We have a lot of empty baby food jars stored away for crafts and recycling, and with fall and Halloween upon us I thought it would be fun to do a little seasonal craft with my three year old. We made these simple little pumpkin and monster jars together one afternoon and they were such a fun craft! You could fill these little guys with candy to give to friends, your child could store their treasures inside, or they’d be sweet candle holders. Here’s what we did:
We prepped our “work space” (the floor!) with a piece of craft paper and readied our supplies: tempera paints, paint brushes, and clean used baby food jars and their lids.
We protected our outfits with smocks and got ready for some serious Halloween craft time! My daughter wanted all of the colours on her jars, so that’s exactly what she did – painted blobs of all of the colours all over the outside of her jar and on top of the lids.
I wanted to make pumpkins out of the baby food jars, so I painted the jars orange and the lids green.
Finally, we simply had fun with some craft supplies we had on hand and embellished the jars once they were dry. We tied pipe cleaners in vine shapes (for the pumpkins) and antennae shapes (for the monsters) around the necks of the jars, glued on googly eyes to the fronts, and added mouths with a permanent marker. My daughter had so much fun using a marker all by herself to make different mouth shapes: “This guy is confused! This guy is yelling!” This mini craft was a really fun way to fill up a cold afternoon.
Do you do any crafts with your little ones? What’s their favourite medium to play with?
One of my favourite things to DIY are costumes and dress-up clothes for my daughter. They’re so fun to dream up and I even find them fun to sew. You can use so much imagination when sewing and crafting children’s costumes – bright colours, fun trims, shine, glitz, dimension… you can use them all and it’s OK! With Halloween on it’s way, I’m sharing with you nine of my recent absolute favourite baby and kid’s DIY costumes. These are simply too adorable not to share, and most of them are fairly easy to make. Are you ready to get your cutie-pie craft on?
My eldest daughter really wanted to be Strawberry Shortcake for Halloween (and also apparently for her birthday in January). She was very adamant that she wanted to be “that Strawberry Shortcake” (the “new” one with the sassy little simple dress) and not “the old one” (the one I liked better, of course, with the prairie styled pinafore and bloomers).
Because I’m not a fan of copying something exactly nor could I find the “perfect” Strawberry Shortcake fabric to use (that exactly matched the new Strawberry Shortcake’s outfit), my daughter and I came up with a unique spin on the costume. It’s very boutique inspired, and it’s even something that she could wear day-to-day (minus the wig… or not!).
The costume consists of an easy dress that starts with a plain white tee, some ruffled leggings and a newsboy hat. Little C had some red shoes that still fit her from last Christmas to finish the look and we found an inexpensive red wig at the drugstore in their Halloween display.
The entire project cost less than $30 and it was about two day’s worth of sewing for me. My daughter loves it and won’t take it off now, which means “success” to me!
I’m going to share with you how I made the little boutique dress with the apron front and applique, the ruffled leggings and the little newsboy (or conductor) hat. It was a lot of fun and these are some basic pieces that could be made into other costume or non-costume looks as well!
1 long or short sleeved white t-shirt in your child’s size
Try the tee on your child, and measure where you want to cut it to make the dress bodice (I wanted an empire waist dress, so I cut it so that it was at the bottom of my daughter’s chest, and then added one inch for the seam allowance to the skirt + a little extra just in case). Cut in a straight line with a ruler and a rotary cutter (or mark the line with a ruler and cut with scissors). To make the strawberry applique, iron about a 3″ square of the berry ta dot fabric and a 1″ square of the lime ta dot fabric onto some applique adhesive paper (followig the directions). Cut out a strawberry shape and a strawberry stem shape from the fabrics as shown above (I free-handed the shapes, but you could also find a strawberry image online and use it as a pattern).
Iron the main strawberry shape onto the centre front of the tee and satin stitch around it. Iron the stem on in place, and satin stitch around it as above.
To make the skirt of the dress, measure your child from the point where the bottom of the bodice will be to where you want the hem of the dress to be (my measurement for my 3 year old was 13″). Add 2″ for the top and bottom seam allowance and hem and cut a piece of the berry Ta Dot that is the width of the fabric (about 45″) by the measurement. Cut a piece of the Strawberry Tea Party fabric that is 2″ shorter than the skirt piece and approximately 18″ wide for the apron. Cut the skirt piece in half width-wise, lay the two halves right-sides together and sew the side seams. Hem the bottom of the skirt piece by folding up 1/2″, then another 1/2″ and stitching. Hem three sides of the apron in the same manner, then lay the apron piece over the skirt piece as shown above and stay-stitch them together (centering the apron on the front of the skirt). Seam finish the top edge of the skirt/apron piece (I used a serger, but you could also use a regular machine’s zig-zag stitch).
