How to Plan a Craft Show

Have you ever wondered what happens between, “Hey, let's put together a craft show and call it the Spring Bash!” and “Whew, the Spring Bash is behind us now and I need a nap…”

The Etsy Dallas Bashes are a labor of love for all of us, so we thought it would be interesting to give you a glimpse of what goes into a show like the Spring Bash.

A line of shoppers wraps around Gilley's Dallas before doors open for the  2018 Spring Bash . The first shoppers arrived at 7 a.m. to wait in line for the event that started at 10:30 a.m. on May 5, 2018. Photos courtesy of  Mirrorless Mind Studio  for Etsy Dallas. 

A line of shoppers wraps around Gilley's Dallas before doors open for the 2018 Spring Bash. The first shoppers arrived at 7 a.m. to wait in line for the event that started at 10:30 a.m. on May 5, 2018. Photos courtesy of Mirrorless Mind Studio for Etsy Dallas. 

Let’s start by picking a date and a venue.

Venues book up way in advance, so in November as we prep for Jingle Bash, we have already been planning Spring Bash. We usually know where we want to be and when we want to do the show. Oh, but wait, Gilley’s isn’t available both dates we want (we need to book two days so we can set up), and the weekend before/after is Earth Day, Mother’s Day, or the same day as some other show that many of our vendors may want to do. Or, as happened with our 2018 Spring Bash, the NRA Convention came to town and POTUS would be coming in to speak. What would that do to traffic? You can't plan for everything!

After some back-and-forth about the venue and dates, we make a decision and put down our deposit. At this point it's time to start cheering. Yay! We can start telling people to save the date!

Shortly after the holidays, people start asking when the applications are going to come out for Spring Bash. Before we can put out the call for vendors, we need a rough budget. Yeah, Bash prep involves a fair amount of administration, accounting, and budgeting.

The budget looks something like this:

Cost of Bash $$$$$ = Venue $$$$$ + Ads $$$$ + Bash Bags $$$ + T-shirts $$$ + Lighting $$$$ + Printing $$$ + Marketing $$$ + Photographer $$$ + Deco $$$

Next we’ll see if we can get some sponsors lined up to offset some of the costs. Big Etsy sometimes sponsors the Jingle Bash, but we are on our own for Spring Bash. This is the time where we hit up our day jobs, friends, former sponsors, and anyone else who might want to sponsor the Bash.

The next question is, “Will that many vendors fit in our venue?” After some measuring and mock layouts, we're good to go. 

Time to get some vendors.
We update the dates and info on the online application and make them live on the website. Applications come (hopefully) flooding in. Yay! But we can only take about 80 vendors and there are so many good ones to choose from. Boo!

It’s time to jury. Out of ~150 applications, we have to narrow it down to ~80. On top of that, we have to make sure there’s a good mix of product categories. Jewelry and home goods are 40% of the applications, so we have to make sure we have the right number of each category and that the one’s we pick are different enough from each other to make sure there is variety within the category as well. We just can't fit all the good shops in.

After a long day of deliberation, we get the vendors down to ~80 and now we need to see how many 10x10s and 8x6s are on our list. There are always more 10x10s requested than we can fit in our venue. A lot more. So we have to review all the vendors who requested 10x10 booths and narrow that down to the ~30 available 10x10 spots (imagine furniture vs jewelry type discussions). We’ve narrowed it down and have the final vendor list with the appropriate number of 10x10 booths. We celebrate with a glass of wine!

More administrative stuff happens.
During the next month or two we send and receive lots of emails about the Bash. Things like we need your logos, don’t forget to pay your invoice, remember to send your Bash Bag goodies in time, no really, we still need your logo, and so on.

We are also updating the Etsy Dallas website to add vendor and sponsor info and promote the Bash and deciding when Deco Party is and what we are going to make. Did I mention that we all have Etsy shops, children, and/or day jobs too… It’s ok, we can sleep again after the Bash.

Time to get the food trucks lined up. What about coffee… that's right, we can't serve food or drinks inside because it's Gilleys. But we can have donuts, right? Yep! Mmm donuts…

There’s also a lot of marketing collateral and graphics to create now. Every ad website wants a different size graphic. Plus flyers, postcards, Bash Bag art, t-shirt art, Facebook frames, Snapchat filters, sharable images for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc., parking passes, Bash Bucks, banners, maps, and more.


