Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts

Sunday, October 30, 2016

DIY: Cheesecloth Makeover for The Bride and Frank

Happy Halloween, kids! If you are a parent or a teacher, bless you. You know that this day is just completely a wash as the kids are gonna either be jacked up on sugar or hitting some intense withdraw. Either way, brace yourself. Might I recommend digging the chocolate outta the treat bags and holing up in a dark, quite place for the next five days? Cuz things about to get real.
While you're off in a quiet corner with your Snickers and Reese Pumpkins, how bout getting your crafting on? That's what I did this weekend when I discovered the wonderment that is cheesecloth and starch (wow. Did I really just refer to cheesecloth and starch as "wonderment"? I really need to get out more).
In my previous post, I mentioned that I went on a wee thrift shop bender this week. Don't you judge. It's how I cope with the struggles of being a crazy art teacher. I'd already had it in my head that I wanted to spookify some bottles for Halloween. I'd seen some online tutes featuring cheesecloth and starch that was used to antique bottles. When I was poking around at the thrift, I spotted several items I thought would be fun to cover in cheesecloth (again, not a sentence I thought I would ever say but whateves). And these sweet Made in China figurines were one of 'em. 
And Holy Candy Corn! If you don't mind me saying so, look at that transformation!
For this fun craft, all you'll need is over-priced cheesecloth (why you gotta charge $3 for this stuff, craft stores? WHY.) and liquid starch. I prefer Sta-flo because I appreciate their abuse of the English language. Keep that Flo, Sta. You'll also need whatever grubby goods your thrift store can provide and an active imagination. Here, lemme show you:
Like, whuh?! Did you hear how excited I got? I think I mightah said "the possibilities are endless" about a half dozen times. I repeat: I NEED TO GET OUT MORE. 
Because we are friends from way back, I ain't even gonna lie to you: covering this thang in el queso-cloth (OMG, I'm totally gonna refer to cheesecloth as that here on out just so you know) was not my most favorite thing in the world as it had a lotta nooks and crannies. 
There was a lotta cutting and shoving el queso-cloth into parts unknown. It didn't take long...but the slick surface of the statue made the cloth slide around a bit which was not cool. Once I got it all in place, I set it in front of a fan and it was dry within an hour.
 Creep-tastic. By the way, my initial idea was to simply paint the faces of these guys with skulls, a la el dia de los muertos. However, as I was checking out at the thrift store, the gal behind the counter said, "I think you should do the Bride of Frankenstein and Frank" and I was all, "OMG. YOU ARE A GENIUS. YES!" So, shout out to Our Thrift Store and their imaginative staff. 
From there, I covered the entire thing in white acrylic paint and plopped it back in front of the fan.
And then the painting commenced. Y'all might remember that I have a thing for The Bride. I really wanted to keep her in a range of gray as a nod to the black and white film. However, I thought Frank deserved a punch of color so I went with a purple and lime green palette for him. 
And I kinda love how they turned out! In an unrelated side note: I ALWAYS have Netflix running on my laptop while I'm working. I just finished Sons of Anarchy (late to the party much, Stephens?) and I'm hungry for a similar show. I just started Peaky Blinders which is like the post-WWI sister show. What are y'all watching now that I need check out?
 Just a lil detail of the sides. Seriously, this was such fun. The thrift store had a ton of these figurines...I so wish I had another month of October. 
I guess I'll just have to find out what el queso-cloth and starch can do for my Christmas decor. Until then, Happy Halloween, y'all! 
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Sunday, October 2, 2016

