Masks for a Masquerade Ball

Create your own Masquerade Mask at M&J Trimming this Halloween.  Everyone will want to know who’s behind the mask!

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Supplies used: plain half mask, Multi-Grip Glue, feathers, trim, sequins, rhinestones, and anything you can think of.

Cute Feminine Pirate Costume

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A pirate costume is a fun and great costume which you can easily make yourself.  You may think this costume is not the most unique idea, but by making it yourself you can add your own creativity and edge and can achieve the perfect feminine pirate costume.

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Steps:

 

1. I used an inexpensive shirt I purchased at the Salvation Army.  I felt the red and white stripes fit the pirate theme.

2. Using scissors or a blade tear around the edges of the shirt in a triangular motion.  The triangles should not be equal in size or shape or done neatly you want to give the shirt a worn out look. I also replaced the collar strings with brown Italian leather trim 88742-BROWN to give it a vintage feel.

3.  For the belt I used 2 yards of faux leather metal mignon metallic gunmetal 42157-ANTR.   To create a thicker belt it will be wrapped twice around the hips.

4. I embellished the belt to give the pirate feel I was going for.  First I glued 2 metal coin bracelets 36770ANTS than I scattered different color metal coins. Nickel #36772SHINNY, silver #36772ANTS, gold #36772SHIG, and brass #36772ANTBR

5. To finish your belt simply put it around your waist and decide exactly how you want it to fit. Use a blade or leather hole punch to add a hole for your buckle, I choose a metal sword buckle #37242ANTB, slide your buckle through the leather and attach the clasp through the hole.

*All materials listed in green can be purchased by calling 1-800-9-MJTRIM.

Halloween Costume Series: The Ultimate Flapper Dress

By Roseann

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Another popular Halloween and certainly one of my favorites is the Flapper.  I think all of us girls try this costume at least once.  And, why not, who doesn’t want to be a glamorous liberal minded woman breaking free from the shackles that were once placed on us.  This spirit is still alive in most of us and is a fun look for your Halloween shindig  or any other costume party through out the year.

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You will need:

  • Slip or cocktail dress, I used black but you can word with any color you like.  Remember that the flapper look put emphasis on the hips and not the waist, so you want a dress that is strait up and down and not contoured to the waist line.
  • 5 yards 3” poly chainette fringe style: 00217-bk The dress that I used I found at Salvation Army and already had fringe on it, so I added 3” fringe in white to bulk it up and give the dress more dimension.
  • 1¼ yard 6” poly chainette fringe style: 06006-bk
  • ¾ yard 5” bugle bead fringe style: 14290-bks all materials listed above can be ordered by calling 1-800-9-mjtrim
  • ¾ yard cut bugle / seed beaded trim style: 14622
  • Unique stitch glue
  • Sewing machine and thread

Directions:

    1. Before you purchase your supplies be sure to take measurements around your neckline and around the skirt portion of your garment to be sure you are ordering the correct amount of trims.  The amounts listed above are for the dress that I used which is about a size 4 or 6.
    2. Add your 6” fringe around the neckline, you can stitch or glue it is completely your preference.
    3. Then add your bugle bead fringe on top, then measurement given above will only be enough to add the front of the dress
    4. Complete the neckline by adding your seed beaded trim, again I added just to the front
    5. Measure 2” from the bottom of the skirt and mark all the way around.  Repeat until you have marked 5 rows 2” apart.
    6. Add your 3” chainette fringe along your markings.  You may repeat with a complimentary color for more flash.  I added white to every other row.
    7. Be sure to add the correct accessories such as; a feathered headband, strand of pearls, and boa.
    8. Now, go be the most glamorous one at the party!

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Easy DIY Cat Ears for Halloween

By Kristin

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I love this time of year. The leaves are starting to fall, the air is crisp, and Halloween is around the corner. Every year I try to do something different. Last year I was a Zombie Princess Leia. This year I decided to be the classic 1966 Catwoman. I’m going to show you how to make an easy pair of kitty ears for your kitty costume.