Where's my booth?
If you have ever planned a wedding reception where your aunt Jo can't sit next to your Aunt Jane, your friend can't sit next to your other friend because she stole her boyfriend in high school, and this side of the family can't be in the same side of the room at the other side of the family because of that thing Uncle Bob did in '82, then you know what planning the Bash booth layout is like. Except instead of family, it's product categories.

We work hard to keep like products away from each other in the booth layout. This is harder than it sounds because we have to consider the booth sizes and products, then sometimes shops drop out, but the next shop on the waiting list sells the same product category as the booth next to the one that dropped, so now a couple people have to move around to make it work.

The day before. It's almost here!
We made it through all the planning and now we are just 1 day from the Bash. Woohoo? We show up the morning the day before and… umm, was that column there in the floor plans? Wasn't this a door last year? Welcome to the chalk game we call booth marking.

Ok, we got this. Move this booth here and those a few feet to the right, a couple more moves and we're good to go. Booths marked, signage up. We have 12 hours before Bash day load in. We are so ahead of schedule.

We always have our vendors come out for a group photo before the doors open. 

Bash Day! Bash Yay!
Back to the venue bright and early. I know it seems like we are yelling, "Unload on the curb and move your car" a lot, but we have to keep this traffic flow going. We've got to get about 30 shops an hour to load in. About 6 cars line up on the curb at Gilley's, that only gives us about 10 minutes per car.

By this time, the volunteers are running around, people are in line for the Bash Bags, and you can feel the excitement. It's time to have a great show!

Celebrate Spring with this DIY Easter Tree Tutorial

Sidney, of GnomeStones, is inspired by nature. You can find her jewelry on Etsy. Just in time for spring, Sidney is sharing this fun Easter tree tutorial. Follow along for all the steps in this fun DIY. Hoppy Spring, y'all!

Making an Easter tree is fun, and you probably have much of what you will need around your home already. Here are the supplies you want to round up:

  • Sand
  • A large vase
  • Spray paint
  • Clippers
  • Trash bag
  • Spring/Easter decorations 

Step One
Find a sturdy, well-branched limb to make your tree

Step Two
Use your clippers to collect your branch

Step Three
Place your vase in the trash bag; put the branch in the vase

Step Four
Fill the vase with sand to keep your "tree" sturdy

Step Five
Be sure the vase is covered with the trash bag and spray paint your "tree" (we used white spray paint)

Step Six
Let the "tree" dry for an hour before bringing it inside to decorate

Step Seven
Add your Easter/Spring themed decorations! 

DIY Valentine's Day Cards for Kids from Kat French Design

We have a really fun DIY Valentine tutorial for you courtesy of Kat French Design. Be sure to check out her smart, hilarious and spot-on stationery in her shop and follow her on Instagram for lots of fun posts. Thank you for letting us share your post with our readers, Kat! ...

As a lover of cards and all things handmade I decided that I wanted my son to make his own Valentine’s Day cards this year.

He is five years old and is at the stage where he loves coloring and cutting with scissors. He needed to be able to make 16 cards to give to his preschool classmates and, at first, I thought that would be way too many cards for a kid that age to make…until I realized that he could make 1 or 2 BIG CARDS and then cut them (which he loves doing) into smaller cards. BINGO.

So here's the process:

 1. Print two of these Valentine’s Day card sheets (8.5″ x 11″). They are double-sided so make sure to print the fronts then run them back through the printer again to print the back sides. I printed on watercolor paper that I trimmed down to size, but it’s not necessary. You can use regular printer paper or card stock.

2. Gather watercolor supplies and let your child go to town. We talked about what colors typically symbolize love (reds, pinks, purples) and I encouraged him to use those…but any bright colors will be just fine. Let dry and flatten with by placing a heavy book on top of them overnight

3. Sign name on card backs.

4. GLITTER! (optional) Apply glue with a cotton swab then sprinkle on glitter. My son got to do the glue and I handled the glitter because that stuff is just a hot mess otherwise. Let dry.

