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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 Document Holder

Hi!

After trimming my husband’s favourite pair of jeans into a pair of shorts, the left-over fabric pieces and I were looking at each other. But for the frayed ends, the fabric was good and I did not want to throw them away.

I had always wanted a command centre (based on this post by Trish), I wanted something to store all important documents (my husband’s boarding passes for his weekly travel, my elder daughter Santoshi’s library folder which is due every wednesday morning, other circulars to be returned to her school after my signature, cheque for payment to younger daughter Anjana’s day care, Santoshi’s extra classes, the list is endless). I thought it would be nice to have multiple pockets.

This is how I did it:

Things used:

  • A piece of cardboard
  • A piece of fabric for the base (that was another leftover fabric from a project which did not make it to this blog)
  • Leftover denim fabric
  • Fabric Glue
  • Scissors
  • Packing tape
  • PVC pipe for backing

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Step 1: Cut the fabric into four pieces of equal size. The width of each piece was larger than that of a sheet of A4 paper. The height was about three-fourths of that of a sheet of A4 paper.

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Step 2: Arrange the denim fabric pieces on the piece of cardboard to ensure that there is enough space to fit all four of them.

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Step 3: Pin the pieces in place and sew three sides of each of the four pieces to the base fabric (leaving the top side open). I also used zigzag stitch to sew the edges to the base fabric to avoid fraying.

Step 4: Using fabric glue and tape, attach the base fabric to the cardboard and let it dry.

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Step 5: Attach PVC pipes on the back and secure them with glue and tape. The pipes will give enough support to the holder so that the cardboard does not fold. Doesn’t look good, but no one will see this side, so it’s ok ūüôā

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Step 6: Add a binder clip or two to the top of the document holder and hang it using a nail. [I have not done this yet, because I need to have a nail on the wall first, waiting on dear husband to do it for me]. Mine is just resting on the wall atop the shoe rack.

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Step 7: If you have smaller items to place here, use binder clips on the top edge on the denim fabric to hold them.

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Well, what do you think? I would like to hear you comments. Thanks for reading my post!

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Denim shorts from a pair of jeans

Hi!

This was something that my husband had asked me to do a looooong time back and as usual, I was putting it off for another day. And, that ‘another day’ finally arrived because I did not have to go to work (I had quit), my elder daughter decided to be with my mother-in-law for a few hours and the younger daughter was at day care!

This was a pair of loose-fitting, comfortable jeans (Levis 559 I guess) which had frayed at the end. My husband is so fond of this pair of jeans (because it is not available in India) that he wanted the jeans to be made in to a pair of shorts with a elastic waistband. I had bought the elastic band more than two months back (procrastination is a way of life for me).

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This is how I did it:

Step 1: Using another pair of denim shorts, I cut the pair of jeans leaving about one to two inches for seam allowance.

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Step 2: Fold once and sew (I sewed by hand using needle and thread).

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Step 3: Fold once more and sew (I used the machine).

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Step 4: The waistband was made of two pieces running all the way from one end to the other. Which meant that I could run the elastic band through the waistband (instead of adding a layer on the inside to hold it together). Cut a hole (only on the inner fabric of the waistband) on either end. Make sure that the hole is bigger than the width of the elastic band.

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Step 5: Cut the elastic with the ratio of 92% of the waist circumference plus 2 inches for seam.

Step 6: Attach a safety pin to each end of the elastic band. With the help of a safety pin on one end of the elastic band, insert the elastic band through one hole and bring it out to the other. Before you straighten the elastic inside waistband, ensure the other end of the elastic band is pinned to the hole so that it does not disappear in to the waistband and you will need to do it all over again. The Levis patch on the back of the waistband had to be ripped so that the elastic band could go through the waistband.

Note: The denim fabric was so soft that sliding the elastic band was very easy and quick. I tried it on a pair of old navy jeans and gave up. The safety pin opened up at least thrice while inside and it took about 30 minutes for me to slide the elastic through the waist band. So, if the fabric is hard and tough, the better way may be to sew a layer of soft fabric on the inside of the waistband and slide the elastic band through that instead of through the denim fabric.

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Step 7: Sew both ends of the elastic band together. Now, you are left with a cool pair of denim shorts plus 2 pieces of good denim fabric (except for frayed ends) for doing something else.

