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DIY Rainbow Prop

Hello there!

After celebrating colour days for yellow, green, red and blue (in that order), Anjana’s playgroup decided to have a rainbow day. I wanted to make a rainbow prop for her. As rainbow involves curves, fabric was out of question. Hence, paper it was! The prop would be a rainbow (semicircle starting with violet on the top) to be hung over Anjana’s shoulders.

What I used:

  • Cardboard
  • Colour paper [violet, dark blue (in place of indigo), turquoise (for blue), green, gold (yellow), orange (foam sheet with glitter) and red]
  • white paper for clouds (optional)
  • two strips of ribbon
  • a pair of scissors
  • box cutter
  • glue
  • brown tape
  • t-shirt for measurement

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Step 1: Using Anjana’s t-shirt, I measured the approximate size of the rainbow – top starting from below the t-shirt’s neckline.wp-1487909829807.jpg

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I did not have a single piece of cardboard for the entire rainbow, so I glued two pieces together and secured with brown tape.

Step 2: Red being my smallest part of the rainbow, I cut the red paper to shape (more or less a semicircle).

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Step 3: Trace the outline on the orange glitter foam sheet for a semicircle with a radius of about 1.5 inches more than that of the red semicircle. Cut it to shape.

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Step 4: Repeat step 3 for each colour with the same increment in radius. Please note that I have cut the paper in the shape of semicircle and not arches.

Step 5: Paste the outermost colour (violet in my case) on to the cardboard.

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Step 6: Paste the other colours in the order aligning them at the bottom line. Once all the seven colours are glued on, cut the cardboard to shape.  Mine looked like this (not perfect, but this will do).

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Step 7: Add a strip of ribbon on either side and attach it to another piece of cardboard so that the prop can be hung over the child’s shoulders. I used glue and brown tape to keep the ribbons in place.

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Step 8 (optional – for clouds): Cut the white paper in the shape of clouds and attach them to the bottom on the inside.

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All done now!!

Here is Anjana wearing it over her Minnie Mouse frock.

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When I went to pick her up, she was given a cupcake with rainbow frosting. Wow, a tasty way to remember rainbow day!

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Of course, Anjana decided to eat it right away!

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DIY Butterfly Wings Costume

Hi!

This is another diy costume activity and I loved it! This was my younger daughter Anjana who almost 2.5 years old and goes to a play group. Remember when they had the red day? Anjana went in as a red crayon! Now it was blue day and though there was no information from the play group for any costume, I decided to make one anyway.

I initially wanted to dress her up as a blue bird but the bird wings costume was way beyond my ability. So, I settled for butterfly wings. This time, I did not want to work with fabric or with wire; hence, I had to improvise much after taking inputs from a variety of websites/blogs by searching in google and in pinterest.  I filtered two pins – one to figure out how they got the shape right and the other for putting it around Anjana’s shoulders.

What I used:

  • Cardboard (from an Amazon delivery carton)
  • Blue colour paper (one dark blue shade and the other was more of a turquoise)
  • Black cardstock for the body
  • Elastic band (1 inch wide; about 60 cm long)
  • Scissors, glue, double-sided sticky tape, brown tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Beads for decoration
  • Pipe cleaners for antennae

This is how it took shape:

Step 1: Draw the butterfly wings (top and bottom wings) on one side of the cardboard.

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Step 2: Cut the wings on one side and use it to trace the other set of wings.

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Step 3: Trace the other set of wings and cut.

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Note: I did not cut the bottom to shape because I was too lazy and also because it will not be seen from the front.

Step 4: Sew the elastic band with two loops (to rest on the shoulders). I used the buttonhole stitch in my machine hoping it would hold the band together more firmly than the other stitches.

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Step 5:  Cut a hole on either side of the wings (roughly about 2 inches from the centre and 3 inches from the top) and slip the loops through these holes.

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Step 6: Using double sided sticky tape and brown packing tape, glue the centre of the elastic band to the centre of the wings.  This would be side which will be seen from behind.

