Over at the Frankenstein Place| D.I.Y Rocky Horror Frank-N-Furter Costume!

“Why don’t you stay for the night? Or maybe a bite? I’ll show you my favourite obsession…”

Fancy dress obsession that is.

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Halloween is fast approaching and I’ve been saving this look for such a wondrously themed occasion. Now, I’m not classing myself as a seamstress, Rocky Horror super fan or make up aficionado, but this is what I managed to cobble together as a self taught novice and D.I.Y disaster zone, who spends all of her life watching tutorials on Youtube and not interacting with the outside world. My costume is a tribute, rather than a replica, of my favourite Franks’ from stage and screen.

There is a careful balance of hard “masculine” and soft “feminine” in all of the Frank-N-Furter’s looks, follow that idea and you can’t go wrong. In essence, this costume really falls down to two things: fishnets and makeup. It’s pretty easy, wearable and you can substitute most things out for something else you already have to complete it.

Except fishnets, got to have fishnets.

There are MANY iconic Frank-N-Furter looks: the opening look with the cape, the lab look with the green apron and pink gloves, but I went for the leather jacket. It’s not one that is done as often and I had an old faux, leather jacket about to be thrown out (it went all weird and flaky, ew.) Want not, waste not!

For the basic costume you could use:

A black skirt/shorts (if you aren’t comfortable going out in just your pants. It’s ok, I wasn’t!)

Black fishnet tights/stockings & suspenders.

A plain, black tank top/t shirt -OR- a dark coloured corset of your choice.

A dark pair of high heeled shoes (remember gang, comfort is key) – OR – a dark coloured boot.

Frank wears A LOT of black, so black is the best colour scheme to go with. However, personally, I also added red just to spice it up a bit. It’s all a bit vampy and gothic with a touch of burlesque about it. Ooer Matron.

I ordered my corset on Amazon and the trick is to go by the measurements and not by your dress size. As a first time corset buyer, I was utterly confused and panic-stricken. It totally made me wonder why the hell I was doing this. I made the decision to go by the measurements rather than my dress size and it was most definitely the right one, as it fit much better than the next size up would have. However, if you are ordering online, try and do as much research as you can (scroll mindlessly through the reviews until you get the picture of whether it fits to size or not.)

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Accessories make an outfit and Frank is never seen without them. Your key ones are:

Fishnet gloves.

A short, oversized string of pearls.

A leather jacket (which I customised).

You could also add sunglasses, a feather boa, a garter, a leather bracelet, an anklet, earrings… the list is endless.


The Jacket.

Frank has his own customised jacket. In the film it’s laden with patches, badges and chains. In the theatre it’s covered with fringing and has his name printed across the back. Now I didn’t have all the embellishments from the film, but I didn’t have any fringing either, so here’s where I got creative! I went to the craft store and found a few bits and bobs for £1 each. A packet of fake studs, some strips of red diamantes and some paint brushes. I also found some white fabric paint and a chalk pen (which weren’t £1, but I decided to splurge).

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I was inspired by the stage show I had recently seen, so went ahead and sketched out the name Frank across the shoulders with my chalk pen. I then followed the instructions on the pot of paint and went ahead, filling in my font. Once it was dry, I gave it a quick iron and hey presto, all done.

I already had a small bottle of fabric glue, so began to stick my studs and diamante strips to accent the lapels (and attempted that hard/soft balance), and for good measure added those signature red lips to sit in the centre of my lower back.

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Make up.

Here’s where things get tricky. For ease, and a plethora of reference photos on google, I went with the Tim Curry stylings, but each Frank has their own make up look. All, however, seem to compromise of a heavy, OTT eye and a statement lip. Also, false eyelashes are a good shout, but not compulsory.

I did all of my foundation and concealer as I would have done usually. I also did the same contour routine as per (get rid of the double chin, separate my jaw from my neck, y’know) but just went a little heavier and darker, blending it out well.

I have done a step by step of how I created the Frank eye make up. It’s simple but takes a lot of time and precision, just do you and to the best of your ability. You can do it, just don’t give up!

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I used:

A concealer (Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in ‘1 Fair’) to prime my eyes.

