Welcome, 2016 // Resolutions and a New Calendar!

DIY Calendar and thoughts for 2016 // Boots & Cats

Hello everyone! I hope you’ve had a blissful holiday and break. I’ve been spending lots of time with family and friends, while also managing to be a hermit at home, devouring seasons of Downton Abbey (how have I NOT seen that show until now? Seriously!). With the snow freshly fallen and the calendars turned over, I find myself feeling a little reflective, as ya do.

I don’t tend to make New Years resolutions. At my birthday I make a long list of little goals I want to check off, so resolutions have felt a bit redundant in the past.  This year though, I found a few things bubbling to the surface, mostly about sewing and blogging. So I thought there’s no better place to share, as a way to kick off 2016.

DIY Calendar and thoughts for 2016 // Boots & Cats

Use the fabric I have. This seems to be a fairly common one I’ve seen in bloggerland this week. Perhaps the rise of accessible online fabric stores with good quality textiles has lead to an abundance of fabric purchases all-round? I know for me, travelling and finding new, local(-ish) resources lead to lots of new fabric acquisitions. So many in fact I needed to find a way to document it all. When I moved in to my current place, I filled my shelf with folded piles of fabric and told myself that I could not have more fabric than it could hold. Well. My teetering stacks currently exceeds the volume of that shelf 3-fold. So: no more buying fabric until it all fits back on the shelf (with the exception of something I am planning on buying this Wednesday. But after that, NO MORE.)

I’ve really started to find good quality materials, and I need to focus on using them to the best of my ability before I go off searching for the next shiny thing.

Connect with like-minded seamstresses. The sewing community is a vibrant, thriving place with so much talent, creativity and uniqueness. Though I have been doing this DIY blogging thing for a while, it seems I have yet to break through the wall and meaningfully connect with others in this arena. A large goal of mine this year will be to work to connect with the community. There are so few local sewists that I long to make that connection with those who share the same passion and nerdiness for this craft.  This will mean mindfully commenting on blogs of those I admire, creating more useful/ instructive content and maybe even run a swap or challenge of some sort. 2016 is going to be the year of sewing friends!

DIY Calendar and thoughts for 2016 // Boots & Cats

On the more general bloggy side of things: Forget about what everyone else is posting. Last year I found myself getting sucked into the vortex of “I need to blog this right now because everyone else is doing it”. Seeing content that others were writing, and the response they would get made me scramble to get in on it too. I rarely had the time to do it properly, which either lead to half-baked posts, or finished posts that were just too late and missed the boat completely. This left me feeling unsettled, antsy and generally just unhappy about writing anything at all. This year will see none of that. I am going to focus on what I want to post about and when. And that’s that.

Embrace my social media channels for creating community. Especially Facebook.  I definitely don’t use my page to it’s best ability, and I would like it to become a little creative space for conversation and sharing of ideas and inspiration. Haven’t entirely figured out the strategy but now that I am mindful of it, changes will surely be made.

And lastly; Hold fast against the idea that blogs are ‘disappearing’. I love Instagram and will happily participate in that arena, but I do love the combination of long form ideas, imagery and inspiration that I feel only blogs can bring. I truly believe that the blog is the heart of the creative movement online, especially in sewing. Social Media is a wonderful tool to connect, but will never replace blogs for me. Either by reading posts about a pattern I plan to make or just by discovering the new makes of the talented people I follow, blogs remain my favourite place to be. So I will do my part to keep reading, engaging and writing content.

DIY Calendar and thoughts for 2016 // Boots & Cats

There you have em! And as the new year requires, I’ve once again crafted my own calendar. Modeled pretty much exactly after last year’s calendar (details here), I found myself pleased that I tried more detailed illustrations, and noticed a growth in my abilities. It was fun to look at what I previously made, and expand upon it, change it and basically do whatever I wanted with it.

