The Art of Darkness

DIY Electronic Wedding Invitations

March 6th, 2013 by Cobwebs

Electronic Wedding InvitationsSelf-described “electronics geek” Bill Porter proposed using a circuit board, wired up an electronic wishing well for their engagement party, and their wedding theme was “Circuits and Swirls.” It only makes sense that they’d send out handmade electronic wedding invitations.

This is pretty hardcore, with custom circuitry and hand-soldered wiring. The lights flash in a particular sequence, then sample the ambient room lighting and kick off another sequence in Morse code. You can see it in action here:

The stationery has a circuitry theme and the invitation also includes a QR code.

Now, although this particular implementation goes well beyond “interesting project idea” and right into, “Whoa, Nelly,” this could be simplified considerably and would be an amazing invitation for a steampunk-themed wedding.

Wiring simple circuits with just a battery and some blinky lights is pretty straightforward. Evil Mad Scientist Labs and Aaron Williamson both have easy tutorials for making light-up greeting cards. Even simpler, Bare Conductive makes electricity-conducting paint that allows you to draw circuits instead of wiring them. They also have instructions for making a light-up card.

Add a few gears and antique-looking lettering, and you’ve got a standout invitation.

(For bonus points you could wire in a countdown timer that kicked off a different light sequence on the actual date of the wedding, although now we’re skating close to “Whoa, Nelly” again.)

(via When Geeks Wed)

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When Geeks Wed

August 20th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Tattoo DressTime sink ahoy: This site is, as the kids say these days, relevant to our interests.

When Cassandra was planning her geeky wedding in 2010, she was dismayed by the lack of resources and inspiration for the type of wedding she envisioned. So she came up with her own: When Geeks Wed launched this year, “focusing on inspiring geeky, gamer and alternative brides and grooms with daily updates, photos and DIY projects.” And it is just splendid.

Even if there didn’t tend to be a lot of geek/goth overlap anyway, the site definitely caters to the dark side with Lovecraftian wedding cakes, proposals done with custom Magic: The Gathering cards, and Mad Science dessert tables.

There are “inspiration pinboards” featuring themes like Nightmare Before Christmas, Game of Thrones, and World of Warcraft.

The site has tons of neat detail ideas like coffin ring boxes, DIY steampunk shoes, and “haunting” wedding photo shoots. It also has suggestions for alterna-friendly venues and vendors, which is always helpful.

Even if you aren’t planning a wedding, this is a phenomenal resource for party ideas and clothing/accessory inspiration.

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Dramatic Spider Veil

August 6th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Halloween Beauty by zaira

This gorgeous image (cropped here to emphasize the headpiece) is Dien: Halloween Beauty, by deviantART member zairia. In the comments she simply calls this a “Halloween beauty shot,” but this would be an amazing accessory for a Halloween wedding (I love the makeup, too).

The spider’s body appears to be made of feathers, and a bit of googling seems to indicate that it might be this decoration by Bethany Lowe. The legs on the headpiece look sparkly rather than matte black; I’m not sure if they were dusted with glitter or if that’s just an artifact of the photography. You could use any similar-sized prop spider, or could make something reasonably similar by covering a styrofoam hemisphere with feathers and using bumpy chenille stems for the legs.

The rest of the veil appears to just be massed grey tulle. It’s hard to tell in the photo how it’s attached to her head–it may just be hairpinned in place–but you could attach everything to a fascinator base to make sure everything stays secure.

It’s a fantastic look, and undeniably dramatic.

Be sure to check out the rest of zairia’s gallery too; she’s got loads of great photos.

(via Ghoulie Girls)

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April 30th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Jinx AwayI peddle a few Accoutrements products (their retail arm is Archie McPhee) in the shop, so I receive alerts when they make new products available. Their new Jinx Removing Spray (“magically formulated to allegedly remove jinxes, nullify hexes, and dispel curses”) is a cute idea, but: 1) All of the interesting design work is on the package rather than the atomizer, and 2) Shelling out eight bucks for what amounts to air freshener seems a bit silly.

