Friday Favorites–Halloween Costumes

We moved our family out to the country about 11 years ago.  Before that, we lived in a neighborhood in the suburbs with lots of other families with small children.  We probably had quite a few trick-or-treaters stop at our house, but I wouldn’t know because we were out with our own little ones on Halloween.  I haven’t got to hand out candy since somewhere in the early 90’s.

This year, I’m hanging out with my daughter while her husband goes on a civilian ride-along with mine.  Lots of trouble happens when Halloween is on a Friday night, so it’s all hands on deck at the police department.  The good news for me is that my daughter lives in an apartment complex with a jillion kids.  At least, that’s how it feels when you drive through the parking lot.  I get to hand out candy and admire all the spooky-cuteness.  I can’t wait!

Halloween Costumes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

This Book Fairy Costume from Lilliedale would be the perfect thing for my book-loving daughter.  Although I doubt she could bring herself to do this kind of damage to any book.  They’re like puppies to her.

Book Fairy Costume by Lilliedale

We aren’t dressing up, but if we were, this Wonder Woman Costume from The Sewing Loft is what I would go with, hands down.

Make Your Own Wonder Woman Costume by The Sewing Loft

If you happen to be using my Robin Hood Hat pattern this year, you might be on the lookout for some green tights.  Dye your own with this tutorial from If You Give a Girl a Needle.

Dying Tights by If You Give a Girl a Needle

If you’re looking for something quick, easy and completely adorable, check out this Flower Pot Costume from Dukes and Duchesses.

Flower Pot Costume by Dukes and Duchesses

This little Wolf Costume from Make It and Love It has rascal written all over it.

Wolf Costume by Make It and Love It

I love the idea of using capes to create different costumes, like these from Simple Simon and Company.

Easy Cape Costumes by Simple Simon and Co

As the proud owner of a Maleficent t-shirt (bought years before the movie) I’ve gotta love a girl who thinks outside of the Disney princess box, like the wearer of this Evil Queen Costume from Northstory.

Evil Queen Costume by Northstory

Babies in costumes – it doesn’t get better than that.  This little Pineapple from Lines Across makes me smile.

Pineapple Onesie Costume by Lines Across

Sometimes you need a costume you can whip up quickly.  As long as you’ve got a yellow hat, the rest of this Last Minute Minion Costume from Make and Takes is a piece of cake.

Last Minute Minion Costume by Make and Takes

Not to leave out the traditional Halloween fare, I love these DIY Skeleton Gloves from Eat Sleep Make.

DIY Skeleton Gloves by Eat Sleep Make

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DIY Superhero Shirts and Robes for the Bridal Party

My daughter’s wedding, like most these days I’d guess, was influenced by Pinterest.  We had a secret board where the bride, the maid of honor and I could keep track of every relevant wedding idea we came across.  We tried to be pretty selective, and cleaned it out once in a while, so it stayed manageable and ended up being an excellent tool in the planning process.  In fact, she made it public after the wedding was over, so if you’d like to see what we were working with you’ll find it here.  We didn’t use every idea on it, but I’m not sure how we would have managed without it.

Looking back at it, the photo I’m going to talk about today isn’t even on that board.  But if you do a quick search, you’ll see pictures similar to this one our boys posed for.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 1

The bride and groom are both big superhero fans.  In fact, this is their car, which my daughter has been driving for about 4 years.  The Batman symbol on the hood was not part of the getaway car décor.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 2

The bride’s dad is a police lieutenant and the groom just graduated from the fire academy so as we talked about the superhero photo we realized it made complete sense to include those real heroes’ symbols among the imaginary.  However, that meant we wouldn’t be buying the shirts already made.  They went on my to-do list. 

Since I was making them anyway, I thought maybe if we used all white the boys could just leave them on, hoping they would be covered by their vests.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 3

It worked in the photos, but in person you can see a little color peeking out over the top of those vests.  I’m still glad we use white though, because I love how it made the symbols stand out.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 4

So, what about the girls?  I had already planned to make robes for each of them to wear while they were getting their hair and makeup done, so I decided I’d make them match the boys, in the girliest way possible.

DIY Superhero T-Shirts and Robes - Crafty Staci 5

I made the robes using Simplicity 1720, the view in the upper left corner. 

1720_SP_EN_A.indd

I added loops to the sides because I knew we’d find the belts everywhere later if they weren’t attached to the robes.  When I was finished sewing them I decided they needed a little something, so I sewed lace to the bottom hem.  You might recognize the fabric from the rug I showed you last month that I made for the wedding bathroom.  It was a great way to use up those scraps!

