Friday, 17 October 2014

Dinosaur Party Invitations

When I first heard about Dinovember, I was so excited to come up with a craft to help celebrate. Over the summer Target had some plastic dinosaur figurines in their Dollar Spot and may or may not have bought a ton of them in anticipation. I made these dinosaur party invitations for Oh Happy Day - check them out here!

Dinosaur Party Invitations

Haunted Village Surprise

I love it when I can make a craft that includes a little surprise. These paper haunted houses can be used as Halloween decorations but also will hide small treats for party guests. See the full post here at Oh Happy Day.

Haunted Village Surprise

Monday, 22 September 2014

Mid Century Straw Decor

Here's a secret: straws are one of my favourite craft supplies. They come in so many colours and sizes, I can't resist them. This time around, I used them to make some mid century party decor. So easy! See the full instructions over on Oh Happy Day.

Mid Century Straw Decor

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Halloween Cupcake Toppers

Do you have Halloween on the brain yet? I keep trying to think up a genius costume, but so far I haven't had any ideas. I did make these Halloween cupcake toppers though - as usual, super easy but lots of fun. The full instructions are over on Oh Happy Day.

Halloween Cupcake Toppers

Friday, 19 September 2014

Candy Garland

If you haven't guessed by now, I have a huge sweet tooth. When I can do something crafty and candy related I'm over the moon. Take a look at this DIY candy garland I made for Oh Happy Day - I covered cut up toilet paper rolls with tissue paper. I left mine empty, but you could totally fill them with wrapped candies and hand them out as party favours! See the full post here.

DIY Candy Garland

Monday, 25 August 2014

CRAFToronto: Value Village

Do you love Value Village as much as I do? I couldn't help but make it the first store visit for my new series CRAFToronto where I'll be sharing what I've learned about art, craft, and party shopping in Toronto. 

One of the best (and sometimes worst) things about Value Village is that you never know what you're going to find. You literally can't count on anything for sure, even things you've seen there every other visit. Not only does the selection change day by day, but I've found that the variety in different locations can vary quite a bit as well. For this post, I visited the Value Village near Bloor and Lansdowne which I've been told is one of the best stores in the city. After checking it out a couple times, I agree that the turnover there is quick, but the location near Victoria Park and Finch has a better glassware department (which is where I always dart to). Get to know the different locations in your area - likely each one will have better or worse departments. 

Keeping that all in mind, if you're looking for vases, glasses, jars, platters, dishes, or similar for your next party I would definitely recommend checking out Value Village before heading to a department store - you might just get lucky! Chances are you won't find 12 matching glasses that you love, but if you are having a smaller party, want to mix and match, or are looking for individual items then your chances are good. Aren't the gold dipped glasses above gorgeous? I'm already regretting not buying them.

You can almost always find glass mason jars at Value Village. I like looking at the jars here because if you want to mix and match for a more interesting look, you aren't forced into buying a huge group of identical jars like at department stores. You can also find unusual sizes and some gorgeous vintage jars as well. If you do want a huge group of identical jars, don't expect that at Value Village - go to a department/hardware/grocery store and buy a tray there (the price per jar will likely be better too).

Another one of the fun sections in Value Village is the miscellaneous housewares wall. It can be overwhelming at first, but if you have a bit of time of your hands you're almost guaranteed to find a treasure. Because the items are grouped in plastic bags, you might end up buying something you don't want to get the thing you do - I found a box of used tea lights grouped with a pricey scented candle I'd seen in store a few months back, all for $1.99. You can sometimes find craft supplies too - like the candle wax pictured above, fake flowers, candles, party supplies, paper supplies, knick knacks, sewing notions … you never really know.

Value Village also has a section of table linens, which (like everything else) can be hit or miss. Before buying anything, check carefully for stains or tears. If you're looking for vintage fabric, you can also look in the bed linens section for sheets with unique designs. Keep in mind that most fabric items have that uniquely Value Village perfumey smell, so if that isn't something you want to deal with then stay away from the fabric items. (I've almost always been able to get the smell to go away after a few washes though.)

Some Value Villages even have a small craft section. In my experience it's usually made up of yarn, outdated sewing patterns, and knitting needles. Once I did get really lucky and score a linocut carving tool  for just a few bucks though, so I always check it out just in case.

I hope this first CRAFToronto post has been helpful! If you have any questions or comments about it, I'd love for you to comment below! And what have been your best art, craft, and party finds at Value Village? 

Monday, 18 August 2014

Introducing a new blog series

It's probably pretty obvious that I have a huge collection of craft and party supplies. It didn't happen all at once; the growth has sped up since I started this blog and contributing to others. Since shopping for art, craft, and party supplies is now a part of my job description, I've been learning lots about where it's best to buy certain things. More and more I get asked by friends where the best place to buy craft supplies are, so I thought it would be a lot of fun to start a local series that I'm calling CRAFToronto.

CRAFToronto will focus on art, craft, and party supply stores all in the Toronto area and share helpful tips and tricks that I've learned. Some of the shops I'll write about will be independently owned while others will have lots of locations nationwide. Of course, in-store stock and product availability is changing constantly so while this series may not remain 100% accurate forever, as the months and years pass I think it will be a good starting point.

Do you live in Toronto and have any craft supplies you'd like tips on? Or maybe you have a favourite store to recommend? Comment below - I'd love to hear from you!

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