Tag Archives: homemade

Homemade Advent Wreath

8 Dec

This is the first year that I have not taught kindergarten religious education for my church. For 2 years I taught the little ones and had a great time. The text that the church used was not really great on the kindergarten level so I would design my own program using many resources. My favorite site for information comes from a blog called Catholic Icing. Not only does she have a ton of great ideas but she has many downloads as well. Perhaps in another blog I will post all the religious education resources I used but this blog is really about how to make your own Advent Wreath.

This year my children are attending the family program that meets once a month rather than the weekly program I volunteered with last year and the year before. Part of their homework for the month of December was to make their own Advent Wreath to be on display at their house.

The supplies I used:

  • 4 LED Flameless Votive Candles – the only seem to come in white($1 for a 2-pack at the Dollar Tree)adevent1Advent2
  • 1 4-inch LED Flameless Candle – we bought off-white but you can use white as well($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 Plastic Pine Wreath($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 Package of permanent markers – make sure there purple & pink in the pack($1 for a 10-pack at the Dollar Tree)

1. Using a purple permanent marker color 3 of the votive candles purple. Then using the pink permanent marker color the remaining votive candle pink.

2. Lay the wreath in the middle of a table for display. Place the 4-inch candle in the center of the wreath. Place the 4 votive candles around the edges of the wreath so that they are squared with each other.

Our homemade Advent Wreath.

Our homemade Advent Wreath.

If you are looking for a craftier version of the Advent Wreath that children can do for a classroom activity, then head over to Catholic Icing.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Christmas Ornaments

2 Dec

tmnt5So I decided to make my oldest two nieces and oldest two nephews their own Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornaments after seeing them on a friend’s tree. It is really rather simple and it makes for great fun for the TMNT lover. When my nieces and nephews were little they would play TMNT and, there being 4 of them, each would be their favorite turtle fighting Shredder and other assorted bad guys. They also did this with Mortal Kombat.  Remember Ninja Turtles are not just for boys.

You will need:

  • 4 Green Ornament Balls($1.50 for a 5-pack  at the Dollar General)
  • 4 – 9 in x 12 in stick-it felt sheets in red, orange, blue, & purple(Around a $1.50 per sheet at A.C. Moore)
  • 1 package of 8mm wiggle eyes 35 ct (Around $1 a pack at A.C. Moore)
  • Tacky Glue ($2.59 for a 4 oz bottle at A.C. Moore)

tmnt21. Measure 9 inch strip on each felt color. You need the strip to be around 10mm – 12mm wide so that they wiggle eyes will fit with room. (My strips were 18mm wide.)

2.tmnt3 Peel off the paper backing on one strip. Wrap the strip around the ball slightly top of center. Press firmly to stick any creases.

tmnt43. Using the craft glue, glue 2 of the 8mm wiggle eyes onto the colored felt.

I made them each a set for I ended up with 16 Ninja Turtles.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ornaments.
Please note: Glue is still a little wet on the eyes.

Sailor Moon Costume for Kids

30 Oct

My daughter was set on being Sailor Moon for Halloween.   After looking online and only finding affordable adult costumes or really expensive children ones on eBay, I needed a different avenue.   A family member generously made my daughter the skirt and collar for the costume. If you don’t have someone handy to help with this part, I saw this sailor girl costume online that could work as a base. I got to work on the rest.

The supplies I used:

  • 2 Red Christmas Bows – 1 large & 1 medium ($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 package of Foam Boards – must contain yellow, white, red & pink ($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 package of Styrofoam Balls – 1(1 inch), 3(1.5 inch) & 2(2 inch) ($1 for a bag at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 Toy Magic Wand ($1 at the Dollar Tree)
  • Red Knee Socks ($1 a pair at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 Package of Bobby Pins ($1 a pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 Package of Safety Pins ($1 a pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • 2 sheets of felt – yellow & red ($.79 a sheet at A.C. Moore)
  • 1 pack of flat eleastic($3.07 at A.C. Moore)
  • Silver Gold & Red Glitter Glue ($1 for a 3-pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • 2 Golden Blonde Tres Big Twists ($7.99 for a 3-pack at the Face Value)
  • Blonde Wedge Bang ($1.99 on clearance at the Sally Beauty Supply)
  • Velro Pieces ($1 for a pack at an independent discount store
  • Tacky Glue ($2.59 for a 4 oz bottle at A.C. Moore)
  • Hot Glue Gun w/ extra glue sticks($1 for a mini-gun & $1 for a pack of glue sticks at the Dollar Tree)
  • Old Pair of Shoes (I used a spare pair of Crocs.)

The Boots:
Cut 3 yellow moon shapes out of foam board and paint one side with gold glitter glue. (Put one aside for the Choker.) Place the Crocs inside each sock so it lined up evenly with the foot. Then tacky glue the moon shapes to the front top seam of each sock. When all is dried, hot glued a sneaker pattern to the bottom of the sock so to create a tread so there will be no slipping while wearing the sock boots.

The Bows:
Using vitamin bottle tops as stencils, trace and cut a 1.5 inch circle in yellow foam and a .5 inch circle in red foam. Coated both with glitter glue, gold glitter for the yellow and red glitter for the red. Tacky glued the red circle on top of the yellow circle. Using the gold glitter glue create circular accents onto the disk you have just created. Hot glue the disk to the center of the medium bow. This bow will be safety pinned to the front of the sailor collar. The large bow will be pinned just below the waist at the back of the blue skirt.

The Choker:
Cut off .5 inch strips of the red felt on the 12-inch side. Measure the strips around the throat of the wearer. Taking care of leave a 1 inch overlap, cut the felt to the throat size. (You may need to tacky glue two strips together to get the right size.) Take your extra moon shape from the Boots and tacky glue it to the middle of the strip. Cut a piece of velcro and carefully hot glue 1 piece to the back to create a closure. Be sure you do not accidentally glue the velcro on the wrong side.

The Tiara:
Using the 9-inch side of the yellow felt, cut a V-shape out about .5 inches thick. Cut one 1-inch, two 1.5-inch and one 2-inch Styrofoam balls in half evenly. Paint the rounded side of 1 half of the 2-inch(you do not need the other half) with the gold glitter glue. Paint the rounded side of the rest of the balls(you only need 1 half of the 1-inch ball) with red glitter glue. This make take more than one coat of glitter glue. (We are only using one of the 1-inch halves for this step. The rest will be needed for later. To save drying time, you may want to paint the flat side of the 2-inch ball as well.) Hot glue the half of the 1-inch ball to the bottom of the V on the felt piece. Cut a length of flat elastic to fit the V piece around the wearer’s head and hot glue the elastic in place.

The Hair & Hair Accents:
Cut 2 circles out of the white foam board to give 2 halves of the 1.5 inch balls a board. Hot glue the balls into the foam circles. Hot glue Bobby pins to the back of the foam pieces so the accents can be pinned into the hair. (Hair extensions and hair buns are expensive so I used the hair twists to create the buns. My daughter already has long blonde hair so I put her hair up into ponytails and then covered the hair bands with the twists to give it a bun-like effect. I then placed the hair accents into the twists.)

The Wand:
Take the toy wand and remove all the pieces leaving just the wand cylinder. Take a 2-inch Styrofoam ball and hot glue it to the end of the wand. Paint the entire ball with silver glitter glue and, as before, this may take several coats. Cut two large moon shapes, 2 circle, 4 accent pieces from yellow foam board. Cut the 2 wand handle shapes from the pink foam board. (I used what I had around the house as stencils and eyeballed the shape of the wand handle from pictures online.) Hot glue the remaining halves of the red glitter 1.5-inch balls to the yellow circles. Glue the the yellow accent pieces at the top, angled outwards to the circles as well. Hot one side of the wand pieces onto the wand in this order: the moon, the circle piece accent side up, the handle piece. Repeat this step for the opposite side and tacky glue the foam pieces together to make the wand more secure. Take the half gold glitter 2-inch ball and hut glue it on to the base of the wand.

How to make a Tornado Costume…

29 Oct

So my son is seriously into weather right now after we had several tornado warnings in the past month. Tornado warnings are not that common in New York so it has become his current science topic. He decided he wants to be a tornado for Halloween which is easier said than done. It is not like I can run to the local Party City and grab a tornado costume. I researched ideas online for other tornado costumes but none really fit the total picture he described to me. I borrowed some ideas from around the web but here is the final project. Most of the items can be found at your local dollar or discount stores.

You will need:

  • 2 Pool Noodle ($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • 2 Cardboard Tubes (2 toilet paper rolls or paper towel roll cut to size)
  • 12 Pencils ($1 for a 10-pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • 2-3 rolls of gray Duct Tape ($1 each at the Dollar Tree)
  • Sharpie-type Markers – black, brown ($1 for a multi-color pack at the Dollar Tree)
  • 1 skein of gray/black mixed yarn (I used Red Heart Zebra Shimmer $3.49 at A.C. Moore)
  • 1 spool of 20 Gauge silver plated wire (I used Darice brand for $2.99 at A.C. Moore)
  • 1 heather gray t-shirt (I used Hanes brand for 2 for $5 at A.C. Moore)
  • 1 heather gray sweatpants (We had a pair that was hand-me-down but you can find them fairly cheap.)
  • Acrylic Paints – black, white, brown (I had paints left over from a previous project.)
  • Silver Glitter Glue (I had glitter glue left over from a previous project.)
  • Tacky Glue ($2.59 for a 4 oz bottle at A.C. Moore)

Tools to put it all together:

  • Hot Glue Gun w/ extra glue sticks($1 for a mini-gun & $1 for a pack of glue sticks at the Dollar Tree)
  • Paint Brushes – thin tipped
  • Paper plate with a lip
  • Scissors
  • Wire Cutters
  • Needle Nose Pliers
  • Sharpened Pencil
  • Large piece of cardboard
  • Clothes Pins
  • Clothes Hanger

Step 1: Wrap one pool noodle around the head as you would a crown to mark the length you need to cut. Cut to size.

Step 2: Cut the cardboard rolls in half.

Step 3: Roll the cardboard tubes into thinner rolls so that they can fit inside the hole of the pool noodle. Place one inside the uncut noodle and one inside the noodle you sized for the head. Connect both ends to the cardboard roll to create a ring. Secure the rings with duct tape.

Step 4: Using the duct tape, completely cover the pool noodles so they become gray.

Step 5: Gently remove the eraser from the metal ends on 6 pencils. Using pliers, remove the full eraser with metal cap on the other 6 pencils. Insert these ends into the metal end from the pencils with the removed erasers. This will connect 2 pencils together with the metal cap between. Wrap duct tape twice around the metal connection to secure. Completely wrap the pencils in duct tape so they become gray rods.

Step 6: Using a sharpened pencil, puncture 6 holes evenly spaced on the top of each noodle ring. Using the hot glue gun, fill a hole with glue and place the end of the one of the gray rods into the hole. Repeat this step for all 6 holes on one of the noodles. Carefully repeat this process with the second noodle so that that two rings become connected with the gray rods. Reinforce each hole with hot glue to be extra secure.

Step 7: Using the wire cutters, snip about 12 2-inch lengths of the silver plated wire and put to the site. Secure the end of the wire still on the spool around the base of one of the rods. Carefully spin the wire around the outside of the structure wrapping from ring to ring. Some of the wire will slide down the rods. Use the 2-inch lengths you cut off earlier to secure the wire in place in several locations. When you are satisfied with your wire look, secure the ends and use hot glue on the inside of the structure to secure the wires in place.

Step 8: Tie the end of the yarn around the base of one of the rods. Carefully spin the yarn around the outside of the structure. You can use the wire to help the yarn from slipping during this step. When you are satisfied with your yarn look, tied the end onto the structure. Using the hot glue, secure both the yarn and the wire to the support rods on the inside of the structure. Gluing on the inside minimizes the amount of glue that can be seen on the tornado.
NOTE: This completes the top of your tornado. However, you can add items into your tornado like small toys cars, animals, etc but keep the weight of the objects in mind as this piece sits on the head. I used a package of light weight construction toys and 3-D stickers to give the effect of objects inside the tornado.

Step 9: Cut a piece of cardboard to fit perfectly inside the t-shirt. Place the t-shirt on a clothes hanger and slide the cardboard inside. Secure both the t-shirt and the hanger to the cardboard using clothes pins. You want both the front and the back to be taunt because it will make painting easier. Hang the t-shirt up in an area where you can get to both sides. I used our indoor clothes line that we have in the basement.

Step 10: Using the paper plate as your palate, mix the white, black, and brown paints into various shades. The paints do not have to be mixed well because the streaky look works well for the tornado. Using the lightest shade, softly paint the outline of your tornado on to the t-shirt from bottom to neck. Be sure to have the tip of the cone at the bottom. Using thin stroke, swirl various shades into a tornado. Be sure to use a U-type motion when painting to give the tornado it cylindrical look. The final layer of paint should be solid black thinly dragged along the lines to accent the swirls.  Take the silver glitter glue and paint the glitter in the same motion as the paint all over the tornado.  This will give the tornado a rain effect.

Step 11(optional): If you want objects in your tornado, now is the time to attach them. I found that using 3-D stickers worked well because they were made completely out of plastic and can easily be hot glued in place. Place them in all directions all over both side of the tornado and secure with hot glue.

Step 12: Cut lengths of the yarn to match the width of the tornado.  You want them spaced out about 1 inch so the amount depends on the size of the shirt.  Be sure to have a little bit on the ends of the yarn to curl in the swirl-motion.  Using hot glue, glue each length of yarn onto the tornado.  When all the yarn is in place, take your hot glue and use a U-type motion to create lines of texture between the rows of yarn.  This will give the tornado are more 3-dimensional look.

You now have a completed Tornado Custom.