Archive | Arting & Crafting

3D Printed Deer Head for Casey Neistat

Today’s project is a little different. It’s something we made not for our own house, but as a gift. It’s something that isn’t like most of the projects we post because it’s not really a tutorial exactly. BUT it’s something we feel strongly about and are excited to share, so let’s get into it :)

We made a 3D printed deer head for Casey Neistat!

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn So if you know what we do, and you know what Casey does, this might seem kinda random. The content we have on our channels doesn’t have much overlap. But if it wasn’t for Casey… we might not even have a channel. 

In the video below, we explain what we mean, but in a nutshell: We’ve always loved DIYing and sharing what we do, but Casey inspired us to take it to the next level by starting a YouTube channel and devoting as much time and energy as we have to building our passion into something more. This deer head design was, in a way, the kick off point of us taking what we do from just a hobby to something more, so it’s very special to us and we wanted to share it. Hope you like it Casey :)

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

Now, I’ll try to cover the steps we took to make this deer but there will be a few things that won’t be possible unless you have 3D printer access. So feel free to read along if your’e curious about any of the steps, or watch the video above if you just wanna see the process in action.

Making the backing

First things first, we had to find some pallet wood for the backing. We went to a tiny local hardware store in the area to see if they had some pallets we could take off their hands.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn We’ve never salvaged pallet wood before (which is kinda a DIYer right-of-passage, right?) so we were excited to get our hands on this. We went for salvaged wood over new lumber because we wanted it to have a bit more wear and tear, and not look so perfect.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn We used our reciprocating saw to cut the ends of the wood  from the ends of the pallet, and pried off the nails from the middle of the pallet.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Then we joined three pallet boards using our Kreg jig.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn And once they were joined, we cut off a little bit from each end on the miter saw so that the top and bottom were even

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn

Printing the deer

Meanwhile we started 3D printing a big deer head. We designed this guy a while back (modeled in MODO) and sell smaller version on Etsy and at West Elm stores here in Texas (like I said, it’s really the first project that kicked off this adventure), but we wanted something slightly larger with some more oomph. So Evan got to work making the design even bigger (mainly in SolidWorks).

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn After a few failed prints, we got Fred to handle the larger deer size (Fred is our new printer, if you follow us on Insta you’ve met him before) and he came out beautifully. We’re still trying to fine tune Simplify 3d (the software that tells the printer what to do) and getting the supports to stick is sometimes an issue.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn He was printed in three different pieces, meaning we had to join those pieces. Evan designed him with holes at each connection point so that we could attach the pieces with dowels and super glue.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn We may have initially put the wrong antler on the wrong side, and we may have panicked a little, but he’s good now :)

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Then we had quite a bit of surface area to smooth out. 3D prints are often printed with supports that you break off when the print is finished. Breaking off the supports leaves a rough patch. So we smooth those out with a combination of a soldering iron and coats of automotive primer (sounds weird if you haven’t worked with 3D prints before, but it does the trick!)

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn After the rounds of priming and soldering, we spray painted him a dark gunmetal color.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn

Painting

Next we painted the backing. The goal was to do something colorful with a bit of a street art vibe. First we spray painted the same gun metal gray we used on the deer on the top and bottom of the pallet to give it even more of a weathered look.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Without waiting for it to dry, we started adding strokes of acrylic paint in layers upon layers. We used about ten different colors.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn We also added a little 3D printed touch: Casey’s tattoo DO MORE. We glued the 3D printed text over the paint.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Lastly, I had to hide a little YouTube icon in the details. This is Casey after all.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn

Assembly

Lastly we drilled a hole through the backing and mounted the deer.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Here’s the finished product y’all!

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Of course, we also had to figure out a way to mail this guy from Texas to New York. We bought the most economical box we could that was double walled and big enough for the deer. Turns out “most economical” means “most awkwardly sized” so we actually got this big thing and cut it down to a smaller size

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn 3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Of course, we had to make the box our own. Couldn’t help but doodle on it.

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn Then we shed a few sweaty, happy tears, said our goodbyes and mailed him off. Hope he makes it to NY ok. Hope Casey likes him. If we’re lucky, maybe we’ll get to see him again on Mail Time :)

3D printed deer head for Caset Neistat - Evan & Katelyn If you wanna see him on Mail Time too… make sure to let Casey know! Please send him the video link on Twitter @CaseyNeistat. Casey is one of our biggest creative inspirations and it would mean so much to us knowing that our gift made it to him. Thank you!!