5. Cut cards out along dashed lines.

6. (optional) If your child goes to a school that allows candy or gifts to be attached you can go ahead and use some washi tape to attach a small treat. My son’s class wasn’t allowed to do this (which I am totally thankful for).

This was a fun project that spanned several days for us which was great because it was basically three afternoons worth of crafting. Hallelujah! It also incorporated a ton of fine motor skill builders with painting, cutting and writing.

The only thing I might do differently next time would be to possibly skip the glitter step because I’m pretty sure his teachers and classmates’ parents might hate me after he brings the cards to school and gets glitter on everything. Oops…

Feel free to download the card sheets and make your own. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Join us for Love Letters for Meals on Wheels + how to host your own Love Letters party

We are so excited to see y’all at our Love Letters Challenge event. Every year we team up with Meals on Wheels in Dallas to make Valentine’s Day cards for homebound seniors. This year, we have created a public event so everyone can join us to spread the love around.

Join us at noon on January 27 at Café Izmir in Plano. Food and drink will be available for purchase. Crafts are supplied. Please keep in mind that although this is a family-friendly event, there are a limited number of volunteers to help out so your kids will need your help.

If you can’t attend our event, here are some quick tips to get your own Love Letter Challenge going:

1. Set the date. You’ll want to get your tribe together before Valentine’s Day so the cards make it to Meals on Wheels (or your chosen destination such as a retirement home, hospital, etc.) on time.

2. Get some supplies together.

The fun thing about Valentine’s Day cards is the sky is the limit with creativity and you don’t have to be shy about your abilities. They can be simple and sweet and heartfelt or fancy and flowery!

Ingredients for a nice card:
Assorted construction paper or scrapbooking paper

Paper doilies
Washi tape

3. Grab some wine and get your friends together. Make it fun! Maybe host a kids party or a mom meet-up. Or host a craft night with your friends. Still need some creative inspiration? Check out this DIY Valentine’s Day card tutorial from The Pig and the Peacock.

4. Spread the love around! Once the cards are finished, deliver them to your chosen destination or mail them to your local Meals on Wheels.

Dallas’ local Meals on Wheels:
VNA Haggerty Center
1440 W. Mockingbird Lane
Dallas, Texas  75247

Etsy Dallas Craft Party hosted by Mudhen Meat and Greens

We hope you can make it over to Mudhen Meat and Greens from 2 - 4:30 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 9. The annual Etsy Dallas Craft Party features pendants, pompom keychains and leather earrings this year. It's going to be a fun afternoon. And it's free! Let us know you are coming on the Etsy Dallas Craft Party Facebook Event Page. See you this weekend!

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! 


Make Kawaii Bunny Charms with Katrina

Hey friends!  Katrina of Rhapsody Letterpress here today to share a fun, easy Spring project that you can do with your kids.  My daughter and I had a blast making these little Kawaii inspired bunny rabbit charms!  Now she wants to make all sorts of little characters!  Check out the tutorial below, and if you try it, show us on Instagram by tagging @etsydallas with #etsydallascrafts.

Purchase oven-bake clay like Sculpey and necklace chains at a craft store, and follow these simple steps.  You can place the hoop on the top behind the ears to have the charm lie flush.

kawaiibunnycharm (4).jpg
kawaiibunnycharm (3).jpg
Bake, then paint with fingernail polish, and dot the eyes and x the nose with a fine tip sharpie.

Bake, then paint with fingernail polish, and dot the eyes and x the nose with a fine tip sharpie.

Make Macramé Bracelets with Kathleen Care

Howdy crafty buddies!  My friend Kathleen Care is here today to show us how to make these simple, modern macramé bracelets!  Oh, the color and supply possibilities are endless!  Make some for yourself or with your kiddos and their besties!

Materials: .8mm Chinese knotting cord                
Cut cord: 2 x 15” pieces, 2 x 3’ pieces, 1 x 16” piece

Step 1: Attached cord to each side of the connector. Fold the 15” piece in half and thread through connector. Bring ends back through the loop and pull to tighten.


Step 2: Attached one of the 3’ pieces. Center under the 2 middle strands and tie with simple knot to attach. Fold the RIGHT cord over the Middle strands and under the LEFT cord. See below picture. Pull the LEFT cord under the RIGHT and MIDDLE strands and through the loop on the RIGHT side. See picture below.



