Monday, November 7, 2016

10 minute Roman Costume

For this costume you will need:

         - Large Brown T-Shirt (turned inside out if it has designs on it)
         - Large Red T-Shirt (turned inside out if it has designs on it)
         - Strip of extra brown fabric
         - Large square of red fabric
         - Straight pins
         - Fabric scissors
         - hot glue
         - Paper bag
         - paper twine (or regular twine. I just like the paper cause it's wider and shows up nicely)

First things first, plug in your glue gun. You will want it warming up while you get your shirt cut. Take your brown shirt and cut off the sleeves. Then try the shirt on your child. You will need to mark with a straight pin on the front and back, a visible stopping point for your slits in the front of your shirt. You will want the slits to come up to the top of the leg, but not all the way to the hip.

The best part of working with T-shirts is they don't need to be zig zagged. You can cut them however and they don't unravel. Now, try the shirt on again and mark with straight pins where the twine goes to make the chest shape. Take the shirt off your little Roman and put a paper bag inside the shirt to prepare for gluing. (this step isn't 100% necessary, but sometimes the glue goes through the shirt. So I find this step helpful)

Lay your twine over your straight pin markings for the chest and cut to length. Then using the hot glue gun, glue the twine down in at least 5 spots per each side of the chest. It isn't necessary to glue the entire piece of twin down. I have washed this costume 3 times and the glue only comes off if the dryer is too hot. Even then it only comes off in a few places.

Now, take your big square piece of Red fabric (I had one in my fabric box, but you can always cut out the back of another red shirt) and glue the top two corners to the brown shirt shoulders. Gather it if necessary and glue again to make sure the cape isn't sagging.

Put the red shirt on first, then the brown shirt that has been cut. Make sure the cape falls to the back when your kid puts it on. Sometimes their head can get caught in the wrong place. Now take your extra strip of brown fabric (I had one in my craft box, but you can always cut the bottom off another shirt) and tie around their waist. No helmet, but unmistakably Roman. Not too bad for a free costume!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ketchup Bottles

PLEASE tell me that none of you throw these out when the Ketchup is gone. I have found a few uses that I just LOVE using Ketchup bottles for.

Turkey Baster, cut off the flip up part of the cap to keep it out of the way and you have a no fuss turkey baster. Just squeeze it tight and dip it in the juices of your turkey. It will suck it up quite easily and then you can baste your turkey.

Pancake pen.We have all seen these at walmart. Yeah they look cool, but really....why would I pay seven bucks for something I could get for free? [we have moved on from ketchup bottles because our family is too big, now we use a juice bottle full of pancake batter. We just drilled a hole in the lid]

If your cake icing is the right viscosity then these would be pretty handy.

Kids LOVE using these in water fights.

What would you use a ketchup bottle for? The list is endless.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hulk Muscle Shirt from a sleeping bag

Big shout out to all you DIYers out there. For me this is the biggest DIY time of the year because it means COSTUMES Yep, and boy, do my kids love the homemade costumes. They always look awesome. We have a huge hulk fan in our house. This is what we did for him.

I needed muscles so I thought I would have to stuff them and sew them...but then I found a green sleeping bag at the thrift store for three bucks. My thinking? I figure, if I just sew a shirt out of this and stitch muscle lines into it, it will look awesome.

So I started by taking off the zipper. I was lucky, some sleeping bags have the zippers sewn into the seams, this one was sewn on after the bag was stitched up. One less seam I have to do.

No, I dont really ever sew. So I didnt have any patterns. No matter. You want to sew a shirt? Find a shirt that fits your subject. I needed one that was a little bigger to account for all the layers. Turn said shirt inside out and trace shape onto your fabric, allowing for extra inches for the seams on the bottom edge. You can use chalk...but I didnt want to have to re trace my lines so I just did permanent marker. I started with the front piece of the shirt.

Use pins all the way through your fabric to make sure you don't loose your sleeping bag guts. Then cut out your Tshirt front. The back, since the fabric does not stretch, needs to be in two pieces. You can use ties, or saftey pins, or elastic. Elastic is the best bet because your child WILL bend over, and if the sleeping bag is sew together like a regular shirt, the seams will RIP. I cut my two back pieces from the edge of the sleeping bag so I had one less seam to deal with. The sleeves get a bit tricky because you have to roll your shirt as you trace it to make sure you get the entire sleeve. Or as an afterthought, you can just fold your fabric in half, and then cut it. But I am such a goldfish that I do better with rolling the shirt because if I folded it, I would end up having the folded edge on the wrong side. ANYHOW...tangent over. 

