Boowill 2017: Easy DIY Amulet for Halloween


 

By Goodwill NYNJ


 

 

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“…By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes!” It’s almost October which means that ghouls and goblins are stirring about, plotting their approach. How will you protect yourself? If you’re ready to jump into the Halloween spirit, an amulet can summon sanctuary to protect you against ill will. Whether the costume you’re planning needs a little extra protection or you just love that witchy look, we’re here today to inspire a little creativity in the form of an alluring charm.

 

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Because an amulet is simply an ornament that will protect its wearer, its style can really look however you’d like. Wear it on a bracelet, a brooch, or even tuck it into your pocket. For a truly bewitching vibe, I chose to make mine a long, draping necklace. I sought rose quartz in my thrift store search because many people believe it has beneficial powers which create a sense of calm and promote love. I also knew I wanted my amulet to incorporate circles because they are a symbol of unity and protection.

 

But why bother with thrift stores? Why not just buy all of the elements at the craft store if you have to go there anyway? Well, I love anything with a little history. Pieces that have been well-loved before I take them home always pique my curiosity and add a little meaning for me. I also feel great about supporting Goodwill because their programs that move people to employment can reduce reliance on over-stretched public assistance programs. That helps my local community and our nation as a whole. In that way, it feels like my amulet would not just be protecting me, but the futures of those Goodwill helps, too!

 

So, here’s how I made it: first, I scouted my local Goodwill for some foundation pieces (a long chain and a shorter necklace with a rose quartz stone) then grabbed some copper wire and a circle charm from the craft store to round the piece out. Depending on what you find under your thrift store’s display case, you could add more layers or embellishment and maybe skip the craft store altogether! My instructions will be a bit vague because the materials you find will vary from mine and your taste may, too, but hopefully it will give you a little guidance.

 

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Materials

 

  • Long necklace chain
  • Thrifted jewelry with a large stone
  • Wire (I used copper-colored 22-gauge) that’s thin enough to thread through your stone, chain, and charms
  • Any additional charms (optional)
  • Wire cutters
  • Jewelry pliers

 

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Step 1: Find the center link of the chain (the one that falls the lowest in front when the clasp rests centrally at the back of your neck) and lay it out. Use the pliers to open up the jump ring (the little connecting circle) on your first charm then hook that through the center link and use the pliers to close it again.

 

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Step 2: Remove the stone from its original necklace chain (if you have to switch chains) and cut a length of wire to fit through it.

 

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Step 3: Bend the wire up the sides of the stone until they meet in the top center of the stone. Twist the two sides together at least once. The more you twist, the further the stone will rest from the chain link.

 

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Step 4: Position the stone wherever you think it looks good behind the charm and twist the wire again, but this time around the jump ring. Trim the excess wire and use the pliers to squeeze the ends in toward the center of the circle and away from the wearer. If these ends are resting on the side of the necklace that will hit your body, you risk getting scratched or pulling the fabric of your clothing, so again, make sure they’re tucked inside the ring.

 

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Step 5: Cut another length of wire that is quite a bit bigger than the stone. Put the wire through the jump ring with the stone and charm. Bend it into a circle (it may already be circular if it’s stored that way in the package), and overlap both ends. Tighten the size of the circle until the wire is doubled all the way around. Twist both pieces gently together to create a loosely interwoven circle. Wrap and bend the ends a little tighter than the rest of the circle so they’ll stay in place. Squeeze the top of the hoop gently into a slight tear-drop shape with the top being where the ends meet so that part stays within the jump ring during wear.

 

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And that’s it! Enjoy your new amulet necklace and the feeling of protection it, hopefully, brings your way. Before you start you could do a little research on different crystal types and charm shapes then scout your stores with your favorites in mind. Wishing you all the best as you head out into the night on All Hallows’ Eve!

 

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When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

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DIY Halloween Flower Crown

I’m probably the worst at craft projects aka diy. But this flower crown that I made was the easiest ever, trust me. Grab some flowers and the below tools to rock a diy flower crown if you’re going as a flower child, fairy or anything boho and magical for Halloween.