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Step 7: Cover both sides of the wings with the blue paper and decorate (the outer side) to your liking. Do remember to slit holes on the blue paper covering the side of the wings (which will face your child’s back) for the loops. With the black cardstock, add the butterfly’s body and stick it to the centre. Paste one end of the pipecleaners to the back of the butterfly’s head using double sided sticky tape and brown tape.

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Slip you child’s arms through the loops and you would have turned your cutie pie into a sweet butterfly. See my blue butterfly here:

Thanks for stopping by! Do give your feedback in the comments section!

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DIY Christmas tree costume for toddlers

Hello!

The second day of enjoying life as a stay at home mom of two kids was marked with another diy project. How exciting!

Thanks to cyclone Vardah, schools are closed until next Monday but the day care is functioning as usual. Since my two-year-old is so bored at home in spite of having her sister along with her all the time and her own iPad, she was eager to go to day care. Good for me!

When I went to drop her at day care on 15 December, the notice board read ‘please send the children dressed up for Christmas on 16 December 2016’. I didn’t fully understand what was meant by ‘dressed up for Christmas’. So, I asked the person in-charge and she said, “oh, anything Christmas-related”.

We don’t celebrate Christmas and we did not have any Christmas-y tshirt or a frock for Anjana. Santoshi, my elder daughter, had an idea – punch a few holes in a carton for Anjana’s legs, wrap it up with paper and ribbons and Anjana’s could be a Christmas gift. Good idea, but won’t work for a 2 year old and definitely not for Anjana.

I thought of buying a Santa Claus mask and team it with a red tshirt and a pair of red leggings, but it was easy too common. Reindeer or sleigh? No way, too complex and too little time. And, more importantly, no internet! Internet connectivity has been affected since Monday 12 December 2016 and we do not know when it would be restored [finally restored on 23 December].

But, a Christmas tree? Yes, it could work. Cardboard, green paper, decorations, etc. – all these were already in my stationery and craft boxes. I was a bit sceptical about using cardboard because even Santoshi couldn’t bring it back in one piece [the fin in the mermaid costume never came back and the Veena in her Saraswati costume came back home only after two days, that too in a bad shape]. Actually, my problem wasn’t whether it would come back. It was more about the costume staying in place at least till the end of the photo session at the day care.

The crayon costume that I had made for Anjana in November 2016 was a hit because it was easy to make and no hassles in putting it on. So, I decided to make the Christmas tree in a similar fashion – using fabric as the base.

What I used:

  • Green fabric
  • A small piece of brown fabric
  • Pipe cleaners – 2
  • Headband
  • Decorations [flower, leaf shaped]
  • Colour paper [for decorations and gift wrapping]
  • Glitter foam sheet in red colour for the star
  • Cardboard strips [as gifts]
  • Glue
  • A pair of scissors

Step 1: Lay the green fabric flat and fold it over so that there are two overlapping layers, with the wrong side [or the inside] on top.

Step 2: Measure the height of the tree from to to bottom and mark the top and bottom ends on the fabric. Since my daughter was already at the day care, I used the crayon costume for vertical measurement.

Step 3: Mark the width on the fabric – I used one of Anjana’s tshirts.

Step 4: Fold the fabric over once again – now you should have four overlapping layers.

Step 5: Keeping in mind seam allowance, draw the outline of the tree. Since the fabric is already folded, draw only a half of the tree. The costume is intended to cover the toddler from bottom of the neck to ankle [give or take an inch or two]. So, the maximum width could be the bottommost branches of the tree [close to the calf muscle] and the tree bark below that.

Step 6: Draw another outline of the tree considering the desired seam allowance. I have used about half an inch of seam allowance.

Step 7: Cut [all four players of fabric] along the outer lines.

Step 8: Open the fold – you will have a full tree.

Step 9: Right sides of the fabrics facing earth each other, sew on the outer lines. Do not sew the part marked with x in the pic and do not sew on the bark portion either.

Step 10: Repeat step 9 for the inner lines.

Step 11: Snip small triangles out as shown in the pic. This is needed so that when the fabric is turned right side out, the seams will lie flat inside.

