November 3rd, 2013
Growing up my mom always made our costumes. I don’t think I even knew you could get costumes at the store until I was grown up. So I guess thats just where my mind goes when it comes to halloween. I’d love to just buy costumes and be done with it, but for me, making the costumes is part of the fun and challenge of halloween.
I don’t think I’ve posted pictures from the past two years – I’m all about the experience first and the photo taking second, so excuse these poor photos (I don’t even know how people get their kids to hold still for photos?!?). Anyway when ollie was 7 months old I decided he would be the cutest little gnome (we love gnomes in this house). Ollie always loved wearing hats so I was pretty sure he could pull off wearing a hat as the main part of his costume. He did not disappoint and kept the hat (and beard) on all night long. Here he is *not* looking at the camera.
Because this was my first time making a costume, I kept it pretty simple. A felt hat just rolled into a cone with a button sewed on for decoration. I used some pillow/drapery fringe trim for the beard which was sewed into the inside of the hat.
I sewed the blue felt shirt using one of his shirts as a guide for a pattern, and then made a quick belt with some black elastic and a belt buckle. I also attempted to sew some pointy pleather shoes which looked cool but didn’t really stay on.
Here he is trying the hat/beard on as I was making it. Isn’t he just scrumptious?
Such a cute little baby! Look at those kissable cheeks and lips.
The next year I was feeling a bit more confident. We thought he would make a cute little Domo Kun and so I bought some fuzzy brown fabric and just went to town making a 3D rounded rectangle. It worked out great and he was so cute – although he still didn’t quite get the idea of Halloween. Pictures this year were even harder – this is the best one I have!
This year – he totally got the concept of halloween. For the whole month of October he kept asking if we could “get in the car and go to halloween” haha. I kept asking him what he wanted to be for halloween, he didn’t really seem to have a preference, but when he watched Monsters Inc. for the first time, he immediately said that he wanted to be a “firefighter” (actually a CDA agent whom he calls fire fighters) for halloween. So I thought, hey cute… he can be a CDA guy and Leo can be Mike Wazowski and they’ll be super cute. So to go easy on myself, I ordered a yellow rain coat and pants, and figured I’d make a backpack with tubes etc. A few days later it comes in the mail and Ollie would NOT put it on. Not even get close to it. And now he did NOT want to be a “firefighter” not even a little bit.
So back to the drawing board. I kept asking him what he wanted to be and he would say random things/characters/people etc. But he always said a different thing every time. So I never pulled the trigger on anything. About 2 weeks before halloween I asked him what he wanted to be and he said Muno! For a whole week he kept saying Muno (and added that he wanted daddy to be Plex and mommy to be Foofa). So I told him no changing his mind and I promptly went to the fabric store. I bought fabric for Muno, Foofa (for me), and Dj Lance (for Leo). For the Muno costume I googled Muno costumes (imagine that), and found someone who sewed an awesome Muno costume and had some basic instructions online. This helped me a lot in building my Muno costume though I did a lot differently than they did. The whole time I was cutting/sewing/glueing Ollie was so so so excited about being Muno. I finished the headpiece at night and the next morning when he woke up told him that his costume was done and he could try it on. He was like a kid at Christmas – practically jumping out of his skin and so happy to get to BE Muno.
He kept dancing and saying “wiggle wiggle wiggle stop!” haha I should have taken video!! I did get a cute back-shot when he held still enough to look out the front door.
The balls are styrofoam balls cut in half and covered in fabric and hot glued on.
When Halloween came 3 days later, he couldn’t wait to get his costume on that evening. Here he is posing and dancing.
And outside getting ready to go!
Not to be too outdone I also threw together Leo’s DJ lance costume.
For both costumes I purchased this simple halloween jumpsuit pattern:
It was actually my first time ever sewing from a pattern (those things are HARD to read!), but the pattern was super simple and the jumpsuit part of each of their costumes took less than an hour to sew.
Here they are both with Grandma who came over to see them and pass out candy while we took to the streets.
Did I mention that Ollie wanted me to be Foofa and daddy to be Plex? So I bought pink fleece and put together a quick outfit (used pajama pants as a pattern, and then just made a bodice by measuring myself). Once Spencer saw all our awesome costumes, he wanted to dress up as well. So the day before Halloween, I ran to the store and bought stuff for his Plex costume and the morning of Halloween, started his costume and finished it a few hours later. It would have been nice to have a little more time to work out some of the details, but I think he turned out great, and the neighborhood kids LOVED seeing a big robot running around.
