DIY Astronaut Costume

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…Blast off! My little boy is on his way to outer space.

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We are so thrilled and proud of how this costume turned out! There weren’t too many tutorials and it looked pretty complex and intimidating to make, but we accepted the challenge. It took over 15hrs to make but it was well worth all the time and prep. So happy to be sharing this tutorial with you.

Here’s a step-by-step on how we put it all together.

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To make the flames we started by making a simple skirt. We used an old orange (or you can use red) t-shirt with an added elastic waistband so he could easily slip in and out of it.

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Then, we cut triangles from yellow, red and orange fabric (mostly from scrap fabric and old t-shirts). Hot glued them onto the skirt – starting from the bottom and moving up. Note, triangle pieces toward bottom of skirt are smaller and gradually get larger toward the top.

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For the rocket pack, we used cardboard, hot glue and duct tape. The bottom is left open for his legs while the top is closed. Underneath is a large opening where his body will fit – better view in photos below.

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To give it some dimension, we added more cardboard details. To bend the cardboard into cylinders we scored it with an hobby knife first.

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Cut slits in cardboard and inserted elastic for straps so he could wear it like a backpack.

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Painted it white and added some spaceship logos to make it look official.

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We lucked out and found a kid’s space suit from Marshall’s. Cut a horizontal slit in the back of the space suit. Stitched it loosely around the opening to keep the filling from falling out.

Now for the ‘fake’ legs – these were tricky.

This took quite some thought to figure out:

1. What materials to use to keep it light weight

2. How to get them to bend (and stay bent)

3. How to attach them to his body

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 We decided to use cardboard and a pool noodle. Cut the cardboard and pool noodle like above.

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Attached pool noodles to cardboard using hot glue and duct tape. Leave 1-2 inches of cardboard to attach to piece below.

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The rectangular piece of cardboard will be the piece that’s against the body.

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Insert and glue/tape from the front and behind.

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Added the thick black strap which will go behind his neck.

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Threaded a belt into the cardboard to secure the legs around his waist and keep them from falling.

Assembling the outfit can be tricky so here’s a walk through…

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Put on flame skirt

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Wear the space suit by entering thru the open slit in the back.

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Buckle the belt.

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The space suit came with these fabric boots which were perfect because they were super light weight and we didn’t have to figure out how to attach real shoes/boots to the outfit.

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Insert legs into the opening of rocket pack. Pull rocket pack up and wear backpack straps. Note: Wear red/orange shoes to blend in with flames.

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And…BLAST OFF!

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We can’t get over how real this looks!

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Cost breakdown:

The only thing we purchased for this costume was the space suit (found at Marshall’s for $25), a pool noodle ($2) and some fabric for the flames ($2) – Total cost, $29.

This was definitely one of the most challenging costumes we made to date. We learned a lot about engineering and construction along the way. Hope this inspires you to take on a project that pushes you beyond your comfort zone.

If this tutorial is helpful and you make your own version we’d love to hear from you!

This costume was 1 of 4 space themed costumes we made for our family this year.

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Check out tutorials for the moon, space shuttle and big dipper constellation costumes.

DIY Big Dipper Constellation Costume

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This is one of the least complex costumes we’ve made but definitely one of the coolest. Come on – how many costumes can light up at night?!

We found no good tutorials for this online. Happy to be sharing this with you all…

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Materials used:

  • 7 LED tea lights
  • black long sleeve shirt
  • white felt fabric (or any fabric that is stiff enough to hold it’s shape)
  • black fabric (I used felt but in hindsight a thinner fabric would work best)

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Cut stars out, cut slit in stars and poke holes in shirt where stars need to be.

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Since these lights were borrowed I had to find a way to attach them without damaging them, like by using a hot glue gun which is usually my default tool. These stars were hand sewn in place.

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Hand sewed a circular piece of fabric to the underside of the shirt to keep the lights in place. The lights have a switch on the back to turn on and it was difficult to locate through the felt – hence why using a thinner fabric would be wise.

