Epic Letterpress, It Kits + Giveaway!

Lifestyle Craft’s Epic is an extremely versatile crafting tool. It functions as a die cutter, embosser and a letterpress. For whatever purpose you use the Epic, there’s a wide variety of shapes and styles for holidays, occasion or every day use. Right now in the Lifestyle shop there are over 500 different items to use with the Epic!

Some of my favorite dies are the ones that fold up into boxes and treat bags like these Halloween cracker boxes featured on the Lifestyle Crafts L Blog.

Lifestyle Crafts has just released their new “It Kits”, including a Clip It Kit, Tag It Kit and an Edge It Kit. I was sent the Edge It Kit that includes 7 border dies perfect for making cards. Here’s the complete set of dies that are 6″ across and a variety of widths.


Using the Epic

The Epic is very easy to use. From bottom to top, just stack up the cutting board, the die, your paper, and the cutting mat. Then use the handle to run that through the Epic and your paper is die cut!

Sometimes I’ve had a little trouble with my paper shifting as I’ve run it through so I’ve just used a post-it note to help hold it in place.

After running the sandwich of cutting board, die, paper, and cutting mat through the Epic, just peel your paper carefully away from the die. You can see that there’s white spongy areas in the die that press out any closed areas so you don’t have to spend any time pulling out all those little pieces. The little pieces just stick to the cutting mat (right side of the photo below) and are easily brushed off.

My Project

With the It Kit, I decided to make a paper wreath. I cut forty 4 1/4″ squares and used the border dies to cut one side of each square. Below is a sample of the six dies I used. After all my squares had a border, I folded them into cones and used a hot glue gun to secure the cone.

Next I hot glued an outer ring of cones to a cardboard circle. The circle has an 8″ diameter and a 3″ hole in the center. Then I glued on an inner ring of cones and smashed down the point of each cone so it stood up more.

Once all the cones were glued on, I glued an orange ribbon around the center of the wreath and it was ready to hang!


You can find more great information on the L Blog including demos and tutorials and see a variety of completed projects. And if you’re in the market to buy any Lifestyle Crafts products, check out our button on the sidebar for a code for 20% off your order!


Lifestyle has generously given us an Epic Combo Kit (a $170 value) to give away to one of our lucky readers! The combo kit comes with everything you need to get started die cutting and embossing.

To enter: This giveaway is now closed.

  1. Just leave us a comment telling us what you would use the Epic for.
  2. For a bonus entry, leave one comment letting us know if you’re a follower of Craft Buds through Google Friend Connect, RSS feed or e-mail.

Contest is open to US residents only through Tuesday, November 8 at midnight EST. The winner will be chosen by and announced the next day.

Bonus Giveaway! Lifestyle Crafts is currently hosting a giveaway on their site for an incredible Canon 60D camera and aqua Jo Totes bag. Just create an account to enter through midnight on Monday, November 7.

Last Minute Halloween Costume Inspiration

If you waited until today to start working on Halloween costumes, you’re in luck! There are some great resources out there with inspiration and instruction for easy costumes.

Disney Family Fun has a huge list of costumes and accessories with easy to follow instructions for many of the ideas.

Martha Stewart has over 50 Halloween Costumes and instructions (some are more time intensive than others).










Doggie Stylish has a list of ideas for your dog.








And for more ideas, a search on Google image search or Pinterest brings up tutorials for individual costumes on many craft and sewing blogs.


Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Crafty Kitchen: Oreo Spiders

I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with Halloween related goodies like our Owl S’mores and now these spiders!

These are an easy treat to make. For ingredients you’ll need: Twizzlers Pull and Peel licorice, M&Ms, Double Stuf Oreos, and chocolate candy melts or 1 cup chocolate chips + 1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening, sprinkles (optional)

First, peel apart your Twizzlers and cut the strings in half or in thirds (I wanted short legs so they’d be easier to stack on a plate, so I did thirds). Then, open up your Oreos and gently press four pieces of licorice into the white filling.

Melt your chocolate candy melts or your chocolate chips + vegetable shortening (1 cup chips and 1 Tbsp. shortening). You can find tips on melting chocolate chips for dipping here. Then use a spoon to flip and cover both sides of the Oreo top with chocolate.

Then use the spoon to remove the cookie from the chocolate, tap off any excess chocolate, and slide the chocolate covered cookie on top of your Oreo bottom with the legs. While the chocolate is wet, press two M&Ms in for eyes and if you choose to use sprinkles, sprinkle them on top. Dip a toothpick into the melted bowl of chocolate and use it to form the center of the eyes.

