DIY No-Sew Retro Atomic Space Age Tree Skirt

One of my favorite things to do each year is make new no-sew felt tree skirts. They’re super easy and fun to make and don’t require any skills except being able to use scissors and glue. You can see past tutorials with measurements and instructions here and here.

This year I needed something to match my office’s retro space age theme, so I used flying saucers and atomic shapes like boomerangs and starbursts.

DIY Atomic Space Age themed tree skirt

I used the method detailed here to cut my skirt out of green felt. Then I cut my shapes out of sheets of different colored felts. I used silver metallic rick rack to add rays to my flying saucers and shiny snowflake starburst buttons for a little extra shine. I finished off the edges with silver metallic fringe! I always use standard craft glue to adhere all of it.

Here are the shapes I used to make your felt cutting life a little easier! Print on a standard piece of paper. (Opt to scale to fit paper on your print settings if possible.)

Retro Atomic Space Age Tree Skirt Template

Tada! Retro Space Age Atomic Christmas

Make sure to tag @melodrama or use the hashtag #krysmasgram on Instagram to show me your creations!

 

 

 

DIY Retro Inspired Christmas Space Age Reindeer

As you saw from my previous post I went full on atomic space age for my home office. I had to do a few DIYs to make it exactly what I wanted it to be, but my favorite is probably this astrodeer!

This project required some Frankenstein style surgery, but I’m really thrilled with the way it turned out. Here’s what I did!

Supplies

Paper Mache Deer
 6.5″ Round Glass Terrarium
Aluminum Foil Tape
Utility Blade
Hot Glue
Craft Glue
Silver Tinsel Garland
Silver Tinsel Stems
Craft paper or paper bags

 

DIy Space Deer TutorialOk I’m going to admit right now I didn’t take process photos because I’m the worst and I wasn’t even sure it was going to work, BUT luckily it’s a pretty straight forward process. (Note: I’m going to make one for a friend so I’ll try to update this post with photos when I do!)

In order to get the deer’s head into the terrarium, but still have the helmet in the position I wanted, I had to make cuts on the points shown below.

Space Deer Cut Diagram.jpg

I added paper ears and eyes and placed the head in the terrarium. Once the head was in the terrarium (from here on known as the helmet) I reattached the bottom part of the antlers, and the upper part of the neck with craft glue and used chopsticks to help get where I had trouble reaching. Once it was dry, I used wet strips of paper bag and glue to cover the cut seams.

Space Deer DIY.jpg

Then I used hot glue to attach the rest of the antler to the top of the helmet, and the helmet to body. I used a black sharpie to draw on the hooves and a nose, then I covered the body in foil tape, and covered all the glue joints with tinsel wire and garlands.

There it is! My new spacey pet. Isn’t he a cutie?

DIY Space Age Deer

DIY: Día de los Muertos Sugar Skull Pumpkin Idea

Growing up Mexican-American I grew up celebrating Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). I remember visiting my family in Mexico and going to the cemetery where families would bring gifts, food, and build colorful, elaborate altars (ofrendas) for their loved ones. People would stay all night, often dressing up and painting their faces like skulls.

This tradition is especially popular in LA. For the past 15 years the Hollywood Forever cemetery has been holding yearly Día de los Muertos events with food, contests, and live entertainment. It’s the perfect opportunity to join in and learn more about Mexican culture. 

I always try to bring elements of Dia de los Muertos into my October decorating, so for my first pumpkin of the season I decided on a Día de los Muertos theme.
Dia de los Muertos themed pumpkin #12monthsofmartha

If you celebrate Día de los Muertos and want to make this for your ofrenda, or maybe just want to show some love for Mexican culture at your home, here’s how to make your own skull pumpkin. You can use a real pumpkin or a faux pumpkin. I want to keep mine long term, so I chose faux.

I started by painting a calavera (skull) on to the pumpkin. If you’re bad at drawing, just search Google for “sugar skull templates” and use it to trace a skull on. Then paint it in with lots of color.

Finish your calaca (skeleton character) off by gluing a crown of flowers around the skull. Marigolds, roses, and other colorful flowers are most authentic. 