A matte black eyeshadow (Mine is so cheap its unbranded. I also added a little bit of ‘Darkside’ from the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, which gave it a sparkle but you really don’t have to).

 A matte, cream/gel eyeliner or eye colour (Maybelline Eyestudio 24Hr Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in 01 Black).

Black mascara (Clinique High Impact Mascara in 01 Black).

A matt highlight at least one shade lighter than your skin tone (A mixture of ‘Chandelier’ and ‘Heiress’ from the Aesthetica Cosmetics Cream Contour Kit. A concealer will absolutely work too, but I’ve found something sturdier, like a cream, is the easiest to work with).

You don’t need to use the same products, but just to give you a better idea of what I used, I’ve included the brands. It’s also good to have a blending brush (just a small fluffy-ish one will do), a tapered blending brush (if you can get your hands on it, even one of those little eyeshadow sponges will do) and a couple of small brushes for the fiddly bits.

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1. After priming your eyes, because all this make up has got to stick to something, cover your entire lid with your black powder, running it through the brow too. Don’t worry if it’s not opaque… Tim’s isn’t, so ours doesn’t need to be either. Blend from the tip of your eyebrow to the outer corner of your eye so you have around edge. Once you’re done, bring a little down the inside of your nose, stopping roughly at the bridge.

2. With your smaller/eyeliner brush use your black eyeliner to line all the way around your eye, giving yourself a slight wing on the outer corner, if you can, and also bringing it out to a little point in the inner corner too.

3. Once you’re happy with the shape, using a smaller brush, cover your eyelid in your cream/gel liner, finishing in the crease. Make sure you get as clean a line as possible. This make up look is very harsh and theatrical looking, much like Frank himself.

Draw on a thin eyebrow with the same black eyeliner, following the shape of your natural brow. Try to give it a concerned little curve upwards in the inside and an inwards curve on the outside. Run any left over eyeliner on your brush through your eyebrow, connecting your drawn one to the rest of the colour in the inner corner, and on any sparse areas.

4. Finally, and possibly most importantly, comes the “carving out” of your final shape. Using your matte highlight and a small brush, begin to sharpen up all those outer lines. Make sure the line you have made down the side of you nose is straight, sharp and stands out by accentuating the edges with your highlighter. Also make sure the curve around the outer corner of your eye stands out and cuts and clean line. Once you’re happy, add some mascara and you’re done.

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Well, that’s it I guess. Just a few ideas that I managed to throw together at the last minute. For anyone wanting to make up their own costume or looking for a bit of inspo for the spooky season, I hope this helped in some way and gave you some terrible thrills… like a SCIENCE FICTION, DOUBLE FEATURE…

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How to | The Bluntest Birthday of Them All.

Indulge in self deprecation and have a blunt or sarcastic nature? Don’t care about birthdays and entertain an IDGAF attitude? Then this is the party idea for you.

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This year I was totally stuck on a birthday party theme. Every year I throw a little birthday bash because I just love hosting events and giving myself a challenge. I love crafting things and creating an atmosphere, dressing the room and seeing my friends and family enjoy themselves. However, this year I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was going to do an elaborate Harry Potter theme, what with the play and Fantastic Beasts and my life long obsession with the original series and the HP universe, yet my heart just wasn’t in it.

The day was drawing closer and closer and I had scrapped every project I had started. Nothing seemed to fit with my mood or where I am in life right now. I was uninspired and lacking a muse until, completely off hand, a friend of mine said: “birthdays don’t really matter anyway. I don’t get why people make such a big deal. You shouldn’t need to make a big event just to get your friends together.”

That was it. Light bulb moment – an occasion that is so over itself, it just can’t be bothered. An event that tried so hard to be ‘pinterest’ and gave up half way through because, who cares?

If an existential crisis had a birthday party, this would be it.

 

Sophisticated Simplicity.

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I went for fairy lights. Who doesn’t love fairy lights? People even put them in freakin’ jars and call them art these days (guilty as charged). If you are ever in need of making something look pretty but not overly ‘done’, then may I suggest an LED curtain?

