Every year, it always takes several days, even months, to figure out what my family is going to be for Halloween. I actually think the brainstorming starts on November 1st! This year we decided on a popular theme, Alice in Wonderland. My husband will be the Mad Hatter, I will be the Queen of Hearts, and my daughter will naturally be Alice. So over the next few days, I’ll show you the progression of our costumes as I make them. Let’s start with the DIY Mad Hatter Top Hat.
I did a Google search and found an amazing tutorial on how to make a cardboard top hat on the Instructables, one of my favorite DIY sites. I edited it a little bit as I went. Here is my tutorial on a DIY Mad Hatter Top Hat.
Step One: Construct the Cardboard Top Hat
Bowls or plates (any circular object for tracing in the desired size)
I cut four pieces with the help of the bowls in my cupboard, a pencil, and scissors. The size will depend on the Mad Hatter’s head size.
Large circle for the top of the hat
Small circle for the interior of the hat to hold shape
Large ring for the rim of the hat
Rectangular piece for the cylinder
Using duct tape, create the cylinder. Cut 1-2” wide slits for the bottom of the hat and cut longer 1-2” slits for the top of the hat. Insert the small circle in the top of the hat as shown and secure with tape. Add the rim by folding each slit and taping the cylinder to the rim as shown. Do the same for the top using the larger circle as shown.
Step Two: Decorate Your Hat
Materials: The materials are up to you, as the possibilities are endless! Here is what I used.
Green velvet fabric (I chose this because it’s easy to stretch and maneuver)
Salmon fabric for the scarf
Two feathers, one brown and one black
A wire coat hanger and a wire cutter for the pins
Old buttons for the top of the pins (attached with hot glue)
Recycled book page and a black marker for the infamous 10/6 price tag
Rubber band to secure fabric to the base of the hat
The pictures and materials speak for themselves. I did not use glue, rather duct tape because: 1) it’s easier to use, 2) it’s easily removable if I made a mistake, and 3) it’s less messy, and cheaper!
Here is an after photo:
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One of my best friends needed help with her daughter’s second birthday. When asked what type of party she wanted, her little munchkin insisted on an Elmo AND Little Einsteins party. Why not? When my friend started her search for party decorations she found it costly to buy party decorations for both themes. So, with my help, we combined the two EXTREMELY inexpensively with a little brainstorming. Here are some DIY Decoration Ideas for Any Themed Party.
I made her invitation using a free program on iPiccy.com. Here is how they came out. I simply used Google Images to find pictures of the Little Einsteins and Elmo. I printed them on my photo printer and my friend spent $5 for 20 envelopes at the craft store.
Also using iPiccy and Google Images, we made these collages mixing both characters as well. I printed them, mounted them on colorful paper to hang or place anywhere she sees fit.
Accordion flowers are also very easy and inexpensive to make. Here is one of the many we made. I also made a flag banner, however neglected to take a picture (ooops).
In her original search for decorations, she almost purchased cupcake toppers for $15! That is just outrageous to me. I made these for her using a circle craft punch and toothpicks.
Finally, to help add some color to the food table, I made these food labels using the characters faces and names.
Super easy! I just wanted to show that you can make simple and inexpensive party decorations to fit any theme without breaking your budget!
I am helping host a golf themed co-ed baby shower for one of my best friends. Check out the sneak peek I did. I can’t wait to show you the rest soon. Anyway, I have always wanted to make a diaper cake and thought that this would be the perfect time to try it; so here is my quick and easy tutorial. I had extra diaper so I ended up making a diaper cake and diaper cupcakes as well.
For most tutorials, they tell you to roll each diaper and secure it with a rubber band. I have actually received a diaper cake before and it’s kind of a pain to take off all the rubber bands. So, I decided to use tape. The tape isn’t as secure, however it is MUCH faster and easier to use. The trick is to make about three rolls and then wrap your rubber band for the entire layer around the rolls and add as you make them.
I made three layers as shown. My top layer had seven diapers, my middle layer had eighteen diapers, and my bottom layer had twenty-eight diapers. Layer your “cake” and insert two BBQ Skewers to secure it as shown. Add ribbon or cardstock as desired. I found a plastic golf game at the 99 cent store and used the clubs for the topper. The cupcakes were left over diapers. I simply made a top layer with seven diapers and added a thick piece of scrapbook paper to represent a cupcake wrapper, I used the plastic golf balls from the golf game from the 99 cent store as “cherries”.
