Spooktacular treats

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Saw these DIY Halloween treats on Pinterest and couldn’t resist! Instead of the usual sickly-sweet fare, why not make some of your own healthy snacks to share with the neighbourhood this October 31st? Ghost bananas, apple grins and clementine-pumpkins made it to our list.

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Stuff you’ll need: Clementines, apples, bananas, green gumdrops, black writing icing, mini marshmallows, peanut butter, fruit knife, breakfast knife, cutting board and scissors.

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1. Peel clementines.

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2. Cut green gumdrops into tiny stem-like strips. Use the sharp end of the scissors to help push the gumdrop stems into the top-centre of each clementine.

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3. Peel bananas.

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4. Draw on ghost-like features with black writing icing. You may also use chocolate chips or chocolate icing for this. (Please pardon the unhealthy looking bananas!)

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5. Divide apple into six slices. Cut away the core.

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6. Spread peanut butter onto one of the sides of each apple slice. The peanut butter will help keep the mini marshmallows in place.

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7. Position the apple slices with the red part facing you. Place a series of mini marshmallows onto the peanut butter side of three of the apple slices. Top off each confection with the remaining apple slices to complete the toothy treat.

And here’s an apple-licious video for you!

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Pretty painted hair pins

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Nail polish is our new best friend — just slick a few layers onto boring black hair pins and witness the transformation! This lovely idea is from The Thinking Closet.

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Stuff you’ll need: Plain hair pins and metal barrettes, nail polish in a variety of colours, scissors, masking tape and recycled card stock.

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1. Spread out the pins and barrettes on the card stock.

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2. Slick a layer of nail polish onto the top part of the pins. Leave aside to air dry for about five to 10 minutes. While some nail polish may require more than one coat to opaquely cover the pins, make sure that each layer isn’t too thick or the paint will smudge easily. Once the paint dries, the pins are ready for use.

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3. To make a multi-coloured hair barrette, start by cutting out a series of small masking tape strips.

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4. Paste them over the barrettes anyhow you like – here, we used them to form stripes.

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5. Paint nail polish over the exposed areas of the barrettes. Leave aside to air dry.

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6. Remove the masking tape strips and voila – you have your very own one-of-a-kind hair barrettes!

And here’s our video take on the subject:

 

Backyard monsters

Stone craft backyard monsters craftypedia

Let’s give the stones something to smile about!

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Stuff you’ll need: Pebbles, googly dolls’ eyes, scissors, foam sheets in green and yellow, glue tape, black marker and pink sharpie.

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1. Remove the seals from the back of the dolls’ eyes and glue them onto the pebbles. Arrange them in monster fashion: each monster can have multiple eyes, or it can look like the one-eyed Cyclops.

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2. Use a black marker to draw on the lips.

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3. Roll glue tape onto a small area of the foam sheets. Cut small “teeth” out from this part and press them onto the pebbles.

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4. Draw on eyebrows, eyelashes and add a pop of pink sharpie blush.

And here’s a fun video for you. Have a blessed Thursday!

A bit on batik

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Have some wax crayons at hand? Let’s make some batik-like coasters!

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Stuff you’ll need: Muslin cloth, hemp fabric, scissors, pinking shears, watercolour paint, paintbrush, cup of water, wax crayon, glue tape and an old magazine.

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1. With your pinking shears, cut up the muslin cloth into coaster-size squares.

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2. Use a wax crayon to draw a motif onto the cloth. Make sure that all the lines are connected. Lighter crayons, like yellow, seem to work best; a darker colour is used her for clarity purposes.

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3. Layer the old magazine beneath the cloth. Start painting your motif one colour at a time. Use less paint, more water; water will help the paint spread. Change to a fresh cup of water each time you paint a new colour to avoid the unintentional mixing of hues. Leave the piece to air-dry or use a hair dryer to speed up the process.

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4. Trim the cloth edges to neaten the piece.

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5. Cut the hemp fabric into squares to match the size of your finished batik piece.

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6. Roll glue tape onto the back of the batik piece and smooth it onto the hemp square.

And here’s a video to sum it all up:

 

Fluff and stuff

cotton candy garland

In the land of sweet treats, cotton candy takes the cake. Here’s a calorie-free recipe on how to make a miniature cotton candy garland 🙂

 

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What you’ll need: Cotton wool squares, toothpicks, eye shadow or make-up blush, craft glue, darning needle and twine.

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1. Layer two pieces of cotton wool on top of one another.

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2. Roll up the pieces and apply a strip of craft glue at one end to secure the shape.

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3. Make small tears on the outer layer of the wool to fluff it up.

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4. Add colour to the wool by brushing on some make-up blush.

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5. Apply glue onto the tip of a toothpick. Push one-third of it through the centre of the wool. Repeat the entire process to make more “cotton candies”.

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6. With a darning needle and twine, thread the cotton candies into a garland. Use masking tape to hang the garland up on a wall, or tie the twine ends onto a pair of stable posts.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on August 14, 2013.

Playing with spoons

wooden spoon people

Direct a family theatre production starring your favourite spoon characters! Here’s how:

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What you’ll need: Lacquer-free wooden spoons or spatula, watercolour pencils, gluestick, paintbrush, water, patterned origami paper, doily and scissors.

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1. With your colour pencils, draw a friendly face on one of the wooden spoons.

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2. Colour in some hair.

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3. Repeat the same process on another spoon but this time, add a moustache.

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4. For the next one, experiment with a different expression and hairstyle.

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5. Once you’re done designing all three faces, dip your paintbrush in a small amount of water (blot excess on tissue paper) and gently go over the coloured areas. Do not spread water all over the spoon or the colours will run. Paint only one colour at a time – swirl your paintbrush in some water before moving on to the next coloured area.

