9 posts tagged DIY
At zulily, we’re all about innovation. Shannon Cicle, our Editorial Prop Coordinator extraordinaire, turned wire and balloons into a fun goal-post structure. We used it for a sporty Halloween event, but it can be adapted to a number of different shapes—arches, hearts, letters and numbers. It’s fun for birthday parties, Halloween parties and all sorts of holiday celebrations. And because it’s so lightweight, it can be hung on the wall or even from the ceiling.
Here’s how we made ours!
- 1/8-inch x 12 feet aluminum wire
- Round plaque
1. Take two of the wires. While you’re holding them together, bend them in half with pliers. Then use the pliers to separate the wires midway to create a T shape. Take those bent wires and form them into a goal post shape. Set aside.
2. Start filling up balloons. We recommend a manual or electric pump so you don’t get too winded!
3. Tie the balloons together in sets of two, then wrap the balloons around the wire. Twist them gently against each other to make them fit snugly around the wire. If you’re having trouble with this step or your balloons are popping, simply tie them on with more string.
4. Take the plaque and drill a hole through it. Feed the wire through the hole and use the sandbag to weigh the sculpture down.
5. And that’s it! We can’t wait to see if any of you decide to do this too.
Job Title: Scenic Designer/Prop Coordinator
Job Description: I build, paint, and purchase scenery and props to create the backgrounds for zulily’s photo shoots. In a short: I shop and drive a lot… salvage yards, thrift stores, estate sales, craigslist, ebay, you name it.
Once, I spent a weekend picking out a wedding cake for a photo shoot, which really confused my friends. They thought my boyfriend had proposed.
Much of my job is trying to produce themed sets on a pretty tight budget in a very short time frame. Ideally, I like to find ready-to-photograph props, but about half the time I need to paint or alter them in some way. You might call me zulily’s resident do-it-yourselfer.
Favorite zulily moment: This week? I’m lucky enough to work in a really interesting place – take really talented artists, add tons kid models running around and you’ll never have a dull moment. I’m currently hobbling around on a broken foot, so I’ve really been loving my coworkers getting me coffee… and snacks…and sometimes tools…and carrying heavy things for me. I really like when they do that.
Oh, and I love days when we’re taking photos of food! We had a chocolate fountain a few months ago – that was amazing. Yep, that’s it, the fountain. My favorite Zulily moment.
Favorite DIY project you’ve ever created (at zulily or not):
That’s a tough question. My hands have always been rather busy since I was a kid. I went to a performing arts high school for technical theatre, so I was trained in scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design (not to mention being raised by a carpenter/record collector/photographer/pro thrifter father).
One of my favorite projects at zulily was a monster costume and five foot skyscraper model for a monster-themed shoot. I made everything out of cardboard packaging materials. I have 3 cats at home, so after the shoot, the skyscraper turned into a kitty condo.
I think my favorite project I’ve ever done was when I volunteered for what in Florida is called the Great American Teach-In. I showed a class of 5th graders how to make a backdrop, from start to finish. The kids all sketched illustrations of a book they had read as a class, voted on their favorite sketch, then I drew it out on an 8’ x 12’ muslin, and let the kids paint the backdrop with brushes I had taped to bamboo sticks and paint I had donated from the shop where I was working. I couldn’t believe it, but they painted the entire surface of the drop in just a couple hours. And they all agreed on the color scheme and all worked together beautifully. I was a bit worried about the kids sword fighting with paint brushes, but thankfully, my fears weren’t realized. That being said, I am always on the hunt for a new favorite project!
DIY Halloween Headband Tutorials from Prudent Baby here. Headband Tutorials using felt for:
- Ray of Sunshine
spooky too cute DIY Halloween costumes. Love it!
zulily member Becky sent in this snap of her family’s awesome “Ghost Train” made mostly of zulily boxes! Love it…err, we mean, SPOOKY! :)
Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like sending a gorgeous card to a friend or family member. The creative team at elli knows this as well as anyone, and have spent years building a following that loves the timeless designs they produce.
They’re on zulily today—you can find the event here—and elli’s ever-talented Creative Director, Lia Griffith was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
Below, Lia touches on the inspiration behind her creations, her favorite holiday to design for, and what makes elli’s offerings so perfect for zulily members. Enjoy the read, and make sure to take us up on today’s great deal here!
zulily: Thank you for joining us Lia! Will you tell us a little about your role at elli and how you arrived there?
