Monthly DIY

Monthly do-it-yourself projects that range from beginner to advance.

Monthly DIY: Tie Dye Soap

tie dye soap (1)This month’s DIY is cute and simple homemade tie dye soap that you can gift to your loved ones or make for yourself. April showers bring May flowers so I made a bunch of Spring flowers that smell like the tropics. I love making these soaps because it’s really fun to see how they turn out and each one is a surprise just like when you are tie dying. I also love that I can make my own vegan soap that has less than 10 ingredients, no parabens, and not boring like the ones I find at the store. One thing to keep in mind with tie diy soap as you are not mixing the dye with the soap all the way is that it will bleed the color during use (kind of like when you dye your hair with temporary color).

What You Need: monthly diy (2)

 

  • melt and pour soap
  • soap dyes
  • a mold
  • fragrance oils
  • stir stick / brush
  • glass measuring cup
  • rubbing alcohol

Material Information and Cost:

You can use almost anything as a soap mold but I bought mine from Amazon for around $10 because I liked how it was a standard size for soap and the shape had enough detail for some interest but still usable for everyday. For the melt and pour soap you can pick up a container for less than $10 and it will make roughly 10 large soaps.  For the colour and fragrance it will depends on how many you wish to do. I use a lot of different colours and fragrance oils so I probably spent $30 on that alone. In total on average I say $40 is fair price to start out but once you have everything you will just need to buy the soap. I buy all my soap essentials from NewDirections because it’s cruelty free, affordable and they sell vegan products but they do have a minimal order amount so you may want to buy your ingredients at a local craft/hobby store or another online soap supplier. De Serres here in Montreal has everything you’d need so it’s easy to find.

Steps:

  1. Design your tie dye. This can be done by deliberately or randomly applying dye in drops or using the brush to paint it on. The more interesting the mold the more creative you can go.
    I prefer to dot complimentary colours directly into the mold and create gradients or patterns similar to actual flowers (or whatever the mold is).
    monthly diy (3)
  2. Cut the melt and pour soap up into small pieces and place inside a measuring cup.
  3. Place the measuring cup  in a double boiler until melted stirring throughout or in a microwave in 45 seconds bursts until it’s completely melted and free of any solid chunks.
    monthly diy (1)
    *if you want to avoid left over soap you can use water first to measure how much ml or cups you will need of soap to fill the mold, but keep in mind you will want to melt a bit extra as some soap will attach to the measuring cup. 
  4. After the soap has melted, let it cool slightly before adding in your fragrance oil as it can burn off and your soap will not smell. For more info on how long it’s best to cool check the fragrance oil packing.  If you want to do several different scents simply separate the soap into different measuring cups before adding in the fragrance oils.
  5. Pour in your soap.
    *This is my favourite step to do! After pouring you an use a stir stick to swirl in the colour or leave it the way it is. The first two soap had a lot more dye in the molds so you can see how vibrant it will be and in the last two the colour is mostly going to be white with hints of colour.
  6. Spray the top of the soap with rubbing alcohol to get rid of the bubbles.
  7. Wait minimum 1-3 hours for the soap to cool and harden  before removing from the mold. However it’s better to wait over night to get the sharp lines of the mold.
    *I like to place a sheet of baking wax paper on top of the mold while the soap is hardening.
  8. Remove the soap from the mold and see what you’ve created! With a silicone mold like mine it’s very easy to release with no effort, simply pop out. However if you have a plastic mold and are having issues getting it to release simply place in the freezer for 15min and run under hot water for a moment and the soap should be freed.
  9. Don’t forget to wrap your soap if you are not going to use them right away. Melt and pour soap will be affected by the water in the air and can shrink over time. I shrink wrap mine but you can use kitchen plastic wrap as well.

tie dye soap (10)tie dye soap (4)tie dye soap (2)
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Monthly DIY: Tissue Paper Easter Eggs

Tissue Paper Easter EggsThis year’s Easter egg designs DIY is going to be the fun and super simple tissue paper Easter eggs. I saw this online and really wanted to try it out and put my own personal twist on the design so I couldn’t wait to make these. My Easter DIYS are always my favourite to make and I never miss the chance to make Easter eggs.  This project is totally kid friendly if you need it to be and very affordable so it’s great one to test out if you want to get outta the mold of just dying eggs.

What You Need:monthly diy

  • tissue paper
  • Modpodge / glue
  • brush
  • scissors
  • hard boiled/hollowed/
    plastic/styrofoam eggs
  • ribbon
    (if you want to make ornaments)

Material Information and Cost: 

This project is easy to do for $15 or less and everything is easy to locate at your local craft/art/Dollar store. The only thing I bought was the fancy tissue paper from DeSerres which was actually horribly expensive at $8 per package (otherwise I would have bought so many different patterns). Recycling tissue paper also works great for this project as well and you can save up over a few months and get really interesting paper to work with. 

Steps:

  1. Prepare your eggs and make sure they are clean and free of dirt.
    *to learn how to hollow out your eggs I made a video a few years ago
  2. Prep the tissue paper, you can either cut large squares to wrap around a whole egg with cuts at the top and bottom to make it easier to fold around the egg, or smaller shapes like squares, circles or stripes of various sizes.
  3. Apply the glue using the brush either to the back of the tissue paper or directly onto the egg.
    *I prefer applying the glue directly to the egg as it easier to adjust the paper after you’ve placed it down on the egg and the paper doesn’t tear as easily, just make sure to do a small section at a time. 
  4.  Apply the tissue paper in sections onto the eggs using the brush to pat out any wrinkles or air bubbles and remove excess glue. Try to not move the tissue paper as it tears easily.
  5. After the egg is covered simply let dry.
    Optional:
  6. You can also attach a piece of ribbon to the top and make them into ornaments. Or insert a skewer or craft stick to the bottom if using styrofoam eggs to make displays.

Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (1) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (2) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (10)Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (11) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (9) Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (7)Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (8)Tissue Paper Easter Eggs (12) Another great idea for Easter eggs using tissue paper is these really cool tie dye Easter eggs using color bleeding tissue paper.

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Monthly DIY: Halloween Phone Case

monthly diy halloween phone casesOctober’s DIY is one I’ve been waiting forever to do so I am very happy to show you my cute and spooky Halloween phone cases. I’ve wanted to make these for so long but before getting my Samsung Galaxy this summer, I happened to have the tiniest and most unpopular phone that existed so it was impossible. This style of using decorative cabochons to customize your phone is a great way to make unique phone cases.  It’s also a really simple process where you can apply your creativity. I happen to love Halloween so I couldn’t resist making mine themed for the holiday but you can do this with any accessory and cabochons you like.

What You’ll Need: halloween phone case diy (1)

  • Plain phone case
  • Cabochons
  • Caulking

Optional

  • Icing tip
  • Glitter
  • Tooth Pick/Popsicle stick

Material Information:

Rough cost per phone case is around $20, but that really depends on what cabochons you chose to go with and it will be cheaper if you are making multiple phone cases. Cabochons are the biggest expense for this project as most sellers of cabochons online sell each design in multiples (example 5 skull cabochons for $3). You can also pick up bundles of cabochons that have a large variety (usually at least $15+) to counter act having to buy multiples of the same design but you will loss the option of choosing each design. I knew I was making at least 5 phone cases so I spent $40+ on cabochons brought from Etsy. The other materials however are very cheap, caulking and the phone case were $2 each from the hardware store and EBay respectively, and the glitter and icing tips were bought at a dollar store.

Steps:

  1. Lay out all your cabochons and a phone case and start to create the design. Once your design is finished on the case, I suggest taking a quick photo with your phone for reference.
    halloween phone case diy (3)halloween phone case
    Example designs:halloween phone case diy (2)

  2. Prep the caulking by cutting off the tip and fitting on the icing tip over top. You can secure the icing tip with a bit of tape or hold it in place.
    monthly diy (2)monthly diy (3)
  3. Ice the phone case with your caulking, this can be done several different ways using basic icing techniques.
    monthly diy (4)monthly diy (5)
    *You can practice ahead of time just using a piece of paper. The caulking tube I use has enough to do 2 phone cases, and a bit extra so I can do a few practice rows before starting on the case (I’ve always been bad at icing cupcakes so I need a lot more practice).
    *If you royally mess it up, just clean the caulking off the case with soap and water and dry it off before starting over.
  4. Using your photo as reference lay out the cabochons the way you’d like.

    *You want to make sure you are only placing them once, as beside slight movement you won’t be able to make much change without completely redoing the caulking.

    *I also have the cabochons laid out the way I want on a 2nd phone case to make it easier and a tooth pick on hand if I want to adjust the placement of any of the cabochons or caulking once down. You have 5 to 10min before the caulking is stiff.
  5. Make sure the cabochons are pressed down securely and this is the time to add glitter.
    monthly diy (1)
  6. Once you have the case the way you’d like making sure none of the caulking is on the side of the case or covering the openings. Use a toothpick to move caulking.
  7. Take your case and lay it some place where it will not be disturbed, wait at least 24 hours before touching and for the caulking to dry completely and be solid wait a few days.
    *after a day my caulking was stiff but still mouldable so I could still push it in if need on the edges or where the camera is.
  8. Lastly attach to your phone and enjoy your case.
    halloween phone case diy (11) halloween phone case diy (2)

Results:

I love all the phone cases and think they are a really unique accessory I can switch between whenever I want. A few things to note if you want to make yourself is that they are pretty heavy and can be a bit awkward when you are laying the phone case down on a surface (especially if you are using one cabochon that is much thicker than the others). Both of these concerns however do not bother me at all. I’ve also used the phone cases for over a week and haven’t had any issues with them, they are solid as a rock once they dry and I don’ think anything short of dropping my phone might damage the case. The biggest tip I can give is to use the type of phone cases where the sides are silicon and the back is rigid as it is ideal for switching up your case since it’s very easy and you don’t need to bend the case in any way when removing. My one disappointment was that I couldn’t find any black caulking before posting this tutorial as I had plans to do multiple black ones. I did make the eye one with a ‘transparent’ caulking and I have to say it’s pretty eerie looking. I’ll be posting photos of the phone cases I make with black caulking on my Instagram if you are interest to see what it looks like not using the traditional white.

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Monthly DIY: Vintage Slide Curtains

vintage slide blinds (1)This month is all about using vintage slides to make custom, unique and beautiful slide curtains. I found out about slide blinds originally through my brother who shared a photo of them with me of (these) curtains and I fell in love. I just adore how not only can you use them functionally as curtains but they are a work of art. Being able to look at each individual slide, not to mention the reflections of them on nearby surfaces really makes the space more beautiful. Right away I set out not only to find how these were made but to make my own for my kitchen window which has been lacking a window treatment since we moved (years ago). Although a long and tedious process, I think the project is very straight forward and the end results makes me so happy. Anytime I am in the kitchen I find a new slide to look at and appreciate. One thing I would love to do is someday make my own slides and make a memory curtain with them. Below I have all the steps you will need to do to make your own as well as videos on me making them, not to mention MANY MANY photos of the finished curtains.

