Bird cage – paper craft

Hello!

Santoshi had to recite a poem at school and marks will be awarded based on many criteria, one of which is props.

The poem was about a sparrow and a boy offers to make a silver cage for the sparrow. But the sparrow likes to fly free.

We (read I) decided to make 2 props – a bird cage out of paper and a drawing of a sparrow flying in the blue sky. As she is a talented artist, drawing became her responsibility.

I offered to make the cage using paper abs involve Santoshi in the making of it.

As usual, I turned to Google for ideas. Which led me to a couple of YouTube videos. I came up with my own version of a bird cage, keeping in mind the cradt items in my stash, time involved and more importantly, my ability to put the ideas into action.

These were the items used:

  1. Empty spool of cellophane tape
  2. Chart paper or card stock – to provide rigidity – any colour will do. I used black (left over after making the Halloween cat)
  3. Silver paper since the cage had to a soft cage for the poem.
  4. A length of string – used some yarn for hanging the swing inside the cage
  5. A piece of thicker card stock (used a packaging of Panasonic battery) for swing. Used this since the chart was not very thick.
  6. Glue
  7. A pair of scissors
  8. Ruler and pencil
  9. Thick, long needle to poke holes for the swing
  10. Cello tape

The spool is going to be the base. So, cover the entire spool in silver paper. The silver paper was very thin. So, had to cover the top and bottom of the spool with black chart before using the silver paper.

Using a pencil, trace the shape of the spool on the black chart (remember to trace on the outside rim. If you use the inside of the spool the trace, the circles will be smaller than the spool).

Repeat on the silver paper.

Cut to shape.

Add glue to the rim.

Align and stick the black chart first. Let dry.

Add glue to the black chart.

Align and stick the silver paper.

Now, let dry and repeat on the other side of the spool.

While the spool dries, let’s make a swing. I used a small strip from the battery package. Cover it with silver paper and let dry.

Now, it is time to make the rest of the cage.

Using a ruler and pencil, draw lines on the black chart to cut into strips (about 1 cm wide).

Cut them into individual strips.

Just so that the strips are silver on both sides, take each individual strip, paste one side on the wrong side of the silver paper.

Add glue to the side of the strip facing you, fold over and cut to shape. Repeat for each strip.

I made 6 strips (covered in silver paper). Four of these will be stuck to the side of the spool as the vertical bars of the cage. The remaining two will be bent to a circular shape.

Now, paste one end of strip to the side of spool and the other end of the same strip to the diametrically opposite side of the spool.

Add the bent strip about 3 inches above the base of the cage – this bent strip should be pasted to the inside of the bars. This will maintain the circular shape further up.

Add one more strip and using a piece of string or yarn, hang the swing from the top of the cage.

Add two more vertical bars to the cage. Align the other bent strip over the earlier one but this time, add it to the outside of the bars.

Cover the side of the base using silver paper. The spool is rigid enough that I didn’t have to use black chart.

The cage is ready!

Thanks for reading! Hope you like this post. If you have any feedback, please use the comments section! I’d love to hear from you!

Just to compensate for the bad quality pics, here is a picture of the sparrow drawn by Santoshi. ­čśÇ

DIY oven from a carton

Hello!

Been quite a few months, isn’t it? We have another interesting diy item for this post. It is an oven. I was thrilled to do it!

My elder daughter volunteered for a show at school, which is nothing new. The school let’s us run around for costumes and props, which is also not new. What was new and terrifying is that she “volunteered” me to make something out of broccoli! That’s a different story though.

Apart from an apron and toque, we have to send cutting boards, plastic (blunt) knife, mixing bowl, etc. for the show. Santoshi wanted to take an oven with her. Since I always prefer making things out of cardboard and paper rather than cooking, I decided to make an oven for her.

The most difficult thing was to get the right sized carton. I went to my mom’s garage and came back with two cartons, neither of which would make the perfect oven. Then, my best friend at work got the right box for me. Let’s see how a carton was reshaped into an oven.

