Felt Costume: Bag of m&m’s

Of the three costumes I made for Halloween, the m&m costume for my older daughter took me the longest to make. There were many pieces to trace, cut, and glue. Almost all of the pieces, including the m&m’s logo, were first designed in Illustrator then printed out onto card stock. The cardstock was then cut, the pieces traced onto felt, then the felt was cut and glued onto the costume. It was like paper piecing, except with felt rather than paper. A permanent marker was used to add shading and detail to the red m&m guy on the front.

The nutrition label and the bar code on the back of the costume was first designed in Illustrator then printed onto inkjet transfer paper. They were then ironed on and transferred to white cotton fabric.

To add a little color to the costume, I made five m&m pillows of various colors, sewed them together, and added a ribbon handle for easy carrying.

iPhone Halloween Costume

Following are some notes on how I made my son’s iPhone costume:
• Apple logo and “iPhone” text on back cut on Silhouette machine using Stampin’ Up silver card stock.
• Icon squares cut out of white cardstock and corner rounder used. My son drew the icons with colored pencils. The icons were attached to the foam core by using a large Xyron machine to apply adhesive to the backs.
• Used Illustrator to design and print out all text and graphic elements (bars, time, battery, etc.) on a black background. All pieces were then cut and glued onto the black foam core board with a glue stick.
• All circular elements (camera on back, circles on bottom front, red number circles on front) cut out with circle punches of various sizes.
• Covered front and back of costume with clear cellophane wrap to imitate the shiny surface of the phone. Attached cellophane with lots of black duct tape. (This also gives the added bonus of making the costume waterproof.)
• Shoulder straps made of 1-1⁄2″ thick grosgrain ribbon secured to costume with more black duct tape.

Happy Halloween 2012!

This year was the first time I made Halloween costumes for my three kids. Going from making one costume to three was a big leap. It was a lot of work and a bunch of late nights this past week, but the smiles on the kids’ faces made it worthwhile (note to self: next year, start working on costumes in September!).

My son is enamored with the iPhone and all the millions of apps at your fingertips, so, naturally, he wanted to be an iPhone for Halloween. I used a black foam core board for the base and covered it with cellophane to give it the glossy, shiny look of the phones. My son drew the icons (he picked his favorite apps, of course). The Apple logo and text on the back side and the power button on the front side were cut on my Silhouette Cameo.

The m&m bag costume is constructed similar to the Hershey’s bar costume I made last year. For the red guy on the front, I scanned in and magnified the red m&m, traced the pieces in Illustrator, printed and cut them out, and traced the pieces onto felt.

I used a McCall’s pattern to make my daughter’s witch costume (note to self: if a pattern is labeled as an “EASY! 2-hour costume,” it will actually take me 6 hours to make). I love the fabrics my daughter and I chose…the black tunic is covered with a flocked spiderweb pattern, while the silky purple material on the inside of the cape is covered with subtle sparkles and small stars.

Teacher Anya Card

At the end of each school year, I enjoy making cards to thank my children’s teachers. Teacher Anya is one of my favorite images from The Greeting Farm. When I bought it, I knew instantly that she was going to be the focal point of my teacher cards for the end of the school year. I incorporated a pocket on the inside of the card to hold a gift card. To hold the bulky card closed, I used an ultra-thin 5/8″ transparent velcro circle.

Patterned paper: Summer Picnic Designer Series Paper by Stampin’ Up
Cardstock: Real Red and Old Olive by Stampin’ Up
Rubber stamp (outside): Teacher Anya by The Greeting Farm
Rubber stamps (inside): Apple Blossoms by Stampin’ Up, “thank you” by Inkadinkadoo

Hershey’s Bar Halloween Costume

Last year, my daughter wanted to be a chocolate bar for Halloween. How could I say no when it’s one of my favorite foods?!

The basic design of the costume is simple; the most time consuming part involved drawing, cutting out, and arranging the letters. I used inexpensive felt to make the costume, but I splurged a little on the silver material since that portion was small in area. Technically, though, the current Hershey’s bar is not wrapped in foil. However, I really wanted that nice contrast in color and texture, so I based the design on the way the candy bars used to be wrapped before the company switched to the plastic wrap.

The letters were attached using felt glue. The nutrition label and bar code on the back were made with iron-on inkjet transfer paper on white cotton fabric.

Halloween Peppermint Patties

I can’t believe it’s already the first day of October…wasn’t it just the start of a new year a few months ago?! Once October rolls around, I know the rest of the year will go at lightning speed, with Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas just around the corner.

I made what felt like a thousand Halloween peppermint patties for my kids’ classes a few years ago. Here is the assembly line I had going on my desk:

After several hours spent punching, stamping, and adhesive rolling (is there such a word?), I emerged from my craft room with these:

Cardstock: Stampin’ Up
Punches: Scalloped circle, 1-3/8″ circle, 1-1/4″ circle punches by Stampin’ Up
Stamps: From Halloween Stencil Prints mini boxed set of 6 by Hero Arts (an old set that is still available on the Hero Arts web site and eBay)

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad reached a milestone birthday last year…he turned 70, but you wouldn’t know it. He is as fit as a fiddle and has all his wits about him. He is a sports nut, and I don’t mean that he sits in a comfy armchair cheering on his favorite players on TV…he rotates his days between playing ping pong, tennis, badminton, and golf. I admire my dad in many ways; he is a source of inspiration and a guiding light in my life.

I don’t usually make cards for my dad, but this was one occasion that I wanted to make something special for him to commemorate his milestone birthday. I made a small accordion booklet with a pocket on the last panel to hold a notecard and a traditional Chinese red envelope filled with lucky money.

Alice + Nicholas: Wedding Day

In between being a reader at my friend’s wedding; helping my husband keep three kids busy and entertained; passing out programs to guests; decorating the dining tables; and trying to ignore my ill-fitting high heels, I somehow managed to snap a few pictures of the wedding ceremony and reception. One photo stood out as my favorite for the day…

Alice + Nicholas: Wedding Program

I offered to design a wedding program for a good friend from grad school. Her theme color was an eggplant purple, so I found some heavyweight purple cardstock with a subtle metallic shimmer at my local JC Paper and paired it with a heavy cream colored text weight for the inside pages. It is bound with a French knot laced through two holes punched at the top.

Size: 4″ x 8-1/2″
Cardstock: Stardream (Ruby color), 105 lb. cover weight
Graphics: Ingrid Brushes and Stamps by Maplebrook Studios

Dog Days

After our dog passed away last April at the ripe old age of 14, we were so certain we would not have a dog again for a while, if ever. With three kids growing up quickly and time becoming an ever precious commodity in our household, we really didn’t think we could open our hearts to another dog. In fact, we were sure we would not have a pet of any type. If it walked, crawled, hopped, wriggled, swam, or breathed, we would have none of it. We donated our remaining doggie supplies and didn’t think twice about it.

Never say never…

On Thanksgiving weekend last year, about seven months after our dog had passed, a furry 58 pound white Labrador Retriever named Jasmine bounded into our home and into our hearts. Her gentle, happy nature brings a simple joy and love into our household. Now we can’t imagine life without her.