboard box and the foam core and sandwiched green tissue paper between them. I put small prizes inside. 
DIY Hulk smash prize box
"Smashing" the Hulk Smash Box.

Here are a few of the favors I made for each of the guests at the party. I made sure there were things specific for kids, too.

I got this cheeky idea for Black Widow favors.

Wax Lips candy
 I also made arrow straws filled with Pixy Stix.  I don't have a picture of them, but I made them again for my niece's Hunger Games birthday party seen here. I also made black arrow pens gluing felt to form the fletching.

Using the freezer paper stencil technique, see this tutorial, I made these shirts for prizes. 

DIY painted Iron Man t-shirt
Iron Man shirt

DIY painted Hulk t-shirt
Hulk Shirt

Avengers Logo t-shirt
Avengers "A" Logo shirt

Captain America Star shirt

Tony Stark gave the 100 Grand bars. 

 Tony also had "Tony Stark Party Bags" which were 6x9" red satin drawstring favor bags containing a deck of cards, 2 red dice, and golden and red casino chips.

SHIELD Warheads

Tesseract Cubes (cotton candy flavored rock candy) which I had to label since it looked like it was from Breaking Bad.

DIY Marvel Avengers Matchbook notepad favors
These are the first matchbook style notebooks I made.

DIY: Marvel Avengers Coloring book favors
Coloring Books

Captain America Tootsie Rolls

Tesseract Bracelets

The Hershey's Kisses were given to me by a friend as leftovers from the candy bar at her son's Bar Mitzvah.  I cut a bunch of small boxes with my Cricut and placed 1 kiss per box.  I tried to use Avengers colors (Green-Hulk, Deep Red - Thor, Yellow - Iron Man, etc.) 

I printed a pumpkin carving stencil onto cardstock to use as a stencil to paint the "A" logo onto the tote bags which I gave to each of the guests to hold all of their goodies.

 I first traced the image using a gold pen (to show up on the black bag), then covered that outline in dimensional fabric paint in silver metallic.  Then I filled in the logo with soft fabric paint in silver metallic. The paints I used were Tulip brand.

Gold tracing

Dimensional paint

Fill in with "soft" style fabric paint.
 I also made Avengers bookmarks, and I still have some of those, I don't have a picture of them. 

DIY Avengers Logo tote bag autographed by Jeremy Renner
I saved a bag for myself and was able to get Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) to sign it at the Thor: The Dark World Los Angeles Premiere!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Air Dry Clay Mask & Silicone Molds

DIY: Clay Phantom of the Opera masks 
November 17, 2014

I made the silicone molds a couple of years ago with polymer clay, but this time I wanted something lighter for the mini plaques I made for this year's Phantom of the Opera themed dinner.
Partially completed DIY air dry clay Phantom of the Opera Mask
Partially complete mask
Silicone molds (basic tutorial will follow the mask tutorial)
Crayola Air Dry Clay in White
400 or higher sand paper
Modge Podge or other clay sealant

Step 1:

The great thing about the air dry clay is that it blends together wonderfully in case you don't get enough to fill the mold on the first try.  The bad thing is that although the molds are very flexible, the air dry clay is extremely soft which makes them challenging to remove from the molds without distorting the shape.  I pulled a small amount of clay from the package and rolled into a ball using the palms of my hands.  I added or removed clay from the ball as I felt I needed.  

Step 2:
Once the ball of clay is the size you need, press it into the mold making sure to get the clay into any crevices. I let the clay set for about 5 - 10 minutes to make removal from the mold a bit easier.

Step 3:
The mold created thick masks, just over 1/4" thick in spots, and took 3 full days to dry. 
After 1 day of drying - before trimming.
 Step 4: 
I trimmed the excess clay around the mask after 1 day of drying.  I wasn't sure how easy the clay would be to cut once it was completely dry, so I did it while it was still quite soft.  I just trimmed around the mask with basic scissors.
After trimming with scissors
Step 4:
I gently sanded the masks with 400 grit sandpaper to remove the rest of the excess.  Even fully cured, the clay is fairly soft, so sand with a very gentle hand.
beginning the sanding process
Step 5:
Apply sealant or Modge Podge.  I only used 1 coat of matte Modge Podge since these were going onto a plaque where they will not be handled much. If you are going for a high polish shine, definitely use more than one coat and sand between coats.

DIY: Silicone Molds

The brand silicone I used is Easy Mold Silicone Putty by Castin' Craft. This is a food safe silicone so you can use your molds for cookies or candy.
Easy Mold brand of Silicone Putty used to make the molds
Easy Mold
Step 1:
The package contains two components in which one is white and one is purple.  

The instructions in the package are very simple, but I'll make it really easy.  Take equal parts of each color and mix together until the color is uniform, without swirls. You have about 3 minutes to create the mold so have whatever you're going to use immediately available.
Middle of mixing components together.
I was using these, very expensive, plastic Phantom mask buttons I had purchased (if the buttons were inexpensive, I would have just bought a bunch of them).  The first project I was using the masks for I needed a quantity of 40.  I formed the silicone into a ball shape, then pressed one of the buttons into the silicone and waited for it to set as per the manufacturer's instructions (about 25 minutes). The instructions recommend leaving whatever your using to create the shape of the mold in the mold during storage.  I hadn't done that, and they worked just fine 2 years later.

