by Sharla

DIY – Spooky Material

August 7, 2014 in Halloween, Halloween, Halloween Creations by Sharla

DIY Spooky Material

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Check out my spooky material.  Spooky, right?  Spooooooooky…… Well, I didn’t buy it, I made it!  Why?  Because it’s fun!  The only thing I had to buy for this project was a packet of cheese cloth from Home Depot (in the paint supplies).  It was about $4.00 for the pack but it came with a ton.  What I loved about this project was how easy, fun, cheap and quick it was.  Plus, I could customize my cloth to be any color I wanted!  Shall we begin?

What you Need:

Ink Pads (I used red, black, green, and purple)

CLICK HERE for Joann.com or Shop Scrapbooking and Papercrafting Supplies at Michaels

Cheese cloth (Home Depot is my favorite spot for this but this is my recommendation from Amazon)

 

The Method:

Ok, this is super complicated, so just bare with me.  What you need to do is open you cheese cloth, cut the desired amount (or keep it whole) unfold it, and blob it onto the ink pad.  Seriously, here’s a picture of my 3-year-old doing it.

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Man, that kids needs a hair cut.  I did one cloth that was just red, kinda gross looking but also cool if you’re into the gory Halloween look.

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Then I did one that was a mixture of purple and black and one that was black, green, and purple.  Go crazy with that ink pad.  The more ink you use the better it will look.

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And just to mix things up you can always leave the cheese cloth white and drape it like spider webs.  I have used this piece year after year.  I draped it and then just made long cuts into it to shred it a little.  I like it much better than the spider webbing you get that is just one use.  Just slap some creepy crawlys on there and you have a more than convincing spider web.

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Ok, who’s convinced?  It’s all the things I love about crafting, plus its for Halloween, sooooooo, yeah.  AWESOME!

<3, Sharla 

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by Sharla

Never Pay full Price at Jo Ann Michael’s Hobby Lobby or Amazon

July 29, 2014 in Creating, Halloween Creations, Kids, Parties, Sewing, Thanksgiving Creations, Valentine Creations by Sharla

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This is a big promise, right? I know, I am aware. If someone offered me a pot of endless coupons for all of the craft stores I shop at, I might be a bit dubious (no I wouldn’t). So, let me be clear this is not advice for you creative types who are not willing to put a little effort into it (wait, a lazy creative type…that’s an oxymoron). This post comes straight from my heart, wallet, and experience (not necessarily in that order).

Here’s the deal (pun intended), I by 99.9 of my craft/sewing/decorating supplies from big box craft stores, namely Jo Ann, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Amazon (I know Amazon isn’t usually regarded as a craft store, but they have, like, everything you could want and I don’t have to load up the kids in the car). I love a good deal and my Etsy business depends on a good price, so I have made a science out of getting the deal at these stores. Additionally, I’m super bossy when it comes to things I’m passionate about (i.e. books, advice, deserts) therefore my burning desire to help you save when you’re crafting can no longer go ignored. Thus, the tips I live by when shopping for creativity were born (generally, these rules apply to online shopping as well).

Jo Ann for Crafts, Sewing Home Decor and Casses
My first stop is always Jo Ann, CLICK HERE for Joann.com. I don’t know if it’s because they have so many options or because I know every isle inside and out.  Actually I think it might be because they have the most lenient policies when it comes to coupon use. Put on your seat belts, I’m about to save you some serious moola and here’s how to do it.

Sign up for the mailers!!! No, seriously, we all want to avoid getting more junk in the mailbox but Jo Ann doesn’t let down. When you sign up for mailers from Jo Ann, they mail you ads and coupons that are encrypted with a code that is linked specifically to you, so the more you use these the more coupons you get. However, you can only use mailer coupons once.  Period.  No really, they tear them up in front of you. :(

Sign up for text coupons  Have a smart phone? The possibilities with these are endless. Namely, saving money! As far as I know Michael’s and Jo Ann are the only ones who offer regular text coupons. You can use these coupons as many times as you want per day and in conjunction with any other coupon until the expiration date. It takes no effort to get them, just present your phone at the time of purchase. You can only use it once per purchase (but as many purchases as you want to make per day). To sign up for Jo Ann text coupons text BEADS to 56266 (JOANN). *Message and data rates may apply.