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Materials:

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Instructions:

  1. Print out the template on the cardstock and carefully cut out the shapes.
    Fold along the dotted lines on all pieces.
  2. Glue Tab A to Section A by dabbing a little glue on both areas and letting it get tacky for a few seconds, then press together. You can use paperclips to hold these together as they dry. Let them dry for at least 10 minutes before moving onto step four.
  3. Glue Tabs B to underside of ‘ear’, again use paperclips to hold while drying. Let these sections dry at least 10 minutes.
  4. Once the sections are completely dry and the pieces do not move, you can color in the cardstock with markers. I colored my outer ear black on the front and back and the inner ear was colored pink for contrast. This way, when you glue the sequins on, you won’t see white cardstock behind them.
  5. After you have colored in your ears, you can glue them to the headband. Hold the ears on the headband to see where you want them to go and then glue them down. Glue one ear at a time and let the first ear dry before gluing the next. They should be dry in about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Now you can decorate your ears! Spread a thin layer of glue on the front outer ear and glue down your sequins. Once those have dried on both ears, glue down the inner ear sequins. After this has dried, you can glue the back sequins.
  7. Once dry, you are purrrfectly ready to have some fun.

**For a quick and easy catwoman costume, get a black unitard at any dance supply store, some cute black boots, add a gold belt, big gold chain necklace, and the ears – and you are set to take over Gotham!

Halloween Costume Series: No-Sew Medieval Cape

By Roseann

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Take a walk down the costume aisle of any Halloween store and you will find the same unimaginative costumes year after year.  I believe that the best costumes are the ones we make ourselves.  Our Halloween costumes should speak volumes for our own personalities.  Over the next several weeks I will show a couple of quick and easy DIY Halloween costume ideas in the hope that it will stimulate your own imaginative DIY pieces.  Please share with us what you too have created.

 A very popular theme for Halloween costumes is medieval and renaissance.  This is a great theme for DIY if you are detailed oriented and can be easily be done with treasures from an attic or thrift store finds.  Interestingly home décor trims are quite suitable for detailing your medieval garments.   I purchased in inexpensive robe (under $20) and added a rabbit fur trim style: 41563-WT and 2” wide gimp style: 36808-10 both can be purchased by calling 1-800-9-mjtrim.  I replaced the ties with 5/16″ rayon twist cord style: 00618 in old gold and added imported fancy key tassel style: 50015 also in gold at the end of the new ties.  All of the trims were added by using fabric glue, since I know that not all of us are so inclined to sewing and I don’t want that to hinder anyone’s creative side.

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 Check back through out the week as I will try and post a couple times each week leading up to Halloween.  And again, we are very interested in your own thoughts and ideas, so please share.

 Have a happy DIY!

Sumptuous DIY Halloween Decorations

By Roseann

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It seems like yesterday it was summer and now Halloween is just around the corner. Maybe you haven’t even begun planning or are somewhat perplexed over your theme for your holiday gathering this year; well don’t fret because we’ve got some inspirational ideas in store for you. This Halloween try a more elegant approach to decorating for your holiday gathering. I worked up a few ideas for our decorations this year using feather trims and some inexpensive finds from your local floral or craft shop.

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Materials for Wreath

  • • 1 wreath (I used a plain twig wreath)
  • • 2 feather boas style: 16776 (To order call 1-800-9-mjtrim)
  • • Jewelry wire Materials for Centerpiece
  • • Plastic cauldron ( the one used here has an inner diameter of 12”) you may also use a planter that you may already have
  • • Thin branches
  • • Sand or stones to fill the bottom
  • • Super moss • 3’ artificial ravens
  • • 1 yard (measurement is dependant upon the size of your cauldron) feather trim style: 27971 (To order call 1-800-9-mjtrim)
  • • Craft foam

How To Wreath:

For the wreath I just wrapped the two boas around it and secured with jewelry wire.

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How To Centerpiece: The centerpiece was a bit more involved, but still very easy.

