DIY Spiderweb Earrings

Truth time: I’m not much of a Halloween person. [gasp]

I know, I’m weird. I don’t like horror movies and I don’t care for Halloween parties (sweaty costumes, creepy masks….no thanks) so I’ve never felt a big motivation to spend money on Halloween decor or outfits.

This means that whenever I do dress up, its gonna be DIY, and its going to be cheap! Of course, this project fits that criteria perfectly!

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This project is super simple as far as materials go, but a little challenging if you’re new to using a glue gun (or just awkward in general, like me). That being said, the materials are super cheap so its hard to get mad if one comes out wonky!

You will need the following:

  • Glue gun (I found it easier when I used a low temp one)
  • Glue gun sticks (make sure to have a few for practice. You’ll need about 2 for the actual project)
  • Parchment paper
  • Black paint/paint brush
  • Earring findings (I used Hildie & Jo hooks for sensitive ears and matching jump rings)
  • Jewelry tools to open and close the jump rings

Step 1:

Lay out a piece of parchment paper and with the hot glue create a spiderweb. You can either freehand (which is what I prefer), or you can draw the shape you want on the parchment paper and follow it. I found that the “best” looking spiderwebs have 4 intersecting lines.

This is the hardest part of the project. Practice getting an even flow out of the gun, but if you get clumps here and there it just adds to the charm! I find that moving slowly is easier for me, but it may depend on how your gun warms up the glue. Don’t worry about the strings, you can either pull them off later, or leave a few in for a more “webby” look.

Step 2:

Once the glue dries up (should only take a few minutes) take a paint brush and go over your spider web. Do the back part first, let it dry. Flip to the front, and paint.

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Step 3: Attach your hardware and its ready to wear!

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Told you it was easy!

I can’t wait to use this technique to make other glue gun crafts!

 

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Air Plant Himmeli

In case you haven’t heard, plastic straws are OUT. Metal and reusable straws are totally IN*.

So what do you do when you have bags of straws at home, but you feel like a monster using them to sip on your Fresca, but you also don’t want to throw them out for fear they’ll end up in an innocent turtle’s nose?!

You use them for crafting, duh. More specifically, you use them to make himmeli! And in case merely up-cycling straws is not green enough for you, these himmeli will serve as a perfect outdoor-safe home for your air plants! (Because air plants are totally in too.)

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There are two basic ways to make these himmeli: 1) make all the straws the same size to get a cute chubby symmetrical shape, or 2) use longer straws at the top to make an elongated shape. In the steps below I’ll show you how to make the chubby one, and in the last step I’ll explain how to make the changes to make yourself an elongated himmeli!

So, ready to make some himmeli?!

Himmeli supplies

Materials:

  • Straws. Thickness depends on the style you’re going for or what you have at home. I used smoothie straws from Ikea, because that’s what I had on hand.
  • String. Cotton, nylon, pretty much anything will do. (If you use skinnier straws or thicker string, you may need a tapestry needle.)
  • Scissors.
  •  A ruler. (Very much optional.)

Step 1: Figure out how big you want your himmeli! You want to make it slightly larger than your airplant so it has room to grow, but not too big that it falls out. (You can either use the ruler to get your measurement, or you can eyeball it and use the first straw as the measurement for the others.)

Step 2: Cut out 12 straws segments. Either all the same size, or 3 sizes: 4 for the top, 4 for the middle, 4 for the bottom. (For maximum mischief, only hold one end of the straw while you’re cutting. Kids and pets will LOVE this.) 

Step 3: Cut your string. The math-free way to figure out how much string you need? Line up your longest 4 pieces. Take the string, and measure out that length 4 times. (If you’re using a cotton string or twine, it will help to wrap the ends in tape so they don’t unravel!)

Step 4: Measure out a string length equivalent to 2 straw pieces. (This is going to be your tail, don’t let it go anywhere). Take 3 pieces and string them, then tie a knot at the top (keep that tail in tact!)

 

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Step 6: Next, string 2 more straw pieces, and tie a knot at the bottom this time.

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Step 7: Keep repeating this (string 2, tie, string 2, tie), alternating the side that you’re tying, until you’re left with 1 lonely straw piece on the string.

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Step 8: Grab the 2 tails that are left, and tie them together.

Step 9: You’re going to be left with a pyramid with 2 hanging flaps. Take both of the tails and string them through one of the “straw flaps” so they come out the other end.

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Tie them around the other flap. And that’s it!

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Left: Chubby Himmeli; Right: Elongated Himmeli

Now, to make an elongated himmeli you are going to substitute the 1st 2 straws and the last pair (not the last lonely straw) with longer pieces. Like so….

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And the last few steps are the same!

Finally, place your air plants in their new home….they (and the turtles) will thank you for it!

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*For those who are worried about HOW CAN I DRINK MY BUBBLE TEA WITHOUT BEING A MONSTER, Pretty Candy Pin Co carries some gorgeous Rainbow Stainless Steel Boba Staws! (Edit: Currently sold out, but they should be in stock in a couple of weeks.)