Sign up for email coupons. Junk mail, junk mail, JUNK MAIL! You hate it as much as I do, but don’t mistake junk mail for a great deal. 90% of the time Jo Ann emails include some sort of coupon. Jo Ann sends out the same emails over and over when they are offering a coupon and they don’t have a limit on how many email coupons you can use. If you have 3 in your inbox, you can use all three in the same purchase.

Get the app! Sorry to all of you out there who don’t have smart phones because here is another tip for one. Get the Jo Ann app. They offer a coupon every week as well as keep you updated on what’s on sale. The nice thing about the app is it is crazy convienient. Just open the app and use the coupon, however, unlike email coupons you can only use the Jo Ann app coupon once per purchase but there is no limit on how many purchases you can use it for as long as it’s not expired.

Guess what, Jo Ann accept competitor’s coupons! That’s pretty huge and I give it up to them. Woot Woot! There is no limit for how many competitor’s coupons you can use per purchase, but you can’t use the same coupon more than once and you usually have to have a hard copy of the coupons (but they will accept printed versions of coupons you find online).  Depending on the store, you may get away with using a digital coupon, particularly Hobby Lobby, but that’s not set in stone.  If in doubt, just ask!  What’s the worst they can say?  “No, and you’re banned for life!”  Ok, that might be my own fear, but trust me, it’s not reality.

Lastly, shop at Jo Ann Online and you can CLICK HERE for Joann.com Although you can’t use competitor’s coupons online you can use all of the others. Also, Jo Ann makes special offers to online buyers for shipping and additional coupons that can’t be used in the store.

Michael’s Arts and Craft Supplies
Moving on. I like Michael’s Free Shipping on $50+ at Michaels.com because they also have a great selection, but especially on things that Jo Ann doesn’t carry. The other reason I go to Michael’s is for their paper/scrapbook supplies. I’m sorry, but Jo Ann can’t touch Michael’s in this area. Here we go:

Sign up for mailers! Again, this is a great option at this store. They not only include what’s on sale but they offer special coupons in mailers that can’t be found any where else. But remember, you can only use mailers once per purchase.  I signed up in the store when I was checing out.

Michael’s also offers text coupons. Same deal, you can only use the text coupon once per purchase. To sign up for Michael’s text coupons, text the word JOIN2 to CREATE (273283).

Yes, they also have email offers, but not every email offers a coupon. Most of the time they are just letting you know what’s on sale, but occasionally they bless you with a coupon or 10! Really, they are worth watching for in you inbox because when they do finally send a coupon it’s usually with 10 others.

Get the app! Just search the Michael’s app on your Smart phone, its totally free!  Michael’s is much more structured about their app coupons. They always have a 40% off one regular priced item coupon in their app, but they digitally track when you use it. Once you use it it’s gone until it expires and a new one is offered.  Each coupon is good for a week, so just using the app you can get 40% off one item every week.

Michael’s accepts competitor’s coupons but, again, you have to have a hard copy. Printed versions are accepted, but they have never accepted the coupon offered on a competitor’s app.  Also, every time you shop there you get a 40% off coupon with your receipt.  Check out this link to read the full coupon policy for Michael’s.

Hobby Lobby
Hobby Lobby is the warehouse of craft stores. It’s dizzying going in there. Some people find it overwhelming, other’s love it! I have found that if you can’t find what you are after at other craft stores, Hobby Lobby has it.

Here’s the bottom line with Hobby Lobby and coupons, they are extreamly strict. As far as I’ve seen, they don’t offer coupons in the mail (please correct me if I’m wrong about that because I would love to have some) or email. They do not accept competitor’s coupons and they only let you use one coupon per purchase.  Click here to sign up the their meal offers.

Having said that, get the app!  They do continuously offer a 40% off a regular priced item on the app and you can use it as many times as you want, as long as it’s not on the same day.

Check their sale items.  They are, however, great at putting things on sale. Take for instance their ribbon. I think they have the best selection so I keep an eye on their ads and when ribbon goes on sale I always head over. It’s always on all ribbon so no need for coupons, just buy as many as you want and the sale price applies to all of them.  Keep an eye on their sales by signing up for emails and their app.  I will say that a friend of mine went shopping for items she needed for a specific project and started at Jo Ann with coupons in hand.  Then, on a whim she stopped by Hobby Lobby to see if they had the same items and how the prices compared.  Everything she found at Hobby Lobby was cheaper, even without coupons, so she re-bought all of her items from Hobby Lobby then went back to Jo Ann and returned the others.  Just Sayin’.