Just strings and strings of the things, covering a wall. You can leave them hanging, double them up, scoop them into some kind of pattern. They looked magic, and all I did was unravel the little noodly, light up tentacles and hang them up. I got mine from amazon and it was around 6ftX4ft. It had a mains plug, which was fine, and actually was thoroughly effective.


A Banner That Explains Everything.

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The award for the least offensive saying with the most attitude goes to the word “whatever.” Ah, my favourite word as a teen. It was a throw away phrase used to end any string of conversation that I had no interest in or was bored of. Exactly in the same vain as this party then.

To make the banner I used a flag die to cut A5 pieces of glitter card (purchased for around £1-£2 a packet from shops such as The Works). You can also make your own stencil and draw/cut them free hand too… but I could use the die and I’m lazy sooo…

I then typed my phrase into a word document (pages on Mac) using the Arial Black font and blew up it up to around 257 pt, fitting about four letters per page. I then changed the fill options to just the outline, selecting the lightest colour possible.

I printed the letters out onto 200gsm black card and then cut them out free hand and attached one per flag. I used a hole punch to create evenly spaced holes in the top of each flag and used a thick, black ribbon to attach it all together.


The Table Labels.

Real, honest and a little on the rude side, these signs just tell it how it is.

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I found a font online (Bakery by StereoType) that I kinda fell in love with. I’ve always loved calligraphy and cursive writing… Ok, so I’m a bit of a typography whore and a stationary hoarder, the secret is out. Anyway, the font you use is entirely up to you. You could have one already in Word that you think is perfect!

I switched up the colours and added a gradient in the app “Paint 2” on Mac. I saved each as a JPEG and printed them at around A5 size (or a touch smaller, but you do you) on 200gsm white card.


The Entertainment.

The music was inspired by my “whatever” years; pop rock and alternative, with a hint of 80s anthems and a sprinkling of the Spice Girls. Chilled, not too top 40 or dancey, but enough for a shoulder wiggle and unprecedented karaoke. My lot were all screeching singing along to the old Kaiser Chiefs classics and serenading one another with The Plain White Ts (dear future husband: if we have kids, the names Ruby and Delilah are off the cards.)

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Games. Oh games. What’s a night in without a board game? Usually we crack out Articulate – a fast talking word description game, or Cranium – a team game that comprises of different categories: word puzzles, trivia, performing (charades-esque) and art (pictionary-esque). They always go down a treat.

However this time, to continue on with the IDGAF theme, we played a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity – a near the knuckle, fill in the blanks card game, that will have you sighing, laughing, crying or all three (not for the faint of heart or easily offended) and Obama Llama – the celebrity rhyming game which has teams trying to rhyme an action with a celebrities name (E.G Mary Berry drinks a sherry) through the medium of description, riddles and charades.


A Change in Tempo.

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After a while, people start to flag and say their goodbyes in favour of their bed, late night re-runs or solitude. Let’s face it, socialising is hard and sometimes unpleasant. So a change in pace and atmosphere is most definitely welcome. Once the temperature had dropped, a few had left and we had started to wind down, I scurried outside, lit a fire in the fire pit, took out a few picnic blankets, pillows and bean bags and set up a smore station.

The final few of us curled up by the fire, with nothing but the stars above us, in the quiet, toasting marshmallows and chatting. It was calm, it was peaceful and honestly, it was my favourite part of the entire evening. I absolutely love just sitting around the fire with a few friends and reminiscing, talking about everything and anything. It’s cosy and it’s moments like that I live for. (Geez, can’t you tell I was a bloody scout.)


So that was theme this year: ‘Ugh. I don’t care.’

In all honesty, it was great to poke a bit of fun at everything. To just be silly and sarcastic and not care at all. It took me very little time to set up, maybe an hour or two (which, compared to the time it took last year, is nothing at all). It was great just to chill and go with the flow, to muck around and have a bit of light hearted fun. That’s all anyone really wants on their birthday.

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Hey Tracy, hey baby, look at me! | DIY Hairspray Costume

 Welcome to the sixties!

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I was recently invited to a fancy dress party and all hell broke loose in my house. I LOVE fancy dress and hey, go hard or go home, ok? Don’t half arse it, NEVER half arse it.

