Category Archives: D.I.Y. Projects

Halloween is Near!

Halloween is roughly a week away, so I thought I’d round up all of my favorite Halloween decorating ideas from the Internetz and present them here for you! I am one of those people that likes rather macabre, creepy-cool things all year round (like anatomy charts and taxidermied anything) so IF I’m going to buy or make something for Halloween, I probably want it to be something I wouldn’t mind having around my house forever. I also think that if your Halloween decorations can do some double duty for your fall/Thanksgiving decor – then they’re even better!

Branches – are (usually) free! You can find some wonderful, knobbly branches in your own neighborhood or backyard. But how to style them? Let me count the ways!
You can spray paint, glitter-ize, or even add some little fall-colored pom poms for some home-made pussy willow branches (or even some ‘bittersweet’ branches).

1. pussy willow branches 2. branch centerpiece 3. bittersweet

1. Betz White pussy willow branches 2. EAD branch centerpiece 3. Bittersweet

Paper Crafts – there’s so many easy things you can do with some simple black or orange construction paper! How about decorating all the art in your home, and giving them Halloween masks? What about some adorable bat or spider bunting for your doorways? Or maybe some flying bats to greet you at your front door? Country Living has an amazing gallery of some cheap-o paper crafts!

paper craft ideas from Country Living

Lanterns – beautiful and practical in the fall when it gets dark earlier at night. Lanterns can be made out of things you have around the house, like milk jugs or paper bags.

1. spirit jugs 2. paper bag lanterns 3. skull light

1. FamilyFun ‘spirit jugs’ 2. Design* Sponge paper bag lanterns 3. Martha Stewart papier-mache skull light

Terrariums – are a really big knick-knack trend this year, and you can easily adapt this to make spooky miniature scenes or even pretend specimen jars of creepy-crawlies and animals. Glass cloches and apothecary jars are easy to find at craft stores and decor stores like Micheal’s and TJ Maxx.

1. jar terrariums 2. cloche 2. apothecary jars

1. Country Living jar terrariums 2.Pottery Barn cloche 2. Martha Stewart ‘potion display’

And finally, last but not least, RAVENS! Feathered ravens are available at almost any store you can think of – from the Dollar Store to CB2 and Pottery Barn. They come in different sizes, and some have positionable wings. I think that they’re perfectly creepy-cute and I’m excited to get some for my house!

caw caw!

1. no source 2. Pottery Barn crow 3. Halloween house tour from Apartment Therapy

I’ll let you know if I end up doing any of these crafts! Enjoy your weekend!

♥eth

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Project: Guinea Pig Mansion

I live in a two guinea pig household. We just moved their cage from our office into our living room. The new room combined with the colder weather has cured all of their boredom woes, and it makes me very, very happy! It is so nice to have happy, active piggies again.

To make a long story shorter: pet store cages are awful for small animals. It is easier, nicer, and cheaper to make them a much larger C&C cage (out of those wire grids from Target and corrugated plastic from a craft or sign store). More information can easily be found on Cavy Cages – the website I frequent as my go-to guinea pig resource. (Yes, it DOES worry Boyfriend that I sometimes spend a few hours reading forums about guinea pigs.)

I currently have a 2×5 cage for my piggies, but I’d like to make them something that looks more ‘furniture’ and less ‘cage’. I was really inspired by this DIY IKEA-hack rabbit hutch on Design*Sponge. I’d like to create something the same size (slightly bigger or smaller, depending) as the current cage – just nicer looking. I realized this was possible – and also probably pretty easy – when I found this antique-trunk-turned cage for a different rabbit (supposedly Hilary Swank’s (celebrity bunny?)) in the comments on the same post.

Cute, right?

So, then I did a lot of research (read: internet browsing) and have found a lot of beautiful, wonderful solutions. A lot of the more intricate and interesting cage set-ups are for bunnies, but they’d be easily changed for pigs. You can look at all the different pictures I’ve collected here. This is my favorite cage by far as of right now:


(via)

I still have a lot of planning, tinkering, and researching to do. I won’t bore you with ALL of the details right now. Basic details are:

  • open top-cage (tried holding some boards over the cage – just too dark!)
  • making some of the walls more solid (back, maybe the shorter sides?)
  • plywood! (but painted with non-toxic glossy paint, many coats – which apparently is water proof)
  • most likely making one side of it really ‘decorative’ (i.e. like an adorable little cottage with windows, etc.) (this side would be taller and more protective, so we can turn the cage around if lots of guests come over – giving the pigs more security and privacy, and less strange people’s fingers)
  • creating “platforms” within the cage itself (essentially, adding more interest to their cage and extra “floors”, “layers”, what have you – without actually adding extra boxy layers on top of the cage itself so we can get them out easily and maintain a streamlined profile)
  • DIY-ing some adorable hidey-houses

This well definitely be an interesting project! I’ll keep you updated.

