DIY: Badass Wolfpack Tanks

As a backstory to this project – I am in the phase of my life where bachelorette parties/weddings fill most of my summer weekends. While these parties are more or less, more organized versions of our typical summer weekends, original themes, give-aways, activities get harder to come up with as the summer/years go on.

Enter the “Wolfpack Weekend”. Part of this weekend includes a competition that required us to split the “wolfpack” in two, which we did by colours (easy enough). These sick cut-off tee’s were done in about 2h (all 12!) and then left overnight to dry. You can run with the idea and basically customize to use any clipart or silhouette (or free-hand design, you creative SOB!). We went with wolves. Because we’re a wolfpack (duh). Plus, they have that “my mom made me wear this in the 1990s in a matching sweatsuit” feel) wolfpack4

What you’ll need:

-Fabric spray (Tulip brand in black and neon pack, available at Walmart)

-Cardboard stencil

-Newspaper/plastic bag (to protect your floor)

-T-shirt/Tank top/Cut-off muscle T

What you’ll do:

  1. Find a clip art or silhouette of your desired design. You can free hand this or find one on the Internet. If you go with the Internet version, you can simply print or trace over your screen and then transfer that onto cardboard. Plain paper can work if you only do 1, but if you are using the stencil multiple times, the paint will soak through and it won’t be functional past 1, maybe 2.
    wolf

Remember:
The part where you place your stencil will remain white (or whatever colour your fabric is). You can also use the stencil as a stamp and spray the paint on it first, then transfer it onto your fabric (keep in mind, it will be a transfer aka backwards).

  1. Once you have your stencil ready, place some paper/cardboard/plastic between the layers of your shirt so your spray doesn’t soak through to the back.

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  1. Place your stencil where you want it. (this stencil looks black because its already been sprayed once).

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  1. Spray! We did a two-parter – a) First, we used black with the wolf stencil. b) Once that was dry, we placed a full circle of cardboard over the “moon” and “wolf” to keep them white and black, respectively, and then went bananas with the neon sprays for that “Northern Lights/rave” feel.

                                                a)
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                                                 b)wolfpack3

Tips:

– Try to hold the bottle as upright as possible, especially when it gets low (the sprayer sucks from the bottom so if it’s tilted, it doesn’t spray as well).

– Use a fondue fork (or some other type of long skinny implement) to hold the stencil down securely to save your hands).

  1. Let em’ dry
  2. Soak in those compliments!

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DIY: Vintage Wine Box

Here at Bubbles & Boat shoes, we like wine. A lot. Like so much (once it hits your lips..). So it was only natural for us to get into a project that uses a vintage wine box to make a sick-ass storage and/or display piece. There are a couple of options depending on how you want your end product to look and ways of personalizing to make it a great wedding gift.

Here’s how it goes:

1. Get a wine box (duh) – the LCBO has these in the back. You just ask an employee if they have any vintage boxes and they can usually find you one. The other great thing is that it costs you ~$5, and that money is used as a donation to whichever charity the LCBO is supporting at that time (the one pictured went to the SickKids Foundation).  The lid often is broken because of how they have to pry it off – use a strong epoxy or liquid cement to glue the pieces back together.

box1

2. Pull the industrial staples out of the box – I use pliers or wire cutters. Warning – this is actually way harder than it sounds. The wire cutters work well because they get a really firm hold on the staple so that you can pry it up bit by bit. Resist the urge to just cut them or hammer them down (cowards way out), since this won’t look as nice and might shred your hands when you’re sanding.
staple1staple2

3. Fill in the holes in the lid/box left by the staples using a wood filler. Let it dry and fill again until all of the holes have been filled to be flush/slightly higher than the surface of the wood. When the wood filler is 100% dry, sand these down to be totally flush/smooth with the surface of the wood.

filler

4. Once you’ve pulled all of the staples out and your lid is reconstructed, sand all of the edges of the box and the lid. Some boxes will come with slats to hold the wine (even better) – I recommend sanding these as well because then…obviously…you can use your box to hold wine! If you’re going to stain the box, you’ll want to sand the surfaces too so your stain finishes evenly. As you can see, this craft ravages your manicure, so you’ll want to schedule one as a reward for when you’ve finished the project (very important).sand

5. Again, depending on what you want your end product to look like, you can add some decorative aspects to the lid i.e. corner finishes (pictured below), engraving/wood burning etc. Any decorative work on the lid/box should be done before you attach hardware. I used corner finishes on this box, but for a wedding gift, I’ve had the lid laser engraved with the couple’s names/date and a reading from their wedding. If you are going to engrave AND stain it is crucial that you sand the surface very smooth before it’s engraved! (lesson learned the hard way over here).                                    cornercorner2

6. When you’re happy with the state of your box, it’s time for the tricky part – adding hinges. These things are super finicky. A couple of tips for adding these:

– Attach them to the lid first and then use a pillow to support the lid when you’re attaching them to the box.
– Use a tack or a corkscrew (or some other pointy implement…I just happened to have a corkscrew near by) to make a hole. This works to mark where the tiny screws will go and also makes it easier to screw it in.
– When you’re attaching them to the box, do the outside hinges first – this holds the lid in place when you do the remaining screws.
hingehinge3hinge4

7. When you’ve got your hinges on, take a big sip of wine because you’re probably a little frustrated and, hey, you’ve earned it!

