Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Halloween Group Costume

imageThis year for Halloween my fiancé, his cousin, her husband and I have decided to go with a group Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume. My fiancé will be the group leader Leonardo, I’ll be the goofy Michelangelo, our cousin will be the nerdy Donatello, and her husband will be the hot tempered Raphael. Now because the boys aren’t too crafty and she’s still in college I’ve offered to make all do the costumes. This will also help with the continuity between characters. I’ve been basing our costumes off of this cartoon, rather than the live movies. Also, because it’s pretty badass.

I have created a separate post for each element if you’d rather see a specific or shorter post. It’s the exact same content per section.

As a bonus, there’s also a short post on how I made a Splinter costume for my dog.

The Chest Muscles

The chest pieces were actually much easier than expected. For them I used:

  • 2mm 18″ x 12″ foam sheets in two shades of brown/tan
  • scissors
  • basic Elmer’s glue
  • Brown duct tape

For the girls chest plates I had to tape two foam sheets (four for the boys as shown) together long ways and sketched out the chest shape. After doing this with one color it’s easier to just trace it over to the other. The picture shown was a stencil of my size chest plate on a boy sized sheet.

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Once you have the lighter and darker pieces cut out you can decide where you want your muscles. Them, cut up the lighter pieces and trim the edges up just a tiny bit so that when you lay it back down on the darker brown that you can see it around the edges. Then glue it on.

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I gave one of them a scar.

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This is my mini mock up, but it’s what the big ones look like too, minus the foam belt.

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Be sure to store the chest pieces flat otherwise they could warp. I taped mine to the back of my closet door because then it’d be flat and out of the way.

 

The Masks

The masks weren’t hard, but they were fairly time consuming. For them you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • tacky glue
  • 2mm foam sheets – I found a pack of foam sheet masks and used them as my model
  • fabric – I found plain t-shirts on sale in each color for $3 at Michael’s

The first step was to take the pre-made masks and adjust them to better fit normal faces. This meant to turn them upside down from what they’re supposed to be and cut some more room out for the nose.

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Next I cut off a strip of fabric wider than the mask off of the bottom of the t-shirt. Then, because it’s in a ring, cut it so it becomes just a strip. Next step is to smother one side of the foam mask with glue and stick the fabric to it. Then fold over the edges of the fabric and glue them down. You may have to do some trimming. Do the same with the eyes. To avoid having potentially scratchy and irritating fabric and glue on faces I decided to glue down another trimmed up foam sheet mask to the face side of the mask.

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While the glue is drying I found it helps to keep the mask on your face to keep that rounded shape. But be sure to wipe any excess glue off before you put it on your face.

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Sorry I didn’t take more how to pictures of this along the way.

 

The Shells

Now the shells were a little tricky to start, but once I had a plan it got easier. You’ll need:

  • duct tape
  • large pieces of cardboard
  • hot glue gun
  • spray paint
  • paint
  • paint brushes or sponges
  • utility box knife
  • cutting sheet/board
  • elastic 1″-1.5″
  • tacky glue

Fortunately for me, my fiancé can get very large pieces of cardboard for free, but there are plenty of places that will give you big cardboard boxes for free. Try places that sell large appliances (i.e. fridges, ovens, large car parts). Measure the shell wearer with their arms down from the outside of one arm, across their back, and to the outside of their other arm. Then from their neck to the bottom of their butt. Cut out a rectangle of cardboard and add two-ish inches to your previous measurements. So, my fiancé measured 22″ x 32″ and his piece of cardboard was 25″ x 34″. Keep in mind that my fiancé is 6’6″ so don’t base your measurements off of his. I’m 5’7″ and mine was 22.5″ x 32″. Next make lines about 4″ in around the entire shell rectangle.