Step 12: Turn the tree inside out [remember the portion where we did not sew – that’s the space using which we are going to turn the tree out]. Ensure that the corners are pulled gently out so that you get the intended shape. Mine didn’t come out so well, but it’s OK.

Step 13: Sew a piece of brown fabric as the bark of the tree,
Step 14: Decorate the tree in any manner as you wish. I glued some craft items.

Step 15: Cut a star out of the glitter foam sheet and paste it to the headband with a cardboard backing. Step 8 onwards in crayon costume will show you how to do this [paste the star in place of the triangle in crayon costume].

Step 16: Using a few cardboard strips, make small boxes, wrap them with paper, add a ribbon or a glitter tape in place of ribbons, glue them to the bark to resemble Christmas gifts under the tree. The dark green one is the cap of a baby shampoo bottle, he he.

Step 17: Pin the tree to the toddler’s clothes using safety pins. I have pinned it to the t-shirt at the top and the end of the branches, leaving the last branch and the bark unpinned so that the costume would not hinder movement.

If you are using felt, it could be a no-sew project. Ignore all about seeing on the instructions above. Cut the felt to shape of a tree, glue the bark portion, glue all decorations and attach it to the toddler’s clothes.

Here is my little Anjana with the christmas tree pinned on to her t-shirt.

The Christmas tree could also be a cute wall decor if you wish to repurpose it!

2

DIY Crayon Costume

Hello!

This is another DIY costume. It is again for my younger daughter Anjana.

As she is in the playgroup, they have ‘colour day’ celebrations once in two months.  The first colour day was yellow day and she went in a yellow t-shirt. As I dropped her at the playgroup that day, I realised that she was supposed to go as a slice of cheese and I had totally forgotten about it. When the yellow day photos came out, she was nowhere to be seen. I felt extremely guilty because I have never forgotten anything for Santoshi and this was the first time I had to do something for Anjana and I forgot.

It was colour red this time and I proactively asked them if I could send her as a red crayon (clearly, hibiscus or any other red flower or Angry Bird or Elmo is a lot of work and apple was just common). The teacher happily agreed to red crayon.

Next step was, obviously, googling for ‘diy crayon costume’. I got the idea mainly from here. I have not (as I always do) followed the instructions fully and have made changes to suit my child and the materials that I have.

In a recent clean up activity at home, I consolidated all of my scrap fabric pieces in one place (they were in 2 bags and a cardbooard box before). I realised that there were different shades of red fabrics which were waiting for their destiny to be fulfilled. So, I took a piece of red fabric which was solid and lightweight and also easy to sew on. I also took out a long, thin piece of black fabric for the design.

Design: The costume has two parts – crayon body and the crayon top.

Crayon body: The design was more like an apron (strap around the neck) but also tie backs behind the chest and the bottom ends will be open to allow free movement.

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Trying it on my daughter before pasting the print out:

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Things I used:

  • Red fabric (about 25 inches by 20 inches) – 20 inches by 18 inches (excluding seam allowance) for the body and 14 inches by 2 inches (excluding seam allowance) for the strap around the neck
  • Black fabric (about 3 inches by 60 inches) – cut 3 inches by 20 inches (for the bottom) and 2 inches by 40 inches (for the top including tiebacks)
  • Velcro pieces (for the neck strap)
  • Print out on a sheet of paper (size A3) of the text ‘Crayon’ cut along the oval outline
  • Fabric glue
  • Fevikwik
  • Hairband
  • Pieces of cardboard (8 inches by 1 inch and 3 inches by 1 inch)
  • A pair of scissors
  • Sewing machine

For the first time in all my project, I also used the measuring tape and wrote down the length and breadth of the costume.  The finished piece had to measure 20 inches (chest) in circumference and 18 inches in height (chest to ankle). I added a strap for the neck because the costume would definitely fall down despite the tiebacks behind the chest – as it happened in my elder daughter Santoshi’s Wonder Woman costume. I also decided to add veclro to the neck strap because without an opening, it seemed a little difficult to put the costume on and remove it. Why go through the discomfort, when two pieces of veclro could resolve the issue?