And that’s it!
Dia de los Muertos themed pumpkin #12monthsofmartha

DIY: Upcycled Patrón Bottle Hanging Bird Feeder

Welcome to the third installment of my Art of Patrón bottle art contest series. If you haven’t heard, Patrón is holding a contest to find the best creative ideas you can come up with using their bottles. The winner will win $10,000 and nine runners up will win $1,000 each. If you need more inspiration, check out what I’ve already made with my bottles. For rules and more details about the contest, visit the official Art of Patron page.

This project is going to blow your mind with cuteness. Ready?

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder

Tada! It’s a bird feeder. Here’s how to make it.

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder Tutorial

You’ll need something to cut a hole in the glass. I used a Dremel rotary tool with a diamond saw and diamond bit attachment. I first cut a hole using a diamond wheel, and then evened out the circle and enlarged it by rasping with a diamond drill bit. You don’t want to cut the little birdies’ heads off, so make sure you use a sanding bit to smooth the edges out. That is the grimmest sentence I’ve written in awhile…

ANYWAY.

Once the hole is cut, use the diamond bit to drill a small little hole just under the larger opening. Insert a skewer or small stick in there so the birdies have somewhere to stand while they nibble.

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder

Next use a regular drill bit to make a hole through the cork. Pull a strong string or rope through and make a big knot on the bottom of the cork so it all stays tightly in the bottle. If you want to be extra safe, you can glue the cork into the bottle.

DIY Patron Bottle Bird Feeder Tutorial

You can decorate it or paint it how ever you’d like. Fill it with your choice of bird seed and hang it out on a tree or patio. The birds will love you. You’ll be like Cinderella! Or the bag lady from Home Alone 2! Or Tippi Hedren in The Birds… Wait, no, let’s go with Cinderella.

DIY Patron Bottle Hanging Bird Feeder

Stay tuned for my final Patrón (mini) bottle project and be sure to enter your original projects or art to the Art of Patrón bottle art contest before July 17th for your chance to win $10,000.

This project was sponsored by and made possible by Patrón.

DIY DIY: Patrón Bottle Succulent Planters | The Art of Patrón

Now that the Cinco de Mayo celebrations are over, you’re probably wondering what to do with all those empty Patron bottles. Well I have an idea for you. Have you heard about The Art of Patrón contest? It’s a contest that Patrón is holding in which they’re asking you to repurpose their bottles into works of art. Repurposing and upcycling is a major part of my DIY point of view, so I was really excited when Patrón approached me with the opportunity to create my own projects using their bottles.

Art of Patron Bottle Toolkit #ArtofPatron

Think about all of the cool things you can do with these things! I mean just take a look at some of the last year’s finalists. Incredible right? The grand prize winner gets $10,000 and nine finalists get $1,000 each. So that’s a pretty good incentive to get to work on your own bottles. Plus you get to show off your DIY skills and end up with your very own piece of upcycled art. You guys are pretty creative. I’m sure you can come up with something. Be sure to check out the official Art of Patrón site for details on how to enter the contest.

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contestOne of my first thoughts when I saw the bottles was “Score! New succulent planters!”. I’m not a natural green thumb, but I’ve had a lot of success with outside succulents. I wanted to bring some inside and over to my bar, so I thought what better planter for a bar setup than a planter made out of a tequila bottle?

 

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contestReally, all you have to do is cut the top off of the bottle. There are plenty of ways to cut glass bottles, and if you’ve done it before you can use your method of choice. For this project I used a diamond wheel on my rotary tool. If you’ve never used a rotary tool to cut glass, it’s pretty easy. Just take your time and go slowly and you should be fine. These bottles are thick and have square edges, so it was a little more challenging than a standard round bottle would be, but the results are worth it.

 

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contestMake sure you cut your bottle to the appropriate height needed for your plant. You can use the pots they come in as a guideline.

How to make planters out of Patron bottles #ArtofPatronAll I did was mark a line where I wanted to cut and went at it with my diamond cutting wheel. I did a rough line because I wanted an imperfect, hand-crafted looking edge.