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6. Once the painted areas are dry (which should be instantaneous; otherwise you’re using too much water!), wrap some origami paper around the handle of the spoons, cut to size and gluestick the piece in place.

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7. Cut a doily piece in half and use it to create a lace collar for “Mama Spoon”.

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8. For “Papa Spoon”, cut two small triangles and use them as a shirt collar.

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9. As for young little “Miss Spatula”, cut a small bow and glue it onto her flaming red hair.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on April 24, 2013.

Too cool for spools?

spool necklace diy

Convert plain spools into bright and cheery charms fit for a necklace! Tutorial inspired by Tearosehome.

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What you’ll need: Mini wooden spools, colourful beads, embroidery floss, kite string, darning needle, craft glue and scissors.

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1. Dab some craft glue onto a small corner of one of the wooden spools.

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2. Begin winding a strand of embroidery floss over the entire length of the wooden spool – the glue should secure the starting end of the thread. Be sure to cover any gaps with more embroidery floss.

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3. Repeat with the other wooden spools. Tuck in the ends of the embroidery floss and secure with a dot of glue.

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4. Cut a 60cm-long kite string and thread it through the darning needle. Bring this through one of the beads.

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5. Continue threading on the rest of the wooden spools, topping it off last with another bead.

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6. Double knot both ends of the kite string where the start and end of the baubles are to secure the pieces in place.

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7. Measure the necklace to a length you desire.  Secure the ends with a knot and trim excess.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on May 22, 2013.

Cloudy with a chance of clay

clay cloud magnets

Who doesn’t love anthropomorphic clouds? Make this pair of kawaii cloud magnets with some sharpies and a glob of clay.

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What you’ll need: Soft clay in white or light blue, adhesive magnets, rolling pin (or something similar), sharpies in dark brown and pink, recycled card stock, pencil, scissors, craft knife and cutting board.

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1. Trace two cloud shapes onto the card stock. Cut them out.

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2. Start kneading the soft clay to warm it up.

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3. Flatten the clay with a rolling pin (or something tubular).

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4. Position the cloud-shaped card stock on top of the flattened clay. Trace the craft knife along the edges.

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5. Push away excess clay.

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6. Use a small amount of water to smooth away small craters on the surface of your cloud. Repeat the entire process to make a second cloud piece. Set them aside to dry for about 30 minutes.

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7. Once the pieces are firm and dry, use the sharpies to draw on smiley faces.

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8. Remove the adhesive backing on the magnets and press one each onto the backs of the clouds.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on July 3, 2013.

The washi effect

washi tape crafts

Washi tape is simply magical! Every craft hoarder must have a few rolls at least. Here are some ideas on what you can do with them.

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What you’ll need: Washi tape, glass bottle, notebook, toothpicks, wooden pegs, crafting knife or blade, scissors and cutting board.

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1. Paste some washi tape onto one of the flat surfaces of a wooden peg. Make sure that it runs the entire length of the peg. Trim excess.

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2. Place the peg on a cutting board, with the taped-side face down. Carefully run your crafting knife along its edges to cut off the excess tape and you’re done!.

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3. Roll some washi tape all around your clear glass bottles to give them an instant lift.

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4. For notebooks, mix and match colours and patterns to create a personalised look.

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5. Tuck any excess tape onto the insides of your notebook cover for a neat finish.

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6. To make a mini flag (perfect as cupcake toppers), cut a length of washi tape and lay a toothpick over its centre. Fold the tape onto itself. With your scissors, cut a triangle notch from the edge of the flag.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on April 10, 2013.

Needle-felted panda tote

needle felted bag

We love Muji’s plain cloth bags! Pair it up with some needle felting skills and wool roving and voila — a customised bag is born!

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What you’ll need: Linen bag, wool roving in white, black, grey and pink, melamine foam, plastic comb, felting tool with multiple needles, single felting needle, tracing paper, image for tracing and pencil.

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1. Place the image you want to trace beneath the tracing paper. Use a pencil to draw along the lines.

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2. Position the tracing paper face-down on the centre of your linen bag. Transfer the design onto the bag by going over the image outline with the rounded edges of a comb.

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3. Remove the tracing paper. If the outlines are too faint, draw over them with a pencil.

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4. Insert the melamine foam into the bag and position it beneath the design – this creates a base to safeguard your needles and the other side of the bag. Tear off a small tuft of black wool – this will be for one of the panda’s ears. Hold it in place then carefully use the felting tool to “punch” the wool into the cloth, till the fuzz “sticks” on the fabric. Repeat the process with the other ear.

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5. Tear off more tufts of black wool and needle-felt the panda’s upper body, arms, eyes and nose. Roll up small strips of wool and use these to help you fill in the gaps. As for the melamine foam inside the bag, you may move its position accordingly, depending on which surface requires a base.

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6. Add on some grey wool for the lips. Try using the single felting needle to go over the smaller areas. Tip: Do not bend the needle at an odd angle; always hold it straight.  Simply poke the needle in the direction you want the wool to go. Made a mistake? Gently peel off the wool piece and start over.

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7. Now, needle-felt on some white wool to fill up the panda’s tummy and face. Ensure that the white layer does not cover over the black wool you needle-felted earlier.

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8. Gently go over the panda’s face with the single felting needle to give the features more definition.

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9. For a kawaii touch, add some pink wool onto the panda’s cheeks.

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10. Go over the whole design once more with the felting tool to tame excess fuzz. Remove the melamine foam from within and the bag is ready for use.

* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on Feb 27, 2013.