Tag: weekend crafts

DIY The Very Hungry Caterpillar Character Costume

I am extremely lucky in my work situation. I get to do what I love, teach art full time, and bring my almost two year old to school with me everyday. My school provides on site daycare for all their employees. It’s easily half the cost of standard daycare and he is on campus with me. This opportunity has kept me working, which is what I want to do. Before kids I didn’t realize many women had to stop working due to the ridiculous cost of daycare. Even with baby number two on the way, we can justify the cost of full time childcare for two while I stay in the classroom.

Cooper has been attending his “school” since he was four months old. We both get a nice summer off, but come August we are back at it. Although I teach high school, I work at a K-12 school. This makes daycare even better, the kids get a glimpse of life in elementary school and they get to participate in a number of their events. One such event is the annual book character parade. All the daycare and elementary students get to dress up as their favorite book characters and parade around the quad for their parents, middle and high school students, and faculty to see.

This was the second year Cooper got to participate, and this was the second year that I waited until the night before to pull it all together. Although I put myself in a stressful situation by procrastinating, it made me realize that I love making his outfits for events like this and I can do it on a budget and tight timeline.

SUPPLIES:

For his “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” or as I like to call it “The Very Hungry Toddler” costume I had fabric leftover from his book character the year before, the “Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom” tree. It made the project that much easier to have most of the supplies on hand.

  • White shirt (or any old shirt you have laying around)
  • Red beanie
  • Purple, dark green, light green, and brown felt
  • Brown, purple, green, yellow, and white paint (I used acrylic paint to make sure it stayed on if it got wet. Fabric dye is also a good option)
  • Green and yellow construction paper OR if you feel artsy, watercolor paper and watercolor paint
  • Cardboard (thin strips to help the antennas stand up)
  • Hot glue gun/hot glue
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Water

To get the Eric Carle illustration look on Cooper’s costume, I painted on top of fabric. His illustrations have a beautiful range of value in each object. You never see something one solid shade of green. Instead, you may find a range of value from yellow to yellow-green to light-green to dark-green, and even more in between.

I picked two shades of green, yellow, and white paint to mix together on my green base fabric. I watered down acrylic paint, and loosely added color with big paintbrushes. I painted the fabric before cutting it up to make it easier to paint and to give it an even more Eric Carle look. I tried not to follow a stripe pattern. I randomly introduced colors, blended them together, and made a mess in general.

I used the same colors on the dark green fabric. On the purple fabric, for the caterpillar feelers, I used a different shade of purple and white. On the brown fabric I used yellow, another shade of brown, and white paint.

After letting the fabric dry, I started cutting everything out. I cut strips for the body of the caterpillar, round foot shapes for the feet, and long narrow pieces for the antennas. This is the type of crafty project that looks cute and crafty, so I did not worry about fraying edges or uneven cuts. In situations like these, I tell myself if everything looks a little funky it all comes together to create a beautifully funky end result.

 

Next, I started hot gluing all the pieces to his white shirt. I started with the feet, overlapped them on the front, and glued them down. I then added the strips of green, alternating between dark and light. I wanted the sides of the stripes to look cleaner, so I folded the ends and glued them down. I then glued them directly to the shirt. I left the seam line exposed, covering the front completely, then adding the strips to the back of the shirt. This allowed the shirt to still stretch (somewhat) to put it on him.

Since the parade happened mid-October, it was a little chilly outside. I opted for a long sleeve white shirt (bought on the cheap from Amazon), but decided to only add the green stripes to the center of the shirt. It also made it a lot less complicated not adding them around sleeves.

It was tricky adding the pieces to the collar. A lesson I learned from last year’s costume is to leave the seam line on the shoulders exposed. After attaching all the leaves for the tree around his collar, there was no stretch left in the head opening. Cooper has an unusually large head, so I ended up cutting slits on either side just so we could put it on.

After the shirt was complete, I moved onto the beanie. I cut out four, thin purple strips of fabric, hot glued a piece of cardboard to one, and covered it up with another piece of purple fabric. I left a little extra fabric at the bottom, so I could “pinch” it to the hat using hot glue.

Next, I hot glued the eyes. You could use yellow and green construction paper, cut out ovals, and overlap them. I decided to paint them with watercolors on watercolor paper, then cut them out. I wanted to continue the painterly look of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” illustrations.

In addition to painting the eyes, I also painted a few examples of the fruit the caterpillar ate. I used watercolors, and combined multiple colors to imitate the color variation in the book. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate them into the costume, but decided to have them on hand in case an idea struck me. In the end I glued the apple to the front of his shirt and attached the rest on a string for him to carry during the parade.

If you don’t have access to these supplies or don’t have the knowledge on how to do it you can always print pictures of the illustration and add them to the costume.

He loved shaking the fruit on the string. This is the best picture I have of him holding it, and it barely lasted the day, but I loved the touch it added.