DIY: Vintage-Inspired Halloween

Every year, when fall approaches and the light begins to change, I get this urge to create. Often times that results in a Halloween-inspired dress, needle felted sweater or painting (stay tuned for a big ole blog post with all my fave fall crafts!). This year, I was inspired to create these wannabe vintage Halloween trick or treat buckets!
 I got the idea from a shop I happened by one morning. They had these sweet little papier mache treat buckets on display in their window that were more than likely made in a land far, far away. I immediately wanted to duck into the shop and scoop them all up but the nearly $40 price tag kept me away. Then I got the idea: I'd just hit up the thrift store on the way home, pick up some plastic trick or treat containers and make my own.
Here's how, y'all!
I found three of these at my local thrift store in various sizes. I happened to have a couple bags of Celluclay that had been in my school storage closet for almost as long as I've been there. 
I had one of the big bags...and as you can see in the video I'v hardly put a dent in the thing. A little goes a long way. What I love about the clay as opposed to papier mache is that it goes on so much faster and doesn't have the texture of elephant snot. So there's that.
 Here's the making of the cat. I knew I wanted ears so for him, I simply hot glued some tag board ears to the top.
 I had a wee big of a battle with the handle but I made it work. 
Surprisingly, the tag board was able to withstand the weight of the clay. 
Covering the pumpkins was the first step. It seemed to take forever and was not my fave. I was ready to dive into the face-making part!
 So much fun. I drew a lot of inspiration from a "vintage Halloween" google search. That lead me to this incredible artist Johanna Parker who I'm currently a huge fan of!
 It was nearly 90 degrees the day I set these guys outside which worked out perfectly as they were dry in no time. This winter, when I experimented with the clay, it took up to a week to dry and did mold a bit on the bottom because I forgot to rotate the clay project. So, not only do I suffer from Cellu-Lung but also Cellu-Mold neither of which my insurance covers. Of course. 
The surface was rough but not difficult to paint. I do think kids would struggle as it is def not the easiest surface if you are trying to paint neatly. I rather dug the texture though as it meant I could play around with layers of paint and depth.
I think painting the white pumpkin was my favorite. I started by painting it completely orange then layering the white on top with a dry brush. 
After painting the details of the face, I went back and added the line on the pumpkin in orange and a dry brush of light orange and yellow. Once they were dry, I went over each with satin ModPodge to add just a hint of shine. 

I really can't decide if these pumpkins are ugly or cute. I'm going with ugly cute. Regardless, they will not be on display in our bedroom as I can't have that creeper staring at my when I'm trying to sleep. 
Ugh. I kinda wanna make more! My fall break is quickly approaching, I just might have to!
 If you follow me here, I know you've seen me sharing the process like crazy. I'd love to know if you give this a go! 
 Not gonna lie, this one's my fave. 
 But this one is a close second!
Next up on the fall crafterin' agenda: a Black Cat dress and a EYEBALL sweater, eek! I can't wait. Til then, y'all!
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Thursday, August 11, 2016

DIY: Shibori, Indigo Tie-Dye

Y'all don't even know how excited I am about my Shibori-dyed napkins. Dinner party, anyone?
True facts about me: I suffer from Public Creating Anxiety. When attending any workshop, craft activity or any adult-art-makerin' of any kind, my stomach muscles tense up, my mouth goes dry and I just can't create anything that doesn't make me wanna cry myself to sleep at night. That doesn't stop me from happily attending any crafty date I get invited to (so, call me, y'all!). I mean, I love learning something new and fun. It's just I'm totally stressed THE.ENTIRE.TIME. 

Case in point: the first time I learned Shibori...(back in the day when I made poor choices in footwear)
Me and my buddy Debbie!
Way back in 2007, I was super fortunate enough to travel to Japan as apart of the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program (I've been campaigning for them to shorten that name for years). If you aren't familiar, it is a program where 200 teachers from all over the U.S. are invited to stay in Japan for nearly 2 weeks. During that time, you are educated about the culture, taken into schools, toted around and even allowed to stay with a host family. I made so many wonderful friends and learned so much. It truly was an experience I wouldn't swap for all the dark chocolate in the world (which is really saying something). 