Tools and materials

If you’re trying to tackle a similar project, we wanted to still include the tools and materials we used. Here goes!

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

 

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DIY easy concrete letters

We are kinda sorta obsessed with these little concrete letters. Mainly because a) they’re really easy to DIY because there’s no mold-making required, and b) leaving messages around the house is kinda awesome.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Hehehehehe.

So today we’re gonna walk through this quick tutorial. And after this you’ll be looking around your house for other stuff you can pour concrete into (it’s kind of addicting).

You can watch the video that covers everything below, or keep scrolling for all our choices, steps, and tips in blog-format.

[Before we keep going, I want to pause and say if you have a second it would mean SO much to us if you’d like our video or subscribe to our channel. Since we’re brand new to YouTube, every view, like, and subscription makes a huge difference for us. Click here to see the whole channel. Thank youuuuu! We’re doing a big goofy happy dance right now!]

Here’s what you’ll need for the project

  • Quikrete Vinyl Concrete Patcher
  • Small mixing container (you could use something like this or even a solo cup works if you’re just doing a few letters)
  • Stirring and scooping devices (we use an old ladle to scoop dry concrete mix, a metal rod to mix it, and a plastic spoon to scoop it into the letters. But chances are, you’ve got something on hand already that will work)
  • Silicone letter baking mold
  • Gloves (we really like the thick 9 mil gloves)
  • Mask
  • Plywood or some sort of board (it protects your work surface and makes it easier to get concrete to settle into your mold – we’ll get into that later)
  • Concrete sealer (optional)
  • Paint or spray paint (optional, but we used gold Krylon)

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com If you’ve watched any concrete tutorials before, you may notice we’re using a sliiiightly different product from the norm. This was a choice we made for a few reasons:

  1. It has a really fine grain so the ending surface finish is really nice – no big lumps or rocks
  2. It fills into more detailed shapes more easily than some concretes
  3. Bonus – it comes in a smaller batch than most concrete mixes, which is nice

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Before you start, place plywood (or anything else similarly stiff and board-like) over your work surface. This not only protects your table from the potential mess, but it’s also gonna help you agitate the mold too (don’t worry, we’ll get into that later).

Make sure you have your PPE (personal protective equipment on) before you start handling the concrete mix. Portland cement is very basic (opposite of acidic), and has crystalline silica dust (which is really bad for your lungs). If you get cement on your hands and leave it there it can cause minor chemical burns and draws out moisture from your skin. If you do get cement on your hands, no worries. Wash with water, then pour common white vinegar over the area to neutralize any alkalinity, then wash with water again.

Start by adding a small amount of water to your mixing container. It’s important to add water to the container first before adding any mix. We started with about 50 ml but ended up adding more later.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Then add a few ladles of mix. The Quikrete instructions say to use 7 parts concrete mix to 1 part water, but for this project we found that to be too dry. We added a splash or two more water (a little goes a long way!) and kept mixing.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Side note, adding more water DOES weaken the concrete slightly. Which you definitely wouldn’t want if you were making anything that needed to be structurally sound or hold weight. But for this small decorative items, the slightly wetter concrete is so much easier to work with so we think it’s worth it (we’ve made a ton of these by the way – no breaks so far)

It’s easy to add too much water though. So here’s a tip to check and see if you have too much. Agitate the mixing container, and excess water will rise to the surface. We do this by quickly hitting the insides of the walls of the container back and forth with our stirring stick (you can see this better in the video).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com This should cause extra water, if there is any, to rise to the surface. If you see water pooling a little at the top, add a little more concrete mix, stir it around, and agitate the container again to test for more water.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Once there’s not more excess water and your concrete is about the consistency of a sandy milkshake (I know, sounds so appetizing), you’re good to go. (In total, you’ll need to mix for 2-3 minutes to make sure everything is incorporated).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Once your mixed concrete is ready, spoon it into the letters of the mold that you want to make. Heads up – some letters don’t stand up on their own too well (like P and F for example, which are asymmetrical and top heavy) but that doesn’t mean you can’t still use them (see our “POOP” example above…. hmm that’s something I never foresaw myself saying).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com You’ll want to overfill the letters a little. The concrete will settle down into the mold.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Now you need to agitate the mold to get out any air bubbles. This is where the plywood comes in handy. We like to shake and drop the plywood with the mold on top of it, since the plywood is a lot sturdier to grab onto than a silicone mold full of wet concrete. You can still agitate the mold itself by scooting it quickly side to side, but I wouldn’t pick it up or anything. Again, this is easier to visualize in video format.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com You’ll see the bubbles rise to the surface. You can pop them with whatever stirrer or scooper you have on hand, then give the mold another good shake to see if any more come up.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Honestly, we kinda like the look of a few bubbles… it adds some interest. But you don’t want a ton or it’ll be a weaker end product.