What You’ll Need:

  • slides
    *to calculate how many you will need, refer to step one
  • pair of pliers
  • jump rings
    *to calculate you roughly need 4x the amount of slides
  • drill or hole punch
  • triangle ruler and pencil
  • curtain hooks

Cost and Material Information:

The cost will depend on how you are acquiring the slides and how many you need to make the curtains (I used around 200 slides). For my slides I purchased through Etsy for about $10 per 150 slides. I bought more than I need as I wanted my blinds to mostly be of flowers. For the other materials it will be around $25 to pick up jump rings, a hole punch, pliers,  a triangle ruler, hooks, and the curtain rod. All common things to find at Dollar stores, craft stores or online for cheap.

Video of Steps:

 

Steps:

  1.  Calculate the amount of slides you will need. To do this measure the height and width of the area you will be covering (include overhang if you want slides to go past the glass) and divide each by the measurements of 1 slide.This will give you an approximate base amount you will need. Have more on hand for mistakes and possible changes.
  2. Take the slides and lay them out so you know what will be the top slides connected to the curtain hook, the middle slides and the bottom slides. At this time you can also create a pattern with the slides or paint the paper edges.
    Example: All slides featuring the color yellow in one column, or all flower slides on the top row, ect. Having a large group of slides to choose from will make this step much easier.
  3. Take all the middle slides and measure 5mm in on each corner using the triangle ruler and mark. You can skip this step if you want however it helps make sure the slides hang as evenly as possible.
  4. Where you’ve marked on each corner, use a drill or hole punch to create a hole.
    *I did mine with a hole punch and it’s painstaking in the amount of time it takes and on your hand but I found it easier than a drill.
  5. For the top slides you will need  to repeat Step 3 & 4 however for the top two holes will need to accommodate the curtain hooks so you will need to check if you need to make a larger hole.
  6. Repeat step 3&4 to the bottom slides except only do 2 holes on the top of the slide.
  7. Lay out all the slides you want for 1 column with 1 top slide, middles slides and 1 bottom slide.
  8. Use the pliers to twist and separate the jump rings you will need ahead of time, you will need 4x each slide except the bottom and top.
  9. Attach the slides together using the jump rings and pliers, working down one by one until you are at the bottom. Then attach the hooks to the top slide.
  10. Repeat until you have all your columns done and place each hook on the rod.
  11. Hang on your curtain rod and enjoy!
    Optional
  12. You can attach the columns together to create one big sheet, or two curtains. Simply use jump rings and either hook into a new hole on the side of each slide or into the existing jump rings. I did the later but the original DIY added additional holes. You can also skip this step and each column will be on it’s own.
    TIP
    I found out at the end of the process a much easier way to create the holes is to have 1 template slide that has the punched holes already and then simply lay on top of each slide and punch the holes you need using it as a reference. No marking required.

 

Finished Curtains

vintage slide curtains (2)vintage slide blinds (19)vintage slide blinds (20)vintage slide blinds (22)(The bottom is a little wonky but I will figure that out. I also went down from 20 slides per column to 19 and accidently left two slides that aren’t meant to be at the bottom)vintage slide blinds (12)vintage slide blinds (3)vintage slide blinds (2)vintage slide blinds (11)vintage slide blinds (18)vintage slide curtains (1)
(the slides also leave patterns on the floor on sunny days which is a delight)

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Monthly DIY: Scented Bath Salts

This month’s DIY project is scented bath salts which I love to use in the Spring and Summer time since I am very active and enjoy adding them to my bath to sooth and relax sore muscles as well as their many other benefits. It’s one of those more practical bath additions but that doesn’t mean it can’t smell and look good and it’s great to customize and make your own instead of relying on store bought. It’s really easy to do and very affordable if you go through large amounts of them. Also they make great presents for just about anyone in your life.

What You Need:monthly diy (3)

  • Plain Epsom salts
  • Food coloring
  • Fragrance or essential oils
  • Container
  • Spatula or spoon
  • Mixing bowl

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Monthly DIY: Dragon Scale Maille Bracelets

Today happens to be the premiere of the 5th season of the Game of Thrones and in celebration of it I wanted to show you how to make your own dragon scale maille bracelets. They are a very beginner introduction to making jewellery with scales and are very easy to learn how to make even if you’ve never done anything like this before. I absolutely love these and the scales remind me so much of Daenery’s dragons (which I happen to adore). There are so many things you can make with scales, and scale maille it’s a really addictive and fun hobby. So let me know if you want any other tutorials in scale maille whether its earrings, necklaces, gloves or more complex bracelets. I would be happy to share. As well if you’d rather purchase any of the bracelets you see in this tutorial rather than make them, please send me an e-mail for more details. Let’s start!

What You’ll Need:monthly diy

  • two flat nose pliers
  • 20-30 scales per bracelet
    *you will find the perfect amount after the first bracelet you make, for my wrist I always use ~25
  • 18ga 3/16 jump rings
    *the amount of scales x2 plus a few extra to attach the clasp
  • clasp
    *any style

Cost & Material:

The cost of making one bracelet really depends on what materials you choose to use as scales and jump rings are available in a variety of materials. As well it depends on how many bracelets you intend to make as most suppliers sell in quantities larger than you will need for 1 bracelet. Plastic and aluminum scales are on the cheaper side and will cost around $5 per 100 scales. Titanium is around $10 per 50 scales and Niobium & Patterned scales are usually around $0.50 to $1 per 1 scale. You can also get brass, cooper, gold, and even glow in the dark scales. I prefer the beautiful anodized titanium scales as they look the most like dragon scales. For jump rings you can get them in a variety of materials too, aluminum being the cheapest at around $5 per 500 rings and titanium being around $20 for a few hundred. Aluminum jump rings are the mostly commonly used. The only reason I would suggest using another material like titanium for the jump rings is if you wanted the bracelet to be hypo allergic. Keep in mind you do not see the jump rings except on the ends. Here is great chart that will show you the difference between materials. You can also save money buying machine cut rings instead of saw cut, however I prefer saw cut as I find them easier to work with and more polished looking.  The bracelet that I’m show you cost me about $9 in materials however I did have to purchase several packs of jump rings and scales to get all the different colors (roughly $40) and with that I can make 6 bracelets. I purchased all my scales and jump rings through The Ring Lord (which I review here). The only thing I didn’t get through them was the clasps which I purchased through Ebay in a variety of styles for around $2 per pack of 5-10 clasps.

Steps:

Dragon Scale Maille Bracelets:

dragon scale maille bracelets (14)dragon scale maille bracelets (22)dragon scale maille bracelets (21)dragon scale maille bracelets (23)dragon scale maille bracelets (24)dragon scale maille bracelets (6)A closer look at the back of the bracelet (above) and various clasps (below)dragon scale maille bracelets (17)More dragon colored bracelets (above) and more playful combinations (below)dragon scale maille bracelets (18)dragon scale maille bracelets (3)dragon scale maille bracelets (4)Glow in the dark and aluminium scales (above) and anodized titanium (below)dragon scale maille bracelets (5)

Like all my DIYS please feel free to comment below with any questions, suggestions or photos of you own creations.

Lastly what happens when you own a cat and you leave anything on a table for too long…dragon scale maille bracelets (15)

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Monthly DIY: Naturally Dyed Floral Easter Eggs

naturally dyed floral eggsThis year’s Easter DIY project for naturally dyed floral Easter eggs was suggested by a friend of mine last year. She showed me a photo of naturally dyed Easter eggs with various silhouette of plants on them done by bigsislilsis. I fell in love with the idea especially consider in my long years of dying eggs, I had never used homemade dyes for Easter. Of course you could do this project with store bought / traditional dyes as well but I liked how the more earthy tones go hand in hand with the foliage. For my project I am using blown out Easter eggs instead of hard boiled eggs (tutorial here) and the brightest of natural dyes – turmeric, beets, red cabbage and blueberries. This project is very easy to do and can be enjoyed by anyone, the hardest thing for me at least was finding the foliage at this time of year. I also experimented a great deal, and it can be really fun to try your own combinations and see what works.

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (2)

  • eggs
  • panty hose (1 pair per a dozen eggs)
  • twist ties / pipe cleaner
  • plants & flowers
  • containers
    *that you are not afraid to stain, glass works great
    Dyes:
  • vinegar
  • water
  • salt
  • pot & strainer
  • 1/2 head of red cabbage
  • 2 cups of beets (4-6 beets)
  • 2 cups of frozen blueberries
  •  4 tablespoons of turmeric

Cost:

Under $15 for all the ingredients to dye a dozen eggs.

 Steps:

  1.  Blow out your eggs if you’d liked to keep them forever.

    *keep in mind if you are using natural dyes, your eggs will take on the flavor of the dye so you probably don’t want to eat them anyway.
  2. Cut the pantyhose into 3 inch squares and cut vertical so it’s no longer a tube shape. If using pipe cleaner cut into 1 inch pieces.
    monthly diymonthly diy (3)
  3. Spread a piece or pieces of foliage over the egg and place the panty hose over top and pull all the corners in until the panty hose is taut. Using a pipe cleaner or twist tie secure the panty hose. Repeat until you’ve completed all your eggs.
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    *you can use fresh or dried foliage. Keep in mind dried is more brittle and can break. It’s been snowing here on and off so I didn’t have much choice in the matter and had to use dried for most of the eggs.
    *make sure the foliage is pressed tightly against the egg to get a full design.
  4. Prepare your containers, if doing several colors you may want to label which is which.
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  5. Make your natural dye by boiling each ingredient for 10minutes (except cabbage – 30min) and then straining before placing in a container.
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    *I used recipes from Martha Stewart for the dyes. However I did half it as I only needed enough to fill quart jars and half the amount of salt as I didn’t think that much salt was required)
    *if you are interested on finding out other natural dye recipes check out this great website.

    monthly diy (1)
    Yellow: Turmeric Dye
    4 cups of water with 3 tablespoons of turmeric , 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt.

    Blue: Purple Cabbage Dye
    4 cups of water with half a head of cabbage cut into slices with 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt.
    Pink: Beet Dye
    4 cups of water with 4 cups of chopped beats with 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt for 10min.
    Purple & Blue-berry Dye
    4 cups of water with 2 cups of frozen blueberries (mash before or during cooking) with 2 tablespoons of vinegar & salt for 10min.

  6. Place the eggs in each container, if you are using blown out eggs they will float. For a container without a lid I find placing a heavy spoon (ice cream scoop works best) over top of the egg to keep it submerged works best.  For containers with a lid you can simply fill the liquid to the top and seal so there is very little room for the egg to float in.
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  7. Take the egg bundle out of the dye and unwrap each egg. I like to wash under cold water to make sure all excess dye is washed off and then place back into an egg container with the hole at the bottom as any liquid inside the egg can leak out.
    monthly diy (3)monthly diy (2)
  8. For a lightest color leave in for 5 minutes and for the darkest leave in over night.
    naturally dyed floral easter eggsnaturally dyed floral eggs (3)

(Each dye except beets shows a 20 hour egg, a 4 hour egg and a 5-10min egg)
*Apologize I took the last photo while still recovering from a concussion, the beet jar should be switched with the purple cabbage jar to align the eggs correctly.

naturally dyed floral easter eggs  (27) The top left is the beet dyed eggs, bottom left is purple cabbage dyed eggs, top right is turmeric dyed eggs and bottom right is the blueberry dyed eggs.

