Crafts

Thrifty Thursday: Creating Costumes from the Thrift Store

I know, I know! I’ve done a Thrifty Thursday post about the thrift store before. However, I recently was put in the position to make 3 Star Wars costumes for my son, and I couldn’t have done it without my favorite thrift store. Plus, I’m really proud of how well I did under pressure. So, bear with me.

My son was in a Star Wars performance in December. His troupe performed three scenes from Episode IV: A New Hope: the trash compactor, Luke & Leah escaping Stormtroopers by swinging over an abyss, and fighting their way to the Millennium Falcon to escape the Death Star while watching Darth Vader kill Ben Kenobi. B had the rolls of Han Solo (my favorite character out of all 7 movies), a stormtrooper and Ben Kenobi.

After the first meeting when he told me he had 3 parts, I said, “I was prepared to come up with one costume, but three? OK, we’ve got time to try and put these together.” B assured me that the teacher had all the costumes and we didn’t have to provide anything. “Are you sure,” I asked, to which he emphatically said, “Yes.”

Several weeks go by and the day before B’s performance was payday – my run errands, fill the gas tanks and buy groceries day. By mid-afternoon, I had a nagging feeling about the costumes.

Me: “Are you sure that your teacher will be providing everything you need for all 3 of your costumes?”
B: “OH! I forgot to tell you after class last week! Yeah, he thought he had costumes for me but he doesn’t.”
Me (*Blink. Blink, blink. deep breath*): So, you’re telling me that I have to come up with costumes for Han Solo, a stormtrooper and Ben Kenobi with robe, with 21 hours left until your performance?!”
B (Eyes slowly getting as big as saucers as that reality sinks in.): No. No, Ma. It’s my fault. You don’t have to come up with anything! I’ll figure something out. Don’t worry.
Me: No. I can do this! Get in the car!

And off to my favorite thrift store we went! I bought 2 things – a white, mens, long-sleeved shirt and a brown, decorative, womens sweater. Total: $3. (I also found a Ralph Lauren blazer in B’s size, excellent condition, on the $1 rack! I had to buy it.) I found nothing that would work for Ben Kenobi’s hooded robe, but I did find white “Joey Buttafuoco” pants that were white with a black elastic waistband and black trim on the pockets. The white shirt would work as a top for both Han Solo and a stormtrooper and the pants were a little too big for B, so they’d be easy to take on and off over his jeans to switch between the 2 characters. After looking disgustedly at the white pants, however, B decided he didn’t think there’d be enough time for such a “complicated” wardrobe change and would stick to his jeans. ;o)

The white shirt just needed to be washed. I cut the arms off the womens decorative brown sweater, turned it inside out and had Han Solo’s vest. An old cap gun holster was dug out of a toy bin in the bowels of the basement. Han Solo done!

Photo Jan 21, 9 45 40 PM

 

 

Party City was all out of Stormtrooper masks, but I found a free printable online and printed it out on card stock. I cut it out, cut out the eye holes and used clear packaging tape to attach the mask to B’s favorite sunglasses: they are white and wrap-around. Stormtrooper done!

Photo Jan 21, 9 47 31 PM

I walked around the house, looking for something to make Ben Kenobi’s robe and my eyes fell on the heavy, room-darkening curtain we hang at the back door. It’s very drafty at that door and the curtain keeps the cold air out and the heat in. Perfect! I went down to the basement and got the other curtain (bought them as a pair) and draped it over B to get inspiration. I realized I needed something to pinch off the hood of the robe, but the small rubber bands we had would likely break when he put the robe on. So, I used Hickies, these really cool fasteners that B has on his sneakers. Two of them were hooked together about a quarter of the way down. In addition to the robe, I offered to make B one of the felt Jedi uniforms to go under it, like I made for his Jedi Training Academy Birthday Party, but he declined, once again siting time constraints on costume changes. (Evidently Han Solo & Ben Kenobi were in the same scene!). He got one of his lightsabers from the garage and…Ben Kenobi done!

Photo Jan 21, 8 39 31 PM

Even if PartyCity had mens Star Wars costumes in stock (or if I’d known weeks earlier that I needed them and ordered them online), I would have spent $39.99 on the Han Solo costume, $4.99 for a stormtrooper mask (or $49.99 for the whole costume) and $19.99 for a robe. But I spent $3 at the thrift store. THAT, plus the fact I did it all in less than 2 hours, is what makes this a great Thrifty Thursday post. ;o)

B Made a Christmas Memory Journal Ornament This Morning from The Library Adventure

The Library Adventure has this great free printable ornament for kids, a Christmas Memory Journal.  B completed the ornament this morning and we really like it.  It was simple to put together, thanks to the instructions.