Amazon
I know what you’re thinking, “Amazon—craft supplies…what’s the connection?” I get it, but Amazon offers sales regularly as well as used items at a discounted price.  Plus, if you are an Amazon Prime Member you can get discounted and free shipping on many of your purchases, amazon Arts/Crafts/Sewing.
Did I mention you can order while the baby sleeps?  Big.  Fat.  Win.

Last thing, if you are bent on saving money but have a lot to buy, go through the line more than once.  I have been known to shop at Jo Ann, check out, go to the car and drop off my stuff, then go back in again and buy the rest of what I needed.  I did this by using their email, text and app coupons.  

Ok, I have now offered you the the Holy Grail to saving while crafting.  I don’t want any excuses, get out there and create something!

<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Using Your Own Art to Decorate Your Home

February 6, 2014 in Christmas Creations, Creating, Easter Creations, Halloween Creations, Thanksgiving Creations, Valentine Creations by Sharla

Using Your Own Art to Decorate Your Home

Let’s talk wall art.  It kills me every time I go to Target and look at the generic wall art they sell, for a lot of money!  Why not make your own?  No really, I’m being serious.  You don’t have to be a great artist to make something that is interesting and quality.  Plus, when it’s yours it has so much meaning!  It adds character and warmth to your home.  Think about what you remember about your childhood house.  It’s easy to remember those wall decorations that were staples, whether it was a picture or a quote or a decoration.  It is linked to your emotions, and that is what you add to your home when you use your own talents to decorate.

I took a photography class in college and had to develop and print my own black and whites (you know, when people still used film).  My pictures aren’t the best ever, but I took them, I’m proud of them and they are pretty.  I mounted them myself with some spray adhesive on mat board and then framed them with inexpensive frames I used a coupon on at Joann.com .  They have been hanging in my house since I got married (just for the record, my husband never took a single photography class and he is still a better photographer than I, it’s his artistic eye….I curse and delight in it).  They are every bit as good as anything you’ll find in the store but I was there when the moment was created.  And it’s fun to brag to my kids that I took the pictures.

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How about this creepy little picture.  My husband, Matt, has always been creative and artistic (as I mentioned before), and this is a painting assignment he completed in high school.  Creepy Raggedy Ann and Andy….perfect for Halloween.  I just bought a frame on sale and had the framing department at my local craft store frame it for me.  Because of it’s abnormal dimensions I couldn’t just stick it in a ready-to-hang frame.  This is a piece of art that cost a total for $40 to put together, but to me, it’s priceless.  Now that Halloween is over we hung in my basement.  It reminds me that my husband brings talent and fun to our family’s life.

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Speaking of priceless, doesn’t it break your heart to throw away all of the creations your kids come home from school with?  I’m sorry, but there just isn’t enough room in the universe to keep everything they draw, paint, or glue.  However, my good friend Cassie found a great solution.  She took a few of her kid’s choice pieces of art and framed them and created an art gallery in her hallway.  She can rotate the pictures out as she feels, and the kids feel like rock stars seeing their art up on the walls.  

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I just started a new tradition this Halloween, but it could also apply to Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day, even the first day of school.  I created a collection of pictures of varying sizes of the holiday that we are celebrating from past holidays.  This is an example of past Halloween pictures.  I just picked one or two from each year, had them printed and used dollar store frames for them.  Each year I add one or two more.  It’s a fun and unique way to display pictures of your family.  My family and I love to look back on past costumes and it adds a warm touch to a creepy holiday.

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Check out this painting.  This is a treasured piece of art in our home.  The year my second son was born my husband wanted to do something special for Mother’s Day.  He contacted his friend Dave Adams and sent Dave a snap shot of our kids.  Dave used a photo shop program and scanned the picture in then did a color reversal program, printed it, and projected it on the the canvas.  He traced each color and then painted (just like painting by number).  The result was moving.  The crazy thing is, the picture he used wasn’t even that great, but the finished product is breath taking.  This is a project anyone can do, but Dave is happy to help you out.  If you want him to do a portrait for you, email him at mrdavidadams@gmail.com.

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Now, if you have an artist in your house, by all means, USE THEIR ART!  Matt does amazing spray paint work… for a lot of other people.  You’d think our house would be covered in it, but the picture you see below is the only one we have of his work.  He painted it for me for our 13th anniversary and it hangs in our home’s entry way.  It is a great conversation piece, one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever been given, because it came from his heart.  I love it!  