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You’ll then want to make lines in the corners, diagonally, where you’re going to cut (as seen above). Then also on each short side directly in the middle. On the long side you’ll need to make two lines evenly spaced out within the 4″ margins, so that 26″ space of the 34″. Cut along those lines. You’ll then need to slightly overlap those cuts so that it causes the shell to bubble a little bit. Duct tape them to keep them where you want them.

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Trim the corners so they’re round. It should look like this now.

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The next step is to begin cutting out the pieces you want to use for the shell decoration. After doing some googling it seemed that hexagons were the way to go. Being more geometric actually made it easier. Now, these aren’t perfect hexagons by any means, but the three middle ones are all the same size.

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I was also able to use the remnants of the hexagons to make the other shapes for the shell.

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I also found that it helped to prearrange the pieces on the cardboard shell to make sure I had enough and that they would all fit together.

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It might even help to do some sort of paint by numbers method, where you trace the piece on to the shell, then number each so you can glue it on later. This helps ensure that you know where your pieces are going, which will reduce any potential mess ups. My fiancé’s shell is getting a scar.

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Once I had everything where I wanted it, it was time to hot glue it all down. I did learn at the painting process that some of the pieces wanted to come loose and had to be reglued down. So extra glue is not a bad thing.

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From that point I knew I didn’t want the cardboard color to be the shell color so I looked up spray paints that appear to have some texture. I discovered Krylon’s Natural Stone spray paint. Pebble looked the most turtle shell-y to me so that’s what I got. I had to use the entire can on just my sized shell, so stock up on your craft store coupons. You can see where some of the pieces have popped up a little. And learn from my mistakes, if you do go with the outline and number system that I did, don’t use a sharpie because it takes more paint to cover that up. Just use a normal pen or pencil.

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After a lot of fretting over the lightness of my shell color I decided to stick with it and paint in the shell plate cracks with a green/black mix to give it a more defined, turtle-y look.

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And don’t worry if the edges get a little sloppy, the imperfect edges make it a little more realistically turtle looking. It only looks iffy up close.

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I found some soft green elastic at Jo-Ann’s to use for the straps to attach the shell to the people. It was fairly easy too. They were attached similarly to backpack straps. I used tacky glue and duct tape to make sure the straps stuck. A good way to find the placement of the straps is to have someone hold the shell for you and just make a dot right under your armpit.

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The Weapons

The weapons were probably the easiest part of this entire costume/project.

You’ll need:

  • fabric in red, orange, purple, and blue
  • tacky glue
  • dowel rod
  • 2 nunchucks
  • 2 sais
  • 2 katanas

I didn’t take many pictures along the way, but it’s all pretty easy. I found the dowel rod at Home Depot for $4 then the nunchucks, sais, and katanas on Amazon all for pretty cheap. As a heads up though, when you order your weapons online make sure it actually comes with two. Most will show two in the picture, but it’s actually only selling one.

You’ll start by figuring out where you want your fabric, which is usually where you will be holding the weapon. Cut a strip of your colored fabric, I used leftovers from the masks, and begin to tacky glue it to the weapon. It’ll look messy at first, but once the glue dries it will look fine.

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Once you’re all done with gluing on your fabric strips let the glue dry over night. Then, enjoy!

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I would’ve liked to have wrapped the entire nunchuck handles in the orange fabric, but I didn’t have enough. If you plan accordingly you can do that. Also, I know the sais and katanas are supposed to be more silver, but we were going for cheap but still gets the point across. If you’re feeling it you could always paint them more silver, and stain the dowel rod darker, and paint the nunchucks brown.

 

The Elbow and Knee Pads and the Belts

The elbow and knee pads are made exactly the same way, just different sizes. And I’ve included the belts in this section, because it wasn’t enough work to get it’s own section.

