October 2009

Make: Nutty Squirrel Costume

by Cat on October 30, 2009

I am sitting here typing with scorched knuckles from the glue gun. I rue the day I didn’t take more home ec classes as a kid! I would have never attempted this had it not been for Designing Mom Betsy and her retrospective gallery of brilliant costumes for her son. Or Shinmin’s amazing octopus creation and those very words that I could not shake, “I can’t deny Mila her first Halloween.” While it’s not the “nuttiest” squirrel costume on the block, I hope that one day my boy will look back and appreciate his mom’s efforts…scorched knuckles and all!

Warning: I kind of found my way through this project so I don’t have any templates. As you can see above, the vest needs to be finished in a major way and I plan to go back and seam the edges with the green polka dot fabric.
For materials, you’ll need:
-felt pieces
-fur pelt fabric
-old sweater
-glue gun
-batting/stuffing
-thread and needle
-velcro


To make the hat: It was too late to order the cute “June Bride” Etsy hat I wanted. So I took one of my hubby’s old, moth-eaten sweaters and cut off the middle section of the sleeve. I sewed it into a beanie hat and rolled the edges.

With the extra felt I had, I rolled it into a twig and glued some leaves onto the branches. For ears I used the same felt.

The squirrel tail was made of this fun fur that I found at the fabric shop. I’ve seen this used quite often for stuffed toy animals and thought it’d be perfect for the baby. I cut out a triangular/wedge shape and used the glue gun to seam the edges. After stuffing it with batting, I rolled the tail into a “question” mark shape and sewed it into place. I attached it with velcro strips that adhere to his fur pelt vest.


Every nutty squirrel’s gotta have his own accessories right? I made a “twig bottle cozy” out of the remaining cuff of the old sweater and the felt scraps.

I tried my hand at some acorns. I failed miserably …just take a look at the green one that resembles more of a mushroom or moldy jalepeno! I plan to have a go at it again and create smaller ones like the yellow topped version.

And there you go. My little nutty squirrel is all set for his first Halloween. We have a Halloween staff meeting at the studio today so if you’re on Polk Street be sure to stop by and crash it!

Happy Friday and Happy Halloween everyone!

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Our Projects: What’s in My Sketchbook

by Cat on October 29, 2009

If we’re not emptying the contents of our bags for all to see, then we’re peeking into each other’s sketchbooks. But that’s what I love about the Designing Mom group projects…it’s share and share alike! Continuing today with our series of behind-the-scenes-sketchbooks is “Make” contributor Dana. I think her sketches for her Plumtree Studio tees are just as whimsical as the finished products themselves!



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Decorate: Halloween

by Cat on October 29, 2009

I just wanted to add in some quick last minute Halloween decor ideas for any of you planning a little spook party this weekend! We’ll be heading to some Halloween parties that require costumes and Shinmin and her amazing octopus costume have convinced me I need to at least try my hand at making one for my baby. I told her I feel like failure is imminent but I am hoping I at least get some credit for trying. Any quick and easy ideas that I can pull together from leftover felt and a shaggy pelt from home-HELP?! I’ll try and post my efforts tomorrow… even if it’s a total shipwreck!







Boo Design blocks by The Bees Knees Designs

Candy corn pennants by Pam Wares

Boo cake toppers by Evie’s Shop

Bat letterpress coasters by 12 Fifteen

Mouse silhouettes by Martha Stewart

Message in a bottle invites by Martha Stewart

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Make: Crazy Octopus Costume

by Cat on October 28, 2009

*Note from Cat:
I made a “Gahhh!” sound when I saw the Halloween costume Shinmin made for her baby Mila. Soooo brilliant! And hey, I told her she could now go as “Octomom.”

What are all of your little ones are going to be Halloween? Share your pics with us!

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by Designing Mom Shinmin

With Halloween fast approaching and one of the busiest seasons at work, I had originally decided to skip Halloween this year. But yesterday morning, I woke up and looked at Mila and thought, “I can’t deny Mila her very first Halloween. “ Of course, my husband Kiril added more guilt by saying to me, “You’re creative, why don’t you just make her something? ”

So I immediately sprang into a DIY baby costume frenzy. What could I make with materials that I already have at home and complete the project in one afternoon? I only have one day off, so a quick project is key.

