Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Halloween Deal

Between Clara's Little Red Riding Hood, and Emily's Link from Zelda, we're kickin' it old school in our household this Halloween.

Mark made the shield from cardboard, and I sewed the tunic, hat, and sheath for the sword ($5.00 fabric from JoAnn). The sword was a Target find ($5).

Emily and I worked out a deal. She gets the M&M's. I get the Reese's. Nobody gets hurt.

Wishing everyone a happy and safe Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Super Easy Marshmallow Pumpkins

Emily and I did some Halloween "baking" this afternoon. She thought these marshmallow pumpkins were the coolest thing, and they were super-easy to make. Each marshmallow makes two pumpkins. Very frugal! She made these with very little help from me whatsoever.

For a slightly healthier option, try slices of banana instead of marshmallows. I say, go for the marshmallows! After all, Halloween only comes but once a year.

Begin by cutting each large marshmallow in half. It is scientifically proven that when you cut sweets in half all of the calories spill right out.

Poke the marshmallow through a skewer.

Let the marshmallow go for a quick swim in a small bowl of water.

Cover with orange decorating sugar! Emily did a happy dance when we got to this step, and I think a happy dance is mandatory for this activity. It makes the marshmallows taste a little better.

Use green icing to make stems.

The taste test results..... success!! Nom nom nom!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hey there Little Red Riding Hood

I finished sewing Clara's Halloween costume last night because there's no sense in waiting until the last minute, right?

Fortunately, this sweet hooded poncho for Little Red Riding Hood took less than 10 minutes to put together. I used 1 yard of costume fabric from JoAnn that was just $2.49/yard. Bargain!

I love that her "basket of goodies" doubles as a treat basket for trick-or-treating! It was a thrift store find for $0.25.

What are your little ones dressing up as?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Five Little Bats Finger Puppet Playset

We have been enjoying lots of Autumn and Halloween themed books and poems in our household lately. Between battling colds, and rainy weather, it is the perfect time for snuggling under blankets and reading good books. When we read this poem this afternoon, we just knew we needed a finger puppet playset to go along with it!

Five Black Bats

Five black bats
Ready to soar;
One stayed behind,
Now there are four.
Four black bats
Hanging from a tree;
One fell down,
Now there are three.
Three black bats
Wondering what to do;
One flew away,
Now there are two.
Two black bats
Sitting in the sun;
One fell asleep,
Leaving only one.
One lonesome bat
With no place to go,
Went hiding in a cave,
Now there are zero.

Isn't that the cutest?

Emily could not wait to start playing with these! They are made from black craft foam. We cut 10 pieces 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inches. I used 5 of them to cut out bat shapes, and the other five became the finger bands. Emily loves attaching googly eyes! Who doesn't??

Just a few quick stitches to hold them together, and they were done!

She has already asked for a tote bag to keep them in.... I happen to have some pumpkin patterned fabric that I think will be perfect. Another excuse to get crafty?? Bring it on!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last-Minute Goody Bags from an Envelope

Emily asked if we could make some special Halloween goody bags to give out to her friends, but I am too lazy (and far too frugal) to go to the store and spend money on goody bags. In the end, she liked these handmade ones so much better! I think they would be perfect for last-minute party favors, but we've been battling some colds around here, so no parties for us anytime soon. Boo hoo! Grab some business-sized envelopes, enlist the help of the kids, and make your own goody bags in seconds. (Well, maybe a bit longer if you waste time tearing the house apart looking for envelopes because you can't remember where you last placed them and you're certain that the baby must have walked off with them... Not that it has happened to me, or anything.... I was... um... I was just sayin'.)

Here's how to make your own:

1. Seal the envelopes.

2. Cut each envelope in half to make two goody bags. Yes, two goody bags from one envelope. So thrifty, right? Start with one half, and fold along what was the side of the envelope, about 1/4 inch in. This will now be the bottom of the goody bag. Unfold, and then fold along the top and bottom 1/4 inch of the envelope as shown.

3. Pop open your envelope to form your goody bag. My, aren't you crafty??

4. Here's what the bottom of the bag should look like.

5. For the candy corn, cut out strips of colored construction paper and glue together as shown.

6. Cut out triangles, as shown. (Great for the little ones who are just getting used to scissors!)

7. Attach to the bag, fill with candy, and pass out to friends!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Beautiful Autumn Leaf Garland

We thought the dining room (aka sewing studio) could use some decorating this season, so Emily gathered up some leaves earlier in the day and we got to work on this beautiful garland for some late night crafting.

Emily had been begging me to do the waxed paper leaf collage for a long time, but I don't know... it seemed kinda... *yawn*. Boring. But, when we thought of this project, we both got so excited about it.

The garland turned out even better than I had anticipated, and we had so much fun putting it together! From start to finish, it took about five minutes.

To make your own Autumn leaf garland, you will need some leaves, waxed paper, and a sewing machine or serger (you may call this an over-lock machine). Begin by laying down your leaves on top of some waxed paper. It helps if the leaves have been pressed first for a few days, but if you are particularly impatient (as my five year old sometimes is.... ahem) that isn't necessary.

Sandwich the leaves between two sheets of waxed paper, as shown. Be sure to have plenty of space between the leaves.

Use a cloth to cover over the top.... iron until the wax paper melts together.

Trim the edges as shown.

Using your serger, or sewing machine, start with a tail of thread about 4 inches long.

Stitch through the top of the leaf square, and continue with just the thread for another four inches, stitch through the top of another leaf square. Repeat this step until all the leaves have been stitched to make a garland.

Hang proudly for all to see!

I think Clara approves of our taste in home decor, don't you?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DIY: On-the-Go Snack Cup from a Sheet of Paper

The girls started to get a bit hungry on the way back from visiting with Grandma and Papock. We stopped at a rest stop, and realized we had snacks, but no cups or bowls to serve them in. The solution? Mark's origami skills and a sheet of paper!

You won't believe how quick and easy this is!

Mark has graciously provided us with a quick tutorial. Thanks, Honey! Here's how to make your own On-the-Go Snack Cup.

1. Begin with a square sheet of paper.

2. Fold in half to form a triangle.

3. Pull down one flap as shown. Fold into place.

4. Bring the flap back up again, and use the crease as a marker for your next fold.

5. Fold the bottom right corner up to match the crease you just made.

6. Repeat with the bottom left corner as shown.

7. Fold one top flap down as shown.

8. Flip the cup over, and repeat with the remaining top flap.

9. Fill with tasty snacks!

Now just think of all the "oohs and ahhs" you'll get at the playground when you whip up one of these in a matter of seconds! Or... maybe that's the sort of thing that only happens in my craft fantasies.
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