Seamingly Crafty

Sew, craft, cook, and more!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!!

This year our family embraced the reason for the season!  Instead of spending a ton of money and allowing greed to run our Holiday we had a semi Homemade Christmas.  I say semi homemade because although a lot of our gifts were homemade I still shopped a bit.  It’s the habit I think and really greed that drives us to spend spend spend on Christmas!  I don’t mean the greed like Scrooge in the Christmas carol, or even the give me gifts greed either although there are some like that, what I mean is the greed to HAVE to spend so much thinking it’s the only way to have a good Christmas.  Anyway here is some of what we did to get the most out of the season and the real meaning of it.

First we prayed, a lot!

Then we scoured the internet for ideas!

Here are a couple of things we did!

My daughter and I found these really cool mini crossbows made from Popsicle sticks and barrettes!  so we downloaded the instructions and made one for everyone. We even made ammo and custom colored each one.

You can find the video here. However the instructions are not free anymore but I believe they are under $5 and well worth it!  So much fun!

My daughter is a home schooled senior and this year I decided to do a woodshop class.  So for her first big project she made a beautiful pine cabinet for my husband.

linked here, we altered the design a bit because some of the instructions seemed off and we used pine from the oops wood at our local lumber yard, so we had to change the doors a bit.

Using a dremel she etched a tree into the each side.

Using a dremel she etched a tree into the each side.

grill cab1

While shopping for materials in our local craft store we came across this batman light for nearly $200! Both my kids loved it, but $200 yeah right!!!

My gears began running and I built them lights for just $2.50 each! That included tissue paper, paint, the light, and the frame. I had the wood.

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I also made several crocheted items I will share later 🙂  A couple of cute sock monkeys, and for some Holiday entertainment an elf on the shelf was crocheted and named Larry, he made his first appearance Dec. 1st. 🙂

We made a gingerbread house from scratch, that was a fun family night!

What did you do to make your Holiday special?

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Having A Fun Frugal Halloween

So my intention was to get on here and share all of my money saving tips for Halloween!  Of course around here, I sometimes get so busy, I barely have time to breathe 😉

Well I decided that even tho I didn’t share my Halloween throughout October, I’d share what I did to save money this season, still have a great party, great decor, and amazing costumes on a dime!

The Decor

We are a Halloween loving family! We literally could transform our home into a haunted house inside and out every year.  Although we don’t go quite that far we do decorate a lot.  This year we made a trip to the dollar store and grabbed some cool murals to decorate the walls with.  These added so much more depth to our house and just some clear tape and a couple bucks and we had a spooky backdrop on several walls.  These did double duty when we had our party cause they gave our guests several options for photo ops. 🙂

This one we taped onto the brick right outside our front door. *TIP* Dollar store boxing tape stuck and stayed on the brick! Be sure to tape all around to keep the wind from getting under it and ripping it off the wall.

We hung up several different jointed life sized cutouts as well.

these make fun decorations, and fun for party pictures when they are posed 🙂

DON’T THROW AWAY THAT BROKEN BATTERED HALLOWEEN DECORATION!!

As with most years our decorations get roughed up outside from the wind.  This year one of our decorations was in desperate need of some TLC.  Most people would just toss them out when they get as battered as this guy was!  Since I don’t have a picture of him I can explain what we did.  He started as a 2′ hanging skeleton reaper.  He has plastic hands and foam head and originally was draped with a greenish soft papery type fabric and a cheese cloth over that.  The green papery fabric (I don’t know what else to call it) was torn up really bad and since it wasn’t really a fabric more like a glorified paper towel there was no way to doctor it up with matching material.  So what we did was used some scrap black fabric, and black creepy cloth from the dollar store to replace his existing fabric.  We kept the cheese cloth as that was real and the older it is the spookier it looks 🙂  We used hot glue to attach the fabric and creepy cloth and I used a wire hanger cut and bent into a new hanger for him which I attached securely.  We now had a new from old decoration.  If you don’t want to re-do your similar decoration that is too battered to use simply cut off the re-useable parts.  In this case I would have saved the head and hands along with the cheese cloth for a different project.  Any decoration for outdoor can be upcycled or recycled into something new or updated.  Don’t toss it out save $$ 😉

We used the cheese cloth we took off of the decoration to wrap around 2 large dollar store skeletons we painted green to make mummies. 🙂

Creepy cloth can be purchased at the dollar store.