School’s here! I know my little one isn’t quite ready just yet, but she does love drawing and coloring. I don’t think a day passes that she doesn’t (she must take after her Mama). I have a trip coming up to visit my parents back home in Maryland and I have a long(ish) plane flight with a toddler to prepare for. I need to keep her busy on the plane. I was about to throw away my Crystal Light container when I realized it’s the perfect size for pencils, markers, crayons, and such. I decided to alter it a bit and make this recycled plastic container pencil box for our trip.
This project is very easy, as the pictures are self-explanatory. Here are the materials you need:
Simply remove the existing plastic and cut your scrapbook paper to size. Using a paint brush apply the Mod Podge in even strokes to the back of the paper and carefully wrap it around the container. This is the trickiest part in order to align it correctly. If you work quickly, it is fairly easy to lift and adjust if you make a mistake. Next apply an outer layer of Mod Podge
and allow it to dry (approximately 15 minutes). I thought one coat sufficed however you can apply another if you wish. Consider embellishing it with stickers or plastic gems.
This container can hold anything! I actually may use it for my daughter’s toothbrush and toothpaste for when we travel. You can use it to hold hair accessories or even use it for craft supplies. This is the perfect project to do with your kids. Now they will have a one of a kind pencil box to bring to school and show their friends.
With Halloween coming up I thought this would be appropriate. I’ve seen several Halloween costumes with tutus including all the Disney Princesses and much more! I made these tutus for a recent craft fundraiser. They are very inexpensive and easy to make. You can make a DIY No Sew Tutu this size (Toddler) for about $5.00.
Note: I did a scrap T-shirt skirt tutorial a while back. This tutorial works for tutus as well. The difference are 1) the materials chosen, and 2) I also used an elastic dollar store head band, which works great for this tulle DIY No Sew Tutu as well.
Materials: These are the measurements for a Toddler sized tutu.
2 yards of ribbon
6 inch X 20 yards of tulle (you can buy these rolls at a craft store for $3-$4
Clear nail polish (optional)
Note: Yards of tulle at a fabric store is much cheaper, however pre-cut rolls like these make it more convenient and simple. Consider buying from a fabric store if you are making a larger (or longer) costume.
First, using the yard stick as an aide cut the entire roll of tulle in 20” strips. One by one fold each strip in half and knot it around the ribbon as shown. Make sure you start in the center of the ribbon and make your way out. When you are finished the skirt will be about 20” around. You can slide and maneuver the tulle to make it a little smaller or wider as needed. Cut the ends of the ribbon in an angle and use clear nail polish to stop the ribbon from fraying. Tie the ribbon in a bow.
Here are some after photos.
Warning: If you decide to make glittered tutus as pictured above. Make them outside! :/
Consider making a green skirt for a Tinker belle or mermaid costume; a blue skirt for Cinderella; a pink skirt for Sleeping beauty; a yellow skirt for Belle; or a blue, yellow, and red skirt for Snow White.
If you need more fundraiser ideas, check out my YouTube video for the other crafts I made for this fundraiser.
I made these simple junk drawer crafts for a fundraiser coming up. I call them “junk drawer crafts” because they are recycled crafts literally made out of items I found in my horrendous kitchen and completely unorganized kitchen drawer (I was totally inspired to do this because I’m watching Craft Wars…awesome show!).
I decided to make kitchen magnets out of these items I found:
Used gift cards, flyers, and business cards
Paint color swatches
Here is a quick two and a half minute YouTube video I did for these if you prefer not to read! LOL By the way, I apologize for saying “um” so much…
The Scrabble tile magnets are self-explanatory. I actually had these left over from two crafts I had done last year, Scrabble tile art and Scrabble tile Christmas ornaments. You simply make words, cut your gift card to size (they are the most sturdy), hot glue the tiles onto the card, and glue a magnet onto the back using a strong bonding agent like E6000.
First cut out the circles using your craft punch out of the color paint swatches. You can get these in a variety of colors at any hardware or paint store. Place the desired sticker on top. Consider using holiday, sports themed, school themed, or letters. Next place it into the bottle cap.
Follow the instructions for your casting agent or resin. For Easy Cast, you mix equal parts resin and hardening agent in a plastic cup. Stir it for two minutes. Transfer the mixture into a second cup. With a new stick, stir for another minute. Carefully pour the solution on top of the magnet. Bubbles will appear, however they will go away as the solution hardens. Allow it to dry. I let mine dry overnight. Attach your magnet to the back using a strong bonding agent like E6000 Multi-Purpose Adhesive.
