Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Hogwart's Letter and Sealing Wax Recipe

For 6 years I have been meaning to revisit Hogwart's Acceptance Letters.  I wanted to improve on the old design I had created here.  It would involve making my own envelopes as well as improving my wax seal.

It's strange that the version of the letter MinaLima sells as a replica print is different than the one pictured in the film.  It is suppose to be handwritten script, which is even different from the writing in the book.  :/  I went with the MinaLima version, since it was easiest to replicate when they use mostly existing graphic elements for their work.  I found a free font online that someone had made, but it is a bit pixelated looking, and missing some characters, like the hyphen.  So I attempted to trace and replace the letters and add in the missing ones.  I was also able to find a decent picture of the envelope front and back to get the logo and some of the address letters from.  I will try to get some pics of the letter soon.

But, for now,  I wanted to share the envelope and sealing wax.

I found a recipe for making DIY sealing wax melting together crayons and hot glue.  That's it.  Just these two in the right quantities works great! I then use a little gold Rub n' Buff to highlight it.

So, I made myself a sealing station using some things I found 2nd hand.  Found an cast iron candle holder (I think).  The tea light sitting in it puts off just the right amount of heat to melt, but not overcook the wax in the pots.  The pots were something I already had, but never found a use for til now.  The seals themselves are made from polymer clay, for now.  I glued them to champagne corks with E-6000 to make it easier to hold.  It helps to rub with a little cooking oil or water before pressing in the wax, to prevent it from sticking.

I melted the wax/glue into pots and poured that into tiny molds to make small melts that measure about a teaspoon, which is more than enough to make a seal.  This makes it much easier to use than the stick I originally made using tin foil as a mold.  The stick tended to catch fire and fall on the paper, singeing it.  To seal an envelope, I remelt the wax melts in a spoon over the candle (takes about 2-4 minutes) and pour onto the envelope.  I can also dip small bottles into the jars to seal the bottles.  

This is such a great use for all the old broken crayons the daughter brings home at the end of the school year.  And also use up the large gluesticks I have accumulated, but don't have a gun for.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Plates, Proclamations and Prophecies - Fifth Year Harry Potter Party Decor

Sorry, I never posted pics of our 5th year Harry Potter party decor from back in Nov.  It was all about Umbridge, the Ministry of Magic and OWL's.  Among our many existing Hogwart's decorations, we made kitty plates!:

LOTS of kitty plates!  :D

Just took a little Mod Podging kitten images onto various 2nd cake plates we found for 25-50 cents each.

We had purchased the licensed ones but they were so tiny! And cheap plastic.  :/  The largest was barely bigger than a saucer:  So, we hung them on a door.

My mom and sis found this pink jar that we added a knob with a MoM logo to.  We also colored some sugar pink with food coloring.

We also had to have some of Umbridge's Educational Decree Proclamations on the walls.  The frames are made of lightweight foam board we picked up for $1 a sheet at a dollar store painted with Acrylic Craft Paint.  They were large sheets, so didn't take much.  Ran out of time for the locks and would like to have put the box behind them to set them away from the wall like in the movie.  (I made up a template for cutting these.  If you would like to make some, I'm happy to send it to you.  Just message me by email or on Facebook.)

One of my favorite easy projects was making the prophecy balls from he Ministry of Magic.  We used plastic ornaments, battery LED light and angel hair from old styrofoam ornaments we had.  The based were various things from metal candle stands to plastic bottle parts spray-painted black.  Looked really cool lit up on our mantle.  (We reused our MoM logo poster from 4th Triwizard Tournament behind them.)

For our OWL's, we made test papers (not pictured) for each class.  And we handed out Dark Arts Defence blank journals to our students.  (I figure blank is just as useful as what was probably in them to begin with.)  ;)  We just printed the covers and wrapped them around dollar store journals.

My sis made us some really cool extendable ears!  Love them!  Plan to make them a box for next years Weasleys' shop.  She also made us some neat proclamation ornaments for the tree.  (Not pictured)

Last and definitely least was our cake.  LOL  We kept putting it off to the last minute, so ended up having the kids help make it.  If you can't tell, we were going for Mimbulus Mimbletonia, Neville's plant.  Ran out of frosting.  Kids may have been eating it while working.  :/  We skewered cupcakes of different sizes onto wire and frosted.  :D  It may not look great, but kids enjoyed making and eating it.  It was rather fun just pulling off what you wanted.  :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Crafting Update - Yes, I'm still alive!

It's been a while since I've posted some of my crafts on here.  Been busy working on new things, just finding it difficult to get pics and share them before we are off creating something else.  It really has been easier to just share WIP pics on Facebook.  THough I may contininue to post the WIP's on Facebook, I do plan to still share more elaborate posts and tutorials here.  They don't get lost as easily.

Most of what you will see on our craft tables is Harry Potter related at the moment.  (Sorry to those here for other crafting.  I will get back to other things, eventually.)  Been helping my mom make her magical creatures and also decorations for our annual parties.  Here are a few things we've been working on that I will hopefully be elaborating on more in later posts:

Improved Kreacher House Elf

We've been making improvements to the houses elves, especially Kreacher.  Really liking the expression we can get from them.  :)  We are currently working on custom eyes for them.  It is so hard to find the right eye and they can be crazy expensive. (like $20 a pair!)  The tutorial that I've been promising for so long is still just nearly finished.  The eyes, and face in general, are what is keeping it from being available.  I hate to share it and then change what we do.  This not only confuses user, it makes it frustrating for me to have to keep track of the versions. But, when we are satisfied with them, we will be sharing our techniques.

Fantastic Beast Planner/Journal/Coloring Book...and other items

This was a huge undertaking for a craft swap.  I decided to try it because my mom and sis also wanted one to use.  It was a lot of fun researching planner.  I still would like to make some changes and add more things.  We are thinking of making an HP themed one, too.  I'm sharing the pages I created for those who would like them.  Just ask.  I will add a link to the post coming up.

Various Papercrafts

Like the MACUSA Wand Permit bookmark included in the pic of the FB Journal Swap, I've been making some random printed props.  Improved our Chocolate Frog box and Wizard Card Template as well as redesigning the bottom of our Bertie Box and a new Eyelops Owl Treat box for our tiny macrame Hedwigs.  These are great for our parties as well as to add to swaps and along with purchases of our creatures.  We never know what little extra tidbit we will throw in on a whim.  :)

Future plans include more magical creatures.  First up will most likely be a Murtlap and a revisit on our Doxies to look more like the FB movie version.  Somewhere in there I will also be trying to make new costuming for faire and add some new improvements to our Yurt.  Wish me time and luck!  :)