Seeking the Odd & Creative!

I created a Facebook Group!

CreativeArray

For a long time, I’ve wanted an accepting space on the internet where I could post the geeky, quirky, creative things that I love without uncomfortably about sharing it with all of my Facebook friends/family/coworkers. Sure, some of us don’t have a ton of friends on Facebook. But– Some of us do! If you’re like me, you also have a few of those unfiltered friends and family that can’t relate and often drop comments on the post that hang a dark cloud over it.

That’s where The Creative Array comes into play. It’s a group meant for all of the artsy, oddball, crafty, creative, geeky, philosophical, nerdy posts to go that you may not share with on your personal News Feed.

This is that place that you can post that weird thought that popped into your head, or that theory you had about life. It’s the place to let your creativity and mind run free. Did you sketch or paint something that you want to share with like-minded people? This where you do that. Want critique or advice on a project that you’ve wanted to/already started? Ask it here.

I really like to think of it as a sanctuary for oddballs to gather together and embrace all the things that make us odd and different while celebrating creativity.

There isn’t judgement here. Only perfectly honest eccentricity.

Even if you’re hesitant, I encourage everyone to visit our page and see for yourselves:

The Creative Array

~

 

D.I.Y. Magical Wand Tutorial

I might have moved under a rock for the past month or so, but I promise that it’s not because I didn’t want to write! Life has been hectic, especially when October rolled around. There were several events taking place at my workplace, Halloween, and my boyfriend’s Birthday on Halloween. Add my Barcelona trip planning on top of that, and I was/am a very busy lady. (More on that Barcelona Trip soon!)

So for Halloween, I decided to finally attempt to make my very own magical wand. As you may or may not know, I am a huge Harry Potter fan. I was planning on using it to go with my HP witch costume for Halloween, but I actually didn’t end up attending that party at all. Even so, I am very proud of the wands I made, and I plan to make more in the future.

In honor of the upcoming movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, here is a simple tutorial on how to make magical wands!

Supplies

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  • Wooden Dowels or Large Chopsticks – Wooden dowels are easier to find and cheaper, but you will have to use sandpaper to round out the end and taper the ends. Large chopsticks are harder to find unless you order them online. Wands are generally 9 to 14 inches in length although they can be as short as 7 inches and as long as 18 inches.)
  • Sandpaper – I used general purpose so it took a while to taper the ends, so I recommend getting a rougher grade.
  • Acrylic Paint – I chose a variety of browns.
  • Clear Multi-Surface Sealer – The Krylon sealer that I bought actually took the natural paint gloss away and gave my wands a more matted look. If you want a glossy finish, I’d suggest either looking for a glossy sealer or buy a separate gloss to apply after your sealer.
  • Glue Gun & Glue Sticks – For giving your wand that rugged wood look.
  • *** Optional Marbles/Gems – To press into your wand’s handle. I didn’t do this, but I will share how to add them.

Step #1: Sand it Down

(If you went with chopsticks, skip to Step #2)

First things first, you need to choose the thickness of your wand. A lot of wooden dowels will come in variety packs. For mine, I went with the medium size thickness since I’m a woman. Men with larger hands may want to use the thicker wands. A good way to determine which you prefer is by holding it in your hand. Does it look too thin? Too large? Also, is it comfortable to hold?

Once you’ve got that figured out, get your sandpaper out. I suggest putting down a tarp or something to catch the wood shavings if you do this inside. You’ll be using the sandpaper to thin down one end of the dowel so that it tapers toward one side and rounding out the tip so that it’s not blunt. To taper it down, place the sandpaper on your hand and then wrap your hand (and sandpaper) in a tight clenched fist around the one end while holding the opposite end with your other hand. Now twist your clenched hand to scrape away. Keep in mind that your hand may get tired and you may need to take a break or switch hands. Also, be sure to rotate the dowel in circles to make sure you are sanding evenly all the way around.

