‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Meets Day of the Dead

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Every year on May 4th, fans celebrate International Star Wars Day by throwing parties, wearing their best Star Wars gear, occasionally dancing in the street, and of course, watching the famous saga. We also say, “May the fourth be with you” because, let’s be honest, it’s such a great pun! The month of May has been an important month for Star Wars fans since the original film was released on May 25, 1977. In fact, all of the first 6 Star Wars films were released in May. (It also happens to be the birthday month of the Maker himself, George Lucas.)

Opening day at Grauman's Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

Opening day at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, May 25 1977

I always look forward to May 4th because I love seeing all the artwork, crafts, and videos creators make in honor of this special day. This year, one of my favorite artists, John Karpinsky, has released a new Día de los Muertos collection inspired by The Force Awakens. Just in time for Star Wars Day! After watching The Force Awakens, John said he was inspired to start creating again and boy, am I glad he did! A few years ago my husband surprised me with 13 of John’s prints from his Guerra de las Galaxias collection and I’ve been a fan of John’s ever since! Here is some artwork from his previous collection:


I think John’s work is a wonderful blend of American culture and Mexican culture. It means a lot to me as a Mexican-American Star Wars fan. Death can be a scary thought but Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is actually a celebration of life. The holiday is a chance to celebrate the lives of family members and friends who have passed. In some ways, it’s a holiday that unifies opposite emotions—the sadness you feel when you lose someone you love and the happiness you remember when they were alive. Star Wars also unifies opposites—the dark side and the light side of the Force—as it’s characters try to achieve balance between the two in both themselves and the galaxy. Like Día de los Muertos, Star Wars also deals with life and death and shows that if you’re a Jedi, your spirit might live on in the form of a Force ghost. Coincidentally, the belief in ghosts and spirits is also a part of Mexican culture.


In my mind, John’s artwork captures both the spirit of Star Wars and Day of the Dead beautifully. His work represents the juxtaposition between the dark and the light which was also a theme in The Force Awakens. John Karpinsky’s new ‘Force Collection’ is a set of prints that features the stars of Episode VII—Rey, Finn (FN-2187), Poe Dameron, and BB-8.

Rey_Day of the Dead

Rayo de Luz/Ray of Light


Finn Day of the Dead

El Traidor/The Traitor


Poe Dameron Day of the Dead

Guerrero Alado/Winged Warrior


Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Diablo Hilatura/Spinning Devil

Every time I saw The Force Awakens in the theater, the crowd laughed and cheered when BB-8 gave his lighter thumbs up. It’s definitely one of my favorite moments from the film and I love that John paid homage to it and included a special little detail.

BB-8 lighter thumbs up

I’m absolutely in love with these prints. Their colors are so vivid and it’s fun to sit and look at all the ornate details in each one. A huge thank you to John Karpinsky for sending me this set! I can’t wait to frame them and proudly display them in my home! This new era of Star Wars has been an exciting time for all of us fans and I look forward to the many new creative works it will continue to inspire. Be sure to check out John Karpinsky’s Etsy shop to see more of his incredible work and/or to purchase 8×10’s or limited edition 12×12’s of these prints! You can also learn more about John and his story HERE. May the Fourth be with you! 😀

Making A Baby-8 (BB-8) Costume!

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Even before Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in theaters, BB-8 was a star. His cuteness and big personality were undeniable, even though we had only seen him briefly in the film’s teasers and trailers. When he wheeled across the stage at Star Wars Celebration Anaheim, he rolled right into the hearts of Star Wars fans like myself. So for my daughter’s first Halloween, I decided to pay homage to that adorable little ball droid and make her a BB-8 costume!


Making the costume was a bit of a challenge but in the end, I’m happy with the way it turned out! I used fleece white fabric for the bodice and the panels were created using craft felt. For the sake of time, I simply glued the panels onto the fleece bodice. I added detail using a gray fabric marker.

BB-8 Bodice

The trickiest part was making BB-8’s round soccer ball shape. I lined the costume with the same fleece fabric and then stuffed the bodice with poly-fil stuffing. I sewed elastic at the bottom which gave the bodice a more round shape.

BB-8 Elastic

For BB-8’s head, I used a styrofoam base and decorated it with different colored craft felt. His antennae are toothpicks!

IMG_2686 (1)

The best part about the costume was that it still fit 3 months later! After all my hard work, I wanted to get the most mileage out of it so little Baby-8 made a cameo appearance in my We Got Enemies video!

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 8.44.41 PM

I can’t believe how much Lucia has grown since last October. I’m hoping it will still fit for her first birthday. I would love to see Baby-8 one last time before we transition to a toddler Rey costume! 😉


If you make your own Baby-8 costume, I would love to see your creations! Please tag me on Twitter or Instagram @JenniferLanda. Happy crafting!

How to Make a BB-8 Wreath

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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

The Hothidays are here which means it’s time to deck the halls with all things Star Wars! For this year’s festivities, I was inspired by The Force Awakens newest droid, BB-8. Whenever I see that little ball whizzing across the screen, it always brings a smile to my face. BB-8 kind of looks like Frosty the Snowman, which makes him the perfect decoration for this holiday season. To make your own BB-8 wreath, here’s everything you’ll need!


