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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!

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Christmas Tree Prop using cardboard

Hi!

I know there is already a post of DIY Christmas tree prop which 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)

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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.

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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”.  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 pot 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

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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.

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Labelling a basket for kindergarten

Hi!

My younger daughter Anjana is about to start kindergarten and I am very excited (she? not so much! I see a lot of crying in her near future and a lot of anxiety in mine). The school is particular that we send these things in a basket (not in a bag or backpack – for ease of access; most children in this class would be 2.5 to 3 years old):

  1. Water bottle
  2. Snack box with plastic fork or spoon (no metal ones) IMG_20170602_080253
  3. A small cloth towel IMG_20170602_080221
  4. School diary in a ziploc bagDiary
  5. A spare set of clothes (including bloomers) in a ziploc bag IMG_20170602_080431

The basket also needs to be neatly labelled with the child’s name. I have a light-weight basket for her and I wanted to add such a label that it would withstand wear and tear for the next ten months. I had to keep labelling my elder daughter’s basket multiple times in the first  ten months of her kindergarten.

The label should also help the child in identifying his/her own basket. A picture that they can recognise will help since they can’t read yet. That’s the reason I chose Hello Kitty. So, here is how the labelling was done:

Things used:

  • Hello Kitty label – printed on vinyl (roughly 7 inches by 4 inches) – 2 copies
  • Old place mat for firm backing
  • Glue
  • Sewing machine
  • A pair of scissors
  • Punching machine
  • Polyester yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Permanent marker

How I did it:

Step 1: Using the permanent marker, I wrote her name, class and section on the top right corner of the label.

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Step 2: Paste the labels on the place mat and allow it to dry.

Step 3: Sew on all four sides. Cut the label with a margin of about 1/2 inch on all four sides.

 

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Step 4: Using the permanent marker, add borders to hide the stitches.

Step 5: Punch holes on all four sides.

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Step 6: Using the polyester yarn and tapestry needle, attach the labels to the basket.

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It’s done! You now have a waterproof, hard to tear apart label on both sides of the basket. The image will help your child identify his/her basket during snack break and pick-up times.

Here is the fully-loaded basket – Basket

Please feel free to you provide your comments/ feedback. For Hello Kitty Digital Paper and other exciting digital downloads, please visit my Etsy shop CrazyCookup! Thank you!!

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Spruce up a lunch bag!

Hello!

My elder daughter Santoshi will be starting with Grade 1 in a few days from now and she is very excited.   She has been waiting for almost a year to make use of her Tinkerbell backpack similar to this one.

She also got a water bottle with a fairy and a castle printed on it, so I thought why not get her a matching lunch bag too?

This would have been perfect but we do not live in the USA and we already had a simple (but boring) lunch bag at home. IMG_20170530_204356

So, as usual, another DIY project was born! I admit, until it turned out finished, I was not sure if it would really work or just ruin an otherwise good lunch bag. But I am quite happy with what I ended up with (I am not a perfectionist – you will see).

I got two images printed – one for the top portion (9 inches by 6 inches) and the other for the front (7 inches by 8 inches approx)

Things that I used:

  • A plain lunch bag
  • Disney Fairies/Tinkerbell poster (printed on vinyl) – one for the top portion of the lunch bag and the other for the front
  • Nylon webbing tape (salvaged from a small bag thrown away earlier)
  • Sewing machine
  • Seam ripper

How I did it?

Step 1: Rip the seams of the nylon webbing tape on the top portion of the lunch bag.

Step 2: Align the image (9 inches by 6 inches) to ensure that the ends will be inside the nylon webbing tape once we sew it back.

Step 3: Sew the nylon webbing tape back in place keeping all the ends of the image are tucked within the webbing.

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Step 4: Rip the seams on the webbing tape from the front portion of the bag. Align and place the second image (7 inches by 8 inches) on the front portion.

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Step 5: Sew the webbing tape back in place ensuring the the bottom end of the image is tucked in.

Step 6: Add the webbing tape on the other three sides of the image and sew.

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That’s it! Now you have turned IMG_20170530_204356

into IMG_20170531_104340

Thanks for reading my post!!

Here are other back-to-school ensemble options, check them out!

Hello Kitty Rainbow
and

 

Purple Hello Kitty
and

My Little Pony
, and

Paw Patrol Blue

Paw Patrol Pink
and

Wonder Woman
and

Batman versus Superman
and

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DIY Iron Board

Hello!

When I was mindlessly going through Pinterest, this pin popped up. I thought to myself that my iron board could use a new cover. But then, I had stacked it somewhere high up which was not readily accessible and I found the iron board with its collapsible stand too bulky to use (the real reason is my laziness).