I just wanted to share these two pages with y’all.  B is thankful for NERF, Apple, Family, Food and Friends.  And I just love what he wrote and drew on the What I Want to be When I Grow Up page – a movie maker.  His drawing of a director is so adorable!  But I am kind of prejudice…  ;o)

Kids Halloween Party

B has always wanted to throw a costumed Halloween party so we finally did it this year.  I don’t know who had more fun – me planning, buying and creating for the party or the kids at the party.  :o)  When we got down to the wire, the hubs and I were pretty frantic right before the party started.  Thank goodness my BFF showed up to finish the cupcakes for me and one of the moms stayed during the party to take pictures.  I ran up for a shower 10 minutes before the party started!

The first thing I did was create a Halloween Party Ideas board on Pinterest.  I definitely did not use all the ideas that I pinned but if I did not have them all in a central location, I’d never remember them.  Although we purchased so many party items from our local Dollar Tree, the gas used during the repeated trips up there probably negated the fact that everything was $1.  LOL

I downloaded and printed the skull and candy corn invitations from Do It Yourself Invitations.  I would have preferred an invitation that was spookier or at least was mostly black and orange, but B liked this one the best, so we went with it.  I printed them on card stock, put them in manila envelopes that B decorated with spiders, ghosts, etc. and we hand-delivered them.  In addition to day, time and RSVP info, I put this on the cards:

We’re having a party! We hope you can come.
Get dressed in your costume. We’ll have lots of fun!

The party was in between lunch and dinner, so I only provided a few snacks and cupcakes.  B wrapped mason jars with white crepe paper and added google eyes for mummy glasses, writing each guest’s name on the back.  I cut up carrots, red pepper and broccoli and served it with my go-to dip: bottled ranch dressing, a minced clove or 2 of garlic and dried dill weed.  Make it at least a couple of hours before serving to get the flavors to meld.  I also made Money Saving Mom’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (a fav in our house) and witch’s brooms made out of pretzel sticks and cheese sticks I cut into fringe.

I made Joy the Baker’s Brownie Bottom Ice Cream Cupcakes with cookies n cream ice cream and topped them with a dollop of buttercream icing instead of whipped cream.  I needed something more solid to hold the cupcake topper, The Partiologist’s Stained Glass Pumpkins.  While I showered, my BFF made the pumpkins.

For the goodie bags, I was proactive and went to Walmart last month to take advantage of the back to school sales. I bought each child a box of colored pencils, a box of crayons and split 2 boxes of 20 pencils each among the 8 guests – all that cost $1 per child.  I know all the children had just bought supplies for school, but all those supplies were taken to school; these goodie bag items were for use at home.  I had originally planned to use a pack of goodie bags I bought at a yard sale for $0.50, but I could not fit the Honeycrisp Apples in them, so I got cute jack-o-lantern bags from Walmart for $0.97 each.  B filled the goodie bags and made tags for them with each guest’s name.

Now onto the activities.  We checked Halloween CDs out of the library and had music playing when the guests arrived.  B held a Monster Mash dance party in the front room until everyone had arrived.  Then I had all the kids sit down for the mummy game.  I bought a bag each of Halloween erasers, vampire teeth, glow-in-the-dark snakes and bugs at the Dollar Tree and wrapped them up inside 3 or 4 rolls of white crepe paper.  I worked on that for 2 hours, while watching TV, the night before the party.  Sometimes there was only 1 foot of crepe paper between doodads and sometimes there was 5 feet between them.  Each child took a turn unrolling the crepe paper until they got a doodad, ripped off the crepe paper they’d unwound and wrapped it around themselves.  Then they passed the ball to the next child.  You can see B, above, with paper wrapped around his head and in his mouth are a pair of vampire teeth.  He had gotten sweaty in his Angry Birds costume while dancing, so I made him take it off to cool down.  Each child collected 4 or 5 doodads and then we put them in their goodie bags for safe keeping (that’s why B labeled each bag with a name).

By the time the mummy game was over, Miss Lyn and Francesca, our face painter and balloon artists, had arrived and set up.  The kids were not interested in face paintings to begin with but they were enamored with the wonderful balloon creations the ladies made!  Snakes, horses, light sabers, a green pig to go with B’s Angry Birds costume, an octopus and many more.  Anything the kids asked for, they could make.  Below you can see B’s face painting – very sinister looking and exactly what B asked her to do – and holding his Angry Bird pig while in costume.

Once everyone received a balloon creation, I herded the kids outside to decorate pumpkins while they took turns getting face paintings.  I bought 3 packages of 6 jars of paint, some brushes and 2 packages of glitter glue pens at the Dollar Tree and small pumpkins from a local farm.  The kids had a great time painting Count Pumpcula, Darth Vader, a Mincecraft Creeper, a fiery graveyard of zombies and more on their gourds.