Happy National Spaghetti Day!

Did you know today is National Spaghetti Day?

Yeah, I didn’t either…but now that we do know, I wish you a good one!

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What is it, meatball?

 

To make these cuties all you need is scissors, some felt in white (cream), red, and brown, a little bit of polyfill,  felt glue (for the eyes and mouth), and a needle and thread.

Step 1: Cut 1/4″ strips from the white felt (cream, really) until you have a plateful. I had five 36″ strips. (I used the felt that is sold by the yard, not sheets.)

Step 2: Cut the spaghetti sauce shape out of red felt.

Step 3: Cut 2 circles from the brown felt. Mine were 3″. With a needle and thread make a running stitch along the border of the circle (about 1/8″ from the edge). Place a wad of polyfill in the center, then gather and stitch the opening closed.

To make the eyes I used scraps of white and black felt, but you can also use embroidery!

 

Bon Appetit!

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Pawnee Goddesses

Leslie Knope is easily the best TV character of all time. Not only is she Feminist AF, but she’s a fantastic friend….even if a little over enthusiastic. When I grow up I want to be Leslie (or Anne, because how awesome would it be to have Leslie as my BFF?)

One of my favorite Leslie moments? Season 4, Episode 4, Wilderness Weekend with the Pawnee Goddesses. (This also happens to be Treat Yo’self 2011. Purely coincidence.) If you haven’t seen it, go and watch it right now. It’s on Netflix. I’ll wait.

So yeah, Pawnee Goddesses are freaking awesome. Which is why I had to make myself a Pawnee Goddess vest.

I purchased my iron-on patch on Etsy from FerdinandWorks, and the fabric and yellow trim (ric rac) can be found just about anywhere (I got mine from Joann’s). I used New Look 6036, model E, for the vest pattern.

Of course, our sewing session turned into a full-on sewing party….

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This is actually a great project for an advanced beginner! A little tricky with the curves, but you can either line it, or use bias binding to make it easier. None of my friends had ever sewn a garment before, and they turned out really great!

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I am a goddess

A glorious female warrior

Queen of all that I survey

Enemies of fairness and equality

Hear my womanly roar.

Up next: I make my very own Gertrude Stein!*

*That was a joke.

Photos by Nabila/One Tiny Dinosaur

Party with Plaid Crafts

Every crafty girl needs a crafty girl gang.

Case in point: when Plaid Crafts and Craft Box Girls selected me to receive a Plaid Party Kit for 4 I knew exactly who I was going to party with!

I invited my friends Paola (of Dapper Animals), Andrea (of Vintage Unicorn), and Nabila (of One Tiny Dinosaur) to party with me.

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Plaid Crafts sent me 4 boxes with 4 full sets of supplies (!!) from their FolkArt line to decorate a pallet coaster.

Each kit included:

  • 1 pallet coaster
  • 2 stencils (1 geometric pattern, 1 alphabet)
  • 1 set of paint brushes
  • 2 Brushed Metal Paints (Brushed Antique Gold and Brushed Rose Gold)
  • 2 Pickling Wash Paints (Sea Glass and Gypsy Rose)
  • 1 stencil brush
  • 1 roll stencil tape
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Project kit from Plaid Crafts featuring products from their FolkArt line.

The kit was accompanied by instructions on different ways to use the products, including using stencils and creating ombre effects with the Pickling Wash.

I’d never used a Pickling Wash before, and I must say I really liked it! Its designed with porous materials in mind, making it perfect for our wood coasters. You paint your surface, then after about 30 seconds you wipe off the excess paint to give it a light wash of color. Some of the girls experimented with repeating the process and keeping the paint on longer times to achieve a darker color.

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Andrea’s Pickling Wash in action

Our favorite effect to create was the ombre. It takes a little bit of practice, but when perfected, that transition from Sea Glass to Gypsy Rose is just gorgeous!

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Paola’s awesome ombre using the Pickling Wash paints

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Did I mention the good quality brushes??

I was super happy that they sent us two stencils to try out. I loved the letters and the geometric pattern allowed me to add a little something extra without having to freehand any designs.

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Alphabet stencil on Nabila’s coaster

My favorite product (aside from the brushes…I was so impressed by the quality!) was the brushed metallic paints. I had a hard time choosing between the gold and rose gold so, inspired by the girls making ombre coasters, I made a subtle ombre that went from Antique Gold to Rose Gold with the stencil.

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My new glue gun coaster.

We stuck to using the materials supplied with the kit 99% of the time, only breaking from that when one of us used a fine tipped pen to make an illustration on one of the coasters. (How cute is that chubby dinosaur?!)

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We had so much fun with our Plaid Craft Party!

What would you make with a party kit of your own?

A huge thanks to Craft Box Girls and Plaid Crafts for sending me the complimentary party kit!

If you’re looking for a crafty girl gang and would like to join us, we’ll be hosting crafternoons in the future! Follow us at The Imposter Collective to be the first to hear about it!