Since these were for a fundraiser I made small packages using treat bags, scrapbook paper, and printed address labels. Consider making these for stocking stuffers, party favors, or teacher gifts too!
I have seen so many status updates on Facebook lately about how much back to school items cost. One of my friends said that she paid $125 for supplies and hasn’t even bought a backpack yet! That is a lot of money for most of us. I’m a huge believer in searching for Back to School coupons online, saving as much as possible, and avoiding the department store crowds. And of course there is also the back to school clothes shopping. We like to shop for our favorite brand names, so we are left to scrabbling and searching for the best online deals at stores like Crazy 8, The Children’s Place, and DisneyStore Coupons.
I have also noticed that in the social media world there is an abundance of Back to School teacher gift ideas. Pintrest is littered with some great and inspiring ideas. I love these because they show creativity and you don’t have to spend too much. I recently posted a tutorial for a clever Back to School highlighter gift set. This vibrant piece was fun to make with my daughter.
Here is another cute inexpensive Back to School teacher gift idea I saw on Pintrest (sorry I couldn’t find the source!). It reminds me of the Sweet Gift Idea post I wrote not long ago. This gift is great because with the help of your craft closet, you spend a few cents for a unique and personalized gift.
Here are some candy sayings well-suited for a teacher:
Snickers – Teacher, we love how you make us laugh and “SNICKER”!
Junior Mints – Teacher, you are worth a “MINT”!
Peanut M&M’s – Our class is “NUTS” about you as our teacher this year!
Rice Krispies Treat – I think it’s a “TREAT” that you’re my teacher!
Peanut Butter M&M’s – Teacher, our class thinks you’re Magnificent and Marvelous!
Milky Way – Teacher, our class thinks you are out of this world!
Zero Bar – You’re not a “ZERO”. You’re our hero!!
Heath – Sugar and Spice you’re everything nice!
Twix – Just be “TWIX” you and me, we love you as our teacher!
Rolos – Teacher, you’re my “ROLO” model!
Back to School season is an exciting time of year; however with smart shopping habits and a little creativity, it doesn’t have to break the bank!
One thing I never buy anymore is invitations. This is for two reasons: 1) I feel like I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper in my craft closet, and 2) I’m cheap. I’ve made several invites before with spending little to no money including. Some of them include, Bachelorette Party Boarding Pass Invites, Rocker Themed VIP Invites, and Cherry themed Invites. This time, I made girlie invites for my daughter’s second birthday party. I personalized them with a recent photo of her. The only money I spent was for the envelopes. These DIY Birthday Invitations work great for any type of party or event and are very easy to make.
Here is what you need to make DIY Birthday Invitations:
First, I gathered several pieces of scrapbook paper that (kinda sorta) matched. And cut them in the desired size for each invite.
Budget Saving Tip: I find it most cost efficient to make six 4X6 invites out of one piece of scrapbook paper.
I printed my daughter’s picture on photo paper and cut them into 1.5 inch squares. I used a one inch circular craft punch to cut out each circle for the front of the invitation to insert the photo. I printed the information for the party on regular paper, cut them out with a paper cutter and attached it to the inside of the invitation. I attached the two sides of the invitation by using a hole punch and flower shaped brad.
So, I realize that not all of my DIY Inspired readers are work from home moms who have a lot of time to craft and tackle their own Do It Yourself projects. Sometimes, we are just looking for inspiration and ideas so that we can give a thoughtful gift to our loved ones. So, here are some great gift ideas for kids that I put together that you can make or buy, it’s up to you!
Gift Idea #1: A Personalized Gift Basket.
Personalized gift baskets are great because they are just that…personalized! Here are some examples of baby shower gift baskets that were featured on DIY Inspired.
If you don’t have the time, check out GiftsnIdeas. Here you can find several options for gift baskets from sports themes to baby themes there is an option for everyone. The best part is that it’s international! Don’t forget your GiftsnIdeas coupon codes either!
Gift Idea #2: Personalized Wall Art.
Wall art is so much fun to make and it’s actually quite inexpensive to do. I like to reuse thrift store paintings and cover them with fabric, or I have also painted inexpensive wooden frames or flea market frames as well. By stenciling a monogram or name with craft paint you give it a personalized touch.
I have refurbished two play tables so far. One was free and the other was five dollars! Garage sales are the best for these. With a little paint (or duct tape), these play tables make the perfect upcycled gift for your little one that they will use for many years.