A must! It comes in black and gray.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR CEMETERY WITH FUN IDEAS

We had to touch up some of our outdoor headstones too.  This just required paint which I had on hand and some outdoor clear coat spray which I also had on hand.  We made a couple of new headstones this year.  We are scary movie buffs 😉 so of course our cemetery reflects that.  On our headstones we have:

Fred E. Krueger  his headstone is dressed up with a hand painted Elm St. Street sign and of course his razor knives glove laying on the grass in front of the headstone I made it with an old winter glove spray painted brown and cut out of foam board the knives.

Micheal Myers  his headstone is dressed up with his iconic butchers knife purchased from the dollar store it came white glow in the dark I painted it with silver and blood red.

Jason Voorhees his headstone has his iconic hockey mask screwed to the top corner and his iconic machete screwed to the other side.

Jedidiah Sawyer I haven’t come up with a way to incorporate his iconic chainsaw but I did lay some severed body parts from the dollar store by his headstone.  I’d love to hear chainsaw ideas!!

I made a small coffin a couple years ago to cover our fog machine. I also had purchased after Halloween a couple years ago 3 small headstones with tubes that attach to the fog machine.  even tho they were made for the machine I have, the machine melted the attachments.  I have yet to come up with a way to fix it but still put the headstones out.

Here’s a link to my Instructable on making the coffin.

NOTE* Please follow your instructions that came with your fog machine.  My dimensions were cut to fit a small fog machine and I was sure to keep the end protruding out to keep the fog end cool.

SPEAKING OF CEMETERIES…

My daughter and I love these little headstones at the dollar store.

We grab one or two every year.  They make a nice mini cemetery for the mantel or coffee table etc.  We added some mini plastic skulls and mini skeletons from the dollar store.

While browsing Pinterest I came across this amazing life size spooky tree at 102 wicked things to do blog. I knew I didn’t have time to make it for this Halloween but as my daughter and I were cleaning up after making a Halloween wreath I thought Hmmm…. how about a mini spooky tree for our mini cemetery! YES!  So I kept the cardboard rolls from the dollar store ribbon we used on the wreath and followed most of the her instructions and created my mini spooky tree!  I LOVE IT!!  I added some purple spider LED lights also from the dollar store.

WHILE WE ARE ON TALKING ABOUT MY TREE FIND

Also on 102 wicked things to do blog I found a tutorial on how to make candles that look real but use cardboard tube and LED tealight candles from the dollar store.  We made 5 of them 3 for our candelabra and one for the bathroom candle holder.  She hit it on the head when saying you don’t want anyone catching on fire at your Halloween Party.  I actually had someone almost catch their hair on fire on my toilet… yes… toilet…. I had a tealight burning on the back of it thinking it would be safe. yes I thought it would be cause I don’t sit back and relax on the pot lol so these candles were an awesome SAFE way to spook up the commode. Find the tutorial HERE.

For the Halloween Party Costume contest I used her idea for the trophies!  They turned out great!

We also made 2 extras that weren’t featured in her tutorial.  Our categories were:

Best Costume

Most creative

scariest

funniest

best couple

most original

sexiest

penny pincher

party pooper

We purchased several skeletons from the dollar store. Some wood bases from the craft store some creative props a small piggy bank from dollar store a candle holder and we used a small skeleton we had already.  On Avery.com I chose small mailing label size labels I printed on 6 labels

The Austin’s Halloween Party
BEST COSTUME
2014

I made one for each.  On the Penny Pincher tag I added “start saving for next years costume” and put a penny in the bank. On the party pooper (the little skeleton) I added “next year wear a costume”

I made the background a goldish color on the labels. Printed them out on plain paper, cut them out and used mod podge to attache them to the bases of the trophies.  My daughter and I had so much fun making these!  And even more fun awarding them to the winners!

For voting I used 3×5 cards cut slits down one side to make 9 tabs, I decorated paper lunch bags and taped them to the wall around the voting table.  Taped up simple rules for voting (ie. only vote once for each category) and left the cards and several pens on the table.

——>Click Here to go to 102 wicked things to do<——

SPEAKING OF COSTUMES

This year I spent a lot of time on my daughters costume leaving very little time for my own.  So I decided to go simple and be a Witch.  All I did was make a simple tutu skirt out of tulle and ribbon.  I purchased a hat from the dollar store.  Used some scrap black fabric and the extra tulle and modified the hat to fit my liking. I wanted it to be crooked and longer.  I used floral wire glue and grocery bags to form the end.  Here is what I made for a buck and some free colorful leaves from my yard 🙂

THINK FRUGAL! PARTY TIME!