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My husband was very happy to get this pair of shorts (though he would have preferred if I has used a different thread; erm, sorry). The next post is about what I did with the left over pieces of the denim fabric!

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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 Рusing 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!

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Anjana’s Speech Development

Hello!

My younger daughter Anjana is two years and three months old. Compared to my elder daughter Santoshi, who will soon turn six, Anjana is way behind in talking.
I have been reading many websites and books on whether Anjana was on track with her speech development or lagging behind. Her vocabulary was limited, pronunciation needed more clarity and she was not able to make short, two-word sentences like “give ball”, “want food”, etc. The only sentence she could make was “mom, come”. Ironically, the fear of knowing that she may have some difficulties that are hindering her development made me put off the appointment with her paediatrician, instead of scheduling the appointment at the earliest.

Somehow, I mustered courage to face whatever it may be that the doctor might say about her, I really wanted to know the doctor’s opinion. The fact that she seemed puny was another concern which I wanted to discuss with the doctor.

We live just about three kilometres (approximately two miles) from the hospital and decided to take public transportation (read walk for 300 metres, use public transport for 2 kilometres and walk the remaining 700 metres to the hospital). And, this was a trip to remember because it was just me and Anjana and we decided to ditch the diaper for this trip. Too risky, but then, I was feeling adventurous.

An uneventful trip to the hospital where we were greeted with long queues at the cash counter (thanks to demonetisation). Anjana was running around while I waited for my turn to pay the doctor’s fee. It took two hours at the hospital, during which time, Anjana used the hospital toilet (well-maintained, thankfully) three times.

Anjana’s doctor asked me about Santoshi and examined Anjana. She did not find anything abnormal, so she referred us to their in-house speech therapist. The speech therapist asked me to follow a two-pronged approach:

  • To teach her more words by using flash cards of everyday objects (fruits, vegetables, animals, birds, etc.) and read each word out loud and asking her to repeat each of those words.
  • To improve her pronunciation of certain sounds like k, g, s,l, etc.

After trying this for a month, we need to meet the speech therapist again to reevaluate if she needs to undergo speech therapy at the hospital or not.

Anjana fell asleep on the way home and I was not willing to buy flash cards when I gladly make with whatever I have. I already had about 70 to 75 business cards of mine which became useless when I got promoted more than two years back. The cards were a little smaller than the flash cards available outside, but they will do.

I downloaded stock images of common animals, birds, fruits, vegetables, vehicles, food items, colours, shapes and a few other pictures which would enable her to make short sentences – sleeping (individual images of a sleeping boy, a sleeping girl, a sleeping baby, a sleeping dog, a sleeping cat) and similarly for eating, drinking, bathing.

My business card measured 2 inches by 3.3 inches. So, all these images were resized to these dimensions. Most of them fit the rectangular shape but obviously some circular or square things didn’t – like a ball or broccoli or a slice of bread. Never mind, because they were big enough for her to see and figure out. After gluing the pics to the business cards, we started playing with them.

Here is a picture of a few cards. Please note that I have used stock images for the limited purpose of teaching words to Anjana. I do not own the images on the cards.

I would show the card, speak the word aloud. Then, Santoshi would repeat after me. I would speak it aloud again for Anjana which she would repeat. When it comes to cards which have the action words (eating, sleeping, etc.), I would show the card to Anjana and wait for her to say something. Most times, she would make two-word sentences “Dog bubbles” or “Boy pizza” instead of “Dog bath” and “boy eat pizza”. She does miss the action word bath and eat but I think she needs more time.

We started this by the start of December 2016. It has been seven days and I should say there is considerable progress despite the fact that she pronounces ‘rabbit’ as “Babbi” and ‘balloon’ as Bamoo”. She remembers most of the words and recognises many more objects/ birds/ animals than before.

This is the list of images that I have been using. Criteria for picking these words – relevance (for pre-school aged kids), easy to recognise and easy to pronounce.