You’ll need:

  • scissors
  • sewing machine (or needle and thread)
  • 1.5″ elastic
  • 3/4″ elastic
  • brown leathery looking fabric – 2 yds
  • plain brown fabric
  • cheap stuffing
  • a ruler or some type of measurement device

I purchased two yards of a faux leather looking fabric to use for the elbow and knee pads and the belts. I started by cutting out the belts, which were the full 2 yards in length and 4″ in width. This way they’re thick enough to be significant, but thin enough to tie in a knot. I cut out six just in case there were some belts that weren’t long enough, then I could just sew two together. And also because Leonardo has a strap that goes over his shoulder along with the one around his waist.

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Next, for the elbow and knee pads. These were made almost exactly the same way so the pictures are interchangeable. There is one difference that I will mention shortly.

I measured my fiancé’s knees and elbows and mine and decided on a happy medium, because I was trying to mass produce these so they were going to be the same size for everyone. I decided on 5″x6″ for the knees and 3″x4″ for the elbows. I even made templates out of cardboard to help me cut out the right size fabric. Although I didn’t have that much extra around the edges when I cut mine out.

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Because I made the costumes for all four of us, I cut out 8 pieces of both the leather and plain brown fabric each for the elbows and knees. The next steps was to match them up and sew up the long sides.

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I then opened up one of the shorter sides and inserted the elastic about 1/3″ in and sewed up that side. I used 11″ of 1.5″ elastic for the knee pads and 8″ of 3/4″ elastic for the elbow pads. I found both at Walmart.

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I then stuffed it, but not so it would be too full, just to give it some dimension. Then I inserted the other end of the elastic in to the open side and sewed that up as well.

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There is where I ended with the elbow pads. Although I would’ve liked to add the accent lines, my sewing machine couldn’t handle it so I called it good.

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For the knee pads I wanted to add the accent lines so that it would look like there were three sections like my example picture up top. To do this I simply sewed across the top of the knee pads I had just made. Keep the good side up when you sew because stuff will pop out a little on the side that’s on the bottom. It’s normal, just not so attractive on the good side.

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When you sew these lines across the top keep in mind that I am not a perfectionist. The padding wasn’t all the way in the corners so some of them are a little flatter. And because the pads are stuffed it made it a little trickier to sew in straight lines. If you are a perfectionist, I’m sure you will find a way to make everything symmetrical, but it’s not the easiest thing and I just wasn’t worried about it.

 

Our party isn’t until tomorrow, but here’s my finished Mikey costume. Check back on Sunday for group pictures and full costume shots.

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October 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects, Stories. 1 comment.

Tie Dye Sneakers

I found a pair of white Keds a while back for $8 at a consignment shop. I saw a post on Pinterest where someone took a similar pair of shoes and ombre glittered them. I thought, how cool! I can do that. Instead, I decided to ombre dye them. They didn’t quite turn out like I had imagined, but if I decide I don’t like them in the future I can just do the glitter thing.

What you’ll need:

  • white sneakers
  • dye (mine was a single color kit from Walmart for about $6)
  • water
  • a few days

The first step is to take out the laces.

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My dye came in a squirt bottle. Follow the instructions then start squirting. Initially, it didn’t want to take so you’ll have to use a lot.
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Use about half to two thirds of the bottle on the first section, then refill with more water and keep going.

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Repeat the last step until you get the result you want. I’m not sure where the blue line came from, but it’s pretty neat looking.
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Let them dry. I then followed the instructions from the tie dye kit for t-shirts and soaked the shoes in hot water with a tiny bit of detergent. I then rinsed them with cold water and put them in the garage to dry. It was really hot that week so I figured they would dry super fast, but it turned out to be really humid. After they dry, put the laces back in and wear.

I still haven’t decided if I like them or not. I may re-dye them entirely or glitter ombre them.

November 13, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

First Garage Sign

I’ve been feeling crafty lately and had been wanting to make Joe some sort of man cave garage sign. The only issue was that I never knew what it should say. After watching a marathon of Fast ‘N Loud with Joe I settled on “Blood, Sweat and Beers,” which was something one of the characters said. After an extensive trip to Hobby Lobby with a friend I got the supplies needed.