Scrape off any excess concrete off the top (we used a popsicle stick, but again whatever you have around is fine, just something with a flat edge). You can give it one last shake which should smooth out your scraped-off surface.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Then… you just have to wait. These take about 24 hours to dry.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Before we take them out of the mold, you have the option to apply a concrete sealer to the backs of them (the side you can see when they’re still in the mold).

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com This step is totally optional, but this side of the letters tends to be a little dusty and the sealer will help lessen the dust. Since we do a lot of stuff in concrete, we already had the sealer, but if you don’t want to buy it just for this purpose your letters will be fine.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com If you do want to use it, apply a thin coat and let it dry for about an hour (we’ve done half an hour… but if you want to play it safe, wait the full hour). Then you can remove your letters, yay!

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com The back edge might be a little rough, so chip off any rough edges with your finger.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com I know the last thing you want to hear is that you need to do any more waiting… but you have to do a little more waiting. 24 more hours to be exact. They continue to cure once they’re out of the mold because air is able to reach areas that were previously encased. You can see the difference between a freshly de-molded set of letters and one that is fully cured in the photo below.

Keep them on a surface that can be messy, like your plywood from earlier or simply sitting on top of the molds. If you put these on something absorbent, they’ll leave moisture spots.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Ok… after your long week of waiting, you can finally use these suckers! They’re super cute as is but there are tons of creative ways to paint them too. I love love love giving them a metallic ombre look.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com To do this, put on a glove (so you don’t spray your fingers) and hold the top of the letter, spraying the bottom half with your spray paint of choice. I try to spray about 8 inches away. The farther you spray, the more of a fade your ombre will have. Vice versa, the closer you spray the less fade you’ll have. You can test it on some scrap wood, cardboard, piece of junk mail, etc.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Other ideas we love are giving it a dipped look by painting the bottom third with gold leaf paint or crisp white acrylic, but I feel like you could experiment with lots of different techniques and styles. If you end up making these, take a photo of what you did and tag us @evanandkatelyn on Instagram because we would LOVE to see what y’all come up with!

And lastly, if you like the look of these but actually messing with concrete is not your thing, you can also buy these on our Etsy. We sell the LOVE as a set, but shoot us a message and we can make whatever letters you want. Like your home state…

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Favorite food…

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Or spirit animal.

DIY easy concrete letters using baking molds! evanandkatelyn.com Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

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DIY wood canvas frame

Hey guys! Quick project on the blog today. We’re going to be walking you through how to make a simple, simple frame for any art you have laying around. We did it for a wrapped canvas, but we’re pretty sure you can use the same method for anything else you might frame (a poster, a print, etc). Here’s the finished product:

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Custom frames can easily cost a couple hundred bucks (which is like, dozens of chickfila spicy chicken sandwiches). Our frame only cost us a few dollars. Meaning I have a lot of spicy chicken in my future.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Here’s what you’ll need:

Tools used:

So here’s how we did it. We started by measuring the outside edges of our canvas. We wanted the corners of the frame to meet at 45 degree angles, like in the graphic below. When you are measuring, make sure that the inside of your frame pieces is what matches up with the canvas measurement, and draw a 45 degree line out from that. The outside of your frame pieces will therefore be a little longer than the inside.

Alternatively, you could forego a 45 degree cut and just have them meet perpendicularly.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

After marking on our trim wood pieces where the cuts needed to go, Evan quickly sliced the wood on the miter saw but you could use a simple jigsaw instead if you have a steady hand.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

Once all four pieces were cut, we put wood glue at each corner where the pieces met. We used right angle clamps to hold the pieces together. You don’t have to buy four: if you have patience, you can just get one and do one corner at a time. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that squeezes our, then let them dry overnight.