Improving my illustration skills has been one of my long term goals for a while now and it’s cool to see it paying off. I even let myself draw many of the designs freehand, ON THE GOOD PAPER. Not one bit (okay a tiny bit) afraid to ruin the whole thing. I just went for it. I was so proud of myself.

I have so many fun sewing projects in store for the next few months, and I am SO EXCITED. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Have a beautiful wintry week!

Keep Track of your Fabric Stash // Printable Pages

How to keep track of your fabric stash // Boots & Cats

You can’t deny it. Every seamstress has one: a toppling pile of oh-so-beautiful fabrics. As much as we try to use what we already own… there’s always that one more new fabic we HAVE to have (you know, just in case).

Personally, my stash will always exceed my project list. I am never one to pass up a fabric that inspires me, even if I have no project in mind at the moment. And sometimes, if I DO buy specifically for a project, I may lose interest in that plan by the time I get around to it or wish to allocate the textile elsewhere. This method fabric hoarding does make it difficult when I want to make something with stash fabric. It’s been so long since I got it, I no longer know what it is!

Is it 100% cotton or is it poly-blend? Wool or acrylic? Can I trust two fabrics will play nice if I use them together? Did I get this from a friend or family member? Have I pre-washed it?

On a few occasions, I’ve made some lucky guesses to my fabric’s origins and all was well, and other times…not so much. It really is a shame to lose a project to factors that are ultimately in your control. So after a particularity fruitful haul in Europe this summer I knew I wanted to use that fabric to its best ability (and remember what they all were). I would start keeping track of my fabrics.

How to keep track of your fabric stash // Boots & Cats

I devised a fairly simple system by looking at what other’s were doing and choosing to track the info I used most. To keep it from being overwhelming,  I am slowing adopting the system with each new fabric purchase from now on.

Taking a small swatch and some basic notes, I now have a permanent reference for my fabrics so I may treat them all properly. Plus this also give me an easy reference before I hit the stores. I can identify what I have before buying more, plus spot gaps that need to be filled.

I shared my methods on Instagram a few days ago for Bimble + Pimble’s Sewvember (organizing #likeaboss, hehe) and got lots of wonderful feedback so I decided to share my printable catalogue pages. Now all of you can join in on the organizational fun. Just click the download image below and print (or save for later). It’s easy peasy!

How to keep track of your fabric stash // Boots & Cats

How to keep track of your fabric stash

If you are buying fabric at a chain shop, take a photo of the bolt with the fabric info on your phone for reference. They sometimes won’t write it all on the receipt, and if you are buying a lot, it can be hard to remember what’s what.

As soon as you get home, cut a small swatch from the corner of each fabric, about 4×4 cm should do.

Staple, tape or glue (whichever method floats your boat) your swatch onto the page, then using your references from your order/receipt/photos, fill in the following alongside:

  • Fabric name. If it’s from a collection you like, or if you bought online and want to tag, credit or find it again.
  • Fibre type and percentages, for obvious reasons.
  • Where it was purchased from. If you want to note the store, place or date of purchase for memories or reference during clear-outs.
  • Quantity. So you know what you have on hand. Ideally you’ll adjust this amount as you make stuff with it.
  • Pre-washed?  I don’t always get around to pre-washing fabric when I sew (I know, BAD) so I am never sure which leftovers have been washed or not. Probably just best practice to wash it as soon as you get home and check it off.
  • Project ideas. I like to write in what I initially had in mind for it when I bought it, or to make a note of any inspirations you have but don’t have time to tend to immediately. These definitely aren’t finite plans, but are good to know in case you forget later on.

How to keep track of your fabric stash // Boots & Cats

Just print a new page anytime you need one (print on card-stock if you can, it’s sturdier). I also print and swatch double-sided to save paper. I currently keep all my pages in a folder, but you could easily hole punch them and store them in a binder. If you wanted to be REALLY organized, you can keep like with like ie. knits together on one page, cottons, bottom-weights ect. and keep everything divided. Or sort by colour, or season. The options are quite endless.