What I Learned:

  • Beets don’t make pink eggs. I feel lied to, haha. Mine all turned out brown which I’m not into very much.
    naturally dyed beet floral easter eggs (2)naturally dyed beet floral easter eggs (1)
  • However I did try making the dye again as I had leftover beets so what I did is boil the eggs and beets together for 10minutes. It’s probably one of my favourite eggs and is slightly more pink?
    naturally dyed easter egg in beets (2)
  • Don’t submerge eggs into the dye when it’s still boiling hot, it will cause the egg to pop and break.
    naturally dyed turmeric floral easter eggs
  • It’s fun to dye eggs a starting color and then add foliage and re-submerge, into the same color or another! Also you can reuse the same flowers and plants multiple times.
    naturally dyed floral easter eggs (4)
  • Natural dye doesn’t blend together like I thought it would using general color theory. The below egg is the purple cabbage and turmeric dye which should make green – instead we get just a subtle hint of greenish blue. BUT dying an egg one color and then placing the foliage on top of that does work.
    naturally dyed floral easter eggs
  • Some foliage will allow the dye to leak in, not fully but enough that you will not have a white silhouette.
    naturally dyed floral easter eggs (2)
  • If you scrunch up the panty hose and tie it off like I did, mostly likely your eggs will get this star-ish pattern. The folds of the pantyhose mean not all the dye can get through.
    naturally dyed purple cabbage floral easter eggs
  • Sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple, too many plant types can cause just too much mish-mash.
    naturally dyed turmeric floral easter eggs (2)naturally dyed blueberry floral easter eggs (2)
  • Laying various flowers on top of each other will work.
    naturally dyed floral easter eggs (3)
  • You can reuse the dye over and over again hot or cold and it doesn’t appear to lose its vibrancy. Only exception is turmeric which separates back into powder overnight and it’s better to make a fresh patch.
  • If using a medium to large jar you can make multiple eggs at once. My jars fit 2 eggs are a time and the recipe I’ve posted make enough for 1 jar each and enough to fill one small cup as well for extra.
  • Worried about these dyes staining your house? You can lay down plenty of paper towel and newspaper and wear plastic gloves to protect your hands. I didn’t have much issue as long as I wiped up any spilt dye right away – except turmeric which is very potent and required bleach to remove. Lesson learned.

Hope you liked this year’s Easter DIY. I’m obsessed with making these and have already made more than the dozen I had intended too. I can’t wait to try these again in the future with more varieties of plants and flowers. This year I was limited since it’s still cold and snowing here but I’m still really happy with the results. So much so I couldn’t stop taking photos of these unique eggs. If you want to see all my designs there will be a post of all of them in their glory tomorrow. You can check it out, here! Oh and leave me a comment, including a photo if you make your own.  As I’d love to see you take on these, you can also let me know what you normally do for Easter!

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Monthly DIY: My Little Pony Shrink Brooches & Necklaces

my little pony shrink brooches and necklaces
This month’s DIY is how to make My Little Pony shrink brooches and necklaces as I thought they would be a fun activity to keep myself busy this winter. Prior to making these I had never made anything with shrink paper or my own custom brooches so this project is very beginner level, even for those of us who have no idea how to draw (like at all, I am the worst at drawing). As well this doesn’t have to be My Little Pony, it could be any cartoon or characters that you love. Now the key to this project that makes it universally do-able is the use of a source material. For mine I used actual vintage Shrinky Drinks of My Little Pony, as well as vintage books and coloring books I had. Because shrink paper, shrinks (go figure) books are the perfect size to trace for brooches and necklaces. And if you don’t have any of those it’s easy to google in ‘chttp://blog.citizenerasedphotography.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=16592&action=edit&message=1oloring book [character name]’ and simply print off (or trace directly from the screen) instead. This project was so much fun to do and I can’t tell you how many times I stayed up late after work making these and try out new color combos. I’ve already gifted a few of them away and think this is a project I will keep doing using different characters over and over again.

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (1)

  • Shrink paper
  • Markers/pencil crayons
  • Scissors
  • Brooch backs/necklaces
  • Glue (E6000 is awesome)
  • Baking pan
  • Sealer (Modpodge, spray sealers, medium, nail polish…)
  • Brush
    Optional:
  • Sand paper
  • Parchment paper
  • Hole punch

Price and Material Information:

$25 for all the materials if you are buying everything from scratch. The shrink paper which is the most important can be bought at most local art & craft stores for $8 for 6 sheets and the brand I use Grafix comes in various different types although my local art store only carries the clear and white (it also comes in pre-sanded, color set, and for printers). On that note you can actually just skip this whole DIY and just print the images you want onto the paper using a printer but to me that just isn’t as fun. For the markers you can use Sharpies, and any permanent and water based markers. You can also use acrylic paint, rubber stamps and pencil crayons (pencil crayons require the surface to be sanded first).

Steps:

  1. Test your markers / pencil crayons using small stripes of your shrink paper.
    my little pony monthly diy (9)my little pony monthly diy (2)
    *This is a great step to see how the colors will turn out and if you like how the marker goes onto the paper. As you can see the colors are darker after being baked and do appear differently on white paper opposed to the clear paper (keep in mind my clear strip is laying on the white counter top). With clear shrink paper you can get a translucent effect with most markers, and semi to full opaque with pencil crayons and some markers. You may notice that certain markers will be streaky and I noticed some of my metallic Sharpies changed when baked. The pencil crayons (not shown) are very similar before and after baking. This step also gives you chance to do a test bake before you do a more important piece.
  2. Figure out what images you’d like to use as your source material. Here is a look at what I used.
    my little pony monthly diy (8)my little pony monthly diy (5) my little pony monthly diy (6)my little pony monthly diy (7)
  3. If you are using pencil crayons you will want to sand one side of the paper first using 300-400 grit paper. I like to sand mine in both directions multiple times to make sure there is no smooth portions left as you don’t want part of your design to not accept the pencil crayon.
    my little pony monthly diy (4)
    *using markers on sanded shrink paper is not recommond as the markers tend to bleed.
  4. Trace your source image.
    monthly diy (6)
    *If you are using white or colored shrink paper you will need to also back light the image to trace it.
  5. Once the image is traced simply color it in.
    monthly diy (7)
  6. Using scissors or an exacto knife cut out the character making sure there are no sharp edges. You can have a border or do borderless. For a necklace you will want to leave some room to punch a hole on the top or base of the character.
    monthly diy (1)monthly diy (8)
    *I find the white shrink paper looks better boarderless
  7. For necklaces you will want to make a hole using a holepunch either the standard size or 1/6th. Keep in mind this will also shrink and that it is extrememly hard to make any holes in the shrink paper after it’s been baked so you will want to make any modifications you want now.
    my little pony monthly diy (3)monthly diy (2)
    (here is an idea of what the size of the hole will be before and after, left is 1/6th, right is 1/8th)
  8. Preheat the oven to 300-350 degrees F
  9. Prepare the baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper and place the cut outs color side up. Make sure none of the shrink paper is touching.
    monthly diy (9)
    *You can place the shrink paper on top of velllum, teflon and cardboard as well but parchment paper and a baking sheet are more common. You can also cover the shrink paper with any of those on top to make sure it lays flat but I noticed that didn’t work very well with parchment paper as they stick and the color smears onto the parchment paper.
  10. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for roughly 2-3 minutes and watch them shrink:
    *It’s really fun to watch them shrink, however unlike the video you want the oven door closed for the whle time. You’ll notice my end piece ended up with black soot on it from the smoke since the door was open.
  11. Working quickly take the baking sheet out of the oven and quickly using a flat surface squish each to make sure they will dry flat.
    monthly diy (10)monthly diy (11)
    *I like using a glass cup w/ a flat bottom so I can make sure none of the marker rubbed off onto the cup.
  12. Wait for the shrink paper to cool and dry.
    *I usually wait an hour to make sure the markers and pencil crayon is fully dry after baking.
  13. Now you will have to seal the shrink paper as the markers can still be rubbed off or be damaged by water. Wait for sealer to dry if you want to do multiple coats.
    my little pony monthly diy (1)monthly diy (3)
    *You will want to test your sealer on one of your earlier tests to see if you like the finish and to make sure the marker/pencil crayon does not smear when sealer is applied. I found most spray sealers and nail polish will not work at this point (see above image) so you might have to seal the shrink paper using a medium like Modpodge. I like to use a glow in the dark Mod Podge for extra fun as it will make the brooch/necklace glow in the dark if it’s white.
    Optional: You can add a top coat after the sealer has dried which I recommend as Mod Podge’s finish is not my thing. Since the shrink paper is already sealed the top coat could be pretty much anything, nail polish, Clear Coat, ectera. This is where you can add a little bit of embellisment to your brooch like glitter or sparkles. I played around with a few of my glitter nail polish and was pretty happy with the results.
    my little pony monthly diy (11)my little pony shrinky dink
    *on the clear paper you can use the reverse side as the front of the brooch instead.
    monthly diy (5)monthly diy (4)
    (Colored side up on left, reverse side on right)
  14. When the brooches are completely dry apply glue to one side and add a brooch back.
    my little pony monthly diy (10)
  15. When the necklaces are completely dry you will want to take a jump ring and use to attach the shrink paper to any chain. You can do the same for making earrings, phone charms, or keychains.
    my little pony monthly diy (12)
  16. Last step is to rock your new accessories.
    my little pony shrink brooches and necklace

I love these My Little Pony shrink brooches and necklaces, they are so fun and very addictive to make and you can just let you imagination run wild. I can’t wait to make more and really learn how to make the perfect brooch. This DIY is more aimed of those of us who can’t draw but for any artist I highly recommend to just grab some shrink paper and spend a night with friends drawing, painting and just experimenting. Who knows what you’ll end up, that’s the exciting part. Below is all of the My Little Pony’s I made and some other characters (including ghosts that I created). Let me know in the comments if you have any advice, or to show me your creations!

my little pony shrink necklaces (3)my little pony shrink brooches  (5)my little pony shrink brooches  (1)my little pony shrink paper necklacemy little pony shrink brooches  (2)my little pony shrink brooches  (4)my little pony shrink brooches (2)my little pony shrink brooches (1)my little pony shrink brooches  (6)shrink paper brooches (2)shrink paper brooches (1) things that make me smile(a alien keychain I made for Victor for Valentine’s and an amazing necklace Starchild Stela gave to me)

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Monthly DIY: Fujiflim Emulsion Lifts

This month’s DIY is one of those projects I’ve wanted to do for years and could never get myself organized enough to actually do. So I’m finally doing Polaroid Emulsion Lifts! Emulsion lifts in the grand scheme of things are actually very easy to do and the results can be utterly wonderful and most importantly unique. I love any project where you can do your own spin to it. Now mine are technically not ‘Polaroid’ Emulsion Lifts as I shoot with Fujifilm FP-100C and the two types of film do require slightly different techniques so my steps are for Fujifilm emulsion lifts but the tips I have are useful to both in case you shoot with Polaroid/Impossible Project film. The two big things that you need are instant photographs and a surface, let’s get into it.

fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift(my first emulsion lift)

What You’ll Need:

  • Fujilfim or Polaroid instant film
  • Boiling & cold water
  • 2 Baking container
  • Paint brushes
  • Canvas, wood, watercolor paper, metal…
  • Medium

Time and Cost:

