Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Skittle Vodka

J here, with the promised write-up of our flavored vodka exploits. Let me start with a little disclaimer: This project in no way endorses consuming alcohol to excess. In fact, this very product has resulting in at least one case of cracked ribs that I'm aware of. Please, taste the rainbow responsibly.

That having been said, you want liquor that tastes like childhood, so let's do that.

You will need:
  • Skittles. A lot of Skittles. This small amount took over a pound. Scale up from there.
  • Vodka. A reasonable amount. I'll give the ratio in a bit, but the amount pictured above took approximately two full bottles of vodka.
  • Empty containers. I use two sets so I don't have to clean them in between filtration (so, 10)
  • Funnels. One or many. More is better.
  • Cheesecloth
  • Coffee filters
  • TIME. Skittle vodka takes a while to make. Be patient and don't drink it while making it.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Food Roundup

J here. Let's talk food and drink in time for your own parties this week! We've got some tasty drinks and a couple gross-looking but tasty foodstuffs.

The menu Saturday consisted of the following:
  • Guacamole Vomit
  • Marvelous Mummy Artichoke Dip
  • Vanilla Pumpkin Goop
  • Dipped Bones
  • Brain Hemorrhage Shots
  • Margarita Zombie Punch
  • Skittle Vodka
We also had brownies and some excellent pizza puffs, but those aren't spooky party food, they're just a good idea for snacking. On to the photos!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Halloween Travel Break!

Hey there, fans. (Do we have fans?) We are headed to Chicago for the weekend to celebrate Halloween in style. We'll have pictures of the decorations, some instructions on tasty snacks and libations in time for your own freaky festivities, and pictures of great DIY costumes. So hang in there, don't get too scared without us, and use the space below to put up some links to your own weekend events and make suggestions as to what you'd like to see us tackle on the blog once the Halloween season is over with.

Thanks for coming along so far and have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Silhouette Pillows

A here with more on the pillow front!  I've been inspired by fabric printing/painting for a while now but hadn't done anything with it. Then I found a Halloween inspired pillow on Etsy that pushed me over the edge.  I bought up some canvas-like fabric immediately without any idea how I was going to make it work and ended up with one of my favorite personal creations!  My methods were a bit trial and error, but by the end, the materials list for these pillows included:

  • 1 yard fabric (I chose a canvas-like material with a linen/natural look)
  • Ruler
  • Fabric pencil 
  • Scissors
  • Die cuts (I made mine on my Slice, but Cricut cuts or stencils would work too)
  • Cardstock
  • A projector/tracer
  • Soft lead pencil
  • Black craft paint
  • Fabric medium (Martha Stewart has an easy-to-use one)
  • Paint brushes
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Screaming Scary Wreath

A here.  J and I have never really been wreath people.  Maybe that's because we've always lived somewhere that they would be stolen right off our front door.  Whatever the reason, this is the first wreath I've attempted, and I think it may have changed both our minds!  Halloween wreaths can be an awesome vehicle for all those creepy little items you've been hoarding.  For the one in this post I started with:
  • 18" grapevine wreath (available at most craft stores for about $5)
  • Black, gray and white spray paint
  • Scraps of black and cream burlap (leftover from the Toiletpaper Pumpkin project)
  • Black ribbon
  • A plastic skull (we picked this one up at Spirit Halloween)
  • Faux barbed wire (instructions below)
  • Plastic spiders
  • Hot glue
  • Black string
  • Stapler

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vortex Manipulator, Part 2

When last we saw our intrepid inventor, I had just finished the basic structure of the manipulator itself. But I'm not exactly going to keep it in my wallet, now am I? The Jack Harkness model is built into a leather bracer that buckles on the inside of his wrist, as seen in the screenshots last time. So I had to make one of those.

Vortex Manipulator, Part 1

I present Captain Jack Harkness's Vortex Manipulator as seen in Doctor Who and Torchwood. This was a complicated build, and I'll be presenting it in two pieces. It's a long conversation, but I think there's some worthwhile stuff in here. Throughout, I'll point out some things that worked, a few that didn't, and what we might expect from Version Two, which may be built in the future.

