Archive | Craft/DIY

Halloween how-to round-up! Plus dogs in costumes!

Halloween how-to round-up!
I’m all talk with all of this Halloween exuberance, I have nothing prepared myself. I have elaborate ideas and schemes but the last few weeks have left no time to get a costume cooked up. Time to get on it right?! Regardless of my Halloween neglect, here are some great links for your Halloween edification, inspiration, or just plain enjoyment. Have a splendid weekend everyone and thanks for reading Maquette. I’m going to offer a free downloadable Halloween card for you next week!:

  1. Just in time for the election….political jack-o-lanterns! (More on politics, here’s something for an invitation that you might want to include. The U.S. election campaign is giving hallowe’en-ers a lazy costume option; use this notice to head them off at the pass.)
  2. Spooky Halloween Garland how-to via Paper Crave (with free silhouettes to cut out if you don’t want to design and make your own)
  3. Halloween Cocktails via Dabbled (your escape from politics for one night!)
  4. Martha Stewart Creepy cookie gallery (if your vice is sugar…mine is)
  5. MAKE Special Edition: HALLOWEEN, from the editors of MAKE and CRAFT, brings you 40-plus DIY projects for the holiday that’s made for makers. From the craftiest costumes to amazing animated props and the latest in computer-controlled haunted house effects (links references in the issue)
  6. Halloween fantasy mask tutorial via Craft blog

Best for last….dogs in Halloween costumes…best video music ever!:

Direct link to YouTube


10 easy steps to making your own hair accessory!

Hair accessories how-to
I am so in love with vintage inspired hair accessories. I especially love feather fascinators and vintage combs. So I decided to go about making some of my own. It was really simple and fun. Anyone can do it. I broke it down into 10 simple steps just for you dear readers. You could even skip a few steps if you like (the written instructions are below the following images).
Hair accessory how-to

Hair accessory how-to 2

Materials: All you’ll need is felt, feathers, a ribbon, a button, and hot glue. If you want, you can use leather instead of felt for the base and fabric instead of feathers for the decorative part.

Here are the simple steps (now you can have a hair accessory to go with every outfit, or a special one for a wedding or party):

  • 1. Cut a rounded teardrop shape out of leather or felt (whatever size you desire. The one pictured is about the size of my pointer finger)
  • 2. Pick your feathers. I like mixing colors a bit (the combo above is a light turquoise, white, and some light pink ones in the back, just to peek through a bit). I like to lay them out in a little fan array at this step.
  • 3-4. Hot glue a blob on the leather or felt base. Carefully lay the feathers over it a few at a time (you can wear gloves if you like or a sewing thimble (I like to risk it but hot glue burns are really painful so it’s your call). Press down once you’ve laid the top layer of feathers on. The hot glue seeps through enough to stick them all.
  • 5. (optional) lay one feather facing the other direction (this makes the feathers less of a fan shape and more of a cloche shape).
  • 6. Cut concentric circles out of ribbon, one smaller than the next and glue them into a little flower shape. Or skip all of this a use a button (see photos above for examples).
  • 7. Glue ribbon flower or button over the feather convergence point (where the stems meet). This step helps hold everything together and hides glue.
  • 8. Glue two little drops of glue across width of base leather or felt.
  • 9. Cut leather or felt strip and place over glue drops. Make certain the center is not glued down.
  • 10. Add bobby pin and then you can clip into your hair. I usually need two. I have curly hair. You can also hot glue a barrette, comb, head band, or hair band onto the back. It’s your aesthetic call.

And that’s it! Pretty easy right? You’ll probably want to make a bunch once you get started. Won’t these be great gifts for the holidays or for a wedding party or something?

Hope you enjoy!




Mini Journal making: A DIY project for all levels of crafter

Above are a some pocket journals I made for my husband a couple of years ago using fabric. More details at the bottom of the post.


While preparing for the Surtex show last May, I started looked for ways to display my surface pattern designs. So I made a bunch of journals. I used heavy weight paper for some of the covers and for some I used fabric . I printed the paper ones with an ink jet printer, and used iron on t-shirt transfers to adhere my prints to the fabric ones (like the ones you see above and this one). Regardless of your crafting abilities, this project is a great way to make a gift, use recycled materials, show off your own designs, or designs you like.

I’m going to tell you how to make mini journals according to your ability, or ehemm…comfort with a stapler versus burning hot glue!


Ribbon is a great binding tool and decorative embellishment. I love using origami paper for the inside covers too.

mini journal making

You can even make one without glue, needle and thread, or staples. For the ones above all I used was a hole punch and ribbon to bind.