Babies R Us Coupons make it easy and affordable to purchase these fabulous activity play tables. They have a large variety from folding and portable play tables to classic wood or character themed tables.
A special thank you goes out to CouponSnapshot.com for sponsoring this post.
JoEllen Krauss is a freelance writer for 1800WheelChair. In her spare time she enjoys decorating and designing new room layouts for friends and family and making clothes for her little ones, Matt and Shona.
Mama Does It Best: Hand-made Clothes for Your Little One
The arrival of a new baby automatically puts a new strain on the family budget. Diapers, formula, doctor visits and daycare take a huge chunk out of any extra cash or savings. When it comes to the amount of money new parents spend on clothing for newborns and infants, the family budget gets eaten at an alarming rate. Small children outgrow clothing almost as fast as they are buttoned or fastened on their bodies. Moms who wish to fight the expense may be able to save a little money by making clothes for their child.
First, moms will need to know how to sew, knit or crochet in order to make clothing. If these are not skills she already has, mom will need to take a class or teach herself through online tutorials, educational CDs or watching others who are already good at it. The first projects will be simple ones: diaper bags, bibs, blankets and hats. Mastering any one of these beginner-level projects leads to a natural eagerness to see what else can be made. Classes and tutorials will teach the basics of using patterns to make clothes, taking proper measurements to make patterns and trying new techniques to add flare to clothing.
Once a mother knows how to make clothing for her newborn, it is time to make sure she has the right tools and work space. A designated space in the house is best so that making clothes does not interfere with regular family rituals. A guest room, attic, shed or bonus space above the garage are ideal locations. If this is not an option, it is best to buy supplies that can be tucked away easily to preserve space.
For sewing, a sewing machine will eventually be necessary, and for crocheting and knitting, mom will need sturdy needles. Depending on her comfort level, she may choose crochet or knitting needles made of bamboo, other woods, plastic, aluminum or other metals. The key is to find needles that can withstand her work habits and that she can be comfortable holding for long periods of time. Otherwise, the urge to create new clothing will die often.
Fabric and yarn can turn newcomers to sewing, crochet or knitting into fiber addicts easily. There are so many alluring patterns, colors and textures to fall in love with for a baby. The best practice is to buy enough of a particular fabric or yarn to make your project and store it in a safe place until it is time to use it for a new project. It is never good to lean toward hoarding fabric, yet there should always be enough in a personal stash to complete a new garment for the baby.
Although it might seem a bit extreme, the best way to start learning how to make clothing for a baby is to practice with doll patterns. This does not cost as much as ruining baby clothing patterns because it requires much less fabric. Doll patterns also are a great way to learn about how clothing is put together. It is also a great idea to be surrounded by other moms who sew or community groups of crocheters or knitters. Most who love the craft are eager to offer suggestions, give feedback or assist with difficult projects. The key to fabulous new baby clothes is usually just one single help request away.
Recently, I wrote a post on DIY Butterfly Wall Art from items I found in my craft closet. With my daughter’s garden themed birthday party coming up, I decided to make another craft scrap art piece. I wanted to use it as part of the decorations at her birthday party, as well as hang it in her room after.
Once again, I didn’t have to buy anything new. I had every item already sitting in my craft closet. I even had another ugly painting that I inherited when my husband and I moved in together. If you don’t have an old ugly painting, blank canvases can be purchased at any craft store. Also consider going to a thrift store and recycle an old one. It may even come with a frame you can reuse.
Here is what I used for my Stenciled Butterfly Wall Art project.
I started off by covering the painting with burlap that I had from my Stenciled Burlap Placemat project by attaching it with a staple gun. Make sure you pull the fabric taught as you staple it. Next, I laid out my stencils and butterflies in the order I wanted them placed on the canvas and took a digital photo of it.
I stenciled my daughter’s name on the bottom right and stenciled a butterfly in the center. Check out my Stenciled Burlap Placemat project for stenciling tips and tricks. Next, referring back to my digital photo, I hot glued each butterfly onto the canvas.
Both quickly and easily I have a unique and personalized party and room decoration that didn’t cost me a dime!!
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Hi there! I’m Barbara from Chase the Star, a little blog about decorating and crafting on a budget. I love to take something in need of some DIY love, and make it look fabulous! I just recently stumbled upon Dinah’s blog, and must say, I’m a big fan already! I’m so excited to be a part of her blog today!