To keep the food cost down, we chose to do a taco bar.  We purchased taco meat from our local GFS store along with taco shells and a big bag of shredded lettuce, cheese sauce and tortilla chips.  I diced 5 medium tomatoes 2 large onions and served shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives etc.  I kept the meat and cheese sauce hot in crock pots laid out the spread and done.  I also made some witches hats zombie fingers and even put out some powdered donut holes covered with a couple black spiders (spider eggs) 🙂

I bought a few different flavors of 3 liter pop and made fruit punch and iced tea.

All our supplies were purchased at the dollar store.

That was some of our 2014 Halloween!

To wrap up this post I’ll leave you with a few pointers and must haves list for the dollar store.

MUST HAVES:

skeletons large and small

wall murals

party supplies

mini skulls

mini headstones

spiders

crows

creepy cloth

ribbon

LED candles and mini string lights

TIPS/POINTERS:

The dollar store stock sells out FAST!  I missed out on a couple of things I really wanted cause I waited to buy them.  Start shopping for Halloween at the dollar store at the end of August.  The items that don’t sell out too fast are skeletons crows and spiders these they seem to re stock or over stock.

SHOP FOR HALLOWEEN CANDY AT 5 BELOW if you have one near you.  I try to avoid the dollar store for this because although you think you are getting a deal in some cases you aren’t. By the time you purchase enough bags of for example charms suckers to equal the amount you get in a grocery store bought bag you are paying the same price if not more.  Certain candies are ok to purchase at the dollar store like dum dums and pixi stix.  You can always price and weight compare before you buy.

SHOP NOW! Halloween clearance is up to 75% off right now!  You can get ribbon, decorations, etc. at a fraction of the cost! Even the dollar store clearances their Halloween stock.

Think simple for party food!  Stick to one theme. example tacos.  This will keep your cost low.  You can also make it a pot luck ask your guests to bring a spooky dish.  And always do BYOB (bring your own booze)  We do offer what we have to all our guests but I always throw BYOB on the invites so the guests know they are welcome to what we have but any special drinks they should bring.

Think simple for your decor if you host your party out in the garage or a tent.  We put up black poly plastic on the walls and over our not so sightly garage junk hung up some caution tape all around. DONE!  Our guests were welcome inside or out.

If you have your party outside or plan on having any outdoor activities ALWAYS have a back up plan.  We had intended to have spooky stories and pass the story game by the fire pit.  Hot apple cider by the fire pit, and Halloween movies on the back of our house using a friends projector for fire and a movie after games and stories for the kids.  However, the wind was horrible so we couldn’t put up the party tent and couldn’t safely have a fire and since it was so cold and windy we couldn’t do the movies either.  So instead we hung apples on strings for no hands apple grabbing game.  I printed out free coloring pages from crayola.com  and my daughter offered several board games for indoor activities.  I would have done more but I didn’t have a back up plan. 😛 the weather changes like crazy here!

That about wraps it up for this Halloween Post!

Until next time… Keep it Frugal!

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DIY Fire Starters

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The cold weather is here! As I was browsing Pinterest I found these neat little homemade fire starters. I thought since it is also hunting season I usually send my hubby with something special I’ve made. Whether its a yummy snack or a simple I love you note tucked into his gear. This year I decided to make him these neat little fire starters.

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What you’ll need:
Cupcake tins
Wax paper
Wax (I grabbed a large jar candle from the dollar store)
Bamboo skewer
Lint from the trap in dryer

Melt the wax carefully the way you feel most comfortable. In this case I placed the jar in a pot of water and carefully heated it until it melted. Cut the wax paper into enough squares for each cup of the muffin tin.
Stuff each cup with lint
Break the skewer into six pieces and use one in each cup. Carefully pour the wax into each cup using the skewer to hold the wax paper down.

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Allow them to cool and there you have it! 🙂
Till next time keep it crafty!

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Dum Dum Tree Tutorial

I finally got the Dum Dum Tree done.  I seen a post on Pinterest that had a sucker topiary tree and I wanted to have one on Caitlin’s sweets table at her party.