My friend and I had been invited and decided to go as a pair, a very musical pair. We chose the sixties, Baltimore besties, Tracy Turnblad and Penny Pingleton, from the musical ‘Hairspray’.

As a plus size, musical theatre kinda gal, Tracy is my spirit animal.

I ooze box steps and sparkly hair bows (and on a show week it is very possible that I sweat hairspray and cry bobby pins).

However tartan isn’t exactly in and neither is Hairspray, with the film coming out almost 10 years ago… I know! So I had to improvise and make it work in 2 weeks no less!

It’s all about making something from what you have.

The basics:

A white shirt (if you can get one with a peter pan collar, bow or pussy bow ties, this is even better)

A tartan skirt (any colour, any kind of checks)

White socks and white plimsoles (low cut coverse work too! I feel here is appropriate for a ‘Damn Daniel’ reference but… nah.)

Big hair, a big smile and big attitude.

The rest is up to you!


The hair.

I have long, thick, hair that will not do as it’s told, so actually backcombing and curling my do was a no-go, it was going to have to be a wig. Do you think I could find an affordable ‘Tracy Turnblad’ wig anywhere in the UK? Nope. So I had to make one.

Now, I am no guru. I am accident prone and have absolutely no training in any of this. However, I am observant and a fast learner, so this was trial, error and limited common sense paired with a few things I remember seeing along the way.

I ordered a Smiffy’s black, 50’s style, beehive, bob wig from Amazon. When It arrived… let’s just say it needed a hair transplant some work. I improvised a wig stand from a full 2 litre drinks bottle and gently combed everything into place.

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This wig is cheap synthetic, which is entirely what I expected, however, you CAN NOT use direct, high, heat on a plastic wig. It WILL melt. I set the flicks at the sides and back with curlers and a generous coating of hairspray, leaving them to dry for 48 hours.

(NOTE: This makes your wig extra flammable… so when someone says they want to re-enact the jail breakout scene from the show and sets fire to a can of hairspray – run. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.)

I bought some, equally awful and synthetic, blonde clip in extensions. 3 for £1 – bargain! I removed the clips from the back of them and cut one into small strips. Then, using a hot glue gun, I spaced them out and glued them into the seam of the fringe.

I left the other two extensions whole and, using the bow that was already fixed onto the front of the wig, adhered them as closely as I could to the ‘hairline’ looking seam behind the fringe, bending the binding to follow the natural curve of the hair.

I then asked my Dad to model it whilst I trimmed it all into place.

I cut the blonde layer, covering the beehive, shorter at the sides and swept it back, so the edges tucked into bottom set of flicks. The fringe I trimmed so I would be able to see past it!

Now here’s where the accidents and risks come into it. The highlights in the fringe didn’t fall flat as planned. They stuck out at a 90 degree angle! So, I bent them into place with my fingers and, using a hairdryer on a cool/very low setting and a fair distance from the wig, I managed to bend/melt the synthetic fibres so they sat into the wig, rather than sticking out so much!

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I finished it off with an obnoxiously large, red, rhinestoned bow, clipped onto the pink one and some matching mini ones to hold the blonde layer in place at the sides.


I made a couple of small accessories to add to the costume including some badges and an ‘Ultra Clutch’ can.

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The badges I made by using some relevant pictures I found on Google & Pinterest. I drew circle shapes in Pages (Word for Mac) and set the pictures as their backgrounds, fiddling around until I was happy. I layered over some phrases, such as ‘Link Larkin’ and ‘Mr. Pinkie’s Hefty Hideaway’, finishing them off by adding a thin, solid black boarder around the shape.

I printed them on 240gsm, white card and taped a safety pin onto the back of each one.

The Ultra Clutch Can is made with an old can of dry shampoo. You can use any kind of spray can, full or empty, it’s up to you. I had a spare can that I bought not realising it had glitter in it. I mean, I’m all for glittery, unicorn hair, but it’s probably not as suitable for every day use as I wish it was.

I roughly measured the can against an A4 sheet of paper, noting how much of it was needed to wrap around the can. Then, using the ‘eyeballing’ method (just looking and thinking “eh, that’ll do”) I found an image on google and spread it across a blank word document, as if it were my A4 page. I printed it out, cut it down and, using double sided tape, stuck it around my can. (You can be more precise, my time management was just a little off kilter for this project).

