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Category Archives: DIY
There are few holiday tasks more daunting that hosting Thanksgiving dinner. All those people, all those dietary restrictions, and all those expectations! Regardless of how laid back your guests are, we all know that people can be a little judgmental when it comes to things that are so steeped in tradition. In all honesty, 9 times out of 10 I serve things up buffet style and astound people with the fancy disposable plates and flatware I manage to procure (seriously, it’s a skill). I do know, however, that many of you dream about that perfectly executed Pinterest worthy table, complete with seasonal centerpiece and coordinating linens. Not always possible, but a quick and relatively easy way to elevate your holiday table is place cards. Place cards let your guests know that you gave them a little extra consideration and they also make a great keepsake for anyone who likes to save mementos from these type of things.
Place cards also give you a little extra control over you holiday table. You can manipulate your seating chat to keep your aggressively alt right uncle away from your vegan lesbian friend Kate… or not if you want to keep things lively. You can also make sure that any newcomers don’t find themselves ostracized at the far end while everyone else is chatting it up in the middle. I also like to consider guests with any disabilities or who are a little older to make sure that they get up and down as easily as possible, not to mention closer proximity to restrooms.
Thank goodness for the internet, right? Hopefully, this will help you get inspired for your own table. I am, fortunately, off the hook this year as we will be heading to NC to spend some time with Andy’s parents. So I wish you good luck and happy crafting!
So it’s the day before Halloween and you don’t have a costume; no worries, I have the solution: Skeleton/Sugar Skull. That’s right, and you can whip this bad boy up with a quick trip to the store and an about an hour start to finish. To kick things off, we start with a spiffy DIY from the craft queen herself, Ms. Martha Stewart, a quick and easy skeleton shirt (video tutorial here). I found this project perusing Pinterest for a non-facepaint way to add a bit more pizzazz to Andy’s Halloween costume (a black Sith Lord robe). I modified the technique a bit to make use of the supplies I already have on hand (you can see my notes below), but the end result was exactly as Martha intended.
Print front and back rib cage templates. Trim first page on solid line and match to dotted line on second page; tape together.
Pinch front of white T-shirt at center of neck and pull forward, lining up sleeve and side seams, to create a fold down center front of shirt. Lay T-shirt flat on a cutting mat with this fold to the right.
Spray repositionable adhesive on back of front rib cage template. Place on folded front side of T-shirt, lining up vertical line with fold.
Cut horizontal rib lines with a small rotary cutter. Leaving T-shirt flat, cut curved areas with fabric scissors.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create ribs on the back of the T-shirt, using the back rib template and lining up vertical line with back fold.
Peel off templates. Unfold T-shirt and wear over a black shirt.
- I lacked the repositionable spray so I adapted by cutting out the black parts of the template, securing the half way line with straight pings and the tracing the shapes onto the fabric with chalk. As far as I can tell it’s wasn’t any more difficult than the original method.
If you want something simple you can stop here, but if you want to take you look to the next level, follow this tutorial for Dia de los Muertos Makeup and throw on a flower crown. Easy Peasy and fairly inexpensive.
When it comes to crafting, I am not afraid to put in some serious effort if it means creating something I really want. However, when it comes to something that is more of an obligation than a “want”, I prefer to work smart instead of hard. Halloween is one of those times for me. I love the candy, the spooky decorations, and the pumpkin carving madness, but costumes tend to be more of a burden than anything else. I mean, I’ve been a cat 3 times in the last 5 years. I never know how to quite get that crucial mix of cute/sexy/cleaver/funny/office appropriate. Now the ladies behind Studio DIY are experts when it comes to whipping up a great costume, but they also have some wonderfully quick and simple DIY costumes that can be thrown together the night before. I find their fruit costumes delightful and very a-peeling (that one is for you Andy) 😉
So cute, right!? I think it would be a lot of fun to do with with a large group of friends or coworkers. With a little construction paper and hot glue, you can have a whole produce section in a couple of hours. Now if you’re not really feeling the fruit vibe, you can check out all of the costume DIY’s here.
Note: The Kiwi and the Watermelon were part of a series of classes they did for Good Housekeeping that are no longer available, but if you scroll down the page, they’ve made a list of supplies and a brief how to so you can still make it work.
Portland, OR has been on my “to see” list ever since I learned about Voodoo Donut 13 lifetimes ago (yeah, it really doesn’t take much, right?), but now I have yet another reason to visit the land of hipsters in the pacific northwest, and that’s DIY Bar. More than anything, this seems to me like a natural progression from things like Painting with a Twist. Patrons order their project and beverages at the bar, everything from tools to supplies is covered, and you are given a set of instructions and away you go. You can tackle crafts for multiple skill levels, and the staff is always willing to help out if you find yourself a little stuck.
I really, REALLY wish there was one of these in good ol’ Tallahassee; it would be perfect for girl’s nights. I could also see myself stopping off after work for a cool beverage and a productive way to craft out some of that office stress. Heck, do that enough times and you’ll have Christmas gifts for everyone.