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So, be brave, take a chance, put yourself to the test.  I promise, you will end up with something meaningful and you’ll have a blast doing it!

<3, Sharla

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by Sharla

Using Nature to Decorate for Any Holiday

November 15, 2013 in Christmas Creations, Creating, Easter Creations, Halloween Creations, Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Creations, Valentine Creations by Sharla

Using Nature to Decorate for Any Holiday!

I love to decorate for the holidays.  I love the spooky, fun look of Halloween, the warm, inviting earth tones of Thanksgiving, and the joyful bright themes that surround Christmas.  But adding decorations to these holidays in your home doesn’t have to be expensive and you don’t need an interior designer to make them look good.  Here are a few of my favorite, simple ideas for adding a lot without spending a lot.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to put out some beautiful earth inspired decor.  That doesn’t mean you go to Pottery Barn and drop $45 on a throw pillow.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that place but shopping there is a rare treat.  Instead, look around you at what makes this time of year beautiful.  A huge part of Fall are the leaves!

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Olivia and Sawyer had fun filling an over sized Mason jar I bought from Joann.com with the leaves in our yard.  Check out how beautiful the result is:

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What’s more beautiful than the natural world.  Artists have been trying to capture it since the dawn of time, so use it!  It’s simple, beautiful and free!  Take for instance this simple stacking of mini pumpkins.  A friend of mine, Cathy Croxton of Card Sharks, happened to grow these herself.  I however, kill everything I touch, so I would buy mine.  But they are inexpensive and stacked on a neutral platter really makes a pop in your home.

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She also has a simple platter of Buckeye nuts in the middle of her table.  Again, natural and free, and LOVELY!

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Let’s go back to the same jar I used for the leaves.  Yeah, that jar cost $20 at Target and look at the possibilities…their as endless as your imagination!  All I did was fill the jar with a large bag of fresh cranberries, then cut some branches from my own pine trees in my yard.  Add a ribbon and-PRESTO!  Fresh, inexpensive Christmas center piece.  

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Do you have flowers or rose bushes in you yard?  I’m lucky enough to have moved into a house with a boat load of rose bushes.  Cut the wilting or dying flowers from the bushes and pull the petals off.  The ones in the center are still beautiful and a lot goes a long way.  I mean, Right?!  Click 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 for more ideas on what to do with your dead or dying roses, that are cool and beautiful!

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I think you get the picture.  In the Summer it could be wild flowers.  Spring, use the large jar as a vase and fill it with twigs from a tree with buds on it.  Get creative and look around you, it’s a beautiful world!

<3, Sharla

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by Sharla

I Need A Dr.

October 20, 2013 in Halloween, Halloween, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Attention all Dr. Who Fans……

You’re Gonna Wanna See This!

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Seriously!!!  Look at this thing…the pic on the left is what Matt used to go off of, and the pic on the right is what he created!!!  Wait, I need to use some more explanation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is me…AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ok, I think you get the point.

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If you follow the blog at all you know that A) my husband, Matt, is incredibly talented and artistic, B) he works with a lot of mediums (wood, painting, drawing, sculpting, spray paint…) and C) he loves me very much.  So when I come to him and say, “Hey babe, I think I want to build Dr. Who’s space ship for a Halloween decoration” the last thing he is going to do is leave me to building a Tardis by myself which would have ended up being a step below a card board box.  Just so you know, a step below a card board box is a two story Doritos bag.

Thus it bagan.  I don’t think he really thought it would take as much time, work, planning, effort and trips to The Home Depot to get it done, but here I sit, the proud owner of Dr. Who’s space ship, lovingly refered to as The Tardis (re-named by Matt as the “Re-Tardis”, or the “Tar-Taris”, as well as many explicative when it didn’t go together as quickly as he had hoped).

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Dr. Who has a very specific cult following, which, I think, makes me a nerd.  Do I care?  No!  I freaking love that show including all of the cheesey costumes and plot lines.  It’s kid friendly, fun, imaginative, and a little spooky at times.  All of which make it delightful.  So if you’ve never given it a chance you should get on Netflix or on the Amazon Prime account and start watching.  Seriously, why are you still sitting there.  Go watch Dr. Who!

