Friday, October 29, 2010

DIY Jessie (Toy Story) Toddler Costume - no sewing!

DIY Jessie from Toy Story Costumes - no sewing involved!

A few weeks ago, during one of my recent trips to Dollar Tree, I picked up a couple of red foam cowboy hats for my girls. They reminded me of Jessie from Toy Story and thought they would be fun for playing dress-up. Well, sure enough, my girls decided that they BOTH wanted to be Jessie for Halloween. Given how cheap frugal I am, I knew I wanted to try to make the costumes - especially since I needed to do 2 of them. In case you aren't familiar with Jessie, here is my model and her crew...

 So I tackled the hat first...

Dollar Tree hat and ribbon from Michaels

I used my mini hole puncher to make holes around the rim of the hat about an inch apart from each other. Then I strung through some string-like ribbon I bought at Michaels (half-price sale, baby!!).

Holy cow, that's alot of holes!

All strung up!

Next I took some plain white ribbon (from the dollar bin at Michaels!) and secured it around the hat with my glue gun in one long piece. This didn't work quite as well as I had hoped due to the width of the ribbon and the slope of the hat. So the first strip I glued around was all wrinkly and gross looking. So then I cut smaller strips of ribbon and glued them around one at a time. This worked better and helped cover up some of the mess from the first attempt. It isn't perfect but good enough for a 3 year old! Lastly I added some more of the string-like ribbon to act as a tie around the neck since the hat is kind of loose. (not seen in this pic)


Not too bad if I do say so myself! Total came to about $3 for the hat plus the amount of ribbon I used up.

For the shirt I had to improvise since neither of my girls have a long-sleeved button-down collared shirt and I certainly wasn't going to invest in one just for this costume. Thankfully, at Target, I found short-sleeved polo shirts that were on clearance (only $4!) since they were intended to be for a school uniform. I didn't let the short sleeves deter me since I knew I could layer it over a long-sleeved (non-collared) white shirt.

$4 on clearance at Target

I purchased a sheet of yellow self-stick felt at AC Moore ($0.79) and cut it to form the bodice of the shirt and stuck it on. Then I took some red sparkly rope-like ribbon (1/2 price at Michaels so less than $2 for the whole spool) and hot glued it to the bodice, copying the design of the "real" Jessie. :)

Bodice added

Next, I cut a sheet of yellow felt in half ($0.29 at AC Moore) and shaped it to form the wristlets. I attached a piece of self-stick velcro (left over from another project) to one edge so it could easily be wrapped around my daughter's wrist without having to be a permanent addition to the shirt. I added a little more red ribbon and some white felt fringe with my hot glue gun.

A strip of self-stick velcro will keep the cuffs closed around their wrists

Hot glued on some details

Then I tackled the pants. I purchased some cow print fabric at Joann's (on sale for 60% off!) and cut it the size of the front of the pant legs, shaping it like a pair of chaps. Since I didn't want to damage the jeans, I simply pinned the fabric on using safety pins.

Time for chaps!

Lastly, I made a simple belt out of some black felt (extra from a future project - stay tuned!) and a piece of self-stick sparkle foam ($0.99 for a sheet at AC Moore). I cut an oval out of the foam and stuck it to a piece of really thick cardstock (I think it was actually that cardboard stuff that new sheets/curtains are wrapped around). And then I used a piece of the self-stick velcro to "close" the belt.

Felt, glittery foam and velcro make a belt

And here is the finished product all together! (imagine a long-sleeved white shirt underneath). Oh and you'll have to wait until after Halloween for a picture of the girls modeling them - I'm not going to risk something being spilled on those white shirts! We're talking toddlers here!! LOL

TA-DAAA! A DIY Jessie from Toy Story Costume (well, close enough!)
Not bad for less than $10 each! And the bonus is that the felt can be peeled off the shirts after Halloween and can be used as regular clothing so if I take that element out of my cost, you're talking around $5 each! Not too shabby!

**EDIT** OK, here are the girls on Halloween... 

SweetPea and Boogey as Jessie from Toy Story
Halloween 2010
    Not bad for about $5 (each) out of pocket!! And they loved them and had a blast trick or treating! And THAT is worth a million! :)

Linking this project up to the CSI Project's DIY Halloween Costumes Challenge

Entertain Exchange

Mommas Kinda Crafty
Fingerprints on the Fridge

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

So here's another Wordless Wednesday (well, about as "wordless" as you're going to get from this chatterbox, anyway). I'll stick with the Halloween theme I brought up last week and give Boogey a turn...

Pacifier? Check. Sippy Cup? Check. Pumpkin? Check. Woobie? Check. Banana? Check.
OK, I'm ready for Trick or Treating!
Boogey - Halloween 2009

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Halloween Decor

I haven't shared my "Halloween Decor" with you yet because... well... it isn't all that fancy - especially compared to most of you amazing bloggers out there. But, what the heck, I'll show you what little I've got. I wish it was more, but I honestly don't know if I'll get the chance to accomplish anything else at this point so now is as good a time as any to show it to you!