Plastic button in Easy Mold brand silicone mold
Button in the silicone during the curing process.
I haven't used the silicone putty to make molds for edible items, and the manufacturer advises against using the mold for food items after using other materials in it.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mini Plaque Tutorial

DIY: Mini Hanging Plaque
November 11, 2014

These plaques are made from upcycled chipboard drink coasters which I had bought on clearance at Michael's over a year ago for less than 20 cents per pack of 6. I had been trying to come up with a craft for them, and I think they turned out pretty well even thought I was really rushed to get 30 made on time.  These were one of the favors I made for the annual Phantom of the Opera themed charity dinner a group of friends throw benefiting City of Hope.

DIY: Mini hanging plaque - Phantom of the Opera Themed
Completed plaque
Chipboard coasters or chipboard cut to 4x4" square
Acrylic paint
Crop-A-Dile or other heavy duty hole punch
Ribbon - 12" length used here
Embellishments or other artwork

Step 1:
I peeled the stickers off of the coasters to expose the chipboard.  They were on both sides and came off quite easily.

The original paperboard coasters

Sticker removed from the coaster
Step 2:
I painted two coats of gold acrylic paint on one side and 1 coat on the backside of the plaques.  Once the paint was dry I punched two holes at the top of the plaques using the 1/8" punch of the Crop-A-Dile. 

Step 3:
I made phantom masks from air-dry clay which I will post the instructions for later this week.  I made a mistake and this is the order I should have gone in.  I printed the sheet music for a few of the songs from The Phantom of the Opera at approximately 2 1/4" tall x 2" wide.  I rubbed red stamp pad along the edges to give the plaque more color. Attach these to the plaque with Modge Podge or watered down white glue. Allow to dry.

Step 4: 
I added 1 coat of matte Modge Podge over the entire plaque, but probably should have used 2 coats.  I had time constraints and 30 plaques, so this wasn't done, but in the future, I will.

Step 5:
I used Scotch Quick Dry adhesive glue to attach the clay masks to the plaque.  The chandeliers are plastic and are self-adhesive. 

Embellishments added
Step 6:
I used Stickles glitter glue in Xmas Red around the edges of the plaques.  I sped up the dry time with a hair dryer since I was doing this the morning of the dinner.
Step 7:
I cut 12" lengths of ribbon in red and black from my ribbon stash to hang the plaques from.  I triple knotted the ribbon on the backside of the plaque for hanging. You could forgo punching the holes and attach a magnet to the back.

I wrapped these in waxed tissue paper purchased at Michael's about 2 years ago.  I was able to use the folds in the tissue paper as my guidelines to cut the paper for wrapping the plaques in.  I wrapped the plaques because the Modge Podge really needs at least 24 hours to cure and I didn't want the other objects scratching the plaque while in the favor/gift bags.

Plaques placed in DIY waxed tissue paper envelopes

I left the top-side open

Monday, November 10, 2014

Paper Masquerade Mask Tutorial

DIY: Paper Masquerade Mask
November 10 ,2014

 A few weeks ago, I made 30 masks for a Phantom of the Opera themed charity dinner a group of friends throw every November.  I was making the favors to go in the goody bags for each attendee. Each bag included a bracelet with a sparkly connector charm, this mask, a notebook like the one here, a bookmark, and a plaque which I will post later this week.

I used my Cricut to cut the masks, but you could easily find a template online and cut the mask by hand.

Finished paper masquerade mask
This is several masks together.  Looks like a Predator to me! :-)

Cricut Cartridge: "Chic & Scary"
Black cardstock (Recollections 8 1/2 x 11" used here)
1/4" Black Polyester Ribbon - 18-24" lengths x2 per mask
Crop-A-Dile 1/8" hole punch
Stampin Up - Stampin Around stamp in "So Swirly"
Stamp Pad (Used Copper and Gold ink)

Step 1:

Cut mask on Cricut at 7" (Speed: Medium, Pressure: Medium, Needle: 5).  I could get two masks per 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of cardstock.

Mask waiting for decoration

Step 2:
I went very basic for the decoration on these masks, but have been much more detailed in past years.  I used the Stampin Around stamp by Stampin Up in So Swirly and used a standard ink pad.  Some masks I did in gold and others in copper.  My gold pad was drying up so more masks ended up with copper ink which showed up better on the cardstock anyway.  Due to the height of the mask being larger than the stamp, I rolled the stamp across the top of the mask then the bottom half.  I wasn't being too precious about matching up the pattern and there was some overlap.  The pattern of the stamp looked fantastic wherever it overlapped, so it was definitely not worth fussing with matching it up.

Use a roller stamp to print pattern on the paper mask
First pass with the stamp on the top half of the mask. You can see where I missed a small section on the very top.

Second pass with the stamp on the bottom half of the mask.
Step 3:
Using the Crop-A-Dile, I punch a hole on each side of the mask using the 1/8" punch.  You want to make sure your ribbon is twice as wide as the hole size so you don't have to make too many knots. I used 1/4" black ribbon and triple knotted each side and trimmed off any excess.  I cut the ribbon at 24" for each side. (NOTE: I used 10 yard rolls of ribbon which gave me 15 lengths of 24" ribbon.)

Punch a tiny hole on each side of mask and add ribbon
I put the knots on the front side of the mask, but it can knotted on the backside as well.

Ribbon ties were knotted to keep them from pulling through the mask.
Triple knot.

Voila! You have a great mask for your masquerade party! Remember you can add all the bling and gitter you want to your mask, and these would be a great craft to make with the kids!