  1. The first I thing I did, and this is completely optional, is treated my cauldron so that it wouldn’t look like a cheap plastic cauldron. I sprayed it with spray on stone which can be purchased at your local hardware store. Once it has set up and dried I went over is with a coat of semi-gloss black spray paint.
  2. Next you are going to want to fill your cauldron with sand or stone, you want to fill it just enough so that the craft foam will sit level with the top of the cauldron, so be sure to take a measurement.
  3. Place your craft foam inside the cauldron; you may have to trim it down if you are not able to find it in a round.  I used an 11” round dummy cake, it’s made of foam and fit perfectly inside the cauldron you should be able to find them online at nycake.com
  4. Arrange your branches in the center of the foam, you should be able to just push them in to secure
  5. Glue your feather trim around the foam so that it appears to be spilling out of the cauldron
  6. Apply your super moss around the branches to cover the exposed foam
  7. Arrange and attach your ravens how you wish
  8. Enjoy your beautiful new Halloween centerpiece

Helpful Tips for Your at Home Sewing Projects

By Roseann

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In 1982 President Ronald Reagan declared September national sewing month “in recognition of the importance of home sewing to our nation.” This could not be truer today; the theme this year is “Reuse, Remake, Restyle.” Our blog has been dedicated to the do it yourselfer since the beginning and in the spirit of the month I’d like to share some helpful sewing tips in hopes that your creative projects this month go a little smoother. I have put together a list of the most helpful tips for what I’ve found to be the most common hang ups in a sewing project.

Golden Rule

The single most important thing to do before you even cut your fabric is to wash it. If this is not done your fabric will shrink and your garment may not fit after the first wear. Keep in mind that the width will shrink more than length; consider that you will probably lose about 10% of your width after washing when deciding how much fabric to purchase. Before washing my fabric I like to serge the cut edge, you can leave the selvage as is, this prevents fraying. If you do not have a serger at home a zigzag stitch can be done along the very edge, it works the same.

Gathers

Gathering for me has always been a bit of a pain. Pulling on basting threads can often times cause them to break and cause uneven gathers. If you created a zigzag stitch over a piece of dental floss instead of basting be sure not to get the floss in the stitches, it’s much easier to control gathers and will not break.

Curves

Sewing curves can be daunting, I cannot tell you how many times I have had to pull stitches and restitch to smooth out pinching and create a smooth line. To gain more control reduce your stitch length around curves and corners. It helps greatly. Reducing stitch length can also be done at the beginning and to end seams instead of backing up which can be difficult with very thin fabrics.

Matching Stripes and Plaids

You can spend all the time you like on a project but if your fabric patterns and prints don’t match at the seams, no one will notice the rest of your hard work. There’s a easy way to match your patterns pieces so that your garment doesn’t end up looking like an unintended Picasso. Cut out your patterns pieces one at a time. Cut one side then use the fabric you just cut as the other side, be sure to flip it over you want mirrored pieces. Fabric to fabric will help you line up your lines.

DIY Easy Decorative Picture Frame

By Dara

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It’s been a while since I last wrote an Arts & Crafts blog.  So here I am today, finally updating after so long.

 I’ve been contemplating on getting a puppy lately.  Can you guess what kind of puppy?  Yes, I want a bull dog.  They’re just so adorable.  I know a lot of people think they’re ugly, but they just make me so happy whenever I see one.

Well, I haven’t gotten one yet, but I did get a poster with three cute puppies on them.  The wall in my office is kind of dull right now, so I decided to place the small poster in a picture frame.  It’s not just any picture frame.  It’s one that I handcrafted myself and is pretty proud of it.  The best part is that it was fun and anyone can do it. 

If you want to make one similar to mine, you’ll need is a small foam core board (you get this at an arts and crafts store.  You’ll only need one small enough to fit your picture with an extra inch around all corners of the picture.  You’ll also need one weight sheet protector, cords, sequins, sew-on jewels, glue-gun, double sided tape and a pair of scissors.

Using the double sided tape, attach your picture of the center of the form core board.  Trim the weight sheet protector to fit over the board.  You can tape down along the edges.  Use the glue-gun for attachment, start decorating the frame according to your style.  It’s really that simple. 

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DIY Swarovski Sew-on Stone Bracelet

By Dara

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The sun is quite hot today, which also mean its still summer.  We have a long way to go before it starts getting cold again.  Of course summer time usually means a little less fabric, more skin and more accessories.  I know that the recession has everyone on a budget, but it doesn’t necessarily mean looking fashionably attractive has to also be on a budget.  Just turn to DIY projects and you’ll notice that making things on your own can turn out just as great as a finished piece from the department stores. 

