Halloween DIY #2: a Witch’s House

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I got a new computer today so I am relearning how to type on it, I am used to the keys on my old computer so I am having a bit of trouble readjusting my fingers to actually hit the right keys at the moment. By the end of this post I will be back to typing all the right keys in the right order, but at the moment I feel a little clumsy. It’s been that kind of day and by the time this comes out on the blog it will be almost a month ago for me. Here’s hoping that October is treating me well. 

            I love Halloween, would I be a basic white girl if I didn’t love Halloween and fall? I am reminded of that video of the little girl saying, ‘I freaking love bats.’ It’s funny. I am super hoping that by the time that this post goes out it is not in the high 80’s. MJ is ready for sweater weather, I miss sweaters. I am ready to stop sweating and start sweatering. Yes, that just came out of my brain and I cannot take it back. We are rolling with it. 

            So I already went over one scene that I made for this season and hopefully if I remember next week (as of me writing this) I will be able to get over to the craft store and pick up some supplies for my last DIY of the year, I already have the homemade part down. (Plot twist: I’m saving it for next year instead) I just need to go to the store and get the rest of the stuff. I should not be allowed to go into a craft store unsupervised. That’s how DIY’s happen and while they are cute they can get expensive. 

            That’s not what this post is about though! I did another scene, it started out a lot different than it ended. 

What do you need to do the thing? Materials and such: 

            Hot glue gun (it’s my favorite tool, not really but for DIY it’s essential.)

            Miniatures, got them at Michael’s, I love Michael’s and the closest one that I have is an hour away so I don’t get to go as much as I did when I was still in Indiana when it was literally fifteen minutes away from my house and like five minutes away from where I went to college. Two ultimate date ideas for me, a craft store or a book store. Don’t buy me a drink, buy me a book. Seriously. 

            The terrarium, I got this one when I got the one for the graveyard because it was half off so I bought two for the normal price of one. 

            Paper, I used wood grain from a paper pack that I bought years and years ago and am finally using all of the paper I bought and then forgot that I bought because I am a hoarder for paper. 

            Cardboard, I cannibalized part of the box for my Book of the Month book because that was what made sense to me at the time. 

            Cob webs, I bought some last year and I have no idea where in my apartment they disappeared to so I had to buy more, thank the lord that I live in Walmart country.

            Spiders, also from Walmart because it was early last Sunday morning and I thought, “Spiders.” So I bought the spiders, now I have six that I have no clue what I am going to do with so that’s fun. 

Method to the madness, or just the chaos, it kind of depends on the day: 

            I am not going to number this because every time I do the blog has a panic attack and it doesn’t format right so here I am just making a nice list. 

            – Unwrap all of your miniatures. Marvel at all of the plastic and packaging because it’s so much for how small the miniatures are. Also get your hot glue gun warm.

            – Make sure that your terrarium or display case is at least kind of clean. 

            – Cut your cardboard to fit and then wrap your cardboard with your flooring paper choice. I really did love the wood look and if I had thought about it I would have tea stained parts of it before I glued the miniatures on to give it a more weathered and worn look. I would do that if I did flooring for a tableau again.

            – I glued all of my miniatures onto the floor before I put it in and like my other terrarium scene I did draw it all out at least as an idea first. I did so much gluing for this part because everything had to sit just right. Then shove it into the terrarium and shut the door.

            -Alright so here’s the deal, originally this is where everything stopped. I didn’t like it when I finished this part a few weeks ago. I wanted more, it just didn’t feel or look finished and I was not cool with that. 

            -Go and get another idea for it, I promise, it’ll be worth it. If you don’t feel like it’s finished, it’s not. I decided to put spiders in it, make it a miniature spider scene that a witch made for her pet spiders. Imagine me shrugging at this very moment, it worked out. 

            -Spread your spiderweb out after cutting off a chunk and realizing that your scissors need to be sharpened yet again which you just sharpened them like a week and a half ago and you are getting sick of it. 

            -Place the spiders and the spiderweb into the terrarium and realize that the spiders are too heavy to stay up, get your hot glue gun, and straight up glue them to the glass at the back of the terrarium. 

            – Now you can close it again and display it. I feel like I need creepier pictures of these scenes than just where they are in my apartment. Maybe I’ll do some sort of photo series on my Instagram or something after I have made them a little creepier. Who knows. I am bad at social media. 

            -Enjoy the spooky season however you celebrate it. Have fun or have a spooky time. Enjoy making things, enjoy creating, and enjoy this fun little thing that is still amusing me every time I look at the bookcase behind my desk. 

            Well there it is, hopefully the second of three DIY’s that I present this spooky season. I will be back later in the week with another post, so I hope until then everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy out there.