You’ll need:

  • a piece of wood
  • a wood burner
  • wood stain
  • sand paper
  • an old rag
  • a sponge brush
  • hot glue/krazy glue
  • wall fastener
  • a few days for dry time

First you start out by stenciling on your letters. I had to erase and start over a few times before I got it even, so measuring might not be an awful idea.

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Next you break out the wood burner. This was my first time using one, but I think I did a decent job. Choose the tip that works best for lettering. You don’t want the skinniest one unless you don’t plan on filling in the letters. I used a roundish tip.

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Next you’ll wan to sand and stain. You don’t necessarily have to stain it, but I didn’t like the color of the wood. Sand any rough edges before staining. You could also sand before you start stenciling, but I didn’t think of that until now. Be sure that you thoroughly stir the stain. When applying and wiping off the excess always always always go with the grain.

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When that’s done drying, preferably over night, you can add more coats of stain or move on the a clear coat. I decided to use some exterior use ModPodge because I already had some. Paint it on evenly, you can do more than one coat if you like.
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The last step is to add some sort of wall mount fastener. I don’t like the screw in kind, or the ones you can see on top so I wet with a back mount. The wood is light so I just krazy glued it on and voilà. And now you have your very own home made garage sign.

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November 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

MSU Scarf

imageI saw this on Pinterest a while ago and thought it was adorable so I decide to make an attempt. You’ll need a bunch of t-shirts and scrap fabric with different patterns and variations of your schools colors. I went to the thrift store and found a bunch of miscellaneous green, grey, and white shirts. I got my primary Spartan head shirt and the random scrap fabrics from Walmart. And of course, you’ll need a sewing machine, although you could do it by hand and a nice pair of fabric scissors. A seem ripper may also come in handy. I had a few mess ups along the way.

The next thing to do is figure out what size you want each different section. I decided on 12in x 12in squares.

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Once you have all of your squares sewn up the sides you can begin sewing them together.

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Here’s my final product!

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September 22, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Decoupage

I had some ModPodge sitting around the house so I decided to make an attempt at decoupage.

What you’ll need:

  • Modpodge
  • sponge or paint brush
  • colored paper
  • scissors
  • patience
  • paper towel
  • Windex

Obviously you need to start by finding all of your supplies. Next step is to clean the inside or outside of your jar. I put the paper on the inside, so I cleaned the inside.

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Next you cut, or rip, up your colored paper.

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Start at the bottom with a layer of Modpodge in the jar. Place your paper on the Modpodge then paint another layer on top of the paper.

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Keep at this until it’s all the way up to the top.

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Trim the edges and let it dry.

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Bam. Decorative jar for whatever you’d like. I wouldn’t recommend putting a candle in there, just in case Modpodge is flammable. Maybe a flameless candle. That would be cool.

July 19, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Book Safe

After spending some time on Pinterest I decided my next project would be a book safe. I looked on Amazon for the cheapest large book I could find. Initially, I looked at War and Peace, because that’s a big ass book. I eventually settled on a different large, unnamed (it’s a secret) book that was on sale for $5.

What you’ll need:

  • a thick book
  • x acto knife
  • card board
  • mod podge or glue
  • paint brush or sponge brush for glue
  • patience
  • large books or other weights
  • wax paper
  • a couple of hours for cutting and an overnight for drying

First you want to find your large book. Then measure the page dimensions and decide how large you’d like your safe hole to be. Then cut out a piece of cardboard to use as your guide. I put packing tape around the edges just so my knife wouldn’t catch on the cardboard every time I cut. In hindsight, a reverse cardboard guide would’ve been easier to use. One that looks more like a picture frame. If you really want your cuts to be even you can glue the outside edges of the pages before starting. Again, follow my advice on using weights and wax paper that are shown below.

