bottle cap spider halloween headband/hat tutorial

You may remember our bottle cap spiders from last October–they were a big hit in our house. So big that Juliet asked to make them again this year. We did, and I”ll share those with you soon, but first, I wanted to share my potential halloween costume for this year:
bottle cap spider pill box hat
I present to you: lady with big spider in her hair. (Look at her–she has NO idea that there is a spider in her hair.)

It’s really easy to make, and kids think it’s hilarious (or at least mine do.)
bottle cap spider how to
Here’s how to make one. Find the biggest bottle cap you can–this one came from a peanut butter jar. Cut out a circle of creepy-ish scrapbook paper, mod podge it on, add googly eyes and wait for it to dry.
bottle cap spider underneath
Then hot glue some pipe cleaner legs and an elastic headband to the underside. Add a circle of felt over all of it to secure.
bottle cap spider hat tutorial
Oh yeah. And don’t forget to add some felt fangs. Makes him even more terrifying.
bottle cap spider pillbox hat
When he dries, you can wear it on your head like a crazy hat.
bottle cap spider hat
And then post pictures of yourself wearing it on the internet.

Yeah….it might be time for a new hobby…

What about you? Do you dress up with your kids for Halloween?

(By the way, the first photo is a picture of Juliet wearing the hat–she might try to steal my costume….)

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lucia’s vintage book-inspired first birthday garden party

pink cupcakes
Lucia turned one last week. I still can’t believe it. Wasn’t she just born yesterday?

I like to keep first birthdays simple. Since both sets of grandparents live very far away–it was just Ben, Juliet, Lucia, and myself.
first birthday garden party
Since the weather is still so pleasant in October (in Georgia), we set up the party outside in the backyard.

Nothing fancy for decorations–just cut a few triangles from some pretty scrapbook paper to make a high-chair bunting. (It’s held on with double-sided tape.)

A pile of presents, a pink birthday crown,  and a plate of cupcakes. That’s it.

She loved it.
lucille
I had a ton of ideas of how I could make this a spectacular birthday bash–but in the end, I had to scrap most of them. So, while I had great dreams of doing a Lucille birthday party–it ended up just being very “inspired by.”
lucille
I fell in love with this book the minute I opened it. The fact that the first four letters of Lucille’s name are the same as Lucia’s made it seem meant to be. My original idea for the bunting was to somehow imitate the font to spell out her name in the same style. This never materialized–but I still like the idea.
vintage flowers and sun
I love all the flowers in the book and had visions of flowery cupcake toppers like these. In the end, I went with flower cupcake liners and called it a day. I’m happy with how it turned out.

When I found an Inflatable ‘Rody Horse’ Rocking Horse at a yard sale for $6, I had my “Lucille.”

fancy horse
In the book, Lucille gets dressed up all fancy and goes to a party. So, I had Lucia wearing a cream dress, flowered headband, and of course, ruby slippers.
ruby slippers
Found them at Goodwill for $2! And the cream party dress was $6 at a kid’s shop. I’m telling you, the stars aligned for me on this party!
vintage horse book
The one idea that I regret not having included is a few pillbox hats for Juliet and myself to wear. The ladies at the party all had these great hats–it would have been fun for us to wear some. Next time. 🙂
ruby slippers and red pony
So that’s it! We sang happy birthday, destroyed a few cupcakes, and rode around the yard on a red plastic horse. A sweet celebration for my sweet girl.

linking to strut your stuff thursday

teepee kids craft

kids teepee crafts
I love crafting with geometric shapes and these teepees were really easy to set up and embellish.
book-inspired teepee craft
We found inspiration from a vintage golden book illustrated by Leonard Weisgard.
kids teepee craft
Using mod podge, we glued triangles onto some cardboard from the recycle box and embellished them with paper scraps, jewels, and pine straw.
teepee craft
Perfect quick craft to squeeze in during little sister’s nap time. 🙂

fall kids craft: apple tree art

I’m always seeing fun art projects where people use fruits and vegetables as stamps. We decided to get in on the fun for this week’s art project inspired by A Pocketful Of Cricket illustrated by Evaline Ness.

Juliet became captivated by this “sweet and sour” apple tree (one side grows sweet apples, the other sour) and has been asking if we could make it together.
palette
For our stamps, we used a grape cut in half (for the apples) and a few gardenia leaves in various sizes from our garden (for the apple tree leaves.) The trunk is cut from wood grained contact paper.
fall tree craft
As she was stamping, Juliet was suddenly inspired to try out another art medium–her chalk pastels….
fall tree craft
So she ended up with two fall apple pieces.

There are so many great apple books. Two of my favorites are:

Do you have any plans for apple-picking, apple pie baking or apple crafting this fall?

