How to make a kids Fry box costume – Michaels Makers DIY costume challenge

October 1st, 2015

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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.

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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.

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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.

theprojectgirl-fry-costume-cardboardThen 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!)

theprojectgirl-fry-costume-cut  Once cut, I had my front and back pieces. theprojectgirl-fry-costume-box2I layed them over each other and trimmed any difference on the sides to that they are the same exact width. theprojectgirl-fry-costume-box3To 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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. theprojectgirl-fry-costume-fries3I 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.

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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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Red traditional Mantel with Noel banner and scallop glitter banner

December 29th, 2014

Glittered NOEL banner on book pages - theprojectgirl.com

I decorated my basement mantel with decorations I had lying around from years past. I love bright red for Christmas and definitely feel like it fits in better with the decor downstairs. I did want to freshen it up with a banner, and I had these gorgeous glitter letters from My Mind’s Eye.

I created this banner with the same process I used for my star banner a few weeks ago. This time I used these gorgeous book pages from an old copy of Heidi that my kids had already torn a few pages from.
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I especially loved this chapter heading for a christmas banner.  I hand-cut the papers into this pocket shape and then hot-glued on the rosettes and glitter letters. theprojectgirl-noel-mantel-glitter

I wanted to sew this banner instead of string it through holes. I have this gorgeous chartreuse ribbon, and I didn’t want it to cover the book pages, so I placed it under instead. theprojectgirl-noel-banner-ribbon

To keep everything in place for sewing, I used just a few little dabs of glue from my glue runner.

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On each end, I folded the ribbon over, and tacked it down with more glue.

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Once I had all the flags tacked with glue, I ran the whole thing slowly through the sewing machine.

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And then placed it on my mantel.

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I wanted to finish off the mantel with one more small banner. I grabbed these glittered confetti circles from My Minds Eye, and sewed them down the middle.

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Then I folded and glued them with my Ad tech permanent glue runner to create a scallop banner.

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I placed that across the whole mantel to finish off the look. The stockings are from Pottery barn, and the garland is one that I have used before from Joanne Fabric & Craft. I wrapped it in some gorgeous burlap ribbon that I bought on clearance after Christmas last year, also from Pottery Barn.
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Click here to see my upstairs mantel

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Handmade Garlands & Doily Trees

December 29th, 2014

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I just love white on white on white for Christmas this year. I’m also working on keeping things simple. So I created a few simple DIY banners to put the finishing touches on my Christmas Mantel.

This Crepe paper banner is super fast, cheap and easy. I just bought a roll of cream crepe paper (for $.99!), and gathered it by bunching and pushing it through the sewing machine. Easy peasy!

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I created a tiny felt flag banner using my Cricut Explore to cut a sheet of white felt. The best way to cut felt with a Cricut Explore is to iron-on Heat n’ Bond to the back. You’ll need to peel the backer paper off, and press the bonded side down on the mat.
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I cut a ton of little diamonds out of the mounted felt. These are 1.25″ tall.

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I used white thread to string the triangles. A thin white twine would have been a bit easier to work with.
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I placed each diamond about 1/2″ apart, and then folded them down into triangles and pressed them with my iron.

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I love the sweetness of the final banner.theprojectgirl-felt-flag-banner-greenery

For the scallop banner, I sewed 2″ circles down the middle, and folded them over. And the ball banner was a super affordable pom pom banner from Michaels.

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I also created these super simple doily trees to finish off my little villages houses by cutting a 12″ doily into quarters.

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And then used some hot glue and my Ad Tech High Temp large format glue gun (my fav!) to glue it cut-end to cut-end. I do recommend possibly using a low-temp, or using a finger guards when glueing thin paper with holes.

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And there you go, doily trees!theprojectgirl-doily-tree

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Check out more pics of my Christmas Mantel:

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