Mother’s Day Upcycled Frame Tutorial

Easy Mother's Day gift idea. Upcycle a frame with a cute phrase. Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

Mother’s Day is coming up and I have a super simple project that can make the mom or grandma in your life’s day. I made this simple upcycled picture frame for my Mother-in-law on her birthday this past year. If your mom or MIL is anything like mine are they are so excited about being grandmas and love showing pictures of their grand kids.

Mother's Day upcycled frame tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

This frame now sits on my MIL’s piano and over Easter she told me she needs to update the picture so you know what she’ll be getting for Mother’s Day.

Step by step instructions for repurposing a phrase frame for a lovely gift. Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

  1. To make your own all you need is a frame with some extra room on the mat. I’ve seen them plain or you can do what I did and just remove the cheesy phrase or unrelated word on an inexpensive one you find. Most are stuck on with something very easy to rub off. Before I bought this one i opened up the frame too make sure that I could remove the “dog” lettering.
  2. Next I cut out a decorative word out of vinyl on my Cricut cutting machine. I just searched in Cricut Craft Room and found this sweet design.
  3. Finally I positioned the lettering on the mat.

Simple upcycled picture frame tutorial. Gift idea and tutorial from Rae Gun Ramblings

This project came together so fast. In fact I did all of this before church one day and I am terrible about waking up early.  I’ll definitively be keeping my eye out for more phrase frames that I can upcycle into gifts in the future.

Cute idea for Mother's Day. Upcycle a frame. Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


DIY Vampire Academy Shirt

 Vampire Academy Shirt Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

It’s been a long time coming but the Vampire Academy movie (see the trailer here) is finally here! This is one of my favorite book series. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I don’t like vampires much this isn’t really your typical vampire book in fact the main character isn’t a vampire. It’s kids with powers, romance, boarding school, a kick butt heroine, and sass. It’s really fun and the books get better and and better. The spin-off series Bloodlines is good too.

Make your own Vampire Academy Shirt full tutorial and St. Vladimir's crest at Rae Gun Ramblings

I fully expect the movie to be a cheeseball mess. I mean the preview looks horrendous so please don’t judge the book from that (I’ll tell you if I change my mind after I see the movie). But I have to watch it, I mean it’s finally a movie! To celebrate I made myself a wee shirt. And surprise surprise I used my trusty Cricut and iron-on vinyl. I saved the Cricut Craftroom file so you don’t have make your own piece by piece. Click on the link if you want to download the St. Vladimir’s Academy Crest design file. It should allow you to import it into Cricut Craftroom. If you already have access to the images I used to make up the crest you’re good to go otherwise I think it will prompt you to pay for them. I’m not sure how much it will be I just used the images I wanted to and then learned from a friend that I could share my file so I thought I would.

Vampire Academy St. Vladimir's academy school crest and shirt tutorial from Rae Gun Ramblings

St. Vladimir’s is the boarding school where lots of the action takes place. The vampires have powers based in the different elements fire, earth, air, and water as well as another lesser know one called spirit. the crest shows each of the 4 elements and I like to think of the X as representing spirit.

Vampire Academy St. Vladimir's Shirt Tutorial from Rae Gun RamblingsVampire Academy St. Vladimir's Shirt Tutorial from Rae Gun Ramblings

Once you have he file loaded (or made your own) you just cut your image out of vinyl. If you’re making your own make sure to mirror image your design. If you’re new to using iron-on vinyl I have a super huge iron-on vinyl tutorial that breaks it all down step by step with lots of words and pictures.

DIY Vampire Academy Shirt Tutorial and St. Vladimir's School crest at Rae Gun Ramblings

Technically you don’t need a cutting machine to do this project. You could just use an exact-o knife and a steady hand but I know I wouldn’t have the patience or ability to cut the detail. But I really do love my Cricuts it just makes it all so easy. And don’t even get me started on the new Cricut Explore machine, eeep it looks so awesome I cannot wait for it to come out.

I’ll report my thoughts on the movie. I can’t wait to hear what you think. My sister is busy this weekend so I’m going to try and resist and go with her next week (uggg tooo long) but it’s always more fun watching bookish movies with other book geeks.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



Super Hero Board Books and Cape Shirt Tutorial

 Super Hero Cape Shirt and Super Hero Board Books cute baby shower idea - Rae Gun Ramblings

A few weeks ago I received probably my favorite gift for the baby currently known as Toasty –Super Hero Board Books. The idea on it’s own just sounds cool but when I opened up the package and flipped through I was really blown away.

