Handmade greeting cards

There are a lot of lovely greeting cards out there (one of my favourite brands is Able and Game!), but generally I prefer to make my own. I like the process and the ability to personalise the design of a card to the recipient! Here are a few cards that I’ve made recently.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This is a fairly simple birthday card that I made for a good friend. I used washi tape, coloured card, gold Thickers and a few bits of ephemera from the Maggie Holmes ‘Open Book’ collection.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This is an easy card I made to celebrate our friends getting engaged! I used a Project Life card from the Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic kit. The card originally said “You & Me”, but I covered the words up with a strip of textured paper, which I embellished with a wood veneer heart and some stamping. The gold spot border is made up of strips of washi tape.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This is the wedding card I made for the same couple! They had a rustic, colourful theme for their wedding, so I tried to match their wedding colours by making confetti out of washi tape. This was a pretty easy process – I just placed strips of washi tape on a small piece of baking paper, punched out the circles using a regular hole punch, and then removed the baking paper from each little circle so I could stick the circles to the card base.

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

This card was made by repurposing an old birthday card I received a few years ago. I cut out the front balloon motif and shaped the corners with a corner cropper. Then I just mounted it on red card, and added a few copper hexagon sequins from a past Studio Calico kit!

all the little happy things - handmade greeting cards

Lastly, here’s a card I made for an upcoming wedding. I played around with layering for this card. The blue layer is a nice textured card, which I embellished by making dots with a gold paint pen. The second layer is a bit of star-patterned vellum, right underneath the wood veneer heart. I coloured the wood veneer heart using a metallic bronze Sharpie – it has a nice coppery metallic finish, which was hard to capture in the photo. And the final layer is a few black Amy Tangerine Thickers, spelling out the initials of the couple. The whole card has a sort of constellation theme to it, and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!

That’s it for now, but I expect to add posts to this series every few months or so, as I make cards throughout the year. Do you prefer to buy or make your greeting cards? Let me know in the comments!

That time I made a Lydia Deetz (Beetlejuice) costume

Every year, my firm has a big Christmas costume party. There’s always an overarching theme, and then each workgroup in the firm chooses their own theme within that for their costumes. Last year, the theme was ‘Wanderlust’ and my group went as Disneyland – so I made my own costume and went as Princess Jasmine.

This year, the overarching theme was ‘Cult Classics’, and my workgroup decided to go as Beetlejuice, the first really Tim Burton-y Tim Burton movie and one of my childhood favourites. Naturally, I decided to make my own costume again, and the result was this: my Lydia Deetz red wedding costume!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

This is the outfit that Lydia (played by Winona Ryder) wears when she’s being forced to marry Beetlejuice at the end of the film, and for a DIY job, I think mine looks pretty good!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

Here’s how I put it together.

The Dress

The distinctive feature of Lydia’s dress in the movie is the sheer volume of the skirt – layers and layers of fluffy tulle. I wanted to get that kind of volume without needing to buy a hoop skirt – but how to get the skirt puffy enough? The answer was layers! My costume was made up of three layers – the basic dress, a purchased petticoat, and a layered tulle overskirt. You can see the ‘layers’ of my costume a little better in the photo below.

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

The basic foundation of the outfit was a cheap red chiffon dress I bought from ASOS which had a little chiffon ruffle around the V-neckline. The chiffon ruffle was nice, but definitely not over-the-top enough for my costume, so I opted to add extra tulle ruffles to the neckline.

To add the tulle ruffles to the neckline, I followed this basic method to add strips of red tulle to a red grosgrain ribbon, which I then hand-stitched along the neckline of the dress. I used two layers (one stitched just above the other) to get the fullness I wanted.

For the skirt, I bought a tiered, multi-layered red petticoat from eBay, which I slipped on over the dress. Then, to add even more fullness, I made a tulle overskirt out of three layers of red tulle – the bottom layer was the full length of the petticoat, the middle layer about 20cm shorter, and the top layer about 20cm shorter than the middle layer. I gathered the layers of tulle separately, and then sewed them all together onto a wide red satin ribbon which tied around my waist.

Put on all the layers, and you get a fabulously voluminous red wedding dress, with no need for an inconvenient hoop skirt!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

The extras: wig, veil and makeup

Once the dress was done, all I really needed was the wig! I bought this black wig, and then went to town with hair-cutting scissors, hair gel and bobby pins. I cut the fringe/bangs a lot shorter, then created the ‘spiky’ effect with the help of a lot of hair gel. Then I styled the rest of the wig by pulling half of the hair up in a super-high ponytail and spiking up the ends with gel, then randomly pinning bits and pieces all over the wig to make it look even wilder. I’m really happy with how it looked!

The veil was just some of the leftover tulle from making the skirt and the neckline ruffle, which I bunched together and hand-sewed to a comb.

As for makeup, for my trial runs I just packed on very light-coloured powder and deep brown eyeshadow. On the night of the party itself, my workgroup hired a face painter, who whitened up my face and added a dramatic eyeliner effect.

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

(P.S. Doesn’t my friend Eva look amazing?? She did all that body painting herself!)

Overall this wasn’t a very cheap costume to make – I’d estimate something around $80-$100 including all the fabric and ribbon, the wig, the original dress and the petticoat. It was also a ltitle bit time-consuming – making the ruffles for the neckline took the longest, plus it involved hand sewing which I hate! But I think that all the hard work was worth it – I’m really proud of this costume and I think my workgroup looked amazing together!

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

all the little happy things - DIY Lydia Deetz Beetlejuice costume

Fun with gold foil – lyric tote

After the success of my gold foil cushions, I decided to try another fabric project with Deco Foil – a tote bag featuring lyrics from my favourite Sia song!

all the little happy things - gold foil lyric tote

I used the same technique that I used for my cushions – trace the words onto fusible web, adhere to the tote, then iron down the foil. It was a little fiddly to cut the individual letters out of the fusible web, as the backing paper wanted to lift off the smaller shapes before it had been ironed onto the tote, but if you’re careful it’s all pretty manageable.

I ironed down the words one row at a time to make sure everything stayed in place – when you’re working with lots of small shapes, it’s definitely easier to do one small area at a time. Another tip is to make sure the fusible web has cooled completely before removing the backing paper, because if it’s still a little warm, the paper will lift off bits of the webbing, resulting in more ‘patchy’ foiling in certain places. You can see where this happened on the word “I’ve” on my tote.

all the little happy things - gold foil lyric tote

All in all this was a fairly easy project, and it took me about an hour and a half to complete from start to finish. I really like how the gold foil looks against the plain calico. I get ‘Elastic Heart’ stuck in my head whenever I look at this bag now, which is definitely not a bad thing!

all the little happy things - gold foil lyric tote

DIY gold tech accessories

For most of my life, I’ve been a silver girl. Jewellery, home decor, crafting – I’d always pick silver over gold. But these past couple of years, I’ve noticed myself gravitating towards gold instead of silver. Gold foil on my cushions. Gold-toned jewellery. Gold accents on my Project Life pages. I think it’s time to accept the fact that I’ve become a golden girl!

In that vein, I’ve embraced gold and made some golden tech accessories. I made a simple mousepad, a case for my iPod and earbuds, and a few cord organisers. My favourite crafts are the ones that are functional as well as pretty, and these definitely fit the bill!

all the little happy things - gold tech accessories

Continue reading