Ok, moment of honesty. See the little treat bags below...?
...I made these for no reason at all. NOT A ONE. This is the first year that I've actually completed multiple Halloween projects (patting myself on the back). I've really loved all of my Halloween supplies, which are now strewn about my craft room...and dining room table...and kitchen counter. I eyed a stray plastic spider on the floor of my son's bedroom and thought, "There's got to be something else I can do with that!"
So, I did something. I pulled out the stash of little paper bags that have been clogging up a skinny drawer in my semi-organized (in my head) set of drawers. It's one of those sets of multi-colored drawers that you see at craft stores, usually on sale, and tell yourself that all those colors are so cute and it would be great to have for ALL THAT STORAGE, but in the end it doesn't really match anything and The drawers are thin and can only really hold a lot of little things and you eventually forget that you even own them.
I have a great set of papers and stickers from the October Afternoon Witch Hazel collection. It's one of those collections that I love SO much that I cant stand to part with any of it, or, to my horror, try to use them and end up screwing something up and have to waste my coveted papers. But I practiced a little self-induced therapy and challenged my inner hoarder to just go for it and give those papers a purpose.
This is not going to be one of my half-assed tutorials. I'd simply just like to post some pics of these little works of art that helped me get through a couple of insomnia plagued nights.
Moment of honesty #2...
Nothing I've done on these treat bags is all that different from my usual projects, and let's face it, none of it is all that difficult to figure out. I just love how fun they are!
The one thing that I do want to point out is the bag that has the rosette with the middle circle that says "beware." I was especially proud of myself for being so resourcefully creative when it came to finding the perfect paper to set off the embellishment. I have a large selection of Halloween-themed papers, mostly thanks to the October Afternoon collection pack I bought last year at their warhouse sale in Apple Valley, MN, but none of them seemed appropriate to use on the rosette because the prints were too big for the small Epiphany Crafts circle shape that I planned to use, and I didn't feel like defaulting to my usual plastic jewel or clay piece. As I perused the stack of oranges and blacks and pumpkins and witches, I looked down at the cover paper from the OA collection that displayed a shrunken down sample of each of the papers. I was instantly attracted to the typography on one of the examples. The words would contrast with the rest of the treat bag, plus they were actually small enough to fit on the small DING! DING! DING! We have a winner!
As Halloween rapidly approaches, I keep trying to decide what I want to do with these little bags. Right now I have three ideas:
1. Put class photos inside and give to family members
2. Put a couple little treats inside for the next door neighbors who are a retired couple
3. Use for scrapbooking (I'll get to it someday...)
Any other suggestions?
In September, I had an awesome idea to attempt to insult anyone who comes to my door during the month of October. I was going to use on old Ikea mirror (those $2 square ones with a thick frame) and make it look spooky, and then simply put the word "scary" on it. Get it? I'm making fun of the person looking into the mirror? Funny, right...................?
.......Crickets. It was hysterical in my head, I swear!
So I took this old Ikea frame, which had previously been decoupaged with something horrid, and peeled the paper off to reveal the original wood. There were still some remnants of glue and paper, but it wouldn't affect this project.
I envisioned the frame to have a haunted house feel, so to achieve this, I painted it black. I didn't worry about sanding off anything that was leftover from before, or even painting it nicely, I just wanted a base.
Next, I pulled out the leftover craft sticks that I'd bought to use as flower stems for my SIL's baby shower last spring and painted them black. Actually, I purchased a black stain pen from Michael's and individually colored each wooden stick. It took a very long time, and I had some funky looking fingers, but I love how I was able to have different gradients of saturation, which gave a more weathered feel. Once the sticks were black, I began to put them into place by hot gluing them down. This took FOREVER. Each piece was individually fitted onto the frame, and to add a little extra spooky authenticity, I used my pinking shears to make some of the ends look jagged and worn.
I was in love with the frame once each stick was in place, so much that I half contemplated using it in my livingroom and not for Halloween. But I filed that idea away for another project and began to layout the rest of the current plan.
