Tuesday, October 28, 2014

HOLIDAY DIY: Dia de los Muertos Banner

I love celebrating both Dia de los Muertos and Halloween. This year I wanted to have a papel picado style banner, but using Oly*Fun instead of tissue paper. Oly*Fun is more durable than tissue paper, can be cut like paper, doesn't fray, and will hold up well outdoors. It also comes in a rainbow of colors. I have made both traditional papel picado and non-traditional papel picado projects in the past. This banner is perfect for my front porch. This project does take some experience with a craft knife. It is not recommended for children, as the craft knife is very sharp. This project is part of a Dia de los Muertos Blog Tour. Head to the bottom to see the other participants and the giveaway for this week!



1) Using your ruler and white pencil, Mark out even 10" by 10" squares of Oly*Fun. I cut one of each color, but you can cut more if the space you are hanging it is larger. Using the fabric scissors, cut the squares out.

2) On each square, using a clear ruler and white pencil, draw a 1" grid on one side. This will be on the back of the panels, so don't worry about the lines.

3) Fold a square in half. Using the white pencil, draw half of a design, aligning it with the fold. While drawing, you want to keep in mind the use of negative space for cutting next. Leave a 1" plain border around your design.

4) Place the folded square onto the cutting mat. Using the craft knife, carefully cut out the squares around your design, and any little details. You will leave a small gap in between in square, to create a grid and keep the design intact. I cut the squares around the design 1st. Then, opened up the square and cut the additional squares, using the grid lines as my guide. This will not be perfect, but that's ok.

5) Using scissors, cut a scalloped or pointed edge along the bottom of the square.

REPEAT STEPS 3-5 on each square until you've completed all of them. To flatten them, press them under heavy large books.

The designs I chose coordinate with the colors. A heart for red, a marigold for orange, a sun for yellow, leaves for green, moons and stars for blue, and a skull for purple. In Dia de los Muertos culture, red mean blood, orange is sun, yellow is marigolds (to draw spirits back to Earth), purple is death, white is purity, and black is the land of the dead. I didn't know this before I made this banner. If I had swapped the orange and yellow images, it would have been oddly accurate. Though I don't know if the green and blue are accurate, but they work for me, representing nature and the heavens/night.

6) Cut a 2" wide strip of Oly*Fun in Jet Black, as long as you need it. The Grab N Go packs are 3 yards long. If you need a longer piece, you can sew two ends together. I used the clear ruler and a white pencil to draw long line for an even strip. Mine was about 2 yards long.

7) Lay your panels along the strip, evenly spacing them. Mine overlap the strip about 3/4". Use straight pins to temporarily hold them.

8) On the sewing machine zigzag stitch the panels onto the strip. I set my needle, centered along the edge of the panels, so the zigzag stitching evenly caught the panel edge and black strip. I straight stitched to start and stop the zigzag, and in between the panels.

9) Hang it up as desired. If you leave enough of a tail on the strip, you can tie it around something. I left short tails, so it could be hung on cup hooks. My husband hung it for me (I'm shorter), by poking holes through the strip, on the cup hooks. Oly*Fun doesn't fray and has a large enough weave to easily poke small durable holes into it.

DISCLOSURE: Fairfield World provided me with the Oly*Fun and Westcott provided me with the cutting mat for this project. Several of the above supply links are Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase something using those links, I will receive a small compensation for that purchase. This all goes back to blog expenses. All opinions, instructions and above images are mine.

My project is included in the Dia de los Muertos Blog Tour! Check out these other awesome blogs this week for their projects!

October 26: Rebel and Malice - Felt With Love Designs

October 27: From a Box - Paisley Roots

October 28: Crafty Lady Abby

October 29: Sewing Sober - Two Novembers

October 30: Handmade Boy - Ginger House Designs

October 31: Call Ajaire

November 1: Lulu and Celeste

November 2: Rebel and Malice (Last day to enter giveaway!)

Giveaway sponsors: EYMM  -  E+M Patterns  -  Golden Rippy  - Ginger House Designs

Monday, October 20, 2014

HOME DECOR: DIY Rainbow Acorns Frame

I've been obsessed with acorn caps lately. After using a couple to make these Acorn Caps Earrings, I wanted to make a larger colorful project. I gathered lots of acorn caps from my daughter's bus stop, and came up with this rainbow acorns frame project. I chose a rainbow color palette, however, you can use less colors, no color, metallics, neutrals...what ever makes you happy.

  • Acorn caps - I used 60 of them
  • Acrylic paint in various colors and black
  • Small paint brush
  • E6000
  • 1 Wide wood frame - I bought mine for $1 at Michael's
  • Wax paper
  • Paper plate


1) Gather a lot of acorn caps...more than you think you'll need I'm fortunate that there is a huge oak tree at my daughter's bus stop. Lay them out on a wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry, if they are wet.

