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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Boowill 2017: Tips for Building a Halloween Potion Station


 

By Goodwill NYNJ


 

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I love this time of year! It’s so fun to create a haunting mood in my home with eerie decor, spooky tunes, and so. many. candles. Goodwill has the best stuff for decorating during this season because there’s so much variety that, with a few little updates, can feel completely magical. The potion station I’m building today could serve as the perfect spot to put out candy for trick-or-treaters or to set a mood in the entry way of your home during a Halloween party. You could also look for larger jars and bowls that you use to serve real food. Here are some tips for making an authentic looking apothecary!

 

First, check Goodwill for some materials. I like to look through the glassware, kitchen, and book sections because I find items there that look like actual props from the set of Hocus Pocus (and that’s basically my gauge for good Halloween decor). Jars and bottles, especially if they have cork stoppers, are really great finds. They’re ideal for Halloween haunting, but can transition well during the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year.  Even if they don’t have a cork in the store, you can save one from a bottle of wine and use that to complete the look.

 

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Silver, copper, and pewter dishware are perfect for this theme, too. When they’re thrifted, you don’t have to choose between real metal or a manageable price tag—you can have both! Plus, when you find what you need at Goodwill you’re helping their organizations provide support services — including child care, financial education, transportation, youth mentoring and other services — that enable people from all backgrounds to obtain and maintain economic independence and an increased quality of life.

 

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Do you feel like you’ve seen that candlestick holder before? You probably have. I bought it from a Goodwill store in Maine about five years ago and we still use it for everything from Halloween decor to Christmas mood lighting and when the power goes out in snowstorms! The mug and tiny tray are nice additions, too, because they balance out the metallic look of the candlestick holder and corral the smaller jars. Don’t forget to look for old books (or age some not-so-old thrifted books) when you’re there. Stacking tomes brings height to your display and with carefully chosen titles they can mimic spell books. I also added a little burlap under my tray to match the jar labels, cork, and book pages. This could be any cloth that looks like it might have a little history, though.

 

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To take my display to the next level, I decided to add a couple of labels. I wanted a bit of a mismatched look so I didn’t label everything, but you certainly could if you were using these containers to serve food and drinks at a party. The labels were so easy, too! Here’s what I needed:

 

Materials

 

  • Cardstock paper
  • 2 tea bags (Not herbal tea. I used Earl Grey.)
  • Cooling rack
  • Drip pan
  • Glue (Elmer’s or ModPodge would be perfect.)
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Fountain or rolling ball pen

 

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Step 1: Cut the cardstock to the size you’ll need for labels. Don’t worry about the cuts being perfectly level. You want them to look worn so you can even snip some little Vs out of the edges.

 

Step 2: Boil ½ a cup of water then let the two tea bags steep in it for at least five minutes.

 

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Step 3: Place the cooling rack over the drip pan and put the labels on top. Brush on a generous amount of tea on the whole piece of paper. Let it pool a little in places to create a darker splotch that brings a lot of character.

 

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Step 4: Put that set-up (drip tray, rack, and paper) into the oven and turn it on its lowest setting. Leave it in for only a few minutes, keeping a close eye on its drying progress. Take it out the moment it appears dry. Do not let it burn.

 

Step 5: Remove the paper from the oven and draw on your label.

 

Step 6: Brush a thin coat of glue on the back of the label then stick it to the jar. You’re done!

 

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Now that you’ve got some props to work with, it’s time to add potion ingredients! I channeled my inner herbalist when I put together my display because witches would also need to do a lot of foraging before they could begin their work. Don’t worry about filling every container to the brim. If it’s a frequently used apothecary some ingredients will be running low.

 

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The two places I looked for ingredients were in my kitchen and my yard. Inside I found spices, iced tea, and a candle (the white corked jar) that passed as ingredients ready to be added to a concoction. Outside, I picked goldenrod (the yellow flowers and “witch hazel boughs”) then separated it into the two different jars. Don’t forget about dried flowers–the lavender and “night shade petals” were dried from the garden earlier in the summer and they’re perfect. Don’t you always imagine a lot of dried flowers hanging from the ceiling of a witch’s lair?

 

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If I needed anything else to round out my display I’d love to try grape juice or wine in a decanter, ginger root in a dish, or a jar of toadstools. Don’t forget to illuminate the area with candlelight for a magical glow! Have so much fun putting together your apothecary and mix up a little Felix Felicis for me, would ya?

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!

#Boowill2017 : How to Age Books with Tea and Tights  


 

By Goodwill NYNJ


 

Goodwill NYNJ How to Age Books for Halloween BoowillYes, you read that title right! It turns out that it’s really easy to make thrifted tights into spooky spider webs and for tea to stain the pages of a secondhand book creating the perfect antique appearance. These two projects partnered with our tips for aging the outside of Goodwill books will give your library a complete facelift just in time for Halloween. One thing that I love about creating custom decor from Goodwill finds is that they look more authentic than the plastic props you’ll find in chain stores. The other benefit to updating thrifted purchases is that since Goodwill donations are the beginning of job creation, when you support our stores you’re helping people within your community find employment. So, without further ado, let’s jump into these projects, shall we?