8. Then, add your chain (buy it at any Home Hardware etc.) to the inside of the box and underside of the lid to hold the lid when it’s open. You can make it so the lid opens almost all the way to 180° or somewhere closer to 90°. Attaching it to the inside of the box allows the chain to fall inside neatly when you close the lid. I use the extra 4 screws that come with the hinges since they are the right gauge for fitting through the chain and the right length for holding the chain without going all the way through the lid. Obviously, do this to both side of the box.

chain

chain29. Last finishing touch (optional) – add furniture tacks around the edge of the box. This gives it a nice, rustic and professional finish. It also hides the holes where the industrial staples were removed (also a trick to hide any staples left!).

studsstuds2

10. Ta-da! Enjoy your awesome wine box! Or…you know…give it to a friend or something

finished

Watermelon Cake: Prettier on Pinterest…

CAKEThe inspiration (photo used with permission)

Last week was my fiancé’s birthday and each year since we have been together I have made him something special for dessert. This year, with our wedding in September, my future mother-in-law has taken to reminding everyone that “we want to be wedding ready” – aka watch what you’re all eating so you don’t panic in August! While my family has always been a fruit for dessert – if anything – kind of bunch, Bobby’s has more of a sweet tooth. I was cruising around Pinterest in the weeks before, racking my brain for a delicious but healthy recipe that would allow him to literally have his birthday cake and eat it too. I saw the most beautiful cake made entirely from watermelon, berries, and icing – “how hard could it be?!” I said to myself, “quick and easy!” I said to myself, “you’re a genius!” I said to myself. Well…as it turns out: harder that I had originally thought but just as delicious as I had hoped. Below is my step by step process for how to make your very own Watermelon Cake – cautionary commentary and suggestions included!

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The beginning of your process is the same as that part from any cooking show you watched as a kid, when the host says “for this portion of the project you’re going to need an adult…”. I am clearly not an adult and sure as heck hate knives (again – what made you think this was a good idea?!) Enter Bobby.

To start, you (or your adult) are going to prepare your watermelon:

– Cut off two ends of your rind to form a *very* flat top and bottom for your cake. Trust me, you will need the stability when icing – she’s a slippery one.

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Next, you are going to skin your watermelon and decide on your cake’s shape. Feel free to keep it round or cut the sides down into more of a rectangular shape. Heck, get crazy, cut that rectangle in half, and you’ve got yourself two square cakes!

– Carefully cut the rind off in sections, pointing the knife away from you, in a downward motion (safety!)

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– Ensure that you are cutting off as much of the white rind as possible, maintaining the desired size and shape of your cake.

Once you’ve got your perfectly pink watermelon all ready to go, it is time to ice!

– Place your cake on a decorative plate or cake stand before beginning to ice
– Using a spatula, spread the icing over the top and sides of your cake, covering any pink areas completely

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Now…I’m going to be honest – this is where it all fell apart for me. I have two recommendations for you at this stage in the game: The first is to freeze your melon before you try and ice it. Fun fact: watermelons are juicy! Obviously. But that is legitimately something I didn’t even consider when I undertook this project (sigh) and is an uphill battle when it comes to this dessert.

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My second recommendation (although, it’s more of a shot in the dark that I’ve never tried but I assume it would help) is to try using Cool Whip instead of icing. I found that once the melon and icing began to warm to room temperature,  your sides become a bit of a shloopy mess – to use a technical term. Cool Whip, being lighter and having a different texture, could be the answer to icing the sides of your cake.

To finish your cake:
– Cover the iced sides of your cake with shaved almonds, sprinkles, or leave them plain
– Top your cake with berries or other sliced fruit for a bit of decoration
– Refrigerate your cake before serving, slice, and enjoy!

2014-06-15 19.41.01The result

Ta-daaaaaa! As you can tell, I was unable to keep the icing from sliding down the sides and resorted to simply piling the icing on top and hoping for the best. #fail

But, at the end of the day it was a hit with everyone at the table – and who doesn’t love a sweet treat in the summer!?