Category Archives: DIY with Anjelica

Craft fail

I was thrilled about starting this new craft project.

A few days before, I had come across a beautiful jewelry holder at Target, which I then decided was too expensive to buy. It looked simple enough, and I figured I could recreate something similar all by myself. I started, and I was all the way at the very last step when I made a crucial mistake that I could not fix. Needless to say, this was a lesson learned!

I now know not to add water (or any moisture) to triple thick glaze.

Had I not made this critical mistake I would have a new jewelry holder right now.

Instead, all I have to share is the picture of the jewelry holder I did not buy.

Craft fail

I used dowels, toothpicks, and E-6000 to start my project.

Craft fail

I spray-painted a dish that I had been using to retain water from a plant. I was also pretty excited to be sealing and glazing using gold glitter. As you can see, that is as far as I got.

Craft fail

If you decide to attempt this project, here’s a word to the wise. Do not make the same mistake I made.

Craft fail

Craft fail

Thrifty Easter centerpiece

Thrifty Easter centerpiece

It’s going be a fun Easter! Even more so this year because I’m determined to keep costs down by DIY-ing a lot of it myself.

So far I’ve already been able to set up a sweets display at home. 

I bought cotton candy from a local grocery store and divided it into smaller portions, cotton candy balls to be exact.

I then individually wrapped each one of these.

The stand was made with rolled up card stock paper, secured by tape. I pierced the stand with a box cutter and then inserted the stick from the cotton candy ball. I also made a small amount of plaster to secure the blue spray-painted tree branch upright.

Ribbon for this project was purchased at a local Dollar Tree, as were the styrofoam eggs. The cake stand I bought at a thrift store last year. That’s where I picked up the milk glass and cup too.

I bought the pink and green garland at a dollar store also.

Finally, the candy was purchased at local wholesale sweets store.

In total, for everything I spent between $30 to $35.

I hope you like the result. 

Happy Easter!

Thrifty Easter centerpiece

Thrifty Easter centerpiece

Thrifty Easter centerpiece

Colored rice jewelry

Colored rice jewelry

So now that you know how to color rice with Kool-Aid. As promised, here’s a look at what I made with my colored rice. I immediately thought jewelry, of course. In this case, a necklace is what I was inspired to create.

What you’ll need: 

colored rice
cord (any color you choose; you can also use embroidery thread)
glue (white school glue works but mod Podge works best)
saran wrap and/or wax paper
spoon (for mixing and creating shapes)

NOTE: If you want to make beads you will also need: stirring straws (I rcommend small opening straws; the larger the circumference of the straw, the lager the opening of the bead)

Step 1: Measure out 2 parts rice and 1 part glue. Mix. Add more rice as needed if the mixture is runny.

Colored rice jewelry

Step 2: To shape your rice, pour the mixture onto wax paper and start shaping it to your liking. You can also use your spoon to help guide the shaping of the rice. Once done, let the shape dry.


Colored rice jewelry

Step 3: (if you’re making a bead that is) Place about 1/4 of the rice mixture onto a sheet of saran wrap and form a sphere shape. Let the sphere dry for about 10 minutes inside the saran wrap.

Step 4: After the 10 minutes, poke a straw through the wrapping and the rice, straight through from one side to the other.  Allow it to completely dry, then remove the wrapping and the straw from your beads.

Colored rice jewelry

Step 5: Repeat until you have enough shapes and or beads for your necklace.

Then comes the fun part. Assembling your jewelry! I used random jewelry pieces and hardware to finish my heart necklace.

Colored rice jewelry

Have fun!!

Coloring rice for crafting

This is a new technique I crafted with recently. It turns out coloring rice to craft, do new projects with, or just to have lots of fun with, is pretty simple. And you get to use Kool-Aid! You can drink it too if you like. 🙂

Coloring rice for crafting

What you’ll need: 

white rice
measuring cups
plastic bag (such as sandwich bag or regular zip loc bag)
small container

Step1: Measure out 2 cups of rice and pour them into the plastic bag.

