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Etching is just stencils, and punk rock easy

Dec. 17th, 2010 | 11:16 am
posted by: dancinglights in happycraftsmas

One of my friends is unashamedly obsessed with some video game and TV/toy brands from our childhood in the 1980s, including giant robots. He's also just started living pretty much on his own and is trying to put together the trappings of a household, which makes for very easy gifting.

I first saw some geeky pint glasses, including Transformers ones, on Etsy. For a single gift and no profit, I didn't mind stealing the idea. Glass etching, after all, can be as easy as making a packing-tape stencil cut out with an X-acto knife, and applying acid etching paste to it for 30 seconds. Bonus? The paste is about $10 for enough to do loads of designs this size, and thrift and dollar stores often have great plain glassware just waiting for decoration. Like these:

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Baking is a craft, sort of..

Dec. 16th, 2010 | 05:21 pm
mood: busy
posted by: beeinbeaker in happycraftsmas

My sister and I both have the passion for Halloween (one more than the other.. she decorates year round in Halloween ... things, where as I do the baking, and work in haunted houses and such)..

Anyway, for the holidays, we always gift her with Halloween Goodies..and I wanted to bake her shortbread cookies like the rest of the family are getting, but didn't want to break tradition by giving her stockings and boring "gingerbread" cookies.

After much hunting across the web, I came across Zombie Gingerbread Cookies (yes, there will be an army of them baked for her in the likeness of her and her family) and even more of them here (being the cookie perfectionist I am, I never would have thought to dismember part of the zombies!)

Anyone else have any other cookie suggestions? I'm considering haunted houses, a Halloween themed set of candy canes, and tombstones (bells slightly reshaped look like tombstones).


MOD: I didn't know what to tag this -- have at it. =]

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Crafts Projects for Kids

Dec. 13th, 2010 | 06:35 pm
posted by: craftsmas in happycraftsmas

My husband and I have two nephews and a niece we love and adore. This year, we're super strapped for cash -- so we've gotta find a way to make handcrafted presents work, even for kids. While my mom might jump for joy at receiving a hand-knitted reindeer just cause I made it, I highly doubt my teenage niece will -- so let the brainstorming commence!

- A handmade story book featuring characters that make no sense doing things that make no sense -- I think this is a great gift if you have the creative chops and know the kid's sense of humor! My mom always made me little books when I was a kid and I loved it!

- Amigurumi nonsense animals with the wrong number of arms and legs -- in my experience most kids approve of things that are simultaneously cute and weird.

- This Recycled Kaleidescope from Make.

- A smallish, purse-like bag for a girl -- but only if you really "get" her style! I'm giving my niece one big enough for three books -- because I know what she needs to take with her everywhere she goes.

- When all else fails, a buttload of homemade candy shall prevail...

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Crafty Holiday Party, Anyone?

Dec. 13th, 2010 | 06:21 pm
posted by: tayarrow in happycraftsmas

I love decorations, and I love the holidays even more, but I'm pretty non-partisan about it. I like to spend a day snipping out folded-paper snowflakes and taping them to the windows where that cats can't reach -- it makes the view to the dead garden outside a little less grim, without interfering with my usual decor too much. Between that and a few festive white lights, I'm good -- but for a party, I'd amp it up. I'm thinking felt-and-glue projects -- coasters or place mats or wineglass charms, and a creamy-white poinsettia as a centerpiece.

What do you guys serve at a holiday party? I really have to know. That's where I always fall down flat -- we always ate spaghetti with tomato sauce and peas for Christmas in my family -- so this year I'm looking for some good snacky recipes that can be used either at parties or as a supplement to 6 meals worth of candy on Christmas day. Here's a few of my top contenders for holiday munchies:


Berry Pomegranate Smoothie from Craftzine

Coconut Eggnog Recipe: Puerto Rican Coquito from theKitchn


Caramelized Onion Tarts with Apples from RealSimple

Could we heart cheese straws any more than we already do? Probably not. Thanks, Martha!

And super simple: Frise, Bacon, and Goat Cheese Salad from RealSimple

Ever had freshly roasted chestnuts? They have a slightly mealy consistency, not as snappy as other nuts, and they're subtly sweet. Here are some instructions on what to do with those chestnuts that still have the shells on them.