To disguise the edge a little, I printed out a second image and cut out matching ‘snowflake’ shapes from it, sticking them over the join.


I hope this helps anyone looking to make this costume for themselves (as I trawled the internet and, in the end, gave up looking.)

Go Tracy, go go go!

P.S – My friend and I won prizes for our costumes that night. Get in!

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I am the Walrus | D.I.Y Silhouette Wall Art.

Hello, Goodbye lovely people of the blogosphere!

 

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Do you want to know a secret? Ever since I saw the UK Tour of ‘Let it Be’, my love for The Beatles has grown astronomically. I’ve always enjoyed their music, I grew up with my Mum playing her old vinyls at the weekends, but I never really, truly invested myself as a Beatles fan, until now.

However, they’ve finally nestled their way in to my 21st century heart. I am showing the newfound love I have for them in my life the only way I know how… by dropping constant references, going on Google odysseys, obnoxiously playing their music every time one of my friends comes round, in a hope it will get stuck in their head too and Pinteresting the crap about of them.

Now, I admit, I’m a Loser who would have loved to be shakin’ in the sixties too and I have spent eight days a week finding beautiful, handmade Beatles wall art pieces on sites like Etsy and thought I’ve got to get you into my life but ultimately I’m poor, so if I can’t buy me love, I’ll make me love… in the form of my very own DIY Beatles wall art, inspired by all I have seen (that’s the beauty of making it yourself. You do you).

If you spotted the 8 Beatles song titles I slipped into the last few paragraphs, I applaud you. I’ll let it be now… 9 song titles.

Before I go any further I must stress that if you want to give this DIY a go, it can be of anything/one you wish, just keep it clean, simple and not creepy. Just because I chose The Beatles doesn’t mean you have to!
ON WITH THE DIY.

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Firstly, choose your image. Try something with a simple outline or with simple sections you can cut out. You now have a choice. If you are using something see-through to cut your silhouette’s out of, you could trace your images. If you are using something opaque, such as black card, you could always print your image and stencil it on.

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I used some black craft vellum (not the calf skin version, it was more akin to tracing paper) and a tablet as a light box. (I also used my laptop screen later on!) I did stick my vellum to the screen but I still made a few mistakes so took a little artistic liability. I also looked at a few other images to separate John and Ringo, because in the image they are crossing over, meaning their silhouette’s would be connected!

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Once you have everything traced/stencilled and you are happy, use a craft knife to cut out your design (or scissors if you prefer, either way. Please don’t use a craft knife if you don’t have a steady hand or are a young crafter! It really doesn’t matter!)

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Be really careful when cutting out your designs, but if you make a mistake, don’t panic! I made a tonne of slip ups, just try and work it into the design. If you rip your design (which I definitely didn’t do… sorry Ringo) You can always use tape to connect it up, sticking it to the back of your piece.

If you are using black paper, as I was, you might find that there are tiny white edges where the paper is a little ripped, or frayed where you cut it. I found that running an old, black marker pen along these parts, covered the white and also flattened down any fluffy edges or unintentional sharp corners.

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Position all your cut outs on your back ground. This could be anything from a plain sheet of paper, to wrapping paper or something you have made specially. I made my backing paper by being totally sad and writing out all of The Beatles songs and putting my favourites in bold. I also used the stencil method to cut out the logo and the smaller facial silhouettes that I found on google.

The layout and design is completely up to you, as is the theme! Do what you feel you can and you’ll definitely make something to be proud of! There’s nothing better than decorating your space with something you love because a) you made it yourself and it’s awesome and b) you have something exactly to your own specification and taste because you chose every aspect of it!

Happy crafting!

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P.S If anyone is interested in Let It Be, it’ll leave the trailer here!

How to | ‘Alice in Wonderland’ adult tea party!

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‘Ello Lovelies and happy un-birthday to you all!

 

Recently I threw an un-birthday bash that was top to toe Alice in Wonderland, however, it was nothing like previous Alice parties I have thrown. Oh no! It was out with the cheesy, life size cartoon cut outs and in with the shabby chic and tastefully traditional Alice in Wonderland inspired touches.