This is the front door. I showed you this project HERE. (I now wish I had cut the strips of fabric a little bit shorter because I feel like they are too droopy since they are so long. Oh well, next time! Live and learn!)

Too droopy but it'll have to do.

When you walk past the Dining Room you'll see this on the table (as discussed HERE) (with a few new additions from the Dollar Tree)

Spooky Skulls, Skeletons and Spiders!

In the kitchen you will see our pantry doors decorated with rather pathetic simple cutouts and SweetPea's constuction paper pumpkin.

Small Pantry Door
Big Pantry Door
The "Witch Is In" sign is from the Dollar Tree. I have to say it is actually pretty cute for only $1! I believe it is made from chipboard so it has some durability to it.

Bubble Bubble, Toil and Trouble!

In between our two pantry doors (they're actually on separate walls) is our retro-style phone that the Heela gave to me as a birthday gift last year - love it! Anyway, I added a cute orange ribbon to the handle and love the little punch of festive color it adds!

Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters!

On the hutch, is the cute yellow bowl I bought for only $1 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore Store (mentioned in my post HERE). I filled it with some candy corn and adorned it with a few more homemade decorations courtesy of SweetPea and Boogey (all made at some festival they went to with the grandparents while we were in Miami). I should have gotten a better pic of the ghosts in the bowl, but they are lollipops, with a paper napkin tied on with some festive string - so simple!


Over the kitchen table I hung this awesome "Happy Halloween" sign which I got last year at Target's after-Halloween sale for 75% off. I remember I had it in my cart as I was walking around looking at other things and this woman comes up to me, points at the sign and asks "Do you really want that?". In my head, I was thinking "UM yes, moron, why else would I have put it in my cart??". But instead I just said "Yes, sorry! *smile* " and I walked away. HA! I mean, it wasn't like she was offering me $50 for it or something. In fact, she didn't offer me anything. I guess she figured it didn't hurt to ask, but still... I remember being surprised by her inquiry. Anyway, it's mine (hee hee) and it hangs in our kitchen. :)

And then you move into the living room/TV room/Den (we've lived here for 2 years and still haven't settled on a name for it yet, but it is where we spend all our time) and all the Halloween Decor is confined to the fireplace/mantle. Here is the distance view. To be honest, I didn't even take any of my regular decorations off the mantle - just left it all "as is" and added a few ~Halloweenie~ things.


This witch isn't really my style (a little too country), but one of the Heela's aunts gave it to us last year (actually, she gave us 2!) and the girls like it, so I put it out. She's posing with a few of those fake pumpkins you can find at Michaels which I have had for yeeeeeaaaarrrrs.


On the right side of the mantle is a silver glitter skull and a black crow (both from Dollar Tree) accompanied by the ~awesome~ subway art I won from Andi at Jane of All Crafts (see my post HERE). I also added a cute Frankenstein bust which I picked up for $1 at Michaels (half price sale!)
Love my Subway Art! So do Frank, Mr. Crow and Mr. Skull!

On the left side of the mantle, I have another skull and a plaster gravestone (both from the Dollar Tree). I originally wanted to paint them both, but I just haven't had the time. The plan was to invert the colors on the skull and make it black with white eyes and mouth. And I was thinking of painting the gravestone white and distressing it with some glaze or something. But, I don't see it happening this year. Oh well. (I've since added my Mock Specimen Art to this side of the mantle)

Spooky! (um, not really. lol)

So that is it. Not really much compared to most of you bloggers out there. But it is something, right??

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Specimen Art (Shortcut style)

I've seen quite a few bloggers out there recently doing "specimen art". Such as this (at Tatertots and Jello) and this (at Embellishing Life). LOVE them!! I really wanted to try my own but haven't had a chance (the Heela's been traveling AND working on the weekends this month so things have been pretty crazy around here, to say the least!). But when I spotted these stickers at Michaels the other day... I knew I could take a shortcut! :) 

It's hard to tell in this picture, but the images are on raised discs so they have some dimension.

And the bonus? They were half price! Score!

So while the girls were napping today, I got out some scrapbook paper and found an unused frame and put it all together. I left the glass in the frame but put the paper on top of it so the stickers would be uncovered and you could really "experience" the dimension of them. It isn't "real" specimen art, but it'll do!

Not too bad for a 5-minute project
To be honest, I had intended on having more red show around the border, but I misjudged how much wouldn't be seen because of the way the frame worked. Oh well!

It's on the mantle and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. 

Easy Peasy! And fast! AND cheap!! :)

(In case you are a new visitor,  
Here are links to my other forrays into specimen art if you're curious:

I'm linking this project up to the following parties (also see buttons in "Linky Parties" tab above):

Entertain Exchange

I was featured! Thanks Stephanie!!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

I Love Giveaways!

