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Saturday, October 22, 2011

31 Days: Day 22 - Halloween Costumes

Can't have Halloween without the costumes! With only a week left before the day, I figured I had better get on the ball and get them done. We went pretty simple and inexpensive this year. As much as I love making a big production out of things and wouldn't mind spending hours sewing an elaborate costume (especially with my Mom in town to help!), we all have to pick and choose where to spend our time and money. So we're going with quick and easy on the costumes this year. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Dressing up is not somthing I enjoy, personally, but the kids love it when I join in so the last couple of years I put on an embellished witch hat for trick or treating. Kaitlyn decided she wanted to be "twin witches" this year. Lucky me!
We were able to find a fun sequin skirt in her dress up clothes and she had a black shirt that I added a witch silhouette to (how great that we found some matching sequin material at Hobby Lobby!). Add a $2 witch hat with some fun embellishments and we're done!

Kate wasn't too enthused about wearing the dress up skirt until I pointed out that it had a matching doll size outfit, so Hello Kitty could dress up with us. I made HK a little hat out of felt and now Kaitlyn is SO excited for Trick or Treating.

Now Tyler, all he can talk about is Monster Trucks so it's almost expected that he requested to dress up as a Monster Truck Driver. I just happened to find a suitable jumpsuit at a children's consignment sale a couple of weeks ago - score! It was a couple sizes too large but it was easy to hem up the pants and roll up the sleeves.

I found the helmet in the dollar section at Target. It said POLICE on the side so I printed off some monster truck clipart (Big Foot is Ty's absolute favorite monster truck - no idea why) on a sticky address label and now it's a monster truck helmet. And to pull it all together I added a couple more sticky labels to the jumpsuit.

And now we're ready for Halloween! Can't wait to see the kids all dressed up!

What are your kids going to be wearing? Do you dress up for Halloween?

Friday, October 21, 2011

31 Days: Day 21 - Finding the Fun in Daily Life

Our move out of state almost a year ago has been the hardest on my Mom. (Who can blame her for missing the cutest kids in the world? :) And having them across the country instead of just down the street isn't easy I know. ) So she makes it a point to arrange a visit as often as possible. She flew into town this week!
I've been totally caught up in the whirlwind that is my life lately so this time around I didn't do much prep work for her visit. I changed the sheets, made sure the house didn't look hideous, and decided that she'd probably be perfectly happy just joining in as I did my regular thing (instead of planning some fun outings and activities as I usually try to do). Mom, however, put more thought into it and came bearing an entire suitcase full of fun surprises - and not just for the kids! Yesterday morning the kids got some fun Halloween stuff to decorate their room and I got scrapbooking supplies - score! (now if only I can find time to scrapbook...) Her list of fun things to do with the kids also includes arts and crafts, baking cookies, spoiling them rotten, and who knows what else! :)

But that's what Grandmas are for. :)
And the lesson for today - celebrating doesn't have to be a big deal or a special event. Little guestures go a long way. So go out and do something special today!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

31 Days: Day 20 - Inspiration Board #2

Can you guess the theme for Tyler's birthday party?

My little guy turns 5 on Dec 5 and he wants a Jake and the Neverland Pirates party. I think it sounds like a lot of fun! I have been collecting a bunch of ideas on my Pirate Party Pinterest Board and now with Kaitlyn's birthday out of the way I have about a month and a half to pull the next one together.

Wish me luck!

Witchy Wreath

(I'm taking a break from my 31 days series because I really want to post this tutorial!)

T-minus 11 days and counting until Halloween! Fun fall/halloween decorating ideas are plentiful. I think I added 3 more ideas to my list just this morning! :) What I am noticing over and over again is that I'm in love with the witchy stuff - not the whole witch though, just the hats and the boots and those funny sayings ("if the broom fits..."). So I decided to make myself a wreath for my front door using just that. I also wanted to try out the mesh wreath type designs I've been seeing over and over and combined I ended up with a really fun wreath!

It was my intention to spend very little money on the project and I always love the challenge of creating the pieces myself, if possible. So I pulled it all together using a lot of things I had around the house. I pulled apart a berry wreath I had made a few years ago (that I had never really liked because it kept falling apart) so I could use the wire wreath frame. I gathered up fabric scraps and spare silk flowers. The only thing I purchased was 3 yards of purple tulle, which I split down the center to form 2 long strips.

I started with the legs for the witch. Using some inexpensive white fabric, I cut a strip about 4" wide and 12" long. I wanted the witch stocking to be stripes so I used black craft paint and painted the stripes onto the white fabric. After the paint was dry I sewed the fabric together to form one long tube. (You could use hot glue for this too, if you wanted to do a completely no-sew version)

I drew a boot pattern onto some scrap paper (if I find a scanner anytime soon I'll turn it into a printable template) then used it to cut out 4 boots (2 at a time) from black felt.

I didn't want the legs to just droop lifelessly, so I hot glued a wire to the center of the boot

then used the hot glue around the edges to glue the 2 sides of each boot together, leaving the top open

Then I stuffed the boot with a little bit of cotton batting.