I am the Creative Director at elli. I started with the parent company almost 4 years ago, leading creative development for the DIY wedding site. Though I do love designing for weddings, it is creating for kids and holidays that I find myself gravitating towards. The opportunity to combine the best of all in our new elli shop has been a dream come true for me.
z: What are the most important characteristics that elli’s design team share?
We love what we do! We are incredibly focused on creating really beautiful, clever and original designs. Each of us bring a different look and perspective to the site which rounds out our collection very nicely. What is the very first thing you do when starting the design process on a new project? Research. I always want to know what is trending in apparel, interior and print design.
z: Which holiday is the most fun to design for?
Christmas. I say that confidently despite the fact the team just spent the last 4 months with our heads in Christmasland. I love the traditional colors and themes for Christmas, and adding the unexpected non-traditional brings additional fun to designing for this season.
z: Do you follow the work of other designers? Who are your design role models?
I do follow the work of other designers. I have a long list of blogs that I follow and at least half of them are designer blogs. Most of my role models are people in the apparel and interior realm. I love Cynthia Rowley, Jonathan Adler and Alexander McQueen to name a few. Random, huh?
z: elli is based in Portland, Oregon. Does working in the Pacific Northwest affect your design taste?
Other than putting a bird on it… just kidding… In some ways I think it does though, we intentionally look internationally for inspiration. One perfect example of our Northwest perspective is that we all designed “Happy Holiday” cards for the first two months of our current collection. We then realized the traditional “Merry Christmas” might be what some customers would be looking for, so we all jumped in and rounded out our designs to include Christmas.
z: The blog at ellinee.com features a variety of great DIY projects. Do you have a kid-friendly favorite that moms can do with their little ones?
We do have a lot of kid themed crafts, and though I am targeting the moms and teachers, I have had some wonderful reports of children being involved on many of my DIY projects. I aspire to create my tutorials so all levels of ability can craft. One of the favorites, and perfect for the season, is the paper snowflake. Gorgeous and easy to make!
z: Any easy DIY Halloween costume ideas you can share with our readers?
I did do a post for a fun and simple DIY Halloween wolf hoodie. I made the pattern in adult, kids and baby size. This costume is super easy and oh so cute. I would love to make a whole series of animal hoodies… maybe next Halloween? So much of your work is paper based.
z: Where does Elli fit in as more people use digital devices to communicate.
I feel that printed invitations and photo card have become even more precious and a very impactful way to add that much needed personal touch in the era of digital white noise.
z: How can parents spark their little ones’ interest in art & design?
This I can speak to on a very personal level as I have a daughter who has recently bloomed as an artist. Here is my list: 1) Do art and crafts with your kids. Starting when they are young is ideal but it is never too late. Kids are natural artists. 2) Display their creations and encourage them to gift their projects to grandparents and other family members. 3) Make art and crafts accessible by keeping the tools and materials at their finger tips. One last note … I think we all can find joy in crafting and creating no matter what our age. So the craft night you set up for your kids, could be equally fun for the adults too!
z: What makes elli’s offering so perfect for zulily’s members and moms?
We offer a wonderful collection of holiday photo cards and kid’s holiday party invites as well as a nice selection of new born baby and kid’s birthday sets.
We are in LOVE with elli’s offering and encourage all you design-minded zulily moms out there to take advantage of today’s event.
Again, a big thank you to Lia for joining joining us. We’re fans for life!
Readers, who or where do you look to for design inspiration? Reblog and let us know!
By Stupell. Grammatical wall art for the literary home. These four pieces featuring distressed punctuation marks are hand-finished and high-quality.
Like a true artist in the making, this cutie looks like she LOVES her work! Congrats to this week’s zulily Cutie Contest winner and her proud momma.
Sprout veggies, herbs and flowers from seed with SF Imports’ all-in-one kits that only need sunlight, water and your green thumb.
Before I had my sons, I would go get a manicure and a pedicure at this cute little place on 57th and 8th Ave in NYC once a week. It was my treat to myself (not to mention, it only cost $18 for both!). I would go and completely zone out for an hour or so as I was primped and got my nails all fancy.
Fast forward to present day and 4 sons later…[Read more on the zulily blog]