Get Creative

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Halloween is definitely not high on my list of favourite holidays and generally I don’t put a whole lot of work into my look for the occasion, but this year I had an idea so fun that I couldn’t help but go all-out.

Baby, I’m a firework!

There’s nothing better than a light-up outfit, and though I’m not a DIY queen by any means it struck me that a firework costume wouldn’t be overly complicated with the right supplies. I have a weird obsession with LED Fibre Optics – you know, those stringy lights that you get for parades at Disneyland and such? I was brainstorming ways to work them into my holiday decor this year when the idea to cover a dress in them clicked. A few weeks later and I found my team in front of a sequinned black dress with glitter tights, boots, and enough lights to brighten the night!

Scroll down for instructions to make your own light-up-look!

Supplies //

Women’s Sequin V-Neck Long Sleeve Dress
Glue gun
Glue sticks
Set of 10 LED Fiber Optic Lights
tinsel or foil streamers
Women’s Sparkle Tight
Glitter!

DIY Instructions //

Estimated crafting time – 30 mins
Skill level – Beginner

Start with a simple black sequin dress, we used this Women’s Sequin V-Neck Long Sleeve Dress. We also sourced all kinds of fun fibre optic lights from amazon like these Set of 10 LED Fiber Optic Lights

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Lay the lights out on the front of the dress in an even pattern, with scissors cut small horizontal slits into the dress, just enough to fit the lighting bases through. Using a glue gun, glue the base of the lights to the inside of the dress, allowing the fibre to come through the hole. Make sure to leave the switch free from glue and accessible from the inside We left two lights aside to clip-into my hair.

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You can use any kind of tinsel or foil streamer you’d like, we took apart party blowers! Using the glue gun, glue tinsel behind each light you’ve placed and close up the ‘incision’ with glue. Continue to glue on the steamers all over the front, shoulders, and along the back of the neck. Top your look off with as much rainbow glitter as you’d like and you’re ready to shine bright like a firework!

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Here’s our full list of firework costume supplies:

Women’s Sequin V-Neck Long Sleeve Dress
Set of 10 LED Fiber Optic Lights
Light Up Fibre Optic Headband
Women’s Sparkle Tight
Rainbow Blendable Hair Color Sticks
Rainbow Highlighter Powder

Get Creative

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We’re still dusting off the magic from the #RAOPmoonparty a few weeks back, and we’ve been saving this last piece of the puzzle for a rainy day. We had the pleasure of setting up our shoot in Bloom School’s amazing space – a location otherwise used for floral workshops, special events and more. Owned and operated by Becky, the mega-talented florist behind Blush and Bloom, there is always something beautiful to learn within those four walls. You can find out more about her classes here.

We had the pleasure of hosting our very own private moon-themed floral workshop to kickoff the party, and now we’re sharing Becky’s secrets with you too! All you need is copper wire, fresh blooms, ribbon, and a few other simple tools to make our Crescent Moon Floral Wall Hanging (or “swag” as some florists call it).

Scroll down to get the step-by-step!

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What you’ll need //

A spool of copper wiring
Floral wire
Wire cutter
Fresh flowers
Ribbon

Start by cutting one length of copper wire about 5 ft long. Bend it in exactly in half and start to twist the two lengths together tightly. This will help re-enforce the shape and help you to weave in your florals. Now start to bend the wire into a crescent moon shape, hook the raw ends into the loop formed by your initial fold.

You’re ready to start adding flowers! You can add as much or as little as you want depending on how full you’d like to see your wall hanging. Using floral wire, pierce the centre of the flower’s base and weave onto your moon. Trim each stem down to about 1/2″ as you go, continue this until you’re happy with how it looks. Remember to use smaller blooms to surround larger ones to cover any exposed wire. Finish it off by tying a piece of ribbon around the top and allow it’s ties to hang down. You can hang the crescent moon on any wall or door using a simple thumb tack or finishing nail.

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Photos by BKH Photography
Props provided by Homesense

Get Creative

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It’s hard to miss – gleams of homemade copper fixtures and furnishings seem to be visible in every trendy shop, restaurant, salon, cafe and beyond. We’ve always admired the handiwork of business owners and friends alike, eagerly soaking in tales of welding and trips to the hardware store like sponges. After seemingly endless “field research” we decided it was about time to try our hand at making our own copper creations.

