Piñata making and birthday parties

Friday was the birthday party I was asked to craft at. Thankfully my ten cat piñata bases were ready to go. Feet, ears and tails were added.

I used cereal boxes for the ears...

Newspaper for the tails and toilet paper rolls for the feet.

Not the simplest or quickest project but something worthy of trying!

And then we had the birthday party. We painted them, added fun fur, etc. We had one piñata break - oops! Once we popped the balloons then we were A-OK! Phew...

This girl had to redo her piñata. Thankfully I made a couple of extras!

We added faces and some bling.

Then got the glue gun out to add fun fur, gems and...


Overall it was a good experience but I definitely picked a project that was too time consuming.

Maybe one day soon I'll attempt decorating my own piñata and filling it with sugary goodness. But for now making ten at once may have been a bit too much for a first attempt!


Adventures in papier-mâché & piñata making

My latest crafty DIY to test out is... Papier-mâché and piñata making. Why? Because I'm crafting with a bunch of kids for a birthday party later this week and we're decorating piñatas. Before the party I'm building the bases that kids then add their own design to. All the bases will be cat bodies - hopefully!

I started with blowing up balloons then using masking tape to connect the body with the head. Next was making the right mixture of flour and water then adding the first layer of papier-mâché. I used the recipe here for the mixture.

Holy smokers! It's a very time-consuming yet relaxing process. I'm building ten bases even though there's only eight kids. One will be a sample and it's always good to have an extra just in case. First was the initial layer on the attached balloons.

Then I came up with a plan for the cats - upcycled cereal boxes for the ears and a collar, upcycled toilet paper rolls for the legs then upcycled newspaper for the tail. Plus I need to add some swanky twine for hanging the piñata.

Next I added the feet and ears. I'll let the bases dry then I'll attach the tail and hanger before the next layer of papier-mâché. Once dry then I can paint, glue, glitterize, etc.

They don't look like much now but here's hoping they look like cats in the end. Or even another animal if need be. I'm also going to attempt an owl piñata out of a single balloon. Why not!

Fingers and toes are crossed these are dry tomorrow night for the next layer. Time to get my craft mojo in high gear. One week till I'm away and three Crafternoons this weekend. Countdown is on for seeing my husband and adventuring together... And crafting with some kewl kids before I go. Definitely living the life!


VIDEO: Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Store

Here it is... My first video with the uber talented Simon Hughes. My onscreen skills are a bit rusty but practice makes perfect! And thankfully Simon was able to create video magic with all of the footage.

It's really great to be able to feature such an awesome organization in my community. The Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Shop is one of my FAV haunts for my crafting/upcycling adventures. Definitely worth checking out! And not only is it a kick butt thrift store but all proceeds go to the Lions Gate Hospital. By volunteering, donating and/or shopping you're helping people in your community. It's a win-win.

Drop by the Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Store at 128 West 15th Street - it really is North Vancouver's best secondhand store. And remember to get your tickets for their upcoming fashion show!

Big thanks to Simon and Aren for helping me on this one. Stay tuned for more Thrifty By Design videos. 2015 is rockin' and rollin'!


My first video for LowerLonsdale.ca

Yesterday was a BIG day! I worked with my buddy Simon from LowerLonsdale.ca on a video shoot. We went to the Lions Gate Thrift Shop to meet with Aren to shoot a promo video for the shop and for their upcoming fashion show.

We talked, toured and collected footage. It was fun! I adore both Aren and Simon.

These two hit it off and I'm hoping we made video magic happen.

I really do have a goofy smile... Ugh... But it was a blast working on the video with Aren. Next Simon and I will be at the fashion show to cheer on the volunteers, support this great fundraiser and take photos.

Did you get your ticket yet? Pick them up at the Lions Gate Hospital Thrift Shop at 128 West 15th Street in North Vancouver. Tickets are $10 and it gets you $5 off your next thrift store purchase. Plus all proceeds go to the Lions Gate Hospital.

Be there September 15th at 12:30pm on the 3rd floor of the North Vancouver City Library for this awesome event! Cookies, water, fashion, new friends and the best part - helping support your local hospital. See you there!


Easy peasy thrift store planters

I'm deep in workshop prep... One birthday party next week and two Crafternoons on the weekend. It's going to be busy! And then I'm away for an adventure. Phew!

I'm testing out new DIYs for upcoming Crafternoons. One is making hanging planters out of thrift store t-shirts and glasses. Here's my first try - it turned out well. I might try making thinner t-shirt yarn next time so I can add beads or buttons.

All you need for this DIY is an old t-shirt, a glass (I used a small round glass which is perfect for adding plants to), a wooden ring (found in any craft store) and then soil/plants/etc.

First step wash your thrift store t-shirt then get ready to cut yarn.

I would cut strips at half an inch to one inch in width. You can easily create a continuous piece of t-shirt yarn but I was using up a t-shirt I had already cut. I cut strips then knotted the pieces together to create longer lengths of yarn. You'll need five lengths of yarn - four for the hanger and one to wrap the base. The lengths of yarn should be four feet in total or longer.

Stretch the strips of t-shirt to create the yarn. Also tie your pieces if need be to create longer lengths of yarn.

Now fold the pieces in half then pull the folded end through your wooden ring. Then pull the ends through the loop. This is a lark's head knot. You'll do this for all four pieces of t-shirt yarn.

Now that we've added the yarn to our wooden ring it's time to create the hanger. First step is a row of knots. Take a piece of yarn from each pair of hanging pieces. You want to take pieces from each pair and knot them to a piece from another pair. I added my knots six inches from the top. Depending on the length of your yarn you can add the knots higher or lower.

Note: you can leave the knots a bit loose until you're finished just in case you want to adjust the placement.

Now add another knot three to four inches below the first one. Change partners - yup it's like square dancing! This will create the hanger for the container and will keep it in place. So switch partners then we'll finish up the bottom.

Tie off the end two to three inches down from your second row of knots. I used one of the ends to wrap around the others then knotted it.

I then used the fifth length of t-shirt yarn to wrap around the bottom and enclose the bottom of the hanger. Feel free to experiment. I also added beads. Next time I'll make the yarn thinner so I can add more beads, jewelry or buttons. It's a great way to add some bling to your hanger.

Here it is - my quick and dirty hanging planter out of 'junk'. I added a succulent. Succulents ROCK!

The succulent should flourish in the glass container.

I added some buds from a hens and chicks succulent I bought awhile ago.

Here it is... How to upcycle thrift store finds into a super cute hanging planter. Yay!

Next up? I'm making piñata bases, back to school crafts and baskets. Crafty crafty!