Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Costumes: The End of an Era at our house...

How's that for a long title? OK, so here is my costume post, on the Eve of Halloween :) Procrastinate much? Haha! Tomorrow is going to be a little sad for me, in a weird guilty-crafty-mom sort of way :)

For the past four years, I have enjoyed {a little too much for my husband's liking} putting together a family "theme" for our Halloween costumes. It all started in 2007, when my oldest finally had a little sibling and there was someone to "coordinate" costumes with.... That first year, he was a cute little fireman and his baby brother was a dalmation puppy. Here is a pic of our fire crew:

Then, at the last minute, I decided that my hubs and I had to join in the theme and I made us go as Fire and Smoke! Hahaha, I can't believe I talked him into that one. Seriously, that was pretty much a miracle since he hadn't ever dressed up for Halloween in the seven years we'd been married :) I'm going to spare you the picture, it's not pretty :)

2008... I thought, hmmmm well he agreed to be a puffy cloud of smoke last year, what can I talk him into this year?? :) My oldest really wanted to be Dash from the Incredibles, so we just went with it, and decided to go as the entire family!

2008: The Incredibles

I had fun making all of our costumes (we only bought the muscly Dash suit!) And thus began our Pixar costume tradition :)

2009: Monsters Inc.

My husband officially withdrew himself from our family costume themes this year :) But this was probably my favorite year of costumes! I had the most adorable little Sully you've ever seen...

We also had a very handsome Mike Wazowski:

So, I decided to make my very own Celia costume :) My son didn't appreciate the fact that I was now his "girlfriend" for the night! But the 3 of us did look pretty cute together, don't you think?

2010: Toy Story

I finally had my baby girl to add into the mix! My boys were obsessed with Toy Story last year, with the release of Toy Story 3, so they were super excited to go as Buzz and Woody. I couldn't wait to dress up my baby as Bo Peep :) She wasn't very happy in this picture... but this is the only one I got of all 3! (Oh, and just for the record, I tried to dress up as Mrs. Potato Head and it was pretty much a disaster. That is why I am not in this picture!)

So now here we are, 2011. It is officially the end of our family theme costumes. I don't know why I feel so bad about it.... I mean, really, I have a 1st grader now and he wants to choose his own costume and I should let him. I did let him... he chose this:

Darth Vader. You know, the high-quality one-piece polyester jumpsuit with the velcro tab in the back? Yeah, that is what my son is wearing this year. And, not to be left out, his little brother picked this one:

I was a little apprehensive at first... no theme, cheap costumes with plastic masks.... can I really do this?

But then, the Iron Man costume arrived in the mail and my 4-year-old hasn't parted with it much since. He has been happily playing/eating/napping in this thing for the past several days! I can't believe how much joy can be derived from a single polyester jumpsuit! The smile on his face is priceless.

So, I guess it is worth it. My boys couldn't be happier with their costumes this year. I am trying to let my crafty-perfectionist tendancies-mom-guilt go, and just enjoy the holiday with a smorgasboard of costumes :)

I will end with the one costume I did make and planned a few months in advance... my baby girl as Alice in Wonderland. {I thought I could get my boys to go along with my theme and be the Mad Hatter and White Rabbit... no such luck!} That's OK, she is pretty adorable all on her own:

For any of you who are still looking for a last minute costume idea, check out this feature from Real Simple: 10 Last Minute Halloween Costumes

There are some fun "play-on-words" ideas that could be pulled together really fast! Here is my favorite one:

{Get it? Pumpkin Pie...}  Ha! This would actually be funny to wear to Thanksgiving dinner too :)

But let's not rush into Thanksgiving just yet... we still have 1 day of Halloween costumes, candy, and trick-or-treaters left to enjoy. Have a Happy and safe Halloween with your loved ones!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Easy Halloween Craft {'Lil Monster Art Gallery}

With Halloween quickly approaching, I've been trying to fit in a few fun projects with the kids. They love this time of year, and I like to have them help create some of our Halloween decor. If you haven't seen this post, last month I decided to create a HUGE magnetic chalkboard/wall art for my dining room {from an old canvas painting.} With the help of my "little monsters" we updated it for Halloween with some custom art and fun glitter frames.

Today I'm going to show you how we created the frames and our 'Lil Monster Art Gallery :)

Here are the materials we gathered up for this project:

What you'll need:
1. Glitter foam sheets with sticky back {8.5 x11} - (I got mine at Michaels for $1.49 each)
2. Roll of adhesive magnets - ($1.00)
3. Scissors
4. Felt, craft foam, material, feathers... whatever you have leftover in your craft supplies :)
5. Frame templates - (I hand sketched some designs, you can download the pdf here, or draw your own!)
6. Free monster printables from Family Fun {the individual pdfs are linked later in this post}, and moustaches from The Paper Doll Shoppe

I had the idea of making an art gallery that my kids could customize and switch around whenever they want :) That is the beauty of magnets... everything is moveable! I started with my frames. I wanted some blingy frames for our art, without the mess of glue and glitter all over my kitchen :) Enter glitter foam...