We didn’t want to overcomplicate, so we tried to do these two projects with as few tools and supplies as humanly possible to make them more attainable for both ourselves and our writers. I won’t sugar coat it – these DIY’s were still pretty advanced! Copper is super malleable and easy to damage, plus the parts don’t always fit together as easily as expected. It’s a little hit and miss, and we highly recommend giving yourself more time than you’d expect. Take it slow, measure twice before cutting, and get a friend to help if you can!

Simple Clothing Rack

What you’ll need //

2x 6′ length of 3/4″ copper piping (a total of 12feet)
2x 3/4″ copper elbows
4x 3/4″ copper Tees
4x 3/4″ copper caps
Goop Glue
Sanding block (coarse)
Washi Tape (or painters tape)
Sharpie
Acetone and cotton balls
Clear enamel spray paint
Pipe Cutter*

*You are also able to pay a small fee to have your piping cut to length at Home Depot, or visit their Tool Rental Counter to borrow a pipe cutter!

The pipe cutter we used is small and handheld, simply tighten it’s grip around the pipe lining the blade up with your sharpie mark. You want it firm enough to hold the pipe in place but still able to rotate freely, the blade will score the piping until it breaks. When you can start to smell pennies you know its working, keep tightening the grip as you cut.

Instructions //

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The clothing rack is made up of 5 pieces;
Top Bar – 3′
Bottom Bar 1/2 – 3′
Bottom Bar 2/2 -3′
Side Bar 1/2 -5′
Side Bar 2/2 -5′
Bottom Sides – 4x 4″
Feet – 4x 2″

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Measure carefully and use a sharpie to mark where you’ll cut. Write the piece’s name and measurement on some tape and label each part before you cut to stay organized.
Once you’re pieces are cut to size and labelled, start assembling.
You’ll notice most copper piping you buy is marked with ink, it’s easy to remove with acetone, we recommend doing this after your cuts but before you assemble.
The Top Bar is connected to either end of the Side Bar’s using the 2 copper elbows. If you find it difficult to slide the piping into the elbow, sand down the edge with your sanding block evenly until it fits. Lay this aside and begin the bottom.

Each 4″ piece of pipe is sandwiched between copper Tee’s, like shown below. The copper Tee in the middle will hold the side bars, and should be facing up while the others point inward towards each other and hold each of the Bottom Bars.

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Once you’re sure all your measurements check out and you’re happy with the structure, secure each joint with goop. Don’t worry if you make a bit of mess, once dry it will peel right off the outside. Once it’s secure and dry you can add the feet. The feet are made up of a 2″ piece of pipe slid inside the end of the bottom and capped with a 3/4″ copper cap. Do this for each open end, use a hammer to make sure they are securely attached.

Copper is a material that oxidizes, which means air and even touch has a hand in tarnishing it’s colour – to preserve it’s copper glow use a clear enamel spray paint to evenly coat the whole thing.

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Double-level Side Table

What you’ll need:

3x 6′ length of 3/4″ copper piping
16x 3/4″ copper Tees
8x 3/4″ copper caps
Goop Glue
Sanding block (coarse)
Washi Tape (or painters tape)
Sharpie
Acetone and cotton balls
Clear enamel spray paint
Pipe Cutter*

Instructions //

This side table is more advanced than the clothing rack, we don’t recommend this particular one for copper pipe DIY beginners.

Here’s a colour-coded guide to what you’ll be assembling:

CopperPipeSideTable

Peach – Tees
Pink – Caps
Blue – 3″
Red – 1 foot
Green – 16″
Purple – 6″
Yellow – 8″

First, create 2 ‘Table-top casings’ using;
4x 8″ pieces
1x 16″ pieces
6x copper Tee’s

They will look something like 2 capital H’s when you’re done. Once you’ve measured to make sure it’s a good fit, use the goop to seal the joints. Set these aside.