Cost is roughly $10 depending on how many pieces you want to make if you already have the film. The small pieces of wood and canvas were around $1 each from my local art store. If you don’t have any old Polaroids or Fujifilm FP-100 you can easily buy a vintage Polaroid camera, and buy Fujifilm FP-100 film or Impossible Project film.  The price for that would depending on how cheaply you can get the camera but I would encourage you that if you like these, it’d be worth your while. Plus then you’d have an instant camera you could keep and continue to use. The cost of film depends, Fujifilm is $10 per roll of 10 exposure and Impossible Project is $20+.

polaroid instant photography
Steps:

  1. Shoot the film and decided what ones you’d like to use for this project. Film can be used at anytime, most of the lifts I did were on ones I shoot a year ago.
  2. Cut the white sides of the film that frame the photo so just the image remains.
  3. Setup area, have both bake trays beside each other. Have paper towel, your surface, medium and brushes handy. Fill one tray with tap water.
  4. Boil water and place into other bake tray, let cool down slightly.
  5. Drop in  film and wait for 1-5 minutes
  6. Place in cold water
    *You can skip the cold water, it’s not necessary however I find the emulsion tends to be a bit more relaxed and less likely to curl in the cold water over the hot and you can leave it in the cold water. 
  7. Start using the brush to remove the emulsion part of the film away
    *You can use your fingers or a card to scrape it away as well
  8. Remove the paper part of the film and throw away.
    At this point you have two separate choices on how to apply the emulsion to the desired surface:
  9. WET METHOD: With emulsion still in the water simple place surface below it and smooth out emulsion until you have it the way you’d like. Place back in water anytime if you want to uncurl the emulsion or rearrange it. Lift out of the water and dry the surface using a paper towel. Apply medium on top of the lift and the sides. Make sure fully coated and no corners are sticking up.
  10. DRY METHOD: Apply medium to your surface using a paint brush only on the area you would like the emulsion to be, acting quickly take the emulsion out of the water and dry before spreading it out over the surface, using your brush, fingers or roller to smooth out the emulsion or create patterns.

fujifilm emulsion lift (3)
Now I know I usually have photos or a video for my DIY’s but this type of project has been around for decades and the internet is virtually filled with videos on how various people do their emulsion transfers. To be honest I don’t do mine like any of the video’s I’m about to link you but they are great for learning the ropes of how to get started doing emulsions lifts. It’s a very easy project and there isn’t a lot to figure out, it’s mostly just practice makes perfect / trial and error. Two great videos however are Tiffany Teske’s video of Fujil Emulsion Lifts & Transfer   and Wayne Lam’s Polaroid Film Lift

Tips and Tricks:

  • I shoot a lot of instant film and sometimes mistakes happen so those underexposed, overexposed and just plain blurry shots are great to work with while you are building your confidence up and technique.
    fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift (2)
  • Fujifilm emulsion is actually moderately sturdy, my general impress prior was that it would delicate and not allow for much handling but it’s surprisingly okay with being man handled. It’s similar to saran wrap.
  • So now that I’ve said you can man-handle it a bit, here is where I say – try not to man-handle it too much. It can tear, but honestly most of my tears happened because I didn’t trim the edges of the film fully.
    fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift (3)
    (I didn’t trim the white edges in this one)
  • The white part of the film is very well secured to the emulsion so save yourself the hassle and trim it off.
  • Hey maybe you want to tear your film, or make is wavy like the ocean, the emulsion doesn’t need to be laid perfect stretched out, in fact that gets a little boring after a while.
    fujifilm emulsion lift (5)fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift
  • Those shots you thought are ‘bad’ or not what you wanted could make an amazing lift, just try it out.
  • Do not have the water too hot or leave it in the hot water too long,  the film texture will change or bubble.
  • Sometimes the water will go a yellow color, this is most likely just left over chemical from the development process, don’t be scared.
  • Layer up!
    fujifilm polaroid emulsion lift (1)
    (mine isn’t an epic layered lift, but just google emulsions lifts – there is so many amazing ones)
  • Watercolor paper is my favourite surface, the texture it gives the emulsions I find really pleasing. The emulsion will take on the texture of your surface so keep that in mind. It will also to a degree take on the color of the surface as well.
    fujifilm emulsion lift (1)
  • If you are doing the dry method and you make a mistake and think your medium will dry simply put back into water and rinse both the surface and emulsion and start work again. I use the water method the most as you can just play with the emulsion a lot. You can also use a piece of glass or clear plastic to play with the emulsion prior to drying.
  • Do as many tests are you need to feel comfortable, don’t jump into doing your favourite Polaroid or Fujifilm shot in the first few tries as I’d hate for your to be feel like you wrecked a photo you really liked. I actually am terrified of ruining them even though I scan all my instant photography so I have a digital copy. So terrified that most of the lifts I’ve done so far are ‘whatever’ shots.
  • Don’t be pretentious about them, and try any surface you can find.

fujifilm emulsion lift (6)
(a gift to a friend, it cracks me up)

 This was mostly “I Tried” instead of full DIY as I just really wanted to do the project. I’m still no fully convinced I’d want to do this on my more beloved instant photos but it’s super fun and I can’t wait to actually shoot film with the intention of turning them into emulsion lifts. I’ll be showing all my emulsion lifts that I’ve done so far this upcoming Tuesday as this post is already pretty long. Let me know if you make any of your own and share below. I’m obsessed with these and love looking at them. This is a project I really want to get better at.

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A Year in DIYs

monthly diy (4)Have a look back at the last year of DIYs!  I started off the year with Polaroid Chalkboards and from there did various projects from vintage slide lamps to homemade chocolates and Easter egg ornaments. Click the link/photo if you want to see all the DIYs I’ve done and below there is a list of each individual project if you want to check out a specific one.

 Polaroid Chalkboards
Valentine’s Day Strawberry Cupcakes
Silk Dyed Easter Eggs
Tattoo Easter Egg Ornaments
Easy Mode Chocolates
Paper Crane Mobiles
Paper Switch Plates
Vintage Slide Lamp
Resin Sticker Table
Dried Flower Resin Bracelet
Vintage Slide Necklaces
Paper Crane Ornaments & Card Display

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Christmas DIY: Origami Christmas Card Display & Paper Crane Ornaments

monthly diy christmas origami

Today I wanted to share with you two special Christmas DIY projects that I did this year using origami. The first is how to make a Christmas card display and second is paper crane ornaments.  I missed one of my monthly DIYs in the summer so I thought I’d do an extra one this month and show you these two simple and inexpensive projects. The ornaments are my favourite as they make really cute gifts for friends and family and easy to send along with your Christmas cards. I didn’t even know Christmas origami paper was a thing until this year but I just love the idea of incorporating cranes into my festive decorations. If you can’t find the same origami paper I have I suggest just using regular colored origami paper (double sided is preferable) in the color pallet of your decorations and you can even draw or print your own designs onto the paper as well. As always let me know in the comment if you makes these!

Paper Crane Ornaments

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (1)

  • origami paper
    *any will do
    (I bought mine from here and hereavailable on Amazon too)
  • 2-3 spools of thread
    *any color
  •  sewing needle
  • scissors

Time and Cost:

$20 for both projects. For an experienced crane maker you could probably make both the ornaments and display in roughly and hour. If you are not familiar with making them it might take a bit of practice. Continue reading %s

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Monthly DIY: Slide Necklaces

vintage slide necklaces copy2vintage slide necklaces (2)
For December’s DIY project I wanted to show you how to make slide necklaces. I don’t know if I invented this or just remember seeing one randomly on the internet but I love the idea of taking slides and transforming them into a necklace. It’s like you are carrying around a secret as the image is only viewable when you hold up to a light. I just love slides, you can get ones of the Great Wall of China, butterflies, lilies, mountain ranges, sunsets, rainbows and so much more. If you want you can even create your own slides using your photography. This year for Christmas I made slides necklaces for every friend I sent a Christmas card to and choose an image out of my slide collection that I thought suited them for various reasons. It’s been probably the easier and funniest project I’ve done all year so I really hope you like it. Let me know in the comments if you decide to makes this yourself as I’d love see.

What You Will Need:

monthly diy

  • Slides
  • Jump rings (6-8 mm)
  • Necklaces
    *recommend 70 cm or longer
  • 1/8 hole punch
  • Pen and ruler
  • Pliers
    Optional:
  • Paint and brush

Material and Costs:

For this project I’d say the cost to make is roughly $25 and with that you can make plenty of necklaces for friends and family. The biggest purchase is the slides themselves, Etsy, Ebay or your local second hand store will come in handy if you don’t have some laying around. I suggest buying a large quantity of random slides as it’s not only fun to discover what you have when they arrive but usually yields enough good slides to make it worth your while (and more cost effective than buying sorted sets). If you want to make your own the cost depends on where you live but should be roughly around the same price for development (keep in mind you have to shoot with a film camera using slide film).  There is a 3rd alternative to make digital photography into slides – price is reasonable but not common (if not available locally to you, online there are speciality sites).  For the jump rings and necklaces my suggestion is to buy online on Ebay as you will get much better prices but the materials are easily found at your local craft/art store as well. I suggest buying necklaces that are around 70 cm in length as that’s a good length to be able to hold the slide up to the light and view the image while wearing it. All other supplies you may already have or easily picked up from Dollarama or any craft or art store.

Steps:

  1. Pick out the slides you’d like to use. Hold up to a light or window to see the image. Now you can hang the necklace anyway you’d like but I prefer to have the image right side up.
    monthly diy (6)monthly diy (7)
  2. Use your ruler and pen to mark a point that is in the middle of each each slide. Common lengh of slides is 5cm so I make my mark at 2.5 cm and ususally do it a 0.5cm-1cm down from the top of the slide.
    monthly diy (4)
  3. Use the hole punch to put a hole where you made the mark.
    monthly diy (5)monthly diy (8)
  4. If you want to paint the slides a different color what I did was use acrylic paint with an angled brush.
    monthly diy (9)monthly diy (10)
    TIP: To protect the image of the slide you can cut out paper towel to fit over the image. Also use an angled brush as it will work the best on the edges, and if you want to be extra careful you can use a very small stiff brush for fine details. 
  5. Paint each slide with enough layers to cover any writting on the slide and do both sides of the slide waiting for the paint to dry inbetween. You can also paint the edges of the slide which I’d doing. First image shows what it looks like after 1 coat and 2nd is after 2-3 coats. It’s common for most slides to have writting on one side so you may need to more coats to cover.
    monthly diy (11)monthly diy (12)
  6. If any paint gets on the image use a lens cloth to clean. You can also use a soft bristle paint brush as well.
    monthly diy
    TIP: Beware you can scratch the image off (like the above image), so to prevent this make sure you clean the slide before paint has time to dry. If the paint is dry you may need to add a bit of water to your brush or cloth to remove paint completely.
  7. Using your pliers open up a jump ring and hook into the hole in the top of the slide and close. Then attach to necklace chain.
    monthly diy (13)
    monthly diy (14)
    TIP: You can makes these any color, or even leave them unpainted. Pair with matching chains. 
    vintage slide necklaces (5)
  8. Simply hold up to any light source or windows to see your secret image when wearing!vintage slide necklaces (3)vintage slide necklaces (1)vintage slide necklace
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Monthly DIY: Dried Flower Resin Bracelets

flower resin bracelets,jpg

For November’s DIY I wanted to share with you how to make your own dried flower resin bracelets.  I kept running into resin jewellery on Etsy that I wanted to buy but was far too expensive so I decided to figure out how to make my own using dried flowers and leaves.  It was easier than I imaged and there is so much creativity you can do to make one of kind bracelets.  This DIY I would say is a medium level but I will say right now beside 4 leaf clovers I’ve never dried anything before in my life and I’ve never made resin jewelry before either so knowledge of those two isn’t required but I would recommend researching safety for epoxy resin. I also have no idea why I decided this would be a great DIY to do in the Fall when all the really awesome flowers were over but there are plenty of Fall flowers too that work just as well in this project but you may want to hold off until next year. Another idea that I thought of as well is for those you with friends getting married or getting hitched yourself this is a great way to preserve your bride/bridesmaid bouquet. As well beside a few photos this tutorial is mostly done by video which is new for me so let me know in the comments what you think.