Crayon Body

Step 1: Cut the fabric as per the measurements.

Step 2: Sew the (shorter) black border on the bottom.

Step 3: Sew the other black border on the top, aligning the centre of the black fabric to the centre of the red fabric so that the tiebacks are of equal length.

Step 4: Sew the neck strap piece as a tube and turn it inside out using a safety pin.

Step 5: Sew one end of the neck strap to the red fabric.

Step 6: Attach a piece of velcro to the other end of the neck strap and the other piece of the velcro to the wrong side of the red fabric.

Step 7: Add the ‘crayon’ print out to the centre of the red fabric using fabric glue and let it dry.

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Good job, the first part is done! While it dries, go on to the crayon top portion.

Templates for the text ‘Crayon’ and the top and bottom borders:

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Crayon Top:

Step 8: Align the centre of the 8 inch long piece of cardboard to the centre of the hairband. We are using cardboard strips to give the crayon top a firm backing. Otherwise, the crayon top may (read will) start to droop like the minnie mouse ears in the earlier costume.

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Step 9: Add glue (I used fevikwik) at the centre of the cardboard strip and the ends. Fold it up and hold it tight for a minute for it to dry. Trim the top end of the carboard as in the pic below:

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Step 10: Paste the shorter strip of cardboard horizontally on the bottom of the folder piece of cardboard. Trim the edges.

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Step 11: Add glue and paste the red triangle on the cardboard structure and let it dry.

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The finished piece of the crayon top:

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Congratulations! You have successfully completed the DIY crayon costume!! All you need now is a toddler to put the costume on.

Here is mine with a red frock beneath the crayon costume and a pair of red shoes!

Hope you found this helpful! There are other posts here on making diy costumes – do read those posts too. Thanks!

1

DIY Minnie Mouse Costume for Toddler

Hi!

I recently had a chance to do a costume and this time I was extra excited because this would be the first costume for my younger daughter Anjana who is two years old.

The playgroup to which she goes put up a message on the notice board a few days back that 14 November 2016 would be a fancy dress day and the theme was cartoon characters.  Minnie Mouse was the obvious choice because Anjana loves Minnie Mouse and the costume was relatively easier to make than others like Daisy Duck or Ariel or Dumbo. As usual, I googled images of Minnie Mouse costume for toddlers to get a fair idea of what sort of a frock Anjana would need apart from the Minnie Mouse ears and bow.

Materials used:

  • A hairband
  • Glitter foam sheets (black and red)
  • A black Sharpie
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue
  • Print out of a silhouette of Minnie Mouse face for the bow
  • A small piece of cardboard (2 inches in width, 4 inches in length)
  • Duct tape

materials-used

Step 1: Mark this shape (twice – one set for each ear) on the glitter foam sheet (black) which would form the ears and cut them out.

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Step 2: Place the pieces on the top of the hair band in such a way that the rectangle between the circles would rest on the band.  Place the ears with a gap of about 3 inches between them.

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Step 3: Glue the pieces together.

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This is where I realized that I had made a mistake. The ears were drooping down (I was so upset hat I did not take a picture of the droopy ears) because of two reasons:

  • The glitter foam sheet was not firm enough to stand upright
  • The central rectangle for too big (bigger than the width of the hairband)

So, a quick change of plan because I lost my patience or enthusiasm.

  • I removed the ears from the hairband and cut the central rectangle out from both pieces.
  • I cut out two strips (1 inch wide and about 4 inches in length) of cardboard (from an Amazon delivery box).
  • The cardboard strips were place on the hairband similar to the image below (again, no pic, thanks to my impatience).
  • Apply glue in the centre and the edges of the strips. Fold them together so that the edges are aligned and the centre rests on the hairband. In a way, they would resemble like horns protruding from the hairband.

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  • Since the glue would not dry immediately, so I secured each strip with duct tape. Now, the cardboard strips stood up on its own.
  • As the glitter foam sheet was lightweight, the circles were glued on to either side of the cardboard strips so that it would now look like Mickey Mouse’s ears.