Depending on how much chocolate you use, you can get around 20 spiders from 1 cup chocolate chips and if you divide the licorice into thirds, you can get 6 sets of legs from each piece of pre-separated licorice. You can also offset the top Oreo a bit so it looks like your spider has a friendly white smile like the center one below.

Pin It

Free Pattern Features: Candy Corn

Lots of tutorials have been popping up lately for all things candy corn including accessories, decorations, clothing, and lots and lots of recipes! Here are some of my candy corn finds:

The Purl Bee shares a pattern for these cute treat bags.

Candy Corn Treat Bags at the Purl Bee


You can find the tutorial for this hat, dress and treat bag at So You Think You’re Crafty.

Candy Corn Costume at So You Think You're Crafty


At Ideas Materialized, you can find the pattern to knit these candy corn hats.

Knit Candy Corn Hat at Ideas Materialized


At Tatertots and Jello is the tutorial for Candy Corn Bunting.

Candy Corn Bunting at Tatertots and Jello


And I couldn’t help but include one recipe! The recipe for these Candy Corn Macarons is at Barbara Bakes.

Candy Corn Macarons at Barbara Bakes


Don’t forget to check out our Giveaways Roundup and enter one of the many current giveaways listed!


Jack-o’-Lantern Shirt Stencils

Looking to add some Halloween fun to your family’s wardrobe? Here’s a shirt idea for either you or your kids to make. It would also be a fun project for a kid’s Halloween party!

I’ve put together a free 2-page PDF you can download here. It includes a variety of eyes, mouths and noses that you can print onto cardstock and cut apart and use as stencils. Kids can rearrange the parts to create a unique jack-o’-lantern face.

After the face is picked out cut out the image with an Xacto knife (or you can cut them all ahead of time if it’s for a party).

Place your stencil either directly on a shirt or on a scrap of orange fabric. For a scrap of fabric, orange knit would be ideal since you can leave the raw edges and it won’t fray. I couldn’t find orange knit so I used cotton and then hemmed under the edges. Paint the face onto the fabric with fabric paint.

If you stenciled onto a piece of fabric, after the paint dries you can either hand stitch or machine stitch the fabric to a shirt. I like to use loose stitches so I can easily pull out the threads and remove the pumpkin face after Halloween so my son can keep wearing the shirt. Here he is in the final product, being bribed with some candy to sit still for a minute!

For more information about stencils, visit this post I did in the past.

Pin It

Free Pattern Features: Halloween Pillows

Looking for ways to add some Halloween fun to your decor? On Craft Buds we’ve featured Halloween printables, fabric pumpkins, and owl smores. Lots of other crafty sites have been working hard on Halloween tutorials so we’ve put together a collection of Halloween themed pillows.

The tutorial for these pennant pillows is at Tatertots and Jello (and these could be cute in colors to match your decor or for any season!).

Halloween Pennant Pillows at Tatertots and Jello


Ameroonie Designs shares the tutorial on making this batty felt pillow.

Batty Felt Pillow at Ameroonie Designs

Chapman Place used Krylon glitter spray paint to make this Trick or Treat pillow set.

Trick or Treat Pillows at Chapman Place

On favecrafts is the tutorial and pattern for this Witch Boot Pillow.


Witch Boots Pillow from favecrafts


And on Curbly, learn how to make this spider web pillow (which could be fun to pair with a spider version of the felt bat pillow above!).

Spider Web Pillow on Curbly

Crafty Kitchen: Owl S’mores

Here’s a fun recipe for adults and kids alike–owl smores! Let’s just start off by saying, when the items below are the ingredients, you know the final product is going to be good!

To make these owls you’ll need graham crackers, Reese’s peanut butter cups, candy corn, M&Ms, and large marshmallows. To get started, use a sharp knife to cut off the top 3/8″ of each peanut butter cup (PB cups). If you’re having problems with the chocolate peeling off the bottom of the PB cups when you take off the wrapper, try putting them in the fridge or a cool place so the chocolate isn’t as soft.

Line the PB cups up on half a graham cracker so the rounded part hangs just off the bottom. Use the tops of the PB cups you cut off in the step above for wings. Since you need two tops for one set of wings, only half your owls get wings and the other half are wing-less.

Tear a large marshmallow in half and place above the PB cup on the graham cracker, sticky side down. Smush it down a bit to hold in place.

Microwave until the marshmallows start to puff up. On my 1100 watt microwave, it took 13 seconds for two owls. At this point the chocolate should melt enough to stick to the graham cracker. Press a candy corn between the marshmallows and into the PB cup for the owl beak.

Lastly, press in M&Ms for the eyes.

Keep going until your flock is complete!