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY wood canvas frame - evanandkatelyn.com

When we took the clamps off everything was nice and sturdy. Then we used an old rag to wipe on some Minwax stain in Dark Walnut (our favorite!) and let that dry for the recommended drying time.

The easiest thing about this frame? It just pops right onto the canvas. Simple tension holds the canvas in place, so there is no glass or hardware needed.

img_8335

If making the same frame for a print or poster, you can simply tape the print/poster to the back of the frame or staple it in if you want something a little sturdier.

Hope this helps you out with some of that art you’ve been meaning to frame!

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

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DIY Faux Fur Tree Skirt (and Garland!)

In yesterday’s Christmas decor post I mentioned we added some faux fur in both tree skirt and garland form. As promised, today I’m sharing this quick DIY you can do in an afternoon (ie you can finish it before the Christmas!) Bonus: this tree skirt only cost about $15 as opposed to the $69 versions elsewhere and you get a free garland out of the material too.

First my mom (thanks mom!) picked up some faux fur fabric from Jo-Ann’s. I opted for a tawny light brown color, but a warm white would look great too. The size you need will depend on your tree, but for our 7.5ft tree we went with a 60″ x 60″ square (human below for reference).

Then we flipped it over and marked the center.

After we had our center point, we could trace out our circle. There are several ways to do this: eyeball it, trace something big like a hula hoop, etc. My husband is an engineer so of course it involved magnets, a ruler, and pure precision.

So we put magnets on top of the center point and one under the fabric to hold them in place. Then we placed one end of our yardstick, which had a hole in it, over the magnets and used it as a compass. You could do the same thing by tying a string to the magnets in the center and using that as your compass.

By placing a marker at the end of your ruler (or your string) and rotating it around the center point, you’ll create a perfect circle.

Tada!

I’d recommend taking it outside to cut it because you are gonna get fur everywhere. I may look like I’m simply draped in a luxurious fur hanging out in my garage, but really I’m trying to cut it and not let it touch the ground at the same time. Evan only laughed at me for a minute before snapping a picture and helping me hold it :P

We cut along the circle and we also cut one line from the edge of the circle to the center point (so you can slide the center to the base of the tree).

Side note: our garage is insane. Lotsssss of different projects in progress. We’ll clean it… one day.

After cutting the circle out, shake it like a crazy person in your driveway or wherever you think you’ll gather the most attention from curious neighbors.

Bonus points if you get airborne while shaking it out.

We wrapped it around the base of the tree, putting the cut to the center in the back. Some of our edges were a little rough but we kinda feel like it gives it a more realistic look.

Of course… once we added presents you can barely see it.

But I know it’s there and I love it and that’s what matters!!!! Plus, as the presents disappear, the tree won’t look so sad and barren.

Part two of this tutorial is what we did with the scraps! We had a big ring of fur left, so I trimmed off the corners which left a circle of fabric. I took that and wrapped it around the baby tree in our office. It’s a nice tie in to our big tree, and it’s a super easy way to add visual impact to a without needing to hang ornaments.

Well there you have it! This was an easy and fun project that took very little time to complete – aka the perfect thing to tackle when you’re already counting down the days til Christmas!

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

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DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable

Hey guys! Today I’m super excited to share a quick and easy DIY that you can do after work this evening (and still have time to make pasta for dinner… mmmm pasta). It’s a cute tabletop menu that’s perfect for Thanksgiving, or really any get together where food is involved (aka, the best type of get togethers). It could also be used as an easily changeable display for art, photos, even a mini calendar printout for your desk! Here it is:

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

As you know from our post about how we prepped for our pop up shop, we made various pieces of signage for the event. I’m a big fan of creating multiple uses from our DIY projects, so rather than letting it collect dust in between pop ups, I put this piece to work. The piece I’m talking about is our little pricing sign.

In the photo below, it’s the shorter wood sign (with E&K at the top). It’s a simple piece made of wood, glue, and a few magnets. AKA it’s super easy y’all.

dscf1956

It’s a nice size – big enough to stand out, but not so big that it will overpower the rest of your tablescape. I created a menu design and swapped out the price sheet for the menu sheet, and it looks right at home on our little sign.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

First off, you can download the free printable menu by clicking here. It’s already sized for this stand so it’s easy peasy. And no, the download does not include my amazing sample menu already on it… although a meal involving tacos, donuts, and bacon sounds like my idea of a good time.