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What You’ll Need

  • Green wire
  • Flower tape
  • Strong scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Flowers (real or faux)

 

Step 1) Make Crown

  • Take two pieces of wire and twist them slightly together to make half the circumference of the flower crown
  • Repeat for the other half of the wire crown section while measuring on the circumference of your head
  • Seal the ends and connect the two halves of the wire crown together using the flower tape

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Step 2) Assemble Flower Sections

  • This is the fun part!
  • Take small sections of the flowers and make mini bouquets making sure the stems are about 4” in length
  • Make the bouquets by gathering the flowers around small pieces of wire and tightly secure the stems around the pieces of wire with  flower tape

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Step 2) Attach Flowers to Crown

  • Attach the mini flower bouquets to the wire flower crown using small pieces of wire for heavier or larger bouquets or tape for light weight and smaller ones
  • Once all are attached go in and make sure all are secure and wire or tape down any that are loose or sticking up

 

Leigh Ray is an NYC-based fashion blogger obsessed with all things vintage and thrifting at www.PinkVintageHeart.com. She’s a true shopaholic that loves the thrill of discovering the perfect thrifted and vintage finds while sharing them with the world.

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

 

HiRes DIY Flower Crown

DIY Halloween Costume: Office Cat


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Leigh Ray, Pink Vintage Heart

A Good Look Contributor


 

I don’t know about you, but I live for wearing my Halloween costume on the actual holiday. Did you know that Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year? I think there’s nothing more fun than wearing a Halloween costume to work. Here’s a cute and super easy cat costume that can be worn to the office or any party where you might not have too much time to put together an over the top Halloween costume. Here’s how I achieved it:

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Cat Ears

I attempted to make cat ears, but they didn’t quite turn out so great. Sigh. But my plan B was to wear two little mini hair buns where my cat ears would have been. I simply twisted two sections of my hair and twisted them to make these buns. I think it would be so cute to add a little glitter or hair paint to these as well.

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Eye Make Up

I rarely leave the house without cat eye eyeliner. I will admit that it took me a while to learn how to apply. The good thing is that you can draw a cat eye in several different styles. Pick the one that’s easiest for you. You can also skip the eye liner and achieve the cat eye look with eye shadow.

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Nose & Whiskers

These really make the costume. I used a black eye liner pencil to draw in the dot on my nose and the fun whiskers. It took just a few minutes and I felt totally transformed into a kitty cat!

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Leigh Ray is an NYC-based fashion blogger obsessed with all things vintage and thrifting at www.PinkVintageHeart.com. She’s a true shopaholic that loves the thrill of discovering the perfect thrifted and vintage finds while sharing them with the world.

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

DIY Halloween Costume: Rosie the Riveter


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Leigh Ray, Pink Vintage Heart

A Good Look Contributor


 

Rosie the Riveter is the coolest girl power icon there is! Just about everyone knows the famous We Can Do it! Poster. The Rosie the Riveter Halloween costume happens to be one of the easiest DIY costumes ever. You can use items that you already have in your closet or you can easily thrift what you need. You’ll surely use and wear them again. Here’s what you need for your DIY Rosie the Riveter costume:

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Outfit

The outfit is the easiest part for this costume. Any jean on jean look can work – a jean jumpsuit, jeans worn with a jean shirt, jean overalls. I wore a pair of jeans with a jean shirt tied at the waist.

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Accessories

The red bandana really makes this costume. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a red bandana but I used a pink one that I had in my stash of scarves instead. You can use a bandana of any size as a head wrap or even wear as a head turban style that covers the entire head. For shoes you can do boots, converse or any flat shoes.

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Make Up & Hair

You can wear your hair up in a ponytail and create a retro look with a tiny bump at the front of the hair or rolled bangs. After researching this Halloween costume, I found that wearing your hair out is totally fine also.

I’m so into retro make up and wore cat eyeliner and red lipstick to capture the look from the famous We Can Do It! Poster.

 

Leigh Ray is an NYC-based fashion blogger obsessed with all things vintage and thrifting at www.PinkVintageHeart.com. She’s a true shopaholic that loves the thrill of discovering the perfect thrifted and vintage finds while sharing them with the world.

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Because your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

DIY Off The Shoulder Button Down w/ @thefabjunkie


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Suma KaulThe Fab Junkie

A Good Look Contributor


 

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Off The Shoulder (or better known as OTS) has been taking over the fashion world for a few seasons now. We saw it last summer and now it’s back… to stay! With celebs like RiRi rocking the look, you know we all have to try it. My favorite is the OTS Button Down. It takes the classic button down (which never goes out of style) and makes it sexy.

