Monday, October 26, 2009

Pretty Pumpkin Recap

If you weren't busy eating glue then you were using it to decoupage tissue paper onto little pumpkins!

To make these at home for your autumn decor, here is Charissa's 'pretty pumpkin' recipe:
  • we-be-little pumpkins which you will cover with squares of torn...
  • tissue paper using...
  • white glue (thinned with water) and fingers or craft sponge. Top it off with some...
  • glitter (optional)
Thank you Charissa for putting on such a great autumn time make!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Paper Crafting; Spooky Style

We have been doing some Halloween paper crafts recently and below is a sampling of our efforts.
Skull and Crossbones Vertical Garlands:

These were made using 3 craft punches; a large circle, small circle and skull with crossbones. We assembled with a glue stick and craft thread. (Thread was glued between two circles, making it double sided).
This would be a great thing to hang in a doorway or better yet, use it as the backdrop for a Halloween photo booth.

Candy Corn Bunting:
No worries if you don't like candy corn—these ones are non-edible. We glued orange and yellow strips of paper on a sheet of white paper then I cut out triangle shapes. After that I smoothed the corners with a round corner punch. Before stringing all of them up on some craft thread, I went over the sides and corners of the candy shape with a brown pastel and cotton ball. Dulling down the bright card stock helped to sophisticate this embellishment just a bit—it candy corn can be sophisticated! I intentionally made this bunting from paper rather than fabric to save time but I think (even I) could have moved faster whipping it through the sewing machine had I used fabric. Oh well, fabric I didn't have and paper I did.

Halloween Badges:

The same skull and crossbones punch was used here. The rest was freehand. I basically followed a tutorial I got from HERE. It's SOOO easy and customizable by size. Wouldn't this be a cute prize to give out at a children's Halloween party? Otherwise you could use it as a little emblem to accompany your little one's costume on Halloween night. If your kids are anything like mine, they will just want to wear them around the house for fun, which is actually what we made these for very early in the month (that explains the tattered look of the ones pictured here). To make these badges wearable I hot glued a safety pin on the back. Fabric ones might be even cuter and you could use them year after year!

Projects like these are nice because I feel like they are a usable crafts, meaning they won't just go in the trash the next day and since I am definitely the one leading in tasks like these, Hendrix gets to be the 'big helper' by punching, sorting, and gluing or hold the pieces while I glue.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Okay…labeling this project with something like ‘innards’ might be a little much for the preschool variety. I suppose you can change the name of this homemade slime-like substance to ‘Halloween Goop’ or ‘Ghoulish Goo’ really anything that doesn’t cause your youngster to imagine they are rolling their fingers around in inner body sludge! I am assuming though, that they are not the ones reading this so I am going to give you a recipe for innards.

You will need two ingredients; corn starch and water (oh and food coloring if you wish). This combination creates a really neat effect, giving you a putty that is sort of in-between a liquid and a solid. I thought a video demo would do more justice than pics so I have attached one here. Don't be scared when you see how messy we are in the video, we had been playing with it for quite some time—like an hour!

I did not measure out my ingredients, I just tested until it was the right consistency but if you are particular about that sort of thing, I’m sure you can find something online. This might be fun to combine with other Halloween sensory fun like peeled grapes for eye balls or wet spaghetti for get the idea.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creatures of the Night

Here is a little indoor décor project for your Halloween celebration. Would you guess that these creatures of the night are made from toilet paper rolls?

I snatched this project up from Matsutake which has all the instructions. (You have to check out her, Where the Wild Things Are creatures—they are to die for!)

The original instructions called for paint but we are about out of the washable kind so we ended up covering our base in tissue paper and watered down glue. This actually worked to our benefit because after it dried the ‘body’ became very hard and will likely never tear. I painted the faces using acrylic paint while Hendrix was painting his pumpkin rocks.

I hope you try this at home, the possibilities are endless!
P.S. Today the crafty crow posted a felt pumpkin game like the one i posted earlier with a spinner even! Check it out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Head Shrinking

Every good witch and warlock knows how to shrink a head! So this month we thought we would test out our spell casting and potion making by shrinking our own heads…well, not OUR own heads but heads we own…apple heads.

This project usually pops up all over the place around this time of year and I have always wanted to try it. All the potions (or recipes) that I looked at called for the same basic ingredients; apples, lemon juice with salt, a carving utensil and stick or something to let your apple heads dry on.
The Martha Stewart instructions are adamant about using green granny smith apples, which we didn’t do and I am thinking that is why our heads shrunk down to the size of large prunes…or maybe we are just really good at shrinking heads! If you don’t want to risk it though, you might want to listen to Martha and go with the grannies.