            -MJ 

Halloween DIY #1: A Graveyard Scene

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            So it’s October, I have had this terrarium done since August because I waited too long last year to get miniatures and that was a huge mistake, so I went early. I made two, I made this one and a second one that will come out next week. 

            Here is the issue with this one, I forgot to take pictures of it while I was working on putting it together; like an idiot. I feel real dumb that I didn’t actually take any of the process photos. I will explain as best I can and then you are just going to have to live with only seeing the finished product. Which I love so much. 

            This was my original idea last year when I made the skeleton forest lantern. I made it this year! 

Materials:

1.  Miniatures

            -I got mine at Michaels and it is an hour drive there, I had to go twice. You can order them online but I like seeing them in person before actually committing to spending actual real people money on them.

2. Moss

            -I had to buy more moss, no matter how much of a mess that it makes because I used the last of my other moss on my succulent terrarium that I made in June. 

3. A Terrarium

            -I got this one at Hobby Lobby half off because I liked the greenhouse vibe that this one gave me. I also love that it has a handle on it. It looks like a Victorian style greenhouse and that sold me on the graveyard look that I was going for. 

4. Hot glue

            -Like a lot of hot glue, it will be your best friend. 

5. Cardboard

            -For the bottom, I regret not covering it with something, but you live and you learn, right?

Steps: 

1.  Unpackage all of your miniatures, I had a pile of plastic and cardboard on the floor next to my desk because I did two in one afternoon, this was the second one I did, but it’s the first post y’all are getting. Also, while you are unpackaging get your hot glue gun on, it will usually take a little while to heat up so getting it turned on now really helps in the long run. 

2. Cut your cardboard to the size of the bottom of your display case, I had to cute it like four times because I am a mess when it comes to cutting paper and the like to size. I used the cardboard from my Book of the Month box, it was what I had so don’t come for me. 

3. Start to figure out where you want everything, I did a drawing of what I thought I wanted it to look like and I pretty much stuck to that. I worked from the back to the front where the door is because I didn’t want to knock anything over in the process when I was putting it in.

4. Get your ground cover in, it doesn’t have to be moss, you could use turf or something like that, I like the moss because it makes it look like the graveyard is old and not as well taken care of. 

5. Start placing your miniatures, I hot glued the bottoms of every piece I put in, the moss holds the glue pretty well but I would not suggest knocking it around a lot, it’s not meant for vigorous activity, it’s a decoration. 

6. Keep placing things until you are happy. I had some of the pumpkins from last year left over so I put them in as well because I just really like pumpkins and Halloween requires pumpkins. 

7. When you are happy with it, close the door, and find a place to put it. I like using a terrarium or container that has an opening because then if something happens I can go in and fix it without much hassle because I have some snow globes that I have to fix like every year and it’s a pain to try and get them apart every time I have to reglue or fix something inside of it. 

            Like I said this is post one of two with terrariums, dioramas, whatever you want to call them. I enjoy crafting and I like the ability that crafting gives me to dream something up, or see something I like and recreate it for a lot less money. 

            The other diorama, at the time of writing this post at the beginning of September, isn’t actually finished yet. It’s like 85% done, but it needs something more, I might actually change it a little bit because I am not sure if it’s exactly what I want from that terrarium right now. I have some ideas on what to do with it but I need to find my spiderweb stuff and I am not actually sure where I put that. By the time this post goes up though, they will both be finished and out already for the season. 

            I will see everyone later in the week with another post and I hope until then everyone has a great few days. I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 

            -MJ

Another Halloween Décor DIY

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I had a lot of fun with the first one so I figured why not make another. I had this image of what I wanted to make in my head because I made some “snow globes” a few years ago for Christmas and I love the idea of a scene in a small space, this is not new it’s not revolutionary like if you looked it up on Pinterest there would be thousands of them but I needed more Halloween décor not just fall décor. 

            Well here’s my problem, I went to Michael’s the closest on is an hour away which isn’t a big deal but I expected to find Halloween decorations and décor and apparently October is too late to buy Halloween things because their section was slim and they already we getting the Christmas decorations out, I sighed a lot. But I made it work! You could make something like this for really any season or holiday or just for fun. A fairy garden, a miniature scene of something that means something to you, or foe any holiday where you can get themed miniature figurines. I wanted to make a graveyard maybe that’ll be next year’s project I’ll just buy them early.

            What you need:

            Miniatures: Mine were kind of slim pickings so I got ghosts, a skeleton king/queen, I don’t know which it’s probably a king but still (I also had to hot glue it’s foot back on so that was fun), some kind of tree (The picture I took was blurry because I am an idiot and I didn’t realize it until much later), and pumpkins. 