I grew up in a household where BOTH my parents were amazing cooks. (For the record, they still are, I just don't live in their household anymore! LOL). So I learned a lot over the years about how to make different dishes as well as how to improvise. And my father, in particular, also spent a lot of time teaching me the "basics". Such as, how to cut vegetables up properly and how important it is to have quality knives and pans. So I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to kitchen gadgets and cookware. (yes, I can admit it!)

The problem is, this totally clashes with my cheap frugal side. And while I know that it is less costly in the long run to invest in one expensive item that will last forever, than to buy a cheap new item every year, I still want to want to get the best deal I can for my money.

Well, I was recently perusing the internet for some new cookware (I need a new everyday pan) and decided to check out and some of their websites. Why? Well... 

(and here is the point of this post - finally!) 

...because on Monday I WON Meg's giveaway over at A Little Knick Knack and the prize was a gift certificate that can be used at any of CSN's stores! Woohoooo!! Yay me! :) (By the way, you really should go check out Meg's blog if you haven't already - it really is fabulous!). Thank you Meg for hosting such a great giveaway!!

 I love giveaways!

Especially when I ~win~ them!! :)

Anyhoo... as I was saying... I am in the market for some new kitchen stuff so I have been checking out CSN's site It has so many incredible items at really reasonable prices. For example, did you know that they have 63 Rachael Ray cookware items for under $35? And there are 60 Paula Deen cookware items for under $35 too. (oh, and have I mentioned that I will be seeing both of those amazing women next month? In person? YES!! Squueeee!) But I digress... how about an apron? They have about 450 aprons under $35! Wow, the possibilities are endless!

Anyway, I need to go do some shopping. *GRIN* And if you get a chance, go check out ... you never know when someone may be hosting a giveaway for her loyal followers... hint hint ;)

Legal CYA (just in case!) - CSN has not asked me to "promote" them in any way via this post. I have written it of my own decision without any knowledge to them. And while I did win Meg's CSN giveaway and I will eventually be getting a credit towards whatever I order, I have not yet even decided what to get! :)

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

OK, so I thought I would jump on the Wordless Wednesday bandwagon. Why? It makes for an easy post which takes mimimal time! LOL. (Gee, and I'm not doing a very good job at being wordless yet... ). Here is a sweet memory...

SweetPea's first Halloween - Oct 2007

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Organizing the Kids - Dishes edition

So with 2 kids who are only 15 months apart (who annoyingly need to eat 3 times a day!) (jk!) we have always had TONS of bottles, sippy cups, "big girl" cups, bowls, plates, spoons, forks, etc. etc. etc.  For those of you with kids, you know how quickly all of these plastic items can TAKE. OVER. YOUR. LIFE! 

We've always kept all of this stuff in a cabinet. And as much as I tried to keep it organized, it was always in this general state of disarray...

Bowls and (some) Plates by the stove
Cups, (more) plates, utensils and who knows what! over by the sink

WOW! That is just scary!!
(I'm so embarrassed!)

Not only was this "system" a mess, the fact that everything was up high meant that the girls couldn't be self-sufficient and get their own dishes ready for a meal. Obviously this hasn't been an issue for the past couple of years, but now that they are getting a little older (almost 4 and 2 1/2) I figured they should be able to get their own dishes and utensils. So I cleared out one of the drawers in our island and then headed to Target. (ok, ok, I didn't actually run out to Target that day - things just aren't that easy in our household! LOL But I was there a few days later for something else so I checked out the organization section at that time!).

I found these containers and knew they would be perfect! I think they're supposed to be used in a storage cube but knew they would be fine for me, just the way they were.

When I got home I put them in the drawer (which is really more like a sliding shelf since it is so shallow). NICE!!

The narrow one in front JUST fits which is actually kind of nice since the tight fit keeps it from moving which then keeps the bins in the back from shifting back and forth when you open and close the drawer.

(ok so I'll admit that the drawer stayed empty like this for about 3 days)  (*sigh*)

Then I finally moved everything the stuff they use the most out of the cabinets and down to the drawer. And.... TA-DAAA!

(Semi) Organized! Yay!

Now the girls can go to the drawer and get their own dishes. No more "I don't want THAT cup!" or "That is the wrong color spoon!" or "Why does SHE get the blue bowl?!?". Now they can help themselves to the color/style/shape they want and hopefully make everyone's life a little bit easier. 


But it is worth a shot! ;-)

This project submitted to THE CSI Project Challenge: Organization


Linking up to these parties (also see their buttons at the "Linky Parties" Tab above):
Somewhat Simple
The SHabby Chic Cottage
Its so Very Cherry
A Little Knick Knack
Under the Table and Dreaming
Organize and Decorate Everything


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