Rounding the tip is a little more difficult. You can do one of two things. Lay the sandpaper on your hand, cup your hand, and press and rotate the tip into the cupped sandpaper. This can quickly get tiring so I improved. I sat in a chair sitting with my legs together, placed the sandpaper in the crevice formed by pressing my legs together, and used both hands to quickly rotate the dowel while pushing it down into the sandpaper. Imagine trying to start a fire with wood and you have the right idea; only I was doing this in my lap.

Step #2: Hot Glue Handle/Designs

Glue time! I was most nervous about this part. I really thought it was going to be hard to make the glue look like natural wood. Ladies and gents, it’s not! I suggest looking at pictures of wands online to get an idea of how you would like your wand to look. You can do rugged, detailed, ringed, ect.

Firstly you’ll want to take up your wand in your hand like you’re about to cast a spell. Hold it comfortably and look at where your hand/fingers end. Give yourself another half inch or so beyond that and mark it lightly with a pencil. This will be where you glue handle/design ends. Unless, of course, you want the design all the way up the wand.

* Tip: Have 2 small glue sticks worth of glue ready if you want to do a full handle.

To start off, apply a larger bulbous glob of glue on the end to form the rounded tip for the handle. You’ll want to do this on any design since the dowel’s (or chopstick’s) other end is still flat. While holding the tapered side in one hand, rotate the dowel in circles applying generous lines of glue on the wood. If you want the natural wood look, apply the glue against the lines you already have, but don’t try to cover all the wood with glue. This creates the natural looking curves, bends, and nooks you would expect from actual wood. You’ll continue this until you reach the point your marked with pencil. At this point, I chose to add another circle of glue to sort of show where the handle ends more prominently.

* Tip: Try to avoid pulling your glue gun away from the wood too far or not at all until your design is finished if at all possible as this causes those little wispy strings of glue. Not only are they a pain for you, but they could stick to the rest of the glue and wispy bits aren’t very wood like or smooth!

The end result will look awkward, unfinished, and ugly even. No worries. That’s what the paint is for.

Note: Some prefer to wait until the glue is just about dry to roll it about in their hands to create that rolling crevice wood look, but I was impatient about waiting for the glue to reach this point to try it and so thus scared I was going to touch the glue while it was hot and burn myself. #wuss

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On the second wand, I did a ringed design. You start again with the bulb on the the flat end, and then do your first and thickest ring where you marked for your “handle” (design) to end. For evenly spaced rings, do your next ring right in between the two end points. The last two rings were then placed between the other points. Ta-da!

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Did I mention that a near essential ingredient to crafting is a deliciously spiked beverage? (For those of you that might have noticed the glass.) — For adults only, of course!

 *** If you wish to use gemstones or marbles on your handle, you’ll want to apply the glue and wait at least a minute or so before carefully pressing your goodies into the glue. That way the glue will still be warm and malleable to situate your shiny just the way you want.

Step #3: Paint Away

This is when your wand starts looking like a wand! Choose your preferred color and paint away. I bought 4 varying shades of brown for my wands. I even swirled some light and darker colors to get that inconsistent color actual wood might be for my first wand. The second I painted fawn per my best friend as it is a gift.

I really love the way my first wand turned out with all the natural looking crevices. The second turned out very pretty too!

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Step #4: Seal and/or Gloss

Time to seal all this awesomeness up so that it doesn’t get damaged. I highly recommend doing this outside due to the fumes and risk of getting sealer on your furniture, belongings, ect. Either way, you’ll need to put down something to set your wands on. I chose foil since I was doing it on my patio.

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Now follow the directions on your sealer! I applied several coats of sealer on mine because I am a tad overprotective. What can I say?

Step #5: Begin Casting!

If you are as impressed and infatuated with your wand as I was with mine, you may walk with it for a while practicing your “Swish and Flick” and annoying your significant other by waving it at them while rattling off every spell you know. I really couldn’t keep my hands off of it for the first few hours! Call me a geek and see if I care!

As you can see from comparing, the finished product is more matte and a bit lighter than the ones pictured above on the foil pre-sealer. I’m toying with the idea of leaving them as is or buying a gloss to put on them. Thoughts?

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Again, everyone, I’m disappeared without a trace there for a while. I will continue to try to make time for these posts.