So let’s get onto the DIY shall we! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • About 11 inches of 1×6 wood
    (you’ll cut this into 2 pieces, it doesn’t need to be exact)
  • Super glue or wood glue
    (we looooove the super glue we linked to because it comes with an accelerant: you put the glue on side A, spray accelerant on side B, pop em together, and it sets pretty much instantly – aka no clamping required)
  • 8 cylindrical 1/4″ Neodymium magnets
    (if you already have other magnets they might work, but we like these 1/4″ ones because it’s easy to drill an exactly 1/4″ hole)

Tools used:

  • Miter saw
    (but you could get the pieces cut at Hone Depot or Lowes, or use a jig saw or hand saw if you did it carefully)
  • Power drill
  • 1/4″ drill bit used to get the circles for the embedded magnets
    (Evan recommends getting a 29 piece set like this one instead of buying individual bits)

So we took our piece of 1×6 wood and cut it into two pieces: a 3″ long piece for the horizontal base, and a 8″ long piece for the vertical display. Your pieces don’t have to be exactly the same lengths as ours; the final product just has to not topple over (which might happen if you made the vertical piece too tall or the horizontal base too skinny).

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Before we attached the two pieces of wood, we created recessed holes for the magnets. The magnets are what hold your printed menu onto the stand. We bought these 1/4″ magnets and Evan used his 1/4″ bit to make holes the exact size of the magnets.

In order to not drill too deep, we use a white paint pen to mark on the drill bit itself what depth we want to go to. You can place your magnet next to your bit and make a mark on the bit that’s the same height as your magnet. Another alternative is using a drill stop, which is a little bit more fool proof. You don’t want to drill too far; it’s better to have to go back and drill a little more.

Before gluing, do a test fit by dropping the magnets in your holes. They should fit perfectly flush with the wood (so satisfying!). If they fit, put a drop of super glue in each hole and popped in the magnets. If they don’t fit, drill a little more out.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Then we placed our menu so that the corners were over the four magnets, and we took the other four magnets and popped them into place over the menu. Technically it’s probably better to add your print out later, but we are impatient. Plus, magnets are fun :)

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Next up is gluing your two boards together. You can place the vertical piece on the horizontal piece (without glue) to get it centered, and then lightly mark on either side of the vertical piece so you know where to glue it. Next, apply super glue or wood glue to the bottom of the vertical piece and place back on the horizontal piece using your guide lines.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

We did super glue (+ the accelerant) so after holding it on for a few seconds, the glue was set. If you use wood glue, you’ll need to clamp it and leave it drying for the time specified on your bottle of wood glue.

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

And there you have it! I love that this DIY isn’t holiday specific – really it could be used to display any menu, photo, art, mini calendar… so many things you could do with it!

DIY Tabletop Menu + Thanksgiving Printable - evanandkatelyn.com

Free calendar printable graphic from LollyJane blog.

Note: This post contains affiliated links. Thank you for supporting our blog!

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Feeling Batty – DIY Felt Bats

Hey guys! The quickest of quick Halloween post today. Here’s the story: Girl meets felt placemats. Girl cuts out pumpkins from placemats and turns them into a garland. Girl is getting ready to throw out the remaining felt scraps when a lightbulb goes off/her cheapness takes over and she thinks “I can make something out of this felt!” And hence, 36 tiny bats were born.

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

Before I started cutting, I made myself a bat template. If you want you can grab my cutesy simple bat below (just right click and save the image to your desktop, then print at whatever size you want) or you can google “bat outline” and find just about any type of bat you can imagine.

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

I cut out my template and used it as a guide for cutting the felt. Because I was doing teeny tiny bats, it was easiest to use a little binder clip to hold the template in place while I cut (when my cut made it around to the clip, I’d just move the clip).

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

On a side note, I started this project with the Fiskars I’ve had in my drawer for a few years. Ended up with carpal tunnel (not really, but oh the hand cramps!). Then Evan busted out his favorite pair of scissors (yes, we’re the types of people that have favorite pairs of scissors) and they were soooooooo much better. I’m converted. Bonus: they are only $8.73 on Amazon.

