DIY – Minecraft sword and pick ax

I have two boys and they love the Minecraft. If you don’t know what that is, cherish it. For those familiar, believe me, I’m not a hater, I just wish it didn’t turn my kids to maniacal zombies.

We were at the mall the other day doing some relaxed school shopping. Looking at sneakers, putting them on, then running all over the store, being sure they “make me run fast”,  wrestling, that sort of thing. After buying some shoes, we mozied on into the Hot Topic store and encountered an entire rack dedicated to all things Minecraft. My 6 year old saw this:

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This one is for sale at Urban Outfitters for $26

and mildly begged me for it. I don’t remember the price at the store, but online at Hot Topic it’s on sale for $17.15. That, my frugal friends, is not on sale enough for me. Even for my cutey 6 year old’s face. It is essentially foam board cut into a pixellated sword.

Hearing the words of my mom echo in my head, I proclaimed, “I could make that!”

As soon as we were home I got to work. I found this youtube video. Pretty easy. Well, mostly easy. The video led me to this printable for the sword and this printable for the pick ax.

The instructions state to convert the images into PDFs and then in  ‘Print Settings’ under ‘Page Scaling’ choose ‘Tile Large Pages’.  Then set Tile Scale to: 100%. Sometimes, I hate technology. (First world problem).

Needless to say I had trouble doing said instructions. I wanted this to be a project I could complete by the next day. I wanted my boys to come down the stairs wide-eyed and ready to stab each other with swords and mine some red diamonds or whatever with their pick axes in REAL PRETEND LIFE, not on the Xbox. What to do?

I chose not to troubleshoot, chose not to search the web for why my computer all of a sudden doesn’t give me the option to Save As PDF even though I have done it a million times before today, chose not to give in to another time suck. Necessity is the mother of invention. I just copied and pasted the picture on to a MS Publisher document. Chose a 22×17 in poster, stretched to fit and hit print twice. The printer automatically printed it in a tile format. Thanks, Skynet.

I cut everything out, and placed it like puzzle pieces on a large piece of corrugated cardboard (I didn’t want to spend money on foam board, or leave the house again) and used a box cutter to trim it out. Then I glued the other side.

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Swords and pick axes

After I made the first sword, my 8 year old, who seemed indifferent the entire time I was making it, instantly was like, “I want one! And a pick ax, too!” To which the little one chimed in with, “Don’t forget to make MY pick ax!” I liken it to how Hatori Hanzo must have felt when he had to make the Kill Bill sword for the Black Mamba. (I just let my geekiness peek out!)

My hands are sore, but my boys have mined their haul of REAL PRETEND obsidian. Totally worth it!

DIY – T-shirt yarn (tarn) crochet and knitted baskets

I’ve had these 2 XL t-shirts moving from drawer to drawer for the past 2 years. I finally decided I was going to make another upcycled t-shirt dress. It was going to be so great and cute and everybody was going to ooh and ahh all over and pin it on Pinterest a million times with captions of how they were going to make one too right now… And when everything was said and done it looked terrible. The shirts already started off with wonky seams and the wonkiness just pervaded the entire project.

T-shirt dress fail

Rather than admit defeat I took my failed project and cut it up! T-shirt yarn (tarn as some have coined it) is the failed T-shirt craft’s chance at salvation! The blue basket is my fail to fabulous and is crocheted. The dark gray basket is a T-shirt that had a bleach stain and a hole at an inopportune location on it. I used a combination of knitting and crochet on that one to see the effect of it.

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T-shirt yarn and Paton’s Divine Yarn baskets

Let’s make T-shirt yarn! Let’s crochet this blue basket! Let’s combo crochet and knit this other one! (I’m just a little excited to share with you!)

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DIY – Anthropologie inspired paper garland

I like to make banners and garlands to add a little touch of extra moxie to my special people’s birthday. Nothing too ostentatious, just a bit of something so they feel cherished. It was my mom’s birthday this past weekend so I put this garland and banner together.

paper garland and banner

paper garland and banner

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I was inspired by this pin on Pinterest. Instructions are from Bird’s Party blog. The tutorial is more of a guideline as this is the type of project to “get the essence of” rather than try to replicate.

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picture from Bird’s Party Blog

This garland came to be from inspiration from an Anthropologie window display.

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Picture from Bird’s Party Blog

My inspiration from another inspiration garland is less intricate namely because I didn’t have as much paper and I had a short window of time to create it. I love how it turned out, regardless! I think I will save them for maybe a swag for Easter. The tutorial calls for cutting strips of paper into 1.5 inches wide. In the future, when I make another one of these (maybe in Christmas colors or maybe in black for Halloween) I will cut the strips to 1 inch widths. To me, I think it would be just as pretty and you would get more yield of paper strips.

What kinds of decorations do you make for your special people’s birthdays?

What a BEACH-in’ wreath! – DIY beach themed yarn wreath

Who doesn’t love the beach? We only live about 20 minutes from it. 20 minutes too far, I say. Here’s my way of bringing a little bit of beach home!

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I used the same technique in making my DIY  Valentine yarn wreath.  Here’s the tutorial.

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I yarn for you…

What kinds of themed wreaths have you made (yarn or otherwise)?

Gussied up monogrammed bath towels and embroidered kitchen towels – bead stash bustin’

A few birthdays ago, my hubby gave me a 4-1 Futura Singer Sewing Machine. That contraption can kick a** and I haven’t even learned half of what it is capable of doing. I just bought some bathroom towels on sale at Big Lots. $5/bath towels and $4/hand towel minus 20% off! As Chandler from Friends would say, “Whoop pah!” I also bought four kitchen towels at Walmart for $1.48 each! Another WHOOP PAH! To give them just a touch of pizzazz, I embroidered them on my sewing machine.

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I’ve been seeing a lot of those Live, Laugh, Love quotes all over Pinterest. Since I had that fourth towel, I added “Eat a lot”. I figured, intuitively, we would all like to “Live well, laugh often, and love much”, right? Well, let’s “EAT a lot”! In retrospect, “LEARN” something or to that effect going with the “L” theme might’ve worked, too. Next time.

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The “LIVE” towel is slightly discolored because I used it! It was a little wet. Crafts that are functional. What a concept!

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I added little beaded embellishments because that’s what I have lying around…haphazardly. Decided that these beaded dealies needed to be bracelet length so they can pull double duty.

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Let’s make these beaded bracelets!

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T-shirt refashion #2 – Blouson Tube Dress

My hubby is very particular of his undershirts. He is forever on a quest to find the perfect fitting white T-shirt. Hanes proclaims to have the “perfect” Tee, however, to my husband, it’s hit or miss.  The direct correlation to that is a revolving stock pile of, according to him, shirts that don’t fit right. Being the crafter (and closet hoarder) that I am, I couldn’t possibly let those shirts get thrown out! There is ALWAYS another destiny for a piece of clothing before it is tragically discarded!

Here I am wearing his T-shirt. It isn't incredibly oversized. This shirt is an XL and I typically wear women's medium.

Here I am wearing his T-shirt. It isn’t incredibly oversized. This shirt is an XL and I typically wear women’s medium.

Here’s what I’ve done to two of his alleged “ill fitting” shirts!

Blouson Tube Dress with a belt and an old pair of Tori Birch sandals

Blouson Tube Dress with a belt and an old pair of Tori Birch sandals

I love the look of this dress and it is so comfortable. It feels like I’m wearing pajamas.

Let’s sew this dress!

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