Hello after a long time!
I hadn’t realised that reading books would leave me with very little time for doing other things like craft activity with my kids. Not that I have had the patience to sit with them cutting and sticking bits of paper, but never mind.
Since we were taking my elder daughter to a different city for national art competition, the younger one (Anjana) had to stay with my mother. The timing wasn’t great because it was from Saturday afternoon to Sunday night. That’s the time when she has no classes to attend and we will be generally try to bond over the button snipping game using Kindle fire. But, oh well, it’s my mother’s problem to keep her occupied until we came back.
The week before, Anjana came home running to announce that she was going to the Halloween carnival at the after school activity centre as a witch and gave me a ‘muahahaha’ kind of laughter. Two hours of playing, running around, jumping up and down will be fun for her and give some respite to my mom. More importantly, I would feel less guilty for leaving her behind for a day and a half.
Also, my creative muscles were itching for some activity and how cumbersome can a witch costume be. When the rest of the family had gone to sleep, I was staring at the glow in the dark wall clock in the bedroom, I tried to rake my brain for an easy way to make a witch costume. I had already taken a day off during the week, so I will only have a few hours in the morning of Saturday to quickly put something together.
Anjana didn’t have a black frock, neither did my elder one which could be resized for Anjana. I was not buying a frock just for Halloween party – sets bad precedent, you know, as a parent, it is a strict no-no, especially when there is more than one kid in the family. I mentally scoured through her wardrobe for something that could refashioned. Nope, there wasn’t any except for a black and grey-striped tshirt. Which means, I only need a black pinafore and here’s the good news – pinafore is easy! No, I can’t sew one, but I can buy a camisole which would cost about INR 100. That’s less than USD 1.50, given the current exchange rate.
If pinafore is taken care of, that leaves me only with a witch hat and a broom. Though Anjana will be more than happy to take the broom that is used to sweep my house, I needed to make some lightweight broom, so that people don’t roll their eyes at her, “Is that from the broom closet of their house?” Nah, I don’t have a broom closet. My husband had recently ordered a tripod to hold the camera/phone for video-recording. The box in which it came was kept outside the house for trash pick-up (no, my husband didn’t know that I needed cardboard box for the broom). The box made its way to my not-so-secret stash in my kitchen, waiting for its turn to become the broom.
Next, though I had a vague idea about witch hat, I looked up to Google for some validation. I, for one, don’t believe in “validation comes from within”. Whose idea was it, anyway! Wikihow gave me the comfort that my idea was in the right direction.
Alright, enough of blabbing, let’s move to how it was actually done. Let’s start with the broom because that’s the easiest.
Diy broom using cardboard and twig
Things you need:
- Cardboard (any delivery box from Amazon will do the job)
- Box cutter
- Twig ( just a little shorter than your little witch) strong enough to survive rough-housing for a few hours by a dozen kids
- A metre or two of polyester yarn or twine
- Packing tape
Using the box cutter, make thin strips out of the cardboard. Please make sure that you use a base / board while you cut the cardboard strips. Who wants scratches / cut marks on their table or kitchen countertop? I used my oversized clipboard which silently takes on the scratches.
About 20-25 strips will do. The strips were around 10 inches in length.
The reason for using a twig is that it looks more authentic (pardon me because my knowledge of this kind of broom comes from the series The Worst Witch which Santoshi binge-watches) and it would be stronger than cardboard which might bend. The last thing I wanted was my daughter crying at my mom’s house that the broom was broken. Since Santoshi wasn’t going to the Carnival, I didn’t want her to feel left out. So, on Saturday morning, I sent her on a quest for the right twig. She sent downstairs to the garden to pick up a twig. I told her that her twig should start from her shoulder and end at the tip of her fingers. She proudly brought 3 twigs, two of them were quite thin but the third was perfect and was the chosen one.
Now, apply glue to one end of the twig – about 3-4 inches and start stitching the strips to the twig.
After sticking the strips, wind the twine/yarn tightly around the strips. Then use packing tape to secure them. If someone tells you that you are using too much packing tape, stay away from them. You don’t need that negativity in your life.
Now, let’s move on to the hat.
It is pretty much similar to Wikihow. There is a circular base on which a conical shape is mounted.
Things you need:
- Black chart paper. I didn’t have craft foam as used in Wikihow. When you don’t have something, don’t run to the store; just improvise!
- Measuring tape
- Circular object for marking the outline. I used the lid of my laundry basket and a plate
- Needle to poke a hole
- Elastic band
- Decorative items – I used the yarn to make a tassle
Mark the outline a quarter of a circle on the black chart and cut it out.
Fold it to make a conical shape.
Glue the edges so that the chart stays in shape. wikiHow had used a wire to keep the cone upright. My chart paper was sturdy enough to stand upright on its own.
Measure your child’s head circumference so that you can trace out a circle for the base which is an inch or so wider than this measure. I used a plate to mark the circle for the base – cardboard and black chart. Paste the chart on the cardboard.
Now, the glue on the cone should have dried. Make 2-inch incisions at the base of the cone.
Open them out and add glue.
Mount the cone to the base and let dry.
Once dry, poke two holes diametrically opposite each other and loop the elastic band through the holes, tying a knot at each top end. This makes sure that the hat stays in place.
Add decorations of your choice. I added a tassle using bright pink yarn.
Wind the yarn repeatedly around your fingers (20 times) and snip one end.
Using a short length of the same yarn, tie the top end together. Now, using glue, add it to the top of the hat.
For the pinafore, I bought a camisole which was plain black all over. Added a dash of colour to it using bright orange satin ribbon – trims at bottom and at the neckline and a bow at the waist.
She was mostly happy with the costume but didn’t like the bow in the pinafore and was upset that the broom didn’t fly. Duh!
My mom reported to me later that evening that the broom didn’t survive the carnival. That’s ok. We knew it would have a short lifespan.
End of day, I loved doing my little project and Anjana was happy. That’s all that matters.
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