 

Goodwill NYNJ How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill2017

 

 

Goodwill NYNJ How to Age Books for Halloween

Project 1: Turning White Tights into a Spider Web

 

Materials

White tights or nylons

Scissors

A microplane or food grater (optional)

 

Goodwill NYNJ How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

 

This project is so incredibly easy that I don’t even think I need to write out the steps! All you need to do is use scissors and/or a microplane/kitchen grater to put runs into the tights. Then with your fingers, stretch the runs so the fabric separates into web-like threads. Keep snipping, grating, and pulling until you like the way your web looks. I found it helpful to have the books I was decorating right nearby as I made the web so I could stretch it into place as I went. Since there’s so much elasticity in tights, it’s really easy to stretch them around items so they stay in place without tape or tacks.

 

How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

 

Project 2: Tea-staining Book Pages

 

You may have tea-stained paper before, but the process of doing it for bound books is a little different because you can’t bake the pages to dry or completely cover them with tea (that would dampen the binding and make it hard to properly dry every page). Thankfully, the way that books age usually shows a darkening of the page edges while the inner portion stays lighter. This is easy to replicate with tea! Here’s how:

 

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Materials

A book to age

Two large stacks of books to stabilize the tea-stained book as it dries

A heat-safe dish that is longer than the height of the book

2 cups of boiling water

4 tea bags (not herbal—I used Earl Grey)

A fan

A paintbrush (optional)

A kettle

 

How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

Step 1: Put the kettle on to boil the water. While that heats, build two stacks of books with the dish between them. The stacks need to be tall enough that the book can hang from it to dry (scroll down to see the picture of drying if necessary). Set the fan up so it blows on the area between the two stacks.

 

How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

 

Step 2: Place the tea bags into your dish and pour the boiling water over it. Let that steep for ten minutes.

 

How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

 

Step 3: Carefully remove the tea bags and set aside. Open the book holding both covers in one hand so the pages hang down. Dip the long edge of the pages only (not the cover or binding) into the tea. You can dip it in several times or hold it in the tea for a few seconds. Then pull it out of the tea and hold it above the dish for a few moments to let the tea drip off.

 

Step 4: Turn the book upright over the container and use the paintbrush or a tea bag to brush tea onto the top edges of the pages. Start on the corner that is already tea-stained then brush softly in toward the binding so the tea stain will fade slightly as it gets closer to the spine. Avoid getting the binding and cover wet. Then turn the book again and do this same brushing technique on the bottom edges of the pages.

 

How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

 

Step 5: If your book is still dripping, set it up to dry by placing its front and back covers between the two stacks with the container still underneath. If it’s not dripping, feel free to move the container so the stacks can be moved closer together. Turn on the fan to help the book dry. As it dries, the tea stain will darken.

 

Step 6: Wait for an hour then turn the book around so the other short side of the pages is closer to the fan.

 

How to Age Books for Halloween

 

Step 7: Wait for a half-hour while that side dries then you can remove your book from the piles and stand it upright with the pages fanned slightly to finish drying. At this point, the edges of every page should be perfectly browned just as an old book is! Each page will also gain a well-read crinkle/warp so they appear to have been leafed through again and again over the years.

 

How to Age Books for Halloween Boowill 2017

 

And that’s it! Your spell-binding aged books are ready for display this Halloween season. You could use these to decorate around your candy dish on All Hallows’ Eve or as a centerpiece on your October dining table. We’d love to see your creativity if you decide to try these projects yourself!

 

Goodwill NYNJ How to Age Books for Halloween

 

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 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 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”

DIY Hi-Lo Frayed Denim Hem


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Suma KaulThe Fab Junkie

A Good Look Contributor


 

I’m obsessed with denim. I’m always wearing it and always thinking of new ways to create DIY’s.  Lately, I’ve seen many bloggers and influencers sporting the Hi-Lo denim trend. So it was clear that my next project would involve recreating this.

Continue reading “DIY Hi-Lo Frayed Denim Hem”

5 Thrifting Tips from a GoodwillNyNj Style Icon


Maria

Maria, Little Tree Vintage

A Good Look Contributor


 

 

Remember GoodwillNyNj Style Icon Maria from Little Tree Vintage? Well, lucky us: she’s back at A Good Look by GoodwillNyNj with thrifting tips to help make your secondhand closet as bedazzled with new-to-you flare as her own. Take a look!:

Hi everyone, I am Maria from Little Tree Vintage and I am so happy to be sharing some of my thrifting tips with you guys today. If you have any other tips, feel free to leave a comment so I can read what you guys think!

1. Be Patient

You’re going to walk in and chances are there will be a MILLION things to look through. You have to have the patience to look through the racks, and truly take your time, or else you might miss something. If you have the time, space out a few hours and you can really get some quality thrifting in.

Continue reading “5 Thrifting Tips from a GoodwillNyNj Style Icon”

DIY Crop Top Tee w/ @TheFabJunkie


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Suma KaulThe Fab Junkie

A Good Look Contributor


 

Crop tops can be winter friendly but at this point who’s thinking of winter? I think we’re all ready for SPRING! Here’s an easy DIY for turning an old or thrift tee into a crop top. Check out the step by step directions after the cut:

Continue reading “DIY Crop Top Tee w/ @TheFabJunkie”

DIY Slit Knee Denim


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Suma KaulThe Fab Junkie

A Good Look Contributor


 

When you’re in love with all things denim, you always try to think of new DIYs to create. Currently trending in the world of denim is the Slit Knee. The difference between this and other shredded denim style is that there’s just a subtle rip that lies directly on the knee.

Continue reading “DIY Slit Knee Denim”