Step2: Measure out about 1/2 a tablespoon of your choice of Kool-Aid flavor (color) and mix it with one spoonful of water. Mix well in the container.

Step 3: Pour the mixture into the plastic bag also and begin messing (kneading) all of the bag’s contents. Make sure all the rice grains are colored with the mixture.

Step 4: Leave the bag slightly open and allow it to air dry.

Finally, when it’s dry you’re ready to start crafting with your colored rice.

FYI: I’ll share what I made with my colored rice on the next blog post. Stay tuned. 

Coloring rice for crafting

Coloring rice for crafting

Decoden Cupcake Necklace

The inner child that lives within me loves the pretty look of cupcakes.  I don’t think I have to go into much of a rant here, because I’m sure many of you will agree.  The one thing that I am not thrilled about when it comes to cupcakes are the calories.  Real cupcakes pack a whole lot of those… as I’m sure most of you know pretty well too.  For now, I will stick to just admiring these faux decoden cupcakes I have made for myself.  You can follow along with this easy step-by-step if you want to create your own wearable (and non-fat) mini cupcakes.

Decoden Cupcake Necklace
Step 1 (Supplies): Mini cupcake liners; Dap brand adhesive sealant; small styrofoam balls; glitter, beads, rhinestones, buttons, or anything else you want to use to decorate your cupcakes.
Decoden Cupcake Necklace
Step 2 & 3: Place the styrofoam balls into the mini cupcake liners; Fill the remaining space in the liner with Dap sealant. To get a high tip, work in an upward direction. Make sure to touch all sides of the liner with the sealant (it shrinks as it dries). TIP: Use piping bags and pastry decorative tips for easier application.
Decoden Cupcake Necklace
Step 4: Decorate your cupcake to your heart’s desire! This is my favorite step.
Decoden Cupcake Necklace
Step 5: Let your cupcakes dry for 24 hours before glazing them. You can also add jewelry hardware at this stage to add your mini cupcakes to a necklace like mine. Happy crafting friends!

Day of the Dead Face Painting

There is something about the bright and bold colors for Día de los Muertos that always gets to me this time of year.  Usually, I spend a good chunk of my time visiting and admiring local Day of the Dead installations or altar presentations.  The celebration of life, even after death, is a part of my culture of which I am very proud.

I mean what better way to honor our deceased than by celebrating them in the loudest colors of the color wheel!  I’m a fan, as you can tell.

Every year, I also like to paint my face (and everyone else’s who will let me) in the typical Día de los Muertos “calaveritas” style.  It’s so much fun that this year I went ahead and made this video on how to paint your face like a sugar skull too.  Enjoy!

I’m participating in a Día de los Muertos Blog Hop with Houston Latinas. Check out the other bloggers participating in the blog hop below:

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe by Crafty Thrifter

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month!  Well, sort of.  Actually, it’s already almost halfway over.  Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated annually here in the United States from September 15th through October 15th.  As a Mexican American Texan, or in español, mexico americana tejana, I couldn’t let this month go by without a little celebration of my own.  I think Hispanic Heritage Month is important because it wasn’t too long ago that this type of observation was not something that was very widely accepted.  In fact, some might say, it was merely a holiday that was forcefully tolerated by most.

Today, though, I’d like to think those days are long behind us.  From a one week event, this commemoration of all things Latino has grown into a month-long celebration of our culture and diversity in this country.  We do have quite a rich history here after all!

Quick Tip: Click images to see them in FULL SIZES 

In my case, I think bicultural identity is very interchangeable… depending on who is playing fútbol (soccer) or any other game in the Olympics.  That’s who I’m rooting for!  I kid.  I kid.  In all honesty, I usually root for the underdog, no matter who they are.

The truth is I feel the closest to my own heritage on September 16th, on Mexican Independence Day, rather than during Hispanic Heritage Month.  During that day, my own Mexican culture seems to be so much more present, vibrant and visual.  Still, I think culture and identity should be celebrated all year round, not only on a specific day or month.  There is no beginning or ending to who we are.

