Monthly Archives: October 2016

Celebrate - Create

DIY Skeleton Fingers + Halloqueen Crown

October 25, 2016

halloqueen crown

This week’s Halloween diy might be my favorite yet! With an easy to make crown, you can go from Ghoul Next Door to Halloqueen faster than you can say Hocus Pocus.

skeleton finger

Skeleton Fingers
First you’ll need to make some skeleton fingers. I ultimately used them for the Halloqueen crown, but I could also see these being perfect table decor or festive plant tags. 

Supplies
aluminum foil
clay
coarse paintbrush
white + black paint
wire

1| Roll up and mold a piece of foil to roughly a finger shape & size. Something tube shaped that tapers off towards the tip is perfect!

2| Wrap the foil in clay. The foil core will keep the finger light and easy to mold while creating the shape.

3| After the foil has been completely covered, carve out rough knuckle lines.

4| To add a little something extra to the fingers, create ridges along the top of the fingers and towards the knuckle joints with a ‘pinching together’ motion.

5| Bake/dry according to clay directions. If you’re planning on stringing these or attaching them elsewhere, pierce the fingers with wire before drying.

6| Once cooled, paint the fingers with the same layered stippling technique used in the faux stone skulls diy.

skeleton fingerskeleton fingerskeleton finger skeleton finger skeleton finger skeleton finger
halloqueen crown

Halloqueen Crown
With the skeleton fingers done, on to the pumpkin on top! Using a thick wire base, this crown can easily be adapted for any event. I went for silk flowers over real ones a) because white roses are impossible to find in Chicago b) my hot glue gun is bae c) all this work and I can wear it for years to come. But if any florist in the area wants to collaborate for a Thanksgiving of Christmas crown….

Supplies
12 gauge wire (in your hair color)
pliers
skeleton fingers
silk flowers
hot glue

1| Gently bend the wire into an open circlet, curling the ends inward to avoid them poking into your head later. The crown is more flexible in a circlet form so you don’t have to worry about fit as much. I thread 2 bobby pins into the end circles to make the crown stay put, but you could also loop ribbon through and tie it off.

2| To support the fingers, add another piece of wire bent into a semi circle. Hot glue the joints to keep it standing up.

3| Using the wire inserted into the fingers before baking, twist tie each finger to the base and hot glue from the back to the support form.

4| With all the fingers attached, time for the flowers! There was no method here- I just cut and glued a bunch of black crysthanamum flowers I found in Michael’s Halloween section to the base and then to each other to get the full look.

halloqueen crown halloqueen crown halloqueen crownhalloqueen crownhalloqueen crown

Tada! Some Halloween magic for you. Hang tight for the accompanying makeup look this Thursday to really bring it all together.

Celebrate - Create

Diy Faux Stone Skulls + How to Style Them

October 20, 2016

faux stone skull

I was looking for supplies for next week’s Halloween DIY when I found this bag of mini skulls at Michael’s. My weakness for small things took over before I could figure out what to do with them but they turned out to be a huge Hallowin!.

faux stone skull

With a quick little makeover they are now ready for all kinds of shenanigans around the house as candle props, pumpkin stands, and tiny bud vases perfect for Halloween place cards.

Supplies
mini skulls (similar ones here)
sandpaper (optional)
paint
coarse paint brush
glue
pearl seed beads

faux stone skull

1| Sand down the seams. Sanding the extra plastic down will make the stone texture more realistic. If your skulls don’t sit well on flat surfaces, sand down the bottom as well.

2| Take the smallest amount of paint and perfect your dab technique. These skulls already had a nice color/texture so they only need a coat of white. If you’re starting from a different color, layer up from black to silver to white.