And, though I'm not celebrating Hanukkah myself, I love latkes and sufganiyot more than life itself. Here's a good article with recipes on these traditional favorites.

If you're gluten-free and have to adapt all these recipes to get by, stop: Karina's Kitchen has a ton of ready-to-use GF recipes for the holidays. Ive loved everything Karina has ever told me to make, unreservedly. Her work is amazing! This year we're hoping that we'll be together enough to make Pumpkin Scones with Maple Icing and Sweet Potato Soup With Ginger on Christmas Eve.

Anyone have any good vegetarian/vegan appetizers?

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Homemade Bows from Magazine

Dec. 11th, 2010 | 01:07 pm
posted by: phenomenal in happycraftsmas

This is a bow I made using this tutorial. It's pretty fun to do!

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(no subject)

Dec. 9th, 2010 | 08:33 pm
posted by: bobfriediemajor in happycraftsmas

Hey all!

I've been getting into origami lately, and want to make an origami nativity scene this Christmas. I recently found a book with nativity scene instructions in it, but it lacks a Joseph and a shepherd and sheep. (Also a donkey, but it does have horses and camels.) Does anybody have instructions that would work for any of those? I've searched online and not had much success, particularly in the people department.


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Battle: Posts Vs. Spam

Dec. 9th, 2010 | 11:01 pm
posted by: craftsmas in happycraftsmas

Weird excessively restrictive posting issues have been fixed for all users so you can now post things. Sorry about that! We're not really sure what the deal was but you're all good now.

On a related note that is also different, per LiveJournal's recommendation during spotlights, this community is moderated for the duration of the spotlight. This is due to the heavy influx of new users, almost all of whom are awesome, and a very small few of whom have names like "xvczcvxbzxcvz" and post 500 times everywhere and as a bazillion comments on everything, about viagra and other, even less comprehensible things, that appear to be for sale at blowout prices. We're checking for new non-spam posts to approve throughout day, so post away, we're all ready and excited to hear your ideas!

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cute garden gift idea

Dec. 9th, 2010 | 03:14 pm
posted by: squid_ink in happycraftsmas

I saw this today

they're seed bombs, easy to make and in a cute package

I've made seed bombs in the past, it's really easy

How to Make a Seed Bomb (Instructables)

put it in a nice basket/bucket with a pair of gloves and a trowel, put a ribbon around it, great gift! :)

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Crafted Gifts for Other Crafters

Dec. 8th, 2010 | 11:24 am
posted by: craftsmas in happycraftsmas

So, I suppose most of us on here are crafters. Right? And sometimes it's not all that hard to figure out to make for your non-crafter friends and family for the holidays. (Scarves anyone?) But what about your crafting buddies? My husband is a better knitter than I am, and many of my friends now knit as well. What are your favorite crafting-related gifts for other crafters? Here are some ideas I had this year for knitters:

- beaded stitch markers! I always see these on etsy and I'm a sucker for them. The main key is to make them out of a simple and smooth material that will be visible on the knitting and won't catch or snag.

- a project kit -- like a mitten pattern from Jared Flood plus two contrasting skeins of his yarn to make it with (I chose woodsmoke and targhee), and a simple muslin drawstring bag to hold the project while it's made, similar to the bags made by Blue Sky Alpacas (with or without designs!)

- button kits! Little pouches of buttons and the matching thread to sew them on with. I love handmade buttons, and also the many colored matte plastic buttons ones sold at purlsoho.com. (Inspiration: a few years ago, Anthropologie was handing out these amazingly cute little sewing kits with buttons).

- a zipper rosebud made by curling a colorful zipper into a spiral round, then gently stitching it in place with a couple threads and adding a paper or felt cutout of a leaf to it. I'd probably just stick these in a box, but they might make a bouquet if you wired them, or a nice substitute for a bow on the outside of a gift (perhaps containing yarn/fabric and a pattern the zipper goes to?)

- a pattern file -- a three ring binder and lots and lots of view sheets they can slide all those pdf patterns from ravelry into, plus space for all their Berroco booklets (man I wish someone would get this for me! It would simultaneously satisfy my desires to own every pattern I ever see and to conquer clutter, which for the most part appear to be mutually exclusive...)

I thought of these mostly because I'm a knitter and I'd use this stuff -- if you sew, design, make soap, paint, or draw -- what kinds of handcrafted gifts could people get for you to support your habit?

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