I LOVE these adhesive-backed glitter foam sheets:

I have used them for several projects, one of my favorites is my glittericious birthday crown. But there are SO many ways you can use this stuff, it is great for kids too. We used 3 different colors of foam for our frames... turquoise, black, and citron green {my fav!}

Start by drawing your frame templates (or just print mine.)

Then, peel the backing paper off your foam sheet (I got some help with this part!)

Adhere your choice of template to the sticky side of the foam.

Now, you are all ready to cut out your frame! Easy peezy! Here's what you have when you are done cutting out your frames:

Just add a few strips of your adhesive magnets to the back, and your frames are done! I love that this is a glueless project :)

Now, for our monsters.... whaa aaahaahaa! When I found these free printable monsters on Family Fun, I knew their little faces would be perfect! You can download all the printables I used here:
I wanted the kids to be able to "accessorize" their monsters and make them a bit more silly :) I am kinda crushing on the moustache trend right now, and I found these adorable moustache and lip printables that I had to use!

Besides those, I let the kids pick what else they wanted to create. My 4-year-old wanted a crown on his "lion" {werewolf} and my 6-year-old did everything himself... some scary teeth, blood drops (really?) funky hat, and his favorite... green hair sticking out of his dracula's ears :) It was really easy to make the accessories... we just cut out the pattern (moustache, etc) stuck it to the back of the foam (or pinned it on some felt, etc) and then cut it out. So simple.

We figured out where we wanted all of the "extras" on the monster faces, and then just attached magnet strips to the back of the face in the correct spots. Then, each "extra" was backed with a small magnet strip and now it stuck right on where we wanted it to be!

Finally, we were ready to put our monsters in the frames, and add the the silly accessories to their faces. My kids had so much fun seeing their creations. I think my favorite look is the mustache on the Frankenstein :)

If you don't want to go to the trouble of making the monsters, the frames are SO easy to do, and make a great place to display artwork, special papers from school, etc. Here are a few of our frames on the fridge:

I hope you enjoyed this idea for an easy art project... I know my kids did!

Oh, and I almost forgot, one of my very favorite parts of the final "gallery" is the black sign I hung at the top... I got it last week at Michael's, on clearance for $1.99! I think it is a seasonal item for Halloween, so it may be even cheaper now. The best part is, you can use a Chalk Marker to write on it, and it wipes completely clean! I've tested it a few times :)

You could use it as a countdown for various holidays, or just switch it out with your favorite quote or love note for your kids. Seriously, go get one today!

I hope everyone has a safe and SPOOKY Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Sugar Cookie "Kit"

Hi there! Just a quick last-minute (okay, really last-minute...) Halloween idea for you today!
I love making and decorating sugar cookies. It's something my Mom always let us do as kids and my best friend and I did it all the time! But let's face it. It's kind of a big mess. My little girl is finally at the age that she can get a little bit involved. I'll admit I did it even when she was WAY too small to get into it but old enough I could use her as an excuse to make cookies at every single holiday that I had cookie cutters for ;)

I found these cute purple Ziploc containers and thought they would be the perfect size for a little cookie "kit" to take to friends. Then the kids can decorate to their hearts content, and Mom has very little cleanup! Name one person who wouldn't like less cleanup. I dare you. :)

Get out your favorite Sugar Cookie recipe, and whip up some frosting. (I won't tell if you do store-bought.) Print the tag, add any halloween candy or sprinkles you have in your stash, and you're off!

Some of our friends are getting this little surprise today! Happy Halloween!

(Not ready to take on one more project before Halloween? This would be perfect for Christmas cookies! You know I'll be making those, too...)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thanks guys! Love ya!

We just wanted to write a note to tell our friends and family THANKS for supporting our new little blog! We jumped up to 30 followers today, and we are so excited and thankful for the sweet comments and support you've given us. You guys are the best.

To express our gratitude to all of our wonderful readers, we are going to have a fun little giveaway when we reach 50 followers! We're gettin' close :)

And speaking of followers, I found this par-tay today and decided to join in. If any of you are fellow bloggers looking for a way to network and find some really cool blogs, check it out!


Guest Post and Exciting Announcement!

thecreativepaige.comWe are super excited for two reasons today... {1} We are doing our very first guest post over at The Creative Paige... Please stop over today and see the fun Halloween project I created!

{2} We are announcing a new 12-post series, called Homemade for the Holidays
that kicks off in less than 2 weeks! Starting Monday, November 7, we will be hosting the series with our friend and fellow blogger, Adrienne, over at Freetime Frolics. We'll be giving out lots of ideas {and tutorials} for some great DIY gifts, decor and printables for the upcoming Christmas season. Plus, we will have guest posts from some of our favorite blogs and giveaways along the way. This is one "12 Days of Christmas" you don't want to miss!