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kids craft: peacock fans

Can you stand another peacock craft this week? I promise it’s the last one. This is actually the craft that started it all.
peacocks
After reading Counting Birds by Alice Melvin, Juliet asked if we could make “peacock fans.” Not one to turn down a craft request, I set on a quest to find some doilies to use as the fan.
heart doily
I looked everywhere (and by “everywhere” I mean the dollar store and walmart), but couldn’t find any round paper doilies. I ended up pulling out my Valentines box from the garage where I knew we had some paper heart ones left over from February.)
painting doilies
We just pulled out our water colors and went to town. The process was a lot like painting coffee filters–the doily just soaks up the paint and it kind of spreads and blends nicely.
p is for peacock
After they dried, we glued on a giant popsicle stick and a paper body and head. A googly eye and feather on top finished him off. (Juliet’s is pink–again, at her request.) A nice pink P makes it educational. 🙂
peacock plant stake
I used mine as a plant stake.
little lady
Ever the lady, Juliet’s been using her as a fan. 🙂

Linking to Strut your stuff!

recycled paper tube kids craft: rapunzel’s tower

rapunzel's tower kids craft
Juliet is a huge Rapunzel fan, so we made this toy together this weekend.
rapunzel heather ross fabric
Usually, I get craft inspiration from books, but this time we took our cues from this gorgeous Heather Ross fabric from a pillow in Lucia’s nursery.
craft items
All you need is a paper towel tube, a toothpick, some pretty paper, and glue or tape. Oh, yes. And glitter. Lots of glitter.
rapunzel's tower
Juliet applied the glue and we wrapped the paper around the tube. Then, we formed the tower roof by tracing a large circle onto a piece of paper and then cutting out a triangle from it. (Then we glued it into a cone.)

While it dried, we fashioned a flag with a toothpick and some paper.

After it dried completely, I cut the window hole with a craft knife. Then Juliet applied the shutters. She also took the opportunity to sprinkle glitter on the roof. (Because it’s not really craft time until you dump an entire container of glitterall over the floor.)

My original plan was to make a clothespin Rapunzel doll complete with flowing yarn hair–but we discovered this cardboard cutout from the package of a Tangled toy and thought she fit perfectly.
Falling For Rapunzel
Aside from the Tangled book that we own, the only other Rapunzel book we’ve read is Falling For Rapunzel.
Rapunzel: Classic Fable (Little Golden Book)
I’d love to happen upon a copy of this little golden book version: Rapunzel: Classic Fable  by Marianna Mayer. But no luck so far.

If you are looking for some more options, Brimful Curiosities has a great list and detailed reviews of several Rapunzel books.

bottle cap animals!

Georgia has some serious skills when it comes to bottle cap art! Aren’t these animals adorable? Inspired by some Juliet and I made a while ago, she made these into cards. (What a great idea!)

She has a few others that she made that are just as cute–I especially love her caterpillar version. It’s perfect for Very Hungry Caterpillar craft.
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (I Can Read It All by Myself)
The penguin reminds me of Whiteblack the Penguin Sees the World and the fish would be cute for One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish  (remake the cover with bottle cap fish?)

How cute are the sequin bubbles? I think that is such a clever idea. 🙂

Check out the rest of her animals on her blog Love and Lollipops. Thanks again for sharing these with me, Georgia!

If you haven’t yet, there’s still time to enter my jewelry giveaway!

back to school pencil magnets

So, we’re still on our popsicle stick kick. Here’s what inspired us.
pencil book
One Some Many by Martha Jocelyn and Tom Slaughter is a gorgeous counting book.
One Some Many
Slaughter is an acclaimed artist whose works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art. I love the bright colors–so inspiring. In fact, Juliet started making pencils and ended up painting a picture of a flower and a bee from another page in this book.
magnets
We turned them into magnets. (Just like the ones from yesterday.)
pencil and cricket
We’ve been reading a bunch of “back to school books”. This is an illustration from A Pocketful of Cricket by Rebecca Caudill (illustrated by Evaline Ness).
A Pocketful of Cricket
The Rattlesnake Who Went to School
The Rattlesnake Who Went to School is another fun one for back-to-school.

Do you have any favorites to recommend?

Linking to link and learn,

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back to school craft: “I love you” sticks

I saw a picture of some painted popsicle stick magnets on flickr (via the crafty crow) and have been wanting to make them for awhile. Juliet and I finally got around to working on them this past week.
craft time popsicle sticks

We had a lot of fun painting designs–there was no real rhyme or reason to it.
magnets
A little magnetic strip on the back (the kinds with a sticky backing) turned them into fridge art.
magnets on fridge
They ended up being really fun to play with–Juliet has enjoyed making them into shapes and patterns.
I love you sticks
I had a few extra and I thought it would be fun to write some messages on them. I envisioned dropping them into Juliet’s lunchbox once school starts up again. (You know, instead of writing a note on a napkin, write it on a popsicle stick!) I also wrote a few to send to our sponsored kids.
I love you sticks
I love the idea of her slowly growing a collection of these “I love you sticks” and keeping them in a stash in her room somewhere. Hopefully, they’ll encourage her on the days when she needs an uplifting word or two.
encouragement
They are the perfect size and they feel substantial in your hand. I like that it’s something tangible that she can hold onto and feel my love for her even when we are apart. (Kind of like the mommy doll we made last year, but it fits in her pocket a bit more easily.)

I’m telling you, popsicle sticks are really fun! They might be my new favorite craft staple. Do you have any fun popsicle stick projects that you love?

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book/activity boxes for your child’s library

I came across this post about Montessori-style library baskets at The Sleepytime Gal the other day and have been inspired to declutter and rearrange our own library space.

We have the very same Ikea Expedit bookshelf, the same baskets, and many of the same books and toys. Yet ours is nowhere nearly as functional because it is more of a “place to keep things” rather than a place to learn things.

Nicole has chosen to organize interesting books and toys in a way that is appealing to her children and in a way that lets them discover them on their own.

I love taking a peek into her baskets–she has several–and seeing which books she has inside. I’ve already added several to my library list.

So, I am resolved to tackle our bookcase and toy baskets very soon. I’ll try to take some before and after pictures to show you.

How do you encourage learning and discovery in your home?