Posts Tagged 'black'

The final countdown…

Ahh, the 11th hour…When thoughts of sewing turn to hot glue and hope…

This was me last night right before the Halloween party I went to: On the floor tacky gluing fabric to a cardboard triangle for my Lady Gaga costume. Thursday night, I had been up till all sorts of odd hours  spray painting the other part of my Gaga-wear. (The sort of flattened innertube thing you see around my waist above.)

I think the costume came out quite alright though! At least with the help of my $5 ( I know, right?!) blond wig from Jo-Ann Fabrics. And my sunglasses, which I can at least reuse again. I also got those gloves super cheap (under $5!) at my local Claire’s boutique (it sells jewelry, mostly to the pre-teen or teen set, but don’t judge me, they have really cool earrings in there!).

If you want a Lady Gaga costume like this on the cheap (i.e. not the $50-60 it costs sans wig in the store) try to get yourself:

  1. a black top (Charlotte Russe for me!)
  2. a black skirt (I had that already, you might too)
  3. Posterboard (if you can’t find black posterboard or large cardstock-type paper at your local arts/crafts store, go with regular old white posterboard; Just spray paint it black and leave to dry/air out for 24 hours)
  4. recycled cardboard or posterboard for the silver triangle; (Tip: if you’ve got some scrap cardboard that already has a right angle in it, you have to do even less measuring)
  5. silver sequin-y fabric (Jo-Ann’s; $7/yard and I needed maybe a half a yard with some left over)
  6. tacky glue
  7. black ribbon
  8. some fishnet stockings (I had those from a past Halloween also),
  9. a blonde wig (If you can’t find the super cheapo version as I did, it might go for about $20 or thereabouts)
  10. sunglasses ($10 or under should get you a decent Gaga-esque pair; just go as big as possible)
  11. shoes (use what you’ve got)
  12. gloves (optional**) you can’t eat party food with them on anyway

To start, cut a triangle from cardboard (height is from your hip to your bust line, width is 5-6″ on average). Place the cardboard on top of the wrong side of your sequin fabric and cut around it, leaving about half to 3/4″ allowance around it to glue the fabric down. You will want to cover the BACK side of your triangle first; then flip the triangle over and cover the FRONT side. That way all the excess fabric overlap will only show in the back.

Originally, I had wanted to velcro this piece onto my costume, but due to time constraints, I could not. I ended up cutting small slits in the back of the triangle, through the fabric, then stringing black ribbon through them and tying it around my waist. I safety-pinned the top part of the triangle to the bust of my shirt. Whether you use this method, or whether you go with some stick-on/sew-on velcro, at least you can remove the triangle when you want to. This will make the costume more comfortable, and it will make it washable also.

Translate the shape from the below template to a FULL sheet of regular sized posterboard with a pencil. I just eyeballed it. I am sure it was a little asymmetrical, but no one noticed…

Spray paint the board black on both sides (if your posterboard isn’t already that color.) Make sure you cut enough out of the middle to fit yourself in. Don’t worry if the board bends a bit when you try it on, this is what give it the curve you see. Punch holes in the front of this “skirt” and tie your black ribbon in a bow around yourself to keep this thing on.

That’s more or less the whole costume. Now slap on a wig and show everyone your Poker face :-). Happy Halloween!

Gone Batty


For this, our second installment of Halloweek, I thought it might be fun to make a fuzzy, batty little friend to hang in your window, or to keep you company on your desk.

You will need:

  • Brown, black, or gray yarn, or other color of your choice. There are no rules against a purple bat. Especially if you’re going to Prince’s house for Halloween. (I used worsted weight here, but it really doesn’t matter what thickness you have)
  • Scrap cardboard (poster board, cereal box, sturdy junk mail postcards, etc)
  • Templates for pom-pom maker, wings, and bow (see below) or you can eyeball this and do it freehand
  • 1 felt sheet (in the kids’ crafts section of the craft store) in a coordinating color to make the wings; If you don’t have felt, construction paper/cardstock/foam, or the like, ought to work too
  • Scissors
  • Googly eyes (or black and white paper or felt), or black beads so that our little blind creature can “see”
  • Glue (anything that works with fabric or fiber will work; Tacky glue’s a good all-purpose choice)
  • optional**: Red/pink/etc felt sheet (or paper) to make a bow (so that your bat can be a lady)
  • optional**: Metal bristle brush/pet slicker brush to make your pom-pom extra fuzzy

