Friday, June 17, 2022

Zip-Tie Tiaras & A Fancy Photoshoot

John and I've been hosting Craft Night since February of 2021, back when we had to limit it to our tiny "bubble" and we were all still wearing masks.

We made sock gnomes that first time. Remember John's Worf & Ursula gnomes?

By June the masks were off and John was making dinner for up to 10 of us at a time. On our non-craft weeks we hosted Movie Night, so every single Friday John and I've had our home open for folks to come and eat, socialize, or just sit in the same space as other humans for a while.

The weeks go by so fast, though, that I have a growing pile of Craft Night projects you haven't seen.


More on that in a sec.

It's been a fun challenge finding budget-friendly group crafts each time, but more than that, hosting each week has been amazing for my mental health. Most of the time we only have 5-6 people, so it's not too overwhelming, and our regulars have become like family. You know that comfort level where you raid a friend's fridge, or show up straight from work with a change of jammies in your bag? That's us. And it's wonderful.

Even the weeks I don't feel like hosting - which is often, if I'm honest - I never regret Craft Night after the fact. It never fails to lift me up and reset a blah mood.

What I'm saying is, you should totally try this.

Seriously, find something simple - even coloring pages! - and invite a few friends over. That's it. Boom. You're hosting craft night.

If you don't know many people to invite, then let your friends bring friends! That's how I've met some super cool people. We now have a rotating group of 20+ folks who show up when they can, which keeps the group fresh and fun.

I'm not just here to sing the praises of craft night, though. Today I finally got around to photographing on one of our DIYs from, let's see... ::looks at date::... egadz, last September?!

Quick, let me distract you from my procrastination with pretty pictures:

Not only did we make zip-tie tiaras one week, we also spent the next week doing an over-the-top photo shoot with them. This is Arielle in her jaw-dropping red-and-gold creation. Love that dangly chain on the forehead!

Isn't this incredible?

Zip-tie tiaras are so simple I promise you don't need a tutorial: just attach Dollar Tree zip ties to metal craft headbands, cut to size with scissors, and spray-paint them gold. After that we hot-glued on metal charms, rhinestones, flowers, etc.

These are easy to make and a little addicting. Here are a couple of mine:

The zip ties are smooth on one side and have a texture on the other, which looks like this:

What's that, you want to see these modeled, too?

Oh, alright.


Best part is if you look hard enough (on a bright enough monitor), you can tell John is wearing his kitty astronaut shirt. Hee.

Oh, almost forgot! In October I made a Halloween display for that one using a Dollar Tree plastic skull and an old brass candlestick:

Sort of a glam goth or Dia de Muertos look - which I bet would be amazing year-round in some of your spaces!

Karen made the largest tiara, with wired pearl strands on top:

Not everyone made it back for the photo shoot, so let me show you the others. Here's Traci in her Anastasia-inspired tiara:

She pain-stakingly covered each zip tie in rhinestones to get all that sparkle. Unfortunately she reported later the stones started falling off, though. Plastic and hot glue aren't the most permanent bond, so go with E-6000 if you want it to last.

And here's Bianca in her leafy fairy design:

Those big red gems are table scatter from Dollar Tree.

I saved my favorite for last, which of course is John's "tiara." John has a way of thinking outside the box on Craft Night, and I'd love to see someone take his idea/design and run with it:

Funky cool, right? It's inspired by Maleficient, of course, then I added the flowers. I can't decide if it needs more flowers, or if these look silly. I like how they look kinda Art Nouveau, though.

We told John this reminded us of Medieval style horned headdresses, so next he made these:

Actually I think John was trying for Baby Yoda ears, but it's definitely more Medieval headdress, ha. No idea what applications or costumes this might work for, but maybe it'll spark some ideas out there? What do you think? Both horn sets are super strong - not floppy at all - and are very lightweight.

Just gonna end with a pretty set of close-ups, because pretty:

Happy Friday, my friend! Now, go host a craft night.


Oh, but before you go, let's announce some art winners from my last post!

The winner of the Strawberry Griffin is Rachel Feala.
The winner of the mini print set is Shobelle.
And the winner of the Spoopy TARDIS is nimrodiel.

Congrats, you three, and please e-mail me your mailing addresses so we can ship those out to you.


  1. These are so very pretty!

  2. Another variation I like on craft nights: everyone brings their current project and you all can do whatever together. That helps the host not have to think of so much and prep so much either! Although it is extra fun to see everyone's take on a theme. Thanks for sharing!!

    1. I have SCA friends who used to do this when they were rushing to get ready for a big event. One friend would host a crafting weekend, everyone would bring whatever project(s) they needed to get through, we'd watch movies and eat yummy food while working, and they could get idea consults or hands-on help from someone else if they needed. (I don't do that kind of crafting, but I'm a teacher and researcher, so I got to hang out and work through grading or drafting while they were sewing and embroidering and doing other textile arts.)

  3. I used to have craft nights in Fridays, a long time ago. First we did decorations for our houses, then they chipped in & helped me make party favors for an epic Halloween party, them we just did our own projects. Then I moved to a different state. Now I'm in a knitting/crafting group that meets once a week. Lots of grandkids, & parrot sitting lately, which is a great problem to have. I wonder if the 6 year old boys would like to try these...?

  4. Yeah! I am so excited to have won! I've been following you for years. I feel like your a friend even though we've never met. ♥️♥️♥️

  5. they remind me of Lore Olympus Persephone's dread queen tiara. they all look so very lovely!

  6. Instead of Malificent, I saw Nick Bottom's donkey ears from "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Either way, it's great!

  7. Friends with fridge privileges are THE BEST! We also call them framily because they are friends that feel like family.
    I was in a group like that. We did a craft once a year, decorating Christmas ornaments. Great memories. I miss it.

    1. There's a fantastic line in Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow that captures that idea perfectly to me: "The first time you’re here, you are a guest. After that, my darling, you’re family. Get your own d*** beer." (It's hard to tell without context, but the line is said with great fondness.)

  8. Your craft nights have always looked so much fun. It makes me wish I was crafty.

    We miss you and John on movie nights. Hope you both can pop in again sometime soon.

  9. I used to host stitch & b*****s, where people brought their sewing or any other craft project and we all worked on them together. I haven't held one in quite a while. I need to do another.

  10. Jen, those zip tie tiaras are amazing! I have never seen anything like that. I am an attorney for all the county elected officials, and my running joke for 15 years is that they all need to include an attorney tiara in their budgets. What better use for tax dollars!?! Maybe I should try making one of these and wearing it to one of more casual county commissioner meetings where there is no audience. Oh, and John and his Blue Steel made me literally LOL. Love you guys!

  11. I think my problem with gluing the gems on was that we spray-painted it silver first - it looked like the paint was what was peeling off whenever I lost a gem, not just the glue. So next time I would probably only have the back painted so that the glue could stick directly to the zip tie on the front. It was still a ton of fun either way, though!

  12. I. LOVE. THESE. lol I have a plethora of zip ties from emptying our company storage room. How could I throw good craft stuff in the trash?

  13. This makes me want to try my own. What a fantastic and fun idea! And so easy, even kids could make these. LOVE IT!

  14. I wish I lived near you two, then I would make you unofficial grandkids and we would have a blast! I have no actual talents so maybe I could glean a few pointers from y'all. I make the best desserts though and I share!


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