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Start cutting. This will take a while. You can cut one at a time if you have the patience and are a perfectionist. I tried to cut as many as I could at a time, but my edges were uneven. I’d probably aim for 5-10 pages depending on the thickness of the paper and how sharp your knife is.

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When you’re getting close to the bottom you can put a piece of cardboard underneath the last few pages so that you don’t cut through the rest of the pages or cover, depending on how deep you plan on cutting. Next break out your mod podge/glue and your paint brush. You’ll want to paint the glue all around the inside of the safe. I let it dry and did another coat the next day, but that’s up to you.

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Before closing the book to dry, insert a piece of wax paper between the cut and glued pages and the uncut front few pages so that they don’t get stuck together.

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Once you’ve done this, find a corner or table out of the way and stack a bunch of other heavier other books, or other heavy objects, on top over night to dry. It’s important that you do this otherwise the pages will dry wrinkly and warped and the book will be wider than it’s supposed to.

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After it has dried over night, carefully peel off the wax paper and fill the safe with whatever you’d like. Add it to your shelf and voilà!

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When you’re done you’ll have a lot of extra pages, I had around 800. You can use them for other craft projects like origami or decoupage or as kindling for a bon fire.

July 11, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Masquerade Mask

A friend of mine is having a masquerade birthday party so I decided to make my mask.

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March 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Bow Back Shirt

My sister found a cute bow back shirt on Pinterest, so I decided to make it.
You’ll need:

  • Plain shirt
  • Scrap fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • Fabric glue

The first step is to cut lines across the shirt. I measured mine four inches apart, but that all depends on your size an how anal you are.

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Once that was done I used strips of fabric from something else. You can, if you want the shirt shorter, cut a strip off the bottom, but I wanted the original hem and I liked the length. This is where the fabric glue comes in to play. Use the glue to secure the strips closure around the bunches of fabric. Let it dry and voila.

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This will be cute for the summer and can be worn with a bandeau top so that bras and tank tops aren’t seen.

March 10, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Scarf Organizer

My scarves used to just sit in a drawer all disorganized. Then, one day, I saw an idea on Pinterest for a scarf organizer.

What you’ll need:

  • Hanger
  • Shower curtain rings
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scarves
  • Decorative string or fabric

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It’s really pretty easy. Just glue the rings on to the hanger.

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I didn’t like the way it looked so I tied some spare fabric around the glue spots. This isn’t necessary, it’s just about what you want it to look like.

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When you’re done and the glue is dried, put your scarves on and hang wherever you like.

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March 8, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

DIY Pen Organizer

This is a craft I saw on Pinterest. Or rather, there was a 50 things to do with toilet paper rolls and I liked this idea because my pens are currently disorganized in a large shoe box. Anyone that knows me knows I have way too many pens, so this project just made sense.

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What you’ll need:

  • a shoe box
  • Elmer’s glue
  • an abundance of paper clips
  • a bunch of toilet paper rolls
  • spray paint
  • a ridiculous amount of pens
  • wrapping paper or other decorative paper
  • Mod Podge

Basically, I started by finding a box and saving toilet paper rolls when we finished them. Of course I’m impatient so I asked Joe’s mom to save them from her house too. She loves recycling so as long as they’re not in the trash she’s willing to help. It took me maybe a week to collect all the rolls. I’m not entirely sure, I wasn’t keeping track.
I started off by putting a little Elmer’s glue around the bottom of a roll and the sides that would be touching another roll or the wall of the box. In order to make sure they stayed secure while drying I paperclipped the whole thing together.

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Once the glue was dry I spray painted it because the box and rolls are ugly. I just used whatever spray paint I had left from previous projects.

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I didn’t like the look of the spray paint so I covered it in wrapping paper to make it look a little more interesting. Once all that was done I put my pens in and voila.

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Believe it or not, I didn’t have to buy a single pen or pencil to fill it. I couldn’t even fit all of what I do have.