After trial and error I finally got it done.  My first attempt was a total fail!  I tried using a small cone for the suckers and found that when I got to the top there was not enough room for the suckers to fit and the cone was breaking apart.

As seen in the failed attempt above the cone did not make for a good base.  I tried only pushing the Dum Dums in halfway, well I actually had no choice in the matter because that is as far as they’d go without getting crowded even at the bottom.  So with that said, I’m going to move on.

I am all about being frugal as most of you know, and I enjoy seeing what I can make and how awesome I can make a party on as little cash as possible!  It is like a challenge for me!  I love to entertain but I don’t love the bill that comes with it. Luckily the cone above came from the Dollar store and it will not go to waste still because I will break it up and use it as stuffing for my next project that requires to be stuffed. 🙂

This project was made with 95% materials purchased from my local Dollar Tree.

:)

I added the push pins to my project as I was moving along on it.

Supplies:

  • 3 foam cubes (Dollar Tree)
  • 1   2″ foam ball (multi pack Dollar Tree)
  • approximately 265 Dum Dum Suckers
    (I had some on hand and bought 5 additional bags at the Dollar Tree)
  • 4 large thumb tacks
    these come in a variety of sizes shapes and colors I had these on hand but I did purchase them at the Dollar Tree a few years ago
  • A scrap piece of felt
  • A larger piece of scrap fabric
  • wooden dowels (Dollar Tree)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • coping saw or other serrated cutting utensil
  • 3½” circle template (I cut out from a cereal box)
  • scissors
  • sharpie
  • colored pencil or chalk (not pictured)
  • a clean large work space

Lets get started!

Open the foam cubes and trace the circle onto one of them. (photo 1. below)

Using the coping saw carefully cut straight down around the circle. (photo 2.)

Once you have the circle cut out flip the cylinder over and place the 3″ circle template on it. If you haven’t cut straight down evenly you will get what you see in photo 3 below.  Hold the template and carefully shave off the excess foam using the coping saw.

Repeat this for the second foam cube. Next put a good amount of hot glue on one of the cylinders and stack the other on top. you should now have a nice tall cylinder as seen in photo 4. below.  Do any more trimming needed. however as seen in my photo it doesn’t have to be perfect because it is going to be covered.

A side note: use one of the larger foam pieces you cut off to test the glue on the foam. You want to be sure it isn’t going to eat through the foam! If it does your glue may be too hot.  And you may need to use a cooler temp hot glue.

This is very messy!! Use a cloth to cut on so you can easily dispose of all the foam you cut off.  Pay no attention to my un manicured nails 😉

We want to make sure that glue cools completely before we attempt to start poking at it so set it aside get rid of all the foam that is now covering you and your entire work space and floor.  Grab your large piece of fabric and lay it flat with the wrong side up.  Take your 3rd foam cube and place it in the center of your fabric and using your chalk or colored pencil trace it 9 times as seen in the photo below.

Cut out the entire combined square leaving at least ½” extra material all around.  This cut does not have to be perfect just as long as you leave enough material to fold under.  Next you want to cut from each corner in stopping at the center square as seen in the photo below.

Still working from the picture above put some hot glue all around one side of the cube and carefully put it in the center square.  Next put some glue in the square just below the cube. you don’t need a large amount but enough to be sure it sticks. Pull that side up snug and press and smooth it to the side of the cube.

Turn the cube counter clock wise and carefully put some glue on the piece of fabric that is like a triangle now folding it over snug smoothing it out as seen in photo 1. below.  cut off that little part that is hanging over the side.  Turn the cube counter clock wise again and put glue in the square and pull that side up taught and smooth it. Next turn the cube clockwise put some glue in the triangle and smooth it over the one you have glued down already as seen in photo 2 below. Cut off the extra piece hanging over the side.

Turn the cube all the way around to the opposite side of the triangle pieces you glued down and glue down the triangle pieces on this side. Don’t forget to cut off that extra piece that hangs over the side.

In photo 3 below you can see I am cutting off part of the triangle piece, the first thing you want to do is fold the triangle in and then fold up the side to be sure you have a nice edge lined up then cut the excess off  put a small line of hot glue to hold the fold over.  Do the same on the other side. Put hot glue in this folded edge square pull it up taught and smooth out see photo 4 below. Repeat on the opposite side.

take care in step 4 to make it pretty, this part of the tree will be visible.

Flip the cube and glue down the edges on the bottom.