I went through many different ideas, but finally decided that a stripped down, simple layout would be best. I found some chipboard letters that I liked, but I knew I'd have to do something to them. My plan was to heat emboss them with either glittery gold, glittery silver, or bright orange embossing powder. Silver won. I thought the skeletons could also use a little more pizazz, so they also received a little glittery sprinkle. Also, I amped up the letters with a few pieces of ghost confetti; they needed something.
Finally, I decided that the frame called for one more embellishment, and decided on this very appropriate sticker from October Afternoon, which I backed onto a bit of striped paper and outlined with a silver pipe cleaner (could have done a better job with making the pipe cleaner look even). My intent was to use silver as the element that pulled the whole look together.
Funny or not, I love it!
I don't know what it is about hair bows/clips/barrettes, but I love to make them! As the mother of an only child boy, it doesn't really make sense. Maybe it's the fact that I'm able to make an adorable little project in just one sitting and use a variety of materials. Maybe it's the fact that I now have three nieces age two and under, so I know that there is someone who can wear them. Maybe it's the fact that they're something that I have no use for, so I have to give them away, and therefore they're not sitting around waiting to be used, like so many of the things I make. I really don't know, but I have no intention of stopping, particularly because I still have a lot of supplies leftover.
My focus, this time, was Halloween hair clips, but I did manage to sneak in some more autumnal-inspired hues, and even some pinks.
Supplies used for Halloween clips:
-Spider web stamp
-Hot glue gun
-Plastic flowers (black) from gem assortment
-Bobby pins & alligator clips
-Spooky confetti (from dollar store)
-Small, round, plastic embellishment gem
Basically, the supplies were anything that I thought would look cute on the head of a little girl.
The rundown on this DIY:
-I made the clay pieces myself using molds that I previously purchased from here, there, and everywhere. For the circles, I took a spider web stamp and a black ink pad and embossed the image into the clay prior to firing (baking).
-The striped ribbon was formed into a rosette using thread. Starting at one end, I used a gather stitch to create a circle shape and then stitched the ends together.
-To actually put all of the pieces together, I just started to layer and hot glue together.
-Once complete, I hot glued the finished embellishments to either an alligator clip or a bobby pin. I've found that it is easier to glue to a metal alligator clip if you cover it first, so I used black felt for these.
While I was making the Halloween clips, I was also inspired by additional materials that somehow managed to surface in the process. These are similar in how they were made, but I simply used a different color scheme.
-Gold permanent marker
-Hot glue gun
-Bobby pin & alligator clip
-I used the same process to make the non-Halloween clips as I did for the large googley eye H-ween clip. The only differences were that I used fabric instead of ribbon and layered it with lace. For the centers, I inserted a clay center in the gold knit rosette and used a red rose button on the brown jersey clip.
I have to say, as many times as I've made rosettes, whether they are made from paper or fabric, accordion folded or gathered stitched, I still find them to be a challenge. It's difficult to spread them out evenly so that they form a nice little circle without having too many of the gathers in one section. Anyone have any good suggestions?
-I used a gold permanent marker on the clay piece above to drawn a "fancy" S and highlight some of the details.
Below is the action shot. My niece wasn't the most cooperative model, and prefered to play with the clips instead of sitting perfectly still with her head turned in just the right direction while I took multiple photos of each one in different light. Was I asking too much? Come on, you're two, have some patience woman! I kid.
For those of you with a keen eye. You might say, "Hey, it looks like there is a pink clip there that wasn't pictured in any of the photos above." And you would be correct. I also made a simple little magenta star with a gem center (in her left hand), but it mysteriously disappeared after this photo shoot. It's either in my couch next to some old Cheerios and six blue crayons, or it's still in the sticky hands of a certain little lady.
Savvy Southern Style - http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net
Sugar and Dots - http://www.sugaranddots.com
Just when I was starting to think that my washi tape collection was a little excessive, it swooped in to save the day and had me wondering if I actually own enough.
My grandmother's birthday is today, however, her health has been rapidly declining and I did not know where, when, or if we would have a party for her. On Saturday, my plan was to go visit her on Monday, her actual birthday, which gave me the weekend to figure out what to get her. As you may or may not know, I am a huge procrastinator, which means that by Sunday morning, I still had not figured out a present. In my defense, we had a block party on Saturday which took up most of the day, so Sunday was going to be when I actually put some thought into a gift.
