Thursday, 23 October 2014

Halloween Bat Brad & Thread Art

  In my slight obsessive mission to re-create nail and thread art with as many different materials as possible, the most popular alternative was brad and thread, which I used to create a simple diamond.
Today, I'm showing how the same technique can be used for a slightly different shape - the bat.

Perfect for Halloween decor, here's how to make your own.

What I used:
Black Card
Selection of brads / Sharpie
Silver Thread
Bat Print

[my printer continues to be amazing]

Using the power of Google to find me a suitable shape, I printed a picture of a bat at the size of my card, using this as my guide, I placed it on top.  With a push pin to help and prevent creasing the card, I made pin holes at the points that would define the outline of the bat: the tips of the wings, ears, feet, and then pushed my brads through and secured:
I had varying sizes of brads, which helped add a little details - I used the larger brads to define the wings, smaller for the ears and feet and the smallest size for details of the head and wing shape:
[if you run out of brads the colour you require, a Sharpie can help you cover this up!]
[dont worry, I didn't let that pesky yellow brad get away]

Once all the brads were in place and my bat silhouette defined, I started to carefully rip away the print out.  Tweezers can come in handy if any paper gets caught under the brads.
This will reveal a perfect outline for you to start joining up with thread.
Create a knot at one end and begin wrapping between each brad in turn:
The shape of your bat will begin to define and you can emphasise this with the type of thread you use and how many times you wrap it between each brad.  Once the outline was made, I added a little, simple detail, between the wings.

Once you are happy with the design, take your thread to a knot around the final brad and trim to hide any excess.  Your brad and thread art is ready to hang:
...or should it be the other way?
Give this a try with any other Halloween-themed silhouettes - a detailed spider would look amazing.
see you next time x
[tomorrow, it's a ghost-balloon-alien-tassel hybrid]

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Teacake Ghosts and Spiders

 Oooooh - you didn't really think I was done, did you?
Here are some real treats to give out this Halloween.  I'm slightly updating my ghost teacakes from a couple of years ago and adding spiders to the mix.  Don't eat them all yourself, now.

These are easily made and can be the perfect party treat for your trick-or-treaters.
Here's how they are made.

Spider Teacakes:
Chocolate Sticks/fingers/Twiglets
Black Icing

Simply take your teacake and either using a skewer or handle end of a small spoon, create two lines, opposite sides of the teacake that will allow your chocolate sticks to be placed inside the teacake.
Break your chocolate sticks/fingers into eight small legs and fix them in place:
...and then add two small dots of black icing for eyes:
Alternatively, you can attach the legs using icing or melted chocolate!

Ghost Teacakes:
White Chocolate
Black Icing

Melt some white chocolate in the microwave and stir to help loose some of the heat - keep stirring until the chocolate has cooled but is still of a runny consistency [this will prevent the chocolate from melting the teacake!].  With the back of a spoon, coat the top of the teacake with the chocolate:
Leave to dry [or pop in the fridge to help speed things up], before adding a second layer - allow the chocolate to run down the sides and create a PAC-man style skirt at the bottom of the teacake:
...smooth the sides and top if required and leave to set fully before adding two small black icing eyes:

A mixture of cute and spook for Halloween.
Here's hoping you don't get any trick-or-treaters and get to eat them all yourself!
More teacake crazy for Halloween here and for Crimbo here and here.
see you next time x

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pumpkin Honeycomb Decorations

Learning how to create honeycomb decorations has been a bit of a revelation to me [I made tissue paper decorations here, here and with felt, here] - so I'm making more for Halloween decor and if you fancy it, I guarantee its much simpler than you may think! [also, strangely therapeutic]. 

What I Used:
5 sheets of orange tissue paper
Black Card
Glue Stick / Scissors

To start, you need to fold your 5 sheets into halves, until a rectangle of approximately XXcm x XXcm is achieved [this is only an additional fold if buying tissue paper in a pack like mine].

Next, trim off all the folded edges to create a tower of separate sheets of tissue paper, all of a [approximately] equal size:
Create a honeycomb template by taking a sheet of paper and marking guidelines - I made lines 2cm in width and labelled them in turn [1] and [2]:
Lay your tissue paper parallel to the guidelines and trace the lines with your glue stick - firstly, following all lines labelled [1]:
...before adding the next piece of tissue paper on top and following lines labelled [2] with the glue.  Then add the next piece of tissue paper and continue alternating with the glue between guidelines
 [1] and [2].

Leave your stack of glued tissue paper to dry fully.  Once dry, start to open your honeycomb, by gently pulling either end away from the other.  This is also a perfect opportunity to see where any areas may not have stuck properly and can be fixed.
To create my pumpkin shape, I used a side plate to draw the curve, around 3cm past the edge.  This allowed me to create a round, but with a flat top and bottom, more like a pumpkin than sphere: 
Cut following the line with scissors 
[you may need to tidy up the lines if the tissue paper stack is particularly thick]:
...and then add a piece of card to one end.  This will help provide stability and give the opposite side something to be attached to once the honeycomb decoration is opened.  Finally, thread a piece of string through the sheets that will be the top of the honeycomb decoration and loosely knot to hold in place.  This will be your hanging:
Once fully dried, gently start opening your honeycomb decoration so that both ends meet.  You can fix them in place with paperclips:
Your pumpkin should be taking shape - all that is missing is a face:
I used black card and glue to add eyes and a mouth:
....and your pumpkin is ready to hang!

I also created a non-hanging, half-pumpkin version to frame.
Simply use half the number of tissue paper pieces and attach the ends to a flat surface with glue or sticky-tac:
An optional extras is a stalk - add green card or even create a small honeycomb version from green tissue paper.  Recreate these in white or grey for ghostly or mummified faces, green for Frankenstein or zombie faces or how about black for cat faces - add pipe-cleaners for spiders?  Maybe next year.
see you next time x
[I highly recommend coming back tomorrow.  One word. Teacakes]