At the Movie Theater Concession Stand Halloween Costumes

Halloween is over all ready. November 1 starts my unofficial boycott of Christmas. Not that I have anything against Christmas. I love it! But I’m sure like many others, I like to enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving, rather than rush into the holiday. It gets old by the time December 25th comes around.

So my boycott begins by again dwelling on Halloween. This year we were “At the Movie Theater Concession Stand.” The weather was beautiful this year. Jack joined in with Trick-or-Treating with his older cousins. I think he enjoyed the walking better than the candy, although he did dip into his bucket a few times during the walk. I took Daisy along too. Her costume was so good, most people didn’t even know she was there!

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Like last year, I made costumes for almost everyone so we could walk as a theme.  I based the theme off Daisy’s costume: the popcorn bucket. I saw a version of it on Pinterest and knew I wanted to do it months ago, but my version was a bit more extreme. My version was made with a felt blanket I painted as a popcorn bucket using stencils I made from my Cricut. I used tissue paper as the popcorn and glued it to the blanket and to a baby hat for daisy. I just wrapped the blanket around Daisy’s carrier and tucked it in the sides. Her little head stuck out but was covered with the popcorn hat. I put on some 3D glasses and it looked like I was just walking around with a giant tub of popcorn at the movies.

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Jack went as a movie ticket and Matt was the Box Office Ticket collector, both costumes made with cardboard, Cricut cut vinyl, paint, and ribbon. The “over the shoulder” type costume was good for Jack because it was easy to put on and take off when he was fussy.

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The rest of my nieces and nephew also joined the theme. I made 3 of their 6 costumes. I made Laila a cardboard Kit-Kat bar costume (I have a lot of cardboard on hand between boxes of diapers and wipes.) Olivia was Button candy, made with an old dress and painted Styrofoam balls. Myla was our cup of Coca-Cola, made from a small hamper, craft paper, paint, and vinyl. I especially liked her straw hat (complete with “Diet,” “Regular,” and “Other” buttons).

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The store bought costumes were cute too – Craig was also popcorn, Angelina was an M&M, and Jenna was Nerds. I think we made a really cute concession stand!

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Using Acrylic Paints on Clothing: The Best Fabric Medium.

I’ve seen so many cute baby and maternity shirts online, but at $15 (on the low end) for something a baby will grow out of so quickly seems like too much for me. But there is some hope for cute onsies! I’ve seen that you can use the Cricut, freezer paper, and paint to create clothes yourself. I’ve never heard of using freezer paper before, and I know paint makes clothes stiff, so I tested out it all out on an old t-shirt before trying it out on baby clothes.

You might think that fabric paint is a paint option I’d consider, but it is a little pricey (I’m cheap), and there aren’t nearly as many colors available in fabric paint than acrylic (I love color). Now I know from unfortunate personal experience that acrylic paint will permanently color clothes, but it will make your clothes hard, stiff, and scratchy. So did some research and found that you can add fabric medium to paints so avoid the problem. There are tons of different kinds you can find online, but I decided to go with the 3 I found at Jo-Ann’s so I could use coupons (and not pay shipping).

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I found 2oz fabric medium from Folk Art ($2.99), Americana ($2.49), and Delta ($2.49). All three had the same instructions: mix one part medium to two parts paint. I made sure to use the same brand of paints for consistency. Using Apple Barrel paints and a plastic spoon for measuring, I made a mixture of each medium in a different color.

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Folk Art: Green

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Americana: Pink

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Delta: Orange

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I put newspaper inside the shirt so the colors wouldn’t bleed through, but you could use cardboard too.

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I first just free painted a few squares onto the shirt.

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I tried out freezer paper to see how it’d work. I didn’t use my Cricut to make the stencil for this practice run; I just cut a few diamonds onto the paper.

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Iron the paper shiny side down onto the shirt.

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It worked!

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Paint over the stencil, then peel it away after a few minutes.

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The paint doesn’t have to be dry, just not soaking wet.

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Now the hardest part of anything you make is waiting.

Let the paint dry for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, heat set  the paint. In order to do this, I put the shirt in the dryer for an hour. You can also do this faster with an iron, but the dryer is easier and you don’t have to worry about the paint bleeding.

I wore the shirt after this, and there was a definite winner, but just to be certain I washed the shirt inside out on the delicate cycle, and I was sure to use fabric softener. This softened all the paints considerably.

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So what’s the verdict? All three paints are wearable, but for a baby onsie I wanted the paint to feel like it wasn’t even there. The Folk Art medium has, by far, the best texture of the three. You really can’t feel the difference between the actual shirt and the painted area. I think for 50¢ more this is the best bet, especially for baby clothes.

Folk Art

The Americana Medium worked really well too. The painted area was not scratchy or tough, but you can distinguish where the painted area is on your skin. A lot of store bought shirts feel this way, and it’s not uncomfortable at all. The Americana brand is also cheaper than Folk Art, so if you don’t mind the texture or  are wearing an undershirt, this is a good choice also.