For a different style of owl without the PB cups and different eyes, check out this post at Living Locurto. I’ve seen other s’mores owls out there but I think Living Locurto’s author Amy gets the credit for the original idea.

Also, check out this cute Hello Kitty Cake Pops recipe from CraftFoxes.

Fabric Pumpkins Tutorial

Looking for an easy DIY pumpkin? Look no further! Here’s a cute way to make them out of fabric. You could even have an older child make or help make them.

To get started you’ll need orange fabric (cutting instructions below), leaves cut from green fabric (felt or fleece would be ideal), 2″ piece of stick, embroidery floss, heavy duty thread and needle, a glue gun, brown or tan raffia, and a sewing machine (optional).

1. Cut your orange fabric into a rectangle. For a rounder pumpkin, the length should be 2 times the width (ex. 10″ wide by 20″ long). For a slightly squattier pumpkin, the length should be 2.5 times the width (ex. 10″ wide by 25″ long).

2. Fold the orange fabric lengthwise with right sides together. Use a sewing machine or hand stitch along the open edge.

3. With right sides still together, gather up the fabric at one of the openings and tie securely with embroidery floss. A rubber band rather than floss could also work but may not be as durable over several years.

4. Turn the pumpkin right side out. Loosely hand stitch around the opening of the pumpkin with a 3/8″ seam allowance with stitches around 1/4″ wide. Use a heavy duty thread so it doesn’t break when you pull it in step 6. Leave loose tails hanging off at both the beginning and the end and don’t tie any knots.

5. Fill the pumpkin with stuffing until it is fairly firm.

6. Pull the ends of the thread stitched around the top until the opening is closed or nearly closed and tie several knots. Trim off the long ends of the thread.

7. Take your embroidery floss and tie a tight circle around the pumpkin and leave around a 6″ tail. (For reference, I needed about 4 feet total of embroidery floss for a pumpkin that used the fabric measurements of 10″ x 20″).

8. Next, wrap the long piece of the embroidery floss twice around the pumpkin diagonally from your first line so there are six total segments. Tightly tie the string to the tail left from step 7.

9. Use your glue gun to make a large dot of glue in the top center of the pumpkin. I’m using white glue so you can see it in the photo but clear would be best. Press your stick into the hot glue.

10. Use the hot glue gun to attach your leaves.

11. To finish, wrap a piece of  raffia around the base of the stem to hide any excess glue.

12. After this step you can call it finished, or you (or kids!) could cut jack o’lantern faces out of felt and hot glue them to the pumpkins.

Free Pattern Features: Halloween Printables + Winner

There are so many great designers and generous people out there who are willing to share their talent for free. Here are some of my favorite free Halloween printables!


This Snow White inspired poison apple is from less cake {more frosting}.

Poison Apples from less cake more frosting


Tatertots and Jello shares this fun chevron eye chart.

Halloween Eye Chart from Tatertots and Jello


From Eye Candy is this colorful subway art.

Subway Art from Eye Candy


At DLTK’s you can find a list of printable Halloween activites and coloring pages for kids.

DLTK's Halloween Printables


And at We Love to Illustrate, SIX different cupcake topper designs to choose from.

Halloween Cupcake Toppers at We Love to Illustrate


The winner of Sew Serendipity Bags was #51 chosen by, Joyce who said “I have been sewing for years, but my newest and most fun thing to do is making bags.  The possibilities are endless and the fabrics are SO fun.  Kay Whitt has become a real inspiration to me with her unique, feminine style and colorful use of fabrics.  I am still chicken to sew without a pattern though, so the new bag book looks very fun to me!”. Congratulations Joyce, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information!


Halloween Printables

Now that Craft Book Month is over we’re starting to think about all of the upcoming holidays! For Halloween, I’ve designed a couple printables to get you and your house into the Halloween spirit.

Above you’ll see the Halloween Subway art. The Halloween Subway Art PDF is sized for an 8″ x 10″ frame opening but you can use your printer settings to scale it down if necessary.

I’ve also put together a “Happy Halloween” bunting. To assemble, print out the 2-page Halloween Bunting PDF. Then cut along the center of each orange line/border around each triangle. Besides the letters there are a few images to use if you choose. Below you can see what the PDF pages will look like.

After cutting out the triangles I used rubber cement to glue each one to orange scrapbook paper that I cut slightly larger than the printouts (I needed 2 sheets of scrapbook paper). Then I used a hot glue gun to glue each triangle to a piece of ribbon and that was it! This could also be a fun craft to do with a child.

Note: The links to the PDFs will take you to Google Docs. If you are having problems getting it to print properly, use your mouse to click on File (left side of screen), then choose “download original.” Open the downloaded document and try printing again.

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