As far as making the Tardis, I don’t have step by step instructions, but I did document some of Matt’s work as he went along and can share a little about what he did if you choose to attempt it.  If not, just look at mine and feel happy, like me.

So, Matt found this little paper box pattern online for the Tardis.  That gave him an idea, he used the paper box for the basis of his measurements.  He decided doing one actual size would be, well, expensive, hard, a lot of money, difficult, pricey, and enormous.  So he went half size.  He used this to figure out the normal size and then cut everything by half.  Let me just say, genius. 

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Ok, so first step, by and cut a lot of wood…I don’t know what Matt’s dimensions were, but he started with a flat piece of MDF and then used other strips of MDF and 2x4s to build up the design on the doors.  He also used finishing edging on the inside of each square for added effect.  Then he built the box that sat on top of each door for the window that would say “police box”.  He did some junk to stabilize the inside and then calked everything.  Yes, he did this four times (once for each side).  He originally put the plastic behind the windows during the build but later took it out for easier painting.

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Once all sides were done he assembled it in the back yard to paint, add the roof (which he built up the same as the doors) and the light on the top.

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He was super smart about the painting and used a paint gun.  He started with a light blue base coat, then added dark blue using the spray gun.  He finished it off with black and a dry brush.

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Wanna know how we got the police window to look so good?  This is something I wish I could take credit for, but again, it was Matt’s idea.  There is a custom vinyl shop in the mall and they can create any design in any font and cut it for you.  I took a picture of the Tardis into the mall, gave them the measurements and they cut it for me on the spot.  Four signs for each side.  Freaking awesome.  We couldn’t find a lock that matched the show, but we couldn’t leave it out because, hello!  The lock and key play such an important role in so many episodes.  Plus, it’s super funny that a simple lock and key protects a machine that harnesses the powers of the universe.  So Matt made a template of a circle and used gold paint (and his skills) and painted the lock on.  He also printed the little sign for the door off the internet on a tan paper, I laminated it and he screwed it on.  

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Handles from Home Depot, and there you have it…

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The best, most amazing gift/decoration ever!

Thank you, Matt!  I love you.

<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Boneheads Ribbon Garland

October 7, 2013 in Creating, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Boneheads Ribbon Garland

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Oh yes, we are using those spooky and adorable Boneheads again, how can I resist?!  I might love them.  We used the cards to make Bonehead Coasters…

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But we still have cards left, and we are going to put every bit of them to use to make the ribbon garland and packaging string you see above.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 Box Boneheads Halloween Greeting Cards by Card Sharks found on Etsy (don’t worry, buy the box of cards and you can make all three of the Halloween crafts you see on this blog.  Well worth the money!)
  • A few shapes of circle cutters
  • Tape
  • Ribbons and Fibers, I mean, like, a lot.  Here’s the beauty of this project, buy a few spools of what you need for this project and I promise you’ll have enough left over to make the Dia de Morte Pendant Banner featured on the blog as well.  Two for the price of one!

*The circle and flower cutters came from Die Cut Machines, Supplies and More at Joann.com and the ribbons I bought from Quilting Fabric at Joann.com.

For the Doorway Garland and Wrapping Paper Garland:

First things first, you need your little punch outs.  If you’ve made the other projects listed for these cards then you’ve been cutting the backs off of the cards and (hopefully) saving them.  Inside the cards is a cute little speech bubble that says “Boo!”  Punch out that little bubble in ALL of the left over cards.  We’re not done yet.  Now grab that cute box cover that came with the cards.  There are more pics on the front and back of that cover that you are going to punch out.  The more, the better.  I also really liked using a few different designs for the punch outs.  I think it looks more interesting.

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Now that you have all of your cute little cut outs we are going to attach them to the strings of the garland.  I used three thin types.  Small green ric rac, orange and white string, and thin back ribbon.  I measured them together to the length of the doorway I was planning on hanging them in.  Once you have the right length tie them all together at both ends.  Now you are going to put the cut outs on.  I did a few on each ribbon spaced out from each other by taping one to the ribbon and using a rolled piece of tape to sandwich another to the other side.  You want each cut out to be double sided on the string in case if flips over when I is hanging.

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Once you’ve got all of your cut outs on hang it in the door way.  I did this to help me see how much ribbon I wanted to use on each side.