  Continue reading “DIY Off The Shoulder Button Down w/ @thefabjunkie”

The Slow Building of Things: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

Handmade Deliverance

 

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56 and 3/4 inches. July 2016.

 

Four years ago, I lived in an extremely drafty apartment. In winter, the floor would feel like ice. I saw my own breath on multiple occasions, and wore a snowsuit inside more than once. Yes, it got that cold.

My brother and I put plastic over all the windows, and we had big heaters in each of our rooms. We got through it somehow, though we could never tackle the issue of the icy floors. My room was especially problem-prone: Its floor was covered in a pale kind of linoleum. I hate wearing thick socks in bed, no matter how cold, so would often be greeted in the morning with a shock of ice each time I put my feet on the floor. One day, I realized the extremely obvious: I needed to get a rug. But being strapped for cash and also obsessed with big craft projects, I decided to try making one instead of buying it. How hard could it be? I know how to crochet, and had a bunch of yarn to spare. “I’ll have this done in no time,” I thought.

I decided to make it as long as the futon I slept on at the time (six feet), and as narrow as the opening between the futon and my desk (33 and ½ inches). I wanted a thick, tightly woven rug, and was also obsessed with making tiny stitches (I still am), so picked up my 4.0mm hook and got to work.

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15 inches. October 2012.

To add yet another eccentricity, I have a fascination with the concepts of reuse and zero waste, so I also decided that all of the yarn I’d use for this project would either be from material I already owned or thrifted. I didn’t want to buy anything new.

Four years later, I’m still not done with it. I clearly didn’t plan this project out well.

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23 and 3/4 inches. November 2012.

I’ve moved from the drafty apartment since then, and have regulated the rug to an untouched closet corner numerous times, most notably in 2015. I barely worked on it that entire year. Over the years, though, it’s transformed from a simple project born out of necessity into a spiritual, handmade journey of process and progress. Each row takes about two hours to complete, so I typically can only do one row per day. And it takes four rows to make up one inch. If I had been consistent with it, I would have been done with it in less than a year. But I haven’t been consistent; I’ve given up many times before.

When all is said and done, though, I don’t want to be a quitter, so I will see this project to completion. This year, I’ve decided, is the year that it will get done.

In many respects, this crochet rug is a physical manifestation of two larger life lessons that I’ve taken to heart:

1) It won’t get done unless you do it. Dreaming is the easy part. It’s the actual execution of a project that’s the biggest challenge. Hard work is always an essential aspect to sustainable success.

2) Fulfillment comes out of the slow building of things. Things are rarely perfect on the first try. This project has taught me that progress is made through consistent tweaks, iterations and improvements. It’s not about being perfect. Instead, it’s about the process of perfecting.

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I really am almost finished — it’s 75% done! I’ve got a few more thrift store trips to make, though. My yarn supply is running low.

Follow the progress on the project’s official Tumblr page.

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David Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work at http://davidleonmorgan.com

 

 

 

 

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

Don’t Throw Out the Old; Rehab It!

4 Fantastic Ways to Rehab an Old Dresser

Old dressers seem to be a staple of the thrifting world, probably because of how many shapes and sizes there are available. If you’re all set with your clothes storage, though, don’t discount that dresser you’ve found at Goodwill, as there may be a way to repurpose it into something totally new! Check out these four fabulous ways to makeover an old dresser:

 

1. Turn it into a bookcase.

 

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TV consoles and bookcases are incredibly easy ways to repurpose old dressers, especially if you’re trying to save money, as those pieces can be incredibly expensive! The Domestic Heart shows us how it’s done with a dresser she thrifted for only $10

 

2. Turn it into a dollhouse.

 

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I actually stumbled on this idea while researching this article, and I was blown away at how clever this is! Using a few methods borrowed from the DIY bookcase, you too can create a dollhouse for your child (or yourself, no judgement!).

 

3. Repaint it and replace the knobs.

 

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If you’re not willing to part with the original function of your dresser, give it a quick and easy revamp using paint and new knobs. Or if you want to get really fancy, dress it up with spray paint and lace like Uniquely Chic Furniture did.

 

4. Use the drawers as shelves.

 

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Don’t throw those old drawers out after your makeover! I’ve seen the drawers used for wall shelves, craft show displays, and even this jaw-dropping cubby organizer (which, yes, I am definitely doing soon!)
Rehabbing a piece as large as a dresser doesn’t have to be difficult — there are a ton of different ways to reuse this one piece. Give one of these four ideas a shot and if you do, leave a comment below to share your results!