Super Hero Cape Shirt Tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

If  you have a little one on your Christmas list or a baby shower coming up I definitely recommend checking these out. And if you want to add a little something you might want to make a fun Super Hero Cape Shirt to go with it.

Fun Super Hero board books. My First Superman Book - Rae Gun Ramblings

I know I kind of sound sales pitch-y but really I love them but my prego-brain has me totally at a loss for how to communicated that very well. I have My First Superman, My First Wonder Woman Book, and my absolute favorite DC Super Heroes: ABC 123.  Each of them are a little different. The Superman one has fun tabs kind of like a pop up book (but nothing pops out).

My First Wonderwoman Book - Rae Gun Ramblings

The Wonder Woman book has lots of different textures. And not to spoil it but at the end it has a fun mirror page that’s super cute.

Great baby books. Super Hero board books. ABC 123 comic book style!  Rae Gun Ramblings

And the ABC 123 book is just super clever. I love the art in in and I love how unconventional the items you’re counting are.

Super Hero Cape Shirt Tutorial

How to make your own detachable cape Super Hero shirt at Rae Gun Ramblings

To Make a Cape Shirt You’ll Need:

  • Shirt or Onesie
  • Fabric (enough to extend past the shoulders and reach to the mid back) For the 24 m onesie I used a piece of fabric 10 inches by 15 inches)
  • Iron-on Vinyl
  • 2 buttons

How to make a Super Hero Cape Shirt - Rae Gun Ramblings

  1. Start by cutting out your vinyl. I found this circular Batman sign on Cricut Craft Room. I just stretched it to make it more like the traditional emblem.
  2. Then I cut it out of iron-on vinyl. If you’ve never used iron-on vinyl before check out my post on how to use iron-on vinyl.
  3. Once you have your cut outs you can remove the negative space and position them on the shirt and iron.
  4. Cut your cape fabric and finish the edges. I just sewed a rolled edge on my serger but you could also just take a narrow hem.
  5. Next I pleated the two top edges so that it would come in towards the shoulder.
  6. Stitch a line around the pleats to hold them in place.
  7. On the second pleat mark your button-hole and sew.
  8. Sew your buttons onto your shoulders and attach your cape.

Super Hero Cape Shirt or Onesie Tutorial - Rae GUn Ramblings

Obviously this is a wear with adult supervision and remove the cape part while napping kind of outfit. But I thought that it would be a fun compliment to the cute board books. There are a few more that I can’t wait to check out too. Opposites, Colors and Shapes, and a Batman one. Seriously Toasty needs them all!

Cute gift idea. Super Hero Board books and removable cape onesie - Rea Gun Ramblings

 Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



Two Christmas Deer Pillow Case Tutorials

Christmas Deer Pillow Case Cover Tutorials at Rae Gun Ramblings #sewing #cricut #vinyl

When the new Cricut Tools Basic Set and a shinny roll of gold glitter iron on vinyl arrived in the mail from Cricut I knew I wanted to make something Christmasy.  I have been loving the wood grain and deer trends going on right now. So after a quick search on Cricut Craft Room to make sure I could find some good deer images I settled on two different Christmas deer pillow case tutorials to share.

Simple Christmas reindeer pillow case tutorials at Rae Gun Ramblings

I’m slowly but surely accumulating more and more pillow cases. I used my simple envelope pillow case tutorial to make a few basic cases since I only had 2 Christmas appropriate ones in my stash. One from the original batch which is a green damask and then my red big bow pillow case. I kind of love the variety of them all together. The other thing is that these are so simple to make that even if I’m not feeling the wood grain or deer thing in a couple years I can retire them without feeling like I invested too much time and energy.