Sounds like a DIY project to me!

The type of atomizer they use is called a “shell atomizer,” and they’re widely available online in a variety of sizes and colors. Nemat and Best Bottles sell them individually, and also offer wholesale pricing if you want to make a lot as gifts or wedding favors.

For the spray itself, you can choose your favorite perfume, design your own fragrance (just google “how to make perfume” for a hojillion tutorials, such as this one), or make a simple air freshener by mixing 1 C distilled water, 2 tsp of rubbing alcohol, and 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil; shake thoroughly to combine.

A label can be as simple as a printed sticker, or you can go nuts with hand-painting or even silk-screening. If you’re artistically-inclined you can design your own label, look for traditional patterns like Voodoo Veves, or mine the artwork of places like Lucky Mojo for inspiration.

If intended as a gift, add a tag with instructions to spray at the first hint of jinxiness and tie with a bit of ribbon or twine. Since the atomizers are reusable you can also offer free refills for the heavily jinxed. Easy, unusual, and cheap. What could be better?

Posted in Doom It Yourself, Terror in the Aisle | 3 Comments »

Muddyskull Calaveras

April 25th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Cake ToppersOne of the things I love most about the Internet Age is the opportunities for cultural cross-pollination, which is how you wind up with a ceramicist in Thailand specializing in Dia de Los Muertos skulls.

Muddyskull offers a variety of marveous cake toppers, salt-and-pepper shakers, and jewelry which look like Jerry Garcia blew up all over them. The artist does custom designs on request, and also sells unpainted blanks if you’d rather decorate your own. The Muddyskull site is primarily a showcase of her work; you can purchase them through Artfire or via the related gOOdiemud site, which also has non-skully items available (the dogs and humans are unremarkable, but the owls are pretty darn baroque).

Although she apologizes for her imperfect grasp of English, the artist’s enthusiasm definitely shines through. I love her wonderfully over-the-top decorative excesses, and for handmade items they’re really quite affordable.

Posted in Needful Things, Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

Freddy Krueger Wedding Cake

March 1st, 2012 by Cobwebs

Scratched CakeI saw this posted on Screamfest’s Facebook page with no attribution, which is a shame because it’s brilliant and I’d like to give proper credit to the creator.

I love the simplicity of this design; it would be fairly easy to create something similar even without mad decorating skillz. It appears that the cake has simply been covered in rolled fondant, then slits have been made in the fondant and the edges teased outward to resemble claw marks.

After the fondant sets up, red food coloring (or possibly something like raspberry syrup) can be dripped into the “wounds” and also artfully splattered onto the plain fondant. The splatters are easy to achieve by dipping a clean paintbrush or basting brush into the food coloring and then giving the bristles a hard shake several inches from the cake (be sure to protect surrounding surfaces or your kitchen will look like a murder has been commited).

You could finish this off by nestling a replica Freddy glove beside the cake. It would also be appropriate for a werewolf-themed wedding.

Come to think of it, you could also do something similar for a vampire theme, but instead of claw marks use a round wooden skewer to make pairs of bite marks all over the cake and then drip a bit of “blood” from each hole.

Anyway, relatively simple idea, splendidly executed. Props to the designer, whoever they are.

Posted in Terror in the Aisle | 3 Comments »

Party Like It’s 1912

February 29th, 2012 by Cobwebs

Titanic HeadlineApril 15, 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Sounds like an excellent excuse for a themed dinner party. (Or at least a cocktail party; you could serve gin and titonics.)

The theme could go a lot of different ways. You could have a fancy dinner or tea where everyone dresses in period costume (there are some good ideas for invitations here and here); you could take it a step further and make it a role-playing party (make your invitations look like boarding passes and assign each guest a passenger whom they’re supposed to play), or send waterlogged invitations and tell everybody to show up drowned.

