October 1st, 2015
I totally have a thing for making halloween costumes. I love how its like a unconventional materials challenge on Project Runway, and you can just velcro and glue gun your way into the final because it doesn’t have to last for more than a night. Something about this gives me the freedom to just dive in and make whatever I want like our family Yo Gabba Gabba Costumes, or last year’s Mummy costume. This year I was inspired by Studio DIY’s Fries before Guys costume and wanted to make a mini version for my fry loving toddler.
You don’t need a lot of materials for this project. I picked up spray glue, but I ended up using hot glue for everything. The fry box is made from ONE red science board poster, the fries I made from some 2″ upholstery foam and large folded felt sheets from the felt section at Michaels.
To make the box, you’ll need to do some basic measuring of your child. I decided to go about 21″ wide and 16″ tall for the front section. I sketched the basic shape, using the concave area of the front to also make the convex area of the back.
Then I used a ruler and an xacto knife to cut along my straight lines. The curved lines I just went for it (I do have a lot of experience with an xacto knife though, so be careful!)
Once cut, I had my front and back pieces. I layed them over each other and trimmed any difference on the sides to that they are the same exact width. To measure the sides, I marked the height of the back and the height of the front on another piece of my cardboard, and then cut the front measurement at a slight angle, and scooped up from the front measurement to the back measurement. I did this once, and then traced the finished board onto a second board and cut out a mirror-image version of it.
Then I grabbed my trusty large-format glue gun from Ad tech. I always sing its praises, but I just love using large glue sticks – and you’ll need a lot of glue for this project.
On the frontside of my frybox, I didt want the cardboard to show through, so I cut a stray piece of my red cardboard and glued it on. To glue on the sides, I ran a bead of glue up the length and then held the side piece in place until dry. Once dry, I reinforced with a lot more glue on the inside seam I repeated this on the other side and the front. And seriously this thing is bomb proof – or toddler proof, iIm not sure which is worse. Either way, its seriously solid.
For the straps, I measured some ribbon around Leo’s shoulders and glued it in front, cris-crossed it and glued it in back. I used pieces of cardboard to reinforce the glue bonds to keep them from being stressed out.
This whole box process took about 60 minutes. And boy was Leo excited to try it on. He might have worn this box a few hours each day while I was making the fries.
For the fries, I used some 2″ foam that I had lying around. It was green so there was no chance of spray painting, but luckily I found some big 36″x 36″ felt sheets at Michaels. To cut the foam, I used a large xacto knife with a scalpel blade. I drew lines 2″ apart on both sides of the foam and then ran my blade 2 cuts deep on each side. This took forever.
But the results were well worth it. I cut the felt to width. The length wasn’t quite long enough but that doesn’t matter since you cant see the bottom of the fries. I tried a lot of trial and error on getting the edge of the fries looking great. I did find that with hot glue and synthetic felt that the glue bonds to the felt and once dry you can cut off excess felt and have a crisp seam. I ended up using this method two ways. The first was folding the felt over the top of the fry, then gluing the “wings” together, letting the glue harden and then cutting them off. Then wrapping the felt sides over and gluing to the leftover flap, and again cutting away excess once the glue had hardened.
Another slightly easier version of this, is to glue the felt all the way around the fry but leave an extra 1/2″ of excess at the top. Then cut a 2.5″x2.5″ square and hot glue all the way around the opening, making sure that the felt gets plenty of hot glue, and (carefully) pressing the felt square into the wrapped-around felt. Once hardened, all excess can be cut off and your seams look like this:
To glue in the fries, I really just used A TON of glue, and some left-over foam as spaces and reinforcements so that the fries are well supported. I was surprised how well the glue holds, but seriously this is rock solid. Both my boys ran around in it for a few hours and its in great shape.
I hope you like my DIY kid fry costume, now check out all the DIY costumes from the 49 other Michaels Makers:
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January 1st, 2014
I couldn’t sleep last night. Normally that’s not a bad thing on New Year’s Eve, however it was way past midnight and I was the only one awake. Restless.
I hadn’t thought much about my goals for this year. It seems as though our lives have been on hold for the past 8 months. In transition (how many times have I said that?). Waiting for our new life to begin. Holding pattern. Stress. How can you start a fresh year when you’re on hold? I still don’t know. I still feel overwhelmed by the clutter and chaos that surrounds me. I’ve never really battled with depression, only during my pregnancies to some extent – hormone related no doubt. But being in transition seems to bring out the worst in my psyche. These past few months I’ve battled with some form of sporadically crippling depression. It comes and goes in waves, sometimes for a few days and other days I’m amazingly productive. But it’s there kind of hiding waiting to sneak up on me. “Today’s going to be a productive day!” I know it, and then, BAM! it’s there, and I can hardly function. I’ve never dealt with anything like this before so I don’t know what to call it, or how to manage it (other than dysfunction). I’m just clinging to the hope that it’s due to the transient nature of our lives, and once I’m on more solid footing and in an environment more conducive to creativity (not piled high with boxes and cabinets and nearly everything I own still in boxes) that it will disappear.