Cut 2 16″ Cross Bar’s to help support the weight of your table, securely fashion Tee’s on either end. The Cross Bar’s will always fall perpendicular to your Table-top casing’s middle bar. These 4 components are the building blocks of the table and you can start building from the bottom up.

Put together 2 ‘feet’ just like in the post above. These feet get attached to your first Cross Bar, now add 2 pieces of 3″ pipe to either end. This makes up one side of the table, on the other side cut 2 pieces of 6″ pipe and slide 2 copper caps on either end. These 4 posts are the bottom of the table, you’re ready to lower your first Table-top casing on top of it, remembering that the middle bar of your casing is to run perpendicular to the Cross Bar you’ve just laid down. Build upward again in preparation to lay your second Cross Bar, again perpendicular to the middle bar but on the other side, fit another two 3″ pieces on top of the Table-top casing, laying your second Cross Bar on top. Working on top of the second cross bar, fit another two 8″ pieces. On the other side two 1 foot lengths. You should see each side climbing to reach each other, now add your second Table-top casing. This is the top of the table, the same way you’ve made ‘feet’, cut another 4 2″ pieces to fit between the Tee and the copper cap to finish it off.

Before you add your table surfaces, remember copper oxidizes – spray all over with a clear enamel spray paint.

We used Marble tiles cut to 18″ x 18″ for our surfaces, this is a popular size for tile and can be found at Home Depot. Alternatively, painted wood would add a fun pop of colour!

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A special thanks to Home Depot Canada for being a once-stop-shop for all our DIY needs

This post was sponsored, but all opinions are my own. To inquire about sponsored posts, please email jess@shineinfluencers.com

Get Creative

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With the Spring Equinox almost upon us and the weather still cold as ever, Jo and I have been feeling a little drained. The days always feel too short, I was sick for quite some time with a kidney infection (OW) and we’re both in the process of moving, which is exhausting all on its own.

We couldn’t have asked for a better time to attend Hunt and Gather’s workshop with Witch in the Wild.

Let’s face it, a bad day (or month in this case) is no match for fresh blooms, self care products, and a touch of crystal magic. This two-part girl gang workshop started with an awesome lesson on blending your own organic, vegan, crystal-infused floral toner. The medicinal meets mystical with this simple DIY, and I loved how fun it was to make, even for a terrible crafter like me.

Part two was taken over by Tellie, one of my favourite florists, and owner of the brand new Hunt and Gather (go there and buy ALL the plants – you won’t regret it). Faced with amber jars and buckets of fresh flowers, we got to arranging our own divine bouquets to take home and treasure.

Topped with tea, treats, and a healthy dose of girl power, this evening event was exactly what Jo and I needed to recharge and power up. See you at the next workshop?

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Get Creative

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First off happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! Do you have any special plans? We’re big fans of Vday at RAOP – after all, it is the most pink holiday of them all! We love the day of love so much in fact that this year we’re going to be rolling out a whole month of fairytale-inspired, lovey dovey content.

But with our own twist.

There are so many kinds of love in this world – friendship, family, love of food and feasting, pet love (which many argue falls into the family category) and most importantly, self love. I know, I know, it’s cheesy as can be, but if the last few years of adulthood have taught me anything, it’s that there’s nothing more dazzling then giving yourself a constant supply of love, compassion, patience, and care.

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When HP asked us to put together a Valentine DIY project for someone we love using the HP Deskjet 3755 printer, I automatically racked my brain for someone who needed the love… and in the end, I decided that was simply ourselves. Our in-house craft expert Jo got to work creating some different ways to frame your HP photo prints, and each of us submitted a handful of images that make us feel happy, or in other words, feel the love. Together, they create a gallery wall designed to put a smile on everyone on our team’s faces.

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Here’s a little bit about why we each chose what we did:

Alyssa //

We’re only a month into 2017, but oh have I ever learned a lot. In so many ways my trip has been amazing, life-changing even, but it’s also shown me my weak spots with glaring clarity. Though I used to be a very happy introvert, somewhere along the way I’ve forgotten how to be by myself. I’ve jumped from relationship to relationship, breakfast event to evening soiree and back again, and looking back I haven’t really truly spent time with myself in years.