  1. If you like, print out the above templates. Cut 2 pom-pom templates from your scrap cardboard. You don’t really need a template to make a pom-pom maker, or any of the other bat components, but I wanted to offer the option of making a bat the same shape/size of everything as I did.
  2. Please watch this woman’s excellent tutorial on making a pom-pom, and using a metal-bristle brush to make it fuzzy. As you can see from her video, it is not essential that you have a pom-pom maker template
  3. NOTE: When you are tying the central yarn around your pom-pom to keep all of the strands together, make sure you’ve got a lot of excess yarn to work with, and don’t cut off the excess once you have tied your knots. This will be your hanging string so that you can display your friend more easily when you are finished
  4. If you like, brush the pom pom with a metal bristle brush to make the yarn extra fuzzy; The tutorial video shows a brush from a home improvement store, but a pet store will also have a “pet slicker” brush on the pet grooming aisle, if you don’t already have one in your home.
  5. Now, either using a freehand technique (or the above templates) cut out some wings for your bat friend, using either felt or paper
  6. Smear a little glue on either side of one of your wings, close to where it will connect to the body. Choose a spot near the top of your pom pom to attach your wing. Push a few strands of yarn out of the way, bury your wing into the yarn threads, and squeeze some yarn threads into the glue that you have placed on the wing. Hold for a few seconds to secure your wing to your bat’s body. Repeat on the other side
  7. Now choose where you would like to attach your eyes; I used googly eyes, but you may choose to use black and white felt or paper, whatever you have on hand; Place glue on the back of the eyes, wait until it gets slightly tacky, and then glue the eyes to the bat’s body. It helps if you press some threads of yarn into the glue on the back of the eye, and hold for a few seconds to secure.
  8. If you like, now you can make the bow. You can freehand this, or use the template provided above. Glue the bow to your bat in an appropriate and fashionable location, and there you go, all done!

Variations: 1) If you’re feeling extra ambitious, you could probably reduce the size of this project, make 2 matching bats, and have a pair of earrings! You can always add little jingle bells to the bottom of the earrings too; 2) You could make a bat family, perhaps a Mommy bat and a few smaller baby bats. Each member of your family can have a little fuzzy equivalent of themselves to display in a favorite location; 3) Try adding hats or other accessories to your new little friend. Perhaps your bat needs a Trick or Treat bag to carry his or her Halloween goodies? 4) If your bat needs some bling, try giving him or her a necklace made of glitter glue; you could also use glitter glue to draw a nice bat-wing-y pattern on the bat’s wings; 5) There are all sorts of googly eyes on the market; Some glow in the dark, others even come with some false eyelashes painted on. Why not have a glamorous bat diva to celebrate Halloween with? 6) If you’d rather just buy your pom-pom ready-made and embellish it to make it “battified,” no harm in that! The craft stores may have variety packs of pom-poms in the kids’ section

Hope you’ve all been enjoying the week so far, and talk to you again soon!

Boo.


Happy Rocktober everyone! I hope you’ve been having a nice lead-up to the year’s most spooktacular holiday!

I love this time of year, and I adore almost everything to do with Halloween, so I wanted to share this project with you. I’ve been taking a design course, and the above was one of our recent assignments.

We were asked to create a pictorial image using black and white construction paper, and tracings of any shape that we could produce with our hands. We could change the size of the shapes as we liked, and use as many cut-outs as we liked. And with my particular love of this otherworldly holiday, I could not pass up the opportunity to get my scare on :-)   I do apologize for the poor photography though. I am more of an opportunist than a planner when it comes to taking pictures sometimes…

But anyway, I got to thinking that this would be a really cool craft to do with kids. We all remember those traced hand turkeys we made in school for Thanksgiving, but this sort of project could be an interesting challenge for any holiday during the year. If a child can hold some kind of drawing implement, and if there is some construction paper/computer paper/old magazines/glue/scissors lying around the house, then you’ve got all you need for a festive and seasonal activity. Smaller kids might need a bit of assistance with cutting or gluing, but older children should have no problem doing this independently.

