Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

halloween watching scream trilogy scream 4

Happy Halloween everyone! As usual I had a lot of fun creating this year's themed DIYs and other posts so I hope you've enjoyed them too. As for this evening's actual plans I'll be staying home and having a Scream marathon as I recently picked up the original trilogy (from Sainsbury's for just £5!). I'm also a big fan of Scream 4 - a good example of a sequel done well, I think - so I've decided to dig that out of my DVD cupboard too!

What will you be watching this Halloween?
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Thursday, 30 October 2014

September & October Reads & Reviews

sept oct reads 22

The Lying Game Series, Books 1-4, Sara Shepard (2010-2012)
This mysterious series follows foster teen Emma Paxton who discovers she has a long lost twin sister named Sutton and sets off for a reunion. Sadly when Emma arrives she is mistaken for her twin and everything falls into place when she finds out that Sutton has been murdered. When Emma receives threatening notes telling her to play along or she will be next she takes on the challenge pretending to be Sutton in public but secretly conducting her own murder investigation behind the scenes in order to get justice for the twin she never knew.
The Lying Game series is twisty and addictive and so far I've been really enjoying it! Since my library doesn't have the final two books in the series I'll have to wait a little while to find out whether my suspicions about who the murderer is are right or not but I'm looking forward to finding out how Emma's story will conclude. ✯✯✯-✯✯✯✯

Diary Of A Teenage Superhero, Darrell Pitt (2012)
Waking up in a hotel room Axel can't remember who he is or why he's there but soon discovers he has the power to control air. The book follows Axel on his new journey, discovering the extent of his super powers and meeting other teen superheroes along the way.
Diary Of A Teenage Superhero is both a fast-paced and fun read packed with action and a few twists and turns along the way. Overall I really enjoyed it and will most likely pick up the sequels at some point. If you like superhero stories and are looking for a short read I’d recommend this one! ✯✯✯

The Infinite Sea, Rick Yancey (2014)
As the second instalment in The 5th Wave series, The Infinite Sea follows up with Cassie and co as they try to survive in a world where aliens have exterminated the majority of the human race.
Although I wasn't as crazy about The 5th Wave as most of the book blogging community seemed to be I did enjoy it so I'm glad I can say that the sequel was just as intriguing. At first I wasn't so sure about the addition of new narrator Ringer and found that I couldn't remember much about the events of the previous book, however as the story progressed things became very interesting. It doesn't seem to have gone down as well as the first book with most people but personally I enjoyed it! ✯✯✯

Also read in September & October...
  • Solitaire, Alice Oseman (2014) ✯✯✯
  • The One, Kiera Cass (2014) ✯✯✯
  • Four: A Divergent Collection, Veronica Roth (2014) ✯✯
  • The Hunt, Andrew Fukuda (2012) ✯✯
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn (2012) ✯✯1/2
  • Before I Fall, Lauren Oliver (2010) ✯✯

Reviews posted in September & October...
Books marked with a * c/o Netgalley or PR, cover images via Goodreads

What have you been reading lately?
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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Eight & Sixteen Projects... October

eight and sixteen october 14

With the run up to Halloween October is always a fun month for DIY projects and this year I've been able to share ideas not only here but over on Eight & Sixteen too! Here's a roundup of my month in E&S posts...

- DIY Quilted Cobweb Coasters
- Christmas Events Calendar
- PinTest: Wire Skull Decorations
- DIY Upcycled Candy Corn Earrings
- Pumpkin Carving/Decorating Challenge
- DIY Spider Garland
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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Cover Colour Inspiration - Shattered, Teri Terry

Cover image via goodreads.com

cover colour shattered

Once again pastels are on trend for the winter season and the light hues featured on the cover of Shattered, the final book in Teri Terry's Slated trilogy, are the perfect inspiration to compliment this trend.

The series follows teenager Kyla who's memory has been erased in a process called Slating due to the fact the government claims that she is a terrorist. Set in the UK the dystopian trilogy takes the reader along on Kyla's journey as she discovers the truth about Slating and who she really is.

Here are my top winter coat picks inspired by the pastels of Shattered...

COVER COLOUR SHATTERED 3

Liska Pea Coat, Toast £165 (on sale)
Tall Pink Double Pocket Mohair Textured Longline Coat, New Look £22 (on sale)
Light Grey Boucle Oversized Coat, River Island £90
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Sunday, 26 October 2014

DIY Potato Print Halloween Vest

diy halloween print bat vest
potato printed trick or treat bag 1

For my last Halloween project of 2014 (unless of course you'd like me to do these all year round...!) I've put together a quick tutorial using a classic method, potato printing! If you're in need of a last-minute outfit or printed accessory this could be the answer. Here's how to make your own...

