For years I have resisted the DIY advent calendar craze. However, when I was presented with a bunch of cool supplies from Martha Stewart Home Office with Avery, inspiration struck and there was no turning back.
I love the idea of a dress up item that is made of natural materials and celebrates the season. Last spring Jude loved his crown of clover, so this fall we decided to make a leaf mask. It was really simple to create and the results, if I do say so myself, are quite stunning. Jude had a blast playing "leaf man" and I think your little one would too!
Want to make your own? Read on for a full tutorial.
fall leaves of various sizes (we picked these off of our maple tree)
thin cardboard (I used a paper plate but a cereal box would work great)
Preserve your leaves. We skipped this step and I wish we wouldn't have because after a few days the mask got all curly and crunchy.
Draw a mask shape on your cardboard.
Cut out the mask, check the eye holes on your little one and adjust accordingly. Punch holes on the sides and add strings to each side with a simple knot.
Using hot glue, apply the leaves. Start with the largest leaves on the outside and move towards the center with the smaller leaves.
I am super excited to share the costume that Jude and Jason and I made this year. So without further adieu, I present you with the DIY Space Robot:
Jude originally wanted to be an astronaut and while I thought that was a great idea, this morning sick mama did not want to commit to that much sewing. So, gathering inspiration from Jude's current favorite little golden book, Robots, Robots Everywhere!, I suggested a space robot instead. He loved it, score!
We already had the awesome robot mask, a dress up gift from a friend, so all we had to do was make the box.
The box (size small from Home Depot) was easy to cut with a craft knife. With one large hole for the head, two small holes for the arms, and almost the whole bottom cut out, you've got your base.
We used modpodge to cover the whole thing in foil and reinforced the edges with chrome duct tape. Good old dryer vent makes the perfect robot arms. Jude and I painted a "space map" and half styrofoam ball "buttons" while Jason installed an on/off switch.
Under the costume he is wearing black thermals, perfect for chilly trick or treating. And his "moon boots" are actually his grandma's snow boots with the toes stuffed.
The best part for me is seeing how much he likes it. Even though he can't sit down or move particularly freely, he is all about it. Perhaps it's because he can still manage to get candy to his mouth without any trouble.
I hope your Halloween is full of treats!
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I was gifted a copy of Robots, Robots Everywhere! but all opinions are my own (and Jude's).
Looking for a fun Halloween craft that doubles as rad door decor? Well, have I got just the thing for you! Plus, an afternoon of not too spooky craft fun is the perfect way to procrastinate making that pesky Halloween costume. Tracing, paper ripping, glues sticks, OH MY! I designed this project with preschooler-favorites in mind, although I must admit I had just as much fun ripping and gluing as Jude did.
Jude is at that age where he is both scared and fascinated with the darker side of Halloween. We decided a life-sized mummy guarding the door was just what we needed to keep the zombies, spooks, and other undesirables at a safe distance. That's right, we've got a mummy bouncer.
Today’s project is a part of the Kids Inspiration & Design Series with The Sewing Rabbit! If you are stopping by from Jessica's site, welcome!
I'd like to introduce you to Jude's newest friend, Dorky Monster.
Dorky Monster is a toy that Jude and I created based off of a doodle Jude drew.
When it comes to drawing, Jude is a slightly reluctant artist. He is easily frustrated when he can't create an image like the one in is mind (something his perfectionist mama totally gets). I have been trying to gently encourage that he tries and it has helped quite a bit with his confidence. The subject of choice? Monsters. Monsters are a bit of a fascination recently, do you remember being both scared and wildly interested in certain things as a child? I sure do. I was both obsessed with and terrified of The Never Ending Story, for example. Monsters are this way for Jude. I think that this particular monster is "dorky" because that makes him goofy and silly and therefore harmless.
When I asked Jude if he'd like to turn his doodle into a doll he was wonderfully enthusiastic. He took his role as designer very seriously: choosing the colors of both felt and thread, overseeing each snip and stitch, and actually doing quite a bit of the work himself. In fact, he cut out the teeth with absolutely zero help from me and assisted in all other stages of production. It was so much fun to work on this project with him.
No sewing machine or fancy skills are required for this little project, making the perfect choice for collaborating with your kiddo. Here's how to make your own.
A drawing by your child
Note: Let your little one help as much as possible, the results will be amazing!
Have your little one draw the type of doll he/she would like to create.
Using that doodle as your guide cut out the felt. Hold the felt doubled for the body, arms, legs, ears, ect. Don't get caught up in trying to make it perfect, just cut everything freehand and have fun, it will come out more doodlish that way.
Apply all of your embellishments (eyes, mouth, ect.) before you sew the doll together.
Sew the doll together with a simple whip stitch, leaving a hole for stuffing.
Stuff your doll and sew up the hole.
As soon has his last thread was cut, Dorky Monster received the high honor of right-next-to-the-pillow placement. Jude loves his new doll and so do I. I love how cute he is (in that Ugly Doll kind-of way) but mostly I love that Jude and I made him together. I can see the pride in his face when he plays with this toy that he designed and created. And that's something you could never buy at the toy store.
I want to thank Jessica of The Sewing Rabbit so much for inviting me to participate in this series. We had such a blast! Be sure to head over to her site and check out what the other amazing bloggers created with their kiddos.
Wednesdays are Jude and mama days. I don't work, he doesn't have preschool and I try my hardest to make it a fun day for both of us. A few Wednesdays ago, I asked Jude if he'd like to make a craft and he said, "Yes, I want to make a boat." This is what we came up with. I originally had no intention of blogging it (sometimes that gets in the way of our fun) but this was such a blast for both of us I simply had to share it. Be prepared for hours of fun. Seriously, this might be my all time favorite kid craft. Especially because when you are finished you have a toy!
This year we decided to throw Jude a half-birthday party. I wanted our little Christmas baby to experience the fun of a backyard birthday bash. So he chose the theme (surprise, surprise) and I got to work.
Alright, this little countdown could not be easier to make and it really worked! The idea is that there is one link for every hour in the car (give or take) and written inside is a suggested activity. It helped Jude understand that we were getting closer AND kept him occupied. I will never take a long car trip without one!
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