At one point during our adventuring, we were taken to Aomori, Japan and a Shibori dying facility. After the tour, we were told that we'd be able to try our hand at this beautiful dying process. Being the only art teacher in the group, all eyeballs were on me and my design. Needless to say, no one was really impressed with my lackluster performance (although, personally, I am more embarrassed by that ensemble. WHAT AM I EVEN WEARING?!)
Needless to say, after that flop nearly 10 years ago, I didn't attempt Shibori again...until a couple weekends ago when my friend Sara had some art teachers over for a Shibori party!
Where I made much better outfit choices but STILL sucked at dying. You can see my dud of a dye hanging on the far left. I was so sad at how my attempts at dying turned out. I mean, how can I stink at tie dye?! I love me some fiber arts, that's my jam. That afternoon, determined to better my dying skills, I ordered a dying kit and a couple books on Shibori. And last weekend, I went NUTS.
And, it's official: I'm in love with Shibori! 
If you wanna give Shibori dying a try, I recommend this kit and purchasing a bolt of muslin (so you can really go to town like I did) and bunches of rubber bands. Be sure to follow the dye mixing directions carefully for best results. If you'd like to learn the techniques I tried, I go thru each and every one of them in this video. 
Even if you follow my folding and banding techniques to a T, that doesn't mean they will turn out just like mine. The fun is not knowing what you are gonna get.
Baby Banding: I picked up some of those tiny rubber bands for fine hair at the Dollar Tree. For this look, mark your fabric with a disappearing ink pin where you want your designs to be. Then pinch the fabric just a little and place a rubber band around it, wrapping it several times. If you do that with one rubber band, it will create the circle you see. If you add more rubber bands, one below the other, it will create the larger circles. 
Over Dying: If you dye a piece of fabric and you are disappointed by the outcome, don't throw it away. Just try something new and toss it back into the dye bath. For this piece, I first just scrunched the fabric into a ball and banded it. Unfortunately, not enough dye was able to get into the bound areas which left big areas of white. To add more design and color, I placed wooden beads under the fabric and attached them to the fabric with rubber bands. I threw that back into the dye bath. Once the rubber bands and beads were removed, they left behind those beautiful floral designs.
Paperclip Dying: This one was super easy. Just accordion fold the fabric and bind it with paperclips. You can see the halos of the clips on the top and the bottom.
Wooden Block Dying: The kit I mentioned comes with directions and suggestions for dying. One was this method. To achieve this look, accordion fold the fabric. Then triangle fold the fabric (see video). Once complete, add a block of wood to either side of the triangle and bind with rubber bands. The dye only manages to seep into the outer edges of the fabric.
Diagonal Fold: Instead of starting your accordion fold at the bottom, try something different by starting at one of the orders of your fabric. Once finished, add rubber bands every 2" for this kind of look. 
Accordion Fold: Same method as above...but start the fold on the side instead of the corner.
Faded Look: This was one of my first pieces. I tried the wad-it-up-and-band-it method and it was a dud as it left me with large areas of white. So I just threw it in the dye bath for a moment and it added the really beautiful light blue color. Now it's one of my faves.
And then I completely lost my mind and started dying everything from wool yarn that I bound with rubber bands. 
 To wooden beads that I bound with the baby bands.
And wooden bangles that I wrapped in rubber bands (my new fave!).
And, um, my hands. You might have noticed that my finger nails, which I NEVER paint, are currently painted blue. That's to hide the fact that they are indeed blue.
So what does one do with a dozen pieces of Shibori dyed muslin? Make napkins, of course! I simply hemmed the edges and they were done. I scored those napkin rings on the cheap via Amazon.
 This calls for a dinner party! It's a shame that I don't cook. 
Perhaps I'll just host an "Admire my Shibori Napkins" Party. I wonder if anyone would show up. 
Regardless, I'm loving how the indigo blue goes with my dining room...and now I can say that I can Shibori dye! I can't wait until the weekend to do it some more, I'm totally addicted. 

P.S. I attended another craft night on Wednesday hosted by my good friend Tamara...and was again struck by Project Creating Anxiety. Tell me I'm not alone in this! Looks like I'll be working on that craft this weekend and attempting to perfect it as well. 
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