It’s difficult to throw a tea party based on a children’s book for a bunch of adults and hit the nail on the head, but if you turn ‘tea party’ into ‘afternoon tea’ and ‘children’s book’ into ‘classic literature’… well, we’re already onto a winner! It’s the way you approach it, not the subject itself.

I was determined to throw a garden party with my favourite theme and do it in such a way that people would feel they are living the story themselves, without dismissing anything as “tacky”, “childish” or “garish”. In the end, I feel like the aesthetic success of the theme was pulled off by a few simple tricks and flourishes, that anyone can do! So if you’re interested, or looking for a few ideas, here’s a few things I focused on when attempting to get the ‘grown up Alice’ theme just right from noon ’til night! (Like my rhyme?)

 

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Tiny Food.

I decided to have a buffet style, afternoon tea inspired spread, which meant lots of sweet treats! The idea of being dainty is something that comes across in all afternoon teas’ as well as in Alice in Wonderland. In the story and many of it’s tellings, everything is either tiny because Alice is so huge or looks incredibly delicate and intricate. Therefore going with petite finger food was definitely a good option; no need for cutlery either!

The most famous literary tea party of all is that of the Mad Hatter, and he has a plethora of different tea pots and cups (“Clean cup! Move down!”). I found a few different types of tea to offer to guests who wanted it (including peppermint, green and fruit tea) however, the main beverages on offer were fruit based cocktails such as peach and strawberry bellinis and traditional, cloudy lemonade with sliced strawberries and citrus fruits in it.

 

 

Glass Jars & Pic ‘N’ Mix.

This was something I had planned from the start. I collected different sized glass jars, most with air tight glass lids, a few smaller ones with cork stoppers and a couple of jam jars. I filled each of these with different types of confectionary that gave a nod to the story (such as gummy mushrooms) or things that were not what they seemed (such as Cola Cube coated popcorn). This is a throw back to the historical era of Alice in Wonderland too, where glass jars were used for everything, from preserving and pickling to storage and displays, like in old time sweet shops.

 

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Fancy Crockery.

To add a bit of sparkle and a touch of class, I tried not to use any plain plates or aluminium platters. I begged, borrowed and scavenged the charity shops for fancy looking tea pots, cut glass bowls, detailed glass and china sandwich platters, glass decanters, jar mugs… anything that gave an air of magic. Just adding these took the food presentation from basic garden party to shabby chic afternoon tea!

I also found some teeny, tiny cake domes that came with their own “Eat Me” labels, some individual cardboard cake stands that were in the shape of teapots, covered with traditional Alice illustrations, and a two tier porcelain cake stand that also bares a print of the traditional Mad Hatter’s Tea Party illustration.

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 Toying with Height and Size.

Height and size play a huge part in Alice in Wonderland but also in any sort of design work. Varying the heights and sizes of the items on the table is also pleasing to the eye, as well as saving some valuable space.

Four things I did or found to help create eye catching table settings that would also function as places to put food are:

  • Stacking small, floral suitcases of varying sizes and using the different platforms to present food. I got 2 sets for £10 in The Works and have since used them all as boxes for wires, nail polishes, make up, hair products… just about anything. Attractive and handy!
  • I found a giant cake stand that looked like a floral, spiral staircase, which held nearly all of the miniature cupcakes and acted as a centre piece.
  • I baked some large cupcakes in silicone moulds which looked like tea cups, each with it’s own individual saucer. I got a pack of six cups and saucer moulds for £3.50 in Aldi. I also found some tea pot and pin wheel cake toppers that were £1 a pack from The Factory Shop.
  • I bought a giant glass drinks dispenser which looked like a hexagonal jar, complete with the air tight lid and iron stand, raising it up off of the table. So not only did I have a mixture of different sized confectionary jars, I also had a giant one that stood above the others, full of fruity lemonade!

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Finishing Touches and Creating Atmosphere. 