A few months ago I updated my kid’s old dresser and shared it with my readers, it was a real labor of love, so I thought I’d share it with you here at DIY Inspired!
In my world there is family and baseball-not necessarily in that order. My husband has passed his love for the game down to the boys and well in my case, if you can’t beat ‘em…
We’ve recently moved into our new house and I’ve been in a decorating frenzy. The boys insisted on selecting a theme for their room; yup you guessed it, golf. Ok, I jest—you were paying attention after all! Baseball is of course the ‘theme’ for this room, and more specifically the Boston Red Sox (no we are not from Boston; this team is just a random passion my husband acquired in his childhood).
So in keeping with my need/love for cheap-ness I decided to add a personal touch to their room by updating an old Ikea dresser they’ve had for years. I decided on what else but a Red Sox, red dresser—get it? I went with subway style lettering depicting several different common phrases associated with the Red Sox. Had to consult the hubs on that one (and also our “Fever Pitch” dvd).
Who knows who #9 Williams is??? Everyone in my house does. Everyone.
The entire piece was lightly sanded and the drawer fronts were painted in a pale grey that I had leftover from another project (because I’d run out of white). I bought some vinyl letters at Michael’s, and placed them on the drawer fronts intentionally overlapping some of the words passed the end of the drawers.
My trusty assistant
I enlisted my 3 year old assistant to paint the entire piece Red (Cherries Jubilee by Glidden). I kid! He got tired after 4 strokes of the brush.
Once the entire piece dried overnight, I carefully peeled the vinyl lettering off and sanded the edges, as well as over the letters for a distressed look.
I love the way this turned out!
See the intentional overlapping passed the ends of the drawers? Love!
This project took lots of patience, and about 2 day’s worth of time, but it was sooo worth it! The boys are so HAPPY with it, and I’ve even caught them bragging to their friends about it.
Please stop by my blog Chase the Star for a visit, you’d make my day! Dinah, for letting me share my Subway Dresser your readers!
P.S. Here’s a quick preview of some of my most popular posts:
Oh my! This may be one of my most fun projects to date!
When my husband and I moved into our home, I found this pile of junk lying on the ground on the side of the house.
The first thing that caught my eye was the rusty iron plant hanger. I didn’t quite know what I was going to do with it, but I knew I wanted it in the “keep” pile. Fast forward five months later, it hit me. I would turn it into a chandelier for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party. I thought it’d be cute, hanging above the food or dessert table for her garden inspired birthday party. Here is a before and after shot of my Repurposed Plant Hanger.
But get this… the BEST part is that I spent $10.50 on the entire project. I ransacked my craft closet and only needed to buy one can of spray paint and some plastic beads. I had everything else!
The first thing I did was rinsed the plant hanger down with the garden hose. I brushed it slightly with a wire brush from our metal gate project. After it dried, I spray painted it a glossy turquoise color. I hung it to dry and touched it up as needed.
Decorating it was the fun part. I used green flower gems I had from scrapbooking, wire earring hoops from my DIY Wine Charm project, butterflies from my DIY Butterfly Wall Art project, and I strung the beads I bought on the hemp string from my hanging Mason jar lantern project. The hot glue gun I used worked fantastically and I didn’t even use two hot glue sticks!
Here are some after photos. It turned out so well, that I am going to hang it in my daughter’s room!
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One of the things I do when I’m bored is stare at my craft closet to see if there is anything I can make without purchasing something new. I had these wooden frames left over from a Wine Tasting Bridal Shower party I did and these butterflies I bought from a craft store that was going out of business a while ago (I bought 80 of these butterflies for less than $10). These butterflies are great to adorn gifts, my initial intention for their use. Anyway, with left over craft paint and scrapbook paper, I decided on DIY Butterfly Wall Art for my daughter’s bedroom.
Here are the materials you need:
Paper cutter or scissors
Hot Glue Gun
Yet another fun and easy project was complete while my daughter watched her one hour episode of Sesame Street (she LOVES Elmo and Baby Bear).
First, I painted each wooden frame. By the way, you can purchase these frames in packs of three from IKEA for $1.99… cheap! Meanwhile, while the paint was drying, I cut out scrapbook paper to fit the frames (4X6) with a paper cutter.
I assembled the frames when the paint was dry and using a hot glue gun, attached the butterfly to the center of the frames. You have to hold the butterfly in place for a few seconds while the hot glue dries. I hung them above my daughter’s window in her room.