As I said before, the sleeping bag was an old one from the thrift store. Some parts of the batting were fatter than others. Im guessing this is because it had been washed and the batting shifted into random places. So I just dissected those areas and cut off the top layer of batting on the fat part to make it slightly more uniform. 

Once you have all your pieces cut out then you have to decide where you want your muscle stitches to be. I took FOREVER trying to decide how to do it, this is what I came up with. Dont forget the curved line above the abs, it looks SO WEIRD without it. This is my poor PAINT representation of what I stitched on to the chest.

The back muscles I didnt do much to, I just put a curved line under each spot where the shoulder blades would be. Most people wont be looking at the back anyway. In the picture below, the right side is the left half of the back of the shirt. Sew the sides of the back to the sides of the front.

Now, you need to sew up your neckline before sewing the shoulders because the shoulders will be uneven on the front and back.

Sew your front to your back This is what mine looked like. See how much longer the back piece is?

This is my kiddo trying on the chest piece Looks pretty good, but it NEEDS sleeves.Yes it is long, but I did that so he could wear it longer, and tuck it in if needed. The back is still open, you can opt to sew on some elastic, but I just ended up safety pinning the top corner of one side of the back to the top of the other side of the back. Didn't bother with anymore safety pins because when he bent over they fell out anyway.

Now onto the sleeves. I started with a short sleeve shirt, so all I did was extend the sleeve till it was the same length as my sons arm. Then I had to figure out what to do for the muscle lines. I looked all over at muscle man pictures and finally came up with this. 

Again, another poor PAINT representation of how I stitched the muscles. The arm was cut with the wrist portion on a seam so I had one less thing to stitch up as well. This is what my muscles ended up looking like. Take your arm and sew the long sides together to make a sleeve tube.

Now, to sew the arms to the arm holes on the muscle shirt. Hopefully you still have pins in your fabric around the sleeves, but if you dont, get some pins ready. Turn your whole shirt, inside out.

Now take your sleeve, DO NOT TURN IT INSIDE OUT. And put it inside the inside out chest portion. Yes, I know this is confusing, but stay with me. Pin the sleeve to the shirt. If you are confused on how to pin it, just pin it and then turn your shirt right side out. If the sleeve has its under arm seam on the outside, you pinned it wrong..

This is my finished shirt. The boy LOVES IT. He wears it all the time. The arm muscles are kinda hard to see, but they do add a nice touch when noticed.

Next I used the same tracing method with the pants, only I made them wide and put elastic in the waist. Then I decided he needed hulk feet. Cause Hulk doesn't wear shoes. And that is the one thing that store bought costumes always forget....the feet.

You can find my post on large costume feet here

Friday, June 14, 2013

Fixin my couch

I bought my couch 2 years ago off of craigs list, and it was not even a year old. It was EXACTLY what I was looking for. After having it for a while I realized that the top cushions were over stuffed and the bottom back cushions were under stuffed. Not ideal for someone with back issues.

Then a couple months ago Mark laid down on it. He just kind of plopped on the couch, not hard at all, and we heard this snap, and then something was protruding out of the back of the couch. Luckily not through the fabric. So I vowed to fix it. Oh, also it didn't have feet, I have wanted to put feet on it since we bought it.

So A while back I flipped it over and pulled out most of the staples on the lining and flopped it over so I could take a look in the couch. I could see the problem and I thought I could fix it, but when I tried It just didn't work. So I flipped the couch back over, pondering how in the world to fix it. For about 2 month the back rest of the couch leaned towards the back, not the front of the couch, and it was so uncomfortable to sit on.

My mom just reupholstered my sisters couch for her birthday last month. Her couch had amazing structure, but the fabric was ripped and quite worn.  My mom did a beautiful job.