Personally, it took me enough effort to get this far, so I will just add each new fabric sequentially as I acquire them. I tend to shop in batches so it’s fun to see the patterns emerging  about my tastes and interest at the time. Snapshots of my fabric story.

I hope this page and tips will help you control your stash and be a better seamstress. I can’t wait to follow along with you for the rest of #BPsewvember. Happy weekend!

Sketching lately

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

It’s been about 6 months since my grand declaration of more dedicated sketching and practice, and I have to say it’s finally taken off. At the beginning it almost felt like it wasn’t truly going to happen (remember the failed 365 challenge?) and it took a LOT of motivation to get my butt moving . Over time though, the discovery of new tools and building the habits has me sketching almost every day.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

I love it as an outlet to zone out from my day and reconnect with my creativity. I often sketch on the floor, lying on my stomach like an enthusiastic toddler. It keeps me away from the computer (read: distractions) at my desk. Anytime I have an idea or feel inspired, instead of running to Pinterest I run to the pen and jot it down. I’ve also begun frequently including colour into the mix, as I discovered my perfect medium in January.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & CatsThe subjects of the sketches are different daily. It is much more meditative without a set goal in advance. I sometimes feel inspired and emulate the works of others to explore and feel what a new aesthetic is like. I thought the key to getting better was regimentation, but I’ve had the most fun and success with random experimentation.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

I sketch when ideas strike or when there’s a few lazy minutes to spare. I am surprised and very pleased with some of my recent sketches. I daresay I may even be ready to turn some into my my first fabric designs(!).

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

My latest ‘gadget’ is a Fashionary notebook: pages upon pages of barely-there croquis to draw fashions upon. Before sewing I sometimes need to fully visualize what the end garment will look like to make important decisions (prints? sleeves? pockets? trim?) and often try to sketch it out. Humans are dang hard to draw though so the faint outlines are a huge help so I can focus on drawing the clothing at hand. I am also enjoying the element of drawing the textile designs on it too.

This little addition has also helped fuel the sketching fire by aligning my sewing efforts with my illustration efforts. Bam! 2 for 1.

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

If you want to get in on the sketching game here are a few of my tips/challenges to try:

  • Keep a notebook and pen within arms reach at all times
  • Instead of pinning that thing you like – draw it out!
  • Follow other artists and illustrators on Instagram – peek at their sketchbooks and try their style on for size (but make sure to give it back once you’re done)
  • Draw on the floor – preferably in a warm sunbeam
  • Play with prints and patterns, then place them on things. Sketch the design on clothing, furniture, stationary…
  • Relax and have fun!

Improve your illustrations // Boots & Cats

For Cinnamon.

I was a cat lover way before it was cool. Of all the books I checked out of the school library, 90% of them were about cats. It’s no surprise that the best day of my young life was receiving a little orange kitten wearing a big red bow when I was 8 years old.

Cinnamon grew up with me; she dealt with playing dress-up in doll clothes, we explored new homes together when we moved, she was a prominent subject for me as I learned photography. She gave me funny stories to tell and cuddles when I was sad. She inspired me, and in many ways, also inspired this blog. For 16 years she filled my life with companionship and cuteness. Last week, after a few months of illness she was put to sleep. It’s very strange feeling not having her here; she was one friend who would always be around. I guess sometimes we take that for granted. She had a long, beautiful adventurous life and I am really thankful that she was a part of mine.

When I started this blog I had an idea for a weekly series featuring cats I knew or found online – ones I found cute, fascinating or funny. I drafted my first post for the feature but never published it. As Boots & Cats blossomed, the series didn’t really fit in anymore, and never became a part of it.

However, that first draft was still sitting in my posts, all about Cinnamon.  I want to celebrate her and her awesome, sassy nature and share with you a little glimpse of who she was.

Cinnamon

Smitten Kitten: Cat of the Week

You didn’t think I would have a blog with ‘cats’ in the title and not have a feature dedicated solely to our feline friends, did you? Introducing Cat of the Week, each week I will feature a purring lovable friend that deserves internet affection and ‘squeees’.