We started this project almost 3 weeks ago and let them air dry. I didn’t mind because supposedly they last forever and Hendrix had fun monitoring the progress every day. I have heard, however, that you can put them in the oven on low heat to speed the process.

Today when we went to hang our now prune sized shrunken heads, they looks a little lonely so we went on a nature walk to gather up a few more supplies.

Then we made a shrunken head mobile and hung it at our front door.

Hendrix is eager for the neighborhood squirrels to make an attempt in eating our apples until they realize they can’t because the mobile is actually hanging behind the glass. I think he thought that was the funnest or at least funniest part of the whole project! A little too much AFV maybe?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Imposter Pumpkins!

To kick off our week I am going to post a two-in-one for your Monday morning. The following two projects are perfect if you would rather stay inside and drink cocoa rather than brave the cold, if you have to stay inside because you have sick ones at home or perhaps both!

Imposter Pumpkin Project 1: Pumpkin Patching
After cutting out a few pumpkin-like shapes from some orange felt, along with a few stems, leaves and face shapes, your little ones can sit for hours (or at least a good 10 minutes) patching together silly and scary pumpkin characters.

For ours I actually used scraps of orange felt for little pumpkins. From the black felt I cut out all the standard shapes as well as some more defined shapes for expression. The learning bonus to this activity is shape recognition, understanding emotions, self expression and imagination.

Avi (18 months) liked to stack the shapes on the pumpkin base whereas Hendrix (3 years) and I made a game by taking turns spinning for our facial features. On a blank spinner that I got in a 4-pack from the $1 store I filled in all the required parts; eyes, nose, stem, accessories, etc. Below are the results from our first game.

Imposter Pumpkin Project 2: Just-Try-to-Smash-Our Pumpkin Pumpkins
This activity was inspired by one of Hendrix favorite books (Halloween or not), called The Pumpkin Smasher by Anita Benarde. If you can find a copy of this 1972 'weekly reader', you could combine the project with the literary reference.

In the book a small town’s pumpkins are being attacked by an unknown pumpkin smasher. The problem gets so bad that the adults consider canceling Halloween until a brother and sister duo paint a giant rock to look like a pumpkin as a trick for the smasher. The pumpkin smasher (aka witch) is fooled and can not smash the rock pumpkin. In result she vows to never return to the town again.

We used acrylic paint on our rocks because we knew they were going as part of our outdoor décor. Hendrix painted the faces on using a black paint pen, but I think a sharpie would work great too.

You don’t have to stop at pumpkins of course, maybe your more lengthy rocks could be a Frankenstein or a skull with cross bones!

Can’t-Wait-for-Halloween Week

I have decided to declare a ‘Can’t-Wait-for-Halloween’ week on the make blog. I will be posting one Halloween project per day all week long! (Guess what our favorite holiday is?) Then the following week, which is the week of Halloween, I would like to declare a ‘Really-Can’t-Wait-for-Halloween’ week in which I would like to post the projects you are making at home with your kids. It can be something scientific, something yummy, something crafty, really anything—just make sure it’s spooky or related by season. Just send me a short description/instructions for what you have made along with pics if you have them and I will post. I will of course credit you and link to your own site if you wish.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We-Be-Little Pumpkin Project

Some of our long time makers (and their mom) have been ever so generous to host the October make for us. Check out the details from Charissa below!

Hello friends,

What better way to celebrate the month of October (need I mention Halloween?!?!) with some genuine homemade kid-made table décor? For the make, we will decoupage We-Be-Little pumpkins with tissue paper and glitter.

These colorful little creations will be a major hit with our makers. If you are able to come to the make, you will be helping your child rip tissue paper into small pieces, and glue it to their little pumpkins with a craft sponge. Then we will finish it off with a dash of glitter for a true Halloween look.

I must warn you that your fingers and hands will probably get very sticky from pushing tissue paper onto the pumpkin, so be prepared with an apron or old shirt and baby wipes to stay neat and clean. I hope that you will all come and join us for our make!

LET'S MEET: in the church primary room Friday, October 23rd at 10 am.

RSVP: on or before the night of Wednesday, October 21st. To do this, leave a comment on this post or please send an email to charissaspendlove[at]yahoo[dot]com

FEES-SHMEES: $2 cash per child/per pumpkin.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sunny Sunflowers

We had a great time at the September Make. Mason’s mom, Lis taught us how to make sunny sunflowers using paper plates, crepe paper and real sunflower seeds. Lis even concocted and engineered a creative way to build a stem out of paper (leave it to a product designer). If you were unable to attend this make would be a great craft to try at home. It’s as easy as ONE…



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