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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Tutorial: Projectile Dolls on: August 25, 2008 06:31:44 AM
Remember the old snake-in-a-can gag?  Well these are brides-in-a-can!



I posted these originally under wedding stuff, since I made them as the Save-the-Dates for my wedding, but since a lot of people expressed interest in making them as something other than wedding crafts, I figured I'd post the tutorial here.  Also, my friends with children report that the kids are still playing with them (I made sure to send them the sturdiest ones).

You can find the original thread here.

First, I got these snake-in-can gags from Zymetrical online for a good price (especially since I bought a ton).
Innocent mixed nuts:
To a rather phallic looking snake:

Since these were Save-the-Dates for my wedding, I spray-painted the cans, but you could leave them brown, or even leave the nut label on if you wanted to.

So first gut your snake to get at the spring, but you may want to do it neatly so you can use the "skin" as a pattern.


Next, trace around the outside of the end of the spring to get a circle to support your doll. You want it to be slightly larger than the spring.  Hot glue that to the end of the spring.

Now we want to prepare the doll.  You only want the top half, so chop off the bottom (a real razor blade works much better than an exacto knife here).  The cupcake dolls are nice, since they already have a flat bottom, and you just have to chop off the pick.  If your using other dolls that are hollow on the inside, fill up the inside with hot glue (it took me forever to come up with that solution).

Now I had naked half-dolls (well, the mermaids had a seashell bra on), so I got out the paint (I tried a bunch of things before I stumbled on the paint they use for model cars-- perfect!), and painted tops on them.

Glue the doll to the cardboard on top of the spring:

The cupcake dolls had heads and arms that could come off and could go back on again.  The dollar-store dolls I left everything on (or tried to-- the arms liked to come off on their own).
It doesnt have to look neat.

Now for the dress.  Take your snake skin from earlier, and make your pattern a little bit wider, and as long as you want-- the longer the tube, the more boing there will be in the doll's spring.  You may want to taper one end of the tube-- it will depend on your doll how much (it needs to go over her head at least).  You dont have to, but it makes for a better fitting dress. 




Slide the tube over the doll on the spring, and get out the hot glue again.  Glue the dress to the body (well cover that up later). 


Then sew the end of the tube closed.  You can use a safety pin higher up on the tube to keep the spring out of the way. (I didnt bother making the seam look particularly nice.)

Now the doll is complete, except for having an ugly gluey waist, so tie a piece of ribbon around the waist to hide that.  Since mine were brides, I glued little veils to their head.  I had a lot of fun making them all look different. (I did a few at a time, spaced out over several weeks.)


I hope this is clear enough!
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Weddings and Bridal Showers / The Most Awesome Save-the-Date Ever! Now with tutorial! on: July 29, 2008 12:20:03 PM
So I've been meaning to post these here on Craftster for a long time (seriously, more than a year), but now let me present: The Most Awesome STD ever: The Bride-in-a-Can!



To paraphrase the snake-in-a-can description: When the unsuspecting invitees opened their innocent-looking plastic can, a spring-loaded bride shoots out!

Inspired by the project in The Artful Bride: Invitations, I was disappointed that absolutely no one was surprised when we announced our engagement, and I was determined to surprise them all somehow.  The project in the book (which looks way classier than mine, but not nearly as cool) would cost around $15 per STD to do it their way--  and that's before postage, which would not be insignificant.

So I fiddled around with the idea, and came up with my version, which cost just over $1 each.  I bought a bunch of Snakes-in-a-Can online for 45 cents each, and then used the spring from the snake, and some dollar-store mermaid dolls and cupcake doll-bodies, along with a tiny bit of tulle, ribbon and fabric, to make projectile brides.  And they do erupt from the can with impressive force!  I wish I could get a midair action shot, but we never did get a good one of those.  Also, since the vast majority of our guests live in town, we attached a loop of ribbon to each one, and drove around one day, hanging them on people's doorknobs. 

Here is my army of tiny plastic brides, before they made their way out into the world:


And here is the written part of the STD, printed on my home printer:



My sister wrote the limerick for us-- isnt it fantastic!

Let me know what you think!

Edited to add:
I posted the tutorial under toys, since it doesn't have to be used as any kind of invitation.

You can find the tutorial here.
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Recipe for keeping your Christmas tree fresh on: December 09, 2007 07:23:41 PM
...well, not alive, since this is for cut trees, but it keeps it from drying out (and therefore from being so flammable).

Mix:
    * 2 cups of Corn Syrup
    * 1/4 cup of liquid Chlorine Bleach
    * 2 pinches of Epson Salt
    * 1/2 teaspoon of Borax
    * 1 teaspoon of chelated iron
    * Hot Water

The chelated iron is something you can get at garden supply stores.

I got the recipe from The Natural Gardener, and they have some very specific recommendations, but I just add it to the reservoir instead of plain water.

Last year I was surprised at how well it works, and since I haven't ever seen this tip anywhere else, I thought I'd share.  Hope it works as well for others as it has for me.
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / I've got a great fireplace... now I want to do the hearth! on: July 31, 2007 11:37:19 AM
But I'm not sure exactly what I want to do to it.

So here's what I've got:


And the original Completed Project thread is over in Glass Crafts, if you want to know more about the fireplace: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=180635

So, I want to cover the plain white tiles with more mosaic, but I can't really decide on a design.  Obviously, I want it to go together, but I don't think that necessarily means I need flames on the floor.

Ideas?
5  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / So I finally have a fire on my fireplace... on: July 02, 2007 06:38:17 PM
That's right, I said on.

Until recently, I had this ugly (or at least boring) thing for a fireplace.

So, over several months (I think I started last September or October) I built a fascade, and made myself this:




I'm much happier in my living room now.  We've only actually used the fireplace once in the last two years, so when my swirly design started to resemble flames, I thought that it when the perfect way for the fireplace to express itself since it never gets to perform its function.

For some reason I feel compelled to point out that the black line along the inside of the fireplace isn't an excessive amount of black grout (although I did consider doing it that way), it's strips of black glass.  You can see it better in this picture:




Edit to add the awesome photo from page four to the first page.
6  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / A windowed gate on: May 06, 2007 07:53:27 PM
So I finally decided to post a project I had done (even thoughn this is something I did several months ago).  During the winter, my dog had gotten bored and basically chewed her way through the gate.  When I finally had some time, I built a new one.  I wanted to build something that she couldn't chew through, and I decided to make it out of cedar instead of pressure-treated lumber in case she decided to try.  I also didn't want the same old Z-frame that everyone has.  So I stood around in Home Depot, reading a book on gates to get some ideas, and then went home and planned and built this:






There are 2x4's framing the edge of the gate-- she's not chewing through this baby!  But I don't think she has even tried.  She stands on her hind feet with her paws on the crossbar to look out her little window.  See the muddy pawprints? Smiley
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / What would you want for your birthday? on: April 22, 2007 08:29:36 AM
So, long story short, I'm due two birthday presents this year.  (And never mind that my birthday was actually back in January.)

So I'm asking for a glass grinder, but I honestly am having trouble thinking of something to ask for.

I have a huge variety of craft interests, so I'll just put it this way: if you were to ask for a present between $100 and $300, what would it be?

(BTW: I stood in line for hours to get him a Wii for his Dec 13 birthday.  He can get me a really darn nice present.  But I can't decide what I want.)
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