Some of the kids finished their pumpkin painting early and we had a pumpkin roll game.  Two opponents had to roll their pumpkin across the yard using a broom.  It proved pretty difficult for all the kids except one – he dominated this game.  It didn’t matter which pumpkin nor which broom he used, he just flew down the yard!

Once the pumpkin and face paintings were all done, I handed out cupcakes and we all went outside to eat them.  Then we all went back inside to wash up.  B had requested that his guests bring their scooters and helmets to the party, so after washing up, we all went into the alley out back and scooted some of that sugar off.  I had let all the parents know that we would be in the alley at the end of the party so they should come around back to pick up their kids.

Everyone had a great time and I’m so glad we did this!

Easter Egg Decoration with Craft Club

Last week I hosted March’s Craft Club and we did Easter egg decoration.  We had so much fun!  We had some younger sibling present, so the kids ranged from 4 yrs – 10 yrs.  After decorating eggs as characters, I don’t think I can go back to just plain ‘ole egg dying.  However, B says that his favorite egg was the Smiley Face, where he could just free draw on the egg.  So, I’ll have to wait and see what he’s in the mood to do next year.

There were four kinds of eggs that the kids created:

I hope you and your family have as much fun as we did decorating eggs this year.  And I’d love to hear about or see your pix, too!

Presidents Day Crafts

B and I hosted February’s craft club for our homeschool group this past Friday.  Since tomorrow is Presidents Day, we did five, Washington- and Lincoln-themed crafts.  We had so much fun!  Thank goodness for the internet and other crafty folks sharing their creative ideas.  From left to right in my pictures, here are the links to the crafts we did:

Paper Plate Abraham Lincoln Hat With Beard

George Washington’s Powdered Wig

Washington and Lincoln Finger Puppets

Abraham Lincoln’s (Pretzel) Log Cabin

George Washington’s Hat

I hope you have as much fun with these crafts as we did!

Upcycled, Children’s Christmas Crafts

Yesterday was supposed to be the November meeting of our homeschool group’s Craft Club.  Unfortunately I had to cancel the meeting because B was sick.  But that did not stop us from doing the crafts, ourselves, at home.  We had 2 crafts to do, making gift boxes and pencil cases out of cereal boxes and making an Advent calendar.  Both crafts took a lot of time, but we had nothing but, so we put on the Christmas carols, spread everything out on the family room floor and had a great afternoon together.  B was really upset that I canceled Craft Club.  He didn’t think everyone needed to be disappointed just because he couldn’t go.  He asked me to leave him home and go do the crafts with the other children without him.  Such a big heart on that boy!

This is the link to the gift boxes we made.  This is the template for the pencil case we made.

I originally planned to make this Countdown to Christmas Calendar with the Craft Club.  But since B was sick, I hadn’t been able to get to the craft store to get the necessary supplies.  Then I found this Advent “Calendar” idea using toilet paper rolls and I knew this is what we should make.  October’s Craft Club meeting included making these spooky eyes in the bushes and I saved waaaay more toilet paper rolls that I needed to!  So, we made the toilet paper roll Advent calendar yesterday and used up 24 toilet paper rolls.  I still have tons of TP and paper towel rolls left, so I need to keep searching for craft ideas for them…  Inside the TP rolls, I placed a piece of leftover Halloween candy and one of these 24 printable Christmas jokes.  We went through magazines and cut out numbers for the days, 1 – 24, and B still plans do to more decorating on each roll.  He has placed the rolls in our Christmas tree.

I plan to add some other activities to these toilet paper rolls after reading Creekside Learning’s great Advent Calendar activity ideas.  Julie at Creekside Learning has inspired me and I will include the following activities: my dad likes to take B to see Santa every year; my mom has B over to bake Christmas cookies (I do make food gifts for people at Christmas, but not cookies), we’re going to see a holiday performance at a local high school; I found a gift card worth 2 movie tickets so I’ll take B to see Rise of the Guardians one weekday; etc.  As the wise Julie at Creekside Learning does, I’ll put those special activities in each day as the month rolls along, just a few days ahead of time, to ensure it fits in with our schedule.

Decking The Halls

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we’re Decking our Halls for Christmas.  We did half of our Christmas cards on Saturday (although we won’t be mailing them out for another week or two, it’s nice to get them done and ready), with the help of family we put the tree and outside lights up yesterday and this morning, B and I have really enjoyed decorating the refrigerator!  I’ve never decorated the fridge before, but I found this pin on Pinterest earlier in the year and thought it was a great idea.  Unfortunately, I cannot give credit to the original pinner of the idea because the link behind the pin has been removed.  But whoever you are, we are grateful for the inspiration!

We got out the scissors, tape and construction paper, put on the Christmas carols and went to town.  B did everything except the stick arms; I did those.  The hardest part was actually clearing off the refrigerator!  ;o)

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, everyone!  We’ve definitely set the tone for a festive day here by starting our day off with Frosty the Fridge!

 

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