I cut and cut, and cut some more. Not a bad way to spend some time when you’ve got Netflix on in the background and a fall candle burning within sniff-range.

Feeling Batty - DIY Felt Bats - evanandkatelyn.com

My original intent was to turn these into a garland, but then seeing them strewn about the table I thought they actually looked pretty good as table top decor. I’ll do another post in a few days with lots more photos of where these and all of our other Halloween crafties live around the house. For now, here’s a round up of all the Halloween projects we’ve done so far:

Sprucing up faux pumpkins with puffy paint, a bit more realism, and metallic ombre.
Upgrading our Halloween hurricanes with metallic insides.
Turning felt pumpkin placements into a felt pumpkin garland.
Fixing some messed up gourds with Sugru and paint.
Bonus 1: our DIY floating outdoor ghosts from a few years ago.
Bonus 2: our Halloween decor from a few years ago.

Bonus 3: this silly video

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Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru

I’m back with more easy Halloween decor upgrades today! I’ve already posted about how we DIY’d pumpkins three different ways; with puffy paint, realistic paint, and metallic ombre. We also upgraded our black jack-o-lantern hurricanes by painting the insides copper. Then we turned felt pumpkin placements into a felt pumpkin garland.

Next my eyes turned to a couple heavily discounted gourds we got at Michaels that were just too cheap to pass up. This one is a texture-y ceramic pumpkin that was marked down from $20 to $4 because of a sale coupled with a damage discount.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

It’s nothing a little Sugru couldn’t fix! If you’re not familiar with Sugru, it’s a moldable glue. Think clay meets glue, kinda like sticky tack but with a much better hold (and it doesn’t leave oily smudges all over your dorm room walls). In the photo above, we’ve already filled the hole with it, using some scrap wood to poke at it ’til the texture matched the rest of the pumpkin.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

After letting it harden for 24 hours, I came back and blotted it with gold and copper acrylic paint. Good as new!

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

We also got this metallic gold and pearly white squash on sale for $2.50 (can you tell I’m digging the metallics this year?). It was meant to be in a bowl I guess because every one of them had this nub on the bottom that wouldn’t let it sit upright. Sugru to the rescue again! We molded it around the nub and created a little base that allowed the squash to sit upright.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

After it hardened for 24 hours, I used acrylics to paint it cream with gold spots so it would look like part of the squash itself.

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

And now he can stand upright instead of toppling over. Plus the part I painted blends right in and looks like it’s part of the squash itself (unless you get super close)

Upgrading Faux Gourds with Paint and Sugru evanandkatelyn.com

Everything we used for these little makeovers we already had on hand (yay for free makeovers!). But even if you need to buy some of the materials, they are cheap and will last for many future projects. Hope these inspire you to take a second look on that tired decor you’re not loving anymore (I rhymed!).

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4

From Felt Placemats to DIY Pumpkin Garland

Hey guys! You may have seen Wednesday’s DIY decor post where I upgraded our black jack-o-lantern hurricanes with copper paint or last week’s DIY painted pumpkins. I’m here to continue the series of easy Halloween decor DIY’s with a story of placemats-turned-garland.

I had these four felt pumpkin placemats that I snagged from Target a few years ago. But they totally weren’t practical for two reasons: 1) who can use a felt placemat without messing it up?? 2) we have six table settings at our table and only four pumpkin placemats. That would just look silly.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

So I decided to cut out the pumpkins and use them as a garland! The first cut was a little scary, but after that it went quickly.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

To take the felt pumpkins and actually turn them into a garland (i.e. run a string through them), I cut out a tiny rectangle from the extra placement felt and glued the two ends of the rectangle to the back of the pumpkin, near the stem. I left the middle part of the rectangle unglued so I could thread through it.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

I actually cut out the border of one of the placemats and used that as the string to thread the pumpkins together! Then I hung it over some art in our entry way, securing it by using binder clips to attach each end to the hanging wire on the back of the canvas. Very easy, and much more practical than using them as placements.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

I could only fit three of the pumpkins across the art, so the fourth found its home in the middle of the “O” on our love letters. Luckily, he fit perfectly snug in there so he holds himself up, though if we needed to we could have suspended him using a little fishing line and tape.

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

This project makes me think pretty much anything can be turned into a garland – black paper bats or tiny styrofoam pumpkins would be cute!

