TARDIS Light Fascinator / Headband

Many of you have taken a look at my TARDIS dress that I wore to DragonCon 2012 (see post here). I had so many compliments and really appreciate all the support. I was super excited with how the whole outfit came together- especially since I was under a time crunch and this was my first dress without a pattern.

Today, I’m going to share with you how I created my TARDIS fascinator. I have seen other TARDIS dresses in the past and when doing my research online, so I knew that I wanted to create a headpiece that would really complete the costume and make it instantly recognizable.

The headpiece is of course based off the light on the top of the actual TARDIS. I knew I wanted my headpiece to light up. Unfortunately, I did not have time to figure out how to make my headpiece make the noise as well, but I guess I have to leave room for some improvements in the future.

So here is my list of materials used:

  • Plastic water bottle
  • Florist Item (found at Michael’s in the florist section- not really sure what this was supposed to be but it made the perfect base for the top and bottom of the light)
  • Extra blue fabric from my dress
  • Blue pipe cleaners
  • Headband (covered in the same blue fabric from dress)
  • LED tea lights
  • Blue spray paint & RustOleum Frosted Glass spray paint

Step 1: I started by cutting the water bottle up into three parts. Cut the top off where it starts to curve up and discard the top with the mouthpiece and lid. Then cut the remaining bottle about half way up. Take the bottom half, turn it over, and fit it inside the top half. This should create a cylinder that is shorter than the original water bottle and open at only one end.

Step 2: Take apart the florist item- separating the triangular top from the circular base. You will need to discard the green florist sponge that comes inside (already done in pic) because it’s messy and disintegrates easily. Before you do, use it to cut a similar sized piece from harder florist foam as I did, or you could use Styrofoam. Then replace the original florist foam with this new piece.

Step 3: Set your tea light on top of your new foam piece in the center and draw a circle around the edge of the tea light onto the foam. Remove your tea light and cut out a shallow hole the size of the circle you drew to create a small hole for your tea light. Make sure to cut the hole smaller rather than larger so that your tea light will be secure. Then wedge your tea light into the hole of your foam.

Step 4: Time to spray paint! You will spray paint the plastic triangular top of the florist piece blue and the circular bottom blue. Make sure to spray the foam as well but take the tea light out- you don’t want a blue light! You will use the frosted glass spray paint to lightly dust the plastic bottle- it will need several light coats until you are happy with the outcome. You do not want it completely white because the light will not show through but you want it covered so that it is not clear.

Step 5: Once your pieces are all dry, start putting your light together. The top piece of your plastic bottle (the part with the open ends) will become your bottom piece and go into your foam. I used a pen to trace the outline of the bottle onto the foam, and then used a knife to cut a very thin circle into the foam. Put some glue into the foam circle and then wedge your bottle into the circle, holding it there a moment to allow the glue to dry. This will create half your light cylinder and it should be wedged tightly into the foam and glued there so it won’t move.

Then the “bottom” of the plastic bottle will become the top. Take the bottom of the bottle and place it securely inside the triangular blue plastic piece- wedging it tightly. Glue the piece in place into the triangular plastic top.

Step 6: Handily enough, the florist item I chose had 4 small holes around the edge. So I cut four lengths of blue pipe cleaners and bent each of them on one end, then I slipped them through these holes. Then I placed the other ends into the foam to secure.

EDIT: This didn’t work out great, the top got a bit “wibbly wobbly”. So I suggest something a bit more firm than pipe cleaners- perhaps use florist wire and just spraypaint it blue to match everything else.

Step 7: Once you have all your light pieces fit together, place it on top of your headband. Decide where you want it to go- I chose a bit to the side, but you could center it. Then you have two choices. 1) cover the base of your light in fabric and sew it to the bottom to the top of the headband. OR 2) Don’t bother with covering in fabric and use extra florist wire (spraypainted blue to camouflage) and wrap the base of the light tightly to the headband.

DragonCon-7

Whew! DONE!! Here is what mine looked like when done- you can see that it glows! It looks great at night.

Hope you enjoyed seeing my process. Try it yourself or let me know if you find another way! I would love to see some of your creations as well!

~The Girl

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Happy {DIY} Holidays

Decorations for the holidays can be exhausting, daunting, not to mention expensive for just a few weeks of enjoyment. So this year, rather than making separate Halloween and Thanksgiving decor, I made Fall decorations I was able to keep up from late September through Thanksgiving.

{DIY} Potion Bottles & Spell Book Covers

Book covers FREE printable from Little House on the Corner

{DIY} Fall Leaf Garland

  • I used scrapbook papers in various fall colors and a copy of the Declaration of Independence, since I was hanging it in my US History classroom.
  • After cutting out the leaves, I simply hole punched them and then strung them together using yarn.
  • Here is a great Fall Leaf Template, from the website of Lia Griffith

And then came Christmas time! I was a total Scrooge this year and opposed to decorating a tree. So instead, I took advantage of the chalkboard accent wall in my dining room and all the scrapbooking supplies I have, to create a more low-maintenance Christmas tree.

No vacuuming pine needles all month, YAY!