Decoration will depend largely upon your theme and could range from refined Edwardian to nautical. Guests might enter on a red carpet–assuming you’re allowing them to be First Class passengers rather than the wretches in steerage–and you might also designate various rooms in your house as an observation deck, lounge bar, wheelhouse, etc. If you prefer a more disaster-y theme, you can decorate with plastic life preservers and netting and strew seashells and dried starfish around as well. Either way,an ice-sculpture centerpiece would be a nice touch.

The Titanic Historical Society sells a number of reproduction items that might be useful as decorations, and they even have a subsection devoted to themed dinner parties.

A list of the menus (First and Second Class Breakfast, Luncheon, and Dinner; Third Class Bill of Fare) on the day the ship sank is here, and an expanded discussion of the First Class dinner menu is here. There are also at least two cookbooks devoted to these menus, Last Dinner On the Titanic and RMS Titanic “Dinner Is Served”.

For authentic music, check out Music Aboard the Titanic, And the Band Played On, or Titanic: Music As Heard on the Fateful Voyage.

If you’ve been feeling the urge to dress up and have a party, this is an excellent opportunity.

Posted in Resources, Terror in the Aisle | 1 Comment »

MTV is Looking for Alternate-Wedding Couples

October 8th, 2011 by Cobwebs

I got this in my email and thought I’d pass it along to anyone who might be interested. I don’t want to post her phone number publicly, but you can drop me a line and I’ll supply it upon request. Her email address is (Note the caveat that one member of the couple should be Hispanic.)

Hello there,

I’m in the casting department at MTV Tr3s and were looking for alternative weddings for our 4^th season of our show and I wanted to extend this casting to you and your clients I thought you might have some interesting weddings coming up. We are looking for some Gothic, Pagan, Wiccan, Same sex, hand fasting Themed & Halloween weddings for our show Quiero Mi Boda on Tr3s which takes an inside look at cross-cultural weddings and the hustle and bustle surrounding them. However, I would like to review all weddings happening from October until next year. Honey moon money involved for the couples that make it on the season let me know if you know of any cool couples getting married this year or next year? Keep in mind one of them should be Hispanic, we can set up a meeting today to discuss any questions you might have for me just let me know or you can reach me at the number below!

*Melissa Ruiz*
*Casting Coordinator*
Tr3s Quiero Mis Quinces/Boda

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Halloween Jar Cookies

September 29th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Jar CookiesThis is my favorite kind of project: Something where the results look like you spent way more time and energy than you actually did.

Over at The Crafty Nest there’s a lovely tutorial for making Halloween-themed “jar cookies.” In addition to a recipe and instructions, there’s also packaging suggestions and free downloadable labels.

A jar of these would be a great last-minute hostess gift, and the assembly is simple enough to be a good project for kids. They’d also be easy and inexpensive to make in quantity as party or wedding favors.

If the M&M recipe isn’t really your thing, just search “jar cookie recipes” for lots of other varieties, from cranberry-oatmeal to gingerbread to butterscotch chip. You could also substitute hot cocoa or soup mix if you prefer.

Add a scrap of Halloween-print fabric tied with ribbon or raffia and you’ve got a perfect, fast gift.

(via Cult of the Great Pumpkin)

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Bouquets from a Book

August 24th, 2011 by Cobwebs

Paper FlowersReddit user Blegatron loved her copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban to death, so she decided to use its pages for her wedding flowers.

This is a lovely way to incorporate a meaningful book into a wedding. You could use something that appeals to you personally or choose a book with subject matter that matches your wedding theme. Mix in a few plain paper flowers in your wedding colors and you’ll have elegant, personal accessories for cheap.

The tutorial referenced in the post appears to go to a now-defunct site, but there are plenty of other tutorials available; just google “how to make paper flowers,” or check out this roundup at Tip Nut.

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