Cut a piece of elastic that is the length of your child’s waist circumference plus 1 inch. Sew the ends strongly together (I sew a box shape). Pin the elastic circle to the top of the skirt/apron, placing the side seams on opposite sides of the elastic circle. The elastic should be about 1/2″ over the upper raw edge of the skirt so that it covers the raw edge. Sew the elastic to the skirt from the wrong side – you’ll be pulling the elastic very tightly as you sew it to the skirt. This gathers the skirt as you go.
Now, turn the tee bodice inside out and pin it to the elastic in the same manner (with the top 1/2″ of the elastic covering the raw edge of the tee on the right side. Pin it and sew it from the wrong side. You might have to stretch the elastic a little bit to fit, but not much. Now the dress is done!
Place the narrower strip of fabric over the wider strip and gather the top edge as you stitch them together (I adjust the tension on my serger and do it quickly this way). Sew the ruffles to the bottom of the leggings, then sew the inseams together, and then the crotch seam. Seam-finish the top of the leggings, fold them down 1 1/4″ and stitch to form a casing (with a 2″ opening). Measure your child’s waist and add 1″ – cut a piece of the elastic with this measurement. Thread it through the casing, stitch the ends together and then stitch the opening closed. The leggings are complete!
The Newsboy Hat
Measure the circumference of your child’s head and add 2 inches (for a little “give” and a seam). Cut out a piece of Berry Ta Dot and one of Strawberry Tea Party fabric that is as long as your measurement and 4″ wide. Cut a circle out of the Berry Ta Dot that has a circumference of your child’s head – I managed to find a lid that had the right measurement, or you can make your own circle (on your computer or by hand old-school style with a pencil and string!). Cut a larger circle out of the Strawberry Tea Party fabric that has a circumference of at least twice your first circle – I found a frying pan that was a nice size and used that!
For the brim, draw a half-moon shape that has the same curve on the inside and outside as your smaller circle – see the shape in the photo above. I free-handed my shape, but you could find a hat you have on hand with a brim you like and trace that. Cut out two pieces of Lime Ta Dot in this shape, and then cut the shape out of the old ice cream pail lid (I like to recycle ice cream pails, apparently). Lay the fabric pieces right sides together, and then the plastic piece on top. Sew a 1/4″ seam on the front curve only, then trim back the ice cream pail lid piece as close as you can to the stitching line, as above (sew very slowly through the plastic and use a strong needle!). Flip on piece of fabric over the plastic, to its right side, and you’ll have a nice brim shape like the picture above. Stay-stitch the opposite raw edges together.
To create the hat lining, sew the short ends of the Berry Ta Dot strip right sides together to form a loop. Pin the loop right sides together to the matching circle and sew with a 1/2″ seam as pictured above. Cut a 3″ piece of elastic, and center it over the back seam of the hat lining as above. Stretch it a little to create a small gather at the back of the hat and sew it in place with a straight stitch down the middle (this gives the hat a little stretch and helps it stay on the head). For the right side of the hat, sew the short ends of the Strawberry Tea Party fabric strip right sides together to form a loop. Gather the large circle of Strawberry Tea Party fabric so that the circumference measures the same as the loop’s circumference. Pin and sew the pieces together as shown above.
Pin the brim of the hat to the outside of the hat, centering the brim and pinning right sides together. Stay-stitch in place. Place the hat lining into the outside of the hat, with their right sides together and the brim of the hat tucked inside. Pin them in place with their raw edges matching up, lining up the back seam and the front centers. Stitch together using a 1/2″ seam allowance and leaving a 3″ hole to turn the hat. Trim the seam just around the brim part as close to the stitch line as possible so that the plastic piece doesn’t stick out. Turn the hat right-side out and stitch the hole together with a small stitch line close to the seam. The hat is complete!
This little ensemble is super cute and my daughter is just loving it! The bonus? She can wear the dress and leggings out as a fun little outfit.
Have you ever sewn any costumes for your kids? Please share them in the comments below – I’d love to see your handiwork!