I decided to make Mila an octopus costume (an idea I borrowed heavily from the October issue of “Parents Magazine”).

MATERIALS:

Four pairs of tights or socks. I used two baby tights and two pairs of adult knee and thigh highs. I decided to use the light blue pair for Mila to actually wear and the others will be her 6 additional legs.



I found this belt laying around that my friend Marie brought back from Paris. I thought that the colourful rivets were perfect for the tentacle suction cups.



If you want to make this costume at home and you don’t happen to have a French belt with rivets, here is your chance to use up all those extra buttons that come with sweaters and jackets. I think using buttons will achieve a very fun DIY look. Of course, pieces of cut out round felt will work too.



I also used a
black ribbon, a long sleeve onesie, hot glue gun, lots of cotton balls, and a needle and thread.

STEPS:
First I cut the longer tights and socks to match the length of the actual tights Mila will be wearing.


I kept the waist top from the tights for a future project.



Then I cut the ends to a point and sewed the seams from the inside. Of course don’t alter the tights that your baby will wear.

Then I stuffed the 6 legs with cotton balls. I couldn’t find batting in the art supply store nearby (which would have been preferable) so I hand shredded a ton of cotton balls. After stuffing the tights and socks, I sewed up the tops to close the openings.

Next I cut all the rivets off the belt and kept the buckle for a future project.



I then hot glued all the rivets to the legs to create the suction cups. After cutting off the blue bows, I sewed the pieces onto the light blue tights because I didn’t want the hot glue to itch her les.

I used 8 rivets per leg and had two rivets left over.


Then I measured Mila’s waist to determine the length of ribbon needed. Her waist is 17”. Imagine having a 17” waist?

I used masking tape and mapped out the 17” on the ribbon and added about 10“ to each side of the 17” for a total length of 37”.

Next I sewed all the legs onto the ribbon making sure that the legs stayed within the 17” outlined by the masking tape.


Remember the waist top from the tights? I decided to turn it into a hat for this costume. I sew on a couple pieces of white felt and added the remaining two rivets for eyes. I pulled at the leg openings to curl it back slightly.



I dressed her in a black long sleeve onesie. This one is from Imps and Elfs. The buttons spell out “LOVE”. Tie the ribbon around her waist, add the hat and voila! Crazy octopus!


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Make: Halloween Garlands

by Cat on October 27, 2009

*Note from Cat: As seen on MakeandTakes.com today, this is an incredibly fun “Make” project from Designing Mom contributor Amy at February 13 Creative. If you’re looking for something to spruce up the house this week, this is a festive and easy project for you and the little ones!
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My girls are always trying to pull me away from the computer, and they love when it results in a craft project. Everywhere we turn it’s Halloween, so they were excited to decorate our house for the occasion. I thought up this twist on the classic children’s craft of paper doll chains. This one is fun and easy. It’s even good for those with little patience. The results come fast!

Our festive Halloween garlands (bats, candy corn and ghosts):

What you will need:
11×17” white paper (for ghosts and candy corn)
20×25” black craft or construction paper (for bats)
orange and yellow crayons
black pen
scissors
tape


1. You will start by taking your 11×17 paper and accordion folding it. For the ghosts and candy corn your first fold should be 3.4” in, and each additional fold after that will also be 3.4”. You will end up with 5 panels. For the bats (on the black paper) cut a 4” wide strip lengthwise from your big sheet. Using this 4” x 25” strip of paper each fold should be 6.25” and you will have 4 panels. You could also use other sizes of paper and adjust fold sizes as needed.

2. Now using the template (above) you can trace the candy corn, the ghost, or the bat onto the top panel of your folded paper. Tip: You could trace right over the template applying pressure so that you create a path to follow when it’s time to cut, or you can cut out your shape and lay it on and trace around it.

3. It’s time to cut. Follow your lines and cut through all of your folded layers (careful not to cut your folded edges.)

4. Voila! Unfold and admire your little friends.

5. Decorate your ghosts with funny faces, and add color to your candy corn.

Additional tips: 1. Make two or more chains and tape them together to make a longer chain. 2. After you accordion fold your 11×17 paper you can cut it in half and you will have two folded panels ready to trace and cut! (see photos below)

Happy Halloween crafting!

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