Kids can experiment with trying to trace as many different shapes with their hands as they can think of. And of course they can add a bit of color if they want to. Orange I am sure would be a particular favorite.  And plus, once kids have finished their projects, these little pieces of art can join the other Halloween decorations around the house. And kids will be so proud to show off their handiwork in their bedroom window, or in some other prominent location. It’s a win-win. The kids will have something fun and inspiring to do, maybe even sharing some social time with their friends or siblings, and parents might even get a little quiet time while the kids are actively occupied in their pursuits.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this project, and that you get to spend some good quality time with your little goblins this month.

Happy Halloween!

Gaga for Gaga

The weekend before last, I had the IMMENSE pleasure of going to see Lady Gaga perform at Boston’s TD Garden. And Gaga definitely did NOT disappoint. That tiny woman did about 2-2.5 hours straight with no intermission, with innumerable – and fabulous – costume changes, and with heels on that give me pain just to think about…

I know that this blog is primarily about craft, so I thought it was only fitting to share my experience (and talk about my Gaga concert outfit) here. Besides, every costume Gaga wore (that lit up, detached, spun, sparkled, or shot sparks) – as well as the show itself – was “crafted.” If anyone out there is up in the air about buying a ticket to a Lady Gaga show, do it. You’ll be SO glad you did.

Some may say that Lady Gaga is “out there” or “freaky,” and that’s 100% true as far as I can tell……but she’s also totally captivating. She owns all the freakiness, and makes it work for her. You can sense a kind of glowing contentment from her when she performs, behind all of the sunglasses you can’t see through, or the latex dresses you totally can.

Years ago, I remember watching Oprah talk about seeing Steven Spielberg in action as he directed a film. She said that you could just tell that what he was doing at that moment was what he was meant to do on this earth, and what gave him the most joy. And I could absolutely feel that same energy from last week’s Lady Gaga spectacular. Part way through the show, Gaga kindly thanked everyone in the room for having bought their ticket. And yes, perhaps she says that at every show, but I really felt like she meant it, and means it every time.

Agreed, her outfits are like something from a dream you’d have after watching a David Lynch film, or going to see a Dalí exhibit, but thus is her charm. You kind of appreciate that she isn’t quite like anyone else on the pop scene today. And I think that if she tried to be anybody but that kooky, self-possessing, potty-mouthed, rhinestone-studded chameleon she seems to have been born to be, it would diminish her.

So cheers Gaga. Show me your teeth!  :-D

If anyone wants to see the outfit I wore to the Lady Gaga concert, and read a bit more about this experience, please read on after the break. Thanks everyone!  Continue reading ‘Gaga for Gaga’

The Shirt off My Back

I kind of love fleur-de-lis.

I think I can trace it back to reading The Once and Future King back in grade school. I just remember reading about Guinevere, pining away for Sir Lancelot and embroidering fleur-de-lis in the lining of the helmet he left behind… <sigh> I loved that story. Still do.

But anyway, my lingering love for this motif led me to want to make the above t-shirt. I used just a few simple tools, not a fancy screen-printing kit or special materials, to make it.

If you’d like to find out  how to make a shirt like this (and/or see the back), please continue reading. Hope you’re all having a nice summer!

Continue reading ‘The Shirt off My Back’

Anyone seen Mulder or Scully?

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much I miss the X-Files. I used to LOVE that show back in the day. My room was plastered with Mulder and Scully posters, lots of my jewelry had little alien faces on it, and, to this day I could still quote you chapter and verse about all of my favorite episodes.

So I thought, what better to post on this blog next than an alien?

If you are interested in making this otherworldly and adorable little guy, please find the free pattern here from Lion Brand.com. I didn’t use the colors noted in the pattern. I used some light green variegated Vanna’s Choice yarn for the arms/legs/antennae (I think it might have been called Seaspray mist?), and just a plain blue TLC or Red Heart blue acrylic yarn for the body. I also used 9 mm safety eyes instead of the 6mm called for in the Lion Brand pattern. And plain pink thread for the mouth.

If you want to see the front and back view of the alien, please click continue reading. Thanks all, and the truth is out there!! Continue reading ‘Anyone seen Mulder or Scully?’


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 4 other followers

Pages of this blog

Blog Stats

  • 12,134 hits