March 4, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

DIY Hair Accessories

My sister and I have recently joined Pinterest, which is thoroughly addicting. Well the DIY section has tons of ideas and we found one that we liked along with an idea we came up with on our own.

What you will need:

  • ribbon
  • buttons
  • plastic headbands
  • decorative ribbons or chains – if you want
  • elastic hair ties
  • bobby pins
  • a hot glue gun – lots of extra glue sticks

First is our idea – buttons on headbands and bobby pins.

Then we made bows and even put one on a headband.

The last idea was one we got off of Pinterest. Make your own headbands. Although the big fat one was a five strand braid that my sister made.

All of the stuff is pretty easy and fun to make and cute to wear. Be careful when using the hot glue gun. It’s called hot for a reason.

February 11, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Pizza Crescent Rolls

I came home from work one day wondering what I should eat and saw these ingredients. What came next was delicious.

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February 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Recipes and Other Food Stuff. Leave a comment.

Cookies!

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite cookies. I’ve been told I make some pretty good cookies so I’ll share my recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • four
  • sugar
  • brown sugar
  • baking soda
  • salt
  • vanilla
  • chocolate chips
  • mixer

You’re going to want to let the butter and eggs sit out for a few hours so they can get to room temperature. Once they’ve been out for a while drop the butter into a mixing bowl.

Then add 3/4 cups of sugar and packed brown sugar and mix them well, scraping it off the sides occasionally.

Add two eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla and keep mixing.

Once the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla is mixed in, scrape it off the sides and add 2 and 1/4 cups of flour and a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda.

After these mix for a few minutes scrape the excess ingredients off the side and mix them again.

Finally you’re going to need to add the chocolate chips. I like to use one cup, but some recipes call for more and some call for less.

After eating some of the dough I like to let it sit in the fridge over night, or for a few hours, to let it chill. It really does make a difference.

If you decided to bake them instead of just eating the dough you’ll want to turn your oven on to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. After spraying your cookie sheet with a non-stick spray place 12 one inch balls across the cookie sheet and bake for 8-11 minutes depending on how you like them. With my oven 9.5 minutes is perfect.

Don’t let them cook all the way in the oven though because they will continue to bake a little while cooling on the cookie sheet.

After cooling for a few minutes on the cookies sheet let them cool on a wire rack. Then enjoy as you like.

November 8, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Recipes and Other Food Stuff. Leave a comment.

Joe’s Beer Utility Belt

Joe is not quite as big in to costumes as I am so he didn’t want anything too intense or difficult so we decided on Batman. I found a Batman logo shirt at JCPenney and a cheap Batman mask from the Halloween store. Then I already owned a black cape that he can wear. However he still needed a utility belt. I wanted to make something I knew he would wear throughout the evening. Joe had a black belt and a few black beer koozies. I went out and bought a clip flashlight and attached the koozies and the light to the belt and bam! Utility belt.

October 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. 1 comment.

How to Make a Sweet Background for Posing Super Heroes

Spray paint, poster board, painters tape. Lots and lots of painters tape.

1. Tape some poster board together.

2. Place tape, and paper, where you don't want paint.

3. Spray paint the uncovered areas.

4. Peel the tape and voila!

October 28, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Projects. 1 comment.

Making Storm’s Costume

Every year Joe’s sister throws a big Halloween party. We spend a week cleaning and decorating the house. We plan a menu and figure out which alcohol to buy. This year we decided to have a superhero/super villain theme. For a very long time I was dead set on being Wonder Woman. Then I remembered that Halloween is practically in November, which means it will be very cold. Wonder Woman doesn’t exactly wear a lot of clothes and I get cold easily. Then one day I was watching X-Men Evolution and I thought, “Hey! Storm is pretty badass and I enjoy her costume. And I could stay warm in that.” And that’s when I decided to be Storm.