Here we all are together as an awesome Yo Gabba Gabba ensemble. I’m so glad we got a great group picture and everyone is actually LOOKING at the camera and HOLDING STILL!
Here Spencer & I are in a quick selfie while trick-or-treating.
And a quick shot at Muno and Plex.
And I cant forget our very adorable DJ Lance! He did so great while we were out. Perfectly happy to be on a walk with the family and actually kept his hat on until the very end.
After making those 4 costumes I feel practically like a pro! My sewing machine saw more hours than ever before, and I feel way less intimidated to sew anything including clothes. I also learned just how easy it is to sew pajama pants or comfy pants for kids, so I may just pick up some fleece and sew a bunch of elastic waist pants for the boys this winter and save (a lot) of money.
The whole night was magical and really just wonderful happy moments watching Ollie so confidently run up to doors, knock, say “trick or treat” pick a candy and say “thank you”. He was the absolute perfect age for such an event, and was grinning ear to ear and dancing all the way. We all had the most perfect evening and are already looking forward to Halloween next year, and planning how we could make our costumes even better.
Have you attempted sewing your own/your kid’s halloween costumes? Did your mom sew all of yours like mine did?
September 17th, 2013
Katie made another cute halloween project for my blog. I provided her with the My Mind’s Eye Happy Haunting line, and she did all the magic to make this adorable pumpkin! The best part is that she started with this crazy green pumpkin that she bought on clearance last Halloween.
I got the pumpkin from the 80% off sale at hobby lobby last year, spent $1.80 on it, knowing i wouldn’t keep it green. In preparation for decorating the pumpkin, I painted it black
The stem wasn’t big enough to wrap ribbon around so I cut two holes to fish the ribbon through.
Then I grabbed all the cute MME Happy Haunting papers & embellishments and played around with them a bit.
I decided to keep it simple and cut strips of the striped paper and wrap them around the pumpkin.
I used the enamel brads to stick the strips down with. and just fanned out the paper till i covered the whole pumpkin.
I put some hot glue on the bottom of the pumpkin where the stripes fell so they would stay down in place.
I wanted to decorate the top so I got some Basket Box and Bag shred from the Dollar store, and hot glued it to the top for some fun texture.
For the tag i just found the skull base that i wanted and just started adding from there, all MME stuff from the Happy Haunting line.
Then I assembled it all and tied the ribbons up top. A super simple project, but an beautiful halloween decoration.
Thanks Katie!! I adore this pumpkin and just had to place it on my Halloween table:
Here’s the rest of my table – This will probably be my only Halloween decorations this year due to our temporary housing situation. But next year I’m totally going all out!
September 14th, 2013
Being in (very) temporary housing with almost everything we own in storage it’s kind of hard to get the motivation to create projects and decorate for holidays. However, I just can’t stand the thought of not decorating at all for Halloween, Fall & Christmas. And I definitely want to do some fun (and easy) bloggy projects for my readers as well. I’ve mentioned my crafty landlady Katie who previously created a father’s day silhouette project for me. She has been so kind as to help me create projects and she’s back again with an awesome Halloween DIY project. She made this amazingly cute spooky Tea Towel which I am considering just keeping because it’s pretty sweet. Here are the few quick steps:
All you need is a Tea Towel – this one is from IKEA (awesome), a tree branch stencil (Hobby Lobby), black fabric paint and paint brushes.
Using washi tape (or any removable tape) to position the stamp just right, I carefully painted in the stencil using a small detail brush.
Once the stencil dried I peeled it off, and extended some of the beaches so they didn’t look like the stopped so suddenly.
I just eye balled the trunk, and wanted more branches off to the side so i made sure the stencil was dry and placed it over my tree so i could make some more beaches coming off the trunk.
Once it was all done I wondered about putting a saying on it like, Happy Haunting or spooky, but I loved how simple it was so i just added a small stamp from MME that said Happy Halloween!
Such a cute way to bring halloween decor into your kitchen or table.
Or you could do this to a table runner, placemat, table cloth etc.
Well I hope you enjoyed Katie’s project. She also created an adorable pumpkin, and I’ll feature that in a few days.
Here’s my last year’s Halloween Apothecary Mantel and my Decopage Pumpkins DIY if you’re looking for more Halloween inspiration.
June 12th, 2013
I asked my very crafty friend (and landlady) Katie to create an awesome father’s day project for my blog. She came up with this great idea to do a father/son silhouette. I suppose if you have a daughter you can do a father/daughter silhoutte, or a father/pet one etc. I’m not sure how you’d do multiple children, maybe a really long frame. I’m sure there’s lots of ways you can play around with this idea.
