Sunday, November 23, 2014

Harry Potter Wand

To make my Harry Potter wand I went to Michael's and bought a dowel that I thought was a good thickness (3/8" maybe?). Since I have access to a machine shop I cut the dowel down to about 15" ( I should have made it shorter) and put it in the lathe. I sanded it while the lathe was spinning it until it made a rough point.

Balsa wood is really weak, so I doubt it would take very long to sand it down with a dremel.

The I took creative liberty and doused it with hot glue. I used a lot of glue on the handle, and a decent amount on the tip. I tried to make it look kind of like bark. I was replicating Harry's wand.

I used three shades of brown to paint it. Dark brown first, then a lighter coat of medium brown, then I just barely brushed over it with a tan color. I used all three shades on the entire thing, but I made the handle a lot darker.

Once I made this, my sister in law Emily requested that I make her one. She wanted the one that assigned to her when she took her test. 

I don't have a picture of it, but it looked a lot like wand "J" in this picture:

I used a special technique of putting hot glue on the handle and rotating it in my hand while adding more and more until I got a round little blob that was symmetrical all the way around. I used the same painting technique and it looked pretty good!

Ramona Flowers Cosplay

Cosplay is seriously one of my favorite things. If I could choose any career in the world, I would pick costume/makeup stuff for fantasy movies. But for the Salt Lake Comic Con I made a Ramona Flowers costume (from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). For a lot of it I followed this video tutorial. I bought the dress from ebay (and then made it shorter and short sleeved), already owned the boots and tights, thrift store bought the belt, and bought/cut the wig.

 The wig before it was cut, after I made it wavy using hot water

I made the gloves by tracking those $1 knit gloves you can buy during the winter onto some turqoise fabric, and sewing them together. You can only do that if your fabric is stretchy.

The pink/white striped sleeves are just longer versions of these:

With a turquoise piece sewed on the end. They end at my armpits, they aren't a full shirt.

I used black embroidery floss to make the choker necklace.

The hammer took the most time. It is a broomstick with cardboard duct taped together and taped/glued to the broom stick. Note: acrylic paint does not stick to duct tape. Mine kept flaking off. You need to use a primer of some sort on top of the duct tape.

David was Scott Pilgrim, but his outfit was just purchased.

Embroidery Hoops

I'm a pretty good copy-cat when it comes to crafts. For a month or so I was really into taking embroidery/cross stitch patterns off Etsy, tracing them onto fabric, and then making them myself. It's nice to be able to make it for $5 instead of buy it for $45.

 This is from the TV show Supernatural. Nobody ever gets it, but I like it.

 From the show Arrested Development

Caramel Apple Cake

I once had the brilliant idea to follow this recipe to make a delicious caramel apple cake.

It just looks sooooo delicious. So I tried it.

And found out I suck at cake baking.

My frosting was really runny and the cake layers kept sliding against one another. I think the cake took me about 4-5 hours to make: WAY too long. 

I didn't even like the taste of the frosting, but the cake itself was yummy.


When we moved into our current apartment one of the first things I did was sew some curtains for the window in our family room. It immediately made our place seem more lived in and they were really easy to make.

I followed this tutorial.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Star Wars TIE Fighter

This is a shout out to David. This is the first crafting he has ever done and I am so proud of him!

Crafting is in my bones, so I helped him make some technical decisions, but for the most part it was all him.

The body is a large styrofoam ball (20" I think?). We hollowed out the bottom with a serrated knife so it would sit on his head. We scraped out a hole through the center of the sphere so a 1" dowel would fit through. This was done with a long screw driver. We also did this with two styrofoam blocks that were trimmed down with a knife and turned into the rest of the body of the ship.

The dowel was run through all three styrofoam pieces and then they were all paper mache'd together and painted grey.

The wings were made from black poster board and painted grey. They were hot glued onto the ship, and smaller grey styrofoam pieces were hot glued to the end of them as end caps

The chin strap is two pieces of fabric that are tied around the dowel in the center (this was done before paper mache was applied).

The cabin was a picture found online and hot glued onto the ship, and then darker grey details were painted on and two small bolts were painted green and attached as the lasers.