I’ve joined the dark side.

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Website 1

Okay, okay. So I’ve only joined the dark side for the fashion but how could I resist when they have beautiful cape dresses like this? This dress is part of the new Her Universe collection at Hot Topic! They also have a BB-8 and Boba Fett bomber jackets, a sleek Darth Vader faux leather jacket, and a gorgeous Princess Leia dress coming in December. Thank you Ashley Eckstein for giving female Star Wars fans a way for us to express our love for that galaxy far, far away. ♥ Check out the full collection HERE!

Website 2



What’s Wrong With The Star Wars Holiday Special?

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What’s wrong with the Star Wars Holiday Special? I tackle that question in the first episode of my new podcast, The Jedi Beat! I’ve always been a fan of the wackiness that is the Holiday Special but I wanted to learn more about the history of how it was made. What were thinking when they decided to make half of the special in the Wookiee language, Shyriiwook? Joining me on this episode is my hilarious friend and writer/author, Bonnie Burton! She wrote a fantastic article in defense of the holiday special and she also brings a special insight since she worked at Lucasfilm for 10 years. Join us on this journey back to the summer of 1978! Listen to the episode HERE!

Star Wars Celebration Costume Roundup!

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There is nothing like Star Wars Celebration. Where else can fans gather once a year to experience all things Star Wars? From panels with Star Wars heroes like Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher to having a seat at the Mos Eisley Cantina, Celebration is heaven for any Star Wars fan. One of my favorite aspects of the con is seeing all the epic Star Wars costumes. It’s truly a place where creativity, craft, and originality abound! I couldn’t capture them all but here are some of my favorite costumes from Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim!




This cosplayer glued foam pieces to a walker, thus creating this clever Imperial Walker.

Imperial Walker



A ferociously cute take on that infamous creature from Hoth.

Lil' Wampa



Apparently bounty hunters don’t like having their picture taken…

Bounty Hunters



Jabba’s dancers bask in their moment of freedom from the Hutt.

Twi'lek & Greeata Jendowanian



By the end of Star Wars Celebration, I felt a little like this guy.

Death Trooper



This cosplayer took a more feminine approach to her Ewok costume. It’s Yub Nub chic!




In other Endor news…you can’t repel cuteness of this magnitude.

Baby Ewok\


This costume was operated by two cosplayers on stilts inside the AT-AT’s legs. It was pretty incredible watching the AT-AT slowly walk through the crowd. The best part was when a tiny Luke Skywalker (attached to a tow cable) lowered from the belly of the AT-AT!




A fun mashup of Star Wars and Batman’s villains, Harley Quinn and the Joker. The only person who doesn’t seem to be enjoying himself is Bat-Jabba.

Harley & Joker



Even in the Galactic Empire, friendship is magic.

MLP Troopers



The Rebel Alliance’s secret weapon? Adorable baby pilots.

Baby Rebel Pilot



Because it’s never too early to introduce your child to the awesomeness of Star Wars.

Leia & Han with baby



Families that cosplay together, stay together.

Luke, Artoo, Leia



Ee chee wa maa! This giant LEGO Wicket is going to haunt my dreams.




The Justice League, Star Wars style.

Superhero Mandalorians



Move over Buzz Lightyear, there’s a new “space ranger” in town and he wields the power of the Force.

Woody Kenobi



The Mos Eisley Cantina set was well-guarded thanks to the awesome, Amanda Jean.

Amanda Jean Trooper



I first saw the Muppet Troopers at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. Needless to say, I screamed like an Animal.

Muppet Troopers


Actress Milynn Sarley is so beautiful, she makes Barf look good!




Doesn’t everyone deserve the chance to join the Empire?

Short Stormtrooper



If you don’t feel like wearing a costume, this is the perfect way to make a Star Wars fashion statement.

Star Wars Mom & Daughter



A stylish and original take on Han Solo’s costume from A New Hope, complete with a Chewie backpack!

Hanna Solo 1 Hanna Solo 2



Clothing Designer Linda Heredia fights the Empire in style! She handmade her Rebel pilot jumper and her helmet purse was custom made by a friend.

Pinup Rebel Pilot

DIY Comic Book Wall Art

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I’ve always wanted to have a Wes Anderson gallery wall.

The Royal Tenenbaums

While I wouldn’t fill a wall with Margot Tenenbaum drawings, I do love how you can create a cohesive look using a variety of frames and colorful images. Since we’re moving to a new home next month, I’ve begun envisioning my dream gallery wall. I have a lot of saved artwork that I plan on framing but I wanted to make something extra special for our new place.


I was inspired by a DIY I saw on Pinterest where you transfer a photograph onto a block of wood.


Using wood as the canvas and frame gives the image a rustic gallery look. I figured if you could do it with photographs, why not comic books?


So using wood blocks, paint, and color copies of some of my favorite comic book images, I made my own Comic Book Wall Art pieces!

Wall Art Blog

These pieces were super easy to make and the total materials cost was under $10! Once I finish my gallery wall, I’ll be sure to share some pics with you. In the meantime, if you want to make your own Comic Book Wall Art, I made a DIY video showing you how! Happy crafting! ٩(^ᴗ^)۶