Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall Garland for Kids

My oldest monster had a Fall Harvest class party recently and the call went out for Room Moms to come up with activities for the children, so of course I had to volunteer! What kid doesn't like bringing inside and showing off the biggest leaves they can find (and then crumbling them up on the carpet for Mom to clean!!!); here is a way to do that with less mess.

What you'll need:
- felt squares in 4 different fall leaf colors
- 4 large leaves (different kinds)
- red felt squares
- darker green felt squares for the apple leaves
- 3-5ft of twine
- printer paper for tracing on
- hot glue gun (I used fabric glue when we did this in glass)
- scissors
- sharpie

Start by tracing out your leaves on the printer paper (I have 4 pictured, but only chose 3 to leave room for the apple shape).
Cut the cut-out shapes to use as stencils on your felt squares.

Cut 2 small perpendicular lines near the top of the shapes. This will be to thread the twine through, if you do it more towards the center they will flop over and not look as pretty when hung up.

Use your fabric glue or hot glue gun to glue the leaves to apples, being careful not to cover up the cuts for the twine.

Thread your twine through your shapes and display your little monster's handiwork!

TIP: If you're doing this as a school activity it helps to pre-cut at home and separate in Ziploc bags.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dancing Baby Groot Kid's Halloween Costume

My babies. I love them soooo much. I'd do anything for them. I love them. I love them. I love them. That's what I keep repeating to myself when I'm staying up way past my bedtime working on their Halloween costumes. "Well then why don't you go out and buy costumes for them?" Because I'm too much of a nerd to buy when I can make, my kids (and I) are too unique to dress up like everyone else, and because the look on my sons' faces when they wear their cosplay worthy (at least in their eyes) costumes makes it all worth it. So when littlest monster wants dancing Baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.... and asks "pweeeeassse?" with those big baby eyes.... Mommy makes him a dancing Baby Groot costume.

What you'll need:
- lamp shade
- foam gym floor mat square
- adult suspenders
- bag of moss
- brown hoodie, a couple sizes too big
- dark and regular brown felt squares
- one square green felt
- hot glue gun
- black sharpie

The first four items I found at a thrift store, the rest I already had lying around the house.

Cut the metal parts off of the lamp shade and trim the floor mat to fit a few inches deep into the upside down lamp shade. Make sure it's wedged in really good so it doesn't pop off when your kid is walking around.

Cut a hole out for your child to be able to fit inside. You can make a small one at when you're first working on it, but eventually you'll have to cut it fit around your child's belly with the hoodie (and layers if it's cold outside) on.

I sewed the suspenders to the *bottom* of the upside down lamp shade. The reason why we're using adult size suspenders is because we are going to stretch them up through the floor mat hole, to wear directly under the hoodie. I bought the hoodie a couple sizes too big because I wanted him to be able to wear warm layers under his costume and because the bottom half of the hoodie needs to be under the gym floor mat (I've never seen a tree with a belly button, have you?).

No comes the labor intensive part: cutting out and hot gluing the bark. I did an under layer of thin dark brown (with a few regular brown mixed in) felt bark strips, with a layer of bigger approximately 6"x3" pieces of bark on top. I used the sharpie to outline each uniquely shaped piece and to add a wood grain look to them. For the hood instead of lining it with bark I made a crown of twigs by folding a square in half to give it depth, cutting the twig shapes on the front and side and gluing it to a felt headband to wear as a removable crown.

For trick or treating my son had on his thermal sweater and olive (tree root?) colored pants. He stepped into the lampshade and we pulled the suspenders over his shoulders then put on the hoodie. Once this was one we wedged the floor mat square into place and placed the moss on top.

Complete costume by dancing to Jackson 5's "Want You Back" and saying "I am Groot!" all night instead of Trick or Treat.