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This costume goes from looking just okay during the day to amazing at night.

Time and cost breakdown:

This costume took 3hrs and $0 to make. I owned the shirt and felt fabric. The lights were borrowed from a friend who happened to have the perfect LED tea lights.

Hope this inspires you to take your projects to the next level by adding an element of surprise.

This costume was 1 of 4 space themed costumes we made for our family this year.

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Check out tutorials for the moon, space shuttle and astronaut costumes.

DIY Moon Costume

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It’s hard not to crack up laughing at this costume. This over-sized moon head was inspired by an old campaign from McDonald’s featuring Mac Tonight with a guy with a huge moon head.

Glad to be bringing you the tutorial for this hilarious costume:

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Cut, tape and glue together sides and back of cardboard.

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To curve the cardboard easily, score it first.

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Bottom is left open and will be partially covered with white felt.

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Cover all sides with white fabric using hot glue.

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Cut an opening to see through.

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Create the nose using foam core.

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Cut sun glass pieces using foam core. Mouth is white card stock/mat board with black marker around the edges.

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Hot glue everything on and voila – a giant moon head.

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Looks even more hilarious when a tiny boy is inside and all you can see are legs and feet.

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Time and cost breakdown:

This costume took about 5hrs and $5 (white felt) to make.

Hope this inspires you to make something so good it makes you laugh out loud.

This costume was 1 of 4 space themed costumes we made for our family this year.

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Check out tutorials for the astronaut, space shuttle and big dipper constellation costumes.

PLAY with your food

Here’s a fun and creative way to encourage your kiddos to snack well AND play with their food.

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All you need are:

  • A variety of snacks that can easily be punctured with a toothpick. (the options are endless – go wild)
  • Toothpicks (colored toothpicks make it more festive!)

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Let them build away…

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Of course my ‘master builder’ started with a complex building.

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Star Wars spaceship comin’ atcha.

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Love how she’s so proud.

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Of course I played, too.

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Look Mommy, it’s a cactus.

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The sun never looked so delicious.

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There you have it, a fun and creative activity for your hungry and playful kiddos! If you try this I’d love to hear from you. Happy playing!

Exploring Fingerprints

We cracked open our new science STEAM kit from the library today to find an awesome little handheld microscope. It only came with one slide and Zander got bored of that fast. Thought it might be fun to look at our fingerprints through the microscope.

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This will not hurt, I promise. What you’ll need:

  • Scotch tape
  • Microscope
  • Washable marker

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Give your fingerprint of choice a good coating of marker.

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Transfer it onto 1 piece of scotch tape.

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Add another piece of tape the other other side, like a fingerprint sandwich.

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It’s ready to be explored under the microscope!

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There you have it. A simple and fun way for you and your kiddos to explore the beauty of your fingerprints – one of the many ways we are all unique.

 

Happy Exploring!

Turn Boys Shirts into Girls Shirts

My Star Wars obsessed little girl was given a couple boys shirts for her Star Wars birthday.  Here are some simple ways I turned them into girly shirts.

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I cut the sleeves off this one:

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And added some beautiful lace. For the sleeves, I sewed the lace on top to hide the portion I cut off. For the bottom hem, I sewed the lace to the inside of the shirt.

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For this shirt I simply added Rick Rack edging to the inside of the bottom hem.

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There you have it. Two super simple ways to make boys t-shirts into girls.

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Watch out. The force is strong with this one.

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Love how these shirts came out. My baby girl has never looked so cute. Hope this inspires you to make the most with what you have. Would love to hear from you if you get inspired to do this!

Lottery Balloon Gift

Here’s a fun and creative gift idea for anyone (who is of age to play the lotto, of course)

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Simply roll up the lotto and place them inside the balloon before inflating. The person at the store who inflated them said the corners of the lotto may pop the balloon so I cut the corners round on the scratch-off lottery.