Pull tight and slide the knot up to the top next to connector. The knot you just completed in the first step in making a square knot.


Step 3 Finish the second half of the square knots by folding the LEFT cord over the MIDDLE strands and under the RIGHT cord. Pull RIGHT cord under the LEFT and MIDDLE strands and through the loop on the LEFT side. See below pictures.



Pull to tighten. This completes the square knot. See picture below.


Step 4: Repeat this pattern until desired length is reached. Keep in mind the clasp will take up about ½”. Leave all the tails of your working cord until you have completed both sides to make necessary adjustments. Step 5: Repeat all the steps on the other side of the connector. Clip tails of the working cord but make sure you leave the tails of the MIDDLE strands to attach the clasp. See picture with labels for clarification.


Step 6: Making the clasp. Use the same square not pattern used to create the first parts of the bracelet, only you will have 4 middle strands now instead of 2. See pictures below.


1. To make the sliding closure, shape the bracelet into a circle and overlap the middle strands. Use wire or scrap cord to temporarily tie the cords together at each end if needed.
 2. Take the 16” cord piece and cent it under the strands.
 3. Start tying square knots exactly the same way you did to make the bracelet.
 4. Stop after about 1/2” of knotting.
 5. Remove temporary binding cords.
 Step 7: Finishing. The 2 sets of middle strands are now the adjustable ties of the bracelet. Adjust to fit over the hand and wrist and tie each end into simple knots. Step 8: Fire. Clip and burn all excess cord ends to keep from fraying. See closure in picture below.


Enjoy, and show us what you make with the #etsydallastutorial hashtag on Instagram!  

How to Make a Linocut Block by Wandering Paper Co.

Allow me to introduce you to Alex George, new Etsy Dallas member, and creative spark behind the eclectic, multicultural inspired prints and cards at Wandering Paper Co.  

She has thoughtfully prepared a linocut and block printing tutorial, and has given me permission to share.  Enjoy and check out her vibrant shop and blog!

Materials:Speedball Speedy-Carve block, size 4x6"Hard Rubber Brayer Pencil & Paper Adobe Illustrator (optional), Speedball Linoleum Cutter & Assorted Attachments

First, measure a 4x6 rectangle on a sheet of paper.  You can do this quickly by tracing your 4x6 block.

trace a 4x6 rectangle

Sketch out your design in pencil first. After I sketch my design out, I usually scan the drawing and fine-tune it in Adobe Illustrator. If you don't have Illustrator, don't worry, this part is optional.

use Adobe Illustrator to fine-tune your sketch

If you do design your print on the computer, print it out and color in the negative space with pencil. If you sketched your print out by hand, you can skip this step.

color the negative space on your design in with pencil

Now you will transfer your pencil sketch to the rubber block. Carefully lay your rubber block over your sketch so the edges align. Use your hard rubber brayer (or your fingers) to press down on the rubber block so the graphite from the pencil transfers from the paper onto the block.

use a brayer to transfer your design

Lift up the block and use your pencil to touch up any areas where the graphite did not transfer.Now use your linoleum cutter to carve your design out of the block. A few tips: Use the tool in a pushing (not pulling motion) for best results. Also, turn the block, not your hand when making a curved line.

carve your block using linoleum cutters

Voila! Your block is carved, and you're ready to print! 

finished linocut block

Thank you so much for sharing your art with us, Alexandra!  Hop on over to her beautiful blog to see how to use your carved linocut block to print in Part 2 of her series!  Happy Saturday, friends and crafters!

DIY: Valentine's Day Cards

Want to make a thoughtful handmade Valentine's Day card for someone special (or you waited till the last minute and there are zero cards left at the store?) We have a fun and easy tutorial for you today!

Materials needed:
Cardstock - folded in half
Heart cut out of a piece of paper
Embroidery needle
Embroidery floss in your choice of color (or go crazy with several!)

