Category Archives: way back craft

Way Back Craft: The Fat Lady Mural

The Fat Lady

If you follow me here on sewhooked, then you’ve already heard all about my daughter’s Harry Potter bedroom.  It was  a big project with lots of little projects (and some huge ones!) mixed together.

On Friday, I posted about my son’s bedroom door, which is now graced by the TARDIS.  What I didn’t say is that it was The Fat Lady that started it all.  It was the idea of paining her that led to the idea for the HP room, and eventually, the TARDIS.

When you’re a kid (or a young-at-heart) adult, and you’re dearest desire is to go to Hogwarts and live in Gryffindor Tower, who should greet you as you clamber into your living space each day?  The Fat Lady, of course!

When designing the HP room for my daughter almost 6 1/2 years ago now, the very top of our list said “Fat Lady.”

The photos of the door do not do the mural justice.  She comes out looking much flatter and two dimensional than she does in real life.  Part of that is the awkward angle the door sits to our hallway, making it impossible to take a photo straight on.  I hope you get the idea anyway.  Just trust me when I say, she’s a beauty face to face!

And now, without further ado, The Fat Lady, originally posted on my very first crafts website, Jen’s Crochet & Craf.

What You’ll Need:

  • Level
  • Straight edge (yardstick or similar)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Soft cloth
  • Primer (if needed)
  • Masking tape
  • Overhead projector (optional)
  • Reference image (on transparency film if using projector) from a coloring book, online image, etc.
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Paper cups or empty egg carton (for paint)
  • Artist paint brushes (multiple sizes)
  • Drop cloth or newspaper

Instructions

  1. Prepare the work area by protecting with a drop cloth or newspapers.
  2. Make sure the surface you will be painting on is lightly sanded and free of dust by wiping with a soft cloth. If the surface is unpainted, paint a base coat of primer.
  3. Using the level and straight edge, measure and mark where your painting will be. When this is done, use masking tape to outline the INSIDE of the frame. You will be painting inside of this.
  4. Sketch The Fat Lady with a pencil or chalk either freehand or using an overhead projector. If neither of these options is available to you, enlarge your reference image on a copy machine to the appropriate size. Liberally rub chalk over the back of the paper. Tape the paper in the appropriate location. Being careful not to touch the image too much, outline the entire image with a pencil. The chalk will be transferred to the working surface.
  5. Once the surface has been prepared, begin painting using the reference image as a guide. Use whatever size paint brushes feel best in your hand. If you’ve never painted before, just take it slow. Start with the background and work your way in. Don’t worry about details, just get the basic shape to start with.
  6. When you’re happy with the basic shape of The Fat Lady, use slightly darker colors to go back and add details to hair, eyes, shadows, etc. Use the reference image to see where shadows and details need to be.
  7. Gently remove the masking tape. Let the painting dry overnight.
  8. Using chalk or a pencil, draw a frame around the painting. If you are not comfortable with freehand, you can also masking tape. Overlap the background of the painting. For an extra flourish, add a half circle to the top of the frame, which will become a lion’s head.
  9. Using gold craft paint, fill in the frame you’ve just drawn. Add shadows and details

This tutorial is also available on The Leaky Cauldron’s Harry Potter Crafts

MORE HP Decor:

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

DIY: Mirror of Erised Mural

mirror of erised updateMirror of Erised Mural
edited to maintain my daughter’s privacy

This could really be called a Way Back Craft, but I’ve done so much updating, I’m going to stick with DIY.

Six years ago, when my daughter was turning 8 years old, she wanted a Harry Potter room.  All those years ago, we created the most magical room we could manage for her, and she’s loved it ever since.

On the back of her door, I created a Mirror of Erised just for her using a basic 4′ wall mirror.  It’s been one of the highlights of her the HP theme, and what girl doesn’t need a mirror in her room?