To create your own last-minute Halloween vest you'll need: a plain vest, a potato, a sharp knife, fabric or acrylic paint, thick cardboard

1. First up you'll need to carve your potato stamp. Find a template to print out and use, draw your own design or simply make it up as you go along! Carefully carve the design out of your potato using a sharp knife

2. Once you have your stamp ready place a piece of cardboard inside the vest to ensure the paint doesn't bleed through to the other side

3. Use your paint to print onto the front of the vest, leave to dry then repeat this process on the reverse side of the vest and again leave to dry

4. Set the paint if necessary (you may need to do this if you use a fabric paint) and your Halloween vest is ready to wear!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you liked this project don't forget to Pin it!
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Friday, 24 October 2014

DIY Inspiration - Fabric Chokers

diy inspiration fabric chokers

As featured in a previous DIY post, 90's style chokers are well and truly back on trend for 2014! There have been various cord designs available all over the high street but today I wanted to share these patterned fabric ones.

These Topshop fabric chokers have been made in exactly the same way as the ribbon bracelets I shared back in May last year and would make a great beginner jewellery DIY. To find out how to create your own version check out my tutorial & to make them adjustable like the ones shown above simply switch out the toggle clasps for lobster ones as shown in this festive project!

topshop chokers 4

Don't fancy a DIY? Find the original Topshop choker sets using these links - Aztec Choker Set, £8.50 | Zig Zag Choker Set, £5.50 (on sale) | Navaho Choker Set, £8.50

Happy DIY-ing!
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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Crafting Lately - Cluedo Board Storage Box



This project had been on my to-do list for quite some time and today I'm using the term 'lately' very loosely as I finally got around to trying out this upcycling idea out back in February!

I had seen the image of the finished Monopoly box floating around on sites like Pinterest for a while but was unable to track down readymade.com's original tutorial post which seems to have been removed from the site. I did however come across this post over on Planet Forward which has the full set of written instructions but unfortunately no images.

cluedo board box diy 2
cluedo box diy 3

The box itself turned out to be quite tricky to make following written instructions alone but I got there in the end! As you can see I used a Cluedo board for my box and chose to finish it off with a green washi tape that ties in well with the board's colours. Unfortunately the box isn't all that durable as it was difficult to score along the edge that would create the lid so I don't feel like it would stand up well to everyday use although it could definitely be used as a storage box. There were also a few offcuts from the board which could be saved to be used as coasters!

For another Cluedo-themed project check out my cushion DIY!

What have you been crafting lately?
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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

DIY Felt Bat Bow + 3 Ways To Wear It!

bat bow tie bat hair bowbat bow necklace
diy bat bow title

Today's DIY is a great last-minute Halloween project as it's quick, easy and as you can see from the photographs above the bow is also a versatile accessory! To make your own bat bow you will need: a sheet of black felt, pins, a needle & thread, scissors, thin card or paper, a pen

1. First you'll need to create a template. To do this fold your sheet of card in half and draw on half a bow shape with bat wing style edges - it should look something like the one shown below!

2. Cut out your template, pin it onto the sheet of felt and carefully cut around it

3. Accordion fold the centre to create the bow shape, pin in place and add a few stitches to secure it in place

4. Cut a small strip of felt to cover the fold, wrap around the centre of the bow and stitch in place

5. Finally turn the bow into your chosen accessory style....

bat bow step by step diy halloween accessories

3 Ways To Wear It:

1/ Bow Tie - thread a length of elastic through the centre loop of your bow, tie in a knot and wear under a collared shirt. Alternatively stitch on a brooch back and pin onto your shirt.

2/ Hair Accessory - thread the centre of your bow onto a hair clip or add on a hairband and use to accessorise your topknot, ponytail or other Halloween hairstyle!

3/ Necklace - pierce holes in the top of the 'wings' and thread through jump rings to attach on a chain. If you're DIY-ing the chain too check out my Guide To Necklace Lengths!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you liked this project don't forget to Pin it!

Happy DIY-ing!
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Sunday, 19 October 2014

DIY Halloween Centrepiece

halloween centrepiece diy tutorial halloween centrepiece diy tutorial
halloween centrepiece diy tutorial halloween centrepiece diy tutorial

Another Sunday, another Halloween inspired DIY! This centrepiece is a quick and simple project that's completely customisable. Best of all, it's an upcycle project so it's perfect for those trying to host a Halloween party on a tight budget!