TIP: for pretty lettering, I just do an image search online “chalkboard typography” and whatever more specific thing I am looking for, in this case “Christmas”. This always brings up lots of possibilities and then you can just copy the lettering yourself, rather than having to  create your own design!

Happy Holidays,

~The Girl

DIY Friday: Painted Filing Cabinet

At the beginning of summer, I decided to check out some garage sales for items for my new classroom. I picked up a black filing cabinet for just $5. It had a little bit of rust but otherwise was in good shape. I decided to spray paint it a very bright and cheery yellow.

I used the following supplies:

  • Metal spray paint primer
  • 2 cans of spray paint in yellow
  • Plastic roll (Trust me, you need it! Spray paint floats in the air and gets everywhere!)
  • Painters tape
  • Light sand paper

 

First, make sure you find an area with very good ventilation and cover the area thoroughly with the plastic. I used our porch.

Next, use the sand paper on the rusted areas and VERY LIGHTLY sand the rust away as best you can. It’s ok if there is a little left, but you don’t want a lot. If your filing cabinet is in pretty good condition, you can probably skip this step. DO NOT try to sand your entire cabinet. It is unnecessary (because that’s what the metal primer is for) and if too vigorous, could lead to scratches on the surface of your cabinet which will be almost impossible to hide with spray paint.

Make sure to wipe off the cabinet well, especially if you sanded it. Then use the metal primer spray paint to do one or two light coats.

**TIPS:

  • Each coat should be LIGHT and you should allow a good amount of dry time between each coat (I usually give a minimum of 15-20 minutes).
  • To avoid drips, always hold the spray can a minimum of a foot away and use a side to side sweeping motion. If you do get a drip, wait till it dries and then sand it down lightly. NEVER try to touch up wet spray paint, it will only make a sticky mess.
  • Make sure to shake the can OFTEN. This will ensure the paint comes out evenly.

After the metal primer, you can begin coating with your color of choice.

Finally, display proudly and show off those DIY skills!

~ The Girl

The Girl who got Married!

Yep, I’m a married woman now! Whoo-hoo!

So I thought I would get back to blogging by sharing some of the awesome DIY projects I completed for my wedding. In keeping with my Anglophiliac roots, we had a English Tea themed wedding, complete with garden ceremony followed by a high-tea reception and lawn games.

wedding day couple

bride on stairs

DIY: Lawn Games

We bought unfinished wood Cornhole boards and I painted them the wedding colors with the phrase ‘Keep Calm and Say I Do’. Then I created stencils using poster board with graph lines to create the designs. We also had ring toss and giant Jenga.

Step 1: Make Stencil

Step 2: Use painters tape and tape stencil to Cornhole board, paint using a roller (NOT a brush!) to get an even coat. Once the paint is dry, remove the stencil. You WILL have to go back and touch up around your letters with a small brush when you peel up the stencil.

Step 3: Enjoy!

     

DIY: Photobooth Props

And of course, we incorporated a full size TARDIS into our big day! I rented this beautiful specimen of time and space travel from a fellow Whovian and used it as the backdrop for our Photobooth! For the chalkboards, I just bought some pre-cut wood boards in different shapes from Michael’s craft store and used chalkboard paint. For the other props, I used dowel rods and cut out mustaches and lips from bright colored sheets of foam, also from Michael’s. For those of you who may be drawing challenged, you can find lots of templates online. 

    tardis bride

    Tardis Booth 34

DIY: Bunting

I made bunting- a traditional English party decoration- to go around many of the tables, as well as down the staircase in the garden. I sourced the vintage-inspired fabrics from several fabric stores and used this tutorial from Intimate Weddings, which explains how to make the bunting. It was so cute and the use of the bias tape made it quick and easy to assemble and sew.

DIY: Guestbook Table

For a unique guestbook table, I asked all the married couples attending the wedding to send me a copy of their wedding photo. This was not too difficult since I had a very small wedding. I scanned all the photos and printed them out in black and white.  I used a curtain rod and hung ribbons in our wedding colors. Then I attached black and white photos to the ribbon using double sided tape. I was really happy with the end result, it made a great display above the table and our guests really enjoyed looking at everyone’s wedding photo.

So now that I’m done planning a wedding, summer projects are taking over. Plus, DragonCon is fast approaching, which means costumes! More to come soon!

~The Girl

In this Post:

Photography: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau

Dress: Alfred Angelo

Venue: The Whitlock Inn, Marietta, GA

The Piggy Apron

So I have been taking a bit of a break since DragonCon. All the costumes were great and I got tons of ideas for new projects, but after three straight days of Con my creative brain cells were burnt out and I was seriously overloaded.

I was just starting to feel guilty the other day, and starting to itch for a new project, when a good friend of mine contacted me for a sewing lesson. A few months ago she mentioned to me that she wanted to learn to sew and I volunteered to help her learn. Our previous sewing lesson consisted of me teaching her the basics on the sewing machine and making a basic square pillow.