Deer head Christmas pillow case tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings #craft #cricut #sewing

To make the deer head pillow case you’ll need:

  1. If you’ve never made a pillow case before it’s a GREAT project for those who are just starting to sew. This literally has 3 seams. Yup you just sew 3 straight lines and you’re done. Check out my step by step tutorial here.
  2. Now that you have your pillow case. Cut out your deer head. I used the “deer” image from the Teresa Collins Holiday Silhouettes Cricut collection. I did not bother to invert the image since I didn’t care what direction it faced. Then I placed the vinyl plastic side down and scrape with the square flat Cricut tool (my all time favorite tool, not sure how I survived without one) and cut my image. If you’ve never used vinyl before I wrote up a super detailed picture-full how to use iron-on vinyl tutorial that will help you get started.
  3. Use the tools in the Cricut tool kit to help remove the image. I love the little spatula for this job. And you want to be extra careful with the glitter vinyl since it’s easy to tear it. That’s why I highly recommend using the tools and not just trying to pull it off. If you do tear it you can easily piece it together and the glitter nature of the vinyl should hide the seam as long as you line it up.
  4. Position the vinyl glitter side up on your pillow case and iron down until affixed.
  5. Tie a bow out of your ribbon scrap. Flame the ends to keep it from unraveling  and then stitch onto your deer’s neck.
  6. Stuff a pillow form in and you’re good to go!

Running Reindeer Christmas Pillow Case tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings #cricut #vinyl #christmas

I’m just going to be honest, this design come about from a mistake. I had only planned to have one reindeer in the center but in my attempt to save on vinyl I used a scrap and then loaded it into my Cricut wrong so it only cut part of the reindeer (there piece of vinyl ended by his butt). But he was so cute I didn’t want to waist him so I cute another piece  and another partial piece. If you want to do it intentionally I have an easier way for you to arrive at the same outcome though.

To make the running reindeer pillow case you’ll need:

  • Fabric for the pillow case
  • Iron on gold glitter vinyl
  1. Make up your pillow case (more directions here).
  2. Cut out TWO deer images. I used the Buck from the ‘Tis the Season Cricut Cartridge but there were a few other deer images I was trying to decide between.
  3. Then cut one of the deer images of them in half.
  4. Position the front half at the bottom right of your pillow case. The full bodied deer at the middle and then the tush left over in the upper left hand corner. Iron down and you’re ready to stuff your pillow form in!

Two easy Christmas pillow case tutorials at Rae Gun Ramblings #cricut #christmas #deer

And if you’re interested in the Tool Set or the Vinyl it looks like everything is on sale over at Cricut and it’s a really good deal. I use this stuff a lot so I know I’ll be stocking up.
Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


Quick and Easy Halloween Skirt Tutorial

Halloween Skirt Tutorial great for beginners and how to use Iron-on Vinyl - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #craft #halloween #cricut #sewing

I’m hanging out today over at See Vanessa Craft. Remember T’s cute “Happy Halloween Skirt” from my No Sew Halloween Treat Bag Tutorial, well I’m sharing the how-to’s on that baby. Vanessa has been having a fun 20 Days of Crafty Halloween series full of all kinds of festive crafts. So I’d love you to hope on over and catch my Quick and Easy Halloween skirt tutorial.

20 Crafty Days of Halloween

If you’re visiting for See Vanessa Craft welcome! It’s great to have you. I hope you take a second to peek around. I’ve been up to a lot of fun and would love to share with you. Also if you’re interested I co-host a weekly link party that I’d love to invite you to join and you can find some of my most popular posts linked in my side bar to the right. But here are a few of my recent posts that I’ve love you to see if you’re new around here!

UPDATED with tutorial originally posted on See Vanessa Craft

What You Need

  • Base Fabric 1 yard will be more than enough
  • Hem Fabric (7x 44 inches)
  • Iron on Vinyl or Iron on Letters
  • 1/2 inch elastic

halloween skirt-001s

To figure out how much fabric you need for the base fabric measure the length that you want and then subtract 2.5 inches. You want your fabric to be that by the width of your fabric most likely about 44 inches, if it’s a little more or less that won’t make a difference. For my niece who is 6 years old I used. To find how much elastic you need measure your kiddo’s waist and subtract 2 inches.

Start by ironing the band in half lengthwise. Sew the raw side of the band to the bottom edge of the right side of the base piece. Finish the edges by serging or using a zig zag or overlock stitch.