(Marisa will insert a picture of her couch here) J

 So I got to thinking, my upholstery is great, but my structure is crap, so All I need to do if reinforce the structure. So then OFF came the back of the couch.
I love taking things apart, learning how the work and putting them back together.
So with the back off I could see the problem. The couch was build with freakin 1x2’s stapled together. WHO DOES THAT?!?!  You can see my little red arrows, these were some of the problem areas. The top one is pointing at a board that was supposed to be attached. That is what was sticking out of the back of my couch for months. 
So I used cardboard to create a pattern for 2 supports for the middle,  I used my cardboard pattern and cut 2 supports out of plywood. The structure is MUCH more solid with just a few simple changes. And I was happy cause I got to play with my power tools AND, they were a perfect fit. woot woot! 

and then I braced and glued the broken piece back together.
(my random upside down pic)
That alone wouldnt be enough, but I'm hoping with the added braces that I made it will have enough support. 

Now on to the cushions. I need good support for my lower back. Someone got smart and put a ZIPPER on the lower cushions on the inside. SO easy to add the stuffing. BUUUT, the top cushions (which were WAY over stuffed) had no zipper. FACE PALM. So I got out the old seam ripper and ripped a hole in my couch. I pulled the stuffing out of the top, and added it to the bottom.  All the while flipping my couch right side up to sit on it and test it.

At one point when I was flipping the couch back down the tack strip caught my ear and nearly ripped it out of my head! (ok, maybe that was a little dramatic, but I did get cut, and it bleed a lot)

I also ended up making some feet for the couch.  It was just too short. Which is great for short people. I got nothing against short people. Infact, a lot of my friends are short people….it’s just not my thing. I would have seriously loved to make it SO high that MY feet dangled. How cool would that be!  But I would have had to make the feet like 8 inched tall, and at that point the become more like stilts then feet. But I still made them tall, they are 5 inches tall. I spent like $7 on a 4x4, and 2 on the special screws. I cut it, sanded them, stained them (I already had the stain) and I used my fancy drill press to get nice straight holes. So $9 for 4 feet, as apposed to $8 for one already made foot. See, and THIS is why I do it my self. :)
another sideways picture. 
 D wanted a picture of him, so I took his picture, then i realized this shows how tall the feet are :) 
Today my mom brought over the awesome upholstery staple gun. I put the feet together, and after the kids went to bed I turned on the air compressor and went to town. I tacked everything back down, screwed in my nice new TALL feet, and flipped that puppy over.


It’s tall, comfy, and has the back support that I need. And to all of my short friends, maybe I can make you a step stool J

When I started this project I thought I might like to actually make a couch some day…but now, I can say that making a couch is officially OFF the bucket list. BUT NOW I want to make a big cushy ottoman to match. If I ever  find the same fabric as my couch I’m totally going to buy it. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Homemade White Board

I found myself needing a white board, just a small one. And I noticed something. The ones you get at the store....are crap. So I took it upon myself to make one I would like. And guess what I realized. White board markers write on glass. Then I thought. Wow how great would that be to just take a glass surface and put something white under it. DING! Light Bulb! I have some unused frames (as we all do) in a closet. And I have some scrap printer paper. TADA! All you need: 1 blank piece of paper, one empty picture frame, one white board marker. I had all this in my house already so the total cost of this white board $0.

Put it all together and you have a rather nice looking white board that you can put on your wall. I wouldn't recommend letting the little kids play with it, it IS glass, but it looks SO much nicer than those cheep flimsy ones you get at the store for a buck.

Then I realized something else. These would be great at a baby shower or other party you may be throwing. You can use your old frames and some white paper and then you're not having to get a new sheet of paper out for each game. At the end of the party you can clean the frames and take the paper out and there is NO waste. LOVE IT!

Also I have decided I may have to use this for a chore chart. Just slip the sheet of paper out for a print up of a chore chart and ZING! Instant reusable chore chart!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Finished Bat Girl Costume!

Finished Bat Girl!
 Made the Hood - $0  DIY post
Made the Mask - $.50 DIY post
Made the belt (which you can't really see) - $0 DIY post
 Had the shirt
Had the Skirt
Made the gloves out of scraps - $0 DIY post
Made the cape - $0 DIY post
 Bought the leggings (which you cant really see) - $4

Total spent on this costume $4.50 :)

Mini Mouse Hair

So as I've been on the internet today, I've found some neat halloween stuff. Here I found a tutorial on how to make your hair look like Mini Mouse Ears. AMAZING! Have fun!