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Now you need all that ribbon and fibers.  I was not precise when I did this (if you know me, then you know I hate precise).  I just eyed it to cut and made sure I did the exact same amount on each side.  In addition to the longer pieces I also used some very short ones to add variety.  Then I just started tieing them on until I got a look that I liked.  It’s not rocket science, just do what you like.

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TA DA!!!

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To make the wrapping paper garland simply choose the fiber you want to wrap around the package and wrap it.  Then you are just going to tape the cut outs to the string by slipping a piece of scotch tape sticky side up under the fiber and pressing the cut out to it right side up.  Keep adding them until you like the look.  This is a lovely and reusable wrapping idea, especially if you are giving away the Boneheads Coasters you made to that perfect Halloween party host. 

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<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Boneheads Dia de Morte Pendant Banner

October 6, 2013 in Creating, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Boneheads Dia de Morte Pendant Banner

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 Happy Halloween!  What’s more popular these days than skulls on Halloween?  Skulls on Dia de Morte!  Ok, I know Day of the Dead is a Mexican tradition that isn’t even held in the Fall, but come on!  Their decorations are so beautiful, colorful and spooky!  It’s becoming wildly popular to decorate in this style and I just can’t resist.  So here it is, my tip of the hat to our friends in the South who know how to through a spooky rager!

Whatcha Gotta Get:

  • 1 Set of Boneheads Halloween Greeting Cards from Card Sharks.  Click here to find them on Etsy.  The cool thing about buying their cards is that I’m doing a 3-post-salute to them.  They make a great product so why not use it as much as possible?  Click the pics below to find the link to the other crafts.
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  • Yes, there are enough cards in the box to make all three crafts.  I mean, that’s pretty alright!
  • 1 sheet yellow scrapbooking paper
  • 1 sheet orange scrapbooking paper
  • Adhesive
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • All kinds of ric rac, ribbon, and fibers

*Pop quiz: where is my favorite place to buy all of the craft supplies in this pose (minus the skull cards)?  If you know my blog, you know it’s Shop at Joann.com

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Let’s Get This Party Started:

First things first, you need to cut the card into the pendant shape.  I used my straight cutter and cut the back off (but keep it for the other project I posted) and then I made a mark in the center of the bottom  of the card.  Then I lined up the center bottom mark and one of the upper corners and cut a straight line and repeated on the other side.  See, perfect triangle!  I cut 9 triangels because the box of cards comes with 9 styles 2 of each kind for a total of 18 cards.  I thought I would make one of each style.

Next, I felt like the cards needed a little backing to make them pop.  I liked the boldness of my orange and yellow paper, I felt like it fit with the Mexican flare.  I alternated the colors as a boarder for each pendant.

Now is the fun part…putting all that crap on them.  Use a glue gun to make everything stay, it’s just easier and more secure.  I tried to stick to orange, yellow, green and purple for my colors.  I collected a variety of ric rac, ribbon, string, and fringe to use (if you have to buy spools of all of this don’t be sad, you can use the left overs in the other Halloween craft I do with the Boneheads cards).  

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Then I just played around with the design of each card until I found something I liked. I tried to put the tiny green ric rac at the top of all of them to give them a unified look.  

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 Once each one is decorated punch a small hole in the top corner of each.  String them together by going down in the front and coming up in the back.  That way you see the string connecting the pendants, but the line of string is hidden in the back.  It just looks nicer that way.

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Done with that part?  Well, then HANG THAT SUCKER UP!  The perfect flare!

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Feliz Dia de Morte!!!

<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Boneheads Coasters

October 6, 2013 in Creating, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Bonehead Halloween Coasters

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Ok, this is a post a long time in the making.  No, really, I’ve been working on this post for weeks and I just got it ready to roll.  So, everyone one out there, be appreciative.  Just kidding, but the thing I love about this post and why it took so long is because I used the pictures on the coasters (they’re actually greeting cards) for three different Halloween crafts!  You heard me, these cards are good for three, count them, THREE crafts you can use in your home during Halloween.  This is craft #1, Bonehead Coasters.  Here are the others:

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I love how all of these turned out but I especially love the coasters.  I love the skulls, I love the size, and I love that I can use them as a gift as well!  Wanna know how to do it?