What You’ll Need:monthly diy

  • Epoxy resin
  • Dried flowers
  • Bracelet mold
  • Plastic cups
  • Stir sticks (toothpick, popsicle stick…)
  • Sand paper (120, 600, 1200 grit)
  • Straw
  • Mask, gloves, newspaper and wax paper
  • Tweezers (optional) Continue reading %s
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Monthly DIY: Resin Sticker Table

Resin Sticker Table monthly diyThis month’s DIY project isn’t exactly Halloween themed but I thought a resin sticker table felt along the same spirit as my favourite holiday.  This is a great and simple project to do to spruce up an old piece of furniture or a thrift store find.  The main reason I wanted to do this project is because my Ikea coffee table after 5 years was getting discolored and Ikea furniture isn’t exactly well known as an ideal surface to repaint so I thought I’d create a giant collage of some of my stickers that were piling up and not being used for anything. Hardly a new idea but I think when you use artist stickers you have so much room to be creative and unique. You can easily create themes as well (Sailor Moon table anyone?) or interesting geometric patterns and since this allows you to use homemade stickers that means you can print your own and create almost anything. The finish for my table will be resin as I fell in love with the glass like finish as well as being waterproof, and easy to clean. If you don’t want to get into resin territory which I understand as resin is a really hard material to get into and kind of scary (just me?), you can have a piece of glass cut to the size of your table and mount it on top, or simple use a sealer like Krylon Clear Coat or a top layer of ModPodge (the last two are not recommended if it’s a heavily used surface).  At the very bottom are all the artists if you are interested on where I picked up my stickers from!

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (1)

  • Table or desk
  • Stickers
  • ModPodge or any type of sealer/glue
  • Craft roller
  • Foam brushes
    Optional:
  • Epoxy resin
  • Blow torch
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Plastic tape
  • 2 x Plastic sheet

 

Cost:

$16 for the supplies not including resin and stickers, available at most craft/art stores . I collect stickers so it’s hard to say how much I’ve spent but most artists sell stickers around $1-3 each and books like Sticker Bomb are $20 for a few hundred medium to large stickers. You can print your own as well, stickers sheets for printers can be bought at Dollar stores or office supplies stores for under $10. I’d say for the stickers at least $30-$40. For a resin top including the resin, gloves, plastic sheets and blow torch (if you don’t have one) roughly $50 depending on size of the surface. To calculate how much Envirotex resin you will need to cover a surface, check here. This project is not a cheap one, so if just want a new table you may want to buy. This is more for creating  a permanent display of you sticker collection or creating unique themes that you wouldn’t be able to buy.  Continue reading %s

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Monthly DIY: Vintage Slide Lamp

monthly diy slide lamp

This month’s DIY project is a slide lamp made by replacing a regular lamp shade with vintage slides. I found out about slide lamps this year while I was searching for other projects to do with slides because I purchased a whole bunch to make slide curtains (future DIY project).  When I was looking I found all these Etsy stores that sold various versions of this idea and had to make my own (especially considering I would never pay that much for a lamp).  I thought I’d show you how I made it because the project is really easy and once you have the materials it’s not expensive to make more. There is also so much room for creativity when it comes to this project because there are many types of lamp shades and you can choose slides of various themes from butterflies to cityscapes depending on the room. I have been so excited to do this project and I’m in love with how mine turned out. Let me know in the comments if you have any additional questions.

Time:

Depends on the size but I made mine in roughly 2 hours.

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (2)

  • lamp with detachable lamp shade
  • slides
  • 1/8th hole punch (or a drill with 1/8th bit)
  • jump rings (10mm & 8mm)
  • 2 needle nose pliers
  • scissors or excato knife
  • ruler
    Optional:
  • paint and brush

Price and Material Information:

The price of this DIY really has to do with what materials you are able to start off with and what type of slides you want to use. If you don’t have slides try thrift stores, Ebay or Etsy. I bought 100 random slides for $10 on Etsy. If you want particular slides like say only sunsets most shops will sell sorted slides but at an increase of price. It can be cheaper to buy large amounts of random slides and simply sort them yourself (no guarantee you will get what you want).  As for the lamp, I actually didn’t purchase mine. From what I recall I found it on the street or someone left it in one of the apartments I moved into years ago. If you don’t have a lamp you want to destroy I highly encourage you to look at a thrift store, walk around the neighborhood on the 1st of the month, or hey Ikea has $15 lamps. You just need a lamp shade with a top wire rim, square or circular are both fine. The jump rings are available for super cheap on Ebay in a variety of colors, sizes, and quantity (like here).  For the other items you need most of them are common household things except the hole punch which can be picked up from a craft store or Staples for $6. If you don’t have two needle nose pliers but do have one and another type that should be fine. As I’m making multiple slide projects the price of this project for me is zero as I had all these materials already as leftovers but I’d say $30 is a good base price.

Steps:

  1.  Calculate how many slides you need using the existing shade as a reference.
    *for mine I made 7 rows of 3 but my lamp shade is quiet small. 
  2. Detach the shade from the lamp and remove the cloth part of the shade leaving only the wire behind.
    TIP: You can spray paint the metal wire any color (I didn’t but I think I will go back and do it as the white clashes)
    monthly diy (3)monthly diy (4)
  3. Taking the slides that you’ve chosen to use and create a pattern so you know what slide you will want in each row. I decided to use mostly slides of sunset and silhouettes and created an alternating patter of horizontal and vertical slides. Make sure you have more than enough slides just in case.
    monthly diy (6)monthly diy (5)
  4. Taking a pen/pencil and a ruler mark a point at 4x4mm or 5x5mm on each corner of the slide. Repeat for all slides except on the bottom slides which will only need two markings at the top corners. I used a triangle ruler as it made measuring quick. You can free hand each hole with the hole punch instead as well and skip this step.
    monthly diy (7)monthly diy (8)
  5. Now using the 1/8th hole punch simple punch each slide with the marking in the center of the hole punch.
    TIP: You can use a drill with a 1/8 or smaller bit instead to save time. 
    monthly diy (9)monthly diy (11)
  6. This step is optional as I think the regular white side of the slides look pretty great just on their own. However the ones I am using had lots of writing on them so I painted the cleanest side of each slide with silver metallic acrylic paint (you can do both sides if you’d like). I simply did 3 layers of paint and waited for them to dry.
    TIP: If you get paint on the inside slide simply use a soft cloth to wipe clean again. (I used a camera lens / glasses cloth so as not to scratch the image)
    monthly diy (12)monthly diy (14)
  7. Taking your pliers and a 10mm jump ring,  twist a jump ring open and attach the slides to each other and twist to close again.
    TIP: Since I don’t own a pair of needle nose pliers I’m using one with another type of pliers instead. Keep in mind though this takes a little longer and is tougher to do so for a larger lamp shade you will want to use two needle nose pliers instead.
    monthly diy (15)monthly diy (16)
  8. I decided to punch the top holes of my slides at the end because I wasn’t sure on where I wanted the placement of the top holes. However you can simply do this in Step 4&5.
    monthly diy (17)
  9. Using the pliers again, twist the 10 mm jump rings open and this time attach to the top metal ring of the shade and close.
    monthly diy (21)monthly diy (23)
  10. After all the slides are attached to the top you will want to secure each row of slides together with a jump ring. For mine I used a smaller sized jump ring (8mm) and placed one hole in the middle on each slide. I’d suggest doing this once the rows are done as the slides will each hanging slightly differently and you can adjust the placement at this point so both slides beside each other are even. This gives the slides a more finished shape but you can skip this step.
    monthly diy (25)monthly diy (26)
  11. Attach the lamp shade back onto the light and you are done!

Finished Vintage Slide Lamp:

vintage slide lampvintage slide lamp (1)vintage slide lamp (2)vintage slide lamp (10)vintage slide lamp (8)vintage slide lamp (11)

a little video of me twirling it around because it’s really fun:

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Monthly DIY: Paper Switch Plates

paper switch plates (10) jpg

July’s Do It Yourself project for paper switch plates came to me last week while I was deciding what to do with the ugly beige switch plates I have all over my house. I went to Canadian Tire to pick up new ones after disappointing not finding anything better than plain white online. It wasn’t until I was re-watching a DIY video made by a vlogger I like doing a project with manga switch plates (here) that I realized how easy it was to customize my own! What better to go in my purple living room than a cherry blossom light switch? As soon as it occurred to me that I could use scrapbooking paper to make mine more interesting and to match my pastel house I was set on this project (and scraped my other DIY idea for next month). This is a super simple beginner project and a nice way to accessorize your house if like me you’ve went a little unconventional with the wall colors or for a kid’s room! It’s also great if your a renter because switch plates cost around 26 cents so it’s an easy way to decorate the house in a non-permanent way. Let’s get into it…

What You’ll Need:monthly diy (2)

  • Mod Podge
    *you can use any glue&sealer
  • Origami paper, scrapbooking paper, comics, wrapping paper…
  • Foam brush
  • Ruler & pen
  • Scissors / exacto knife
  • Switch plates
    *found at your local hardware store or your wall

Price: Under $15
*if you craft often you may not need to buy anything

Steps:

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Monthly DIY: Hanging Origami Paper Cranes

paper cranes mobilesThis month’s DIY has been a long time in the making. I’ve wanted to make display of hanging origami paper cranes in my office for months. I am a huge fan of paper cranes and have in the past made 1000 paper crane chains for good luck. In the last few years I have given away most my chains and made a few new ones for friends but I have always kept a few of the unchained cranes so I thought I’d make a display piece on my living room ceiling with the remaining. I was inspired by the paper crane displays that are popular at weddings but wanted to make a permanent installation of them. I like a much cleaner look of having single strands but single strands would also mean a ton of holes in my apartment’s ceiling so I’m making paper crane mobiles to reduce that but still get the look of single lines. These paper crane mobiles look great on their own, in pairs, and all over like mine – it’s a really easy project – just needs patience and time!