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To make the iron-ons for both the robes and the t-shirts, I ordered these printable sheets.

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If you follow the directions exactly, these work beautifully.  They survived washing just fine, and the colors were very vibrant, perfect for the comic book look we were going for.

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This was definitely one of the more offbeat projects I did for the wedding, and one of the most fun!

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!

Sewing Room Postcard Collage

Almost three years ago (which I only know because I looked it up) I bought some really cute postcards from an artist named Kathy Jeffords with an Etsy shop called The Dreamy Giraffe.  I fell in love with her style and chose the postcards so I’d have several of the prints.  After they arrived, I didn’t know what to do with them and I put them somewhere for safekeeping.  I’d come across them once in a while, marvel at how adorable they are, and put them back.  I finally decided enough is enough – these need to be displayed.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I started this project with an ordinary 12 x 12” frame.  I wanted to use a button print fabric as the background but didn’t want it to be too thin or floppy, so I ironed a piece of heavy craft interfacing onto the back. 

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 2

By cutting the interfacing to fit the frame, it also gave me a good outline for cutting the fabric.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 3

To hold the postcards in place I used some stick-on glue dots on the back.  I only used one dot on each card – just enough they wouldn’t slip around.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 4

I thought something with a little dimension would be fun in the middle, so I cut wool circles to match the fabric and added a little craft floss stitching to the center to make them look like buttons. 

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I attached those with glue dots as well.

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 6

After that it was just a matter of putting it into the frame.  I love how it turned out, and I’m happy I can actually look at these prints every day.  Every day I decide a different girl is my favorite!

Sewing Room Postcard Collage - Crafty Staci 1

I don’t think The Dreamy Giraffe has the postcard sets in stock any more, but the crafty girls are still available as prints.  I could find a place in my house for just about everything in her shop!

Friday Favorites–Decorating for Halloween

We have two October birthdays in our house, so if I’m going to decorate for Halloween I try to hold off until those have passed.  My husband’s was yesterday (Happy birthday honey!), so I think it’s time.  Since my kids are grown and we don’t get trick-or-treaters I don’t often do much, but I’m feeling it this year.  I think it might be nostalgia, since my oldest is completely out of the nest.  That’s okay, because there is no shortage of good ideas out there – I had a hard time narrowing it to ten this week!

Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites - Decorating for Halloween

I noticed after I was done collecting this week’s favorites that almost all of them involve repurposing.  One of the most impressive transformations is this pink and purple Little Tikes playhouse that became a spooky haunted mansion, thanks to the talents of Saki.Girl on Halloween Forums.

Little Tikes Playhouse Makeover by Saki.Girl on Halloween Forum

Thanks to so many charities using “flocking” as a fundraiser, you can buy pink flamingos lots of places year round.  Pick up a few and make these Painted Skeleton Flamingos with Craftbits.

Painted Skeleton Flamingo by Craftbits

I think these Rock Jack-O-Lanterns from No Time for Flashcards might be my kind of pumpkin carving.

I think these Halloween Spiders from Crafts ‘N Coffee are adorable, and not even a little scary.

Halloween Spiders by Crafts 'N Coffee

These DIY Halloween Lanterns from The Australian Baby Blog would be a fun craft to make with the kids.  All the glow, without all the fire hazard.

DIY Halloween Lanterns by The Australian Baby Blog

These Coffee Filter Spiderwebs from The Artful Parent remind me a little of snowflakes – until you add the spiders.

Spider Webs from Coffee Filters by The Artful Parent

I might need to start saving up shopping bags to make this skeleton from Curious Tangles on Instructables.

Halloween Skeleton Made of Plastic Shopping Bags by Curious Tangles on Instructables

I love a craft that can transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving, like these Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins from The Summery Umbrella.

Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins by The Summery Umbrella

These Toilet Paper Roll Bats from Practically Functional are easy, just the right amount of spooky, and use something everyone has around.

Toilet Paper Roll Bats by Practically Functional

These Barbie Zombies from Crafts by Amanda are at the top of my want-to-make list.  It probably helps that we’re big Walking Dead fans.

Barbie Zombies by Crafts by Amanda

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom

When my daughter and son-in-law announced their engagement, and decided they wanted to hold the wedding at our home, my husband and I entered into what would be one of the biggest projects of our lives.  I don’t know about you, but it isn’t every day we invite 200 people to our house for a little get-together.  There were many things to be considered, not the least of which was the bathroom situation. 

