do it yourself

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?

12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas: Using Newspaper to Wrap Your Gifts – Day 7!

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel now also on craftythrifter)
So if you read Day 6 of the 12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas and thought “that’s way too much work,” this post is especially for you.  Consider this the cheat sheet to recycling newspaper as gift wrap for your Christmas presents.  It will look just as great as the handmade gift bag and your friends and family will praise you just as much for your awesome creativity.  Have fun with this project!

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Half the fun is choosing the right comics for the person who will be receiving your gifts.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

You’ll want to make the same sealant as in Day 6 so that the ink on the paper does not run. You don’t want your gift receiver to get ink residue on their hands when they open their gifts.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

And as always, get creative with your bows!

If you have any questions about this or any other of the 12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas, feel free to reach out to me online at facebook.com/craftythifter or twitter.com/craftythrifter.

Please reuse, repurpose, thrift, consign and all that other good stuff.

Thanks for subscribing and reading our blog!  We’d love to get to know you better.  Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas: Make Your Own Handmade Gift Bag – Day 6!

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel now also on craftythrifter)
New favorite!  Even if it does take a couple more steps, and it really isn’t gift wrapping per se… This new nontraditional gift wrapping idea I am proudly sharing with you all today is a handmade gift bag made out of something we all probably have sitting in our homes right now: newspaper comics!  I love the Sunday funnies!  So why not share them with my friends and family this Christmas?  I am!  And I did have a lot of fun putting this post together.  Enjoy!

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

The finished piece. I think this is Juan’s favorite too. He was all like “how did you do that?” when I showed it to him, LOL!

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

First, we’ll need to make our sealant to put this gift bag together.  Use a small cup or container to hold your sealant. Use equal parts water and multipurpose glue to make your sealant.  Mix well.  With a paintbrush apply the sealant across your newspaper pages and let them dry.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Next, take a sheet of your newspaper and fold it almost halfway leaving about 2 inches of newspaper exposed.  Use a glue stick to apply glue on the exposed 2 inches.  Fold the exposed 2 inches with glue on them to the rest of your newspaper.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Now on each side of your existing folds make one more crease about an inch away from the existing crease line.  This will start to give your gift bag its form.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Next choose which end of your bag will be the bottom of your gift bag (leave your favorite comics on the print for the top part of the bag – they will be more visible). Fold the end you have chosen 2 inches on each side and then unfold each side (you are only folding at this step to create the creases).  Now you’ll fold the corners of your selected 2 inches at the corners to create flaps (see the picture above).

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Once your flaps are created take a glue stick and secure them to one another. You can turn your gift bag right side up and apply pressure from the inside of the bag to ensure the paper at the bottom adheres.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

For the final step, take a hole puncher and make 2 holes on each side of your gift bag.  Take a piece of ribbon on each side and feed it through the existing holes on each side to the desired length, then make a double knot on each end of your ribbon to hold it in place.  Now you’re ready to enjoy your Handmade Gift Bag!

If you have any questions about this or any other of the 12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas, feel free to reach out to me online at facebook.com/craftythifter or twitter.com/craftythrifter.

Please reuse, repurpose, thrift, consign and all that other good stuff.

Thanks for subscribing and reading our blog!  We’d love to get to know you better.  Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas: Hidden Glittered Ribbon! – Day 5

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel now also on craftythrifter)
So this one is a little more difficult than the rest.  But hey, I always say, where’s the fun in it if there is not a little challenge in there for us?  Okay, so you may just want to wrap your gifts and be done with it.  It’s easier than it looks.  I promise.  For this 12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas edition we’re using punch-outs and glittered ribbon to give our gifts more of a subdued elegant look and feel.  Think less is more, even if there are a couple more steps involved.  I hope you’ll share some of your own gift wrapping adventures with me too!

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

These are the supplies we’ll need for this one. You can of course choose the ribbon of your choice.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

We’ll use our scissors to do some scoring on our gift wrapping paper first.  (Hint: you should know what size the gift you’re wrapping is before you get to this step).  Make two score lines across the paper as shown.  It should look like the bottom right corner when you are done.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Use a ruler to mark where you will make your hole punches.  Now make your hole punches on the pretty side up of your gift wrap (not the backside).

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Your paper should look something like this now. Cut out a piece of glittered ribbon and measure it to size against one side of your punch out design.  Tape the ends of the glittered ribbon ribbon on each side with the glittered side facing down. You’ll take a piece of double sided tape and place it on top of the ribbon.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Fold the wrapping paper on itself, sandwiching the ribbon on the existing fold. This will create a flap.  Now secure that flap by placing double sided tape against it and attaching it to itself on the existing crease line.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Now use paper as you would normally use it to wrap any gift.

If you have any questions about this or any other of the 12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas, feel free to reach out to me online at facebook.com/craftythifter or twitter.com/craftythrifter.

Please reuse, repurpose, thrift, consign and all that other good stuff.

Thanks for subscribing and reading our blog!  We’d love to get to know you better.  Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas: Pretty in Lace!-Day 4

Mexi-Style with Anjelica (@la_anjel now also on craftythrifter)
I think this one is my favorite so far!  It’s such a classic holiday look and so easy to make too.  Lace is one of one of those fabrics that I have always loved.  For as long as I can remember, every time I walk into a vintage or resale shop the first thing I look for are vintage wedding dresses.  Not to gift them or collect them, or even to wear them myself, but to cut out and use their vintage lace for my projects.  They just don’t make lace like they used to.  Anyhow, as you have probably guessed by now lace was my inspiration for this edition of the 12 Gift Wrapping Days of Christmas.  Enjoy!

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Lace makes everything pretty.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Here’s what you’ll need to get started.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

Again, your bow is your option.  These are two of my own for this gift.  I found the gift wrapping paper used in this post at a local dollar store.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

You will need to do a little sewing for this particular bow so watch your fingers.

12 days of christmas traditional gift wrapping with nontraditional materials la_anjel craftythrifter juanofwords

And once you’re all done this is how your gift should look.  Now I don’t want to give this gift away!

Please reuse, repurpose, thrift, consign and all that other good stuff.

Thanks for subscribing and reading our blog!  We’d love to get to know you better.  Join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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