♥eth

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Stained-Glass-Window Progress!

Remember that time I said I started a project? Well, I did! And I'm making progress! I had a helper trim out the posterboard frame, complete with some finicky measurements ((the window isn't actually a square – it's 29.5" x 31.5")). Next step in the process is to attach two 12" x 24" sheets of vellum, then trace the above pattern into each of the four quadrants. THEN comes the fun painting, which I'll be using as a break inbetween bouts of school work all weekend. After doing a lot of material testing (acrylic paint, watercolors, Sharpies, colored pencils, pens, etc.), I plan on doing all the "lead"-in-between-seams in bold, black acrylic paint and then the panes in watercolor. As per request, I'm going to attempt to do facets on all the different panes. Whew! Exciting.

Ps. The colors in the above Illustrator pattern probably aren't the final colors. Jussayin.

Apologies, Apologies

A quick life update (I’m still alive!):
I apologize for my lack of posting. It truly has been way too long! To be honest, I feel like the Apartment Therapy book sort of bogged me down a lot. I think that the first few weeks took it WAY too easy, and then all of a sudden assignments went from one item per category to five or more – not exactly a smooth transition for me. I’ve been doing my best to take ideas from the book and apply them to my home anyway, and so far I think everyone here is pretty pleased with the results. ((I’ll get some pictures up some time soon – I took some really, horrible and gross “before” pictures without tidying to really show what the before is like! Ick!))
As for the rest of life, I’m heading into the uber busy part of classes right before finals with one test tomorrow, one Friday, papers and all sorts of things due next week and then finals the Monday and Tuesday following! Whoa!
I’m thankful for the house DIY decor projects to keep me busy and half-way “designery”. I’m working on a small project for my closet window – making a faux ‘stained glass’ panel from some vellum scraps and some left-over poster board. I know it’s going to look positively wonderful when it’s done 🙂 I’ll post some pictures of it once I truly get down to it; so far I’ve only done some prelim testing of materials on vellum (acrylic paint, Sharpie markers, watercolors, colored pencil).

Inspired: Collage Art

I’ve seen a lot of interesting ‘collage art’, or mixed media pieces that are really cool floating around the internet. I also think that they would be easy and entertaining to try myself.

1. Pop Art Dog 2. Louis Reith Print 1, Untitled 3. Phyllis Diller

Airplanes, Airplanes Everywhere!

I’m getting more and more excited about working on this airline design project. I’m going to start off with general research and picture finding (what do airlines entail? what do current ones look like? who is most successful? what designs have changed, haven’t changed, why? etc. etc. etc.)

Then I’ll decide what niche market I’m making for my airline (kids? people with disabilities? tailored to elderly travelers? families? teenagers?). Then design statements, mood boards, inspirations, initial ideation.

Then lots of work. Then, the end result will most likely be a large ‘process book’, a smaller, more general presentation, and then updates to portfolios and what not.

Woooop!

Weekend Adventure!

Ah, the first official ‘weekend adventure’ post – how exciting! It’s been busy and a little crazy here at the Hoop Haus pretty much the whole summer. I spent the weekend in Tennessee, which was a nice, quick little vacation. On Friday I went thrift shopping and dollar store shopping – I had forgotten how much I LOVE cheap things 🙂
Recently, though, I’ve been troubled with car trouble and it’s no fun.

On a lighter note, I made some clouds out of polyester stuffing for animals and pillows last week! However, ‘made’ might be an overstatement since I just grabbed handfuls out of the bag and TA-DA! Clouds! I haven’t decided where to put them up at yet, but I like how fluffy and dreamy they look. I bought some fabric stiffener in case the clouds start to fall apart – not really sure how they’ll hold up if I hang them without trying to ‘set’ all the fibers together in a lump some how?!

At the thrift store I found, and bought, a fantastic umbrella holder with a wise owl on it; so far it is a convenient paper holder (wrapping paper, craft paper, vellum, etc.) – well worth the $9! I’ll get some pictures of it and the rest of my recent home creative ventures up soon!

All in all, my weekend adventures were great and tiring and now I am trying to recover for another week of summer school. I completed my degree petition yesterday with my adviser, so I guess that that’s exciting. I’m not really as thrilled as everyone else; I’m still in the mindset that graduation is pretty far off still (6 months! half a year!), so I’m trying to keep a level head with all the tests that keep cropping up. Focus! Focus!

I’m hoping to schedule myself some time to work on portfolio things in the very near near future; I really don’t think I can wait very long to get the portfolio sorted out if I want a job when I graduate (because I do think that once fall semester starts, it’ll go by much quicker than this summer semester has so far)!

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