What You’ll Need:paper crane mobile (3)

  • Origami paper
    *large, medium or small squares
  • Wooden circle dowels
  • Thread/Fishing wire/String
  • Needle
  • Craft glue
  • Push pins or wall hooks
  • Paint

Cost:

$10 for materials minus the cranes
For the cranes depending on the amount, variety and the quality of paper roughly around $10-$20

Steps:

  1. Make all your paper cranes. Great thing to mix it up is having various patterns, colours and sizes. I have a tutorial on how to make them here!
    *I ended up making new paper cranes in various sizes as well as using ones I’ve been hording for the last 5 years. I do have a lot of variety of paper, my pro tip is buy paper from your local Chinatown and make sure you get double sided paper. Low quality origami paper is super frustrating and if you are making a lot you will not enjoy the process.
  2. Plan out how you want the canes to look overall. Basic decisions to make are: Multiple cranes per thread? Different lengths? Different colors, and sizes of cranes? Lots or a few? Single dowel or mobile? Color coordinated or random cranes? How many dowels? Invisible thread, or colors?
    thread
    *this is just for getting the right amount of supplies and cranes needed and having a bit of light game plan.  Since this project is very open ended, I can’t really say how many of each you’ll need. For the thread I just bought at a local art store for 69 cents each and they had around 50 various shades which is prefect for finding the exact color you want.
  3. Paint your dowels and leave to dry overnight.
    monthly diy (2)
    *this is easiest option if you prefer not see the wood, I have a more time consuming option instead that I prefer below Step 6.
  4. Using the thread and needle you will want to make enough chains to start you off.
    monthly diy (1)
    *there are many ways to make paper crane chains, here is a video I made of how I like to do mine.
  5. Grab 1 dowel and decide which chains you want to use and tie them loosely to the dowel leaving extra string to wrap around the dowel at least twice. Tie them loosely so you can change you mind and play around with the overall look and remember if you don’t have a chain that fits you can always make another.
    monthly diy (8)
  6. Now that you have a complete dowel with the heights, color and amount of cranes you want, you will want to wrap the thread at the top of each chain over the dowel and glue the end using a craft glue.
    monthly diy (9)
    Optional: For a really polished look instead of painting the dowels use a whole bundle of thread. (it will take almost a whole bundle of thread so I bought a cheap pack of  20 various colored thread for $3).
    I have a quick video of me doing it as it’s hard to explain:
    [media url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhjPvCtwu3g&feature=youtu.be”]
  7. If you aren’t doing the above wrap technique to hang the dowel without having to worry about balance you will want to create a ‘handle’. Tie a piece of thread to each side and then wrap the ends of the thread around the dowel and glue the ends to make secure.
    monthly diy (6)
    *you can create a proper mobile with multiple dowels, this is a great example!
  8. Hang the mobile(s) on the ceiling / wall with either push pin, nail or a hook.
    paper crane mobile
    Hanging Origami Paper Cranes (8)
    Optional: For an extra splash if you don’t mind too many holes in the ceiling, add some chains directly from the ceiling to flesh out any gaps.

Having a Closer Look

Hanging Origami Paper Cranes (23)Hanging Origami Paper Cranes (1)Hanging Origami Paper Cranes (24)paper crane chainsHanging Origami Paper Cranes (14)Hanging Origami Paper Cranes (18)

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Monthly DIY: Dinosaur & Kitty ‘Easy Mode’ Chocolates

dinosaur chocolates (3)This month’s DIY is for super easy mode chocolates that are delish and one of my go to homemade snacks. I am using a fun cat and dinosaur molds to really make them stand out but you can use any type of mold you need to fit any theme you want (I just really like cats and dinosaurs). Plus you can add so many things to these base recipes and make your own unique combinations. I’ll be doing my 3 favourite combos: crunchy milk chocolates, almond milk chocolates, and white and dark chocolates. I’ve just started getting into the process of homemade chocolates and it’s been really fun to learn. This recipe is intended to be super quick and easy to do so you’ll notice I am not using real chocolate that requires tempering. Instead I’ll be using chocolate chips which I know most chocolate makers will stick their nose up too but I find the flavour vs. hassle ratio really makes chocolate chips win for me. Plus real chocolate is better suited for truffles. Keep in mind though chocolate chips are not ideal for making chocolates since they have less cocoa butter in them and will melt very quickly when touched or sometimes bloom – my trick though is just put them in the freezer and problem solved. You can also switch chocolate chips for those Wilton melts but I find melts awful tasting (I’ve used them in the recipe I did last year for cupcake toppers and even though my friends happily ate them I felt like my teeth were rotting with just one bite – yuck way too sugary and not at all chocolaty). Each recipe is for roughly 1 chocolate mold except the rice krispies recipe which makes 2 molds worth of chocolate. Enough talk though – time for chocolate making!

What You’ll Need:

  • cups of milk chocolate chips (2 1/2 cups)easy mode chocolates (3)
  • cups of white chocolate chips (1/4 cup)
  • cups of dark chocolate chips ( 3/4 cups)
  • 6 chopped almonds
    *any nuts will works
  • 1 cup of Rice Krispie
  • 1 baking paint brush
  • Silicone Mold
    *mine are of cats (bought at my local IGA but available here) and dinosaurs (bought here) Continue reading %s
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Extra Easter DIY: Tattoo Easter Egg Ornaments

tattoo easter eggs

Another extra DIY for Easter to make up for missing last month’s DIY project. This one is super cute and easy to do. All you need is temporary tattoos you like, some patience and very little else. I’ll also be showing you how to make ornaments out of the finished eggs as well for those of you want to hang them up or like me celebrate Easter with a tree (it’s an old German tradition to have an Easter tree). This project is great for those of you who have kids too as you can create themed eggs so easily. Superheroes, dragons, flowers, skulls, moustaches, cartoons – pretty much anything as long as you can find them as temporary tattoos. I’m going to be making Hello Kitty Easter eggs because I have a few friends who love her and I thought it’d be a cute gift idea. I also picked up temporary tattoos from Dollarama of flowers and butterflies since I thought they’d be cute and be great ornaments.

What You’ll Need: easter diy (1)

  • Eggs
  • Temporary tattoos
    Optional:
  • Easter egg dye
  • Scissors and thread or lace
    *only if you want to make ornaments
    Cost:
    $10

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Monthly DIY: Silk Dyed Easter Eggs

silk easter eggs

For this month’s DIY I wanted to make something in celebration of one of my favourite holidays – Easter! This DIY project has been around for a long time and hit the mainstream due to Martha Stewart years ago so it’s not the most original but I wanted to show you guys anyways. I’ve wanted to make these ever since my friend showed me a photo of silk dyed eggs last year. It was the first time I had ever seen them before and was blown away with how cool they were. I make pysanky eggs almost every year because my grandmother was obsessed with them and it’s just a really fun activity to do with friends.  Plus dyed eggs make great decorations either for Easter or year around in a bowl (I keep mine in a glass vase on my bookshelf).  For my version I will be blowing out the eggs so the eggs can be kept permanently however if you are using them just for Easter hard boiling will be fine, just remember that silk dyes are toxic so the eggs shouldn’t be digested (the worst part of Easter for me was being forced as a kid to eat my decorated eggs – not a fan). I would consider this project intermediate level and not very kid friendly but if you want an easier and quick way to decorate eggs I have another DIY coming up on Wednesday that might be better!

What You’ll Need:silk easter eggs (2)

  • Eggs
  • Silk ties or scarfs
  • Egg blower kit
    *I bought my locally from a Ukarine store but available online here 
  • Muslin or scrap white fabric
  • Vinegar
  • Twist ties or piper cleaner
  • Seam ripper or scissors
  • Pantyhose
    Cost: $20 approximately
    (the price for all the items required except the silk)

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Monthly DIY: Valentine’s Day Cupcakes

valentines day cupcakes

Strawberry Three Way

For this month’s DIY project I just had to make something for Valentine’s Days so I decided to do a homemade recipe of Valentine’s Day Cupcakes to make for everyone you happen to love (or co-workers). Last year I made the most amazing strawberry cupcakes for Victor and my co-workers and I just had to do it again because I love the idea of strawberry cupcakes and it’s a healthy choice to all the sugar that gets thrown at you on that day (honestly doesn’t Valentine’s Day have the WORST candy/chocolate available?). Last year I made a strawberry puree to go in the middle of the cupcakes and it was delicious but messy so this year I thought I’d go a different root. I will be making a simple vanilla base cupcake with strawberry puree mixed in, then adding an inner core of freshly cut strawberries with a simple strawberry mousse on top in place of icing. Sounds decadent doesn’t it? And why not give it a naughty name, it is afterall strawberries done 3 different ways…makes roughly 15 cupcakes.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cup Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 carton of strawberries
  • 1 box of strawberry mousse
  • pink dye (optional) Continue reading %s
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Monthly DIY: Polaroid Chalkboards

polaroid chalkboard

This month’s DIY project is a little niche and silly but I think it’s adorable. I love chalkboards and nowadays you can make anything a chalkboard. I had painted a wall in my old apartment into a chalkboard a few years ago and have been missing it a lot (although FYI chalkboard walls are so messy and not ideal if you are a clean freak). One chalkboard I had never seen though is instant film chalkboard which is strange because instant film is a paintable surface and already has a cute frame built in which makes it ideal. I’ve also been wanting  to find a project for instant film because my vintage Polaroid camera is a monster and jams at least once per roll so I end up with tons of over exposured or unexposed film. Now if you don’t have access to instant film, this is pretty much exactly what you’d do with any other surface anyways so it’ll still make a good reference.

What You’ll Need:polaroid chalkboard

  • chalkboard paint
    *comes as either paint or spraypaint
  • chalkboard chalk
  • tape
  • newspaper
  • blank Fuji instant film
    *I am using over exposured Fujifilm FP-110C Continue reading %s
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Coming Up on Citizen Erased

It’s the start of a new year which means that there will be a few changes coming to Citizen Erased. It’s almost been the year anniversary since I first started posting daily and leaping into the world of blogging. I’ve tried a lot of various posts over the year to try and find my style and what I like to post about. I hope some of that material has been either useful or interesting to you guys (hit me up with feedback in the comments anytime). This year I’ve decided to stick with having formatted days because I am a bit of an organizational freak and with me working full time it just makes my life easier. Below will be the schedule, which I am sure may need some tweaking throughout the year and is more a rough estimate. I am really excited to test out more cameras and continue to develop film myself in the new year!

Schedule for 2014

Mondays:

  • Pick of the Week – either an Etsy store feature, a book /store review, or a recipe.

Tuesday:

  • Vintage Tuesdays –  bi-weekly vintage photography or cameras, photography I’ve taken with a vintage camera, and how to’s related to vintage cameras.
  • Featured Artists – bi-weekly I will be featuring an artist’s work that I enjoy (hoping perhaps to start doing interviews with artists as well).

Wednesday:

  • Lomography Wednesday – bi-weekly photography taken with toy cameras, toy camera reviews and how to’s.
  • Double Exposures – bi-weekly double exposure photography taken by myself.

Thursday:

  • Weekly sharing of past photo shoots or casual photo sets of my life.

Friday:

  • Butter – cute photos of my cat while I talk about my week.
  • 365 Challenge – monthly posting of my 365 Project where I take a photo every day. I post them daily on my tumblr and FB page as well. Will end in March.

Saturday:

  • Monthly DIY – every month I do a DIY project which can vary between homemade pins to lamps made with slides.
  • Month in Review – on the first week of the month I will review what happened that month, my favourite posts, and any updates or changes to the blog.
  • Otherwise for the Saturdays that don’t have the above two posts it will a day off for me.