Mythical Creatures Brunch: Totoro

Have you heard of Geek Girl Brunch? If you haven’t, go check it out right now.

I joined as soon as they launched a chapter in Miami, and I am not exaggerating when I say its one of the best things I’ve done in the last few years. I have met so many great people through Geek Girl Brunch (GGB) and it has legitimately changed my life.

Last weekend the Miami Chapter had their November brunch with the theme of “Mythical Creatures” in honor of the new Harry Potter movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. It took me a few weeks to find the proper inspiration and I finally made the decision with less than a week before the event. I decided on one of my favorite mythical creatures: Totoro, from “My Neighbor Totoro.”

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As soon as I made my decision, I knew exactly how I would make this happen, and all without having to buy a single thing! (You see, hoarding does have its benefits!)

All I needed was a grey dress, grey and white fleece, and a headband. The most complicated part was the headband. I had purchased a few pairs of kids bunny ears at Target back around Easter (yay for the Dollar Spot!) so I used one as the base for my Totoro ears.

I was crafting this all the night before, so I didn’t get any progress pics. However the process is simple. Once I had the headband and wires exposed I shaped them into the general shape I wanted. I traced this shape onto the fleece and cut out 4 times (I added a seam allowance, but in hindsight I would make it smaller, or eliminate altogether) and sewed two pairs together to make 2 ears! (Sew right sides together, trim excess fabric, and turn right side out!)

If you don’t have a sewing machine I’m fairly sure you can recreate this by sandwiching the wires in between two layers and gluing together.

I slipped them over the wires and glued down the base of the ears to the headband. To cover up the band I cut out a rectangle long enough to cover from end to end, and tapered the width to match the headband. I measured out the location for two slits through which I could squeeze the ears through, and then glued it all down with a glue gun. (I won’t show you the inner part of the headband, because like I said….I was in a hurry so it does NOT look pretty!

The bib was the easiest part to make. I grabbed a piece of fleece, eyeballed the width and height I wanted, and cut out the shape with scissors. I cut out and glued the little crescents with a glue gun. Once dry, I safety pinned (from the inside) to the front of my dress. Definitely not the most impeccable items I’ve ever made, but it was quick, fun, and dare I say cute!

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My best attempt at imitating Totoro’s expression.

Geek Girl Brunch always does a fantastic job at the brunches. If you consider yourself even mildly geeky I’d suggest you check it out! The brunches are very popular, thus a bit difficult to get into, but so worth it! (Did I mention there are swag bags?!)

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Group shot  courtesy of GGB Miami

 

 

Mollie Makes: Amigurumi Doughnuts

Its no secret that I’m a fan of Mollie Makes magazine. The moment I see my magazine in the mailbox I start dancing with excitement….what fun projects will be featured this month?!

When I spotted these adorable amigurumi doughnuts in last month’s issue I absolutely knew I needed one of my own! For those who aren’t familiar with amigurumi, it is the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed objects with anthropomorphic features.

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Crochet has a special place in my heart. I want to say that it was the first crafty skill I learned. I was about 7 or 8 years old, on vacation with my family in Colombia and my mother’s aunt decided to teach me during the time I was there. I vividly remember the frustration of having to mirror everything that she was doing (Yay for being a lefty!) and working with a very fine crochet hook and thread (it was mustard yellow). My little hands would get sweaty and keeping tension was a struggle. Thanks to her infinite patience I stuck with it and more or less learned the basics.

So back to the doughnuts….aren’t they adorable?!

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Look at those happy doughnuts!

I decided to make the pale pink doughnut with white icing. (Um, how awesome is it to have a yarn stash and not have to purchase anything??)

Once again, I found that the Mollie Makes instructions assume an existing level of craftiness. In this case, you need to know the basic stitches. Its also a UK magazine, so I think they may use different terminology for crochet?? I thought they were referencing a Double Crochet stitch, but I used a Single Crochet instead (since its the basic amigurumi stitch).

There’s just something about crochet….its so relaxing because of the level of repetition. It gets me in the zone every time. (On that note, you don’t really want to be watching TV or singing music you’re tempted to sing along to. That’s how you lose count of your stitches!)

The steps were pretty basic. The hardest part for me is the actual stuffing and sealing of the doughnut. My hands are just awkward like that.

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Donut, or bagel? 

My favorite part: making the face!!

I used Safety Eyes (they’re like stud earrings that don’t come off!), and red thread for the mouth. Its always fun to experiment with the expressions, but I decided to copy the magazine go simple with a basic happy expression.

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Pin that icing down!

For the icing you simply crochet a few lines, and then stitch them on. While I typically hate doing all these small decorative details, I really enjoyed it this time! It may have something to do with the level of cuteness of this doughnut. (Don’t you want to just take a bite out of it?!)

A hint though: always read the directions all the way through before proceeding…..if I’d have done that I would’ve left the tails a bit longer and saved me some heartache with sewing on that icing.

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Ta-da! I made it myself! =D

This project reminded me just how much I love crochet….and how long its been since my LAST amigurumi project! I can’t wait for the next one!