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I did not like the Delta Medium at all. The painted area was a much more stiff and scratchy on your skin. However I was reading reviews for this online, and many people used this medium for outdoor furniture. I could see using this for the cushions or pillows of a patio set, as outside textiles need to be a bit tougher to hold up to the weather. This brand also is  often sold in big bottles rather than the 2 oz bottles, so you could use it for larger area projects. So for clothing, this is a definite no, but for outside things, I might use it.

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My first baby onsie project isn’t perfect, but oh I love it, especially the back (doo-doo)!

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Besides my Daisy, I know 5 other babies being born this year! I’ll be making lots of custom onsies now, like this one:

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Jack’s Christening

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Since going back to work, I really have been working for the weekend. I always thought I was busy all week, until I had someone else to care for everyday. I can’t imagine how people with more than one child do it, let alone people with twins! We christened Jack 2 weeks ago, and I figured that I did a lot of baking and crafting for all my nieces’ and nephew’s parties, I should at least make some favors for my own baby’s party. In order to do any of it I had my nieces come over and entertain him. (Something I never thought about needing to do before). The girls were great. Jack loves them. They played and danced with him while I filled chocolate molds and baked and decorated cookies.

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Our family’s tradition is to have the baby’s godmother bathe and dress the baby before church, so Nancy came over and immediately started yelling at me and Matt because we weren’t ready either. I’m no fool. If she was going to get the baby ready that meant I’d have more time for myself. 🙂

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At our church, they christen several babies at once. Jack was the loudest baby there. He DID NOT like being so hot in his outfit, or the fact that his bottle wasn’t warm enough the whole time. Surprisingly, he didn’t cry at all when he was being baptized. He loves baths, and I think he was expecting to be allowed to jump into the water. It was a lovely ceremony and my niece was picked to help the Deccan.  We were so happy to celebrate afterwards.

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For his party I wanted a lamb theme. It was so close to Easter, so there was a lot of lamb baby things around, and it’s a nice, neutral baptism theme. The girls were able to help me make the centerpiece for the favors (apothecary jar filled with yarn balls), and they made the centerpieces for everyone’s dining tables. These cute lambs doubled as a kid craft and a party piece. The girls were entertained and knew they helped with the party. A win-win!

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For favors, everyone helped themselves to a variety of treats. I Made lots of chocolate crosses and a tall jar of white and blue sprees and whoppers for people’s treat bags, and I made 3 different kinds of cookies. I decorated chocolate covered Oreos with a blue chocolate cross. The lamb cookies were basic cream cheese cookies iced white (royal icing) with some white edible pearls. I added cinnamon, nutmeg, and some black pepper (just a touch)to the cream cheese dough to make the cross cookies.  I decorated them with royal icing and a lamb chocolate mold.

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The non-edible favor was tiny finger rosaries. They were so sweet! Instead of a cross, they have an angel. I twice the amount needed so everyone could take more than one (which everyone did). I put a set on my car’s emergency brake for luck. I ordered them from this Etsy shop. I love them!

It was Also Angelina’s Birthday. She’s 14!!!!!!!!! I can’t believe how time flies!!IMG_7710

Quick and Easy Valentine’s Day Wreaths

I’m trying to keep to my new year’s wreath resolution with a Valentina’s day wreath. Usually, I just have a branch heart wreath on the door, but that isn’t as fun as making something. I made two different wreaths, the first is a topsy, turvey owl frame.

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I painted a laser cut wood frame and heart for the main elements, and tied the two pieces with pink ribbon so the heart dangled in the middle of the frame. I tied another ribbon at the top of the frame for hanging. I then dressed up the piece by hot gluing a sparkly pink her, ribbon, crystals, paper flowers, and a wooden owl ornament. It was really simple and came out really cute!

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You don’t have to make the frame crooked, and having the inner heart centered more traditionally is just as sweet.

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It turned out that I liked the owl frame better on the wall than on the door, so I decided to fix up the branch heart wrath I already had. It was very simple and only took a few minutes.

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I first wrapped the wreath in heart tinsel garland, and then with beaded garland. I adjusted she beads so they all faced the front of the wreath. I then hot glued some felt owls and hearts to the front. How stinking adorable!

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Sara’s wreath is very similar, but instead of wrapping her wrath in beaded garland, she glued on some beaded bushels. Quick, easy, and pretty!

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The Cutest DIY Baby Gift Ever: A Book Birdhouse

Lately, the baby showers I’ve been to have encouraged guests to use a children’s book with your own message on the front cover in place of a card. I think it’s such a fantastic idea. The earlier we can encourage kids to read, the better.I like to put my own twist on this request. Along with one of my favorite children’s books (usually either The Monster at the End of this Book or I Love You Forever), I make the cutest baby gift ever: my Book Birdhouse.  Please note that the birdhouse is an indoor piece, and shouldn’t be used as a real, outdoor birdhouse.