2) Sort through your acorn caps to choose ones that aren't broken and similar sizes.

3) I laid out the acorn caps on my frame to determine how many I would need to paint. I determined it to be 60. Divided the acorn caps up according to how many colors you are using. I used 6 colors, so that is 10 acorn caps per color.

4) Use a paper plate to pour paint onto. Carefully paint each acorn cap it's coordinating color. Set them to dry on wax paper. Repeat paint coats until coverage is opaque.

5) Paint the frame black, including the back, sides and inside. Let it dry and give it a 2nd coat if needed.

6) Arrange your painted acorn caps on your frame. I did a pattern, but how you arrange them is up to you. After I had figured out my arrangement, I realized I needed two acorn caps to be a different color. I painted two acorn caps the correct colors and set the extra 2 aside.

7) Working one acorn cap at a time, apply E6000 to the bottom edge and press firmly onto the frame. Let them dry completely before using the frame.

8) My frame came with a dowel rod and shallow holes on the back, to sit it up. However, I'll likely add a picture hanger on the back.

That's all for this tutorial. There are lots of things you can make with acorn caps. You'll find collecting them addictive. If you want to store the extras, make sure they are all dry 1st. If they aren't and you are in a hurry, you can dry them in an hot oven for a few minutes. Remove the wax paper before baking the acorn caps. Happy Makery!

HOME DECOR: DIY Googly Eyes Frame

Many years ago, I had seen a google eyes frame at Target during Halloween. Inspired by that, I decided to make a DIY version that costs about $5. In my case, I already had most of the supplies from past projects. I found perfect $1 wide wood frames at Michael's in the wood crafts section. This frame is perfect for holding photos of your little goblins and ghouls, or as party decor.

  • 1 Wide wood frame - I got this one for $1 at Michaels
  • Googly Eyes - I used over 90 eyes. I bought my packs at Dollar Tree. You can use the black and white version, colors and various sizes, depending on the look you're going for. Michael's and Jo-ann have a large variety to choose from
  • Black acrylic paint
  • A paint brush
  • E6000
  • A paper plate or scrap paper - To squeeze paint and glue onto while using them
  • Toothpicks
  • Wax paper - To protect your workspace from paint and glue

1) Remove the insides of the frame, leaving just the frame and prongs.

2) Using the black acrylic paint and paint brush, paint the full frame black. This includes the back, sides, and inside edges. Let it dry completely.

3) Pour your googly eyes out and arrange them on your frame.

4) Squeeze some E6000 onto the paper plate. Using the toothpick, pick up a little glue from the plate, and spread it onto the back of one eye. Press it onto the wood frame where you had arranged it to be. Repeat for each eye. This will take a while.

Tip: I started with a corner and a large eye and worked around the frame. The glue won't take long to set up, but you do have a little time to wiggle them around if you need to adjust the placement.

My frame came with a peg and shallow holes on the back for it to sit up. However, the wood is thick enough to hammer in a little hanger for hanging on the wall. I'll do that later, after adding a photo of my little ghoul. Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 17, 2014


Hi, I'm Alex Davis. One day I was bored and decided to make something out of Duck Tape. I had not used my mustache and gummy bear duck tape yet. So I decided to make a Duck Tape purse! You can use any two prints you want.

  • 2 ROLLS OF DUCK TAPE: Mustache and gummy bear, I got mine at Walmart.
  • SCISSORS: To cut the duck tape into different lengths.
  • 2 SHEETS WHITE PAPER: For the base of your purse.
  • STICKY BACK VELCRO : To close the purse, I got mine at Michaels. 


1. Take the white paper and cover it with cut pieces duck tape place it into a pattern.

2. Fold the duck tape paper in half. Then, on the sides cover it with cut pieces of mustache Duck tape pattern, leaving the top opened like a purse.

3. Next, you need to add a flap. Take another sheet of white paper, measure the height of the purse  and add two inches to the height of the purse.

4. Take the flap you just made, then place a long piece of Duck tape on the bottom of the flap. Stick the flap with the Duck tape inside of the purse on the opposite side of where you want the front to be. If there is a gap in the back of where you put the flap then seal it up with more Duck tape.

5. Fold over the flap and to close the purse cut out a square piece of sticky back Velcro and put it under the flap.

6. Use scissors to round the bag corners, if you want to. Then cover the holes with the same color of Duck tape.


1.  Another idea make a purse that is similar to the purse above. But you could add double sided Galaxy duck tape roses.

2.  Also you could  make a circle purse. Different than the other two, but still awesome, and I had gotten these Duck tapes at Five Below.