Think about the finishing touches. I found some table skirts at The Factory Shop for £1 each, which really tidied up the space and made it look finished. I also found some packs of red, heart shaped, lace-esque doilies, bunting and giant cards with Alice in Wonderland illustrations and prints on them.I found some hanging signs on Ebay that said things such as “this way”, “wrong way” and “follow the White Rabbit” to place around the garden and I made ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ labels for all of the teapots and jars. My favourite pieces were my giant White Rabbit statue, who sat in the centre of my table and a few bunches of balloons placed between the two tables and at the entrance, which really added to the party vibe.

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I had the maddest time planning my party and then enjoying every second with a whole bunch of friends! I hope you have just as much planning your own events and if you’re going for an Alice themed adventure, this gave you a few ideas!

 

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I Love the 80s! | DIY 80s Costume Ideas.

I love the 80s. I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with that era, I’ve studied it to death, I’ve written papers, essays and exams on it. I managed to work it in to every single one of my A Levels and was so close to an 80s themed 18th birthday party you have no idea. However, a few years later I was off out to a hen night and everything was neon and Wham! and the Brat Pack and nothing hurt.

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I wasn’t born in the 80s but I’ve heard it was acceptable in the 80s, so all colour and texture combinations go. That means that it is possibly one of the simplest costumes to pull off, especially if you don’t like fancy dress. You can utilise things you have lying around the house and even dress down in jeans and a tee.

The basics:

A bold, slogan T-shirt (preferably one with some sort of iconic pop lyrics or 80s brand)

Neon short shorts, leggings or acid wash jeans.


That’s it! From here on out, it’s all about the accessories baby:

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NEON. Neon, neon, neon. You could go for hair scrunchies, net gloves or a Cyndi Lauper/Madonna inspired tutu. I went with neon beads and so many bangles they sprawled up my arm.

Leg warmers. From Flashdance to George Michael, everyone was sporting leg warmers. I paired a larger, white and silver glittery pair, with a smaller neon pink pair, over some silver sparkly heels. It was a little toasty around the ankles but the layered affect looked fab (if not slightly excessive – but who cares?!)

Heels aren’t the obvious footwear choice either. If you’re going with a more New Romantic vibe (think Adam Ant or Boy George) then black boots are a great way to go. Otherwise converse are absolutly, 100%, a-ok to cut loose and get footloose in.

Iconic brands. I mentioned it with the t-shirt but anything, anywhere is acceptable. Anything that screams 80s works for this costume. I had a David Hasselhoff branded bandana laying about (don’t ask me why) and decided that I would also wear that because… well it was pure Baywatch.


Hair and Make Up.

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I got to crimp my hair. It was so big it started living independently of me and it was wonderful. Just crimp the crap out of it. Add scrunchies, add neon extensions. Top knots and side ponies are also a good idea. It keeps long hair out of your face and off your neck, but a half up, half down style is also a good choice. Quiffs and mullets, big curls and ribbons and bows. Big hair, crazy styles and a hit of colour will almost always wow.

I also got to wear all my neon makeup and cover myself in glitter. This last made an appearance during my ’emo’ phase (that never really happened) and my school play days. I was ON. IT. The Stargazer eyeshadows are great for this occasion, but will need a light colour underneath or a strong primer (I use a teeny tiny bit of Vaseline. It holds the colour but that can wrinkle.)

Cosmetic glitter around the brow/cheek bone and a crazy lip colour that pops is also a good idea. Another idea for the more zany of you out there is to take a tip from Bowie and use a bright colour for your contour. Why skin to skin tones when the 80s is all about breaking convention?

I also used an orange neon, crackle polish over white on my nails, which tied things together even more.

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Well, there are a few ideas for you, in case you are really stuck or don’t want to spend out on a pilots outfit or something. This costume can be as loud or subdued as you feel comfortable with and you can totally dress comfy and still fit the theme.

The choice is yours.

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D.I.Y Chalkboard Bunting Week Planner!

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Recently I have been living out of my diary, but when I’m on the phone to a colleague or trying to make plans with a friend, I never have it to hand. I realised that the free calendar you get from IFAW (when you support the charity, obvs) is simply not big enough to house the plans for an entire family. Therefore, whilst I was browsing the shelves in the most dangerous shop my bank account knows of (the craft/knick knack shop), I came across a few things which inspired me to create a D.I.Y week planner for myself, that I could hang wherever I felt was the most appropriate.