This time around, she wanted to make an apron- a pig apron. I guess I should mention that she is a huge fan of pigs. In fact, she has her own website, My Pig Me Up, dedicated to all things piggy. So I grabbed my favorite vintage apron to use as inspiration and we headed to the fabric store.

The resulting apron came out super cute and she did a great job. I was super impressed with her ability to pick up the basics of sewing so fast.

The Piggy Apron

We started by cutting out the black band and apron and pinning it with pleats to give it a girly look.

    

After sewing the pleats in and hemming all the way around, we cut the pocket out of a contrasting fabric. She decided to put a pig nose on the pocket, so we used the same light pink as the apron.

  

Finally, we sewed buttons onto the nose to create the snout and two smaller buttons above to create eyes.

So Cute!!

Well, I hope she enjoys wearing it because I think it turned out super cute! Finally feels like Fall out, about you know what that means….did someone say Halloween? :D

~The Girl

Conquering the Hidden Zipper

So, I don’t know about you but I have always been afraid of putting in zippers. They just seem difficult and I have heard horror stories, so I basically avoided them like the plague. However, unless we want all our clothes to have a massive amount of buttons or all be made from some kind of stretch fabric, it seems we need to conquer our fear of the zipper. So, with no little trepidation, I undertook my first hidden zipper.

I am currently making a TARDIS dress, which I talk about in my first post here. This dress finally reached the point where it was time to put in the zipper. Many, many searches on the internet of videos and tutorials proved to be somewhat fruitless, especially since I do not have a zipper foot for my sewing machine. At long last, I called my mother- the woman who taught me to sew and is pretty much my go-to for anything crafty when I get in a pinch or need a little creative boost.

So here it is.

The Easy Hidden Zipper Tutorial (no zipper foot required!)

Step 1:  Make your garment and sew it up completely, leaving at least a half inch fabric on the inside seam where you want to place your zipper. **Use large enough stitches for your seam where the zipper will be so that you can easily cut this seam out later by hand.

Step 2:  Turn you garment inside-out and iron open your seam where you are adding your zipper.

Open back seam of dress

Step 3:  Place the zipper face-down on the seam and pin the zipper in place. This step is very important! You want to make sure your zipper lines up as closely as possible with your seam. Also, use the smallest pins you have and place them horizontal (laying across the zipper)- not vertical! This is because you will NOT be removing the pins when you sew, so you want them horizontal so the machine will jump the pin. Don’t over-do the pins, one every inch and alternating sides should be enough.

Zipper pinned face-down to seam

Step 4: Sewing! Once your pins are in place, put your garment into the machine. Starting at the top of the zipper, sew down one side. When you get to the bottom of the zipper, stop with your needle IN the fabric, lift your foot, rotate the fabric, and then sew the small part at the bottom of the zipper. Then again, stop at the corner with your needle IN your fabric, lift your foot, rotate your garment, and sew back up the other side of your zipper.

**Note: It may be difficult to get the zipper into the machine when sewing the very top of the zipper- that is ok. I had to sew the first little bit with my foot still up. Just make sure to GO SLOW!! If you go slow, it will be easier on your machine to hop the pins and you are less likely to make a mistake or break your needle.

CONGRATS! You finished! Now turn you garment right-side out and check to make sure you didn’t sew any extra fabric into your zipper.

Oops! I accidentally sewed some of my skirt fabric into my zipper the first time, but that’s ok! Just flip it inside out again and snip the stitches loose, then sew again.

If everything looks good, carefully snip the seam open on your garment.

CAREFULLY cut seam open on outside of garment

Viola! You now have a hidden zipper which should look like this.

I am now over my fear of zippers! My zipper still wasn’t perfect, I had a lot of puckering, but I know you can do better! Have fun and if you mess up, just remember practice makes perfect!

~The Girl

DIY Friday: The BIG Clutch

So I decided to do a DIY Friday post each week. I figured a Friday post would be best because I hate when I get inspired in the middle of the week but have no time and then by the weekend I forget all about it!

I see a lot of fun DIY on the internet. Many of these have really cute ideas but the details and process are not super informative. So I’ll hopefully be sorting through the bad to bring you only the best DIY I can find. And eventually, I will hopefully create some of my own. But let’s take this one step at a time, shall we?

So today is DIY: The BIG Clutch!

I have been craving one of these giant clutches all summer. They seem so useful and cute! After some scouring the internet, I found a great tutorial that is also REALLY easy!! The tutorial is from Style Scrapbook, and can be found here.

Materials Needed:

  • Fabric of your choice- she uses leather and I probably will too. But a stiff fabric is going to work best.
  • Zipper- have some fun and use a contrasting color or do the matchy-matchy thing, up to you.
  • Basic sewing supplies (machine, thread, scissors, etc)

I suggest adding stiff interfacing or some kind of liner to the inside of the bag. This should help the bag hold its shape and will make it a bit nicer on the inside. Here is another very similar tutorial from Say Yes to Hoboken that shows how to add the interfacing. She actually makes a fold-over clutch, which is basically the exact same but just a taller rectangle shape to give the extra at the top to fold-over.

I will post photos of my finished bag when done.

Have fun!

~The Girl