Hope you had a fun time making this project! I know I did. ~ Alex

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HOLIDAY DIY: Dia de los Muertos Coffin

For Dia de los Muertos, coffins and flowers are common. The two day festival celebrates the lives of the departed. For this tutorial, I altered a dollar store Halloween coffin, into a Dia de los Muertos coffin. This is suitable for filling with treats, little toys, skulls, skeletons, or creating a mini shrine. In this tutorial you will learn how to make a faux wood grain, that you can use on many paper projects.  For Dia de los Muertos projects, I normally use marigolds, a flower thought to attract souls back to Earth. I changed it up and used roses instead. Onto the tutorial.

  • 1 Paper coffin - I bought mine from Dollar Tree, for $1. These nesting coffins would work well too
  • Tissue paper - I buy big packs of tissue paper from Dollar Tree. White or pastel would work best for this project
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paint - I used black, brown, bright green, and red
  • Paint brushes - You need a small flat brush (soft, but stiff), a small detail brush, and a small flat stiff bristle brush
  • Small paper roses - I got mine from Michael's. These from Amazon will work too.
  • Fine glitter in black and red
  • Mod Podge Matte
  • Mod Podge Gloss
  • E6000 Glue
  • Paper plates - For paint and glitter
  • Wax paper
  • Paper towels - For cleaning brushes and any messes
  • A cup of water - For cleaning brushes after glue and in between paint colors


1) Cover your work surface in wax paper. This will protect it from glue, paint and glitter.

2) Tear a sheet of tissue paper into small pieces, about 1-2 inches large. Cut half of another sheet into 1/2 wide strips.

3) Using the flat paint brush, brush on the Mod Podge Matte in sections. Cover the section with torn pieces of tissue paper. Brush more Mod Podge Matte over the tissue paper, to seal it. Cover the both coffin pieces inside and out with Mod Podge Matte and tissue paper. Try to smooth out the paper as best as possible. There will be some creasing, and that is ok. Let the coffin dry completely before moving on.

4) The strips of tissue paper will mimic wood boards. Working in rows, like wood boards would lay, apply the Mod Podge Matte and strips in butting rows. Do this to the outside of the box. The top and bottom should be going vertical. The sides should wrap around horizontal. Seal the tissue paper with more Mod Podge Matte. Let dry completely before moving on.

5) Pour black paint onto a plate. Paint the inside and outside of the coffin black. Give it a couple coats, for even coverage.

6) Now for the wood grain. Pour some brown paint onto your plate. Dip your stiff bristle paint brush into the paint. Starting on the lid, drag your brush from the top to the bottom, creating streaks vs even coverage. Repeat this for the full lid, and the bottom of the coffin, adding more paint to the brush as needed. Set aside to dry for a few minutes.

7) For the sides of the lid and coffin, drag the paint brush horizontally, so the "wood grain" wraps around the sides. Set aside to completely dry.

8) Seal the box with Mod Podge Matte and the soft flat paintbrush. Let dry completely before touching again.

9) For the vines, I mixed an olive green paint by adding a little black to bright green. I used a small detail brush to paint on swirling vines and leaves. I let that dry completely. Then, went back with bright green and added highlights to the vines and leaves.

10) With black and red paints and the small detail brush, I painted buds along the vines.

11) The roses I purchased were in black and greys. I painted the grey ones red using red paint and the detail brush. If you are painting your flowers, make sure to get into all the crevices of the petals and the back, leaving the center of the back unpainted. This will make gluing it easier later.

12) Time for glitter. I recommend covering your work surface with paper towels and working over a thin paper plate. Using Mod Podge Gloss and the small detail brush, coat a rose completely, making sure to get into the crevices and the back, leaving that small back center alone. Heavily sprinkle matching glitter onto the wet glue on the rose. Make sure to get into all the crevices and the back. Repeat this for all the roses and buds that use the same color glitter.

13) Fold the plate in half, tapping the glitter towards the fold. Carefully pour the glitter back into the glitter container.

14) Clean up your work surface by washing your brush, and replacing the paper plate and paper towels.

REPEAT STEPS 12 and 13 for the remaining roses and buds using the other color of glitter. Throw away the used paper plates and paper towels. Clean your work surface of glitter the best you can.

15) After the roses and buds have completely dried, seal them with an even coat of Mod Podge Gloss using the detail brush. Let them completely dry before moving on.

16) Lay out the roses on the coffin lid. Use a little E6000 on the back of each rose to secure it to the lid. E6000 takes 72 hours to fully cure, but will be stiff enough after about 2 hours.