Without going into all the details of how our house is arranged, we have three bathrooms inside, none of which were going to be easily accessible for the ceremony and reception.  We started looking at something we could rent, but the ugly ones were, well, ugly and the pretty ones would break the budget.  Finally, my husband decided he would build a bathroom behind the barn.  If you know my husband, you just nodded and said “Of course he did.”

My husband is the guy everyone calls when they need something fixed, so I can tell you the barn has absolutely nothing to do with animals.  Tools, wood and left-over home improvement supplies don’t require feeding though.  Pretty much everything he needed was inside that barn, and the entire thing ended up costing around $300.  We could barely rent an ugly one for that and ours flushed.

For some perspective on how this was set up, this is what the area looked like where the ceremony and reception were both held.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 1

Because the bathroom wouldn’t be obvious, I made this sign using my new wood burning tool.  I need to find another excuse to use that thing – it’s fun.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 2

We staked the sign near the back of the barn, and no one seemed to have any trouble finding it.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 3

The first thing they would see as the stepped around the corner was a small wood deck, to the left of the white barn door.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 4

The next thing our guests would find was a little hand washing area under an overhang.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 5

The mirror was from Ikea, as well as the hanging bulb that my husband turned into a mason jar pendant light.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 6

The sink and faucet, which I showed you how he made last week, were plumbed through a piece of rustic cedar.  The day of the wedding we added a bouquet of flowers inside the watering can, some soap I chose strictly because it was the right color, and hand towels.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 7

Beneath the counter were a couple of tin pails for trash.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 8

Next to the hand washing station was a stall to house the toilet itself, complete with locking door.  I love the red exterior barn wall serving as a background for all of this.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 9

I already showed you the sign and rug I made, but I thought this extended toilet roll holder my husband added was genius.  We slide several rolls on before the ceremony and no one ever had to refill it.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 10

I think the reason I love this little bathroom so much is because it really captured the whole DIY, rustic, country feel my daughter wanted for the event.  And I’m pretty sure no one has ever had one just like it.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 11

Besides, when you have something so cute going on in front of the barn, you’ve gotta have something special in the back.

Outdoor Wedding Bathroom - Crafty Staci 12

My thanks to Heather Fitch Photography for allowing me to share some of her photos here!

Super Stitches Sewing Book Winner

Good morning everybody!  By random drawing…

Super Stitches Sewing Winning Number

…the winner of the Super Stitches Sewing book…

Super Stitches Sewing Book  - Crafty Staci

…is Beth, who said

I started sewing when I was still playing with Barbies – not sure how old I was but I had fun making my dolls clothes. I am teaching a little girl to sew, so this book would be handy!

Congratulations Beth!  I love that this book is going to help teach the next generation how to sew!

Friday Favorites–Fall Cleaning

I’ve never really understood why Spring Cleaning is a thing, but you never hear anyone say “Oh, it’s October! Time to start my fall cleaning!”  When spring finally arrives, don’t we all just want to get OUT of our houses?  When fall hits, and we realize we’re about to be cooped up in the dirt pit that our families have been running in and out of all summer, wouldn’t that be the perfect time to clean it up?  I’m not saying I ever actually succeed at getting my entire house clean at once, no matter what the season is.  I just think it’s time to reconsider the timing of the attempt.

Fall Cleaning DIYs - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I haven’t taken the plunge and tried dishwasher pods or packets, but I’ll admit they intrigue me.  They seem so much easier and less messy than my method of glopping the liquid in from a little too high and splattering it on my legs.  These DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets from Lady with the Red Rocker might be just the thing for me.

DIY Dishwasher Soap Packets from Lady with the Red Rocker

I have almost all hard floors in my house.  The only place we have carpet left is the basement, so these DIY Swiffer Pads from Sew Take a Hike would come in handy.  They’re also pretty darn cute.

DIY Swiffer Pad from Sew Take a Hike

Since I do a lot of sewing, I use my iron frequently.  Oh, you can flatten your clothes with it too?  Who knew?  Anyway, it could probably stand a good cleaning, so I’ll be checking out these instructions from Homemade Mamas.

How to Clean Your Iron from Homemade Mamas

I love grinding up lemon peels in the garbage disposal.  Everything smells clean for a while.  You can have that experience any time with these Homemade Garbage Disposal Cleaning Cubes from New Leaf Wellness.

