DIY sugar skull tutorial

We love this sugar skull DIY from Emily of MushTushy. We are excited to share this with you in time for fall, Halloween and Dia de los Muertos. This tutorial is so fun.

The cool thing about this project is that you can pick anything to paint, whether you want to use a piggy bank, an animal statue or even salt and pepper shakers such as the ones we used here. The options are limitless. For this tutorial, I bought little ceramic salt and pepper shakers from Target for $3 each. The only other supplies you will need are:

- paint pens (my personal favorites are fine point Sharpie oil based ones from Michael's or JoAnn's; be sure to use your coupons too!)
- flat white spray paint primer (my favorite is Rustoleum painters touch 2x cover from Walmart or Home Depot)
- pencil/eraser
- gloss varnish (my favorite is Liquitex gloss medium and varnish from JoAnn's)

I always suggest priming your store-bought statues in order to get the paint to properly adhere. So even if you have a white object, be sure to prime it first, unless it's flat matte white. Be sure to use one thin coat in order to avoid drips, peeling paint and longer dry time. I always try to wait at least a few hours or even overnight before attempting the next steps. 

Once your statue is dry, you can begin drawing your shapes and patterns. The only part I draw on is anything that I want to stay white. For example, for sugar skull patterns with bones, I outline the bones. If you feel more comfortable drawing out your entire design, feel free to do so. But remember the pencil will likely show through your lighter paint colors. Pencil can be erased from the primed surface, so don't be afraid to experiment with designs before using the paint pens.

Look up sugar skull designs, henna patterns, mandala art or any patterns. You can even add words to customize your project. The options for decorating are only limited to your imagination. After I block in the white areas with pencil, I draw my patterns and shapes with the markers. 

Once all your white is outlined and you've filled in the colors, the tedious work begins. Be sure to have a steady hand, and maybe don't attempt this after your 5th coffee of the day. Haha! Use the fine point black Sharpie and start outlining all the shapes with black, and then go back in with the thicker black Sharpie to fill in the remaining background. Once all the black is drawn on, touch up any color areas that have white splotches and then brush on the clear varnish. Don't put it on too thick and don't brush repeatedly in the same areas or color can pull off and the clear may dry a cloudy white.

After it dries, you have your beautiful hand-painted statue ready for display on your mantle, desk, entryway, etc. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial. Please feel free to follow me on Instagram and share photos of your completed projects! 


DIY: patriotic pinwheels for a sparkly Fourth of July

We've got something festive and sparkly just in time for your Fourth of July. Katrina of Ma Joie Press put together this great DIY. These make great party favors and decorations. Katrina added some to a bouquet of flowers for a holiday centerpiece, and it's adorable. Have a fun, safe and crafty Fourth!

1. What you need: 4.25" cardstock or scrapbook patterned paper squares, flat tacks, chopsticks, scissors, hot glue gun, hole punch, paint brush, glitter, and Elmer's glue.

If you love the paper design in the photos, Katrina was kind enough to share! Here is a letter-size PDF for easy printing. Print one side, then turn it over and print the back.

2. Cut from each corner to about two-thirds to the center of the square.

3. Put a dot of hot glue in the center of the square, and fold a point to the center. Continue dotting the glue and folding until you have a pinwheel.

4. Use your hole punch to make a hole in the center of the pinwheel, right through the dried hot glue.

5. Paint the edges of the pinwheel with Elmer's glue. Add glitter.

6. After the glue is dry, use a tack to secure the pinwheel to a chopstick. Careful not to push it in too tightly or the pinwheel won't spin.


A peek in the studio (Fuzzy Muffins)

Emily, of Fuzzy Muffins, is ready to take you on a tour of her studio...

When I moved into our current Dallas home, I knew I needed to have a cohesive workspace, which really just meant I needed to put all of the things I use while creating Fuzzy Muffins in one area. I’m a graphic designer by day, so I wanted to integrate my design workspace with my crafting workspace. I quickly learned that involves a lot of shelving and drawers. 

Cue: IKEA. I purchased a dresser/drawer storage system for my piles and piles of fleece, a paper organizer for all my graphic design goodies and plush tagging supplies, and a massive bookshelf to house my design books and other plushie supplies (sewing box, baskets of yarn and baskets of excess fabric). All in all, everything is within reach!

It’s nice to be able to finish up a design project, then just roll my little chair on over to my sewing machine to make a huggable dino. But the main plus? Natural light. The entire office is surrounded by windows, which means I can really tell what color fleece I’m working with. There’s no, “Wait, is this navy or black?” Whew!

In my last “studio” I had a massive desk, which seemed like a great idea at the time, but after a while a realized... too much surface space = a very messy surface space. If anyone out there is looking to redo their office/studio any time soon, my recommendation: get a desk that allows you enough room to work comfortably, but doesn’t allow you to accumulate clutter. In my experience, a cluttered desk leads to a cluttered work process. You don’t want too many distractions when it’s craft show season.

For tiny pieces, like plastic safety eyes or noses, I use magnetic boxes to keep everything separated and organized. This would work great for jewelry makers or anybody else who needs to keep small parts in order.

It may be a small space, but it gets the job done. In the meantime, I’m off to go make some more Fuzzy Muffins! See y’all around.