My picture picks all celebrate things that make me happy, regardless of how many people are around – bubble baths, tea, sweet treats, inspiring women in my community (even if that means just keeping up with their blogs) and long walks with my pup Honey are just a few of the things I can do almost anytime, anywhere to make myself feel positive. They’re simple, but they work every time, and sometimes when it feels like the world is falling apart, finding stability in yourself is all you really need to get through.

Kelsie //

When I think of self care I think about the things that make me happy no matter how bad I’m feeling, even when I have a jam packed schedule and $5 in my bank account.

The one constant in my life is the need to travel. Literally nothing in this world can make me happier than a hotel booking or a flight confirmation, and so many spontaneous trips (and a fair amount of debt) have all come from the comfort of booking a new adventure.

When I’m not able to fly far away, I usually make an appointment to get my hair done. It truly is the ultimate pick-me-up (shoutout to Jaymi @ Good Day Hairshop for making it happen.)

Most importantly, spending time with my closest friends is the ultimate self care, because I wouldn’t be myself if it weren’t for the incredible people I surround myself with. They are truly my Valentines!

Johanna //

My favourite way to take care of myself is to keep my hands and brain busy making things. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I pretty much always have my hands busy painting and drawing, but over the last couple years working here at RAOP I’ve been able to hone skills I never thought I would.

Since the job is ever-changing, the skills I’m learning closely mirror the landscape; from coding, marbling, cake decorating and wreath building… the list is always growing. The best part? Sometimes I get to share the fun things I make with you! Like this pastel gallery wall DIY.

Speaking of, scroll down for the full DIY!

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This HP Deskjet 3755 is the perfect addition to the RAOP office space. We’re all about minimizing clutter this year so the fact that the printer itself is only the height of an iphone is pretty convenient! It’s ideal for quick and easy print jobs and especially photos, the paper tray clearly marks out and accepts sheet sizes of 8.5” x 11”, 5” x 7” and 4” x 6” – all your standard photo sizes. So while my Valentines (TeamRAOP) are away I’m relaxing on the couch, wirelessly printing and putting together a wall of our favourite moments.

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What you’ll need //

Old Frames
Acrylic craft paint
Spray paint (if your frames are metal)
Coloured and/or patterned craft paper
Glue
Painters tape
Paint brushes
Ruler
Scissors or a paper cutter

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First decide on a colour scheme, I chose pink, rose gold and gold, and a little pink glitter for extra Valentines spirit. You’ll want to pick up a couple different colours of acrylic craft paint to use as well as some different corresponding paper colours to use as mattes.

Then you’re off on a vintage frame treasure hunt. Value Village, or other thrift stores are the best place to find inexpensive but fun and unique frames to DIY, I got a bag of 4 for $1.00 and some larger ones for under $5. Look for frames that are wood as opposed to plastic if you’re planning on painting it and keep an eye out for ones with mattes inside you can also paint and repurpose.

Once you have your frames and supplies plan out which photo you’d like in which frames. Measure each frame and print your photos accordingly. If you’re adding a coloured matte behind leave an inch all the way around the photo and the frame. You can use the backings from the frames to trace around your coloured or patterned paper to use as backgrounds. Try a double matte with a solid colour and a glitter paper! The options are pretty endless

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Make sure you’re frames are clean and sand off and finishes that may be on them, start painting! It may take 3 or 4 coats to get even coverage. If you’re frames are metal I recommend spray paint instead. Your frames should be fully dry before you start adding photos.

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If one of the frames came with a matte you can create this half and half look below.

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Take apart the frame, carefully remove the glass and set aside somewhere safe. Place the matte back inside the frame and tape in place, turn the frame over and measure the middle. Draw a line across and remove the matte. Use a piece of painters tape to block off one half and give the frame and the matte a few coats. Once it’s dry carefully remove the tape and put your frame back together.

Hang up all your masterpieces together paying attention to shape and size, it’s easiest to build out from the middle. You’ve made yourself a monument to good memories! The best part is with our HP Instant Ink subscription we can print and re-print new memories each season with brand new ink cartridges delivered to our door each month!

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