Step 4: Cut bow to shape and place it on the red glitter foam sheet. Trace the outline and cut the bow of the red glitter foam sheet. Use the Sharpie to add details to the bow.

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Step 5: Glue the bow to the ears on the hairband. My glue did not work well to hold the glitter sheet (because the surface was not smooth due to the glitter), so I used some duct tape on the back of the bow to secure the bow to the ears. I did not align the bow to the centre, so it is a bit to the right, but not too obvious. So I can live with it.

My daughter has a cute pink frock with a Minnie Mouse printed on it and a pair of red colour shoes with a bow.  Here is our little Minnie Mouse:

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I know, she does not look very happy 😦

One more pic:

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3

Goddess Saraswati Costume

Hello everyone!

This is a post on how a costume of Saraswati was put together for my 5-year-old daughter Santoshi .

On the last day of school before the I Term holidays, Santoshi woke up earlier than usual just to tell me, “My teacher asked me if I would like to dress up and go on stage. I told her that I’d love to”. I did not think much about this, though the teacher had promised all parents that all the students would get an opportunity to perform in one way or the other during the academic year.

Strangely, the school informed us about ten days in advance that she has been chosen but did not reveal more information until the day before the show.  I was excited because Santoshi likes to dress up and I love experimenting new things/ ways of doing things.  With the limited information that was provided to us, we needed a white silk saree with gold trims and designs, a bright coloured blouse in contrast to the white saree, a veena, some jewels (crown, necklace, bangles) and face make-up – eyeliner and bindi and, may be, a dash of lipstick.

White saree

  • Santoshi did have a set of off-white skirt and blouse which may be acceptable by the school but I was not happy with that. So, I started looking for all the white coloured clothes/ fabrics that were at home. I had ordered this for myself and I still had the fabric for the salwar unused, looking pristine white. With more than two metres in length, it was the best choice for the white ‘saree’.
  • Santoshi still needed a white skirt to wear underneath. So, I bought a thin white dupatta with gold trims to be tied over the white skirt. In order to team the white fabric with blue trim with the dupatta with gold trim, I bought two metres of gold ribbon and two metres of blue ribbon and  attached them to the respective trims. Now, they looked close to a white silk saree.
  • Bright coloured blouse for the saree – we chose a dark purple blouse which was close to the blue trims of the ‘saree’.
  • Wrapping – Santoshi wore the purple top over the off-white skirt.

 

  • Aligning the trim at ankle level, the white dupatta was wrapped around her at chest level.

 

 

  • It was secured with a knot at the back, just tight enough so that it wouldn’t slip.

 

  • Next was the other white fabric to which I added the gold trim – it was pleated and secured on her left shoulder with a safety pin, with one of the fabric falling behind her shoulder for about one foot. The rest of the fabric was wrapped around her and the other end was pinned to the dupatta and the blouse near the waist.

Veena

  • I took a print of photo of a veena on vinyl material and cut  it to shape.

  • The print out was turned over, glue applied near the outline and pieces of cardboard were stuck on it to give it a firm backing. I used heavy books to press the cardboard to the vinyl material.

  • After the glue dried, I cut the excess parts of the cardboard, which I realised was a mistake. First, I should have drawn the outline on the cardboard and cut it to shape and then glued it to vinyl.  This is because cutting the cardboard with the print out on top was very difficult and I was running the risk of ruining the print out.
  • The print out was about three feet in length and I did not have a piece of cardboard than was as long. Instead, I had four smaller pieces of cardboard which made the veena bend at every joint.
  • I wanted to add a long strip of cardboard for the entire length to prevent bending but then a light bulb went ‘ding’ above my head. Last year, I had made a mop with a lightweight PVC pipe as part of the costume for cleanliness dance.
  • With packing tape, the PVC pipe was attached to the veena which gave it a rigid, firm backing, yet keeping it lightweight.
  • The hollow pipe was perfect as loop for the string which was used to hang the veena across.