At 10:30 AM on Sunday, I looked at my phone and there was a text message from my sister that simply read, "Come over at 12:30." What? I have to be there in two hours???? It isn't rare for me to forget about my phone and therefore not read messages until hours after I receive them, so I checked out the time stamp on my sister's text, 10:17 AM. Ha!! For once I was semi on top of things. It was my sister and my parents who had planned this impromptu party and expected me to be there with very little notice. My grandmother lived with my family while I was growing up and I consider her to not only be a major influence in my life, but the most amazing role model anyone could ever have. What else could I do but get my behind into gear and be there as requested?
So, this is the point where I start to freak out about not having a gift. My grandmother is a difficult person to shop for because she doesn't need anything, and at this stage in her life, nine times out of ten she does not remember that she even received a gift. I was advised by my uncle to give her something she can hold or look at; something like a picture. I'm not a huge fan of giving photos because, in my opinion, they have become more generic than a gift card (I actually like it when I receive a gift card), but I figured that this is one time when it's ok.
After talking it out with my husband, we put a plan into play where he would go out and buy new ink for the printer and I would locate an appropriate photo and the frame I've been stashing away that says "Nana." While he was at the store, I stood in my craft room and thought about how I can make our idea better, more personal, more like something I'd actually give. I'd like to say that a stroke of brilliance came to me like a shooting star blazing through a clear night's sky, but it wasn't that romantic, and I'm still not thrilled with what I actually came up with, but it was better than a frame. I thought about some necklaces that I'd made for my cousins' First Holy Communion last spring. They were super cute necklaces that had cross charms and then their first initial inserted into a 1" round metal charm and covered by an epoxy bubble. I figured that I could do something similar for Nana. I did a little poking around and found another round metal charm blank from Epiphany Crafts and a chain to hang it on. To make a long story short, I cut out a headshot of my son using my 1" circle punch and inserted the photo into the charm and sealed it in with an epoxy bubble. I was still giving a photo, but at least it was more original than a frame, and it is something Nana can have with her.
But that's not what this post is supposed to be about about....
Kiersten, didn't you mention something about washi tape????
Why, yes I did!
Quick recap. At 10:30 AM, I found out that I had to be at my parents' house at 12:30 PM for my grandmother's birthday party. I had no present, no card, and I was still in my PJs. Putting the present together took about an hour of my time (from inception, re-inception, and creation, to actualization). Now, beside getting myself ready, I needed to wrap the necklace and make a card materialize.
In a perfect world, I would have popped out an amazingly intricate work of art from my Silhouette Cameo, but the machine is not currently hooked up and I didn't have time to dedicate to that whole process. Plan B. In the spring, I went through a phase where I created a ton of embellishments and mini cards, and low and behold I found a small gift card with a red paper flower that would work. I wrote my sentiment on the inside and then raced to figure out wrapping.
Side note: I'm a huge fan of wax paper bags. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! I love them so much that I bought a box of 1,000 at a restaurant supply store and they have definitely come in handy. Perhaps I don't need so many, but that's the quantity they were sold in, plus, I LOVE them.
Here is where the washi love comes in:
I wrapped the necklace in some white tissue paper that I was able to quickly locate, put it in the wax paper bag, and then found a roll of washi tape that coordinated with the card. I folded the top of the bag down and sealed the it closed with the tape, but instead of flipping it over, I used it as a decoration and attached the small card. BOOM! Instant wrapping.
Is it fantastically beautiful? Not so much. But I think it has its own lovliness and certainly served my purpose. The washi tape helped to make the wrapping look more thoughtful and deliberate and not so, "Oh, crap! I'm late!"
So, the moral of the story is, washi tape makes the world go 'round.
Ok, maybe that isn't the moral of the story, or any story for that matter. But I certainly think that it at least helped me to get out the door on time and not yelled at for being late! And, as an extra bonus, I didn't have to haul out the wrapping paper box or locate Scotch tape.