Ok so, here’s how to do it yourself!!:
Advanced: (hot glue, cardboard or heavy card-stock, fabric, ribbon (optional), paper, scissors

  1. Start by cutting your card stock/board into one long sheet and then fold in half for front and back cover (like a card)
  2. Cut fabric, about 1/2 inch larger than card stock/board
  3. Hot glue around edges of cardboard/stock and center fabric on top, fold to make sure you did not do it too tightly.
  4. Once dry, cut diagonal slices on edges of the fabric that stick out so that you can fold them in, on the inside of the book.
  5. Once you’ve done the cutting and have practiced folding the edges in, hot glue a thin line around the whole card stock, and proceed folding the fabric inward. You may need to add little drops of glue where the fabric is overlapping. (here’s where you add ribbon around the edges if you want).
  6. Add origami paper, or another piece of fabric over the card stock to cover inside. I always try to cover the little fabric folding imperfections with the inside fabric/paper.
  7. Cut paper for inside of journal(I recommend using recycled printer paper, vellum, watercolor paper etc.), Then fold in half (like a card).
  8. Hot glue a line down the center of card stock/board and place the edge of your folded paper pile on top, hold till try…..and voila, fabric journal.

Mini-journal making for those (I’ll call us Intermediate) who like sewing or hole punching and tying

For this you’ll need: Heavy printer paper (I love photo supreme matte) to print your design on, or photo, or someone else’s design (get permission unless it’s copyright free), a hole-punch, thread and needle or ribbon.

  1. Fold your heavy paper with design on it in half like a card.
  2. Hole punch two or three holes on the fold if you are using ribbon.
  3. If you are sewing, cut and fold your inside papers and sew through them and the heavy paper (this is hard to do, you may need to sew little bits at a time. I prefer the hole punching and ribbon tying method but to each their own.
  4. For hole punching, add your hole punched papers (it does not matter if they’re exactly lined up with outside holes but try to get it close).
  5. Then weave ribbon through from the inside out. So the ribbon should look like a staple on the inside at the center. Then I like to take one tip of ribbon on the outside and bring it back around the inside and reconnect it with the other tip at the bottom on the outside so that a bow is visible (see the picture above). I feel there are no tying rules. It’s fun to experiment and come up with a way you like. I always change it up. That’s the fun of a handmade object. There’s no such thing as a “right way” to make it.

The Easy breezy way: Printed design on heavy paper, inside sheets, and stapler

  1. Just prepare your design paper (heavy weight) and inside pages.
  2. Line them up and staple them, and voila a journal.
  3. To spiffy it up, add a “lock” by taking a thin strip of paper and stapling it to the center edge of the cover horizontally. Then wrap it around the back and add another little u shaped loop to slide it into (vertical). Make sure the horizontal strip is longer but not wider than the vertical strip.

I’m a bit of a messy worker, see:
mini journal making mess...

YAY….this project just got featured on Craft!


Sian Keegan: pattern designer + crafter

Sian Keegan

Sian (pronounced “Shawn”) Keegan is a brilliant surface pattern designer and crafter. She creates beautiful/precious animals out of recycled fabrics and remnants. She even does doggie portraits. I follow her blog to see her work and updates about it such as, Sian’s soft sculpture scallions are available and Rose and Raddish. I would love to have a doll made of Pita! And when I have a baby, how adorable is her mobile? Sian’s work is a must see.

Here’s her etsy shop, her elegant patterns, and blog.


Skinny LaMinx: Blog, Elle Decor SA, & Etsy shop. Plus my new patterns and Decor8’s post.

Skinny La Minx

Heather of the fabulous Skinny LaMinx blog does everything. She designs beautiful textiles for her own etsy shop (I want the tea towels and pillow above). She also blogs on Elle Decor SA. To top it all off she’s an illustrator. A regular ol’ Renaissance woman. If you are not already subscribed to Skinny La Minx, you should really check it out. Also, I have an insider tip that she’ll be adding a new tea towel design to her shop today, Thursday! Act fast and check it out!

On another note:

new prints
Holly of the famous Decor8 was nice enough to post my patterns with an open call to her readers to weigh in on the surface and pattern design industry. Their comments were so helpful. I have to go out now and buy like 20 books and I also have to keep working on my designs and perhaps seek out a rep. Who knows. It’ll be a long and interesting hall. Holly is so amazing. It’s bloggers like her that make an art/design community…that’s what it’s all about in my opinion. Here are a couple of designs I just made.