Crown

I bought a gold colour crown from a local store along with a set of glitter foam sheets. The saree was white and blue. So, I used superglue to attach the blue glitter sheet with gold trims behind the band that rests on the forehead. The crown already had a clip/comb-like end on both sides to secure it in place on her forehead.

Bangles

I  couldn’t find bangles of her size in the colours that I wanted. So, I cut the glitter sheets into thin strips and taped them together around her wrists.

Necklace

An imitation gold-colour necklace that we already had. I didn’t add more in terms of necklaces or long chains because one, it may be uncomfortable for her and two, the veena will be hung on her shoulder across her body, hiding any more jewels.

Face make-up

She wore a black eyeliner with a golden dot at the end, a red bindi and a light pink lipstick.

Here she is in the full costume

  Thanks for reading my post!

1

DIY Wonder Woman costume for kids

Hi! Another costume for the summer camp.

Santoshi announced that she needs to be dressed up as a superhero for summer camp on Friday.  Thankfully, she gave me the information on the Wednesday before which was enough time to think of a costume and try to come up with an acceptable idea.

I interviewed my husband (he loves books, comics, superheroes,…) on female superheroes and we came up with quite a long list (supergirl, catwoman, gamora, black widow, scarlet witch, wonder woman, etc.) but we finalized wonder woman because there was no male counterpart and she was a very strong character.

Skirt

When I asked Santoshi if she liked to dress up as Wonder Woman, she agreed.  She also said, “that means you would let me go to the summer camp in my underwear like wonder woman?” Whoa, that actually threw me off balance, so I turned to my hubby for help and he showed the latest Wonder Woman costume. A quick check of Santoshi’s wardrobe and my bag of scrap fabric pieces revealed that there was no blue leggings or trousers or jeans. So I had to go with a different kind of costume – one that involves a skirt.  Santoshi has two short blue skirts – one was light blue Barbie skirt and the other was pleated skirt in dark blue with white spots.  The dark blue seemed to match the skirt of the first wonder woman in this picture.

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I wanted to add stars to the skirt. Given my superior sewing skills and the shape of the star and my not-in-an-adventurous mood, I thought of pasting stars cut out of paper. But instead of paper, I used a subway take-away bag for the stars and used fabric glue to stick the stars to the skirt.

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When Santoshi asked why she had to wear a skirt when the picture of Wonder Woman she had coloured at the summer camp did not have a skirt, I had to think of something quick – that she forgot to wear the skirt before someone took a picture of her. That got Santoshi thinking (for the next n questions on the statement I made, so I tried to divert her attention to something else).

Top

Now for the top. I got shiny red and bright yellow fabrics from my stash and also a lengthy ribbon.

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After googling the Wonder Woman logo, I cut it out of the yellow fabric, stitched it to the top of the red fabric using buttonhole stitch and trimmed the strands that frayed out.

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The ribbon was cut into four equal pieces. I attached two of them to the top ends of the red fabric and the other two to the middle so that this piece of fabric could be wrapped around Santoshi’s torso over her t-shirt and the bottom end could be tucked inside the skirt.

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Headband

I thought this would be easy but turned out not to be so. After pasting a star made of red paper on the band of golden paper, a piece of cardboard was pasted behind to make it firm and also hard to tear.

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Then I realized that my practice of procrastinating (of cleaning up waste paper, stationery, etc.) paid off this time. I found the paper crown ‘I survived the angriest whopper’ (adjustable to fit the head circumference) that Santoshi received during our recent visit to Burger King. I pasted the headband on to the BK crown and cut off the unwanted parts of it. I guess Santoshi was waiting for this moment “Mom, WW has no hairstyle, so I need to leave my hair loose!” Made a small plait on each side of the forehead and brought them together to the centre and put a rubberband to secure them. Then the headband was adjusted to fit her head.

Bracelets of submission

A sheet of silver paper was cut into half, wrapped around each hand and secured with sticky tape. This was the easiest part 🙂

All done – Here she is, proud of being (dressed up as) a superhero.

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PS: the red fabric started sliding down, so I had to pin them up to the t-shirt.  The yellow colour on the pink t-shirt is the top of Tweety’s head.