Sunday:

  • Self-Portrait Sunday – weekly self portraits either current or from previous photo shoots.
  • Camera Profiles – exploring me as a photographer with one of my many cameras.
  • 52 Weeks of Self Portraits – will start in April after my 365 Project is over, basically a weekly self portrait series.

 

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On Vacation

This year I manged to do a DIY Project every month  (except December since I just had so many things to do and the project I tried failed so hard that I didn’t have time to do another) and I hope to next year too, click the photo below to have a look back at all of 2013’s Do It Yourself Project.

monthly diy (800x530)

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Monthly DIY: No Sew Tshirt Pillows

no sew tshirt pillow (1) copy

This Month’s DIY is one of those projects I’ve been dying to do for over a year and just never done, a no sew tshirt pillow. I’ve had the stuffing for this project for almost a year and half now, I even packed it when I moved so it’s really due. The reason it’s taken me so long to get around to making these is I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a no sew method or sew them but I finally realized that a sewing machine is not really high up on my list of things I need. So I thought I’d make a few of these no sew pillows in the meantime and check it out. It’s a super simple project and beginner level so if you have any old t-shirts around this is a great way to reuse them and add some comfy additions to your couch or bed.

What You’ll Need:no sew tshirt pillow

  • Old t-shirt
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Crayon or chalk
  • Stuffing
    *I bought mine from a local fabric store for $5 for 1lb. Continue reading %s
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Monthly DIY: How to Make a Coffin Halloween Treat Box

Halloween treat box (20)

This month’s DIY project is super fun to do for Halloween and can be used to hold candy, decoration or as a container. My best friend Ana made me a playful jewelry box a few years ago that I treasure so I thought a coffin one would be a great twist to make her one and for myself I am making a silly treat box for work. This project is suitable for beginners and on average cost less than $10 to make and can easily make more than 2 at a time. Half of the stuff you will need can be found around the house, the trickiest item to find will be the coffin container. I found mine at a local Dollarama store, but I have seen them online, and in various craft stores. I bought my velvet paper at a local art store Deserres in the scrapbooking section and the remaining items are easy found at most craft/art or dollar stores.

What You’ll Need:Halloween treat box

  • Coffin container
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Velvet paper
  • Optional: Rhinestones, photo, lace, pearls, dried or fake flowers, cobwebs, spiders, Halloween stickers

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Monthly DIY: Jewelry Organizer

Jewelry Organizer (18)I love unique jewelry organizers, and they are one of the most popular DIYs you can find on sites like Pinterest. It’s not hard to understand why as by the time you are half way through your 20s you seem to have more jewelry than you know what to do with. I love having my jewelry available and in a convenient location but still aesthetically pleasing. My first DIY for the site was a jewelry organizer and it worked great however I had the hooks directly into the wall which is not a great option for people that are renting or conscious about putting too many holes in the walls. Of course as soon as I moved I was out of a jewelry organizer for that very reason. It’s been months since we moved and still just have my jewelry sitting on top of my dresser in a pile – it’s awful. So finally I decided it was time for Jewelry Organizer 2.0. This time I am going to showing how to create a simply and cheap organizer using shelves instead!

What You Will Need:

  • Shelf or shelves
  • Hammer & nail
  • Hooks
    (easy to pick up from any hardware store available in various sizes and colors)
    Optional:
  • Paint & brush Continue reading %s
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Monthly DIY: Photo Booth Moustaches

photo booth moustaches (15) copy

It seems like everywhere you go nowadays there is moustache related paraphilia. And what better than incorporate moustaches into your next party whether it’s a birthday, wedding, you name it. Who doesn’t want a moustache themed photo booth? Today I am going to show a super simple way of making your own moustaches on sticks for a photo booth or shoot. I made these for my friend Nicole’s bachelorette party that happened in July. I wanted to make unique moustaches to match her personality so no standard boring black ones here.  She loves animal prints so I went with leopard and zebra print so use your imagination and have a look at your local art or craft store for ideas.  Let me know what you think in the comments below, and check out my mini photo-shoot I did with Nicole’s daughter with them, here!

Cost: $10

What you will need:moustache photo booth (1) (800x530)

  • Scissors
  • Pencil or pen
  • Tape or hot glue gun
  • Computer and printer
  • Craft sticks
  • Craft paper, card stock or scrapbooking paper (1-3 sheets)
    * keep in mind if this for multiple use as you will want to buy sturdier paper

Steps:

  1. Using Google search for moustache cut-outs that are in a style you like and save to your computer*you can also find cut-out shapes for glasses, pipes, hats, etcetera!
  2. Using an editing program like Photoshop resize the moustaches to be the size you would like whether for adults or kids. *you can play around with smaller moustaches and more comically large ones, keep in mind you may need to print some out to check on the size and make sure they will fit.
    *
    TIP: don’t want to spend your time searching and resizing cut-outs, check out Etsy stores like this
  3. Print out your final moustache designs and cut out
    (Keep in mind if you are great at drawing and can free hand moustache outlines, you can skip these step)moustache photo booth (2) (800x576)
  1. Take your moustache cut-outs and lay flat on the paper (none patterned side if you have patterned paper). Trace around moustache.
    *TIP: if you have plenty of cut-outs I like to lay them all out at once and organize where they will go to maximize how many can fit on 1 piece of paper before tracing.
    moustache photo booth (3) (800x530)
  2. Now that you have the moustaches traced out on the paper, simply cut out.
    photo booth moustaches (20)
  3. Take the cut out moustaches and apply the craft stick to the back (non-patterned side) using either hot glue or tape
    *if you wish to reuse the moustaches I suggest investing in hot gluing them, plus it will be easier to do those tricky thin moustaches
    *TIP: make sure you are putting the sticks in a good place as to not obscure the face, that means with some items like hats or lips you may to attach them on a diagonal.
    *TIP: alternate between putting the sticks on the right and left hand side, that means people can hold multiple items like a pipe and a moustache, and it’s always good to accommodate those left handers (like me – hehe)
     photo booth moustaches (1)photo booth moustaches (21)
  4. A look at all the different designs I did for moustaches, hats, tiara, sun glasses and a pipe.
    photo booth moustaches (4)photo booth moustaches (7)photo booth moustaches (2)
  5. That’s it, the only thing left now is to take silly photos with your photo booth moustaches

Shots from the Bachelorette Party:

bachlorette party bachlorette partybachlorette partybachlorette partybachlorette party

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Monthly DIY: Rainbow Cupcakes with homemade glitter

Rainbox Cupake (9)

Monthly DIY: Rainbow Cupcakes with

Homemade Rainbow Glitter

July’s DIY project is one I’ve been very excited about and have been planning for weeks. I made these cupcakes for my friend who was visiting in town and for no reason at all because I never need a reason to make cupcakes, lol. I wanted to show you guys how to make rainbow cupcakes because I love them and it’s a great way to show you my edible butterfly wafers from Sugar Robot. This is the 2nd time I’ve made rainbow cupcakes and considering how simple they are to make, they are great way to make your cupcakes stand out. This time I wanted to change it up a bit and found this really simple recipe for making edible glitter online and decided to do a 2 for 1 DIY. Both ideas are very easy and can be used in your favourite cupcake or cake recipes. I went with making a rainbow shape out of the cupcakes and coloring each cupcake with a single color icing with matching colored sprinkles and butterfly just for fun but both these recipes can be used in anyway your imagination wants! First I will show how to making the edible glitter, which didn’t turn out to look much like glitter and more like sugar sprinkles but they were still fun to make and a cheap way to get any colored sprinkle you want.

Rainbow Cupcakes:
Rainbow Cupcakes (97)

What you will need: Continue reading %s

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Monthly DIY: Hanging Memories

hanging memories

I’ve been waiting to decorating my new office since moving and now that I have my light purple walls I finally can. I have so many pieces of artwork from talented artist to hang up there however I want to frame all the pieces before I do which will take awhile. Instead I wanted to work on another section of my wall. I collect so many bits and bobs but struggle to have them out in the open so I can see them and be inspired, and that’s were the inspiration for this project came from. I do not like cork board from previous experience and my old old house had a chalk board (it takes a lot of time and is very messy) so I wanted to try something new.  A hanging memories organizer seemed like a great way to show off my bits and bobs in a way that is easy to organize and easy to change out pieces when I get new inspiration or photos. It also allows me the freedom of choosing what to hang, memories, photography, art, business cards, presents, notes, lists…you can really use it for anything.

What you need :hanging memories (1)

  1. Ruler, marker, scissors
  2. Thread
    (ribbon, yarn, fishing wire)
  3. Hooks
    (a few types shown but I will being using the circle ones)
  4. Paper clips
    (metal/plastic clips)
  5. Hammer and nail
  6. Memories

Tips:
*Decorate your own paper clips!
*Metal and plastic clips are much rougher on your photos/bits and bobs, be careful and test out before.

Time & Cost:

10 minutes, and roughly $5-10 depending on what you have at home.

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Monthly DIY: Paper Cranes Chains

paper cranes

This month I am showing you one of my favourite things to make – origami crane chains. Paper origami chains or garlands can be a beautiful addition to your décor at home or for any kid’s room. Even simply individual cranes can really add a bit of whimsy. (I keep a random assortment in a jar for a bookend and have a variety of chains around my house tucked in closets or hanging in my bedroom). The ones I’m working on at the moment are for my friend’s two new baby twins for good luck.

What you will need:

  • Thread (or yarn just make sure the needle is big enough or fishing string)
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Safety pin, button, beads or ribbon (optional)
  • Origami paper in any size or amount
    TIP: Where to buy paper? Your local Chinatown or paper/stationary store.
    TIP: Small paper makes really adorable chains and differently color paper can add extra flare to your chain.
    TIP: Be careful what material you buy, not all paper is created equal. Some paper will make the process of making them harder than others. My suggestions if you are not getting traditional paper, is to get good quality paper ones. Textured paper is much harder to work with, like foil or shiny paper. If you are not sure, I recommend buying a small pack and making a few first to try it out. And keep in mind that the coolest, cutest paper is going to be folded in so many different ways that if the design isn’t a constant pattern you may not even see it in the finished project.

Step 1: Make Paper Cranes!

This video shows you the two different methods that I use to make paper cranes:
[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eQOUr8pYLU”]


*Choice a makes a much fuller body.  Choice b will make a much crisper and more upright head and body. Both choices look good to me so I make them either way but for the chain make sure you make them all the same way.

paper cranesTip: The key to perfect or almost perfect cranes is the creases. Make sure you are aligning everything as best as you can before folding down and make sure you use your hand to press down creating a strong crease. You’ll notice any fold made without a perfect crease or alignment will pop up later usually in the tail or head. Don’t worry if it takes a while to become good at this or if it isn’t perfect, a lot of times the crane will turn out fine. As well a pen or pencil can be a big help when starting out for the first few steps.