You Will Need:

  • 1 box Bonehead Halloween Cards by Card Sharks (Click here to visit their Etsy shop to purchase a box).  This is your biggest expense in this project, but the catch is, there are enough cards in that one box to make all three crafts I have created.  So…..worth it.
  • 4″x4″ white floor tiles.  I bought mine from Home Depot for 16 cents each (seriously).
  • 1 jar Mod Podge
  • Straight cutter or scissors
  • Paint Brush
  • Light Yellow Ink Pad
  • 1 Piece of sand paper
  • 1 Can polyurethan spray sealer, this is optional but strongly recommended.  Just helps keep your coaster looking nicer longer.

*Everything from the jar of Mod Podge down came from Shop at Joann.com

Whatcha Gonna Do:

Each card is about 4″ wide and you want to create a 4″x4″ square.  So, cut off the back (BUT DON’T THROUGH IT AWAY, YOU NEED WHAT’S INSIDE FOR THE OTHER PROJECT).  Basically, I was careful and cut one that was the perfect size to fit the tile and then used it as my template for the rest.

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Now that you have your squares you want to glue them to the tiles.  Use the paint brush and mod podge and put a nice thick coat of it on the tile and then your square on top.  I turned mine upside down to dry so the weight of the tile pressed the paper to it.  Don’t skimp on the Mod Podge, if you do, you’ll get bubbled paper later, and that would be super sad.  I let mine dry over night, but Mod Podge dries shockingly fast so you should be ready for the next step in about an hour.  

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Now here’s where you’re going to make the tile look rad.  Use the sandpaper and in a downward motion sand the edges of the paper against the edge of the tile.  Because the card has a white core it will start to show through (which is cool looking) and give the edges a spooky old kind of look.  Be rough with it.  You’re not going to hurt it.  Trust me, don’t skip this step, check out the difference it makes…

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Now you’ve got a nice white edge.  You can stop there, but I think its cool to match the off white color of the skulls on the card.  I went digging and found my lightest yellow stamp pad that I could.  Then (with my 3-year-old’s help) I inked the edges.  You can do this one of two ways, use a sponge and dip it on the pad and then rub in a downward motion on the sides of the tile OR the easier and faster way, just rub the edge of the tile directly onto the ink pad.

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Like I said, you don’t have to do this step, but look at the difference…

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Now we need that good old Mod Podge again.  It’s great as a glue, but it’s also great as a top coat.  The other reason I like it on these coasters is because when the Mod Podge dries you can see the strokes of clear glue.  It looks way cool.  But because of that, make sure you brush it on evenly and in long strokes that reach all the way from top to bottom.  Don’t freak out when you start painting it on and it’s all white, it dries clear.

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Now, when your Mod Podge dries on top if the glue was not applies evenly or fully to the bottom you may have some bubbling up of the card (I did).  Just use whatever you can to get some Mod Podge down under the bubble and let it dry again.  I was able to fix all of my bubbles for an even finish.

Let that dry for about an hour and the very last thing to do is give it a couple of coats of your polyurethane spray sealer.  This is just intened to give the coaster and extra layer for protection against liquid and keep it looking nicer longer. 

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I’m sorry, but I LOVE these!  So much so that if you don’t want to make your own you can purchase them from my Etsy store.  Click the Etsy icon on the side of the screen or click here.

Click here to visit the Etsy store that sells the Bonehead Halloween Cards for this and other projects on this blog.

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Happy Haunting!

<3, Sharla

 

by Sharla

Spooky Halloween Decor

July 24, 2013 in Creating, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Spooky Halloween
 
Decor
 
Now, I’m not saying that I’m the best there is when it comes to Halloween decor, but I do love to decorate for this holiday.  I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I have more decorations for Halloween than for any other holiday (sick, I know).  So, I thought it might be fun to just do a post with pics of my family’s decorations, and if you find inspiration in what I’ve done, then be my guest to recreate it.  I also thought it might be fun if you followers would be interested in adding your own pics in the comment section of this post.  I LOVE new ideas, and would love to see yours.
 
 Here is my front porch.  Isn’t the enormous weed growing out of the right pot in front of the stairs  amazing?  Yeah, I planned that (no, I didn’t, I just really hate weeding).
 
 Check out the fireplace.  All Halloween decor you see was $20 or less, collected over years.  The Medusa pic was super cheap at a Halloween shop.  The large spider webs were on sale at K-Mart last season for $2.99 each.  The gargoyle was a Target purchase, as well as the owls and jug of floating eyeballs.  The spiders are my most favorite purchase.  They are big, durable and cling to the stone on the fireplace.  Unfortunately, I bought them several years ago and the store that carried them never got them back.
 
