Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Paper Bag Cowboy Costumes

If you're looking for Halloween costume ideas and you're as cheap and lazy as I am then here is the costume for you!

Introducing -

Paper Bag Cowboy Costumes

Me and Johnny boy rockin' it pre-kids {I'm 6 mo. pregnant here}

Would you like to know how much these costumes cost? 

$0 dollars

How long did it take me to make both costumes?

less than 30 minutes

I really feel like Halloween costumes should be free or almost free, repurposed from something else  or they need to serve a year round purpose.  I've never seen any point in expensive, elaborate costumes that you'll never touch again.  That's what wedding dresses are for.

These paper bag costumes are something I've done several times and they always are a hit {I've probably done this costume 3 or 4 times}.  People think they are hilarious and I've usually made them last minute.  One time a little girl even came up to my husband and said, "Hi Woody.  Hi other girl."  Ha ha! They are super simple.  These would also make for great play clothes for the kiddies anytime.  This is also an easy way to make an Indian costume.

For the vest:
  1. Lay paper bag flat and draw a design of a vest and cut it out.  If you're making one for an adult use as much of the bag as you can.
  2. Crumple up the vest and then uncrumple it and smooth it out.  If you take the time {unlike us} to do this a few times you can really get it to look like leather.
  3. Turn the paper bag inside out {so the store logo is on the inside} and decorate however you want.  You can draw on detail, cow print, sheriff badges, etc.
For the chaps:
  1. Cut out 2 pieces 1 for each chap.
  2. Crumple up the chaps just like in #2 for the vest {above}.
  3. Use scissors to cut fringe along the outside of each chap.
  4. Punch holes in the top of the chaps and string yarn through the holes.  Tie around waist.
For the belt buckle:
  1. Cut out an oval from cardboard.
  2. Cut out your initial from cardboard and attach to oval.
  3. Cover the whole thing in tinfoil.
  4. Attach to the yarn on the chaps with duct tape.

I've also made guns before by cutting out a gun shape from cardboard while leaving room for a barrel.  For the barrel I use part of a toilet paper roll and attach it with tape.  Then I covered the whole thing in tin foil.  If I have time I'll also make a tiny cowboy hat from the scraps that I keep on my head with a yarn tie.  I wish I had a picture to show you.  Oh well.

So get creative and have fun!  That's what Halloween is all about!

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Life Lesson from Monster Cupcakes

Well, Halloween season is upon us and it's time to get Halloweeny.  Probably the crafters best time of year.  Halloween crafts are so fun that it's hard not to go overboard.  One Halloween I learned a valuable lesson about going overboard that has changed me forever.  {Okay, maybe that's a little dramatic, but I did learn something.}

Several years ago, before I had kids I signed up to bring cupcakes for our Church's Halloween carnival cake walk.  I was so excited.  I had seen these fabulous monster cupcakes online {probably from Martha} and I knew they would be perfect.  They were funky/spooky/creepy/awesome and they were topped with tons of candy!  The kids would like them.  No - they would LOVE them.  I was sure of it.  How could they not?

I spent extra time trying to match every detail from my inspiration and ran to several stores trying to find the perfect green candy for the Quasimodo eye.  It was all going to be worth it because the kids were going to love them. 

I brought them to the carnival set them on the table with dozens of other treats {many of which were store bought - what were people thinking? BORING!} and went off to help with the carnival games.  By the end of the night I visited the cake tables to help clean up and was devastated.  Every single cake and treat was gone except for my cupcakes.  Not ONE was touched!  They were the only rejects left.  I was shocked.  I was devastated.

Fighting back tears, I offered the rejected little monsters to the missionaries who happened to walk by at that moment.  They gladly took them but let's face it - 19 year old boys will eat anything.  My husband had a theory and I think he was right.  I split up the cupcakes on to smaller plates and there was my fatal flaw.  The kids didn't care about getting 4 homemade monster cupcakes when they could have had a giant store bought cake.  They didn't care about the time and love and thought I put into them.  They just wanted cake and in as large of quantities as possible.  They aren't greedy.  No, they just like to eat themselves sick at Halloween and if a big box of sugar cookies will get them there well, that's what they want.

So the moral of the story for me is:

Don't waste your time or money, going all out on things like this.

Just buy that discounted box of cupcakes with the extra frosting, sprinkles and plastic spider rings and save yourself the trouble. 

Because less stress and more sugar is what everyone wants anyway.   

P.S.  If you want to make the monster cupcakes you use large marshmallows, small marshmallows, melted chocolate for the center of the eyes and fruit by the foot for the Quasimodo eye.  Good luck.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Personalized Nursery Frame

A few weeks ago I got a brand new nephew.  He is the absolute cutest {as all my nieces and nephews are}.  I want to kiss him and hold him all day.  Since he lives on the other side of the country I'll just have to settle for making stuff for him.

His nursery is blue, brown and zoo animals so I decided to make a frame to go along with the decor.

The best part?  It only cost a dollar. 

{Shhh... don't tell Blake's mommy.  She doesn't know yet that I'm a cheapskate.}

Want to make your own?

Here's what you'll need:

  • Wooden frame (Michael's $1)
  • Chipboard letters (got mine in a big pack from the dollar store a long time ago)
  • Brown paint ( craft paint it fine I just had some leftover house paint I used)
  • Blue paint
  • Candle
  • Glue
  • Paint brush
  • Sand paper (optional)
Step 1:  Paint frame brown.  Let dry.
Step 2:  Glue chipboard letters to frame.

Step 3:  Rub candle wax along edges of frame.

Step 4:  Paint the entire frame blue.  Let dry.

Step 5:  Around the edges that you waxed you can scratch off the blue paint and the brown will show through.  If you have a light sandpaper you can also sand off the top layer of paint.  The brown will now show through.

Step 6:  Add a picture or other image.  I used a giraffe stamp that I colored in and attached it with foam dots to a piece of scrapbook paper.  Blake's mommy can either leave the giraffe in or as he grows and decor changes she can put a picture of him in it.

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