With right sides together sew the short sides of the skirt. You should now have a tube. Finish the edge and the top edge of the base fabric. Fold the top edge of the skirt over 1 inch to form a casing and sew leaving a space wide enough for your elastic. I like to do a zig zag stitch just for added cuteness. Leave a opening for the elastic. Use a safety pin and thread in your elastic. Stitch the ends of the elastic together and then close up the hole. You now have a cute Halloween Skirt.

halloween skirt-037 680s

If you want to add extra details like I did use some iron-on vinyl and cut out your festive words or images. I used my cricut to do this. I found the font and images I wanted to use and then flipped the images so they were mirrored. Then I cut the vinyl. If you have never used Iron-on vinyl before it’s my new favorite craft supply, check out this tutorial for how to make custom iron-on vinyl.

halloween skirt s

Once you have your design and have peeled away all the negative space trim each separate image or word and position it on your fabric plastic side up. Iron until stuck.

Halloween Skirt Tutorial-002s

My nieces love these skirts I’ve made various versions for all different holidays and they are super quick to throw together, customize, and easy to wear. Top it off with some no-sew Halloween treat bags and you’ve got a fun festive outfit.

Halloween Skirt Tutorial 680s


I love our little tradition of making holiday skirts. You can easily do the same for any holiday, birthday or other special event with the right fabric and your own vinyl designs custom skirts are so easy!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

Tutorial: How to Use Iron-On Vinyl

How to make custom vinyl iron-ons - Rae Gun Ramblings #cricut #craft #diy

You know since I discovered iron on vinyl I’ve been throwing it on absolutely everything but I realized I don’t have a good detailed post on how to use the stuff. I’ve got loads of projects where I mention the steps but I thought it might be helpful to share a step by step, picture filled tutorial on how to use iron-on vinyl. I always use my Cricut to cut my vinyl but you should be able to use the same method with other cutters or even an exacto knife although it might make it a bit more annoying. But I really love my Cricuts (yeah I have two) and I think the ease of use makes it totally worth it.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

The newer Cricut machines work with physical cartridges and plug into your computer so you can just find/buy designs on Cricut Craftroom. I love this. Usually when I start a project I just search in the image search or type up my text. I recently learned that you can get a kind of font guide by typing the letter A in and then you can see all the different types of As (and what cartridge they are on) from you search. This time I wanted to play with the new Monster Bash images so I just clicked on that from the list and scrolled. I found a couple of cute things.

To add the image to the mat you just click on it. When the image is highlighted you can adjust the size, turn it, or move it.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

For iron-on vinyl you want to get the mirror image. It’s not important unless you have text or an image you need to face a certain direction. Let me tell you it’s not a matter of if but when you go to cut and you’ve forgotten to flip your images so I highly recommend just getting into the habit of that whenever you have an iron-on vinyl project whether it’s necessary or not. See the little arrow buttons that face eachother at the top? Just click on that and it will invert it for you. Or if you’re braving cutting something manually invert the image before you print/trace it to use as your guide.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

Cut your vinyl to fit your mat. Then position it PLASTIC SIDE DOWN and vinyl side up. There is a layer of plastic that will be peeled away. It’s the shinny side. So again that’s shiny side down.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

You want to do something called a “kiss cut” it will make everything loads easier especially if you have lots of small pieces like words or designs. The kiss cut should cut the top layer (the vinyl) while leaving the bottom layer (the plastic) more or less in tack. That way you can just peel off the negative space and use the plastic to manuver. Sure you can take the individual pieces if it cuts it all the way through but the kiss cut makes things WAY easier. On both of my machine the proper setting for this is Depth 3. Pressure 2, and Speed 4. The just send it to cut.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

Once you unload your cutting mat peel away an of the excess vinyl. This step is called weeding. I like to use my fingers first and start from one corner and slowly pull and get as many of the big pieces off at once.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

Then I like to go back with my little poker tool (Cricut has a whole tool kit that is super great and makes all this stuff much easier). Then I remove all the little pieces or the pieces attached to little details like the middle of letters or right by the antennae.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

If you did the kiss cut you should have a sheet of plastic with some pieces of vinyl on it. If it’s the perfect layout just leave it like that. If you want to spread out your images you can cut them apart. Then just position them on your fabric PLASTIC SIDE UP this time.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

With a hot iron (mine is a little down from cotton so not the max hottest setting) Iron through the plastic. Hold for a few seconds still and then wiggle and them move positions until you’ve hit all the vinyl. Gently pull on an edge if the vinyl comes up with it iron some more. This step takes the longest especially if you have a large image.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

Next I like to flip it over and iron a little from the back. Once you are sure the vinyl is securely attached pull away the plastic. Feel around the vinyl especially at the edges to see if there are any spots that need reinforcement.