Book Birdhouse

Supplies needed:
Small children’s book (Golden Books work well)
Craft Birdhouse . You can get one at any craft store, like Michael’s or A.C. Moore
X-Acto® Knife
Scissors
Staple gun
Foam Brush
Modge Podge®
Modge Podge® mat & smoother

Birdhouse Supplies

If your birdhouse has a chimney, you first need to take it off. They come off pretty easily if you turn it sideways and hit it off with the hammer. Don’t throw it out – you can put it back on later.

Use the X-Acto® knife to cut out all the pages on the book. Save the cover, it will be use for the roof.

Cut out all the pages of the book

Pick the pages with the best pictures to use. Also, pay attention to the text and cut out the best phrases.

Pick your pages

Press the pages against the sides of the house and figure out where each picture will go. You want to know the placement of the pages before you start gluing. Mark the page placement with a pencil on the back of the page (back, bottom, right side, left side, etc.)

Figure out where to place your pages

Prep the pages for gluing my folding over any corners that overlap the edge of the wood.

Cleanly fold over the corners

Carefully cut a small hole for the bird ledge to size your page over the front of the birdhouse. Once you get your page in place, use the knife to cut the birdhouse entrance.

Cut out the entrance and the bird ledge

Use a Modge Podge® mat and start gluing. It’s important that you don’t skip the bottom of the birdhouse, and you always want to start there. Don’t skip the bottom! It gives the house a finished, polished look. And anyway, just because you won’t see the bottom of the house when it’s on the shelf, that doesn’t mean baby won’t see it when he wants to play with the house. – Rant over.

Brush a thin layer of Modge Podge® on the bottom of the birdhouse, and glue down the book page.

Base coat of glue

Paper is porous, and the glue will make the paper expand, so you WILL get some air bubbles. Don’t worry, just use the smoother to push out any air bubbles, always smoothing from the center to the edge.

Smooth out your bubbles

Now, use another thin layer of Modge Podge® over the paper and very gently smooth again. You’ll have to wait about an hour or two for the glue to dry so you can finish the birdhouse.

Another coat will serve as a protective layers

Repeat the gluing process on the rest of the house, starting with front and bottom of the roof. You don’t have to worry about the top of the roof. Once all the pictures are glues on the house, glue on some of your favorite phrases. Remember, this is a book house – there should be some text!

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If you plan on using the chimney, don’t forget to glue some pages on that, too.

Chimney

Now that the walls are finished, staple the book cover as the roof.

Cover Roof

If you’re using the chimney, hot glue it in place, on the cover.

Glue your chimney on!

Isn’t that the sweetest birdhouse you’ve ever seen? If I ever have children, I am going to have a ton of these (and a ton of books) in their rooms.

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Baby Clothes Wardrobe Giftbox


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My cousin Maggie is having a baby!  She’s due to have Brodie at the end of November. I can’t wait to meet him, but first things first. We have to first shower her with gifts! Her shower was last weekend, and me and the TR crew all pitched in and got lots of gifts for Brodie, including lots and lots of clothes. Instead of stuffing clothes in a gift bag or box, I have the cutest way to display your baby clothes gift.

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It’s perfect for a shower or a baby’s birthday, and it’s super simple: build a wardrobe.   All you need is a long cardboard box, a 3/8″ wooden rod (you can get one at any craft store), some paint, an X-Acto knife (or scissors), doll house knobs (or buttons, beads, hooks, or any small charm will work), and a hot glue gun.

wardrobe supplies

First, cut off the two short flaps off the box. If your box is long enough, you can use the flaps to create a small shoe shelf at the bottom of the box by just gluing or taping the cardboard on the inside of the box, about 3 or 4 inches from the bottom. If your box is too short, that’s ok (mine was).

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Next, add the rod for hanging. Measure 6 inched from the top of the box, and the halfway point of the depth of the box. You want to make sure you mark in the same spot on both ends of the box so the rod is level. Once you mark both sides of the box with a pen, cut an X over the marks with your X-Acto knife.

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Now, you will be able to push the rod through the cut X and through to the other side. If your rod is too long, mark  where you need to trim the rod, take it out of the box, and score and cut it.

wardrobe before paint

You can score the rod with a shape knife, saw, or I used scissors. (It was dark outside, and I was too lazy to venture out in the shed for the hand saw. I utilized Matt’s man-strength to do it with scissors).

wardrobe rod

All the hard stuff is over. Now for the fun of decorating! I Let my sister take over with the decorating for Maggi’s wardrobe box. Nancy first spray painted the box green (inside and out). She then used a round sponge brush to add some yellow polka dots and swirls.

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We used tiny wooden knobs we found at the craft store, painted them yellow, and hot glued them on for the wardrobe’s handles. You can paint and decorate the wardrobe however you like. If you have time, two toned paint might be nice to mimic the look of beveled wood. You could also use some craft stickers or ribbons to jazz it up.

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Everyone loved the wardrobe. It’s such an easy way to make your gift stand out, and it’s always a hit. Give it a shot the next time you give a gift of baby clothes, and let me know how it goes!

Maggi and Wardrobe

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all