Things used:

  1. Carton
  2. Scissors and box cutter knife
  3. Glue and tape
  4. Old newspaper
  5. Plastic sheet
  6. Fabric paint – silver and black
  7. Flat brush

Here is the box :

The box is going to be turned over – the lid will be facing us and about will open outwards from top to bottom.

Draw a line to roughly divide the lid into 80:20 ratio.

Cut along the line.

Using an sheet of paper, mark and cut a rectangle out of the centre of the lid.

It will look like this :

Now, wrap the outside of the oven and lid.

Paint it all black!

Well, not everything black – paint the door (openable portion of the lid) in silver. The silver paint was translucent. So I gave a coat of black first and then silver on top after the black paint had dried.

Add the plastic sheet from the inside. I added glue first, placed the sheet and then secured it with tape too.

It should look like this from the outside :

Now, glue the oven and door together at the base of the door and the throughout the side of the black portion next to the door.

We need a couple of dials next to the door to make it a little more realistic. Using the rectangle cut out of the lid, cut 2 stripes – about 1 inch in width and 5-6 inches in length.

Cut them into small squares, stack them up and secure using tape or glue. I used tape.

Cut 2 circles for dials. (No picture, sorry). Glue the stack to the black portion of the lid. Now, stick the dials to the stacks.

Here is your oven (closed):

Open Sesame!

Whew, that came out well!

Thanks for reading! Hope you liked the post. Please leave a comment!

Bye!!

1

DIY Little Red Riding Hood costume

Hello after a long time!

The last few months have been a bit busy for me and my focus was on reading abs podcasts – do visit Digital Amrit for book reviews.

Coming back to the costume, both my daughters wanted to participate in the fancy dress (dress up) competition in the local play centre. It is an annual thing (last time it was Pongal pot and Christmas tree).

After thinking long and hard and going through the kids wardrobe and the stash of fabrics (that I carry for no reason), I found the Anna frock (which was bought almost 2 years back). Luckily, it still for my elder daughter Santoshi. So, her costume was settled – though I had to make a cloak for it.

Now for Anjana, I had to do more thinking (beep beep) and I ended up with Little red riding hood – chosen by Anjana (yup, I believe in democracy so long as it is convenient and switch to dictatorship when the going gets tough). The costume seemed easy enough – a pretty frock, a basket with cookies but the hood? Turned to my guru Google who promptly directed me to here thank you Google and my sincere thanks to Meg and Steph for the tutorial.

Here is what I used:

  • 1 Metre of red velvet fabric
  • A small piece of yellow cotton fabric for the lining (only for the hood)
  • A small length of red fabric as ribbons

I pretty much followed the tutorial to the t, except that I used ribbon instead of a clasp.

On the d-day, Anjana was like :

Unlike the other costumes, Anjana was thrilled about this costume! I had made it about a week in advance and she just couldn’t wait to put this on.

Thanks for reading my post!

0

DIY Pencil Costume for kids

Hi everyone!

About ten days back, I received a phone call from my daughter Anjana’s school. The teacher told me that Anjana will need to be dressed up as “<I-couldn’t-hear-what-the-teacher-was-saying>” , that she has written a note in the diary and that I had to meet her at 9 am the next day. It was school dispersal time, so you can imagine the decibel levels in a kindergarten classroom. Making sure that each kid is picked up by the designated pick up person is an essential duty of the teachers and I did not want to take more of her time.

The note said that Anjana will be on stage as a pencil for the Science Day Celebration at school. Wow, pencil! Images of all kinds of cute and colourful pencils went through my head, I was elated. Unfortunately, Google let me down this down. No proper tutorial on pencil costume – at least, not the kind that I was looking for. Most of the images were kids wearing tshirts and leggings with pencil-tip hat on their heads. Not good, not at all. Others were costumes which I could buy online but they looked horrible. No words to describe the horror of some of the images that I wish I could unsee some of the images.

In the meanwhile, fancy dress competition came up and I spent my energy and time of those costumes plus my elder daughter’s theatre showcase for which we had to spend considerable time and effort on hiring the costume and taking her for the rehearsals and the show. All of these pretty much ate up most of the weekend space that I had. Now, with one weekend left, I had to make a pencil and I was still clueless.