To create a centrepiece like this one you'll need: a selection of glass jars, plastic spiders/skulls/eyeballs or similar, water, food colouring, black and/or lace fabrics... spooky chocolate treats are also optional!

For my centrepiece I draped a black faux velvet style fabric over the table surface and hung a black lace fabric to create a backdrop. I filled three of the jars with water and used food colouring to tint them, finishing off by adding plastic spiders and a small plastic skull. I decided to fill the final jar with eyeballs and ended up with a mixture of plastic and chocolate ones!

Both the skull and plastic eyeballs were purchased from Home Bargains as part of sets costing under £1 each. The plastic spiders were part of a 72 piece set (!) I picked up from Pound World and the large chocolate eyeballs were £1 for 5 at Tesco.

Tip! There are tons of free label printables out there from apothecary jars to potions, why not use these to add an extra something to your centrepiece?

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you liked this project don't forget to Pin it!
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Friday, 17 October 2014

Cover Colour Inspiration - Ten, Gretchen McNeil

Cover image via Goodreads
cover colour ten

Today I'm taking colour inspiration from a read that's perfect for Halloween! This YA murder mystery novel takes place on a quiet island where teens Meg and Minnie have been invited to an exclusive party. Things soon take a turn for the worst when the group realise that there is a murderer amongst them.

The cover features various shades of teal fading into black, topped off with a vibrant red title. For today's 'wear the cover' picks I've chosen three very different accessories that will each add a pop of Ten's colours to your wardrobe.
cover colour ten
Clean Pocket Backpack in Teal, Topshop £34
Teal Felt Fedora Hat, Miss Selfridge £25
Marc By Marc Jacobs Ladies Red Leather Strap Watch, House Of Fraser £165

You can read my full review of Ten over at Blogger's Bookshelf!
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

DIY Wands



These DIY Wands are one of my favourite projects I've posted over on Eight & Sixteen as I had so much fun making them! I think this Harry Potter Inspired project would be perfect for a last minute Halloween costume - find my tutorial over at www.eightandsixteen.co.uk or click the photographs above!

Happy DIY-ing!
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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

DIY Inspiration - Ripped Jeans

diy inspiration ripped jeans fashion
Ripped jeans are everywhere this A/W but with most new season high street designs priced from £40 upwards it may be worth considering a DIY instead! If you have an old pair of jeans in need of a stylish update there are lots of ways to recreate this look on a budget.

DIY versions can be made using general household supplies from cheese graters to tweezers and razors or simply a pair of scissors - this project doesn't need to be accurate so get experimenting and create your own unique design!

Light Wash Ripped Eva Girlfriend Jeans, £40 River Island
Black Ripped Molly Jeggings, £40 River Island
Grey Ripped Knee High Rise Skinny Jeans, £10 (on sale) New Look
Moto Black Super Ripped Jamie Jeans, £45 Topshop
Moto Baby Blue Ripped Mom Jeans, £40 Topshop
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Sunday, 12 October 2014

DIY Wire Wrapped 'BOO' Necklace

boo necklace 1

After recently posting a tutorial for a bold Halloween Candy Corn necklace today I thought I'd share something for those of you who'd like a piece of Halloween jewellery that's a little more subtle. This BOO necklace takes a little more time to make but I love how the finished piece turned out! Even if you aren't a big fan of all things spooky this technique is brilliant for making personalised name or word necklaces - perhaps even one to bookmark for DIY Christmas gifts!

To make your own BOO necklace you will need: jewellery wire, jewellery pliers (round nose & flat nose), paper & a pen, orange & black embroidery threads, glue, jump rings and a necklace (or chain + a clasp)

boo necklace step by step

1. Draw out your design onto paper before working with any wire, making sure it is made up of one continuous line. You'll also need to add a loop at either end which will allow you to attach the finished pendant to your necklace chain.

As with any wire pendant, try to get the two hanging loops sitting at a fairly level height and above the middle of the design to avoid your pendant being top heavy. Unfortunately if you skip this step your necklace might flip upside down when you wear it which in this case means it will read 'poo' - not ideal! Alternatively you can use capital letters but you'll still need the loops to be closer to the top of the pendant to ensure it sits correctly when worn.