3| Attach the pearl beads with super glue and let dry. Your skullfully crafted pieces are ready for display. Need ideas? I’ve got three!

faux stone skullfaux stone skull display
faux stone skull bud vase

As Bud Vases
Use an Exacto knife to cut a small section from the skull. Most of the tiny skulls out there are hollow, perfect for this diy! Use them as place settings for the classiest Halloween gathering.

faux stone skull bud vase
faux stone skull bud vase
faux stone skull pumpkin display

As Pumpkin Displays
Glue the skulls together in a ring and have an impromptu stand for anything! I get a kick out of using them as a ‘throne’ for my mini pumpkins. Sidenote: hot glue seems to work the best on the painted skulls- it holds well short of pulling them apart.

faux stone skull pumpkin display
faux stone skulls candle holder

As Candle Flair
I was tempted to glue the whole pack together and make a spooky scepter, but thought a smaller version would be better for the house. These two are glued to the side of an old lab flask turned candlestick holder. Use extra hot glue to create faux wax drips.

faux stone skulls and candle display
faux stone skull

No bones about it, this group is the cutest fearleading squad that ever was. How are you decorating for Halloween?

Create - Explore

Branch Out | 6 Modern DIY Plant Displays

October 13, 2016

branch out modern diy plant displays

I’ve been working on a few Halloween posts, blinked, and now it’s freezing! Time to bring all the plant babies indoors to help them ride out the winter. There’s plenty of creative diy ways to display them indoors. A new home for your plants + a cozy craft day in? Score.

1 | Lampshade to Plant Stand (The Merry Thought)
2 | Leather Plant Hanger (Kinda Lovely)
3 | Copper Plant Stand (Sarah Sherman Samuel)
4 | Plant Bookshelf (Weekday Carnival)
5 | Floating Acrylic Window Shelves (Design Sponge)
6 | Old Clock to Wall Planter (BoligPluss)

Create - Live

Wood Butter: What is it + How to make it + What to do with it

October 6, 2016

wood butter

When we first moved we were trying to stock our kitchen on the cheap. Target had a wood utensil set on clearance, so we figured what was the worst a $15 set could do? Well, sometimes clearance items are on clearance for a reason. The wood handles on all the tools were so rough it made us cringe and worry about splinters every time we cooked. I knew sanding could help but I also wanted the tools to last longer then whatever time I put into sandning. Then I heard about wood butter.

wood butter

There are a lot of wood butter recipes, but they all boil down to two main ingredients: a stable oil + beeswax. The oil keeps the wood supple so it doesn’t crack, while the beeswax acts as a thickener and gives the wood a nice water protective barrier & glow.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Wood Butter
1 part beeswax
4 parts food/pharmaceutical grade mineral oil (reasons why I use this oil after the tutorial)

To cut down on cleaning, you can melt the beeswax directly in a glass storage container. Place the glass with the beeswax in a pot of water. Turn on to about medium heat so the water won’t boil over into the glass.

Mix in the mineral oil after the beeswax is completely melted. Remove from heat, cap off, and set aside until completely hardened. Get out your utensils and butter them up!

Pro Tip: If you buy beeswax at your local farmer’s market, you’ll probably buy them by the 1oz. bars. 1oz. of beeswax roughly melts down to 1/4 cup. For a nice gifting/storing size, mix 1 1oz. bar with 1 cup oil.

wood butter

Utensil prep begins with my favorite part- sanding! If  you’re starting with cheap utensils (à la our $3 Target ones that made us cringe every time we held them) work your way from ~200 to ~800 grit. If you’re starting from a solid base, lightly sand with ~400-600 just to clean the surface.

Wipe down with a warm, damp cloth. The heat and water will again help the wood open up for the butter.

wood butter

Gently buff the surface with your new butter with a soft cloth you won’t mind using for anything else. Set aside overnight to dry. Repeat once a month to keep your tools nice and happy.

wood butter

So why do I choose to use mineral oil? Well
+ I don’t have to go to speciality store to find it. Target has it in their pharmaceutical section.
+ It’s colorless, odorless, and flavorless so it won’t affect the spoons’ basic function.
+ You don’t have to worry about nut allergies! Popular alternative oils like walnut, almond, and tung are derived from nuts.
+ Some people debate using mineral oil because it is derived from petroleum. Compared to the parts per use on the utensils and the widespread use of mineral oil as a mild laxative (when taken orally! using it in the butter won’t have the same effect, promise) using a pharmaceutical/food grade mineral oil is safe.
+ It’s cheap! A bottle of mineral oil plus the 1 oz. of beeswax comes out to $3. Total.

wood butter

I love seeing the before and after for this one! The warmth in the wood really jumps out with a little TLC.