The honour of being the first CotW is bestowed upon my cat, Cinnamon (so I have a bias, sue me). She joined our family on Christmas in 1998, where after opening a box of cat food (to much of my perplexion) she was brought to the living room wearing a red ribbon. She’s a rescue from the Humane Society and is now 14 years old, but still has her kitten face so people can’t guess her age. She’s the envy of her cat friends who’ve had to resort to botox in their later years.

cinny-paper

Yes, that is my pattern paper she is nomming.

Likes: Whipped cream (she comes running at the sound of the spray can), licking the cheez powder from cheezies, sunlight and mauling shoe laces.

Dislikes: Being woken up, getting tackled by Piddles (my brother’s 2 y/o cat) and children (as a kitten she was thrown down the stairs TWICE by toddlers).

Biggest Adventures: Figuring out how to open the screen door and escape into the yard, falling in the fish tank and  falling in love with Enrique during the 10 hour drive when we moved.

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Gazing in admiration at my craft project . Either that or she wants to eat this too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Cinnamon and I look forward to meeting all the wonderful felines in the coming weeks! (I am going to need a lint roller!)

Posts featuring Cinnamon: A Kitty Photoshoot, Leibster Award, Felt Fantastic! // Part 2.

Make Something! // DIY Art Calendar

DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

My work space is a little corner of our open living room in our apartment. From where I sit I can see my sewing mess, dirty shoes at the front door, dishes on the kitchen island and more. In order to keep my focus at my desk I am working very hard to curate my little corner so I can look ahead, detach from the rest and get busy. Part of this is my seasonal mood board and a calendar right above my monitors. They keep me inspired and refreshed. I am exceptionally invigorated by the seasons and the ‘traditional’ imagery and attitudes that go with them. It helps me remain grounded in time and keep things from feeling like they pass in a blur. Pastels and umbrellas in April, bright florals in May, neon sunshine in July, muted leaves in September, warm chunky knits in November.

DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

It all plays a part in my daily creative energy. I enjoy the freedom to control the focus of my mood board,  but my calendar is a little more permanent. A decision made that will stick with me for the 12 months to come. I need something that captures the essence of the seasonal influences without being in your face about it, something that gives a jolt of renewed energy each time the page is flipped on the 1st.

Growing up I had calendars filled with images of cats and vintage fashion photography, and while cute and pretty, they felt a little flat. Boring. I began gravitating towards calendars with a more artistic feel, put out by creatives with a unique perspective (Paper Fashion, 1Canoe2). Each year though, my style, inspiration and aesthetic changes, so I need to leapfrog onto the next thing. But finding that jewel of a calendar has never been easy. (Okay, that sentence made me sound a little obsessive. Please say someone understands why I over think this?)

DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

As the search continued this year, the options were less and less appealing to me and I just couldn’t find what I wanted. It took so much time and drained all my energy. When I eventually did find something that got me excited, the cost plus shipping and exchange rate made things unrealistic (this could also be another rant for another day).

DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

A lot of the time if I find something I truly like, I’d buy it before making it. It’s so much simpler that way. But the search to find the perfect office accessory left me feeling burnt out. Plus the new year had already started and I was unable to glance at the date when it was called upon. A fire emerged and all inertia was removed. I said “Fine then! I’ll make my own!”DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

The process was fun, simple and satisfying. Looking at the pages of past calendars, taking elements from new ones scouted online, and perusing my many Pinterest boards, I sketched and devised 12 simple and geometric designs to adorn my wall. I was able to make it using supplies I had on hand (with one tiny trip to the art store for more pen colours). After 4 days and lots of patience I welcome my new one-of-a-kind 2015 art calendar.

DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that watercolours will never be my medium. I have found I have the most joy drawing with a good pen or marker. There’s no mess, good saturation and total control. But to make sure I felt a little challenged I dug out a mini Blue eye Brown eye Calligraphy kit I got from BlogShop two years ago. I’d been perfecting my ‘faux-calligraphy’ for a while now and felt ready to take the dive into the real thing for the months.

I maybe should have done a little prep work first though. I couldn’t get my strokes to widen because I was too afraid to apply pressure. When I noticed my nib split, I thought I’d broken it! Eventually I went to the internet and got some advice from friends and it was smooth sailing.

DIY Art Calendar // Boots & Cats

I guess the whole point of this story is to tell you to never be satisfied. Never be satisfied with what is being presented to you in stores to buy, never be satisfied with your current set of skills. Be proud of your work, every step of the way, but don’t settle. Always be aware of your ability to go for exactly what you want and do not be afraid try new things to achieve your goals.

Whether it is a calendar on the wall, a dress for a party, the living room of your dreams; go and make it happen. Think carefully, plan, create and execute. You can do it. And you should do it, a little bit everyday.

When you look back on 2015 I can guarantee you’ll see the results of your actions. And I, for every day in 2015, get to look up and see mine.

5 (more) Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations (that can be done last minute!)

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

Halloween is my favourite holiday (costumes and candy? It’s no contest) and I will admittedly get lost in the decoration sections of every store I see, wanting it all. With my arms full of glittery, cute and pumpkin-ey things, I realize it is more fun to make things yourself and put most of it back. Plus you basically have only one month of the year for the decorations so it doesn’t make sense to drop a lot of moolah on them.

Sadly, I spent way more time making my costume than decorations and I had a party to host this weekend. Oops.

Stuck in the same situation? Never fear, I have 5 more cute, cheap and perfectly Halloween-ey touches to add to your space that will take less than an afternoon to do all of them. (Last year’s 5 here.) Awesome right?

As per last year- in order from most time-intensive to least:

1. Pumpkin Appetizer Toppers (30 minutes crafting – 2 hours drying time)

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

If like me you don’t have much time to craft an exquisitely spooky snack for party guests, just serve regular old fare and top with a cute pumpkin!

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

Using orange foam card, draw out your pumpkins and faces. Get creative with their shapes and faces. Cut them out and if you have a few hours to spare, use a little white glue and glitter to add some pizzazz to their expressions. Glue a toothpick to the back. Wait until dry and spear your snacks. Perfectly on theme!

2. Halloween Banner (20 minutes)

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

Inspired by the banners on A Beautiful Mess this week I totally had to make one. I just used construction paper and a silver sharpie I had on hand and this baby was up in no time. Measure and cut as many  7 cm x 9.5 cm rectangles you need to spell your message and trim a triangle from the bottom to make them more flaq-esque. Use a knitting sewing needle with some twine to string em. I cut an extra flag and used it to make the mini BOO sign on the first image. Nothing to waste!

3.  Front Door Monster (15 Minutes)

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

I have to admit, I had the top row of these gold flags on my door since my golden birthday last November (what can I say, people know which door is ours!), so I decided to add the eyes and bottom row for a scary touch this year.

Using gold glitter stationery cut out 8 triangles for teeth, 2 slimmer triangles for angry eye brows and some eyes. Adhere with double sided tape or painters tape in a loop if you are worried about the paint on your door. Boom. Another one down.

4. Glitter Pumpkins (5 minutes – plus drying time)

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

With the whole pumpkin decorating trend there are limitless places you could take this. But I am all about glitter, so I just loaded up my paintbrush in white glue and painted stripes in the creases of my decorative pumpkins, sprinkle with glitter and let dry. Simple and will be classic enough year by year (since I bought plastic pumpkins…)

5. Oven Spiders (1 Minute..yup)

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

This was Rory’s favourite little touch and it was the easiest to do! With a dry erase marker add some little spider friends to your oven hood. Add webs and as many spiders as you’d like. You could really do anything you wanted here, bats, pumpkin patch, ghosts…possibilities are endless. Just make sure you patch test the marker first to make sure it will in fact wipe off later.