2. Once you are happy with the design use jewellery pliers to replicate it with your wire. If you need to you can start manipulating the wire, stopping to lay it over your drawn design along the way to make sure it matches up

3. Next take strands of orange and black embroidery thread and knot them onto the first loop of wire then tightly wrap the threads around the entire pendant until you reach the second loop and finish off with another knot

4. Trim off any excess threads and add on a dab of glue to secure the ends in place and stop fraying

5. Assemble your chain if necessary and use jump rings to attach the pendant onto it and your necklace is complete!

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you liked this project don't forget to Pin it!

For more DIY projects visit www.eightandsixteen.co.uk! Happy DIY-ing!
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Friday, 10 October 2014

DIY Shrunken Heads



After including these awesome Shrunken Heads in a recent roundup I decided they were too good not to try out for myself... and I'm glad I did. The final look of the heads, which are simply made from apples, is striking and would be great for any Halloween party, plus they were a lot of fun to make!

To make your own simply peel an apple, cut it in half and remove the core. Use a knife to carve facial features into the surface of the apple, coat with lemon juice, place on a lined tray and bake at a very low temperature for a couple of hours. To find out more about how they're made in more detail watch Martha Stewarts original video!

diy shrunken apple heads halloween e-elise etc

These would be the perfect addition to any bowl of cider you might be serving at your Halloween party this year! Here are a few recipe ideas to compliment this DIY...

- Easy Crockpot Apple Cider (via The Frugal Girls)
- Adult Hot Cider Recipe (via Budget Savvy Diva)
- Caramel Apple Cider (via Lady Behind The Curtain)

diy shrunken apple heads halloween e-elise etc

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you liked this project don't forget to Pin it!

For more DIY projects visit www.eightandsixteen.co.uk!
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Thursday, 9 October 2014

10 Quick & Inexpensive Halloween Ideas

cheap easy halloween ideas

1/ Trash Bag Spiderwebs (via How About Orange) - this idea is perfect for a last minute DIY, even half an hour before your party begins! The tutorial shows you how to easily transform black rubbish bags into impressive spiderweb decorations.

2/ Mummy Tealight Holder (via Hill Country Homebody) - a project that will look great on your windowsill or as a table centrepiece is this cute upcycled tealight holder which has been bandage-wrapped to look like mummy!

3/ Skull Potato Stamps (via Martha Stewart) - who doesn't love a good old potato printing project? These paper treat bags have been decorated using a classic potato stamp that's perfect for Halloween. I've tried out this one myself and it's a lot of fun!

4/ Glitter Webs (via Red Book Mag) - another way to create snazzy spiderwebs is to use a combination of glitter & PVA glue. These sparkly webs can then be used as decorative table mats at your party!

5/ Monster Claws (via The Southern Institute) - for a last minute kids costume why not try out this clever glove upcycle. Just stitch or glue triangles of felt onto the glove's fingertips to turn them into monster claws!

6/ Pom Pom Pumpkins (via It All Started With Paint) - love to knit but have tons of leftover wool? If you have any scraps of orange lying about why not turn them into cute pumpkin pom poms? You could even string them together for a fun garland.

7/ Shocking Silhouettes (via Martha Stewart) - another last minute idea are these candle holder additions which will cast spooky silhouettes onto your walls. You'll need to create black card shapes and then affix them to the candle holders using wire. Grab your candles, turn out the lights and prepare to be spooked!

8/ Straw Bats (via Scrapbooks Etc) - make these cute name tags in minutes with just some black ribbon, googly eyes and a Sharpie! As shown in the photo they can be tied onto straws which would be great to help your guests to remember which drink is theirs!

9/ Pumpkin & Ghost Balloons (via Pinterest) - every party needs balloons right?! These cute embellished ones made to look like ghosts and pumpkins are sure to impress your guests.

10/ Balloon-Dipped Candy Corn Jars (via Brit + Co) - as you may know, I love a good Candy Corn inspired project and these jars are no exception. Cleverly coloured by using sections of balloons they would look brilliant on display in your windows!

Which idea is your favourite?
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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Halloween Style Inspiration - ASOS Glow In The Dark Tights

glow in the dark halloween tights

If you're looking to inject a little Halloween fun into your wardrobe this season these tights from ASOS could be the perfect addition. These basic opaque black tights are embellished with glow in the dark designs - choose from a collection of ghosts or pumpkins on your knees - and are high waisted so they'll even keep you cosy too!

