How not to… Make your own Christmas decorations

27 11 2010

To make your own Christmas decorations, in a kinda anti-Xmas way, you will need:

* Clear Christmas baubles – available from Spotlight or The Warehouse

* Hot glue gun and glue sticks

* Small glass vials – available from E-bay

* Rock salt, whole peppercorns, paprika, turmeric, rosemary twigs, sage leaves etc

* Chicken bones, teeth, hair, nail clippings etc

* Red cotton or thread

* Buttons, marbles, gem stones, dice, birds eggs, feathers, sticks, pins, ribbon, lace etc

First off you need to remove the cap on your Christmas baubles so you can place things inside. Some will have little wire clips attaching the caps, others are glued on and can be pried off. There are some that come in 2 halves from craft shops but they are a little expensive. Which ever one you have, be careful, especially if the bauble is glass.

Next fill the vials with “blood” or other fake bodily fluids, depending on your colour theme and/or squeamishness. Most of these vials come with custom made caps that fit tightly and have a whole in the top for threading string through. If you want to guard against possible spillages you can add a blob of hot glue under the cap to seal it.

Next you can make charms but binding together sticks, leaves, feathers, button etc using the red cotton. Don’t worry about making them look neat and tidy, they should be a bit rustic. If you want to insure against spontaneous dismantling then glue your objects together with hot glue first before adding cotton for looks.

Now that you have all your bits you can assemble the baubles. Take a vial or charm and add a piece of string attached to the cap so that it hangs in the center of the sphere. Add one of your dry ingredients so it will sit at the bottom of the sphere along with any other items you wish. Seal up the bauble with a little hot glue and replace the cap. Allow glue to dry then hang on your black Christmas tree or ornamental twig with red ribbon or lace.

Tinsel will probably not go with the voodoo theme so add strings of beads or thread together strings of popped corn. Now invite your folks over for Christmas lunch and place bets on how long it takes them to notice your alternative decorations 🙂


The Wedding Shoes – part 3

9 08 2010

So here are last steps of the wedding shoe customization. I have given them to the bride now so, hopefully, I will get so photos of them being worn.

Here I have re-masked the shoes using masking tape as the sellotape was getting messy. I then painted both the heels and the sides Violet Permanent purple by Pebeo using acrylic paint. I did 2 thin coats of purple to get an even flat colour, sanded lightly with an emery board to remove any lumps and applied 1 more thin coat. You can see in this photo that I have then masked off stripes on the heel and painted over top with black – again in 2 thin coats.

Once the paint is totally dry you can remove all the masking tape and touch up any imperfections. I did big areas with paint and smaller fiddly bits with a black sharpie. This works particularly well on the satin fabric as it is flexible. Some bits of white undercoat could be trimmed off with a scalpel where they had built up underneath the tape. When working with fabric this is something that is hard to avoid due to its absorbent nature so don’t get too worried about it.

Once all the final touch ups have been done I sealed the paintwork with a clear  flexible non-yellowing varnish. There are a few on the market in matte, semi-glossy & glossy finish but I use Pebeo Acrylic Varnish in Brilliant Gloss available from Gordon Harris. Again, this was applied in 2 thin coats that I ran up onto the fabric slightly to ensure that no chipping would occur. As these are wedding shoes I also added 2 small red hearts onto the sole of each shoe and varnished over top to seal.

I then packed the shoes and flew with them in my carry on luggage to Australia since I don’t trust the baggage chuckers not to break things. The purple in these photos looks quite blue, however, it is in fact a rich “bogan” purple in the best tradition of  Fords everywhere 🙂

The Wedding Shoes – part 1

5 07 2010

My best friend is getting married soon. In return for helping me fly to her wedding she made me promise to make her wedding present – out of macaroni!! So, after wracking my brains trying to work out how to make macaroni cool, I fell back on my old stand by – shoes!

I have customized shoes before, both for myself and friends. I have a huge shoe fetish and am always looking of ways to justify buying another pair. Here are 2 of my previous customs: (please ignore the awful carpet)

I started the wedding shoes last night with a pair of cheapish black satin heels from Number 1 Shoe Warehouse:

The plan is to paint the heels purple & black, add sparkles, varnish to make them water proof, then make a removeable macaroni toe piece for extra bling – lol. So I stripped off the fabric from the heel and platform using a scalpel – never use a craft knife or stanley knife, they are too blunt and will only make a mess.

Blood Money (NZ)

9 05 2010

Damned good music…

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