It is super simple and anyone can make it!

This project was undertaken in two parts for two reasons: false advertising and my own gullibility. Hence why the pictures were taken in different locations and not everything is included in the first picture. For this project, you will need:

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Some string/ribbon (don’t cut it yet!)

Black card (or any card, I just think black gives the cleanest finish)

A hole punch (or a pencil and some blu tack)

A ruler

A pencil

Scissors

Chalkboard stickers

Pegs

A marker pen

Any decorations you want to add

-OR-

If you’re lazy like me, you can buy any kind of pre-made kit you can find that contains these bits a bobs. I bought mine, in the picture above, from a shop called The Range. They were £1 each, which is why I decided to buy them!

Now, this is where the explanation comes in.

I should have been able to throw this kit together in twenty minutes and hey, presto! Alas, I was taken in by the too good to be true false advertising on the £1 merchandise shelf.  The kit pictured above is in no way, shape or form, a chalkboard. It is, in fact, just the black card already cut and hole punched.

Therefore, I went online (Amazon) and purchased a roll of self adhesive chalkboard paper (the technical, long name, for anyone that wants to have a look, is ‘Self-adhesive Blackboard Wall Sticker total size 200 x 45cm’). It arrived on time, works well, was easy to cut, came with 5 different coloured chalks and was around £5.00.

On with the tutorial!

Step 1: First thing you will need to do is draw, with a ruler, the shape of your bunting flags.

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Make sure you remember to account for at least 1.5 cm at the top of your flag, so you can punch your holes, and make the rest of it big enough to write on. You can stick with traditional triangles, which are probably the easiest shape for this, or you could do something more arty. It’s completely up to you! Once you are happy with the shape and have cut your first one out, use it as a template to cut out the rest. You will need 7 or 8 for the planner, but you might want to make a couple of spares!

Step 2: Punch your holes in the top of your flags.

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You could be precise and measure your flags so you get them in the right places, or just go for it. If it were me, I would go in with all the intention of measuring it, get half way through and just start punching the holes by sight. I guess it would depend on how much patiences I had that day. You just do you though, nothing wrong with either way.

If you don’t have a hole punch, place a blob of blu tack behind the area you want to put a hole in, then with a sharp, round pencil, pierce a hole through the card and into the blu tack. Be careful not to rip your card and if you need help ask for it!

Step 3: Measure, draw and cut out your chalkboard stickers. Stick them to your flags.

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Just remember to leave the holes you have punched uncovered! You can, of course, attempt to  swap step 3 and 4, so you punch through both the card and the chalk board paper. However, I think going through both may be a little bit tough and might break your hole punch. So, do what you want to do and try what you want to try, but do it at your own risk!

Step 4: Thread your flags onto ribbon or string, making sure they are all chalkboard side up.

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(I know these flags don’t have the chalkboard paper attached, but once I got the paper I did attach it, leaving a little strip containing the holes without chalkboard paper). Remember to space your flags out according to how you would like them to hang and how much room you have to hang the finished bunting. You need remember to leave enough string/ribbon on each end so you can hang your bunting, before you cut it to size.

Step 5: Write the days of  the week on your pegs and decorate them. Then attach them to your flags.

 

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The pegs I managed to find already had the days of the week printed on them (and were part of my inspiration) so I could simply go ahead and attach them to my flags. You could paint your pegs, decorate them, print the days of the week, use stickers, draw pictures or simply write on them, the decision is yours. Attach your pegs to the top left corner of each flag (since we read left to right, so scanning your ‘diary’ will be easier that way), making sure that the peg holds the string tightly in the right place, so your flags don’t slide on the string.

Step 6: Hang!

 

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And there you have it! Beautiful, vintage, useful and made by your own fair hands.

You can hang this bunting wherever you like, and the best thing about it is that because it is not stuck together, just unclip the pegs, untie your loops and your can move the flags around and dismantle it as much as you like! You can customise it, use what you have laying around, change it up and make it something that works for you. That’s the best part of a D.I.Y project!

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