  1. Take your heart cutout and trace it lightly on the front of your card - use a pencil for this part
  2. Using your embroidery needle poke holes around the heart tracing - be sure to space them out. For the heart on the left you will also need to poke a hole in the center of the heart.
  3. Once all the holes have been made, erase the pencil tracing. Select your embroidery floss color.
  4. Starting from the top of the heart start making big stitches from each hole to the center.
  5. Keep working your way around the heart. You can change colors part way through too.
  6. Once complete, tie a knot on the back side of the card to secure the floss and write a message of your choice!
Instead of making stitches through the center you can randomly make stitches all around the hear for a more abstract look, or do lines straight across for a clean look.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Etsy Dallas on The Broadcast: DIY Repurposing Picture Frames

Karen from Pinwheel Fair and Kathy from Kathleen Care Jewelry joined the hosts of The Broadcast to show off beautiful ways to recycle your old picture frames. 

Karen makes all kinds of gorgeous chalkboards, pushpins, and pillows in her Etsy shop. We are so happy she shared some of her talent and creative skills with us on the show today and gave us all the details for her Framed Magnet Board. 
Framed Magnet Board:

- Frame
- Sheet metal & tin snips (Home Depot or Loews)
- Ruler & sharpie
- Spray Paint
- Decorative paper or fabric
- Mod Podge & sponge brush
- Foam core
- Duck tape
- Utility knife & cutting mat
- Magnets
1. Remove glass, frame backing and spray paint the frame the color of choice - for best adhesion, lightly sand and prime first.
2. Measure inside of frame from the back - this will be your sheet metal dimensions. If your frame has a glass insert, simply use it as
an easy template to draw onto your sheet metal. Be careful - the sides will be SHARP!
3. "Paint" a thin layer of Mod Podge on to your sheet metal insert and smooth out your decorative paper/fabric carefully removing any air bubbles.  (Don't worry about the overage yet...)
4. Let dry overnight.
5. Cut off paper or fabric edges using your utility knife & a cutting mat to protect work surfaces. 
6. Carefully place your steel insert back into your frame.
7. Cut layers of foam core board to fit, until the frame back is level to the frame.
8. Seal all edges with your duck tape to complete!
Kathy from Kathleen Care Jewelry designs and hand crafts beautiful jewelry. How lovely it would be to make one or two of her display boards to organize all of your jewelry. Here's all the details Kathy shared with us:

Jewelry Display from a Picture Frame

Jewelry Display Board: 

- Fabric
- Frame
- Spray Paint
- Cotton batting
- Straight Pins
- Pearl Pins
- Duct or heavy duty tape 
- Double sided tape or glue dots

1. Pick a frame large enough to display your jewelry, hair bows, etc, and make sure the fabric you use extends at least 2 inches on each side.
2. Remove glass, frame backing and spray paint the frame the color of choice
3. Adhere cotton batting to the card board back of your frame. I use either glue dots or double sided tape, cutting off any excess batting.
4. Tautly pull the fabric over your frame backing and secure with either duct tape or framing tape (some people even like to use a heavy duty stapler)
5. Put newly covered frame cardboard back in the frame without the glass.

See Karen and Kathy in action on The Broadcast!

DIY Herb Wreath Tutorial

This morning Regina from Regal Cottage joined Suzy with D the Broadcast to talk about harvesting Fall herbs and making them into a lovely kitchen wreath. This is a great project to store and use your herbs long after you have pruned them back for winter. The herbs will dry on the wreath and you can snip off only what you need for recipes.

Here is the step by step process to making your own.

Step 1: Choose your frame. Pictured here is a lowly coat hanger destined for greatness! I shaped into a circle (sort of). Once the herbs are on, it fills out nicely, so don't worry too much about this. On the show we made two other versions, one used a grapevine wreath and the other an embroidery hoop. The grapevine wreath is best if you don't have tons of herbs to fill it out. You can just place them around the vines, and it looks great without a lot of herbs. 

Step 2: Cut off lengths of herbs in 9-12 inch sections. Bundle several stems together with floral wire. You will need probably 20 or so of these bundles depending on your frame and type of herbs. Our rosemary bushes had become overgrown and it was time to give them a good pruning, so that is what I chose to be the base for this wreath.

Step 3: You want to cover your entire frame. Attach two bundles at once. I used one on the front and one on the back to make sure that the wreath has a nice fullness and the wire doesn't show through.

Step 4: Layer your bundles on the frame to complete the entire circle. 