How to Use Iron-on Vinyl to make custom clothes and other fabric projects - Rae Gun Ramblings #diy #cricut #craft

I don’t always do this step but I find it helpful especially on larger projects where my patience might have me speeding through the last few steps but I place a clean thin piece of fabric down and iron through the fabric for one last bit of attaching.

And there you have it. Now you can customize anything to your hearts content!

Projects featured above: Make Love Not Horcruxes Shirts, City of Bones Dress, Car and Bag, Bookish Pillows, Cinderella Dress, Doll and Girl Skirt

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

SoS: The Princess is in Another Castle and All the Stories Dresses

City of Bones Dress - Rae Gun Ramblings

It’s time for another Sew Our Stash. Bev from Flamingo Toes and I are keeping each other accountable to sew stuff for ourselves (and you know try and use the loads of fabric we already have on hand if possible). See what she made this month here. I got a couple geekirific dresses done and 2 more cut out so I’m feeling good.

 ssew our stash 3-005

This first one is the dress I made for the City of Bones movie release. Across the bodice it says “All the stories are true” on of the lines from the book/movie. And then I have my New York and Shadow World cityscapes.

s sew our stash 3-006

I really like how it turned out. I was pining after a dress at hot topic but lets be honest they were totally made for waifs or club girls. I am neither. I sewed up the dress from one of the fabrics I bought during fabric weekend. And then I cut some iron on vinyl on my cricut (I know I’m obsessed).

s sew our stash 3-004

But I’m really happy with how it turned out!

s sew our stash 3

My second dress I made to wear to PAX (the video game convention). I’m calling it the princess is in another castle dress.

The Princess Is In Another Castle Mario Bros Dress - Rae GUn Ramblings

I also picked up this fabric during fabric weekend. High five to me using my stash! But I just fell in love with the castles and though it was a super sweet print.

The Princess Is In Another Castle Mario Bros Dress - Rae GUn Ramblings

Sorry for the iffy pictures of me in it. I shot them this morning and we’re about to jump into the car and head up to Seattle for PAX.

The Princess Is In Another Castle Mario Bros Dress - Rae GUn Ramblings

So what have you made this month. I’d love to see some links in the comments :) And don’t forget to hop over to see what Bev made this month.

 Sew Our Stash challenge hosted by Rae Gun Ramblings and Flamingo Toes

Wood Grain Birds Wall Decor & Point of View

Simple temporary wood grain bird wall decor tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

I’m joining in this month on Point of View a fun monthly challenge. The idea is to give a bunch of bloggers the same theme and see what happens. This month was “Walls” and I’m sharing a super easy and fun way to add a little something to your walls.

I always dreamed about having a fancy headboard when I moved into our “real home” but when we finally found a place we liked the room we wanted for our bedroom had only one possible position of the bed and it was partially under a window. Also since the room was so small the door barely opens so we didn’t want put it any further from the wall than possible. I’ve thought about hanging frames but sometimes I like to sit in bed and didn’t want to have to worry about disturbing them. But then on a whim and mostly to be silly I added these birds and I actually really love them. But before I get more into my wood grain birds wall decor see what everyone else did with “Walls” below.

Stephanie from Crafting in the Rain
Leanne from Organize and Decorate Everything
Amy from Ameroonie Designs
Jonie from Just between Friends
Ashlee from I’m Topsy Turvy

How to make cute wood grain birds for wall art  #homedecor - Rae Gun Ramblingss

The way these came about was that I was making stencils using contact paper. It was an experiment. I used a cheap wood grain design and like the hoarder that I am I couldn’t get rid of the adorable birds that were the negative side of the stencil. And then one day while my husband was still sleeping I went and put the birds over his head like they were flying out of his head. Yup I thought I was so funny. But after having it up there I actually really liked it. It’s such a fun way to add a non-permanent bit of decoration and plus come on wood grain birds are kinda awesome.