This week, we’re going to create and design our own Swarovski bracelet.  To make the bracelet, we’ll be using the Swarovski sew-on stone collection.  Here’s the list of the materials and instructions.

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Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Take the Swarovski sew-on stones and lay them on top of the suede patch.  Lay them according to the design you like.
  2. After you finished the design, pick up one stone from the pattern and add glue to the back.  Don’t add too much or the glue will end up showing. 
  3. Lay the stone back down onto the pattern.  Repeat this with all the stones.
  4. Let it to dry for a bout 5 minutes.  After it’s dry, use the scissors and trim the suede.  Follow the pattern you designed.
  5. Now add a dab of glue onto the back side of the patch, and lay the patch on top of the 1/8” suede tape.  Remember to lay it on the center of the tape.
  6. You’re all done.

Recession Friendly Gift (DIY Money Box)

By Dara

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Summer is finally here!  It’s about time.  Well, actually it doesn’t quite feel like summer in NYC.  It still feels like spring time especially since it’s raining almost every day.  If it wasn’t for the tall buildings, you’d think its Seattle. 

 Anyways, summer is a time for celebration.  There’s graduation, Independence Day, and just time to enjoy the warm sun.  If you’re planning a celebration this summer for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or graduation, then why not make it recession friendly.  Instead of receiving gifts, ask for a thick envelope with cash instead. 

You’ll need a safe place to store all that cash.  So today, I decided to make a money box!  The money box should be very popular this year; especially with the recession, who wouldn’t want some cash instead of a toaster for your gift. 

 The money box I made today measures 8 inches all around.  If you plan on doing the same size then you’ll need:

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 Instructions:

  1.  You have 6 pieces of the 8” x 8” board, take four of them and glue them together along the edge to build a box.  There should be a hole in the center after you finish.  It’s the space for the top and the bottom of the box.  Let is dry before continuing to the next step
  2. While the glue is drying, work on the top of the box.  With the ruler, measure 2 inches from the edge of the board and mark it with a pencil. Mark the opposite side with about 5 inches from the edge. Then mark 1.5 inches on both the left and the right edge of the board. 
  3. Using the pencil and ruler, trace the marked areas.  It should form a long rectangle.  It should be about ½” long. 
  4. Use the box cutter to cut out that area.  It will be the hole for the money.
  5. Now, using the multipurpose adhesive, lightly spray the top of the board and lay the 9” x 9” fabric on top.  Smooth out the fabric. 
  6. With the cutter, cut through fabric into the hole you just created for inserting the money.  Leave enough fabric so that you can cover the inside and give it a nice finish.
  7. Take the gem-tac glue and glue don the extra fabric onto the other side of the board.
  8. Now, going back to the box.  Take the 30” by 9” fabric and wrap if around the box after it finished drying.  You can use the multipurpose adhesive and spray it around the box first.  It helps smooth out the fabric. 
  9. Wrap it tightly and at the end, fold the extra fabric inside.  Then use the gem-tac and glue it in place. 
  10. Use the gem-tac to glue the other extra fabrics along the edges of the box.  Fold the fabric into the inside of the box.  If it’s hard, use scissors to cut the corners and then fold the fabrics and glue it in place.
  11. Using the pins, pin the top part of the box with the rest of the boards.  This should close the top.  We’re using pins instead of glue, so that you can take out the money when the party is over.
  12. It’s time for the satin ribbons.  The 11” goes in front of the box.  The 13” goes in the back of the box.  The 24” goes along the side of the box.  Glue them in place.
  13. Center the 27” ribbon and glue only the center of the ribbon to the center of the box.
  14. It’s time for the hand-dyed silk.  With one hand, hold the end of the ribbon.  With your other hand, start folding the ribbon over to form a flower. 
  15. Take the needle and thread and stitch the center in place when you’re done.
  16. Glue the flower down on the top of the box and glue the button in the center of the flower.
  17. When the glue for the box dries, flip the box over and glue the bottom of the box on.  You can add a strip of rhinestone trim to the button like how I did. 
  18. You’re all done!

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