Cooper in his “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” costume in fall of 2016, almost at a year old, and in his “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” from this year. I can’t believe how much he has grown in a year!

Although these are short term costumes, I love being able to make something for him. My wallet also appreciates it. Thanks for taking the time to check out my latest how to post. Help me spread the word about DIY, crafts, and all things art by sharing with others. Thanks for stopping by!

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DIY Shower Craft Project: Personalized Photo Banners

Hanging Phot Banners

It has been a summer of showers. Really, it has been a few years of showers, but I don’t mind because I love hosting them and having the opportunity to celebrate my nearest and dearest. Most recently, I threw a shower for my newest sister-in-law, a couples shower cook out. It was non-traditional, filled with grilled meats, yard games, and a lot of booze, one of the more fun showers I have hosted. Although it was non-traditional, I still wanted a shower feel with sweet decorations and personal touches. These photo banners are one of the many crafts I completed for the big day, find out how I did it below!

Photo Banner Supplies

In order to create the banner you have to pick up a few supplies:

  1. Either cut out a banner shape from cardboard or thick card stock or purchase a pre-made set from your local arts and crafts store. I opted for option B, it saved me time, and at 50% off, it only cost a few extra dollars.
  2. Scissors to cut out your pictures and trim the string.
  3. A paintbrush to use to apply Mod Podge
  4. Picture print outs. Since the photo banners were going to hang in doorways I printed enough to do them front and back. I highly recommend printing on heavier paper. I had issues with the standard printer paper bubbling and trying to rip when I painted them with Mod Podge.
  5. Mod Podge or some type of adhesive.
  6. String, twine, yarn, hemp, whatever look you likes best to string the banner sections together.

HOW TO:

Step one: First thing you have to do is pick up the supplies. All of these items can be found at your local arts and crafts store.

Step two: Print out your pictures. size them all to the backing size, mine were 5″x8″ and 4″x6.” As I mentioned above, I recommend using a heavier paper and a high quality printer if you have access to one. I used my standard printer and standard printer paper, and had a few issues come up. Despite some bubbled images, once hung, they looked great.
Step 3

Step three: Trace the banner shape onto the picture print out, and trim as needed. Typically, I recommend doing this on the back of the image, to prevent pencil marks showing up on the front, but with this project I needed to see if any part of their faces were caught in the triangle cut out. Erase visible pencil marks when you are finished.

Step 4

Step four: Lay the image on top of the banner section, and make sure everything lines up. Use a pencil, pen, or sharp tool to punch holes through the picture, and the banner piece if holes aren’t already punched. Since mine were pre-made, the holes were pre-punched.

Step 5

Step five: Coat the back of the picture with Mod Podge (or a type of adhesive) and press it to the banner backing. I chose to coat the front with Mod Podge to give it a more polished look. This picture shows first hand the bubbling I experienced with a few images. Be as gentle as you can when applying the Mod Podge. If a section does bubble, lightly press it down. It is better to leave it alone, once it dries, you couldn’t tell unless you were close up.

Step six: Allow all the pieces to dry.

Step seven: Add string to connect all the sections together, leave extra on either side to hang them up.

DSC_2984

Tie your completed banners up, use tape to tack them to walls, or place the ends under heavy objects. I completed four in total, and hung them in the doorways of my front and back door as well as the opening between my kitchen, living room, and dining room. Every banner was double sided, allowing me to include a wide range of pictures of the couple, from formal engagement pictures to Instagram snapshots.

This project didn’t take longer than an hour and it added a personal touch to the shower.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and read about my latest DIY craft project. Help me spread the word by following and sharing on your social networking site (or sites) of choice. I would love to hear how your version of this project went, feel free to share pictures and comment below[subscribe2]

Guest Post: Easy DIY Screen Printing for Holiday Crafts by Tiecen Anderson

Easy DIY Screen Printing for Holiday Crafts

If you look around for a DIY screen printing tutorial, chances are you come up with some pretty in-depth projects that involve light sensitive emulsifier and a darkroom. While these methods create a beautiful finished product, the precise requirements are not very kid-friendly.

With so many fun craft ideas cropping up during the holidays, it’s the perfect time to get the whole family involved, so we’re excited to share this super easy screen printing method that kids and adults can easily participate in. Since the holidays are right around the corner, we’ll use printing holiday themed napkins as an example, but you can really use screen printing for any textile project, including t-shirts, tote bags, and pillowcases.

