Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween How-To: Building Your Own Costume On The Cheap

I have to admit that Halloween is probably my favorite holiday of the year. Maybe I'm biased because it's also my birthday but I really do think it's an awesome day. I love that everyone dresses up in costumes and celebrates in style!

But what I don't like are store bought Halloween costumes. I'll admit that when I was middle and high school pretty much all of my costumes were store bought. I sinned and I'm sorry. Never again though.

You've probably had the thought "What should I be this year?" and spent time Googling homemade or creative costume ideas. I used to do the same. But now I have a system for picking a great costume using a lot of things I already own. And so can you!

The trick is to pick a character (or whatever the inspiration for your costume is) with key components. Here was my pick for this year:

Violet Incredible has very basic elements to her outfit. Black gloves, black boots, black spandex shorts, red shirt, red tights and a black mask. Easy. These are things I either already had or could find easily at a local mall.

The only things I ended up buying were red leggings, a matching red long sleeved shirt and paper to print a sticker of the Incredibles logo onto. All together, I spend under $25 on the things I needed.
I already owned black boots and gloves and just used a pair of plain black boyshort underwear instead of buying spandex shorts. To make the logo I purchased sticker label paper that was the size of a sheet of paper and simply printed the logo onto the paper and cut it out. I didn't choose iron on transfer paper because I wanted to be able to wear the shirt again this winter.

I also had a black mask from my Hambuglar costume last year. This could be substituted with makeup if you prefer not to wear a mask. All in all I don't think the costume turned out too bad and I could say I made it myself rather than saying I bought it at an overpriced costume store. Plus it was warm so I wasn't one of those girls wearing a skimpy costume to a street festival in 40 degree weather.

Stay crafty, my friends!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Heart is in Ohio

UPDATE: So when I started this blog, I had no idea that the string art I made would take off! I am currently selling creations in 8 locations around Ohio and online through my Etsy shop! I even host DIY String Art Parties where you can come and learn how to make your very own piece of string art!

You can find me on Facebook at Trash to Treasure Creations, on Instagram @trash2treasure83, or on Etsy at

 A few things changed in my technique and the supplies that I use and I would love to share my updates!

1. I use wood that is AT LEAST 1/2 thick. I found that when the wood was 1/4 inch thick, nails were much more likely to fall out.

2. Lowe's or Home Depot will cut wood to whatever size you want. I kept my piece at 24inX24in, which really made a statement. I know not everyone has the space for that size art. Currently, I sell creations in 16inX16in and 12inX12in.

3. I use stain more often than paint. But this is definitely personal preference. You can actually get stain in tons of different colors now which is cool if you want to wood grain to show through.

4. Nail spacing matters. I try to keep my nails 1/4 inch apart or smaller for tight patterns like the example in the blog. I space them out further when I am creating a more sporadic design. I also use size 16X1 1/14 wire nails typically. You can also use paneling nails which come in a variety of colors.

Check out some other work I have done recently:

 Ohio State String Art, Ohio State Football String Art, Any State String Art, OSU FootballThe Original Ohio University Pawprint String Art Ohio State String Art 16X16Custom State String Art Ohio State String Art Any State String Art 12X12Dayton Flyers String Art, State String Art, Ohio State String Art, Custom String ArtMissouri String Art, State String Art, Custom State String Art, State Pride ArtPittsburgh Penguins String Art 16inX16inState string art, Alaska state string art, any state string artInitial String Art Lace String Art Wedding Gift String ArtScript Ohio String Art, Ohio State Buckeyes String ArtState String Art, Florida State String Art, Any State String Art, Custom String ArtString Art Leash/Key Holder. You pick the dog breed and colorsOhio State Block O String Art


And now for the original post:

So I've been crafting like crazy these past few weeks gearing up for holiday craft shows and possible consignment deals. My laptop has been down but I've finally managed to get back to blogging.

The craft I tried this week has been crazy popular on Pinterest. I saw it and instantly fell in love. Being from Ohio, the "Columbus Love" in this pin really struck a chord so I decided to give it a go. Here's how it turned out:

I didn't follow the tutorial on Pinterest though. Considering I don't own a circular saw or power sander I decided to take a different route. I took a field trip to my local Lowe's where I can't seem to walk up a single aisle without being asked if I need help finding anything. While I usually opt to pick my hardware out myself, I needed a little help in the lumber department this time.

I picked out a board that was about 24inX24in. It was huge. But that's ok. Lowe's offers to cut any wood that you purchase into the size that you want. I made the mistake of picking a board that was a little bit too thin and had a tricky time trying to make sure the nails didn't poke through to the other side. So if you're trying this at home, make sure you pick out a thicker piece of wood.

Next, I picked out a paint color to paint the background. I chose grey since it would make the white string pop and since it went along with the Ohio State theme I was trying to stick to, being the alumni that I am.

I then painted the board using a roller:

While the paint dried, I created a stencil on my computer. I found an image of Ohio and blew it up just using a standard paint program. (Note: Paint sucks, you should try Photoshop or Fireworks if you want it to work better. The netbook I'm currently using just isn't equipped with either.)

I cut out the pieces, taped them into a big stencil, then used painter's tape to tape it to the board. Then, I hammered wire nails into the board around the perimeter of the stencil and then removed the paper from the board:

I chose to stick with the heart design for the middle. I traced a heart onto the board then painted it red. Once it was dry, I hammered nails along the perimeter of the heart as well.

Now it is time to start stringing! I tied off a piece of string to one nail then began looping it around the nails that made the heart. To figure out how many times I should loop the string around the heart nails, I simply divided the number of nails I used for the outline of Ohio by the number of nails I used for the outline of the heart.

Afterwards, it looked like this:
I added a buckeye leaf in the corner of mine just to stick with my Ohio State theme. All in all it was a pretty quick and painless piece!

Stay crafty, my friends!