How to make a succulent planter out of a Patron bottle. #ArtofPatron

Safety first! If you’re going to work with glass, for the love of God please wear safety glasses and gloves. I repeat, wear safety glasses and gloves.

How to make succulent planters out of Patron bottles with rotary tool #ArtofPatronOh speaking of safety, after you cut the bottle, make sure to sand down all of the sharp edges. They can get pretty sharp and you don’t want to ruin your impressive new Patrón planters by bleeding all over them. Once you’re done cutting and sanding, just fill up the planter with your greenery and pat yourself on the back for being amazing.

 

Are you inspired yet?! If you want to enter the Art of Patron contest, make sure you submit your entry before July 17, 2015. Who knows, maybe you’ll win those $10,000!

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contest

This project was sponsored and made possible by Patrón.

DIY: Mexican Papel Picado

No Mexican themed party is a real fiesta without papel picado. Papel picado is a Mexican folk art where designs are cut into paper and displayed for different special occasions.

Professional papel picado is really impressive and can feature different elaborate scenes. Commonly seen designs are skeletons, birds, and flowers for Day of the Dead celebrations. You don’t have to be a pro to make your own pretty papel picado though. Here’s how to do it.

Using colored tissue paper, you’re going to fold and cut different shapes out. It’s similar to making paper snowflakes. You know the ones.

Papel Picado Steps

1. Cut a rectangle of tissue paper. 6″x8″ is a good size.

2. Fold the paper in quarters, width wise.

3-4. Make an curvy cut at the bottom.

5-6. Cut shapes into folds. Try folding at different angles to get as much variety as possible.

I like to iron mine with low heat when they’re finished. This smooths the fold lines out nicely.

Use as many different colors and designs as possible!

DIY Mexican Papel Picado

Use clear tape to attach them to a ribbon or string and hang them like a garland.

DIY Mexican Papel PicadoThat’s it! Now your fiestas will be super authentic. Trust me, I’m Mexican.

 

DIY: Stenciled “Welcome To The Shit Show” Door Mat

I’ve been in need of a new welcome mat for like a year now, but I haven’t found the right one that I loved enough to invest in. Luckily I spotted these colorful and inexpensive door mats at IKEA. I knew I could probably stencil my own design onto it, and for $8 I really had nothing to lose. It turned out perfectly and it’s totally me.

I couldn’t think of a more (in)appropriate way to welcome guests into my home than with “Welcome to the shit show”. There always ends up being something weird or unexpected happening when we have people over, so this is basically a fair warning of what you’re getting into when you come over.

DIY Stenciled Welcome MatTo make this happen, I had to first make a stencil. I printed my letters out and then used an exacto knife to cut the letters out of pieces of card stock.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat Tutorial

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutoriallI repeated a letter in the beginning of each new stencil so I could align it with the last letter stenciled. That way everything would be in line properly.

After I decided where I wanted the stencils to go, I just taped them to the mat and used a sponge to put regular craft paint on.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutorialKeep the details of the letters by leaving pieces of them connected, you can fill them in later.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutorialUse a small brush to fill in any spots and do any touch ups that are needed. After it dries a bit you can use a small pair of scissors to clip away any mistakes and sharpen up the lettering.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutorialLet it dry over night before putting it out. I don’t know how well the paint will hold up to being stepped on, but I can always go back and do touch ups, so I’m not worried about it.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat

DIY: Decorative Tray Made From A Picture Frame

If you’re horrible like me and need as much help as you can get keeping things organized, you can probably benefit from something like a vanity tray. These help keep all your odds and ends looking tidy by giving them a designated space to lay on. They’re super helpful on dressing tables, bathroom countertops, and even coffee tables to hold remotes and whatever you usually have laying around. Since I’m the worst and messiest person while I’m getting ready, I’m going to use mine to hold jewelry and other stuff that basically lives on my dresser and never really gets put away.

I had one of those inexpensive, basic picture frames that we all seem to have (probably from IKEA, am I right?) so I had the idea of turning it into a tray. When I turned it over it was definitely deep enough to become one.

First you’re going to need to complete a couple of steps to make it actually look like a tray and not just a flipped over picture frame.