Fill your coffin with treats, a skeleton, or sugar skulls. Give it to a friend or loved one as a gift. You can add more sparkle by using flat back stones on the outside. You can turn the inside onto a shrine with photos of passed loved ones and things they liked. I'll likely display mine with my other two decorative boxes, a Dia de los Muertos Heart and an Anatomical Heart. You can paint other designs and play with colors for different wood grain effects...weathered, worn paint, white wash...whatever you want. Happy Makery!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

UPDATE: Projects for Fairfield World and Craft Test Dummies

I've been busy this month working on project request, work of other blogs, band prep for RVAcon, family events, and projects that will have tutorials here.

This past week, four of the posts went live on two separate sites. For Fairfield World, I made a porch full of Stuffed Oly*Fun Pumpkins. This pumpkin's face was painted using Tulip Soft Fabric Paint in Matte Ebony. I made Oly*Fun Fabric Spikes, which I demonstrated on the last League of Space Pirates Live From Space episode. I plan on using these on my costume for RVAcon.

For Craft Test Dummies, I tested Etchall's Dip 'N Etch and Etching Creme. I tested both on glass and ceramics, making a variety of projects. All of the items were purchased from Dollar Tree and a thrift store. The projects below are my favorites from the testing bunch.

I have additional projects coming up with both sites. A costume accessory and Dia de los Muertos banner tutorials for Fairfield World. Not sure what I'm testing next for Craft Test Dummies, but it will be fun to play with, and likely post next month.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

COSTUME: Penguin from "Batman Returns"

I love the Batman movies. One of my favorites is Tim Burton's "Batman Returns". For the male villain, Penguin/Oswald Cobblepot, you need a lot of menswear pieces. If you are considering doing this costume, I recommend renting a formal tux for the evening and adding the extra elements...gloves, cravat, cigarette holder, umbrella, monocle, and spats. He's a very formal character. If cold, throw on a long faux fur coat or trench coat on top of everything else. Penguin is a large guy, so this costume is aimed at the larger gentlemen. If you want to be more authentic, try applying a pointy nose prosthetic over your own nose. Check a costume shop for one. For the hands, in the film they are deformed, binding the 1st and 2nd fingers and 3rd and 4th ones together. This likely would be uncomfortable to keep your hands in. I suggest just wearing black gloves and forget about binding the fingers together.

I've previously done a Catwoman costume inspired by the classic TV series costumes. If you want one inspired by this movie, you need a full body suit, the mask, gloves, and boots. That's available at many Halloween shops.

For the makeup and hair, check out this Penguin Makeup Tutorial by Pinkstylist.

Monday, October 6, 2014

LIFE: The Empowerment of Sexiness

As Halloween quickly approaches, I see many irate articles about sexy Halloween costumes and how there aren't any other options in stores. Here's the thing for me, sexy Halloween costumes don't offend me. They are giving women an option (and it is optional) to wear something overly sexy during a holiday where that is openly accepted. The rest of year, most people don't get the option to open up and be a character. To step out of their normal life and play dress up. Perhaps I should put it into the perspective of role playing and fetishes. Many people engage in that, though more often behind closed doors than in public. However, the exhibitionist don't care who is watching, and I'm fine with that in select circumstances. Halloween gives everyone the opportunity to shed their normal life for something completely different.

As you all know, I play a character in a futuristic space punk band, where I dress up in sexy costumes. Though this is in my character description from before I even joined the band, it's a style of clothing that I openly wore out dancing with friends. It's something our band leader, Noah, already knew about me. For me slipping on the PVC, corsets, and other costume elements is very empowering. I call it a transformation. I go from being an stay at home mom and artist to a sexy space babe. My daughter sees me in these costumes, much like I saw my parents in many of their costumes as I grew up. If you prefer to be more modest during a holiday where you don't have to be, then do that. However, please refrain from putting down the women who choose to don the sexier costumes and let their inner seductress out once and a while.

Through my life, I have worn a wide range of costumes. The most covered one was Catwoman, as we all know she is a seductive character. The least covered one has been burlesque inspired...which was just lingerie. To wear that in public, was a huge thing for me. To get over the hurdle of embracing my body and sexuality fully, was hard. I had to get out the mindset of "this is what moms look like" and realize that I'm an adult and wearing something sexier for a night out with friends, isn't going to hurt anyone's perception of me. My husband love me no matter what I wear. From my daily lounge clothes/pjs to dressing up nicer for work or family adventures, to sexier for band performances or dancing with friends. All of that is me. There is nothing wrong with showing off more skin. You aren't a lesser person for it. There is definitely a time and place for sexier outfits. I'm not going to show up at my daughter's school in what I wear as a character. However, I am open about what I wear for band performances when discussing our band with other parents. The response you wonder...nothing but good things. They think it's awesome. I do what makes me happy and that's all that matters.

Sexy Halloween Costumes

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