Step 2: Planning

Great so now that we have our selections of cranes to choose from you have a few decisions to make. 1. How long do I want it to be? 2. What kind of pattern do I want? 3. Do I want spaces between the cranes? What I like to do is layout the cranes in the pattern I’d like before I even start making the chain. You want to avoid having to undo any steps and if you bought different types of paper it allows you to play around with the pattern and see what looks good together.

 paper cranespaper cranes

Step 3: Starting the Chain

Thread the needle in any color of thread you’d like (if you want spaces between the cranes keep in mind it will be visible so choose a complimentary color or you could use fishing string which is clear). I suggest cutting the thread and making it about 20cm longer than you want the chain to be. Next you will need to decided what style for the bottom you want. There is three ways to start the chain:

  1.  Tying a knot at the bottom of the thread.
    *I personally don’t think this is a good option for a long lasting chain, keep in mind the more cranes the heavier it will be. 
  2. Sew a button/bead to the bottom of the thread.
  3. Tie a knot at the bottom then sew into the bottom crane using the thread, do a few passes through the crane body at the very bottom.
    *this is how I like to make mine as it is almost completely invisible and creates a strong chain.

Step 4: Threading the cranes

Regardless of how you started the chain you will now take the cranes and insert the needle in the hole at the bottom of the crane, pierce the middle area of the body of the crane and repeat until you have done all the cranes. The cranes already have a natural hole at the bottom and on the body due to the folding there is perfect X for the top.
TIP: Alternatively you can thread the cranes with spaces between them. Leave a space of thread between each crane and tie a knot  or put a bead for the next crane to rest on.

Step 5: Ending the Chain

For mine I like to tie the thread onto a safety pin for easy hanging. You can also do a knot or a loop with the thread and leave as is or attach to a ribbon for hanging. Lots of other options are available so don’t be afraid to play around with it. Try 20 paper cranes, or 1 or 3, there is so many possibilities. These are a few of the ones I’ve created.

papercranespaper cranes
Of course Butter had to be apart of this DIY, she decided when I was going through my old paper cranes chains to try and sleep on them. She has not been a fan of paper cranes since she was little.
paper cranesIf you make these are home please send me photos, I’d love to see them! Or if you have any further questions about the materials or steps let me know: info@citizenerasedphotography.com

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Monthly DIY: Custom Chocolates

This month’s DIY project is how to use moulds to make custom chocolates to decorate your cupcakes.

home made chocolates, custom chocolates, diy, citizen erased

 What you’ll need:

diy, citizen erased1. Chocolate melts (here)
*for this project you will need about 2-3 packages to have enough chocolates at the end for 1 package of cupcake mix.
2. Food paint brush (here)
3. Chocolate Mould ( any design, I used this one: here)
* my mould is not actually made for making chocolates but any mold should work fine just make sure it’s completely clean and has never been used with any materials that are considered toxic.
4. Bowls and spoons.
*microwavable bowls
5. Food coloring (here) (here)
* paste or power food coloring, liquid food coloring will cause an unwanted chemical reaction in your melts and make them very hard to use, and I should know since that’s what I did. Lol. You’ll notice that the colored melts are very chunky in texture in my photos – this does not change how they taste though it’s more just aggravating to use.

Alternative: Instead of getting the special food coloring you can buy colored chocolate melts, however my local store has a bad selection and since I knew I only needed 2-3 bags it is much cheaper as well to just buy the white melts and dye them.
*I purchased my melts and brushes at my local art store, Michael’s or other craft stores should have all items as well.

 Steps:

  1. Divide the chocolate melts into as many bowls as you will need for each color. I only filled my bowls about half up or less since my mould only has 6 spots so I only need a little amount of each colored melt and will be filling them up afterwards in the middle with my white or sprinkled melts.
    homemadechocolates
  2. Follow the directions on back of packages for melting down the chocolate melts. It is good to start with just 1 color at a time because the chocolate will start to harden up after a while and microwaving again is not a good idea. Since I only did small amounts of each, it was about 30 seconds for each bowl.
    homemadechocolateshomemadechocolates
  3. Start painting the bottom of the mold, make sure if the chocolate drips into a section you don’t want you have a cloth handy or a dry brush to clean it up quickly. You have a few minutes before the melts start to harden up though so you can take you time with the individual color and make sure you like the results.
    homemadechocolates
  4. Repeat Step 3 until you’ve completed painting the bottom and sides of the mold with all your colors. Wash brushes right away between colors as they get hard very quickly.
    homemadechocolates
  5. Melt a larger amount of melts (I used my sprinkle melts and white melts for this) and simply pour into the painted moulds using a spoon. If you are using a larger mould like mine, I recommend that you do not fill up all the way to the top if you want them to be eaten. I found the finished chocolates were much too sugar for me personally (other people did not have this issue but the overall opinion was too sugary)
    Tip: If you have a lot of the colored melts left over, you can just simply pour excess into mould.
    Tip 2: Instead of a spoon for pouring you can use an icing bag, simply fill with melts, put in the microwave without putting in any hole yet for the tip and with the other end tied off. Then cut the tip and pour.
    home made chocolate, custom chocolates, citizen erased photography, citizen erased
  6. Wait! I left mine for 30 minutes to cool and simply popped them out. I didn’t have any problem popping them out, except when I used the sprinkle melts. The sprinkle melts were a giant disappointment, they are rough and do not hold together well and the only time any broke while taking out of the mould was when I used the sprinkle melts to fill. I would not recommend using them for moulds.
    Tip: Don’t panic if any break, using some more chocolate melts or icing to glue any broken parts together.
    home made chocolate, custom chocolates, citizen erased photography, citizen erased
  7. Repeat from Step 1 to 6 until you’ve finished. I made 18 chocolate cupcakes and used a little more than 2 bags of melt.
    home made chocolate, custom chocolates, citizen erased photography, citizen erased
  8. Place on top of your cupcakes and enjoy!

I was really happy with the end results, and each batch had its own uniqueness and color variance. I wish they were a little smoother but learned my lesson to not use regular liquid dye (as it caused the melts to thicken up and almost made it impossible to paint them). Hope you liked this month’s DIY project. I have so much fun doing these and have a list of projects I want to try and share with you. For all of these projects so far it’s been my first time doing them, so I’m not an expert. All of these are beginner level so if you’re intimidated my advice is to just do it. Even if they don’t turn out perfect, who cares, the point is to always have fun! And trust me people will be impressed when you tell them you made them yourself it regardless.

these two are my favourites!
home made chocolates, custom chocolates, diy, citizen erasedhome made chocolates, custom chocolates, diy, citizen erased

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Monthly DIY: Boxville House.

kittensofboxville

Kittens of Boxville DIY Project! This project came from the book and postcards of the same name from Japan by Ryosuke Handa and Yoneo Morita. I’ve been waiting to make this for my cat for months and finally did it in January as a late Christmas present to Butter. This project was so much fun so I thought I’d share what I’d did in case you want to make your own. And the great thing about this project you can make anything, whatever you can paint goes!

What you’ll need: $10 or less (Most of the supplies are common to find around the house. I use the generic acrylic paint you find at Dollarama)

  • The biggest box you can find. I kept waiting for a bigger box but finally settled on this one, it’s a bit small for Butter so I may make another one soon. Ask around and make sure you get one big enough for your cat to be comfortable.
  • Paints, whatever you’ve decided to make sure you get colors that you think will work well. It can be colorful, realistic, or futuristic. I do recommend getting black for adding details.
  • Brushes, I suggest fine brushes for details in a variety of sizes and 1 large paint brush for applying paint to larger areas.
  • Scissors or a box cutter.
  •  Ruler
  • Paper and glue. I got glittery red paper for making letters on hard card stock.

kittenofboxville

Step 1: Pick a design! Your Boxville house can be anything. A fire station, town hall, a church, school, clock tower, office building, a store, your own house… I love baking so I decided to make mine a cupcake bakery for my cat Butter. Think of a witty name if you are making a store for later!

kittenofboxville

Step 2: Using box cutters or scissors cut off all flaps for one end of the box as you want nothing on the bottom of the house. Save flaps for later. Cut out your door. You can make a front and back door if you’d like in any shape. I made only a front door for more privacy, in an oval shape and made it be almost the full side of the box. I recommended you make the doors on the short sides of the box unless you are making it for a kitty. You can save the door part if you want to make a swinging door or an entrance, and I will show later how I used mine.

kittenofboxvillekittenofboxville

Step 3: Paint the cardboard box the main color on all sides. I wanted mine white so I had to do 3 coats to get the coloring I wanted waiting 30minutes between coats. Keep in mind, darker colors are easier and if your box has logos on it you may need several coats in the areas the logos are to cover. I painted my box with it laying down doing one side at a time as I found it easier. Keep in mind cardboard when it gets wet can change shapes so after its dries put books on top for a few hours to make is flat again.

kittenofboxvillekittenofboxville

Step 4: Roof Part I – Paint. There are so many different kinds of roofs designs you can choose, looking on google is a great reference. I own the Kittens of Boxville book so I used that as reference for mine. I used a ruler to draw the lines because I wanted it to be exact but I free handed most other parts so it’s up to you how much you want to freehand and how much you want to draw on before painting. I used a sharpie for the lines and the paint covered it’d without issue. I wanted my roof to have a ceiling so I also painted one of the extra flaps in the same colors to match me design.

kittenofboxvillekittenofboxville

Step 5: A sign! Signs are fun so I toke glittery red paper from Dollarama and hand drew the words “Butter’s Cupcakery” on the white side backwards and cut out. Then I used normal liquid glue to attach onto the cardboard. You can always paint your sign too.

kittenofboxvillekittenofboxville

Step 6: Details. This is where you can really let your creativity take over. I wanted to make a fake back door, fake windows on one side and two real windows on the other. So I used the box cutter (this would be hard to do with scissors) to cut out two windows and added paint for details while painting the fake door and windows. I did all this by hand using the ruler more for spacing and I’m a terrible painter. So its easy, trust me and remember this is for your pet! It doesn’t have to be perfect and making it should be fun. As well I made the piece I cut out for the front door into a side element to add more dimension and added cupcakes on the side to make it looks more like a shop. As well I added some swirls and dots on the side to make it appear more like an actual building (a very colorful building that is)

kittenofboxvilleStep 7: Smoke stack. Take a left over flap and paint it any color you like, then with the ruler and a marker make identical size rectangles shapes and then cut out with scissors or a box cutter. I left my design very plain, it would be easy to make a nice brick detail if you’d like. I just used glue and tape after the paint was dry to attach all sides together. I didn’t attach the smoke stack to roof.

kittensofboxvillekittensofboxville

Step 8: Roof Part II – Making a roof. Now you want to make the roof using the flaps at the top in the upright position to give your cat more room. It’s up to you if you want a slant roof or a square one, or open or closed. I wanted mine to be enclosed as I mentioned in the previous roof step so I had painted one of the leftover flaps to be the ceiling. For the slanted roof look use all of the attached flaps of the long side and then cut a triangle on both sides of the end flaps to create the slant. Then I used safety pins to hold it together on the corners and to the ceiling flap (I tried tape and toothpicks but both didn’t work very well for me)

kittensofboxvilleStep 9: Finishing Touches! You are all done, wait for the smell of paint to fade so your cat will go and explore their new house. I put mine on top of a cat blanket for extra comfort. Another great idea is to put this ontop of the kitty litter just make sure its big enough to fit the litter box inside.

Butter’s Cupcakery!

kittenofboxville

Hope you enjoy this DIY Project, if you make one yourself send me an e-mail!! I’d love to see yours.
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