Any attempt on may part to list all the bits and bobs in advance would result in sadness and rampant editing, so I'll talk about stuff as it comes up. Bear with me, and let's jump in.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Batty Pillow

A here.

For those of you with a sewing machine and a decent amount of patience, here is a monochromatic pillowcase designed to torment cats and inquisitive children.  I prefer making pillowcases or covers, as opposed to stuffed pillows, because it makes it possible to pack away your decorative pillows in a flat container with very little wasted space.  This cover can be slipped on and off of any existing pillow.  Just adjust your measurements to fit the pillow of your choice.  My couch pillows are approximately 20" square, so I calculated my fabric and pattern measurements to fit those.  For this design you will need:
  • 3/4 yd. black felt
  • fabric scissors
  • cardstock (for stencil)
  • marker or fabric pencil
  • ruler
  • black thread
  • pins
  • sewing machine

Candied Delicacies

J doing the write up on one of A's papercrafts. I glued things to stuff! I helped.
Our haunted attractions skew towards a look I like to call "Elegant Spookhouse". Maybe it was the Haunted Mansion at Disney as a kid or something, but I like to contrast decadence with decay. Sort of Addams Family. (No promotional consideration is offered by these entities or the candy companies to be named shortly. Though we would gladly accept sponsorship) To that end, we like nice place settings with body part food or elegant frames with tarnished mirrors. Contrast is key. So the inspiration for these foodstuff labels comes from design.wash.rinse.repeat.
You'll need:
-Fancy glassware (check the dollar store or, if you are lucky to have one, The Container Store)
-Paper or cardstock for printing
-Spray adhesive or glue
-Cutting tools, hole punch
-OPTIONAL: Sandpaper

Lil' Pumpkins

J here with a few small projects using those mini pumpkins you can find at grocery stores this time of year. With inspiration courtesy of and we built some variants on their tealight candle pumpkins and Drac-o-Lanterns.

You'll need:
-Mini pumpkins
-A sharp knife, X-Acto #11, or pumpkin saw
-For Drac-o-Lanterns: Fake vampire teeth, map pins, white pony beads
-For Tealight Pumpkin: Tealight (we used the battery version), OPTIONAL: Toilet paper tube, tape

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Toilet Paper Pumpkins

A here.

For those of you with fabric scraps and no idea what to do with them, this practically free craft is a no-brainer.  All you'll need is:
  • One 16" square of fabric
  • One roll of toilet paper
  • Two sheets of tissue paper
  • One small stick (or a long thin scrap of paper)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Styrofoam II: The Rise of Styrofoam

J again. This time, it's a more advanced paintjob. This time we dig into weathering techniques and a patina technique that also works really well for rust paint jobs. We'll be making a weathered copper sign today:

You'll need:
-The sign or prop you want to age
-An old chipbrush, or new unloved chipbrush
-A fancy glass palette or paper plate
-Base paint (black or dark brown)
-Patina paints: metallic copper, dark brown, forest green, teal, and a light gray
-Water & cup
-OPTIONAL: Spray paints (brown, copper)
-OPTIONAL: Spray bottle (or as my cat understands it, God's Wrath)

Styrofoam Headstones

J here.

When it comes to that front- and/or graveyard staple, the foam headstone, there are some tricks to making it a little easier on you. Do some looking around online or take a trip to a graveyard for some inspiration about general sizes, shapes, and what you want written on it. Pick something that blends well with your other decorations, or shapes you are reasonably confident you can pull off. And hey, if it all goes horribly wrong, you can always snap it off and paint up a broken one.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Halloween Project List

It's our favorite time of the year again!  Halloween is around the corner and we are busy working on various projects to get us ready for the festivities.  Current ongoing projects include:

Skeleton Flamingos
Styrofoam Tombstones/Signs
Creepy Wreath
Candied Delicacies
Festive Pillowcases
Jack's Vortex Manipulator

Stay tuned for process shots and final photos.  If all goes well, you'll also get some DIY how-to's along the way.  Wish us luck!
- A & J