Cursing my stars, I tried to mentally visualise what kind of thing would be easy to buy, easy to work with, light enough to be worn on stage and yet be sturdy enough to be withstand the handling of a 4-year old. Bending a sheet of store-bought cardboard will be disastrous because they are not meant to be bent. I used to be a hoarder of cartons until recently. After renovating the house, I felt the need to throw out useless (but sturdy and perfect-sized) cartons (mostly Amazon pantry delivery boxes – though their packing tape stinks – literally stinks – the boxes are unmatched in quality). So, now I was left with nothing.

Luckily, I acquired a JK Copier Paper box which had to do the trick. The box was about 12 inches in width – an inch more than Anjana’s width, lol!

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Apart from the box, I used the following:

  • Fevicol (glue) and Fevikwik (superglue)
  • scissors and box-cutter
  • bright colour paper (neon pink and neon yellow) – OR newspaper, paint and brush
  • gold and beige colour gift wrapper
  • black chart paper
  • brown tape
  • a circular plate for outlining
  • strings / ribbons

I did not click a lot of pics during the process because unlike the other costumes, I did not have the finished image in mind while doing this. So, I was doing my signature thing – making up as I go. I have included pictures below to explain how this was done.

Box

The box will be covering the torso while the lid will be mounted on the box for the head and above. Let’s start with the box first.

Box - bottom1

With the base (or bottom) facing up, leave the left side (flaps attached the to side of the box) intact. Open up the flaps on the right side of the box. It will look like this:

Box - bottom

Now, the left side of the box (left intact) will be placed on the child’s shoulders. So, cut out holes on the sides on the box:

Arm hole

The step above is for the right arm. Now, repeat it for the left arm.

Armholes done, it is done to cut the box for the neck part.

Neck

Keep the box aside and take the lid and reorient it:

Lid

We will be cutting out a circle for the face. Make sure that you leave a couple of inches gap for the neck:

Face

I do have a pic at this point – when I first drew the circle for the face, I forgot to leave some space for the neck. Thankfully, I remembered before cutting it – that’s why you see multiple circles. After cutting the circle out, just below the circle, cut open the flap – this will ensure that the flap does not scrape against the child’s neck. It also helps in gluing the lid to the box.

Now, mount the lid on the box. The lid is (obviously) a bit wider than the box. So, fold the lid a bit at the sides to match the width of the box. Secure this assembly using superglue or regular glue and tape. Or, heavy duty stapler, if you have one.

mounted

At this point, I started covering this thing with bright coloured paper. Be sure to cover the sides too. I had bought 4-sized colour paper and it took a lot of effort to the paste them on to the pencil. When I was almost done, I realized that I could have pasted old newspaper all over and painted it with whatever colours I wanted. It would have had lesser joints than what the pencil currently had!

Now, the tip of the pencil. The box was fully used up for the above. So, I used an Amazon delivery carton for the tip. My first attempt in attaching the tip to the top of the pencil failed miserably (not pictured here). So, I made the tip using this shape:

pencil tip

Before sticking the tip to the pencil, cover the tip also with the colour paper. I use a beige colour paper for the entire tip, then stuck black to the pointy end on top (sharpened graphite lead) and a wavy-edged pink (sale colour as the pencil) for the rectangular part.

Using superglue, stick the tip to the pencil. Since I am unable to explain using words, please see the pics below: Place the tip on the pencil aligning rectangle A over rectangle B – bring green rectangle denotes the overlap. This way, the tip will start to taper from the top of the pencil.

pencil top overlappencil top overlap1

Well, almost done now.

Since the colour paper joints were showing up, I used strips of gold paper as accents to cover up the mess. With that done, using a ruler and a pencil (or a stencil if you have one), cut out “HB” in the black paper and stick them sideways towards the bottom end of the pencil.

One last step and we have it ready: tie one end of each ribbon to the armhole so that the loose ends of the ribbons can be wrapped and knotted behind your child’s back.