But, this pin by Ashley was totally awesome!! A table-top iron board removes the bulk, makes it easier to store in the wardrobe and can be brought to the table as and when I needed. Wow!

I had salvaged a piece of plywood a few months back which could serve as the base. A lot of scrap fabrics in the box could easily be the batting. The missing ingredients were hot glue gun and a big stapler. That will not stop me, after all there are always workarounds and alternatives. I took the basic idea from Ashley’s tutorial and improvised to suit what I had.

Things used:

  • Thin plywood board
  • Quick-dry sheet (size: small) [to provide a little cushion]
  • Scrap fabrics
  • Cotton twine
  • Needle
  • Glue

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How I did it:

Step 1: Lay the fabrics flat one on top of the other, leaving out the outermost layer. My faded kameez was my outermost layer, so I kept it aside. The cotton dupatta was at the bottom, followed by the black fabric, then the pink fabric and the quick-dry sheet on top.

Step 2: Place the board on top of the sandwich and cut the fabrics with a seam allowance of about 1 inch on each side.

Step 3: Place the board on the outermost layer and cut it with a larger seam allowance. As it was a kameez, I did not get an even seam allowance on all sides.

Step 4: Stack the layers up with the outermost layer at the bottom.

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Step 5: Cut the corners (triangles) so that they are not very bulky while folding.

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Step 6: Apply glue to the layer which will be facing the board. I applied glue on the quick-dry sheet which will be sitting on the board.

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Step 7: Place the board on top of the sheet aligning with the corners and let it dry. I used my laptop and a few books (they belong to my husband; old books bought long back before eReaders were available in India) and waited for about 20 minutes.

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Step 8: Fold the fabric over and sew the corners together. Once all four corners are done, sew the ends together.

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Looks gross, isn’t it? Thought so.

Step 9: Using a piece of fabric, cover these stitches on the board and hem it with the outermost layer.

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Not so much of an eyesore, right?

Turn it over and you have a new, portable iron board – handmade by you!! Need we say more?

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I used the iron board to fold the seams of the red fabric at the back for hemming. Cool, right?

Thanks for reading my post! I would be very happy to know your comments!

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Refashion adults’ top [kameez] into a little girl’s dress

Hi!

Of course, this is yet another post on how to refashion or upcycle old clothes. Since I made two skirts for my younger daughter Anjana, the elder one, Santoshi, was getting a teeny weeny bit jealous and felt left out. So, I had to do something for her too.

A couple of weeks back, I drove on a puddle of wet paint and skidded off from my two-wheeler, injuring nothing but my pride. There were mild and not-so-mild scratches on the vehicle, but happy to report that the road was unharmed!!

Luckily, we (Santoshi and I) came out of it with only bruises and to my surprise, the salwar kameez that I was wearing remained intact, but the white paint never came off. It was one of favourite set of clothes but the white smear made it unwearable.

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My initial thought was to make it into a nice tote bag, but I knew I will never use it (because I hate oversized, structure-less, open totes). Since Santoshi brought the topic of the skirts made for her younger sister up at every possible juncture, I checked if the kameez could become a knee-length frock for her.

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Looked like it may be possible!!

Things used:

  • The kameez
  • Small pieces of fabric for motifs from the salwar
  • A small piece of fabric for lining the bodice and waist band
  • Zip
  • Scissors
  • Co-ordinating threads
  • Sewing machine

Step 1: Considering seam allowance, mark and cut off the skirt portion.

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Step 2: I used lining for the bodice (since I don’t know how to do bias binding on neck and armhole). Align two pieces of the kameez (front and back) and two pieces of the lining fabric. Fold into half – now there will be eight layers. Fold the frock into half and trace the outline of the bodice on the fabric.

The paint smeared part was right where the top of the bodice was.  So, I used the wrong side of the kameez for the back portion of the bodice. I could not find any difference in colour between the right and wrong sides.

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Step 3: Make another outline for seam allowance and cut. You will end up like 2 sets like this.

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Step 4: Align the fabric and the lining and sew on the marking (not visible on this one, sorry).

Step 5: Cut small triangles out in the seam so that it lies flat when you turn it right side out.

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See the paint smear? So obvious and in the face, right? Gross!

Step 6: Turn the sets right side out.

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Paint smear is not so noticeable, yay!!

Step 7: Repeat for the other side and join the zip on the back portion.

Step 8: Pleat the top of the skirt portion and attach to the bodice.

Step 9: Attach a tube of the fabric as waist band.

Step 10: Align front and back sides and join them.

Step 11: I cut motifs from the salwar and added them to the frock because it was looking weird without them.

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Yup, that’s my baby, not so happy to pose, but I think she likes the frock!!

Thanks for reading my post!