Hocus Pocus Spell Book

I made this spell book from an old Spanish Textbook I bought from a thrift store. I made the texture and eyeball and snakes with paper mache. To get the old-ish looking cover I used three shades of brown acrylic paint, starting with the darkest, then lighter and lighter. The lighter colored coats I also used way less pain. The snakes were painted silver, then bushed over lightly with black so it wasn't quite such a bright silver.

The staples on there are actual staple gun staples that I cut the sides off so it was just a flat piece of metal, and then hot glued on.

I painted the sides of the pages a tan color, too.

The whole project took me about 6-7 hours maybe.

Sewing Part III

After my sewing classes (and during) I endeavored in a lot of personal projects.

First, three projects from long before I knew how to sew, and they are all awful once you get a closer look.

I only made the skirt

 Re-furbished thrift store find

Re-furbished thrift store find

Then I was starting to learn to sew when I made the Halloween costume I mentioned in an earlier post.

Once I was a proficient sewer I fell in love with this dress pattern and made two of them and bought a zipper for a third. I bought my fabric from because JoAnns just didn't do it for me this time.

(I love this Fabric!)

Next I made a really simple dress that is so cute for my sister's wedding.

The dress on the left

I had to semi-heavily alter the floral version of this dress.

Last but not least, my Halloween costumes from this year. The blue dress (Beauxbaton from Harry Potter) was SUPER heavily altered from a pattern I used previously. The green dress was just turned from a 2-piece into a 1-piece to save fabric and $$.

We thrift store and altered for David's outfit

The hat shaper I used (covered in saran wrap) to make my hat 
from felt, bought from

 Bought on ebay (black) and painted with acrylic paint mixed with 
fabric medium because acrylic alone flakes off. This picture was 
taken after a day of use.

 I also made the dress skirt/vest thing on the right.

Sewing Part II

I took an intermediate sewing class the semester after I took my beginning sewing class. I didn't learn very much more about sewing, but I learned a lot about pattern alterations, and my teacher was a whiz at fixing our silly mistakes. I really learned how to make clothes that I like. Believe it or not, though, I would have had a 4.0 that semester (including 3 engineering classes) if it weren't for my sewing class. I got an A-.

The first project in that class was a hoodie. My plan was to make a long, thin  hoodie in monotone grey. I couldn't find the same color grey for the main part and the wrists/bottom, so I had two different colors. My teacher had free zippers, but only in black. And then some bias tape on the inside is white. I'm rockin all shades of black/white/gray today. (also, the pattern was just a BYU pattern that we had to copy, so I never purchased anything)

I made it a smidgen too long, but I still love it.

The second project was a little girl's dress. The project I looked the least forward to because I had nobody to give the dress to. It was a waste of time and money, although I learned how to make a peter pan collar. And sew itty bitty sleeves.

The last project was a men's button up shirt, with a yoke and two-piece collar and cuffs and everything. Legit. I spent so long making adjustments to this shirt so it would fit just right, but then I made a mistake and the chest a too tight for David, but he still loves it.

And that concludes my intermediate sewing class projects.

Sewing Stuff

Once I took my college sewing class, I began to sew EVERYTHING. I don't even like sewing. I just like what I end up with. It started with all my class projects. The very first item of clothing I sewed all on my own was a pair of pajama pants. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of them because they were ugly and I used the flannel to make a rice pack instead. But here is the pattern we used anyways.

Then I made this skirt that looks awful on me:

At this time it was half way through Fall Semester and I took it upon myself to sew my own Halloween costume. I had bought the pattern months in advance thinking that the sewing class would have taught me enough to follow the pattern. 

I was wrong.

I used a lot of google to help me out on this one, but I turned out amazing! Maybe my favorite couple costume to date.
I can't for the life of me remember the website I bought the pattern from. The sailor hat/outfit/nurse had were all bought on ebay.

Next in my sewing class we had to sew a button up shirt. I had a major crisis during construction where it came nowhere close to fitting me on the shoulders. I was able to adjust it enough, but it is still snug. And too short for my liking. But I like to wear it with slacks for things like career fairs.

The final project for my sewing class was a dress. I knew exactly what kind of dress I wanted, but couldn't find a pattern for it (until later), so I chose the next best thing. I think the dress is cute. It makes me look like a 50's house wife. It just isn't my style. 

Besides the nurse costume, I really don't love any of my projects from that class, but it sure did teach me 500 things about sewing.