Garbage Disposal Cleaning Cubes from New Leaf Wellness

When my kids were small it seemed like we were constantly trying to get the mystery stain of the week out of the carpet.  We needed this Homemade Natural Carpet Shampoo from Surviving the Stores.

Carpet Cleaner from Surviving the Stores

I really, really do not enjoy scrubbing the showers.  I’m sure I’m not the only one.  Next time I think I’ll try this Tile and Grout Cleaner from Food. Or pay a kid to do it.

Tile and Grout Cleaner from Food

Cleaning off sticky messes is much easier with the right cleaner.  Try this 2 Ingredient Homemade Goo Remover from Spend with Pennies.

2 Ingredient Goo Remover from Spend with Pennies

Ahh, windows.  Another personal favorite of mine.  I’ve tried homemade cleaners, but this recipe from One Good Thing by Jillee has a secret ingredient I haven’t seen before.  I’ll be giving this one a try soon.

Streak Free Window Cleaner from One Good Thing by Jillee

I have a dog and a son, so Febreeze is my friend.  Now I can make it myself with this recipe from My Crazy Blessed Life.

DIY Febreeze from My Crazy Blessed Life

Let’s face it – sometimes you just want your house to smell nice, whether it’s actually clean or not.  I have a small crockpot that would be perfect for this Fall Air Freshener from Maggie May.

Don’t forget, there are still a couple of days left to enter to win the Super Stitches Sewing book!

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet

Are you all tired of hearing about wedding stuff yet?  I hope not, because we just got the photos from the photographer last week, along with her okay to share them here, so I have lots more to tell you about!

I have one more bathroom-related project I’d like to share with you before I reveal the whole thing next week.  I know it’s weird to be so focused on the restroom, but it was just adorable, and this project was the biggest focal point.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 1

We found the tub and watering can at Ikea last spring, so this wasn’t an expensive project at all.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 3

It was important to my husband to have a unique handle for the faucet, so we visited a local antique hardware store and found the one on the left for about $5.  He also needed a piece of 1/2” copper pipe and a drain, found at Home Depot.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 2

Replacing the faucet handle with the older one was as simple as unscrewing the nut, removing the one it came with, putting on the antique and screwing the nut back on.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 4

He pushed the copper pipe into the spout on the watering can just hard enough to make a small indent in the bottom.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 5

After that, he drilled a hole at the point of the dent…

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 6

…large enough for the pipe to fit through.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 7

He put a piece of wood under the tub and pounded lightly on the bottom in the center to create a recessed area for the drain.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 8

He drilled a hole in the bottom that was slightly bigger than the diameter of the pipe.  After the hole was drilled, he hit it a few more times with the hammer to flatten the rough edges.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 9

He removed the rubber gasket and nut from the bottom of the drain.  He pushed the drain into the drilled hole, adding some sealant to the underside.  Then he threaded the gasket and nut back on, tightening it with a wrench.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 10

With the drain securely in place, installing it involved some plumbing skills I won’t get into here.

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 11

It turned out even cuter than I pictured when my husband suggested it.  And it worked!

Galvanized Tub Sink and Watering Can Faucet - Crafty Staci 12

Next Wednesday – the big bathroom reveal!

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway

Super Stitches Sewing:  A Complete Guide to Machine-Sewing and Hand-Stitching Techniques by Nicole Vasbinder was provided to me by Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own.

When I first received Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder for review, I’ll admit I didn’t think it would have much to offer me.  I’ve been sewing for a very long time, which by no means leaves me with nothing left to learn, but I figured I at least had stitches down – the ones I needed anyway.  I’m happy to say I underestimated this book.

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 1

There are three main sections to this book:  Machine Stitches, Hand Stitches and Tools and Equipment. 

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 2

The first section starts out with a basic straight stitch and what to do with it before progressing to more specialized stitches.  It covers buttonholes, buttons, stretch stitches, utility stitches and decorative stitches.  There’s a handy 3 spool difficulty scale on each one.  There are also explanations of what each is for, as all machines won’t have all the stitches shown available and you’ll need to be able to figure out an appropriate substitute.

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 3

The hand-stitching section also begins with pretty basic stitches.  I was glad to see a blanket stitch here, because even after using it many times I can never seem to remember how to start.

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 5

There were quite a few stitches I’m already familiar with or can’t see myself using, but if you’re new to hand-sewing there are many that will come in handy.