Step 4: Add in additional herbs strategically around the wreath. Pictured here is fresh basil on top of the rosemary base. You can add to your wreath as you wish. If you wind up later needing to purchase herbs for a recipe, just attach the leftovers to your wreath for later use. The more the better, and they will never go to waste.

Step 5: Finally attach a ribbon hanger. The ribbon I used in this picture is an indoor outdoor material that didn't tie well, so I stapled it together and put the staples to the back.

We would love to see your herb wreaths! Feel free to share them here in the comments, on Instagram (tag @etsydallas), Facebook or Twitter.

Happy crafting!

Etsy Dallas Takes TV

Some exciting news for Etsy Dallas! This morning, Etsy Dallas will debut a (LIVE!) crafting segment on KTXD's The Broadcast. We are so excited to have an opportunity to bring some great crafting projects to the air--tutorials that will help you avoid the Pinterest Pitfall (oh yeah, we've allllllllll had one).

We are committed to bringing you tested tutorials that are proven to work with materials you have on hand--or can get easily. We'll also offer variations on each project--so whether you're a crafting novice or crafting pro, you can craft with confidence.

Regina and Jenni will open things with a Green Your Lunchbox segment featuring cute (and easy!) ways to help your family reduce waste: a no-sew fabric sandwich wrap (none of that yucky and questionable plastic hanging out on your food) and some ways to make a bento box the star of the lunch table.

etsy dallas crafts
Written tutorial forthcoming!

If you've already seen the segment, we're thrilled you came to visit the blog! If you haven't seen it, check it out.

Hope to see you back with a new Etsy Dallas member each week!

Holiday Crafts: Around the House Edition

Jenni from Jenni20 Designs gets crafty on the cheap. Here's how inspiration struck her and how you can create your own holiday glitter tinsel wreath with things you already have at home.

You know I've never met a piece of glitter I didn't like. In fact, my favorite colors (aside from the perennial favorites, pink and green) are glitter, plaid, and stripes.

I pulled out a vintage-style swing coat the other day in preparation for a holiday get-together. (Of course, that's before I realized it was going to be 80+ degrees the first weekend of December.) It is a shimmery, creamy, gold and silvery confection and the second I saw it hanging on the back of my bedroom door*, I had this glitter tinsel craft in mind.

Actually, this is a two-for-one tutorial because you can make either of these glittery holiday decorations using the techniques and materials: 1) the giant Christmas ornament 2) the sparkly holiday wreath.

If you're like me, you have a few wire hangers in the back of your closet (I know, cue Mommie Dearest) and an attic and/or garage full of random festive stuff. Add in some scissors and, if you're really industrious, some fancy jewelry making wire shaper thingamajigs, you're all set!

I'm not an actual Mommie Dearest, but I imagine this would be a fun craft to do with kiddos once you've done the prep work and are ready to wrap.

(You can also use variety-store garland. Certain "dollar" establishments around town sell 9ft. of glitter garland for $1. Grab two or three to make the ornament. If you really want to be fancy, a certain Bullseye store sells really plush glitter garland for $6. One package of that will make a really lush wreath.)

Wire hanger (remove the spongy stuff), plier doo-dads, tinsel garland of choice, and a pair of scissors.

There's really no official way to do this. You just bend and wrap. (Cue Elle Woods.)

For the ornament, I suggest bending your hanger into a mostly-round shape (the tinsel covers a multitude of geometrical sins!). For your wreath, you can play around with diamond or square shapes, but I found the traditional round wreath was the look for my door.

Bend the hanger until mostly circular; you can do this with your hands if you don't have fancy pliers. Leave the curved part--this will become your ornament's hanger.

 (My mom said it would be cute to wrap that part in a silver pipe cleaner--I didn't have any on hand.)
I promise it won't look like an acorn when you're finished.

Starting at the top of the circle, tie a loose knot (gently) of garland/tinsel around the wire, and start wrapping. You'll get into a rhythm pretty quickly and find what works best for you. I found that wrapping the tinsel around each edge of the circle before stringing it to the other side kept my tinsel where I wanted it.

You'll have to fuss a bit with it, but it takes almost no time at all to wrap. When you get to the end of your strand of garland, just tie the next strand to the first and keep wrapping. I used 3 packages of bargain-store tinsel, about 27ft. (!) for this little guy. But that was $3, so I thought that a pretty good deal.

