Crafting Tools 101

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This is my glue gun. There are many like it, but this one is mine…

By far, the hot glue gun is my most favoritest crafting tool of all time ever. I use mine on almost every project and the love and good times we’ve had together are evident in the little community of crafting scraps making a home stuck to it’s side. Some  would say it’s gross, I prefer to think of it in the same category as a well-worn, dogeared copy of someone’s favorite book. It looks hideous because it gets a lot of use!

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Anyways, glue guns generally come in 2 sizes (one for little glue sticks and one for big glue sticks) and range from obscenely cheap to fairly expensive. I prefer the small size, because they seem to fit my hand better, but in all honesty, I’ve been using the small ones for maybe 10 years now and maybe I’m just used to it. I think this is the one time where “size doesn’t matter” is actually true. Am I right ladies? Oh snap, I sure did just make a dick joke…on a crafting blog. Go me!

Back to topic: This little bugger cost me $3.99 and I’ve had it for at least 3-4 years, so in my humble all-knowing, all-powerful opinion, the expensive ones are a waste of money.

Besides my trusty ol’ glue gun there are other tools I like to keep handy. If you’re a veteran crafter you’ve probably got your own little arsenal of crafting weapons, but if you’re new to crafting you totes need to start your own crafting kit!

So here’s my suggested list for beginners:

  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
  • Crafter’s Knife (also known as an Exacto knife)
  • Sharp Scissors
  • A Hole Punch
  • Pencils
  • Ruler
  • Measuring Tape
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Masking Tape
  • Scotch Tape
  • Cardboard Scrapes
  • Sewing Needles
  • Black & White Thread
  • Straight Pins
  • Multipack of Assorted Cardstock

DIY Vintage Harlequin Clown: Accessories Tutorial

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Sometimes you just need a quick and easy costume. One of my favorite ways to whip up a costume in a jiffy is to make really cool DIY accessories that can be added to regular clothes. This is a DIY tutorial for my 3 piece Vintage Harlequin Clown accessories.

HarlequinClown_MeThis is especially awesome if you’re on a budget and have a bunch of parties or events to go to: it’s super versatile.  I LOVED the high waist short and contrasting striped shirt we dressed up my fantastic model Kelsey in, but you could slut it up (and I mean that in the best way) with a skimpy leotard, sexy dress, or maybe pair the shorts with a corset or halter bra for a pin up vibe.

I actually wore it to an early Halloween party while my main costume was still in progress, and it was a big hit.  (The top, skirt, tights and shoes are all direct from my closet.)

Included in this tutorial are instructions to make a cone hat, ruffle collar and ruffle cuffs.

Beginner level, low cost, and can be done in an afternoon; what’s not to <3?

Enjoy!

Supplies

NOTE FOR SUPPLIES: You want to get fabric 45″ wide or wider. The wider the fabric the more “ruffley” your collar will be (and yeah I just made up a word, so deal). If you’ve never shopped for fabric before, read this, then proceed.

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Don’t forget to download my cone template!

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  • TIP:  I used the large size for my human-sized hat you see in the pictures and I used small and medium for doll sized  “party skeletons” that I used to decorate my “Circus of the Damned” theme Halloween party. You could  also  totally  use the small version and glue it to a headband for a cute mini-hat look.

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Repeat for opposite side of the hat. You’ll use these tabs to secure the hat to your hair with bobby pins.

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Repeat step one with your second printed fabric- this time making a 6 1/2 ” fold.

NOTE: Save the excess fabric you trim off. You’ll use that to make the cuffs.

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TIP: You should end up with 15 inches marked off directly in the center of your ribbon and 12 1/2″ of ribbon left over at either end.

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Start with your left over fabric from the ruffle collar.

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TIP: Before moving on to the next step, trim edges so they’re nice and even like the photo in step one.

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  • OH SNAP! Note on using snap closures: Each closure comes with two pieces (an “innie” and an “outie” if you will) that, uh, well, snap together. Cleverly named, these things are… but I digress. You will need to make sure that you keep track of which pieces are innies and which are outies as you apply them to your cuffs. Otherwise they won’t snap together, k?

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 Repeat steps 4-8 for the other cuff and your done! Enjoy! XOXO

Love note from JoJo: This post was originally a 3-part post condensed and reformatted on 6/21/14.