Turning Felt Placemats into a DIY Pumpkin Garland evanandkatelyn.com

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2

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint

Are you guys still on a Halloween decor kick at your house? Because we are! But do you ever pull out decorations that you loved last year and think… meh? That’s the feeling that hit me, hence our three DIY pumpkin makeovers we posted earlier this week.

Aside from those pumpkins, there were a few more items in my Halloween decor bin that I had fallen out of love with.  So this is the first of a few quick and easy makeovers I did that will hopefully inspire you to take a second look at the decor you’re not crazy about any more.

First off, I had these black jack-o-lantern hurricanes I got at Target a few years ago that I honestly still really liked, but it was so hard to see their faces without a lit candle in there all the time. And with a kitty that likes to burn her whiskers on candles, that wasn’t an option for us. We also tried LED candles but they just weren’t bright/tall enough.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

So I taped off their faces and tops (anything open really) and spray painted the insides copper using Krylon metallic paint. It was really quick to tape them off since you don’t have to be super exact.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Then I taped around the rim and added a plastic bag around the whole deal (I attached the plastic bag with the tape at the top rim).

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Once they were fully protected, I sprayed away. Fun side note – when spraying spray paint into a cylinder, the spray floats out of the top like smoke. It was pretty cool looking, though damn near impossible to capture in a photo haha.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Now they look awesome! You can see their faces easily, and the copper + black combo is like a less in-your-face orange and black. Plus I love how the copper just barely got on the rim of the cut outs… it’s a nice little highlight.

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

I think a similar technique could be applied to other halloween decor like ceramic jack-o-lanterns or any type of candle holder with cut outs. Soon I’ll be posting a few more quick Halloween decor makeovers so keep an eye out!

Upgrading Halloween Hurricanes with Copper Spray Paint evanandkatelyn.com

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2

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways: Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre

We’re officially a week+ into October, meaning it’s high time for a fall decor DIY post up in here! Our strategy this season? Paint. All. The Things. Specifically, the pumpkins. I’ll save you some scrolling. Here are the final products:

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

We have quite the collection of faux pumpkins…some are of the nicer/sturdier/more realistic variety, some are covered in glitter, some are cheap on-sale gourds I painted white years ago, and some are those “Funkins” you can carve.

Our nice/sturdy/realistic pumpkins were good. Love em, keepin’ em as is. The glitter pumpkins I’m not in love with but I dunno if painting over glitter would work… unless it’s with more glitter haha. But the little cheap guys and the Funkins needed some work, so our paint brushes/spray cans were aimed in their direction.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

I wanted the pumpkins to look coordinated but not too matchy matchy. We had a few painting methods in mind: 1) Spruce some up with gold puffy paint, 2) Make some look more realistic using watered down acrylic, and 3) Give some a metallic ombre with gold and copper spray paint.

1. PUFFY PAINT PUMPKINS

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins (real or faux)
  • puffy paint in a contrasting color (I used Tulip brand in gold)

Tiny white pumpkins: you sad little things. I painted you by hand with cheap craft paint for my first Halloween in my first apartment, but time has not done you well. Say high to my friend puffy paint.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Originally I was going to spray paint these gold after adding the puffy paint. But then I started applying it and I loved the contrast between the white and the gold dots.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

The paint was suuuuuper easy and quick to apply. I dotted it in lines down the crevices of the pumpkins to emphasize their shape.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

It was really forgiving to work with too. At one point we accidentally knocked one over before it was dry and I just wiped off the parts that got messed up. The paint fully sets after four hours.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

2. MORE REALISTIC PUMPKINS

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • pumpkins (real or faux…. though if you’re trying to make real pumpkins look more realistic, maybe you need to stop and take a good look at your life)
  • acrylic paint in black and dark reddish-brown (white/cream too if you go overboard on the black like I did)
  • bowl with water (a plastic or styrofoam one you can toss later works well)
  • paint brush (I used one medium brush for most of it but did the tiny pumpkins and stems with a small brush. Probably could do it all with one brush though if you don’t want to buy two)
  • paper towels

Oh Funkins. Some of you we carved, some of you we didn’t, some of you we half-finished and we just turn you around so nobody sees. You shall meet my friend watered down acrylic paint.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

I started by of course finishing carving our Jack Skellington jack-o-lantern that has been half-carved for years. (Tip: use an X-acto knife on Funkins instead of typical carving tool sets. More effective, way better control. Tip 2: X-acto is how you spell it, not Exacto. Just Googled it. Who knew).

