Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Gnome Tutorial is finished and available on Etsy!

Gnome tutorial is finished!  You can find it here:

It contains step by step instructions for making our garden gnomes inspired by the Harry Potter series.  We used the Chamber of Secrets and Fantastic Beasts references as well as the Pottermore website and video games.

The Tools and Supplies list looks daunting, but I tried to describe each item so they would be easier to find.

There are options to make them into bean bags or plain dolls.  And, they can be made with or without eyes.

Hope you like the tutorial.  If you try it, I would love to know how it goes!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

DIY Makeup Organizer Upcycled for Zero Money

For some time now I've been considering solutions for organizing random makeup.  I've accumulated so much over the years for costuming that my bag/basket is out of control!  I'm constantly digging for hard to find things in the bottom.  Well, not long ago someone posted a product on Facebook that was actually pretty clever and totally DIY-able. It inspired me to try constructing my own upcycled version.  (However, at $10-13 each velcro palette,  the "Beauty Butler" ( product is reasonable enough for the more lazy non-Do-It-Yourself-ers.)  But, this post is not about how to make those.  I have another idea that would work really well in conjunction with a "Beauty Butler" type system.

The one thing I don't like about this velcro method, is that I still have to lug around all those plastic cases for each color of eyeshadow, blush, powder, lipstick, etc...  I usually end up with many multi-color sets that I only like one color in, anyway.  Don't get me started on the almost empty containers of colors I can no longer find.  So, I got to thinking, and came up with a fairly easy down and dirty and absolutely FREE version using stuff I had around, of course. I used clear acrylic DVD cases and sheet magnets.

I turned all of these:

Into these two cases:

Concealer, powder, blush and lipstick in one, while eyeshadows are in the other.  How I did it was pretty easy, though I won't lie, it is not for all makeup.  Some brands do not use the same metal pots as most do.  And, some can be near impossible to remove from the cases.  It did work well with about 98% of my compressed cake makeups.  I chose to try this with my older used makeup (Hence the half empty pots and worn out cases in the pics.)

I started by removing the metal pots from the containers.  This is probably the trickiest part.  Some are glued in better than others.  Cover Girl, Maybeline, MaxFactor, Almay, Clinique and Este Lauder all seemed fairly easy to pry out with a razorblade or thin palette knife.  But, they could change their packaging at any time.  Please be careful if you try this, especially with expensive makeup.  Be patient.  The glue will need time to release slowly in some.  (If you crack or crumble some of the powder content, it is easy enough to fix them.  I use the lid on a chapstick or any clean flat object I could find to tamp the powder back into the pot., But, it really only happens when the powder is almost gone or in a flimsy pot.)  Don't forget to remove the mirrors, too.  You can stick those right in with the pots, or glue them to the case lid.

I removed the disc holder liner from a DVD case and cut the part with the hinge off and put it back in the case to use as a brush holder (I cut it using my trusty jeweler's saw.  I can't stress how handy these saws are for crafters and DIYers.).  If you cut it just after the hinge, the narrow compartment should open up when the case is open.

I lined the flat side of the case with a large magnet sheet I happened to have.  You can also tile the smaller business size magnets.  A little spray adhesive should hold them in place.  You can cover the back with some paper or other material to hide the back of the magnet in the clear acrylic case.

Now, I arranged all the various makeup onto the magnets.  The little tin pots normally contain iron and will stick to magnets with no need to alter.  However, you can use another piece of magnet and some adhesive to back the pots that won't stick.  (I only had one off brand set that was aluminum.)  The great part is that being magnetic, you can rearrange them endlessly.  I also had a couple almost empty lipsticks, so I scooped out what was left in the tube and squished it into a clean empty pot using a palette knife.  (Waste not, want not!  Hehe )

I even added some magnet sheet to one of the larger blush containers, so I could travel lighter when needed.  This whole thing also works with the smaller CD cases.

TIP:  If you remove the fronts of another DVD/CD cases, you can use them lined with magnet sheets or velcro compatible fabric for a DIY Beauty Butler to hold your brushes, tube lipstick, mascara, eyeliners, etc...  (The black protector cover pictured in the 1st pic is actually an old Samsung tablet cover.  They make some really nice cover s these days that could work really well for this.)

Hope you find these tips useful!  Until next time be craftabulous!

Monday, December 7, 2015


Another new magical creature to add to the magical menagerie.

These are doxies, or at least our interpretation of what one should look like, since they haven't made an appearance in the Harry Potter movies, yet.  They are described in "Fantastic Beast & Where to Find Them" as:

"...often mistaken for a fairy though it is a quite separate species.  Like the fairy, it has a minute human form, though in the Doxy's case this is covered in thick black hair and has an extra pair of arms and legs.  The Doxy's wings are thick, curved, and shiny, much like a beetle's..."

We made two attempts so far.  The first is more human-like in the face.  With the 2nd one we played on the Doxy name, which is what dachshund dogs have been nicknamed.  The more dog-headed version is our favorite.  We think it is the cutest.

They are about 7" tall with four arms and four legs.  This is smaller than the pixies, which made it really tough to get all those arms and legs to fit on!

The wings are cut from plastic root beer bottle painted underneath with nail polish.  I want to add another transparent set of wings under these in the future.  We've since found some hairier fabric we want to try, too.  So, you may see a new attempt at these at some point.  Not sure how that will go at this size, but we'll give it a try.

These are based off of a fairy pattern we've been working on.   I'll post the tiny fairies once we finish some details and maybe put some clothes on them.