I love the way the whole needle section is laid out.  It’s very straight forward, with drawings of each type of needle and an explanation of what it’s used for.  Using the right needles really does make all the difference, both when you’re sewing on and machine and by hand.

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 6

The thread and machine foot pages were a good review.  There may be feet described here that your machine doesn’t have, but it will give you a good idea if you should invest in a new one.

I’m not sure the sewing machine descriptions were necessary, as it’s all information that should be specific to your machine and would be found in the manual that came with it.  If you’re in the market for a machine, though, you might find a bit of useful information here.

I found several websites on the Further Reading page near the back that I’ll be checking out.  Don’t miss the Expert Tips sprinkled throughout.  There is some excellent advice there, like this little gem:

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 7

Overall, this book is very well organized and clear about what it’s trying to teach.  It’s a good review for an experienced sewer, but the real target is the person just starting out or investing in his or her first sewing machine.  This would be a great book to keep close by for reference.

Super Stitches Sewing Book Review and Giveaway - Crafty Staci 8

Now for the exciting part – while there is some good info here for me, I feel like this book could be more effectively used by one of you, so I’m giving it away! 

To enter to win, leave a comment here telling me what year it was when you first started sewing and what that project was.  Leave a second message telling me somewhere you follow me outside of my blog (Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) for a second entry.  This particular giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.  Entries will be accepted until noon, Pacific time on Sunday, October 12, 2014, after which I will draw an entry at random and email the winner.  If I am unable to get a response from the winner by Wednesday, October 15th a new winner will be drawn.

Good luck!

Friday Favorites–Leather

Nineteen years ago today, I was in the hospital, ready to bring my little boy into the world.  He wasn’t due for another few days, but my doctor was concerned about his size and wanted to induce me.  When he made his appearance, all 9 pounds and 4 ounces of him, I was thankful I listened to that advice.  He’s no chubby baby anymore, but about six feet tall and all muscle.  He’s also finding some domestic interests, like cooking and leather working, which means there’s a very good chance he’ll be able to survive on his own one of these days.

Leather - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

I’ll start off with the project that most reminded me of my son.  He rescued an ax that was about to be thrown away a few years ago and refurbished it back to usable condition.  I could see him taking it one step further and making it this Leather Mask from Survival Sherpa.

Tucker and I just started watching a new show together last night called Forever.  I won’t go into the whole story, but it centers around an immortal medical examiner.  In a recent episode, he pulled out his autopsy tools, which were in a leather roll and included a bowie knife.  I’m pretty sure that was the point my son decided he was hooked.  Now he can make one for himself, thanks to this Leather Tool Roll tutorial from Caila Made.

Ever since he started working with leather, wallets seem to be his thing.  He’s got two in the works right now, with another one to follow.  Maybe when he’s done with those, I’ll start hinting by showing him this wallet pattern from The Art of Manliness.

Leather Wallet by The Art of Manliness

Our house has a half-basement, with a bedroom at the back that used to be my sewing studio.  My son traded with me a few years ago (yay!) and proceeded to pretty much take over the whole basement.  We literally have a man cave.  Maybe I could get him to organize it a little with this Sling Magazine Rack from Design Sponge.

Sling Magazine Rack by Design Sponge

While we’re getting him to clean up, let’s throw in these Folded Leather Baskets from Between the Lines.

Folded Leather Basket by Between the Lines

This Woven Belt Seat from Saved by Love Creations is definitely a project I could see Tucker doing.  And it would coordinate with all of his other leather items he’ll be making!

Woven Belt Seat by Saved by Love Creations

Nieces and nephews are probably a few years away, but when the time comes these DIY Moccasins for Children from A Beautiful Mess will be on his radar.

DIY Moccasins for Children by A Beautiful Mess

I wonder if I could get him to squeeze in a bracelet for me from some of his scraps?  Any one of these Three DIY Leather Bracelets from Lia Griffith would be okay with me.

Three DIY Leather Bracelets by Lia Griffith

While we’re at it, I probably need a matching necklace.  How about this Dragon Tail Necklace from Michele Made Me?  You know, just so he can improve his skills. 

Dragon Tail Necklace by Michele Made Me

I’ll save these beautiful Leather Flowers from Funny Squirrel for somewhere down the road when he’s looking to challenge himself a bit.  And make Mom very happy.

Leather Flowers by Funny Squirrel

Happy birthday to my boy, starting his last year of being a teenager!