To make the wreath, start the same way: tie your tinsel (gently--you don't want to break it) into a knot around the top of the hanger. I left mine on so I could hang it on my wreath hanger, but you can always bend yours down if you want to hang your wreath with a bow.

And then you start wrapping. Instead of going around both sides of the form, you'll just wrap, and wrap, and wrap all the way around. I counted this as a good arm workout.

If you have delicate hands, you might want to consider wearing gloves because
the tinsel can get pretty itchy after a while.

Don't worry about spacing it evenly around the circular form; you can always manipulate the tinsel once it's all wrapped and tied off to get the desired effect or cut off a few feet if you think you've got too much.

But my desired effect was a gloriously bushy, rich, and full wreath that is full of sparkle and pizazz, so I didn't cut one inch off.

I used the entire package of ridiculously full garland ($6 at the Bullseye store) and I love love how it turned out. I'd love to see how yours turns out!

Use skinny garland for a modern, streamlined look. Hang two or three together for even more flash. I'd also love to see one done up in green with a cute ornament hanging down in the middle of the wreath.

People, you have some wire hangers to repurpose!

Please tweet pictures to our Etsy Dallas Twitter account or post to our Team Facebook Page.


*Yes, the hanger was part of the inspiration!

Craft Blast from the Past: Washi Tape Magnets

Esther from estieMade bring us another installment in her awesome Craft Blast from the Past series.

Craft Blast from the Past is back! We're focusing on DIY magnets today. Remember making magnets when you were young? It usually involved gluing circular magnets to some kind of art piece we made, or using magnetic tape on the back of a photo. Today I'm going to teach you to make your own with washi tape and magnetic business cards. It's a quick and easy way to spruce up your fridge or office filing cabinet. I got the inspiration from this tutorial.

-washi tape
-business card magnets 

Peel the plastic covering off the magnets to expose the sticky side. 

Place the magnet onto the cardstock and press down firmly. Make sure there are no air bubbles between the magnet and cardstock. Then trim off the excess paper.

Place the washi tape parallel to one of the edges of the business card, then use your scissors and cut along the tape line. Lastly, cut the edges of the magnet. You can either do straight cuts, or you can cut zig zags to mimic the torn edges of washi tape.

Since washi tape is so thin, I thought it'd be fun make a couple magnets with colored paper underneath the tape instead of plain white cardstock. I used sheets from a paper sample book I had at home. (If you're in Texas, you can get these books free from Clampitt for free.)

Since I used pastels, the color underneath came out pretty subtle. I like how it adds just a hint of color to the magnet though. 

Like I said, this is a super-quick project. What will you use your washi tape magnets for?

Adorable DIY Halloween Treats

Trick-or-treat time is almost here! This fun DIY project from Rori of MadeByRori might just make your house the most popular in the neighborhood with all the ghouls and goblins. 

Here are the supplies you will need: the cardboard from toilet paper rolls (you can also cut paper towel rolls to size, if needed); scissors; scrap paper in Halloween colors; scrap pieces of ribbon or twine; candy; double-stick tape; cellophane.

How to make these awesome Halloween treats:

1.   Cut scrap paper to 6 x 4 1/8 inches to fit the toilet paper roll. You may have some excess outside the edge of the roll, but that’s okay.
2.   Put double-stick tape around each end of the toilet paper tube and around the middle. Carefully wrap the tube with the paper. You’ll have about an inch of overlap, so add an extra strip inside the end of your paper for extra hold.
3.   Now center the wrapped tube in a piece of cellophane. I cut the cellophane into pieces of 13 x 8.5 inches. You want to roll along the 8.5-inch length, so there’s plenty left on either side. Use a small piece of double-stick tape to secure the cellophane to itself when you reach the end.
4.   Tie off one end of the cellophane with ribbon or twine (about 6.5 inches should be enough for one end), leaving the other end open so you can put in a few pieces of candy. Fun!
5.   Tie off the other end and you’re done!
6.   Put your adorable treats in a bowl and get ready to impress the neighbors.

These also make fun party takeaways. And they’re a good way to spice up the office candy bowl. 