I cut the tube of striped fabric into two 6" long section for the legs, slid them each onto the wire and into the top of the boot, and stuffed them too. Then closed up the top opening of the the boot with the hot glue.

The hat is made out of cereal boxes. I cut one into a half circle for the hat brim (I didn't want a full circle because I wanted the hat to sit more flat once it was attached to the wreath), and formed a cone with a second cereal box. Then spray painted both of them black.

And hot glued the cone to the brim. To make it even more "realistic" I cut a jagged piece out of some scrap black satin, to use for the witch's skirt.

Now with all the pieces prepped, it was time to put it together. I used the wire to attach the legs to the bottom of the wreath form then used the hot glue to add the skirt fabric.I used small pieces of floral wire (about 5" long. You will need to clip the ends off after you attache the tulle, but it's easier to work with if the wire is a bit longer) to attach the tulle to the frame, making little poufs with the fabric as I went.

See, now the wreath is really taking shape.

As it turns out, the tulle I had wasn't quite enough to make it really pouffy and cover all the wire (I'd get 5 yards next time which would give me 10 yards total to work with next time). So I took some coordinating fabric and wrapped the wreath frame.

The only left to do was add the embellishments. On went a little sign (just a small piece of wood painted black with vinyl lettering for the quote), some flowers, a little ribbon and polka dot fabric strips.Some more ribbon as laces on her boots.

And I now have a happy little witch wreath for my front door

Linking to:
Strut your Stuff Link party at Somewhat Simple
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Home Stories A2Z

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

31 Days: Day 19 - Halloween Decor

Birthdays aren't the only things worth celebrating (though I do admit that I tend to get obsessed about birthdays and party planning!), right? It's a lot of fun to get festive for the holidays and the biggest way to prolong the fun is to have things in the house that reflect the holiday/season. As I mentioned with party decor, the biggest bang for your buck isn't spreading things all over the house (this gets expensive, plus it makes it harder to change out for the seasons and that can get overwhelming) but in focusing on just a few areas of the house and making them look really good. My top spots are the front door (sometimes extending to the porch), one corner of my kitchen cabinets, the fireplace, and the ledge in the stairway. (Oh! And I change out my window box in my entry!) By keeping the holiday/seasonal decorations in just these locations, the house feels festive but not over the top. And it makes life much easier when changing things out for the next season. (Do you know how many times I left an item on top of kitchen cupboards for months after Christmas simply because I hadn't noticed it when I was putting away the other items then got too lazy to take it down and hunt up the correct box to pack it away?)

You've seen the my witchy wreath which now resides on the front door, and I gave you a bit of sneak peek into my fall decorating/crafting earlier (see earlier post here). I have since managed to do a quick transformation on my fireplace mantel.

And most impressive - for the first time I have fully decorated the ledge in my stairway! See how sad it looked before? I had just stashed a few things up there, fully intending to fill it in at some point. And that window frame thing, which I love - it has been leaning against the wall for months just waiting for me to force the husband to climb up on the ledge and officially hang it up. Well, a couple weeks ago this poor neglected space got some much needed attention.

These ghost footprints have also been a work in progress for over a year! I saw this idea in September or October of last year but with the move and everything I didn't get around to making them. Then in December of last year, still stuck on the idea and not wanting Tyler's cute little feet to grow anymore before I got around to it, I talked the ever-obliging husband in turning some leftover MDF into display boards (12" squares with routered edges). I painted them black and got the footprints on them (with dates on the back - don't forget dates and kids ages if you do these!) then packed them into the Halloween decor box where I again discovered them this year! The black paint got a bit of a touch up and then I put a clear coat over the top to help repel dust, then each footprint got some googly eyes and a few fun embellishments.

And look! Not only is the window on the wall above the ledge, but my ghost footprints have a home there too! And isn't Ty's tiny just turned 4 year old footprint cute?

The rest of my Halloween/fall decor went onto the ledge.

And now I can happily saw that I have one more space fully finished - yay! I think I want to add a few larger pieces for next year and not quite as many small things. But I'm totally happy for now. And I got it up just in time for all the great fall temperatures we've been having!

Linking to:

Home Stories A2Z

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

31 Days: Day 18 - It's All About the Presentation

Ok ok, we all know that wrapping paper and bows are just a means of keeping the gift a secret and soon will be a muddled pile on the floor. But you know we all still love a well-wrapped present. Somehow, it really does add to the gift. Even the most mundane item becomes lovely if presented in a unique or fun way.

I grabbed the above photos off pinterest using a search for gift packaging. Pretty right? And there are a million more ideas out there, most of which are pretty easy and inexpensive. Like the toilet paper roll I used to wrap the necklace we gave Kaitlyn for her birthday. Did you know used toilet paper rolls make fantastic pillow boxes? (inspiration post found here)

The tutorial says to modge podge the paper onto the roll, but I was lazy and just used tape :) It worked perfectly too. You just cover the roll and fold in the ends, then tie it together with a ribbon and viola!

And don't forget those little touches like tags or fun accents instead of those plastic bows from Walmart. I grabbed a couple of shells and used them with a small piece of ribbon to dress up the rest of Kaitlyn's gifts this year.

Now please share - what are you favorite/most unique packaging ideas?