Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Halloween Wreath

Have I mentioned I love Halloween?

Problably not enough yet, huh?  Well, you're in luck because I have two more awesome Halloween ideas to share with you!

Remember that super cool Valentine's Day heart wreath that I did? Check it out here if you need to jog your memory. It was/is awesome. I actually left it up for a long time because I liked it so much!

I now have a new favorite wreath that I saw on this Etsy website. Whoever makes the wreaths in that shop is amazing. I seriously could order so many of them, I love them so much!  But, this got me thinking.....these wreaths are so similar to the style of the Valentine's Day wreath....why don't I just make another one in the style of my new favorites? And guess what (drumroll please...) it was sooo much cheaper!

I think I spent less than $5 total on this project. A nicely-made felt wreath that you'd buy on Etsy could easily cost upwards of $30, 40, 50 dollars, not including shipping!  However, I truly believe that what you are paying for is the maker's time. Because let's be honest, these wreaths take time. And if you don't have time to spend listening to your favorite radio programs on Stitcher Smart Radio, doing so much cutting that your hand starts to cramp, and almost burning yourself many times on hot glue....then you'd better just buy a wreath from Etsy.

Here's the How-to:
My materials:
6" strip of black felt (bought off the bolt at Joann's)
1/2 yard of purple felt (again off the bolt at Joann's)
6 googly eyes (just had these around the house, but they sell them at the dollar store)
cardboard box to use as a "form" (you could use a styrofoam wreath form, but then you'll need more felt to cover the whole area)
Hot glue sticks
Hot glue gun
Ribbon for hanging / bow

Basic instructions:
I cut out the "form" from a cardboard box, using a colander as my template.  I didn't want something too big, personally. I made another circle 2 or 3" inside of the colander one and cut it all out.

I wrapped the form with 2" strips of purple felt, securing with hot glue.

I used an old cd to trace circles on the felt and cut them out.  Then I cut a spiral out of each cd-sized circle. Starting from the inside of the circle, I rolled them up and secured with hot glue, making a sort of "flower".

Then I glued each "flower" onto the felt covered form. I added little pieces of felt to the inside layer to support it.

Add your googly eyes to the black flowers.

Tie a ribbon around the wreath to hang or add a decorative bow.

Hang and enjoy!

Stay tuned for my second awesome Halloween is seriously adorable!


My new favorite app on my Nook is Stitcher Smart Radio. It basically holds a bunch of radio podcasts in one place and plays them to you for free.  No need to go to a bunch of websites and try to download them, oh no. They are all right here.

My current favorites:
This American Life
Radio Lab
Freakonomics Radio
Fresh Air

Easy Halloween crafts with the kids!

When my kids get in the crafting mood, we run with it! This time we ran straight to our stack of construction paper and made a ton of Halloween decorations to.....well, decorate our house!  The kids really had a fun time and were super creative and well-behaved.  So definitely worth all the cutting I had to do! 

Scroll down to see some cool ideas...

Mixed-up pumpkin

Love the arms! (because I made them, lol!)
I just wanted to add that you could use the crinkly arms to make some spooky spiders....I personally get freaked out, even by fake spiders, so they were a no-go.  Seriously, even if they are giant, pretend, construction paper spiders-they freak me out.  Let's be honest, when I wake up early in the morning and turn on the lights, I don't want to look at a spider.  Spiders in Florida are HUGE, so a pretend construction paper one made by a 6 year old might be mistaken for the real thing.  I'm not taking any chances here.  

Note: Remember those crinkly arms from Elementary school?  I sure did!  I felt pretty proud of myself pulling out all the stops for the pumpkins here.  "They need arms, Mommy!" Of course they do kids. Of course they do. 

Not sure why there is a Halloween "maze" on the pink paper, but they were insistent that our decorations would be incomplete without it.

Bats, lots and lots of bats.  They loved them!
And bonus question......can you guess who made the pumpkin in the picture above? (here's a hint...she did pretty much all of the cutting too!)

So there you have it!  Something easy and fun to keep the kids (and let's be honest, you) busy.  I think we made these when it was raining out, so it definitely added some cheer to our day. Create some yourself and see what you come up with!

Ha for the Kids!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Halloween Felt No-Sew Banner

It's October!

October is one of my favorite months of the year, mostly because I love, love, love Halloween.  I know it's kinda silly, but I love getting dressed up in some ridiculous costume and parading around.  In previous years, I've tried to make the girls' Halloween costumes (I've done R2D2 and Fawn, one of Tinkerbell's fairy friends, for example) and even my own (I have a giant pink felt poodle skirt just waiting for me in my closet); but this year I really wanted to make something that I can reuse every year. I love the idea of getting out the Halloween box of decorations and finding all the cool stuff that the kids and I have made each year and putting them up. :)

Two years ago, I made a paper banner for Halloween. Click here to check it out. It's nice to see that it only took me two years to finally make a new banner out of felt! 

Here's the finished banner:

Didn't it turn out awesome?!  I really like it!  The last triangle is a spiderweb, made with glow-in-the-dark fabric paint--spooky! 

I bought some felt on sale at Jo-Ann's and made a few triangles, then I embellished them with some cute felt cut-outs that I free-handed.  I attached all the cut-outs with tacky glue (no-sewing!). 

If you didn't want to get out your sewing machine, you could then just attach all the finished triangles to a festive ribbon with glue as well, but I just got a new shipment of bobbins in, so I sewed mine on. I found the glitter/orange ribbon at Michael's. 

Don't forget to sign up and follow my blog! I'm working on a spooky Halloween wreath and have a bunch of easy Halloween decorations that you can make with the kids to share soon.  Stay tuned!