Dressing up is SUPER fun… especially when you can be a SUPER hero! We just had Thanksgiving this weekend (Canadian Thanksgiving!) and on holiday Monday, I made this simple and quick little monogrammed cape for my little girl. Afterwards, she took it for a spin by flying around our little acreage! I monogrammed the cape with her first initial to make it extra special.
The cape is reversible, and the monogram is optional. The neck fastens with velcro, so it’s easy for little fingers to put on and off. This is an excellent beginner’s sewing project and a fun dress-up box costume essential for any little boy or girl!
1 yard quilting cotton in pattern A
1 1/4 yard quilting cotton in pattern B
applique adhesive paper
Cut 1/4 yard of the 1 1/4 yard piece of fabric off and save for the monogram.
With each yard of fabric folded in half lengthwise, lay one on top of the other with the folds on the same side. Place an ice cream pail lid over the corner of the fabrics closest to the fold, with about 1/4 of the lid over the corner. Trace the curve and cut (for the neckline of the cape).
On the opposite side, cut a gentle curve going up from the center fold so that it ends about 4″ above the centre fold on the opposite side (see picture above). You could also use the bottom of a skirt or dress pattern as a guide for this curve if you don’t want to free-hand it. Then, draw a straight line from the end of this curve on a diagonally up to about 4″ from the neck hole (as shown above) and cut.
If you want to add a monogrammed initial to the cape, print out a large letter on paper from your computer, and use it as a pattern to cut the letter out of the remaining fabric and the adhesive paper.
Following the instructions on the adhesive paper’s label, iron the paper onto the letter, and then the letter onto the center back cape piece of the opposite pattern of fabric. I put my letter a little closer to the top of the cape. Satin stitch around the entire edge of the letter by machine, as shown above.
Pin the front and back cape pieces together, right sides facing one another. Sew all the way around (I used a serger, but you could use a regular machine with a 1/2″ seam allowance) leaving a 2″ opening for turning.
Turn the cape right side out, making sure the corners are pushed out fully, and topstitch the bottom curve to sew the opening shut (you can also topstitch the entire cape, but I thought just doing the bottom edge worked fine).
Cut the velcro into two 1″ squares, and sew onto the tops of the neckline “straps”. Sew on opposite sides, as shown above.
Now, gift this special cape to your little superhero and teach them to fly!
My good friend asked me to help her make a Tinkerbell fairy costume for her little girl’s fourth birthday. We started with a gorgeous little green tutu made by Whimsical Elements, picked up some bright green satin from a local fabric shop, and she also snagged a $6 extra small women’s tank top in green. I ended up altering the top and making a little leaf apron skirt to tie over the tutu. I was happy with the results, and my little girlie was more than happy to model the outfit! Here’s how I did it and how you can too:
1 yard satin (for leaves on top and for leaf apron skirt)
child’s or women’s small tank top
From the satin, cut out a front and back for 4 large petal shapes (mine were 8″ by 7″ and I eyeballed the shape) and 3 smaller petal shapes (mine were 8″ by 7″). Cut out a 6″ wide strip across the entire width of the fabric (your fabric will probably be 54″ to 60″ wide) for the sash.
Put the petal pieces right sides together, and sew around the two sides. Turn over & press.
Press the 6″ wide strip in half lengthwise wrong sides together, and then press the two raw, long edges in 1/2″.
Arrange the larger leaves side-by-side with the top raw edges aligned. Place the smaller leaves on top, over where the larger leaves meet, as pictured above. Pin in place and sew together about 1/4″ from the raw edge.
Measure your child’s waist to find out how long you want the waistband of the leaf apron to be, and then gather the tops of the leaves to fit. In this case, I wanted the skirt to measure 21″ long.
Tuck the leaves about 1/2″ into the waistband you’ve previously folded and pressed. Pin (a lot) because satin is slippery!
Press the short ends of the waistband inwards and press (so there are no raw edges showing on the ends of what will be the tie). Sew the layers together with a topstitch about 1/4″ from the open fold of the waistband, sew the tie ends shut at the same time (as shown below).
For a matching top, find a green tank top that’s your child’s size (if not, you can do what I did and alter a women’s small tank top by taking in the shoulders and sides). Make small leaves in the same manner as the large leaves made for the skirt (mine measured about 2″ by 3″). Pin them together side-by-side, gather them, and then turn the raw edges in, pin, and stitch to the neckline as pictured above.
To wear, simply have your girlie slip on the tank top and a tutu and tie the leaf apron over top. Cuteness!