I combined black and dark brown paint with water until the mix was liquidy enough to drip down the pumpkin’s sides. I roughly brushed it on, concentrating on where I thought shadows would naturally be: around the stem, down the sides in the crevices, and at the bottom. This is by no means an exact art.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

After letting it set like that for 30 seconds or so, I took a dry paper towel and wiped it down. This took off most the paint but left a bit of a shadow behind.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Then it was rinse and repeat. I did this process a couple more times until it had the imperfections and depth I wanted. Interestingly enough, it almost looked like it was made of weathered wood.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Later I took it inside, and in the new lighting realized I made have gone a little overboard with the black. Watered down white+cream acrylic paint to the rescue! I brushed it where I thought light would naturally hit, on the raised parts of the pumpkin down the sides.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

I wish I used a little more brown and a little less black so it had a slightly warmer tone, but still overall I like him!

Lastly, I decided to paint the stem too. Because why put in 100% when you can put in 110%?? I used the same colors I already had out – black, brown, and cream. Below is how Jack’s stem was looking before. Then I used my three colors to mix a couple different shades or warmish gray tones and messily hand painted it on, following the same mental guides I used for painting the pumpkin itself: dark where shadows are (recessed areas), light where light hits (raised areas).

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Done! I’d say it was worth the extra couple of minutes, especially when you already have the brush and paint out anyway. Even if you didn’t worry about shading and highlighting, and simply colored the parts of the stem that weren’t fully painted (thanks Funkin-factory!), it would make a big difference.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

In the end, it looks much more realistic instead of looking like a looming plastic imposter.

After doing this, I actually wished I had added some realistic shading to the two white pumpkins I puffy painted. So…. I went back and did it. You’ve already seen the finished result a few photos up in the “finished puffy paint pumpkins” picture, but here’s how it went.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Paint on, wipe off, repeat until you inevitable go too dark again and need to add some white+cream back in. I did use a slightly smaller brush than before, but really brush size isn’t a huge deal. Overall, pretty much the same process as before.

small-faux-white

Of course, I had to paint the stem on this one too. I used the same method and brush as before. Darker paint in recessed areas, lighter paints on raised areas.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

After seeing the first one done (on the left below) it made me extra glad I was doing the stems. The unfinished one (below right) just looks sad…)

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Done with both!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Lastly, I tested this realism-method with an orange Funkin.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

At first I tried using black+brown paint to add shadows, but it was way too graying on the orange. So instead I quickly wiped it off and switched to only dark reddish-brown, and this worked a lot better.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

This one ended up being way quicker and easier than the white pumpkins!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Finally, I painted this guy’s stem too. Same paint, same method, and same level of happiness that I went ahead and spent a couple extra minutes to do it. Before and after below:

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

All of these now look much better and have a lot more added depth. Real pumpkins aren’t flat, so adding a little color variation made a huge difference – especially in person. Also, even though it is several layers of paint, it was pretty hard to mess up!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

3. METALLIC OMBRE PUMPKINS

Here’s what you’ll need:

Last but not least, I planned on giving a couple pumpkins the metallic ombre treatment. I did one of our large Funkins, and one the last of my tiny cheap painted pumpkins.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Instead of doing a solid metallic, I thought fading from lighter gold on top to darker copper on bottom would give a little more depth and interest. So first I painted gold on the top, making sure to paint a little past the point where I wanted my fade to start, so that I could have some overlap. Well, on the little one I pretty much painted the whole thing since it was so small.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

This paint dries really fast so it wasn’t long until I could flip them over and paint the bottoms copper.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

To get a nice ombre fade, make sure to spray not too close and always keep your hand moving so that paint doesn’t get too concentrated in one area. Also, if you’re painting something carved like our big guy, make sure the paint hits the cut edge so that it’s not left white. And really that’s it! This was definitely the easiest paint method.

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

Well there you have it! Three different ways you can spruce up any tired/boring/fake looking pumpkins you have. Now these are officially added to our collection of “keepers”. Can’t wait to decorate our house for Halloween!

DIY Pumpkins, 3 Ways - Puffy Paint, Realistic, & Metallic Ombre - evanandkatelyn.com

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