Way back then, I never imagined she’d someday be taller than me.  As she grew, it was clear that the Mirror of Erised mural I created for her was going to have to be adjusted for her lengthening height.  Just last week, I did what I needed to do to so she could see herself in her mirror.

The original tutorial has been on every variation of my website for six years now.  It’s posted on The Leaky Cauldron’s Crafts section and was mentioned, uncredited, in Entertainment Weekly in reference to Leaky Crafts.  That original tutorial is below, with edits for the updated version of the mirror.

What You’ll Need

  • Basic rectangular wall mirror, with or without frame
  • Mirror Clips, if not included with the mirror
  • Pencil or chalk
  • Masking tape
  • Newspaper
  • Fine sand paper
  • Soft cloth
  • Spray paint (primer & gold)
  • Gold acrylic craft paint
  • Gold or silver paint pen or metallic Sharpies
  • paint brush of your choice (to paint mirror body)
  • Level (optional)
  • Measuring tape

Instructions

Measure the mirror. Save the dimensions for later.

The Mirror

for frame-less mirror, skip to the mural instructions

Lightly sand the frame of the mirror. Wipe clean with a soft cloth. Cover mirror with newspaper, taping carefully around the edges of the mirror without covering the frame.

In a well-ventilated area, use spray primer to prime the frame. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

Follow up with 2 coats of gold spray paint.

The Mural

While the mirror is drying, determine where it will hang.

Using the dimensions taken earlier, mark a space 1” smaller than the mirror dimensions on each side.

Use masking tape to tape the area where the frame will be.

Use pencil or chalk to draw the outside edge of the mirror.

This can be done freehand, or using the mirror from the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone movie as a reference. Add clawed feet to the legs.  The mirror shown was drawn freehand, as were the updates.

Paint with gold craft paint.

After the mirror is completely dry, remove newspaper and masking tape.  Mount to painted mural frame.

Using a paint pen or metallic Sharpie, write Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi across the top
of the mirror.

Using a paint pen or metallic Sharpie, ad details like swirls and stars.

Touch up if needed.

The Mirror of Erised
the original mirror, before enlarging

For more Harry Potter DIY, check out the HP Bookcase Mural, the Fat Lady Mural (pdf), and the Hogwarts House Canopies!

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

Harry Potter Party, Revisit Part 1 – Invitations and Decorations

harry potter party diagon alley

My darling daughter turns 14 later this week.  That’s her, on the front right.  She’s next to her little brother. who himself just turned 11 this past  December and is now old enough to attend Hogwarts.  It was February of 2003; Order of the Phoenix had not yet hit book stores and there were only two HP movies so far.

While I sit and try to absorb these amazing thoughts and all the years my family has loved Harry Potter and the ways we’ve chosen to express that appreciation, it’s easy to remember when birthday parties were much more important than birthday presents.

I thought I’d take this week leading up to my daughter’s next step towards adulthood and relive a little of that young girl fandom love by sharing how we sent our kids and their friends to Hogwarts for a Very Magical Sleepover.  Maybe the next time you feel like having a little adventure, you can go to Hogwarts, too!

Invitations

The invitation you use is the best way to get your party started!  Create a letter from Hogwarts to the prospective “students” using the format of Harry’s first letter.  Be sure to include party time, location, and what to bring (if it’s a sleepover, etc) and where to send reply “by owl” (email, phone number, etc.)

We printed our invitations on yellow parchment (from the local craft store) using the Lumos font and printed in, what else, emerald-green ink! These were rolled into scrolls and sealed with wax. I got the parents of the kids invited involved by hand delivering each invite so the parents could tell the kids an owl had stopped by with a letter for them!

To use the swirly and signature graphics, right-click and save!

You’ll need:

  • parchment paper
  • Lumos Font
  • image – Professor McGonnagall’s signature (from the American editions of Harry Potter)
  • image – “swirly” (also from the American eds.)

Here’s a sample letter:

HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY [Lumos Font]
LETTERSWIRLY
Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International confed. of Wizards)

We are pleased to inform you that you are invited to [reason for party], a Very Magical Sleepover [what we called our party]!