Alternative to headboards. DIY wall art - Rae Gun Ramblings

Also if you have any fun “wall” projects we’d love you to link them up below!

point-of-viewlink party

CIty of Bones Movie and New York Institute Shirt Tutorial

Mortal Instruments New York Institute perfect for any #cassandraclare fan #fandom #yalit #books #cityofbones - Rae Gun Ramblings

So we, a handful of the local book club members, watched City of Bones last night. It was fun but there were quite a few changes. In short if you were to list out the super super key plot points like say top 5, they were all there, but how they came about didn’t really stick to the book. I’ll go more into my thoughts at the end just in case there’s someone who doesn’t want to know any real details going into the movie. But over all I thought it was fun I thought the main three actors did a good job even though I went in kind of wary of them. But I did miss the humor that Cassandra Clare is known for. This was very much an action flick.

#cityofbones movie review and fan shirt tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

But you know that I do love a book movie and I can’t help but make myself and my friends bookish wearables and goodies like my ahem Parabatai bags I shared earlier this week. So for this movie I made myself a dress that I really like but I don’t have good pictures yet so I’ll have to share that later. But, I also helped a few friends make some shirts. We liked the idea of doing a New York Institute shirt. If you’re thinking that I’m addicted to iron-on vinyl well you’d be right. I mean I do like the freezer paper painting technique, but the vinyl is so much quicker, cleaner and to be honest harder to mess up. So today I’m sharing my New York Institute shirt tutorial

How to make a #mortalinstruments #cityofbones New York Institute shirt - Rae Gun Ramblings #yalit #craft #tutorial

To Make Your Own New York Institute Shirt You’ll need

  • Shirt
  • Iron-on Vinyl
  • Cutting Machine like a Cricut (or a lot of patience with an exacto knife)
  • Scrap Fabric or thin town to put in between when ironing

Start by finding a New York sky scape design. I just typed in “new york” into the Cricut Craft room and found an image I liked from the “Going Places” cartridge. Then I added the text “New York Institute” the font I used is Font 2 on “Nate’s ABC’s” cartridge. Then I stretched everything to a size I liked (about 7×11) Make sure that you mirror image the text and cut out on the vinyl setting remembering to put the vinyl side up and the plastic side down on your cutting mat. Then peel off all the negative space of the vinyl. Position it on your shirt and iron down. For my prego friend’s we centered it and for my sister’s we put it off center. Once it seems sealed peel away the plastic. I like to then put a think fabric on top of the vinyl and press it a little more. Wear your shirt with pride or give it to your favorite shadowhunter!

Cute New York Institute #mortalinstruments #cityofbones fan shirt - Rae Gun Ramblings

Now My Thoughts on the City of Bones Movies

So I’m not going to give any book spoilers but I’m going to assume you’ve read the book. If you don’t want to know about specific things from the movie I suggest you not read the following. I will talk about things that were left out, changed, and stayed true to the book.

First off I liked book one but there were somethings that bugged me about it. But the more I read of the series and other books of Cassandra Clares the more I feel in love with the Shadowhunter world and all her characters. This was a movie I was really looking forward to.

The actors: Like I mentioned the main three did a surprisingly good job. I’m not going to lie I was a little grossed out by the casting at first but I do think they fit Clary, Jace, and Simon. The only thing was that the boys weren’t half as funny as they are in the book. But I think this was more an issue of writing as opposed to acting. The other actors were a bit weird to me. Izzy and Magnus had no personality and Magnus is one of my favorite characters. In the books he’s SO funny, almost everything out of his mouth is laced with humor. I missed that in the movie.In the movie he’s more of a model than anything else. And Valentine was kinda over the the top. The demons were gross and to me totally fit. I thought Joslyn was great and she totally looked like she could be Clary’s mom. And I’m still wondering why they went with “fake red” for Clary and her mom’s hair color ummm bizarre.

I enjoyed the movie for sure. But it was definitely a cheesefest. I expect things to be changed in movie interpretations but this was a bit more change than I had anticipated. If the Harry Potter movies are in the end of getting it right and Beautiful Creatures is on the end of a crazy amount of changes this was somewhere in between. I would put it in between the old Percy Jackson movie and the newest one. Hows that for the book geekiest comparison ever?

I will absolutely be watching the rest (you know if they make more) and enjoying them but I will definitely have lower expectations. The saddest part to me was that Cassandra Clare writes such funny books and that was not a funny movie. There were really really long and necessary fight scenes with very little character development or banter. I just could have been better on a lot of levels.

Some noteworthy changes: This section’s gonna be pretty specific and possibly spoiler-y I wouldn’t read unless you’ve read all the books/don’t mind knowing stuff

The Story: It followed and then it didn’t follow. Like Simon has a run in with the vampires but he didn’t get turned into a rat. There is a portal but it’s umm in the Institute what??? And speaking of all the fighting and Clary’s mom are also at the Institute. That’s a bit weird. There was the garden scene which was lovely like the book. There was Magnus’ party and the City of Bones but those were really fast. There was no boat, no Idris, no fight training, no Taki’s restaurant come to think of it the settings were very minimal. They had almost everything happen at the Institute.

And unfortunately there are some major spoilers from book 2 and 3. Like the whole Clary/Jace storyline that’s just out there as a lie. They don’t know but the audience does. So there’s none of that “but I don’t believe in incest but I want them together” turmoil that us readers had to endure. Also  Jace does not recognize Valentine as his dad apparently his mind was wiped. And you know about Luke.

Of course there were plenty of other changes but those were the ones that really kinda bugged me. I get that things change (and need to) in movie adaptations but you know I’m gonna notice.

So that’s what I thought. If you want to continue this conversation, join the book club over on goodreads on the City of Bones Movie Board where we are sharing our reactions to the movie let’s try not to get too spoiler crazy in the comments here and if you think your comment might be spoiler-y maybe note that at the beginning. And if you haven’t started the series they are so fun i definitely encourage you to pick up City of Bones.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

Keep Calm and Trust Your Parabatai Bag Tutorial for The City of Bones Movie

Just in time for the #cityofbones movie a great tutorial on how to make your own Parabatai bags #yalit #shadowhunter - Rae Gun Ramblings

Oh my gosh it’s finally here! I feel like I have been waiting for ages for the City of Bones movies to come out. The Mortal Instruments, the book series which The City of Bones is a part of is one of my favorites. I just adore Cassandra Clare’s writing. They are so fun full of magic, action, and wonderful characters. I watched as speculations went out about who would be casts for the different parts and I’ve played the teaser trailer and then each subsequent trailer over and over with geeky anticipation. And now this week I finally get to see one of my favorite book worlds come to life on the big screen.

Keep Calm and TruSt Your Parabatai pouches perfect for celebrating the #cityofbones movie #themortalinstruments #yalit #tutorial - Rae Gun Ramblings

To celebrate I’ve got a fun Keep Calm and Trust Your Parabatai Bag Tutorial. I actually made these for the local Book Club members when we did our big debrief of Clockwork Princess the final book on The Mortal Instruments spin off/prequel series The Infernal Devices. In the Shadowhunter world in which these books take place shadowhunters fight all kinds of evils and some partner up in a sworn covenant with a partner which is called their Parabatai. These Parabatai relationships are as serious as marriages and as close as siblings.

Keep Calm and Trust Your Parabatai Bag Tutorial

How to make your own #shadowhunter parabati pouches for your favorite book nerd or #cityofbones movie lover #yalit - Rae Gun Ramblings

What You Need

  • Fabric
  • Iron-on Vinyl
  • Cutting Machine like a Cricut
  • Ribbon
  1. Start by sewing folding the main fabric in half and sewing both sides.
  2. Then finish the ends of the the casing by folding a small bit under on each short size and stitching a line.
  3. Fold the casing fabric in half lengthwise so the nice side of the fabric is facing out. Pin the raw edge to the raw edge of the right side of the pouch and sew together.
  4. Fold the casing up and you have the basic pouch. Just string in some ribbon and tie a knot.
  5. To make the iron on I used Cricut craft room. I picked a basic font (just the basic cricut craft room one called Sans Serif) and I typed out my message paying attention to size it so that it would fit on my pouch. Then I flipped it so it was the mirror image. I laid some iron on vinyl onto my cutting mat plastic side down (vinyl side up) and I cut on the vinyl setting.
  6. After I peeled away all the negative pieces of vinyl I laid my saying on the pouch and I iron it on by holding the iron for a few seconds in each spot and repeating until the vinyl became bonded to the fabric.

I hope you like it! And if you don’t have your own Cricut or you don’t want to go through the work of making your own I do sell these Parabatai bags as well as other bookish fan goods in my Etsy shop. I hope you’ll join us in sharing our thoughts on the movie and other book things in the Rae Gun Ramblings online book club we’d love to have you.

Parabatai pouches #tutotial #cityofbones #themoralinstruments -Rae Gun Ramblings