Storm wears a huge, floor length cape that is black on the outside and white on the inside. I decided that I wanted to make that. I went to JoAnn’s about bought three yards of black and white material. After taping it to my living room floor and using chalk and yarn to draw a circular line I cut it and sewed the pieces together. She has the X-Men X as a button that holds her cape together. Which I made from a really big black button and some red paint.

The white wig was purchased, however I have to wear it a little cockeyed because the center part just doesn’t work. I also purchased the boots and gloves. They aren’t saggy like Storm’s. Also, my boots are grey because it’s almost impossible to find reasonably priced white ankle boots with heels. I do have some backup boots though, but I already owned those and they’re also grey. The leggings were also purchased and unaltered.

The last thing I bought was a black turtle neck from Kmart and a cheap yellow shirt from a thrift store. After cutting part of the sleeves off of the turtleneck I also cut off the sleeves from the yellow shirt. I then used the yellow sleeves to sew on to the edges of the turtleneck. Then I used some of the excess yellow to make the yellow belt that goes around Storm’s waist.

Here’s the final product.

October 27, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

Snake Wreath

Halloween is coming! This year I thought I would make a new decoration. I get Martha Stewart’s craft of the day emails. Since Halloween is drawing near most of her emails have been Halloween-y. One day I received one with an idea of taking a Fall wreath and adding snakes to it then painting it black. She called it the wriggling snake wreath, but mine doesn’t wriggle so much. But I like it and here’s how I did it.

First, I bought a small Fall wreath, some jewelry/beading wire, black spray paint and five toy snakes.

Second, I took all the goofy flowers off of the wreath. Then I weaved the snakes around the wreath until I liked where they were. Then I snipped some pieces of wire and twisted the wire around the wreath to make the snakes stay in place.

Finally, I spray painted until everything was black.

October 25, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.

The Bread

In my house we call our favorite homemade bread “The Bread” because it is that amazing. It’s so good that my mom, with a gluten allergy, still eats it. So I’ll share the recipe and steps to making it. Just so you know, this recipe only makes one loaf. We made two because we go through it so fast.

For one loaf you will need:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of yeast
  • 2-3 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 5/8 cups of room temperature water
  • oatmeal
  • cornmeal
  • a large bowl
  • a cooling rack
  • a 5 quart cast iron pot with lid (we used a 5.5 quart because that’s what we have)

First, mix the ingredients in the bowl. You can mix it all up with a fork or spoon or your hand, I like to use my hand.

Once the ingredients are mixed leave the dough in that bowl and cover it with cling wrap. Let the dough rise for 18 hours in a warm place. We like to turn our oven on a keep warm setting and leave the dough on the stove top.

After waiting those 18 hours clean your counter. You’re going to fold the dough so sprinkle some flour on the counter, and your hands, so it doesn’t stick. The dough only needs to be folded over a few times.

Inside of another bowl, or your cleaned out original bowl, lay down a clean dish towel. Do not use a terry dish cloth, it will not work well. In the towel sprinkle some oatmeal, this will end up being the top of the bread. Plop the dough in the bowl then sprinkle some cornmeal on the top. Fold the rest of the towel up over the dough. Let the dough rise for two more hours.

After an hour and a half of those two hours turn your oven on to 450 degrees and stick the pot and lid in the oven to get hot.

When you reach your two hour rising point pull the pot out of the oven and remove the lid. I suggest setting the pot on a trivet because it could potentially damage your counter.

The next step is a little tricky. Lift the dough out of the bowl by the four corners of the towel. Place your hand under the towel and plop the dough right in to the hot pot. If it hasn’t been perfectly plopped don’t worry about it. It will still be delicious.

Put the lid back on the pot and put your dough in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, it depends on the size of your pot.

After that time remove your lid and let the bread bake for another 17 to 20 minutes, again, it depends on the size of your pot.

Remove the pot from the oven and set it back on the trivet. VERY carefully take the bread out of the pot and set it on a cooling rack. I suggest wearing oven mitts.