Take the back out of the frame. I’m talking about the cardboard part that has the little thing that makes it stand up.
Turn a modern picture frame into a vanity trayThen remove whatever little thingies that held in place. It’ll be little pieces of metal or staples usually. Fill and paint whatever holes and joints are showing on the frame.

Make a vanity tray out of a basic picture frame

Now you’re going to remove the actual piece that makes the frame stand up. Keep the cardboard back. It’s going to be the bottom of your tray.

Turn a basic picture frame into a decorative vanity tray

Now it’s the fun part! You can do this a couple of ways really. You can use decorative paper, you can use a photo collage, or you can paint your own design like I did. I wanted a colorful abstract design on mine.

I gathered all necessary materials and got down to creating my design. I painted the cardboard piece white so it was a blank canvas.

Abstract Art used for DIY vanity trayI used several different colors in a random pattern and then applied the gold leaf.

Abstract art used for DIY vanity trayAlmost done. Assembly time! Put the cardboard into the frame. The frame is technically upside down at this point. Put your design right side up. Place the glass over it.

DIY Decorative tray made from a basic picture frame

Now put stuff on it.

DIY Decorative Tray made from a basic picture frame

See, for all intents and purposes, it’s a tray!

DIY decorative tray made from a basic picture frame

You can change the design any time you want by either painting over it or using decorative paper under the glass.

DIY decorative tray made from a basic picture frame

Use it where ever you may need things to look a little more organized.

DIY Decorative tray made from a basic picture frame

 

 

 

 

 

DIY: Ouija Board Serving Tray

If you want to be the Halloween hostess with the mostest, you need this Ouija board tray to serve your guests their cocktails and treats. Also, maybe conjure some spirits while you’re at it. Just kiddingggg…kind of.

You can find basic serving trays like this at most stores that sell home goods. I got mine at IKEA.

klack-tray__15449_PE082139_S4I wanted to use a classically creepy image and the Ouija board is one of the most iconic things I could think of. It works perfectly for this. I searched for the right image and decided on the William Fuld/Parker Brothers version. This is the image I associate most with the Ouija, and I like the cheekiness of the Parker Brothers name being on there. What a fun toy…and not satanic at all…it’s Parker Brothers!

oujia board
Click to download full size image.

Above is the image I used for my tray. For it to fit I had it printed at 24 x 18 on heavy paper. You can crop and resize it to fit the size of your tray and then take it to your local print shop. I went to FedEx Office.

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAYFirst, I painted the tray black and then I cut out my Ouija image to fit in the bottom of the tray. I used Mod Podge in a matte finish to stick and seal the image on. Easy!

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAYIt looks legit right? I just hope the wine glasses don’t start moving over the letters to spell things out. Although, I’m sure if I drink enough wine it’ll look like that anyway.

DIY OUIJA BOARD TRAY

DIY: IKEA FADO Lamp Turned Jack-o-Lantern

I can be a bit of a Halloween traditionalist, you guys. I like my October nights lit by the faces of Jack-o-lanterns and I like those Jack-o-lantern faces to be classic. However, I still like to mix things up sometimes, and get serious, it’s not exactly practical for me to have carved pumpkins sitting around as light sources for the entire month. When I saw the orange FADO at IKEA, I didn’t just see a colorful orb lamp, I saw a potential Jack-o-lantern.

fado-table-lamp__0275795_PE413950_S4

The FADO is a pretty cool lamp on its own. It has a spherical shape that is a throwback to the mid-century space age era and it gives off a nice, soft, glowing light.

Pulling this off is really as simple as drawing or painting a Jack-o-lantern face onto the lamp. I used chalk to draw my ideal face shapes and then painted over it using a charcoal colored chalk paint. You can use a sharpie, a paint pen, or whatever you’d like. I just liked the chalk paint texture against the frosted glass of the FADO. It also looked more vintage to me that way.

IKEA FIDO Lamp turned Jack-o-Lantern

I love this little guy. Look how cute he is! And the glow sets the perfect mood light for Halloween movie watching.

IKEA FIDO Lamp turned Jack-o-Lantern