The party will be at [location], [location address]. It will take place [day, date & time].
Please bring your sleeping bag, pillow, pjs, toiletries, and any other muggle items you may need.
Student Uniforms will be provided.

We await your owl by no later than [RSVP date] (or you can call [name, phone and/or email]).

Yours Sincerely,
McGonagallsig
Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress

Decorations
harry potter party decorations potions

Decorations can be simple and inexpensive.  Be creative and use what you have on hand. Look at thrift shop and dollar stores for interesting “magical” items,  potions bottles, interesting looking props, out of season Halloween costumes and decorations.

These are some of the decorations we used for our party:
Great Hall Enchanted Ceiling

  • Navy Blue Plastic Tablecloth
  • Glow in the Dark Stars
  • Low Temp Glue Gun
  • thumbtacks or push pins

Glue stars on plastic tablecloth in a random pattern. Use thumbtacks to hang over the eating area.

Potions Bottles

  • Empty Spice Bottles
  • chopped celery (dragon claw)
  • whole nutmeg (bezoars)
  • Pop Rocks Candy (fire crystals)
  • Food coloring (colored water for various potions)

Fill the empty bottles with a variety of contents.   These are just suggestions, use what you have on hand for your own variety.

Party favors, class supplies and the feast, all add to the atmosphere.  More on that in the next Harry Potter Party revisit!

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Sewhooked flickr group!

Happy crafting

also available on potterparties and The Leaky Cauldron – Crafts

Way Back Craft: Gryffindor “Canopy”

Elena's "canopy"

Elena’s Gryffindor Canopy, approximately 2002

Well, we’re way past due for a Way Back Craft!

So, you want a Harry Potter bedroom?  The very first thing I think of when I think of Harry’s dormitory, is the four poster bed with house-colored hangings.  Wouldn’t that be fabulous?

It definitely would be.

Unfortunately, not all of us have the means or the space for a four poster bed.

This is the problem I encountered when designing a Harry Potter room for my daughter.  Her room has a ceiling fan and the room is just too small for a four poster bed.  The Gryffindor canopy was on her Must Have list when the room decoration was being planned.   I have the great fortune to have two very DIY parents and the first thing that popped in my head was mounting something lightweight on to the wall.

How about a faux canopy that gives the feeling of those hangings without the actual expense or space requirements of a real four poster?

Then I started thinking price.  Cheap would be good.  Very good.  PVC.  PERFECT!

A fun aside on this project – when I was buying the fabric, the woman at the cutting table at the fabric store asked if I was making a dress.  When I told her I was making a Gryffindor canopy for a Harry Potter bedroom, she stared with her mouth open.  It was the first of many stunned looks directed at my fandom crafting!

Supplies

  • 3 lengths of 1 to 1 1/2” PVC pipe cut into 18” (45.7 cm) pieces (use a hacksaw or have it done at your DIY store)

Note: PVC under 1” is not recommended because it’s too flexible. Make sure the threaded plug & metal flange will work with the pipe you chose. They’re easy to test at the DIY store.