 

When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

megan face 2016Megan Brame is an award-winning entrepreneur, writer, and DIY nerd. Follow her on Twitter @meganpluscoffee or check out her different DIY adventures at The Beige House.

Taking Creative Risks: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

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I consider myself a creative risk taker, one who’s always curious about learning and experiencing new things. But like anyone, it’s easy for me to fall into comfortable habits, including within my creative inclinations.

For instance, I love playing around in Photoshop, but there are challenging components of the software that I’m afraid to tackle. Compositing, which is the art of combining different photographic elements into a single image, is particularly scary for me. Normally, I stay in the safe realms of lighting, color correcting and the occasional spot removal. But this week, I decided to push past my safe zones and challenge myself. It’s the only way to grow, right?

 

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At the thrift store a few days ago, I found a beautiful, pyramid-shaped jewelry holder for just a few dollars. It inspired me to create a sort of intergalactic photo. For the compositing work, I did quick Google and YouTube searches to find this image and this image. An hour or so (plus a few mild anxiety attacks) later, and voila! The beauty above was born.

It can be scary to try new things, but incorporating thrifted finds in your adventure lets you take risks without breaking the bank. What’s one thing you want to learn to do, but are afraid to try? Now is a great time to push fear aside and give it a go.

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When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 


072115_SelfieDavid Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work at http://davidleonmorgan.com
 

An Ode to Love: This Week on Inside the Prop Closet

A Path Forward

 

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The recent tragedy in Orlando has affected me in so many ways. I’ve spent large parts of the days after the news in mourning, with the feeling of a heavy weight pressing down on my core. It’s difficult to think about the many layers the tragedy contained, and I seem to have an almost compulsive desire to explore and understand each one of them. There are a lot. Nevertheless, spending too much time falling down an abyss of questions and fears will do more harm than good. So in my mourning, I’ve leaned heavily on hope, friendships, and creativity, allowing each one to pluck me out of the abyss, to comfort me when I need it, and give me space to cry when I need that, too.

I’ve spent hours doing what I call meditative crafting, making a cardboard altar of remembrance and affirmation. I walked to my nearest thrift store and craft store for supplies — a welcome excuse to go outside and thank the Universe for sunshine and the ability to experience it once again. Glueing, cutting and glittering each part of my altar was so healing for me. I didn’t want it to end.
On my thrift store excursion, I also found a T-shirt with a beautiful song lyric: “I get caught up in your heart strings.” It’s from the song Where the Sky Hangs from the band Passion Pit.

 

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I wasn’t familiar with the song, so played it when I got home. It felt good to dance: The song is an upbeat, catchy, and feel-good ode to sweet love. I took it as a sign to never let love leave, to do my part to keep love a part of the human experience, as a path to healing, a path to joy and a beautiful path forward.

 

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When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

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David Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work at http://davidleonmorgan.com 

Lovely Lace: This Week from Inside the Prop Closet with David

With Love, Lace

 

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I love everything about lace. The intricate patterns, the muted cream hues: Give me yards and yards of it! A recent thrift store trip surfaced a big bag full of these gorgeous somethings in different patterns. I have a grand plan for how I’d like to use them all. It involves lots of hand sewing and lots of patience. Until I muster up the courage (and clear my current to-do list) to start it, this pretty pile of lace makes fun photography props.

 

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If you spot large quantities of a thing you love at your nearest Goodwill, I encourage you to buy it up. Indulge in the rarity of such an amazing find. Save what you’re unable to use right away for a rainy day. The low Goodwill prices in comparison to other retail stores makes stocking up a worthwhile investment. And who knows what creative happenings you’ll get into with your pile of discoveries.

Stocking up on thrifted yarn many years ago ignited a love for crochet that I still hold. And finding hundred of beads on one past trip turned into holiday gifts that I gave to many family members and friends.

Too much of a good thing? Not when it comes to these beauties.

 

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When you #ShopGoodwill , not only will you look good, you’ll feel good, too! Your purchases support Goodwill’s programs and services. Head here to find GoodwillNYNJ store locations near you!

 

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David Leon Morgan is a Bronx-based creative storyteller and crafter. He loves to crochet, sing extremely loudly in the shower and help others share their story in creative ways. Learn more about him and his work athttp://davidleonmorgan.com