So not feeling particularly motivated to make any changes just yet, and feeling as though I should just keep eating my feelings (like I’ve been doing for the past few months), I stumbled upon an instagram of someone’s One Little Word. Now I’ve never done a OLW, I didn’t even know who the founding person was who started this – I just found out this morning that it’s Ali Edwards who started it several years ago. Basically the premise is that you choose a word – like a little spirit guide – to help you in your personal progression through the year. To help you focus your intentions, desires, goals, and actions into one central unifying principle that you are working towards.
Thinking about this idea late at night really just hit a spark with me. I could choose a word, I could find my path again – I could even create a free printable to help me execute my word (see below!). But what word to choose?
What do I name this battle that was I fighting? I thought “Organize” is a great word. If there’s anything I need right now, it’s Organization. But that seemed pretty shallow for my needs. Like a bandaid to fix an artery. I thought “Health” because building a house is kind of like building a baby, it takes everything out of you and I could really use focus on my health to start getting things in order (also see eating emotions above). But I instinctually knew that this wasn’t right either. I was trying to heal symptoms and and not the actual problem.
After much pondering, I realized that my symptoms were all caused by my life being off-kilter. Not just my physical environment, but everything. I had set myself up so much to be living a temporary life during this house-build, that I never found my center. I just knew if I could hold on till we were settled in the new house that everything would work itself out. Except the design and build took longer than I thought, and before I knew it I was spinning on the wrong axis and life was spiraling out of control. I can handle a little chaos, even a lot of chaos, but it just got to be too much, and I didn’t know how to correct. And thats when the depression came. Endless cycles of stress eating, stress insomnia, stress stressing, stress shopping, stress crying, stress iphoning. And I knew what I needed more than anything else was to find my center again. Throw off all the disfuctional coping mechanisms and be incredibly deliberate in my actions.
So today on this glorious first day of a brand new year, I’m starting fresh. Mr. Project cleaned the house this morning, soon the boxes and cabinets will also be gone, and I have a clean slate to make choices that will reinforce my decision to find my center. I’m going to edit and print my 2014 Planner, and be as organized and cleanly as I can. Plan menus, the works! I’m going to look at food not as a drug to numb my stress, but choose to eat things that bring me health and clarity of mind. I’m going to be far more deliberate in loving my husband and children and when/how I choose to interact with my phone/social media outlets. And probably most important, I’m going to reconnect with my inner self, and my spiritual self. No more excuses, just using my time as wisely as I can to make sure my actions are inline with my One Little Word.
I created this “focus matrix” not just as a goal sheet, but a prioritizing of aspects of my life, and how to reinforce my “One Little Word” in each of those areas. I filled this out by keeping my OLW in the center box as my “fixed point”. Then I asked myself what areas of my life do I need to focus on and make better and how do they relate to my OLW. For mine, I chose:
2. Relationship with Spouse
And in each of those areas, I carefully thought of ways that I can apply my “one little word”. I hung this above my desk, and am going to use it as a daily reminder of my desire to find my center, and the types of choices that will lead me towards the change that I need to see this year.
This form is available as a free download. I challenge you to choose a OLW use it as a guide to bring about change in your life. Click on the image below to download. If you like it, please leave a comment, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you.
I feel like my goals now have a “fixed point” instead of being independent ideas of what I want to do or be this year. And I know that focusing on that fixed point will lead to greater success towards getting to where I want to be.
I created this saying for the printable form, and decided I should design some printable art version of it, to hang up and motivate me. So I drew this up and printed the black ink it on a piece of ombre card stock (MME Cut & Paste Adorbs “Story” Recollect Paper).
If you’d like to print it out, I’ve provided a free download PDF (download by clicking on the image below) that can be printed on plain or colored paper.
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April 12th, 2012
So Sophie, how many projects can we make from a 10×10 stack?
Project # 1 Baby Bib
This simple patchwork baby bib used only a few 2.5 squares. I cut one strip of 2.5×10 of each of the prints and then sub cut those strips into 2.5×2.5 inch squares. I then sewed those squares together in a simple patchwork pattern, added some linen and lace. I backed the bib in absorbent terry cloth and used my favorite baby bib pattern from the book One Yard Wonders.
You can see that there are still many pieces and scraps to play with. Next week I will share more projects made with the 10×10 left overs.