Grab a button and come along for the ride!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Halloween Mantel {better late than never}

We're less than two weeks away from Halloween, and I finally have my mantel done! Those of you who saw my Fall Mantel, you know it is pretty bright with my deep turquoise wall as the backdrop. I wanted to tone down the color and go with a really simple palette.... black and white. But how to cover up all that color??

I saw this image on Country Living, and my wheels started spinning :)

I found a large piece of plywood in my garage and thought... hmmm, I wonder how this would look with a sheet over it? Haha! I figured maybe I could get it to resemble a large piece of artwork that some rich lady was trying to keep covered in her abandoned old mansion :)

With the "old-sheet-covered-painting" as my background, I added some spiderwebs and then just layered in some monochromatic elements... I love the simplicty of the black against white. I've always had orange or green in the mix in my Halloween decor, but I am so glad I left them out this year :)

My design started with a plain twiggy brown wreath {that I got at a yard sale for $1!} Before its makeover, it was sporting some sweet faux flowers... you know those ones from the 90s that are kinda made of paper and smell like potpurri? I forgot to take a picture of those, dang!

Anyway, here is the wreath in all her glory before:

And after my good friend, Krylon, here she is after:

The new black wreath gave me the perfect starting point... I just added more black accessories... some pretty glitter pumpkins from Tuesday morning, {the large one is actually from Target's $2 spot} and one white pupkin {Michaels} with a little black crow perched on top :)

The other little paint project was a set of skulls {Martha Stewart}:

I left 3 white, and sent the other three to a spraypaint death :) After the Krylon Gloss Black was through with these guys, they made a nice mix in my homemade apothecary jar:

Is it just me, or do they kinda resemble little Darth Vader helmets now?? :) Maybe I just have Star Wars on the mind... my six-year-old just informed me today that he wants to be Darth for Halloween. It's kinda throwin' my plan off, but I'll get to that later in my costume post!

For the jar, I found this little silver candy dish at my local thrift store for $1, then turned it upside down and added a regular old flower vase I had sitting around collecting dust :) Ooh, maybe I should have left the dust to add to the effect...

That's about it. My final touch were the mercury glass candlesticks {found them at Michaels} and black tapered candles. Voila!

My spooky simple mantel is done! And I get to enjoy it for 11 days :)

What have you done to mix up your Halloween decor this year?

It's been a while...

We're back! Sorry about the lack of posts around here for the last few weeks... I do have a few good reasons:

1. Huge snowstorm {Yes, I wonder why I live here too!} I hadn't even put our summer toys away yet!

The snow and cold weather totally ruined my spray painting plans, thus delaying my Halloween mantel. It did make for a few fun days of playing in the snow and lots of hot chocolate though :)

2. In-over-my-head craft project {I'm sure none of you can relate :) ha!} I debuted several of these dresses at a craft boutique this weekend... They were a lot of hard work, but turned out really pretty!

I will be posting more on these dresses and other ideas for Halloween costumes... for those of you who have procrastinated your costumes like I have this year :) Less than 2 weeks and counting people!

Which brings me to my next point post.... My Halloween mantel! I am finally done and will have the full post up by tomorrow. Here is the picture that inspired my jumping off point:

Stay tuned :)

Linking up to: Weekend Wrap up @ Tatertots and Jello

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10 Pumpkin Projects

Happy October! This weekend it suddenly feels like fall. (Except it was a gorgeous 80-something degrees outside...) Fall is my absolute FAVORITE season where I live. A quick 10 minute drive and we can be in the mountains, enjoying the gorgeous red and orange leaves. Heaven!

Although I haven't dragged out the Halloween box yet, I've been gathering some great "non-traditional" ideas for pumpkins this year. (Thank you, Pinterest!) I love carving pumpkins. Definitely one of my favorite Halloween activities. Maybe I'm doing something wrong, but don't they seem to shrivel up and die in like 4 days? You almost have to carve them 2 or 3 times throughout the month of October to have one flickering on your porch for the big Trick-Or Treat!

Here's a round-up of some great ideas for our favorite little orange friend, Mr. Pumpkin.

Lace stockings. Genius.

Mummified! Get the kids to help with this one.

Chalkboard Paint. Not the most original idea, but I like how they used the chalk pen for a cleaner look. My sister will never go back to regular 'ol chalk. :)

Cute newspaper decoupage.

Brilliant! Martha's done it again.

Could work for Thanksgiving!

Darling little placecards.

Black and white silhouette.

Quick and easy. I'm all for that.

Last but not least...I know this would require some carving. But it's SO cute!
(Is my baby to big to do it? Hmmm...)

Have a wonderful weekend!