Craft Blast from the Past: Sculpey Doily Bowls

Hello! it's Esther from estieMade, with the third installment of Craft Blast from the Past. This series is all about taking an old school craft and using it in a new and modern way.

Today, we focus on Sculpey. It's a bake-able polymer clay that you can buy at your local craft store. Some of y'all may have used this to make your own beads for necklaces growing up. Or maybe you made a 'plate' with an imprint of your hand on it to give to your Mom for Mother's Day in second grade. Fast forward a bunch of years, and this is what you can do with Sculpey now: make a little bowl for your jewelry. The inspiration for this came from this tutorial from Sodapop design. It’s in German, but the pics are pretty self explanatory. I translated the text using Google translator, and came up with this adapted tutorial. To start, I gathered my materials: bowling3-Sculpey clay (I got this at JoAnn Fabrics)
-lace to make your design (a paper doily works fine too)
-a cookie cutter (a cup works fine too)
-rolling pin
-either wax paper or a silipat to roll the clay on
-acrylic paint (optional)

Steps First, roll out the Sculpey onto the Silipat (or wax paper). Make sure you roll the clay out evenly, so that the entire piece is the same depth (about .25"). (By the way, don’t roll your clay out directly on the counter, or you will have to restart. I made that mistake, and couldn’t scrape the clay off the counter without ruining the design.) bowling4
 Then roll the lace into the clay. bowling5
 Carefully peel back the lace. bowling6
 Use your cookie cutter to cut the clay into a circle. bowling7
Next, peel the clay circle off the Silipat, and put it into a oven-safe bowl. I didn’t want the finished bowl to be too deep, so I used a shallow one. bowling 11
The oven-safe bowls went on a cookiesheet, and were baked. I just followed the baking instructions on the Sculpey packaging. After they were done baking, Let the clay cool in the bowls. bowling12
Now for the finishing touches. I ended up making a little birdie to perch on the lip of one of the bowls. To make it easier to glue the bird to the bowl, I cut out a little triangle of clay from the bottom of the bird. This was baked standing up, at the same time as the bowls. bowling9
I attached the little bird I made to the lip of one clay bowl.bowling1 bowling13
On another bowl, painted it with two coats of gold acrylic. Had to use a small brush to do this, for more precise painting. bowling14 bowling15
I ended up using this as my business card holder at last year's Handmade Bash. bowling16
These bowls are pretty versatile – and they look pretty good, for being made out of Sculpey!

Craft Blast from the Past: Eraser Stamps

Hi, this is Esther from estieMade, kicking off a series called Craft Blast from the Past. The series is all about taking an old school craft and using it in a new and modern way.
Today's topic? Turning erasers into stamps! Remember how we used to use potatoes in grade school and carve them into stamps? Well, this is pretty much the same thing, except you use erasers instead of potatoes. This is a easy and cost effective way to spice up a card (Mother's Day is coming up), gift wrap, or packaging. Plus, you can reuse the stamps you make for a long time. To make your stamps, you will need: 
-no.2 pencils with new/unused erasers 
-X-acto knife 
-ballpoint pen 
-stamp pads 
-paper, or something else to stamp on 
-a damp paper towel

step one Take your ballpoint pen, and draw out the desired stamp shape on your eraser.
I made a triangle and a heart. *I also tried doing this on the big white eraser you see in the images above, but it didn't work out for me. The erasers were too porous for the stamp pads I had, and the shapes that I stamped out looked more like blobs than hearts. Perhaps I should try with a larger design or a different kind of eraser next time.

step two Using your x-acto knife, carefully cut the excess eraser away, leaving just your shape.
You'll want to cut down to the base of the eraser, where the metal piece is. I made the heart by cutting right angles to get the general shape, then shaving down little pieces of eraser to give it a more rounded shape.

step three Admire your fancy work. Then bust out the stamp pads. It's time to go stamp happy! Make sure your damp paper towel close by, so you can wipe off the stamps when you switch colors.

I ended up making a bunch of different patterns using my stamps, then went back with a Micron pen to add accents. I thought this one (below) would make a cute name card for a dinner party. (Or in my case, a tea party that has pb&j.)
So there you have it – the first Craft Blast from the Past. The more you use the stamps, the more ideas you come up with. I promise!

If you're interested in seeing more tutorials, stop by my blog.