I hope you liked it!

PS: Click on the pictures to enlarge them for a better view!

Geeky Crafts: Perler Beads

All of you know by now that I’m a geek. What you may not be aware of is that I also love to make things!

Yay, crafting!

I do a lot of painting, some sketching, Perler Bead sprites, and I’m learning to crochet. If you followed me when I wrote on Geeky ‘n Girly, you may recall my post stating that I was going to be doing Perler Beads. I even went as far as to create an Etsy for it and try to sell them. Well, that didn’t go so well but that didn’t stop me from selling them locally and just making them for fun.

Most geeks/nerds are familiar with Perler Beads. If you aren’t, they’re basically beads that you put together into a pattern on a pegboard and then you melt them together to make images.

For geeks, perlers are the perfect recreation of the old school video game sprites that we love! In truth, it has become so popular that there are perler patterns for just about anything is available. Simply google perler bead patterns or hit up Pinterest. Trust me, my perler patterns have their very own board on Pinterest.

Perlers are a lot of fun and can be easy or highly complicated. I tend to prefer the simpler sprites that are nostagic for me, but I’ve also made some of the more cutesy types.

What to Buy:

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Most of these items can be found at Hobby Lobby/Michaels and you’re local Walmart.

Beads – These can be sorted or mixed. I recommend both since it gives you a variety. Then when you figure out which colors you really want to use, you can go back for the individual packs.

Peg Boards – Definitely buy the ones you can interlink in case you want to go big with your creations.

Wax Papers – This is a must. Don’t apply heat directly to the beads or you’ll have a mess.

Masking Tape – The thicker, the better! This is used to remove your completed sprite from the peg boards.

Clothes Iron– You’ll need one if you don’t have one to melt the beads.

Toothpicks – Or something similar to puncture holes in the masking tape to prevent air bubbles.*

How To – Steps:

  1. Look up a pattern or make it up! Again, you can find patterns online by googling or using Pinterest.
  2. Place beads on the pegboard in the pattern.
  3. Apply masking tape to the completed pattern so that it covers every bead.
  4. Take something flat like a credit card and press the tape against the beads to assure they stick.
  5. Use a toothpick or pen to puncture a few of the beads’ holes.
  6. Life the tape with beads stuck off of the peg boards.
  7. Set the pattern with the beads facing down.
  8. Take your peg board and line the pegs with the holes you’ve already made. Press down until the pegs puncture the rest of the beads’ holes.
  9. Flip the pattern over with beads facing up.
  10. Cover with wax paper.
  11. Apply iron in circular motions using an even amount of pressure until beads appear wet through the paper.
  12. When beads are melted, leave wax paper and set something flat and heavy on top so that the sprite doesn’t warp while cooling. A thick book or two will work.
  13. Wait 10-15 minutes before removing the heavy item, wax paper, and tape.
  14. Done!

Tips for Beginners:

  • Turn on your iron while you’re putting your pattern together. It helps to save time.
  • Don’t iron the beaded pattern while it sits on the plastic peg boards. The heat will warp the boards!
  • *Be sure to puncture holes through the tape to allow air to escape. If not, you’ll create air pockets that will cause the holes to enlarge when you melt the beads.
  • To get rid of all holes and create a flat sprite, use extra but even pressure when ironing until you see the beads melt together completely into tiny squares. Don’t iron for too long or you’ll seriously flatten them out!
  • Don’t use wax paper that’s been folded, or if you do, don’t put the creases on top of the beads. When you iron them, you’ll actually iron on the crease which will create an indentation on your sprite!
  • Have Patience! Perler Beads require a good amount of time and patience depending on what you’re trying to make. There will be times that you bump it, knock it, and otherwise mess it up. The good news is that it can be fixed!

If you’re a picture or video person as far as instructions go, there are many websites and videos to be found on how to make Perler Bead sprites.

The only thing I recommend is to pay attention to the tips above. They were hard learned lessons!

Now for the fun part! Below are some of the sprites that I’ve made so far.

Happy Perlering!

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