Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Skull Ornament Tutorial

Most Halloween parties of 2013 have already happened over the weekend, but Halloween is not over yet. So let's make some Halloween Skull Ornaments together!

This tutorial will show you how to stitch one by hand, but of course you can also use the template below to make skull ornaments with a sewing machine. They will look slightly different, the green skull ornament in the photo above is hand stitched, the orange one is (mostly) machine stitched. This template is for your felt shapes. Print the template and resize it into the size you'd like your skull ornament to be.

Here's a list of things you will need to make your own handstitched Halloween Skull Ornament:
Now, let's get started! Don't worry it's not hard, just follow the steps below and soon you'll have your very own plush Halloween Skull.
1. Take one felt "face" piece and the felt "eye" piece. Thread your needle with some embroidery floss and stitch the heart eye in place. You can use any stitch you'd like, but I suggest a double running stitch. It starts as a regular running stitch and then you turn around and fill in the gaps:
2. Stitch three lines with embroidery floss that will serve as eye lashes for the second button eye. Attach the button over the lower part of the eye lashes:
3. To outline the skull's teeth use embroidery floss and an overcast stitch. For each teeth divider, stitch two long lines right next to each other to create padding, and cover it with small stitches at right angles to the padding stitches:
4. Make a knot in the ribbon and place that in between the two felt "face" pieces, the decorated "face" piece goes on top. Pin everything together.

5. Now use your thread (you don't need your embroidery floss anymore) to stitch together the felt "face" pieces. Leave an opening at the bottom to stuff the ornament later (see illustration above). Make sure every stitch goes through all layers. Especially when you get to the top of the skull, the needle has to go through both layers of felt and the ribbon to secure the ornament loop in place. Use a blanket stitch, so when you bring out the needle on the other side make sure you pass it over your working thread, and pull it tight before you insert the needle again to make the next stitch:
6. Fill the skull with stuffing until the ornament has the desired firmness, and then continue stitching to close the bottom opening. Then take a photo of your finished skull, upload it, and leave a link in the comments so I can see your creations!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Autumn Owl Giveaway

For this giveaway I've let myself be inspired by what I could see outside my studio window. And since there is a small forest there I've been looking at piles and piles of colored leaves. Fall, or Autumn as they say here in England, has really arrived here and I heard Winter is hurrying its way towards us quickly. So before that happens, here's an Autumnal Owl for the new giveaway.

You can gather a total of three entries to win this owl keychain. One by leaving a comment on this blog post (include your email address), another by reposting the giveaway on Instagram, and a third by liking + commenting on the giveaway photo on the Eleventh Monkey Facebook page. Deadline is November 10th. Good luck!

Last giveaway winner:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Halloween in Buxton

It's that time of year again. When pumpkins are everywhere in the shops, either as a flavor or ingredient in so many regular products, and the actual squash to be used as decoration or to be eaten. Pumpkins this time a year are especially popular in America, but it's fun to see them in England as well. I enjoy seeing all these seasonal products, but the most I usually partake in this pumpkin party is to drink a PSL at Starbucks. But not this year, since there's no Starbucks in Buxton. I have wanted to carve a pumpkin for ages though. I've never done it and for 3 years in a row I have stood in the Halloween aisle of an American supermarket contemplating buying a carving set and pumpkin, and for some reason always decided against it. The same happened today with Yasu at an English supermarket. But we did decide to start a pumpkin carving tradition once we have a little one to share it with.
And of course, it's not really Halloween without some zombie sighting. I wasn't sure if that was going to happen this year, until our neighbors called us over to their place for a minute to quickly help them with something. I innocently thought they were hanging a heavy picture frame and were dangerously balancing on top of a chair and needed us to save them. So we hurry over, walk into their place and it's pitch black. We hesitate to continue as they flip the switch and... well, freaked us the hell out!
Geez, they nearly gave me heart attack. At first, when I saw these freaks I did not recognize them, so I screamed and slammed the door back shut. Go on tell me that you would not have screamed.Yasu was startled and lucky since he only caught a glimpse. Anyways, it was scary and hilarious.

Meet our lovely neighbors, Matt the Creepy Clown and Kristel the Hungry Zombie:
One of them likes to chop the other up and the other likes to dine on bunnies:
These guys really did a great job on their costuming and in petrifying us. Maybe next year we can return the fright.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Owl Giveaway

It's October. The month of Halloween. So of course, I made a pumpkin owl for this giveaway! Did I really have a choice? I wish everyone a spooky Halloween!

You can gather a total of four entries to win this owl keychain. One by leaving a comment on this blog post (include your email address), another by reposting the giveaway on Instagram, a third by liking+commenting on the original giveaway photo on the Eleventh Monkey Facebook page, and a fourth entry by sharing the giveaway on your facebook wall. Deadline is October 27th. Good luck!

Last giveaway winner: