Kalliope Kids: Dry-Erase Flowers

I can’t believe that summer is over already! It seems like it was a whirlwind of activity. At least, it must have been since I haven’t managed to blog at all :). This week the big kids went back to school–1st and 3rd grades! How time flies…
Every year, we are asked to donate school supplies for the kids’ use and the classroom. This year, I was inspired to take the donations to the next level (although I did just hand over a bag of supplies, too!)

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I decided to make a pot of ‘flowers’ for each of the kids’ teachers. They are always in need of dry-erase markers (6 year olds don’t always cap markers properly!), so I used my trusty cricut machine to cut a basic cardstock flower that had a hole in the center of it. (The flower itself was about 2.5″ across, and is a shape found in the SCAL program.) I used several colors, and just stuck the lids of the markers through the hole. (I used both sizes of marker–wide tip and fine tip–and they both fit the same.) To secure it, I hot-glued a pompom to the top of each to make the center of the flower–this serves double duty as well, as the pompom can be used as an eraser!

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I used a plastic container that was low and wide as the pot (they are the kind that has a flip-top with a metal latch that I removed the metal band and lid from). I hot glued a band of ribbon around it, added a bow, and filled each half full with dried beans to be the anchor for the pens. Then I just arranged the flower pens in them, and added a dowel with a note that reads “Thanks a bunch for all you do!” and voila! A usable present that can decorate the teachers’ desks!

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Kalliope Kids: Sea Life Costumes Part 1

Has it really been two months since I posted anything? I knew I was slacking, but not quite THIS bad! But have no fear, I have been crafting out the wazoo; I now need to play catch-up in my posting of all I have done!

Last weekend we went to the Kids Day at our local sushi joint. They do these once every few months, and each time has a theme for the kids to dress up. They then get to make their own sushi rolls, do crafts, get airbrush tattoos, and in general have a fantastic time. The theme this time was ‘Under the Sea’.

20130419-101046.jpgI decided that Meeska would be a jellyfish. I didn’t expect him to actually wear this hat, but he is the only one that has a sombrero, so by default he got this costume!

20130419-101711.jpgThe only problem I was facing with this costume is that Meeska’s sombrero was expensive, and I needed to keep it intact. So, no glue on the sombrero itself…

20130419-101918.jpgTo compensate for this, I started by cutting two circles of fabric that would cover the sombrero top and wrap around to the underside almost to the head-hole. I then stitched the two layers together around the outer edge, leaving a small opening (I didn’t bother to stitch the layers wrong sides together and flip them–the unfinished edge can just be tucked in later. And yes, I did mean wrong sides–one of my layers is sheer, and I wanted the under layer to show through it, so the wrong side ends up on the outside!)

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20130419-102522.jpgThe next step was to wrap the top of the sombrero with batting. I cut strips of batting and rolled it around the top, enough to make a roughly oval shape and cover the hard parts of the sombrero. I then laid the sombrero and stuffing top down on the circles of fabric, and fed a ribbon through the outer edge of the circles.

20130419-102736.jpgThen just pull the ribbon tight, and tie it off, and tuck the unfinished edges under!

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The final step is to create the tentacles and decorate the jellyfish. I just used my trusty hot glue gun for this, starting with running a wide ribbon around the outside of the jellyfish ‘head’. I then created large curled tentacles using wired ribbon–I pulled the wire from one side of the ribbon, which lets it curl up on itself (make sure you secure an end before though, or you will just pull the wire right out!). I also added strips of smaller ribbons of varying colors.

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Once all the glue has dried, it became a super easy costume – just add matching clothes! And to rescue the sombrero, all I have to do is untie the ribbon on the inside, and the whole thing will come off.

The only other thing I thought about doing for this jellyfish was to add a string of battery power lights under the circles of fabric–giving it that phosphorescence. I thought it would be cool, but since this costume was for daytime, it seemed pointless. However, I can always go back and add them if we use this one for a nighttime (like Halloween…) costume! I think for that all I need to do is wrap the lights around the stuffing, leaving the battery end near the hat hole so they can be turned on and off!

Khepri Designs: Mini Top Hats

I’m making mini top hats. How much fun is that? (In case you want an answer–soooo much!) I am using a tutorial video called DIY Mini Top Hat from the user Threadbanger on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Nx0igPai4) that is fantastic–head on over there and watch the entire video before you start your own. It makes it much easier. Trust me!
That being said, one of the reasons I am keeping this blog is so I have an easily accessible place that I store my crafts–a place for me to look back when I want to redo a project and I know exactly what I did the first time around. I have this problem that I try to recreate something I did a long time ago and can’t remember how I did it. (Does that happen to any of you?) And while the video is fantastic, I need my instructions in text that I can quickly scroll through. So here is my text version of what I did, which is essentially Threadbanger’s tutorial:

20130107-173625.jpg1. Cut a 3″ by 12″ piece of card stock. I cut up thick scrapbook paper. Roll this into a cylinder, and tape the end. Scotch tape works fine.

20130107-173755.jpg2. Cut a circular piece of cardboard slightly larger than your cylinder. Threadbanger used an old card box (the kind notecards come in), but I am making a bunch of these, and don’t have enough of that type of board. Cardboard is fine for me–it’s just not as strong on the top, but seems ok.

20130107-173930.jpg3. Hot glue the cylinder to the circle.

20130107-174000.jpg4. Add another round of glue around the join to really attach it.

20130107-174228.jpg5. Start gluing on the fabric–a bit at a time, hot glue the edge of the circle and roll it on the backside of the fabric. Let the circle follow its natural curve–because the top of the hat is bigger, the hat will curve on the fabric. It’s probably not a good idea to use a fabric with a straight line pattern because it won’t stay straight. Finish where you started, with a small amount of overlap. I like to leave the overlap unglued at this point, because it makes it easier to straighten out the fabric when tightening the bottom.

20130107-174557.jpg6. Trim up the fabric. Cut the top close to the edge, and leave a few inches on the bottom (where the hole is) and cut some slits to allow the fabric to be taken to the inside. Trim the fabric so there is a small amount of overlap where it covers the hat (cylinder piece).

20130107-175029.jpg7. Starting from the piece that will be on the bottom of the overlap, pull the fabric taut and hot glue to the inside of the bottom. Work your way around the bottom, pulling taut as you go, until it is all glued. (This is when I glue the top overlap as well.) I then fray check the seam, running a line of it down the overlapping seam. It helps to glue the piece together as well.

20130107-175302.jpg8. Hot glue a piece of fabric to the top, just gluing around the edge. Then trim the fabric.

20130107-175446.jpg9. Using a piece of thick wire (I used 20 gauge, which I think is a little too thin), form a circle. Tape the ends together–masking tape works fine.

20130107-175541.jpg10. Lay the circle of wire on a piece of fabric, and hot glue it together while folding the fabric over the wire. Work in pieces, so this becomes relatively smooth. Trim the excess fabric.

20130107-175726.jpg11. Glue the circle onto another piece of fabric, and trim around the edge.

20130107-180007.jpg12. Now for covering all those cut edges–using a piece of bias tape (I used a folded piece of fabric which seems too big in retrospect. However, I wanted the trim to be a contrasting pattern, and this is what I had.) use tacky glue to adhere the tape around the top edge of the hat, and around the brim circle. I also used fray check on the cut ends of the strip. Smooth this all down.

20130107-180223.jpg13. Apply hot glue around the bottom of the hat piece, and attach it to the brim.

20130107-180405.jpg14. Run a line of tacky glue around the join to be extra secure. Also attach trim around the join with this glue, then let it dry.
15. Add a hair clip to the underside, and you are ready to wear your masterpiece! Threadbanger shows a way to use a ribbon to tie your hat on your head, which I plan on doing with some of my hats. I will let you know how they turn out!
PS sorry about the pictures–I’m usually better, I swear, but I was trying to shoot pictures with my phone while holding a glue gun. It doesn’t work that well!

Kalliope Kids: Three Letter Flip Book

20130107-152546.jpgToday was the kidlets’ first day back to school after Christmas break, so I decided to continue with the learning and make Bug a new learning tool. It is a three-letter flip book–consonant, vowel, consonant, so she can work on her reading skills (she needs work!) I found a printable at http://www.atozphonics.com/phonicsflipbook.html, which was fantastic since I didn’t really want to figure it all out myself!

20130107-153132.jpgI printed off the letters from the site, cut them out and laminated them (I love my laminating machine!). I then wanted to create a cover for the book, to help protect the letters (ideally, Meeska will be able to use it too).

20130107-153309.jpgFor the cover, I used a piece of cardboard–we have so many extra boxes around here, I seem to use it in a lot of projects! I covered the cardboard with scraps of alphabet/school themed-fabric I had around from Meeska’s finger puppet book. I just hot-glued it on, tucking the edges under so it wouldn’t have frayed edges.

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I then just punched holes in the top edges of everything, and bound it with metal rings. I did put the letters together a bit differently from the website, but added in their word list for reference. And now Bug can make her own three letter words, and practice reading them too!

Khepri Designs: Christmas Card Holder

20121216-183221.jpgIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our house! I’m finally feeling like Christmas is coming, now that we have our trees up and decorated. It smells an awful lot like Christmas around here too! And while we have been decorating and cleaning up, I thought I should make up the card holder to put up our pile of cards we have already received! I headed to Ikea yesterday to get doors for the cabinets we ordered (I ordered the wrong size, and had to exchange them), and they had red picture frames that I thought would work perfectly for this project. So here it is!

20121216-183534.jpgI hot glued a strip of ribbon down each of the base ribbons I used–the two outer ribbons are green satin (though they look black in the picture) with red and white swirls, and the middle ribbon is silver and red with a strip of silver ribbon down the middle. I then glued the ribbons to the picture frame. I used my trusty Cricut to make the words “Merry Mail” with the ‘Feeling Groovy’ cartridge–white with a shadow of green–and added those to the front of the frame. A piece of ribbon glued to the top to hang it, and it was ready to go! I put in the family Christmas card that we are sending out, and I attached our received cards to the hanging ribbons with mini clothes pins (they are tiny, and sooooo cute!). I think it turned out great!

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Kalliope Kids: More Tutu Hairbow Holders!

I know you all are terribly worried by the delay in posts… 🙂  I have been busy, busy, busy crafting, but I haven’t managed to actually FINISH very much this week!  Most of my crafting has been all about the boy’s room, since I really, really, REALLY want it to be finished.  But that post will be for a later day.  And it will be a big post–I know you can’t wait!

I did, however, make some more tutu hairbow holders this weekend for gifts.  We had a birthday party to go to, and we thought these would make a great present for the girls.  I wish I could say they liked them, but we had to leave before presents were opened and I have no idea!  (I also have no idea if they even know what they are!)

I’m so excited about making these–they are satisfying my need to be girly!  One day I may manage to put some up for sale.  And actually, I sold these to my sister for the whopping price of…the supplies to make them!

Kalliope Kids: Tutu Hairbow Holder

Today I decided not to create, but to re-create. And by that I mean that I saw this tutu hairbow holder when searching through Pinterest and wanted to make one for my (well, Leila’s) very own. (Yes, I am a Pinterest junkie. I rue the day I found out about it, since it is such a time sucker. But I still love it!) They are absolutely A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!!

I found the tutorial for this here: http://www.momdot.com/how-to-make-a-tutu-hairbow-holder. I’m not going to spell it out for you, since Trisha at momdot.com does a fantastic job laying out all the instructions. She also has numerous pictures for other colors and embellishment ideas too!

I managed to make this out of materials in my craft closet. Granted, the closet is rather extensive, but I was pretty impressed to be able to pull this off just with materials I had!

Now I just need to organize all of Bug’s hairbows–they all get clipped onto the ribbons that are hanging on the skirt. Hopefully they fit or I will be making another one!