  • 3 threaded plugs
  • 3 metal floor flanges
  • 3 flat PVC caps
  • 3 decorative wood rosette with a flat back
  • Epoxy, Liquid Nails or other cement-like glue
  • Primer spray paint
  • Gold spray paint (Use silver for Slytherin, bronze or silver for Ravenclaw and black for Hufflepuff)
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill (optional)
  • Screws with anchors
  • 5 1/2 yards (5 meters) of red satiny fabric  (Use green for Slytherin, blue for Ravenclaw or yellow for Huffelpuff)
  • matching thread
  • sewing machine (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prewash fabric then hem on both ends, set aside.
  2. Following manufacturer’s directions, use epoxy to glue the threaded plugs to one end of each of the PVC pipes. On opposite ends of pipes, use epoxy to attach the PVC caps. Epoxy the wooden rosette onto the cap. Allow epoxy to dry. Screw pipe into metal flange. Stand up on it’s end in a well covered, well ventilated area.
  3. Paint with primer. Allow to dry according to manufacturer’s directions. Paint gold. Allow to dry overnight.
  4. Find the center of your bed, mark a light line on the wall. Depending on the width of your bed and where you want the fabric to reach on the sides, you will need to attach the flanges lower or higher.  If you have someone helping you, it’s a good idea to hold the center pipe in place with the fabric, centered, on the pipe. You can then determine how high the center pipe should be and where to place your two side pipes. They can be low or high, depending on your preference.  Use measuring tape to assure the three pipes will be symmetrical.
  5. Attach the metal flanges to the wall using screws and anchors, using the drill for pilot holes if necessary.
  6. Screw pipes into each flange. Arrange canopy fabric.

Makes a great window treatment, too!

Also for your Harry Potter room:  HP Bookcase Mural

p.s. I made the afghan, too.  😉

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from sewhooked,  I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy crafting

also available on The Leaky Cauldron- Crafts

Deco-“paged” Hobbit Wall

Thror's Map, close up

When I was in high school, I read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings for the very first time.

Tolkien’s world wrapped me up and captured me.  I fantasized (and still do!) of taking off for middle earth, walking the road with Bilbo and visiting the elves.

Once a fandom girl, always a fandom girl.

The Hobbit x 16

Part of my Hobbit collection

When my hubby and I bought our home ten years ago, I had already been stockpiling paperback copies of the The Hobbit.   I’ve been collecting interesting Tolkien covers for years and have a lovely collection.  More than one sad, falling-apart copy of The Hobbit came home with me, just to have for that special project I knew I’d be doing some day.

It’s been a good seven or eight years ago that the “The Reading Room” came in to existence.    I still remember the wicked happiness I had knowing that I was permanently attaching words from one of my very favorite stories onto a wall in my house.  Part of it was the joy of Tolkien, and part of it was rebellion at years in rental places with cream colored walls!

When we have new visitors for the first time, and they ask to use our restroom, it’s always with a bit of glee that I direct them to the proper door.  Most people hold on to their calm until they’ve exited the room, but we get the occasional guest that will shout out through the door after they’ve entered.  It’s incredibly striking to stand face to face with a wall that is book pages top to bottom!

And hey, we’ve always got something to read in the bathroom!

Hobbit Decopauge Wall

Decoupaged Wall with pages from two copies of The Hobbit

Note: This is a permanent application. Do not use this technique unless you are absolutely sure you want a permanent change.

Supplies

● books (something you’re willing to recycle  paper back books, maps, picture or comics, newspapers or letters) – amount will vary depending on the size of the wall and the materials used to cover it

Minwax® Polycrylic® Protective Finish or other clear protective finish

● High Quality Paintbrush (check finish container for suggested brush)

● parchment paper

● large piece of cardboard

● masking tape

● newspaper or drop cloth

● latex gloves

● mineral oil

● rags

Instructions

  1. Protect floor, baseboards, etc, with newspaper or drop cloth and masking tape.
  2. Gently remove the book cover (I framed mine and hung them in the same room as the deco wall).
  3. Peel apart the individual pages (this works best with paperback books).
  4. Tape a large piece of parchment paper to the cardboard.
  5. Wearing the latex gloves, put place several book pages on the parchment paper.
  6. Using the paintbrush, cover each with Polycrylic.
  7. Start applying pages to the wall. For a neat effect, line pages up side by side, or overlap and vary (as shown) for a more staggered effect.
  8. “Cut in” by placing pages side by side or slightly overlapping to frame your wall then working your way in.
  9. Use the brush to smooth out any air bubbles. You only have a minute or so to work with each page, so make sure you’re happy with it before moving on.
  10. Allow pages to dry and then apply another coat of Polycrylic over the wall.
  11. Use mineral oil and rags for clean up. Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s safety instructions.