Let your bread cool for as long as you want, then cut and enjoy.

August 24, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Recipes and Other Food Stuff. 2 comments.

Slippers, Socks or Booties

I go through phases of what I like to do with my spare time. Recently I got back in to knitting. However, I didn’t feel like working on any of the projects I had started in my last knitting binge, like my own blanket. So I googled some patterns for slippers because I had always wanted to make some. I found a nice and easy pattern. I can do some intermediate stuff, but I didn’t want to do anything too complicated so this recipe was perfect.

I first made a pair for myself then Joe’s sister, Mary, saw them and wanted a pair. So I made her a pair. And I’m working on a pair for my sister too. I even ran my blue pair through the washer and dryer already and because they’re cotton they came out fine. They may be some simple socks or slippers or booties, but they’re nice and comfy.

March 22, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , . Projects. 1 comment.

French Braids to Waves

I tested with my hair so much in high school that I now know, and have for a few years now, what is easiest and what works best. I’m lazy and don’t like to be too high maintenance with my hair, except on special occasions in which case I’m very high maintenance about it. When I finally figured out how to french braid my hair I was so excited. Then I decided to try to make it wavy by braiding it when it was wet and letting it dry while up. At first I used mousse, gel and hair spray. Now I’ve gotten good enough to know how long it will need to dry based on how soon after my shower I put it up. I also know which products work best for my hair and it’s definitely not mousse. Small amounts of gel have proved to work the best.

This wavy hair style has become my everyday hairstyle. It’s so easy. I generally shower at night because I don’t like having wet hair throughout the day. So when I get out of the shower I towel my hair off a bit, put some gel in and braid it up. The next morning I’ll take the braids out. I like to wait until the last possible minute to take them out too so they’re more likely to hold the wave. Then there’s also spray gel or scrunching sprays to help it not look so poofy on the bottom, because my hair tends to be poofy, frizzy and unmanageable without doing something to it. The secret to my wavy look is not brushing my hair. When I get out of the shower I finger comb my hair. Brushing just makes it too big and well, poofy.

November 4, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Just Talking, Projects. Leave a comment.

The Making of The Simpsons… Halloween Costumes

Joe doesn’t like to dress up for Halloween and I do. I wanted to do a couples costume and couldn’t think of a good one. First I thought of Master Chief and Cortana from Halo, but the Master Chief costume would’ve been too expensive to make. So finally I thought, Joe loves The Simpsons and he could dress up like Homer and I could dress like Marge. Instead of each of us paying $40 for each of our costumes I decided that we would make them. Of course, that means that I would make them. So that’s what I did.

Joe’s costume was pretty easy. He was in charge of supplying a white polo, jeans and some black shoes. I was going to get him a bald cap and give it hair via pipe cleaners so he wouldn’t shave his head, because I know he would and I like him with hair. I got myself a bride of Frankenstein wig that I spray painted blue for Marge hair.

Homer has quite the beer gut and Joe does not. So I took one of his crappy white shirts and sewed on some stuffing in the beer belly region. I put it on and felt nine months pregnant. My Marge dress was not as simple. In fact, it was a pain in the ass. The fabric is not elastic at all, but it was $1.97 a yard at Wal-Mart and it was the right color. The first time I tried to make the dress I used a 9″ zipper and I tried to make it in two pieces. Nothing about that worked so it was back to Wal-Mart where I bought two more yards and a 22″ zipper which just happened to also be green. That time I was successful with the dress.

Marge has a red-orange necklace and flats. I had some white flats with a bow that I didn’t like anymore so I took the bow off and spray painted them red. Then I found a a fake pearl necklace in the 50’s section of our Halloween store and spray painted that too. That was probably the easiest part of the whole costume.

Then one day I thought about how cool it would be to find a Duff beer coozy. Well I found one, so I bought it for Joe as a Halloween present.

October 25, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Projects. Leave a comment.