Smiley plush spider hanging from the light, I like him.
 
These jars are an easy Pinterest project.  Three candle sticks, three jars, black spray paint, and super heavy duty glue.  The bats are rubber decals I stuck on for the holiday.  Everything came from Hobby Lobby except the decals which I bought from Shop at Joann.com.
 
Anyone recognize the spell book on the table?  Don’t worry, it’s just the most amazing DIY project you can find on this very blog!  The spiderweb table cloth was from a party magazine, the other nick knacks are from Target.  Notice the creepy spider web on the light?  Everyone is selling what they call “spooky material”.  Just go to Home Depot and buy a packet of cheese cloth for $4 and rough it up a little.  It’s all the “spooky” you’ll need.
 
 This is a collection of some of my favorite decorations.  The coffin fogger is a Target purchase and that’s my kid’s favorite, but not mine.  The pic on the left of the Storm Trooper holding Yoda and Minnie Mouse hugging his leg is from a Halloween several years ago.  It’s my family decked out for Halloween night.  I just had it made into an 8×10 and put it in a frame.  The original idea was to replace the pic each year, but I never got that far.  But it is one of my favorite things to put out.  I think my next project will be printing and framing smaller pics of different Halloweens.  So fun.  Also, the witch hat on the lamp was a dollar store purchase.  Cheap touch that adds a lot.
 
Here’s another pic of the same stuff, I just wanted to show off the glittered pumpkins from the $1 bin at target beneath the table.
 
This is a fun corner.  The skull fogger is from Target, the other skulls are just cheap Styrofoam from various Halloween stores and the snake is a prop from the year my husband was Voldemort.  I am a firm believer in using old costumes to decorate with.

 

I cannot remember where this chain came from, my best guess is Target, but I have two and I like to hang them above entryways like spooky garland.

 

 These red lanterns live in my entryway, so I just dress them up with black candles.  The snake is sitting in a plastic cauldron I bought on clearance from Michael’s.
 
This jail front is one of my favorites.  I didn’t make it for Halloween, I made it as a backdrop for taking fake mug shots in front of.  But when I was done taking the pics I thought, “hey, that’s kinda spooky….” and this is where it ended up.  I have included a tutorial on how to make your own.  Click here to see it.
 
Now, send me your pics of your decor and I’ll include them on the blog.  Can’t wait to hear from you!
<3, Sharla
by Sharla

Jail Front Tutorial

July 24, 2013 in Creating, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Jail Front Tutorial
 
 
 
So, do you like the jail front in the pic above?  I have included a turorial on how to make it (yay!).  Now, I made this several years ago so I don’t have any pics on the actual assembly, but it’s pretty straight forward.  Put this puppy in just the right place with something creepy being trapped behind makes for a scary night.  It’s also a great background for photo ops.  It’s easy, light weight, and cheap!
 
 
 
Materials:
-2 Peices of 2×4 boards cut 3 1/2 feel long
-7 Pieces 3/4” PVC pipe cut 7 1/2 feet long
-4 Large black wall brackets
-28 2” long screws
-2 Cans black spray paint
-Drill for attaching screws
-Pencil
-Measuring tape
*These are the measurements for the jail front I created, but you can adjust your measurements to make your jail taller, shorter or longer.  However, if you make it longer, I would add additional wall brackets on the bottom to increase balance.
**When you buy your materials, most home improvement stores will cut your wood and PVC pipe for you at no additional charge.
 
First, mark your two pieces of 2×4.  One will be at the top and one at the bottom.  Start on one end of the board and mark every 6” on both boards.  You should end up with 7 marks (a mark for each pipe, see what I did there?).
 
Next lay them out and grab your PVC pipe and drill.  Use one screw  at the top of the board and one at the bottom per pipe.  To allow maximum stability, I lined the PVC up with to top of the board.  After you’ve attached each pipe to the top board finish up by screwing the bottom of the pipes to the bottom board with two screws.
 
 
Now you need to make it stand up, right?  Grab your wall brackets and screw two onto the front of the jail on each side of the boards.  Stand it up and screw the other two to the back of the boards.
 
 
 
The last, easiest and funnest part is to spray the whole thing black.
 
 
 
 
I attached an extra screw at the top so that I could hang my goull from it.  Easy, pleasey, zombies weazey.  :)
 
Now, go scare up some fun!
<3, Sharla