            A hot glue gun: A DIY/crafters best friend, let’s be real.

            A container: I got a lantern, you can do it in a glass jar or anything that you want to put a scene in. Like those shoe box dioramas we did in elementary school. 

            Ground covering: I used moss like you would put in a flower arrangement, it’s messy and it got everywhere but it looks super cool. 

            Mono filament or fishing line and a 1/8 inch dowel rod: if you plan on hanging anything, I had to get a dowel rod from my dad and I used a pair of pliers with a crimper in them to cut the dowel the length I thought that I needed it. 

            Method: 

            1. Make sure everything is unwrapped, your hot glue gun is on, and you have some kind of vision in your head on what you want this to look like, I would suggest laying everything out in the space before putting the moss own to see about how much space you have to work with.

            2. Hot glue in the moss, I layered mine up a little bit on one side so it looked less flat but I think it still looks a little flat but giving that effect of a forest floor layering is important. 

            3. The first thing I glued in was the tree, I used one first and then the skeleton and then I decided I wanted the second one, start at the back of your scene whatever that may be work forward; especially if you are working in a closed space.

            4. I had to prop the second tree up with some moss between the two trees just so it would stay in place but as long as it still looks natural it doesn’t really matter, do what you have to do to make it look nice. 

            5. I glued in a few pumpkins and forgot to take any pictures because I am really bad at DIY’s for blog post purposes, I will get better I promise. I figured a haunted forest pumpkin patch with a skeleton king care taker would be a good scene since I couldn’t do a graveyard this year. 

            6. I hung the ghosts, well first I got the monofilament around their necks and knotted a bunch of times, I checked the height with the dowel rod and tied them to that as well before slipping the dowel rod into the space at the top of the lantern where it’s open between the glass and the top, the ghosts move and spin so that’s both cool and frustrating because they are on strings, though I taped their strings to the dowel rod and the weight of them keeps the dowel rod in place if it’s just sitting on a table, I will probably take them out when I store it because then they won’t swing around into the glass. 

            7. Display, I put mine because it is heavy on my entry table, I want to have a new place to put it but I haven’t built the table yet, that’s a winter project. Lights would be cool in here too I just don’t know how I would have put them in so for now it is what it is. 

            Hope you liked another foray into MJ tries DIY because I had fun with this one. I plan on doing a few Christmas ones because finding Christmas decorations is easy apparently. 

            I hope everyone has a good start to the week and I will be back mid-week with another post! 

            -MJ 

A Fun Little Halloween Decor DIY

            Hey hey, it’s MJ, 

So we are now in this time of year where decorating your house is a revolving door and I love it so much. I love Halloween and fall so here I am telling you about a little DIY I decided to do recently. I have no idea if it’s already been done, it may not be super original but it’s here anyway. I was trying to figure something out and I was rearranging my closet and I found a shadow box that matches a Christmas one I did a few years ago and thought, hmm, I have the perfect idea for it. So I got to work finding all of the items I needed.

            So what do you need for this project, I have never written a DIY out before so bear with me. 

            What you need:

A shadow box, I found this at Michaels awhile back and I had put the words on it before I took the picture so if you buy one like this it will be plain black.

Paint pen (I used an oil based sharpie paint pen which works really well)

Spider web (I used some I found at Home Depot)

Fake spiders (I used ones from Target and I love them)

Hot glue gun and hot glue

The steps you take!

  1. I did all of my writing with the paint pen first and I found a quote I liked and put it on the front of the shadow box frame and put some little accents around it because it was a little plain with just the words, I also put another phrase on top because it seemed like I needed it there.

2. Take the back of the shadow box off and pull out the insert, I kept the pins because I used them to secure the spider web in, it has worked really well so far so if you have pins in the frame keep them, if not get a few pins to put in because it will keep the webbing in place.

3. Stretch out your web, I had to cut mine off the rest of the length of the webbing I bought because a little goes a long way when you are stretching it, use less if you want a more wispy web use more if you want a more full web. 

4, Pin the web in so it stays put.

5. Now arrange your spiders, I tried to just put them in but they were too heavy to be supported by the web alone so I had to hot glue them. 

6. I put a spot of hot glue underneath the web and underneath the spider so they had a good anchor to hang onto on the back of the shadow box frame. Let the glue dry and put the back of the shadow box back in and there you have it. A cute little décor DIY for this spookiest of seasons. 

I am hoping to do another DIY later in the spooky season but I don’t know yet because getting Halloween decorations right now is a little difficult, I know I was in Hobby Lobby and they told me that they got no Halloween decorations which shocked me so I had to search high and low for the decorations that I needed to make this. 

Any fun DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments.

Have a good week and I will see y’all later with another post! 

      -MJ