Your cube should look like the one above at this point. Next put a little hot glue on the tacks and push them into each corner on the bottom.

Cut little squares out of your scrap felt and put a bead of hot glue on them and press onto the tacks as seen below.

These would make really cute jewelry displays too I think 🙂 so adorable!!!  IF you can’t find decorative thumb tacks at the Dollar store try Wal-mart or an office supply store!

Now we are going to move onto the 2″ ball.  cover the ball with fabric gluing and working the fabric in small sections cutting excess fabric off along the way once you get down to the bottom of the ball cut off all excess fabric. Next cut a circle out of the same fabric and glue it onto the bottom of the ball covering up the gathered fabric taking care to glue down the edges of the circle! Be careful not to burn your finger!!  I’m a daily cook at home and I craft a lot so my fingers are used to the heat but it will still burn the day lights out of my fingers if I don’t let the glue cool a bit before pushing down.  I also use the stand part of my glue gun to push down small parts of fabric.

once the glue is cooled you can rub at the glue that is exposed to get it off. But if there are stubborn pieces that can be seen (if using black fabric) you can use your sharpie on them to blend it in.

Using your coping saw cut a wooden dowel in half.  Next take your scissors and poke a small hole through the fabric on the bottom of the ball. Put some glue on the end of the dowel and insert it into the ball taking care not to go through the top!

My daughter said this looks like a cake pop.. she is addicted to starbucks birthday cake pops 🙂 Styrofoam everywhere still 🙂

This would be a great time to take a break and stretch, do yoga, take a brisk walk… whatever makes you centered 🙂 Or you can switch over your laundry… yes unfortunately it is a chore that we have to do! UGH! My least favorite chore!  You will never see me get excited to wash clothes.  I must have been one of those people that did nothing but wash clothes all day in a past life… like down in the basement of a castle!  Or I could have been the princess and never had to wash clothes… either way I think I’d dislike it no matter which I would have been lol 🙂

Now that you have centered or done a chore lets get on to the fun part!!!

start pushing the Dum Dum’s into the cylinder.  I suggest pushing them in all the way as seen in photo 2 below.  For 2 reasons 1. you will use less suckers to take up space and 2. the tree will be much more stable.

The only uniform I used in putting them in was in the first row. after that just start pushing them in working your way up to the top.  You will see in photo 3 below that there are some spaces between some suckers.  This is ok we will be going back filling them in later.

Once you get to the top push your dowel that was inserted in the ball down into the center of the cylinder.  Take care to go down straight, pull back out and put some glue on the dowel and push it back down into the hole.   If you didn’t get the dowel to go straight down you can use another piece of dowel and push it in next to the ball as seen below to straighten it out.  Add some glue around the dowel. You will want the ball to be about 2″ above the cylinder.

yeah yeah, I should have taken a break I stuffed the stick in crooked lol

Start filling in the rest of the way with the suckers going all the way up to the ball. Then go back and fill in any gaps between suckers.  I used approximately 265 suckers.  You can cut your cylinder shorter if you like so you don’t need to use as many suckers.

Once the suckers are all packed in push in on them all the way around making sure they are all snug.  Then gently lay the sucker tree on it’s side.  Cut another dowel in half and poke each half into the bottom of the cylinder as seen below.

Using your colored pencil or chalk heavily color the bottom of the dowels as seen below.  Carefully pick of your tree trying to keep it centered on the fabric cube press the dowels onto the fabric. The lay back down on it’s side.  This will transfer the color onto the cube so you know where to poke through the fabric.  If it didn’t work scrape more color onto the dowels and try again.  If it did work use your scissors and carefully poke through the fabric.

Remove the dowels and put some glue on them then push them back into the holes and allow a few minutes to dry a bit.

Put some glue along the dowels and on the top of your fabric cube, carefully push the dowels into the holes you cut in the fabric and down into the cube. make sure it goes all the way down it should with no problem.

Allow the glue to dry completely and sit back and admire YOUR Dum Dum sucker tree!

I am going to be adding rainbow ribbon around the bottom and the tag will be black, purple and white! I am also going to pin a purple number 16 to the top of the ball.

I hope you are as excited to try this as I was to make it!  This can be used at any kind of party and it will be amazing!  Boys parties too!  I think it would look awesome with camo material!  Or even cartoon theme!

So grab your reuseable bags and head up to your local dollar store and get started! 🙂

Until next time stay Crafty!!

Word.. 😉

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