Thror's Map

Thror’s Map, a reproduction that hangs in “The Reading Room”
drawn by Jennifer Ofenstein, 2003
black inck on tea stained paper

As always, if you make any pattern or craft from Sewhooked, share it with the Sewhooked flickr group for a chance to see it posted right here on sewhooked.com!

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also posted on cut out + keep

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Elena’s Knitted Potholder

Elena's Knitted Potholder

add this pattern to your ravelry queue

Printable Pattern

One summer, about four years ago, my daughter asked to learn how to knit.

The only hitch in her plan is that I’m not a knitter, so I couldn’t teach her.   That, of course, was her main motivation for wanting to learn.   What better than her knowing a craft I’ve never mastered?

We found a class at a local yarn shop and she learned to knit in just a few hours.  She knitted all summer (she was 10 at the time) and has been knitting ever since.

I knew I was really starting to rub off on her when when one of the first things she did was to write her own pattern.   I just beamed with pride!  My daughter, designing!

I still haven’t learned to knit.  Knitting is her craft and gives her the pride of being able to do something that I can’t.   I find that I am completely okay with that.

I proudly present my daughter, Elena’s, first knitting pattern, unedited and in her own writing.

Buy Wool Felt

elena's pattern

Elena knitting in 2006
Elena knitting in 2006


Add your Sewhooked-related photos to my flickr group and you might be featured in a future post!

 

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Way Back Craft: Harry Potter Bookcase Mural

HP Closet Mural

It’s hard to believe I’ve never blogged about this project!

Years ago, I had a website called Jen’s Crochet and Crafts.   It eventually morphed into sewhooked.   The Harry Potter Bookcase Mural was originally posted there, along with the story of how it came to be.

When my almost-14-year-old-daughter was about to turn 8, she asked for a Harry Potter-themed room for her birthday.   Being a big HP fan myself, I was as excited as she was to take on the project.  Among her requests were castle walls, an enchanted ceiling, The Fat Lady on her door, red and gold hangings for her bed and a magical bookcase.   I managed all of those things, but the bookcase remains my absolute favorite part of the project.

The original bookcase was drawn freehand with chalk.  I’ve since made a map for use on an overhead projector, or, if you have a steady hand and feel up to it, to use as a free-hand guide.

Supplies:

You need a clean dry surface to start with.  If painting on an older surface, you may want to paint with primer first.

Print the template on clear acetate and project the image onto the selected area.   Position the bookcase where you’d like for it to appear. Use masking tape to outline the area that will become your bookcase.

Use semi-gloss paint and the paint roller to paint the taped-off area.

Paint a second coat if necessary. Allow to dry overnight.

Using a pencil or chalk, trace the bookcase (not the contents), adding a border if needed or desired.  A ruler or yardstick comes in really handy for this step.

Paint bookcase shelves and allow to dry.

Starting with the top shelf, trace contents.

Bottom left - close up
bottom left, close up

After tracing, paint contents using a variety of colors.  An egg carton works great to have multiple colors available at once.

Repeat for all shelves, allow to dry overnight.

Using a variety of permanent markers, add book names using this list of books provided.

vBottom right - close up
bottom right, close up

Randomly place books where you like, except for The Standard Book of Spells. Look for these on the second shelf from the top, on the right side.  The seven books are more or less together, each with a line across the top of the binding (only 6 books are listed in the HP series, but I’m assuming there would have been a seventh if Harry had returned for his final year of school).

Top left - close up
top left, close up

Add embellishments; names on potions bottles, cat whiskers, etc. with permanent markers.

Stand back and admire your work!

More photos from the Harry Potter bedroom with instructions on sewhooked

If you make this or any sewhooked crafts, I’d love to see a photo!  Email me or add it to the Friends of sewhooked flickr group.

Happy Crafting!

Also posted on The Leaky Cauldron and cut out + keep