5 Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations // Boots & Cats

And there you have it. I hope you have a a great Halloween week and good luck decorating!

I’ll also be sharing my costume (that took up all my time) later this week so keep your eyes out!

A Kitty Photoshoot

akittyphotoshoot

A few summers ago I happened upon a working Polaroid 100 Land Camera at a garage sale for 20 bucks with all the accessories. When I took it home and began doing research, I stumbled upon this promotional image.

Kittycamera

I immediately bookmarked it to re-create with my cat Cinnamon. Because, why not?

Cinnamon

After some procrastination (and sort of forgetting about it), I finally made it happen last weekend. I had no idea how helpful Cinnamon would be taking part. She is a grumpy old lady who rarely cooperates, so I was crossing my fingers.

After assembling the set for the polaroid image, I carefully placed Cinnamon down and prayed she wouldn’t get mad that I moved her from her spot and run off in a huff. Miraculously she stayed. She started to sniff out her surroundings, and I guess the ball of yarn was a tad dusty…

thesneeze

(Thank goodness my camera was set to action mode)

I took some test shots on my DSLR, then fired up my polaroid to take the final shot. *Click*…..nothing. I swore I had saved my last shot of color film for this VERY reason, but alas. Nothing.

piddlestheruiner

Piddles immediately intercepted the scene and it was all over. At least I had the test shots. Photoshop to the rescue!

I remade the set with the Polaroid camera in the shot, and prayed that Cinny had a few minutes of patience left in her. She didn’t bolt as fast as I assumed she would and we got it. After adding in the superimposed instant camera photo, here it is:

cinnycamera

Cinnamon was quite grumpy with me after, but I admire her patience for even giving me a chance at getting this.

2014 and Setting Goals

2014 Goals // Boots & CatsYup, it’s that time of the year. Lets all take a look back on all our bad habits and resolve to change them for about 14 days (if you’re lucky).

When it comes to the New Year, I love reading my journal entries from 2013, usually skipping over the bad parts, looking forward to the adventures the new year will bring and setting goals. Instead of resolving to change what is negative, I set myself with some aspirations for what I want to accomplish. And while some habit changing might need to occur, I feel more positive about the experience, instead of beating myself up about what I am not doing.

Personally, I have a few sewing projects I want to check off my list, as well, I want to start a gratitude jar. Looking forward to a lot of fun projects this year.

For Boots & Cats here… well I have a few things in mind as well. Some goals for the blog in 2014 are:

  1. Write more regularly. At the beginning, I wanted to post every Wednesday, and soon after that all fell apart. My goal is to post once a week, and to post early on in the week (Monday-Wednesday) so there is some structure, but also some flexibility for myself.
  2. Try new forms of content… including video! Santa was very lovely to me this holiday so I am able to shoot HD videos now and am excited to see what I can come up with.
  3. Add more cats! When I started this blog, I wanted to focus on creative crafting, fashion & sewing, and cats. Somehow along the way the latter portion has fallen behind. NO MORE!
  4. Collaborate/ work with other creatives more. It is so energizing to work with others to bounce ideas and get inspired, but I find that I am severely lacking in that department. With this more social aspect, I can fuel even better and more exciting content.

There is my list of goals. For all of you to see. Now if you notice I am falling behind, snap me out of it and kick my butt in gear! Here is to a very very exciting 2014.

Boots & Cats Best of 2013

cinminnoutdoors

I can’t believe that 2013 is almost over… even more unbelievable to me is that this is the 35th post on this here blog. To be honest, I was never sure I would make it. In the interest of being all reflective and nostalgic as one tends to be this time of year, here is a list of my favorite posts and projects from the past 10 months.

Yes. Yes we do. nom.

Yes. Yes we do. nom.