Supplies Needed

Here is a list of the DIY screen printing supplies you will need:

  • 1 yard of porous fabric, such as chiffon or voile

Chiffon

  • A couple of plastic (for easy cleaning) embroidery frames that are about 12 inches in diameter

Embroidery Hoop (Plastic)

  • A holiday themed design template that you either printed out or drew

Christmas Images

  • A pencil
  • Mod Podge
  • A few paint brushes of varying sizes

Paint Brushes

  • A set of cloth napkins

Cloth Napkins

  • Thick acrylic paint, or paint specified for screen printing

Fabric Paint Bottles

  • A roll of masking tape

Masking Tape

  • A plastic credit card or gift card that you don’t mind getting dirty

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  • A painter’s drop cloth, newspaper, or some other protective layer for your work surface

The Printing Process

  1. Making the Screens: Take your fabric and stretch it as tightly as you can over the embroidery frame, securing it with the outer hoop. Make one screen for each color you’re intending to use.
  2. Transferring Your Design: Place the screen fabric side down over the top of your design template. Using a dull pencil, trace the design onto your screen fabric.
  3. Isolating the design: You need to create a channel for the paint to spread into by masking off the non-design areas. Use masking tape to create a border around your design that extends out to the edges of the frame. Then, use paint brushes of different sizes to carefully apply Mod Podge between the masking tape and the edges of your design. Be sure to create full coverage (hold the screen up to the light to double check), and smooth out any bumps. Allow the Mod Podge to dry for about 15 min. before moving on to the next step.
  4. Apply the Paint: Iron your napkin to make it smooth, and place it face-up on your working surface. You may want to pin it down to a piece of cardboard to keep it flat. Place your screen over the top of your napkin, and apply a thick, ½ inch bead of paint across the top of your design. Use the credit card to drag a smooth layer of paint across your whole design. Try to evenly coat the design only once, as best you can.
  5. Lift and Rinse: Once your paint is applied, lift your screen straight up from the napkin, leaving the design printed on the surface. Rinse your screen and frame immediately with cold water, removing all the paint, to prepare it for the next printing. Make any repairs to tape and Mod Podge in between printings, and allow it to dry.
  6. Repeat With Other Colors: Allow the design on your napkins to dry in between each color. When it is dry, you can use a second (or third, or fourth) screen to apply the next color in your design until the whole thing is complete. Designs that feature only one or two colors are easier and quicker to screen print.

No matter what you try this on, you’re sure to have a fun time and a unique creation! So break out the paints and have a little fun with the whole family this holiday season!

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DIY Spice Rack: Reorganizing My Kitchen

DIY Spice Rack Detail 2

I love my cute, unique, 1940’s home. It has interesting doorways, built ins, beautiful hardwoods, and a lot of charm. It’s the perfect first time home for Nick and me, but despite everything I love about it, it does have it’s downsides.

As soon as we moved into our house we outgrew the kitchen. We both enjoy cooking, and as a result of our hobby and recent wedding, we had acquired a great deal of kitchenware. Our cabinets immediately filled up, and items began spilling over into garage storage.

Kitchen storage and organization has been a battle since day one, and I recently decided it was time to reorganize our impractical spice cabinet, and try rearranging things. First we tried moving our mugs to our spice rack and our spices from the narrow cabinet next to the oven to the more spacious top shelf of our glasses cabinet. This arrangement lasted a week before I decided it wasn’t going to work.

After a lot of brainstorming I decided I should make my own spice rack, or spice shelf, for easy access to my spices, and as an unconventional way to decorate. A stainless steel shelf was already installed in the kitchen when we moved in, and my goal was to find a match to the shelf, lower the original one by a few inches, and add a new one above it. Based on a hunch I checked Ikea to see if the original shelf was from there, and I was lucky enough to find it, three years after the original shelf was purchased. As soon as I returned home from Ikea the spices were cleared out of the cabinet and I got to work.

DIY Spice Rack-Cabinet Before and After

I consolidated the spices into small jars, only $3.99 for a set of four from Ikea. In addition I found small oil containers, which I decided to use to store olive oil, red wine vinegar, balsalmic vinegar, and apple cider vinegar. These containers were an added bonus, and convenience while I cook.

DIY Spice Rack-Before and After

Unfortunately the oil containers didn’t have a stopper, so I fashioned my own out of wine corks. The end result of rearranging are my spices on display on my brand new shelf, and our wine glasses and medicine stored on the top shelf of the glasses cabinet, which allowed more space in one of our lower cabinets.

DIY Spice Rack-Oil Holders

DIY Spice Rack-Kitchen

I am very pleased with our new arrangement, and I think it makes the space with the shelves look more complete. Our cooking lives are easier, and I have a new addition to our kitchen to admire. This project only took one day and a few tools to complete. It was worth every penny and minute I spent on it!

If you are struggling with organization in your kitchen, or any room in your house, try to think outside of the box. Not everything has to be hidden in a closet or cabinet, think of ways to display items on shelves to allow space elsewhere. I love the decorative quality my multicolor spices have!

I hope you enjoyed my spice rack organization suggestions! Please help me spread the word about my blog by liking, e-mailing, sharing, subscribing, and of course commenting! I would love to hear about your kitchen organization nightmares and solutions. Thanks for stopping by!

 

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