As any good mexicana, I love my pan dulce, pozole, tamales, tacos and all that other great stuff.  I just don’t eat eat it as much because, well, you know, all that sugar and those calories aren’t good for anyone.  I have my favorite telenovela.  My mother and siblings are a huge part of my life no matter how much I try to deny it.  I talk a very awkward Spanish that only a few who grew up like me (born here to Mexican parents) understand completely.  When talking to my family in Mexico, I try extra hard and unsuccessfully to polish up my Spanish.  They’re nice enough to try and understand me in spite of my broken español.  

In terms of geneology, I am aware of who I am and where I come from.

That’s also why today I want to share my personal contribution to the celebration of this Hispanic Heritage Month.  I had a lot of fun putting this project together.  I hope you really enjoy it!

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe by Crafty Thrifter

I made the flower backdrop using the same technique my grandmother showed me a couple of years ago.  She learned it from the older ladies in her pueblo when she was a young girl.  They would make the flowers to sell them in the capital of San Luis Potisi, Mexico.  We sat down in the open air outside in my mother’s jardin to practice the technique, just talking and making a lot of papel crepe flowers together.

The skirt and shirt are from a local thrift store.  Yes, you read right.  From a thrift store!  This outfit is one of my proudest finds to date.  It was so precious I had to own it.

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe by Crafty Thrifter

I still have to confirm this, but the thrift store rep and I both believe this is an authentic vintage piece.

The beautiful models are my nieces.

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe by Crafty Thrifter

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe by Crafty Thrifter

Hispanic Heritage y Flores de Papel Crepe by Crafty Thrifter

I guess you can say I like celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month doing what makes me happy.  Crafting and thrifting!  How do you celebrate your own heritage?

Crafting with Anjelica: How To Make a Stylish Clutch Out of Fabric & Duck Tape

So what do you do on a long weekend?  If you’re anything like me, you find a new and fun project to dedicate part of your time to while your family is home spending a little extra quality time together.  For me, this Fourth of July break, it was working with duck tape.  I was inspired by a fellow crafter on YouTube who made some really beautiful creations using mostly only duck tape.  It made me want to take a jab at the concept too.  Before making this clutch with duck tape, fabric and staples, I made a messenger bag for Edgar, smaller makeup bags for myself, and a couple of larger totes as gifts for family.  Those were all prototypes.  They helped me pick up a few techniques and get more comfortable with crafting something a little more specific.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsAs soon as I saw this fabric I knew I had to make something fun and functional with it.  A clutch is perfect for many occasions and it is also a great conversation starter.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsThese are the supplies you will need.  Duck tape comes in so many colors and designs you can be as creative as you want to with this project.  Remember the duck tape you select will end up being the inner lining of your clutch.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsLook at the detail of my fabric.  I’m a huge cat lover!  Always have been since I was a little girl.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsAs you can see, the concept is pretty simple, you will use your duck tape to cover the two pieces of fabric, that will be the two sides of your clutch, on one side.  Depending on the size of your clutch you will cut two pieces of fabric of equal size.  Mine are 18″x20″.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsNow you will take a zipper and attach it to both sides of your duck-taped fabric using a stapler.  You’ll need plenty of staples so it’s a good idea to stock up on them before you get started.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsOnce you’ve stapled your zipper on both sides.  Add some more duck tape along the hardware of your zipper and above the staples.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsNext you will staple all three remaining sides of your clutch together, leaving only the end with the zipper on it open.  Use duck tape to cover the staples on each side.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsNow take the two ends opposite your zipper at the bottom of your clutch and pinch them together, then staple them.  You will then fold the triangular pinched area that you just stapled on either side inward and secure it with duck tape.  These will be the bottom corners of your inner lining.

crafting with anjelica craftythrifter duck tape clutch juanofwordsTurn your clutch inside out and viola!  The beautiful fabric of your choice is now a gorgeous and very stylish clutch!

If you have any questions while attempting to make this project on your own, please feel free to let me know.  I would be happy to walk you through any kinks.  Oh, and by the way, these fun duck tape projects can be pretty addicting.

Next on my list are backpacks!