Halloween Pumpkin Tights Glow In The Dark Detail, ASOS £8
Halloween Ghost Tights Glow In The Dark Detail, ASOS £8

wear with pumpkin tights


Black Cut Out Flat Ankle Boots, Quiz via Debenhams £29.99
Dark Red Skater Mini Skirt, New Look £9.99
Brushed Crew Neck Jumper In Grey Marl, Topshop £40

How would you style them?
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Sunday, 5 October 2014

DIY Pumpkin Lantern

diy halloween pumpkin lantern tutorial diy halloween pumpkin lantern tutorial

Today's Halloween project is a quick and easy upcycle that will look perfect on your windowsill whether you're having a spooky party or a night in with some scary movies.

The method for making these is just like the Upcycled Glass Jars which I shared a video tutorial for back in January. All you'll need is some glass jars, orange tissue paper, PVA glue or Mod Podge, a sponge or brush, scissors, tealights & black acrylic paint, a marker or black tissue paper.

If you want to turn the jar into a lantern that can be hung up you'll also need wire and pliers.

pumpkin lantern halloween diy tutorial

1. Start by cutting strips of your orange tissue paper which are around 1" wide

2. Paint glue or Mod Podge directly onto the surface of the jar and start adding on strips of tissue, overlapping them slightly to make sure the whole jar is covered

3. Add another layer of glue or Mod Podge on top of the tissue to seal it in place and set aside to dry fully

4. Once the jars are dry use black tissue paper or paint to add on the pumpkin face and again leave to dry

5. Place a tealight inside the jar and display on your windowsill to create glowing Halloween pumpkins!

If you want to turn the jar into a hanging lantern here's a great tutorial I found over on Craftynest!

diy halloween pumpkin lantern tutorial

As always I'd love to hear from you if you try out this or any other project from my DIY Archives - if you liked this project don't forget to Pin it!

For more DIY projects visit www.eightandsixteen.co.uk
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Thursday, 2 October 2014

Character Style Inspiration - Violet Harmon (American Horror Story)


Images via imdb.com

Although the fourth season of American Horror Story is just about to begin in the UK today I wanted to focus on one of the characters from season one; Violet Harmon (Taissa Farmiga). We first meet Violet when she and her parents unknowingly move into 'Murder House' whilst trying to rebuild their lives and right from day one her wardrobe attracted the attention of fans with it's effortlessly cool layering and grungy accessories. Here's some ideas on how to recreate Violet's wardrobe...

1/ It's All In The Layering - whether it's long sleeves under short, dresses over tank tops, socks over tights or waistcoats over sweaters the key to Violet's look is layering - perfect for the autumnal weather that will be hitting the UK soon!

2/ Add Something Bold - to quickly and easily make any plain outfit 'more Violet' add statement pieces such as coloured or lace tights, a wide-brim hat and combat boots.

3/ Don't Be Afraid Of Florals - although Violet's style is grungy she also has some very feminine pieces in her wardrobe such as floral dresses, floaty boho vests and midi skirts which she dresses down with her chunky boots, t-shirts and cardigans.

4/ Can't Buy It? DIY It! - cut up old tights to make undershirts for your tees, alter charity shop/thrift store finds or cut the necklines on vintage band tees. Violet's style lends itself well to a DIY project so don't be afraid to make your own unique pieces.

style inspiration violet harmon american horror story

Winter Soft Logic Tights, My Theresa £30 | Oversize Loose Knit Sweater, Farfetch £265 | Maro Check Shirt, Coggles £70 | Swirl Print Midi Dress, John Lewis £15 (on sale) | Ombre Sweater, Jules B (currently out of stock) | Adieu Point-Toe Lace Up Shoes, Matches Fashion £440 | Small Hoop Earrings, Dorothy Perkins £5 | Red Peplum Lace Top, Harvey Nichols £750 | Mustard Supersoft Crew Cardigan, BHS £15

Tenki Red Tile Print Midi Dress, Dorothy Perkins £20 (on sale) | Grey Nirvana Band Oversized Tee, New Look £14.99 | Deep Felt Pork Pie Hat, ASOS £15 (on sale) | Floral Vest Dress, House Of Fraser £35 | Rolling Stones T-Shirt, Coggles £31 | Floral Lace Tights, Topshop £10 | 90 Den Opaque Tights, Accessorize £6 | 'Jake' T-Shirt, Farfetch £151.65 | Black Zip Lace Up Leather Boot, Dune £90 | All Star Oxford Black Trainers, Schuh £45

Love American Horror Story? Check out my other Character Style posts: Zoe Benson | Maggie Esmerelda | Madison Montgomery
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