I just love how the silhouette turned out. The script paper in the back makes for a super elegant art piece for your mantle or gallery wall.
The first step is to get a photo of your guys. Good luck keeping them still for that one second it takes to hit the shutter button.
Then you’ll need to import the pictures onto your computer. Katie used Adobe Illustrator to build her silhouettes in. If you have a wacom tablet, you could also use photoshop or some similar program. The benefit of using Illustrator is that your silhouette can become a cuttable file for your Cricut or Cameo pretty easily. If you’re just not computer savvy, you can create a silhouette the old fashioned way by projecting light past your subject and onto a surface – hand-drawing while they sit there, or you can take photos and print out the photo the correct size, and trace/cut your silhouette from the photo.
In Illustrator you’re basically making a line with points that define change in direction. You want to have as few points as possible in order for your shapes to be as smooth as they can be. Create a new layer, and use your pen or pencil tool to follow the outline of the faces. You can see here that the lines are white so that they show up against the photos.
Once the silhouettes are complete, you can switch the white line to a white fill to make sure that they look correct.
When you’re happy with the shapes, you can delete the photo layer, and turn the white fill into a black fill.
Then you can figure out how you want the project to be composed.
Katie tried the faces nested, but it created some visual confusion. So she settled on them overlapping.
To keep the necks from having odd starting and stoping spots, Katie created an oval and used the pathfinder tool to make the shapes fit perfectly together.
She sent me her illustrator files since I have a Cameo (which I LOVE and highly recommend). I saved each silhouette in it’s own file, and exported as a .DXF (make sure there are no groups). Then I imported into the Silhouette Studio (Cameo’s free software), and cut each of the silhouettes out with my Cameo. Katie cut the background circle by hand, and then we glued the silhouettes onto the background and mounted them in the frame.
This turned out to be a pretty quick project, and the results are stunning. Thanks Katie!
May 29th, 2013
Minted.com recently asked me to review their Father’s day cards and gifts. Since I happen to love Minted (I did my christmas cards with them last year – awesome!), and have a few fathers in my life, it was a no brainer to share their high quality and well designed products with you!
I have to say that I was bit skeptical about using a site like Minted to buy something like a fathers day card. I figured the prices would be to high, and the cards no better than your standard hallmark card, so why bother with something seemingly more complicated? Boy was I so completely wrong on every account. I checked out their cards and found that all the cards were well designed and super easy to customize. Here are a few that I just adore:
Now you must be thinking to yourself those are so adorable, but they must cost a bajillion dollars. I couldn’t believe that they are only $5.99.
$5.99! For a custom printed with any of your photos card. And I’m not done yet! The cards are also full-color print on the inside with as many photos as you can squeeze in there (they have different layout options that are super easy to drop photos in).
So let me share the cards that I ordered so you can see how precious these are. Outside cover:
The paper these cards are printed on is super thick 98lb and I selected the Pearlescent paper option, which has just a little bit of shimmer. The quality of the print is excellent and I’m super picky about paper and print quality.
I almost cried when I opened up this card and saw all these precious moments from the past 6 months. This is definitely more than a card to me, it’s an opportunity to get pictures off my computer and give them a chance to be cherished.
There just isn’t anything cooler than a card with all your own photos printed inside of it.
I also wanted to print a card for my Dad. I chose a simple one because I don’t have any photos of me and my dad (now that I know this, I need to make an effort to take some!).
I did drop a single picture in the inside of our little family (also need to get family photos taken now that Leo is bigger!).
In addition to the cards, Minted also has various Father’s Day Gifts including wall art, customized stationary, and journals. Mr. Project loves to sketch and so I was thrilled when I saw that you could get their journals with blank pages – perfect for sketching.
I customized his sketch book with his name, and the inside cover is custom printed with our address if it gets lost. I think this is so awesome, and was excited to find the perfect simple gift for Mr. Project. You can also print photos on the inside and there are several journals that have photos on the cover like this one:
I am so grateful for this opportunity to review Minted’s father’s day products because I know I wouldn’t have tried them out just on my own. And now that I have seen how awesome they are, I can’t imagine not ordering my cards from them every year (and probably for every occasion!).
For my readers, I have a 10% off coupon + free shipping on any Father’s Day Gifts now through 6/11/2013! Enter TPG10SHIP when you checkout.
On an unrelated note, my cute neighbor Katie made the silhouette for my Father’s Day table. I’m going to post a tutorial on that this Friday, so check back to see how you can make this awesome DIY father’s day gift.
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