1. BlogShop. Really the adventure to start it all. I’d always wanted a blog, but never could get started. When I saw that Bri and Angela were coming to Vancouver I got Boots & Cats off the ground and was ready to learn.

yellowskirtheader

2. The Yellow Skirt Project. The biggest and most complicated sewing endeavor I challenged this year, with pretty and bright results.

bonjour

3. Adventures in Montreal. My big vacation this summer, travelling back to one of my favorite cities here in Canada.

coats-and-leaves

4. Sixties Style. My most popular post of 2013, and one of the most fun for me to make. Once it stops being -30 degrees outside I’ll have to jump on another one of these.

tangled

5. Halloween Garland. This project was long and tedious, but I was so happy to have it in my apartment for one of my favorite holidays. Plus a glittery gif!

tiny-snowmen-made-of-socks

6. Tiny Snowmen Made of Socks. These guys are just too cute I couldn’t leave them out.

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7. Mini Golden Party Crowns. The most original project I tackled lately that I am super proud of and will probably drag out for the New Year’s Countdown.

Other Favorites:

Thanks everyone for reading my lil blog. I hope to try new things in 2014 and create more fun projects. Looking forward to new adventures and happy New Year to each and every one of ya!

Five Eerily Easy Halloween Decorations (that can be done last minute!)

5-simple-decorations

It’s Halloween! You are having a party! Wait…you don’t have any decorations….

Starting off in this new apartment meant starting from scratch when it came to holiday decorations. That meant I had complete freedom to make everything. Both a challenge and an adventure, I had so much fun making all my spooky things! Here are 5 of my Halloween decorations that were super easy to make (30 minutes or less, not counting drying time) and are totally do-able for last minute prep for an event.

Starting from the most time-consuming to the least…

1. Spooky Candle Holder

easy-candle-holder

What you’ll need: A glass or jar, glitter glue pens

Take your regular old cup or jar, and give it a spooky motif! Using glitter glue pens, decorate the sides with a web pattern. Start on one side of the glass and draw vertical lines, fanning out at somewhat regular intervals. Connect the vertical lines with a swooping motion to get the web effect. Repeat on the opposite side of the glass. Optional: When dried, use a different color of glitter glue to hi-light and accent the web lines. Let dry and place a candle inside (I have an LED one in there since my “glass” was plastic) or fill it with your favorite treats.

2. Glitter Bats

glitter-bats

What you’ll need: Glitter scrapbook paper OR black construction paper and black glitter

These glitter bats are perfect for accents around the house! On the back of your scrapbook paper, trace out the design of your bat in pencil. Draw the bats in various sizes. Cut out and stick to the wall with sticky tack or loops of painters tape. If you don’t have glitter paper, cut out bat shapes from black construction paper. With an old paintbrush, coat the top of the bat with white glue, then coat with black glitter.

3. Washi Web

spider-webs

What you’ll need: Black washi tape.

Add a spider web to your decor without using that candy floss stuff. Choose a wall or fixture that needs some webbing and create a spider web using strips of washi tape. Make sure that your strips are straight and don’t have any creases or bubbles, otherwise you really can’t go wrong. Optional, add a spider with the leftover paper from making bats.

4. Decorative Stripes

washi-stripes

What you’ll need: Seasonally colored washi tape.

Make a corner of your home more seasonally appropriate by adding some decorative striping. I made a little autumn scene on my kitchen island by adding stripes of tape on the wall in orange and brown tones. I finished the look with some pumpkins and flowers. This can be done anywhere, for any season with any tones of tape.

5. Masked Pumpkin

masking-pumpkin

What you’ll need: A pumpkin and a mask

The easiest decoration of them all. Didn’t have time to carve that pumpkin this year? Find a masquerade mask and tie it on. Done! Seriously, so easy and ties the whole Halloween feel together.

Voila! You’ve done it. Decorated and ready to go for tonight. I have also supplemented the apartment with the Halloween garland and some spooky ghost pinatas (tutorial here).

kitty-pinata-boo

Have a spooktacular Halloween everyone!