Halloween Decor, Dia De Los Muertos Style! or…What I did outside the house this year…DIY

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I love Halloween!!! I go a little nutso decorating every year, but always on a budget. Most of our things we’ve been reusing for years, (like the fake pumpkins and crow decoys, though we do add a few new things here and there from yard sales, thrift stores, even dumpster-diving. I try and change it up a bit every year by moving things around and using things in different ways. I acquired these “hand-me-down” Dia De Los Muertos skull graphics from a big party I helped with a couple years ago, so they were Free! And I love them. It’s because of them I decided to go all Day of the Dead-ish outside this year. I used a unifying theme of hot pink fabric. (all leftover from other projects) Here is all I did, step by step:

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A New Orleans House Tour Too Good Not To Share…

I ran across this delightful, eclectic DIY abode on Apartment Therapy and loved it so much I had to share it with you. It’s chock-full of some great DIY ideas. (See the full Article HERE)

The charming New Orleans home of Valorie Hart is full of personality and great ideas. I know it inspired me…

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Gold & Silver Leaf Fancy Eggs for Easter, a Funky Glam Holiday DIY

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I had some fun getting all glam with my Easter eggs this year. Gold & Silver leaf! It was easy. I dyed the eggs with standard dye, and limited it to two colors (though you can use any colors you like). The tricky part was blowing out the eggs first. (I wanted them to keep long-term, and well, you wouldn’t want to eat them after the leaf is applied).

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Clean up the Art Wall: Paint the Frames. Easy & Fast DIY for a Pro Look.

This weekend I unified the art on the “Art Wall” by simply painting the frames. A hodge-podge of thrift store frames is made to look a bit more professional by painting them all the same color. In this case I chose black, as there were already a few black frames on the wall. And I like black. Yes, you will notice a couple new frames and a new screen print. I snagged these at a garage sale this morning (screen print $5, frames $2 each).

First, I removed everything from the frames and cleaned the dust off. Then it was off to the back yard on a rare Spring-like day in February to do a little spray painting. I used 2X Cover in Black Gloss by Rustolium. I love this paint. Two coats, no priming, worked great.

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Ode to Chanel DIY Camelia Necklace with Polymer Clay

I love Chanel. The first thing I’d buy if I won the lottery is a big fat Chanel handbag. And some Chanel shoes. And belts, and scarves, and jewelry…ok, you get the idea. So in the meantime, I’ve created this Chanel-esque camellia necklace from painted polymer clay (Super Sculpy) and a vintage faux pearl necklace.

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My Big Fat Red Heart – A Polymer Clay Valentine’s Necklace DIY

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Here it is, the final piece of Valentine’s Jewelry, at least for now. I saved the easiest for last…

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My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart Pin in Polymer Clay with “Blood” Beads

My Bloody Valentine, Part Deux: the Pin.

In yesterday’s blog you saw the delightfully creepy Frida Khalo-esque Heart & Roses Necklace I made. In today’s post is the matching pin I made for my man. The spurting “blood” beads were actually his idea.

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Frida Khalo-esque My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart & Roses Necklace in Polymer Clay

Frida Khalo-esque My Bloody Valentine DIY Human Heart & Roses Necklace in Polymer Clay

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I admit, this necklace is not for the faint of heart (pun intended ;-)) nor the beginner crafter, but I promise it’s easier than it looks. Polymer clay (in this case, Super Sculty) is very forgiving and easy to work with. The key is taking it one step at a time.

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I based this necklace off a wall piece I made for my man last Valentine’s Day (see image at the bottom of this page). I was commissioned to make another for a collector, and I decided to make a heart necklace and a pin while I was at it. (you’ll see the pin in the next post, stay tuned!)

Grab that Sculpy, start kneading it, and get to the shaping. The key is taking it one step at a time, one shape at a time. I formed each part of the heart separately, using a Googled heart image for reference. I used basic sculpture tools to form the details. You can’t mess it up. If it doesn’t look right just smooch it back up and start again. The veins are the final step. (you’ll see those Sculpy heart-shaped hearts in this project and in another one coming later this week.)

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Here it is ready to go into the oven to cure. I imbedded a metal hanger in the back just before baking.

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Next came the roses. They are really easy. Form a bunch of petal-ish shapes, start with the inside of the rose by rolling it up fairly tight, then keep adding petals on until it looks, well, rosey. The underside of your rose will get chunky, but you can just squish it together and pull off the excess. No one is going to see the back but you. Then I added a few leaves, using the sculpture tools to carve in the veins. In this case, I imbedded round hoops in the larger roses. It’s important to really get them in there deep. You can add extra clay over the back if needed. The smallest rose has a hole put through it like a bead.

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After they have been baked and cooled, it’s time to paint. I used acrylic paints. The painting was done in layers. Again I used a Googled image for color reference.

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The final thing to get painted was the veins. When the paint was dry, I coated it all with a semi-gloss clear-coat.

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Now it’s time to bead. I kept it pretty light using just three sizes of red glass beads left over from a previous jewelry project (I think they came from Michael’s). I used simple crimps and jump rings to attach the beaded strands to the hoops and the fastener. (Ignore the chains in the upper right, I used those for another project.)

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And here is the final product. It’s kinda Goth, kinda creepy and kinda cool.

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Here’s what the back looks like…

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Remember to glue a soft piece of fabric like cotton or felt to the back of your painted pieces where they will touch your skin, and be gentle with your Sculpy jewelry. It may feel hard, but it is rather fragile and can break when dropped. (I once had a large piece crack from an over-exuberant hug.) If the worst happens they can usually be repaired with glue and touch-up paint.

Go get yourself some Sculpy and get creative! Make some jewelry and have fun with it. Oh and here’s that wall piece I made last year that I based this necklace off of (Design Copyright C. 2013 Marie Vlasic).

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My Bad-Ass Valentine…A Polymer Clay Black Heart Necklace DIY

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I love a big statement necklace…I seriously got my jewelry on this weekend. I made 3 big Valentine’s (well more or less) necklaces and 2 pins. Today I’m showing you the “Bad-Ass Valentine” necklace I made from polymer clay (Super Sculpy) and assorted chains and beads.

First, the heart:

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More Dino-licious Kitsch…DIY Jar Toppers from Thrift-store Toy Dinosaurs

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Yes, I know. You’ve seen these all over the interwebs, too. There’s a reason for that. They’re cute! And crazy-easy. Here’s how:

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