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Pick some translucent colored balloons so the lotto ticket becomes a visible surprise.

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To anchor the balloons I used a gift box I picked up after Valentine’s for $.25, score!

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Cover that up with a new sign and voila, you’re good to go.

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I liked this shape so I traced and cut it out on tracing paper to make a sign for the goodies inside.

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Grab some fun tissue paper and pack your goodies inside. Who doesn’t love mini scones?!

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Use a sharpie to write a personal message to whomever this lucky gift is for.

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We gave one balloon to each teacher at my son’s school. They loved them and someone even won!

For more ideas on do it yourself gifts, I’ve compiled a bunch here.

Hope this inspires you to be creative and give more.

Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

Some fun ideas on how you can show your appreciation to your kids teachers.

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Candy Flowers: Sweet and simple. Check out the tutorial here.

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School Supply Cake: Easier and more affordable than you think – just not edible. Checkout the tutorial here.

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Succulent Gifts: Checkout the tutorial here.

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Chocolate covered strawberries: We gave these to the teachers for Valentine’s but they could easily be given for Teacher Appreciation week, also. See the blog post here.

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Lottery Balloon Gift: We gave one balloon to each teacher as an end of the year Thank You gift. See how it’s made here.

School Supply Cake

Here’s a fun and creative way to give some love (and school supplies) to the teachers and school that nurture your kiddos.

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Materials used:

  • 1 ream of paper
  • 1 pack of napkins
  • 1 box of tissue
  • Ribbon
  • Tape
  • Stickers – $1
  • 20 pencils – $2
  • 20 markers – $4
  • 6 bottles of bubbles – $2
  • Mini chalkboard sign – $1

Total Cost: $10

There are a ton of different things you can use as the layers and to decorate the “cake” but I tried not to spend too much so I used what I had at home and maximized what I bought by spacing out the markers/pencils.

Here are some simple steps on how to make this bad boy.

  1. Used packing tape to hold the layers together and the bubbles to the tissue box.

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2. Wrapped some ribbon around the ream of paper.

3. Used a long piece of scotch tape to space out the markers on opposite sides of the napkins.

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4. Used the same technique for the pencils.

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5. Wrapped the sticker sheet around the tissue box.

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6. Attached 4 pencils to the corners of the tissue box with tape.

7. Write your message on the chalkboard.

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There you have it. A sweet gift the teachers cannot eat (Zander told his teachers not to eat this cake).

Hope this inspires you to give a little love to the teachers that mold our children. For more ideas on gifts for Teacher Appreciation checkout this post.

DIY Candy Flowers

Here’s a sweet little alternative to giving fresh flowers. Great for Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Days, party favors, etc.

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Materials used:

  • Sticks (I used disposable chopsticks from past takeout and kabob skewers)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Flower petals (I used a combination of fabric and paper. The fabric flowers came from artificial flowers that I took apart and the paper flower petals came in a pack)
  • Ribbon
  • Felt
  • Jar – Recycled food jar that I removed the label from. For more ideas on what to use old jars for checkout this past post.
  • Paper shreds
  • Mini chalkboard sign – $1 from Target
  • Dove chocolate – $4 (used less than 1/2 a bag

Total cost: Roughly $3 (everything else I already had handy from past projects)

It’s pretty straight forward but here are some simple steps on how to make them:

  1. Cut a felt circle and glue it to the pointy end of the stick.

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2. Glue flower petals one at a time.

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3. I used the hot glue gun to stick the chocolate on but waited until it cooled a bit so it didn’t melt the chocolate.

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4. Tie ribbon and tuck behind flower.

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Great to give individually or as a bouquet.

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5. Fill your jar with paper shreds (tissue, stones or any other fun filler)

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6. Cover the top of the jar with ribbon or string. I hot glued this string on.

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Add a message to your chalkboard and you’re done!

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Hope this inspires you to make something fun, use what you have, and make someone’s day.

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