‘Tis The Season…For Costumes!

If you’ve read a bit of my blog you probably already know that I’m pretty much obsessed with Halloween. I love throwing giant parties for the occasion and I usually make/get together 2 or 3 costumes for myself. I know that sounds like a big case of the crazies, but hear me out. I do one major handmade costume that takes me sometimes a month or more to make. Then there’s always that one person who throws a party in early October, so I gotta be ready with either something cool I can make in one afternoon or I pull out a repeat from years past. The office at my day job is pretty awesome so I get to dress up for work too…but sometimes my costume is just too complicated or uncomfortable to make it through my commute. Plus sometimes it’s too slutty. Not for the commute, for the office- but you get the idea.

Anyways, because of this mad obsession I’ve got tons of easy  & inexpensive DIY costume ideas to share. I’ll to post as many as possible leading up to Halloween. Coming soon: Vintage Harlequin Clown.

I’ll also be chronicling my preparations for this year’s party: Circus of the Damned. And keeping you posted on my progress with my big-deal costume: Vampire Ringmaster. I’m kinda stuck on this whole vintage circus vibe… just incase you hadn’t noticed.

Got a specific costume or costume accessory you’d like to make? Comment with your questions and requests and I’ll help you out. Maybe. If your request doesn’t suck. XOXO

DIY Manicure Part 2: Miracle Cuticle Fix!

supplies finalThis is my super awesome 3-step miracle cure for dry cuticles!  Get ready to moisturize, bitches! Woohoo! Really though, this is super awesome and super easy. You can do this after completing my DIY Manicure Part 1, or just whenever you’re having an extra dry spell. Enjoy!

STEP ONE: Use your cuticle nippers (or any other sharp object) to cut open 3 or 4 of the vitamin E gel caps and squeeze the oils into a small dish or a paper plate.

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STEP TWO: Use your cotton swabs to coat each nail and cuticle area with the oils. When you finish one hand, slip on a plastic glove to do the other.

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STEP THREE: Now just chillax for about 30-40 minutes and let the oils do their thing. The gloves keep the oil from getting on stuff so you’re not helpless while you wait for your skin to absorb the oils.

  • TIP: Since I hate getting bleach & chemicals on my hands, I do this before I clean the bathroom. By the time I’m done the oils have worked their mojo and I haven’t wasted an extra pair of gloves.

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You’re welcome.

DIY Nail Art: Spike Tips

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So I’m currently obsessing on the 90’s/grunge revival trend. The gold chains and spiked jewelry I’m currently addicted to were the inspiration for these nails. I like that its more abstract and not so literal. Plus, gold and black are pretty neutral so this design goes with everything.

Plus they make me feel like a badass.

What you’ll need:

  • Gold Polish
  • Quick Drying Black Polish
  • Orly Sec n’Dry Clear Coat- this one is specific because this product is AMAZING. The only quick dry polish I’ve ever tried that actually works AND is shiny. Seriously, I love it. **Dear Orly, if you want to throw some money my way for my glowing endorsement I totally won’t object. XOXO
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • Scotch Tape or Masking Tape

STEP ONE: Apply 2 coats of gold polish followed by 1 coat or Orly Sec n’Dry and let dry completely.

TIP: I usually paint the gold, rock it solo for a day and then move on to step 2. Especially if I bother to do a full manicure before the gold because that takes so much time.

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STEP TWO: Use the marker to make a small dot in the center of each nail. The dot will help your “spike tips” be more evenly sized & placed.

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STEP THREE: Use the tape to form a triangle on the tip of your nail with the dot as your apex. Make sure the edges of the tape triangle are firmly pressed down.

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STEP FOUR: Fill in the triangle with your black polish.

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STEP FIVE: Peel off tape & repeat for each nail.

TIP: When painting the spikes do one nail at a time and peel off the tape while the black polish is still wet. You don’t want the black to dry or the edges might peel off with the tape.

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FINISHING MOVE: When all your spikes are done, wait until the black dries to the touch and then finish with coat of Orly Sec n’ Dry.  You want to wait until the black is dry to the touch otherwise it will bleed into the gold when the clear is applied.

Now get out there and cause a commotion you badass bitch!