  • Apple
  • Banana
  • Cherry
  • Kiwi
  • Orange
  • Pear
  • Watermelon
  • Brinjal (eggplant)
  • Carrot
  • Cauliflower
  • Chili
  • Corn
  • Grapes
  • Okra
  • Peas
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Turnip
  • Biscuit
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Cake
  • Chips
  • Chocolate
  • Ice cream
  • Jam
  • Juice
  • Lollipop
  • Milk
  • Pizza
  • Balloon (Hot air balloon)
  • Bus
  • Car
  • Cycle (Bicycle)
  • Plane (Aeroplane)
  • Scooter
  • Tractor
  • Train
  • Truck
  • Butterfly
  • Bear
  • Bee
  • Camel
  • Cat
  • Deer
  • Dog
  • Dolphin
  • Duck
  • Elephant
  • Fish
  • Giraffe
  • Horse
  • Kangaroo
  • Ladybug
  • Lion
  • Monkey
  • Mouse
  • Parrot
  • Peacock
  • Rabbit
  • Snail
  • Snake
  • Squirrel
  • Tiger
  • Tortoise
  • Zebra
  • Ball
  • Bell
  • Bow
  • Heart
  • Star
  • Boy
  • Dora
  • Girl
  • Hello Kitty
  • Eating
  • Sleeping
  • Drinking
  • Bathing

    Will make another post in about a month from now if I see any progress with Anjana’s speech development.

    Thanks for reading my post!

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    DIY Medicine Storage

    Hello!

    Yes, one more item which involves recycling a carton in to something useful.

    Right from tylenol to other prescription drugs which my husband and I use are stored in a kitchen container placed on top of our refrigerator. As most of these capsules and tablets come in strips, rather than in bottles, I had to change the way these medicines were stored.

    A small but sturdy delivery carton from amazon along with cardboard strips and glue did the trick.

    Things which I used:

    1. Carton and cardboard strips
    2. Glue
    3. Box cutter
    4. A pair of scissors
    5. Clear tape
    6. Colour paper

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    Step 1: Cut the top flaps off the carton.

    Step 2: Measure and cut cardboard strips to serve as partitions/ dividers inside the box. Paste them inside the box using glue.

     

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    Step 3: Make a further partition or divider (as I needed to store smaller strips which may fall inside the bigger space and be difficult to get them out)

    Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as the number of partitions you need.

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    Step 5: Wrap the outside of the box using colour paper.

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    Step 6: Store the medicines in an organised way and for easy access too!

    Before and After images:

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    Whew! That’s all for today.

    Thanks for reading the post!

     

    1

    DIY Stationery Organiser

    Hi!

    My elder daughter Santoshi who will soon be six years old loves colouring and drawing. So, the whole family (my husband and I, my parents, his parents, our siblings) buy lots of stationery supplies for her. As my husband and I would like her to keep things tidy (so that she does not end up like me looking to tidy her things in mid-thirties), I wanted her to have a tabletop stationery organiser.

    Momontimeout from where I ¬†got the backpack storage idea also had this interesting post on organising stationery items. In addition, pins on¬†Pinterest on stationery¬†organisation and posts in facebook and other sites on recycling bottles¬†made me want to do something for Santoshi’s stationery items.

    Things which I used:

    1. Four plastic bottles (capacity – roughly 600 ml)
    2. Cardboard pieces from a delivery carton
    3. Box cutter/ Kitchen knife
    4. A pair of scissors
    5. Glue
    6. Fevikwik
    7. Packing tape
    8. A small piece of thermocol (cut from the packing material of our new computer monitor)
    9. Paper for wrapping

    Step 1: Cut the bottles’ top portion off (roughly where it starts to taper) using a box cutter or kitchen knife. I used my kitchen knife. I used a pair of scissors to neatly snip them off.

     

    Step 2: I could not find a carton which could fit four bottles. So, I used my younger daughter Anjana’s baby food carton as the base – which seemed to be the perfect size.

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    Step 3: I cut off the top flaps and the back of the carton so that the remaining portion of it.

    Step 4: Using the cardboard strips (saved from earlier recycling activities), one was placed inside the carton for a firm backing. Four other pieces serve as the sides of the box (the baby food carton is hardly two inches in height placed as seen in the pic above).

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    Step 5: Using packing tape and glue, the cardboard pieces were attached to the base.

    Step 6: Wrap colour paper around the box.

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    Step 7: Wrap colour paper around the bottles. I did not wrap them fully because the carton’s sides would cover more than half the height of the bottles.

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    Step 8: Paste the bottles inside the box using fevikwik at the base.

    Step 9: I measured the extra space that was available in order to attach a shallow storage space for smaller items like eraser, sharpener, etc. Wrap the piece of thermocol using colour paper and paste it in the unused space of box aligning it with the top of the box.

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    Now, the ‘organiser’ is ready to be used!

    Thanks for visiting my blog!