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With Anjana inside:

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Yup, you guessed it right! She does not like the costume. But, this is what she will have to wear for the show.

Thanks for reading this long post. Bye!

3

Easy diy witch costume for kids

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
  • Glue
  • Packing tape
  • Scissors

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!
  • Cardboard
  • Measuring tape
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Circular object for marking the outline. I used the lid of my laundry basket and a plate
  • Pencil/crayon
  • 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.

Thanks for reading the post. If you like it or not, please leave a comment and share the post. Bye!

2

Christmas Tree Prop using cardboard

Hi!

I know there is already a post of DIY┬áChristmas tree prop┬áwhich was more of pin-up to the t-shirt kind of prop. That was made to fit Anjana’s t-shirt and this was for Santoshi. Read here on how I had to make one more costume this time.

Things used:

  1. Cardboard
  2. Colour paper (green and brown)
  3. Christmas decorations
  4. Scissors
  5. Glue
  6. Box cutter
  7. Marker

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Step 1: Draw a Christmas tree outline on the cardboard (mine is a very rough drawing; guess that’s my signature style apart from poor finishing)

img_20180127_142202.jpg

Step 2: Cut to shape.

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Step 3: Using glue, paste the green paper and start decorating. Sorry, not many pics because I was running out of time.

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Here is Santoshi with the prop:

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Here is the rare pic of a Christmas tree sitting down and hugging a Pongal pot:

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

3

Pongal Pot Costume

Hello there!

This is yet another DIY costume post – this time it was Pongal pot.

The after school activity centre was conducting a fancy dress (costume) competition and initially I thought, “arrgh, ditch it! I have no ideas and no time, more importantly, no motivation”.┬á I had to Santoshi to the dentist for her half-yearly check-up and conveniently blamed the appointment for my laziness.

But, the dental clinic called that morning and cancelled the appointment. I did not know how to react. A part of me wanted to make costumes or props and the rest of me was like, “you already made your mind up; so, no costumes”.

Somehow, I persuaded myself to go to the nearest stationery shop for ideas. A bulb went ding, glowed with all brightness – a Pongal┬ápot for Anjana. There was not even the faintest spark for the second idea or prop. It would be absurd to send both kids as Pongal pots.

The stationery was located at a corner and when I turned, I noticed the shop which sells decorations for birthday parties, etc. That’s the shop from where I had bought Christmas decorations for Anjana’s classroom. So, Santoshi had to be the Christmas tree for the show. I bought cardboards for both, Christmas decorations for the tree and cotton for the Pongal pot (to be the pongal which boils over from the pot).

This post is only on the Pongal pot. The Christmas tree post is here.

Things used:

  1. A sheet of cardboard
  2. Golden colour paper
  3. Stickers, satin ribbon and colour paper for decorating the pot
  4. Cotton roll (sorry it looks like toilet roll in the pic below)
  5. Glue
  6. Brown tape (my trusted companion in making props)
  7. Scissors and box cutter
  8. Marker
  9. A circular lid and a small plate
  10. Hat (fitting your child’s head) and binder clips

IMG_20180127_130052.jpg

Step 1: Using the lid, draw the pot and the pongal on top

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Step 2: Cut to shape

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Step 3: Cut a circular hole (using the small plate) close to the top for the face.

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Step 4: Apply glue

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Step 5: Paste the colour paper and press to remove air bubbles

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Step 6: Start decorating. I added a strips of paper / satin ribbon and stickers. Then, I made wavy lines and dots using glue and sprinkled white flour over it and let it dry.

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Step 7: While it dried, I pasted cotton at the top as pongal. Take a small piece of cotton, fluff it and paste it on to the cardboard, making sure that the cardboard is not seen. Let try

 

Step 8: (sorry no pic): Using binder clips, hold the front side of the hat to the top of the circle from behind. The hat will hold the prop in place.

The finished pot:

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Here is Anjana as a Pongal pot. After she put it on, I realised that her face was much smalelr than the plate. Never mind, there is always next time.

Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment.