2012
Oct 16

Five No Carve Jack-o-lanterns

by Hannah Holt »

9 comments


Sharp knives and preschoolers don’t exactly mix, but my four-year-old loves jack-o’-lanterns. We’ll carve a pumpkin or three this year of course, but I’m not going to let him wield the knife… yet.

In lieu, I wanted a few more hands-on pumpkin opportunities for him. Here’s what we did instead.

1) Painted Jack

Supplies needed: Paints (we used acrylics) and brushes

2) Masquerade Jack

Supplies needed: A paper plate, paints, sequins, feathers, tape or glue (I did the cutting for him)

3) Crafty Jack

Supplies needed: Wiggly eyes, a pom-pom, a button, tape or glue

4) Modelling Clay Jack

We both had fun with this one.

Supplies needed: Modelling clay (It will stick to the pumpkin.)

5) Chalkboard Jack

Supplies needed: Chalkboard spray paint, chalk

My son had fun with all of these, but I asked him to pick a favorite. He chose the modelling clay activity (and that was the easiest to do). So there you have it. Easiest is best. Happy pumpkin season!


2012
Oct 10

No-sew Animal Hats

by Hannah Holt »

4 comments


Last year for Halloween, I wrote a post about no-sew animal costumes. At the time, I had several people ask me about animal masks/hats.

Because I don’t sew (unless it’s astro-turf), this is the method I use. This post could also be titled… What to do when your child comes home and says this:

What You’ll Need

  • a balloon
  • tinfoil
  • newspaper strips
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 cup water
  • paint (or other decorating supplies)

1) Inflate the balloon until it’s about the size of your child’s head. Then take tinfoil and shape it around your child’s head. Shape any ears, beak or other animal features with the tinfoil as well.

2) Place the balloon in a bowl and let the tinfoil rest on the balloon (so the tinfoil will hold its shape better).

3) Mix the water and flour well. Dip the newspaper strips in the flour mixture. The newspaper should have a thin coat of paste. Cover the tinfoil with the newspaper. It will take a couple of coats. (You do not need to cover the underside of the tinfoil.)

4) Let the newspaper dry for 24 to 48 hours.

5) Once dry, paint the head piece the desired colors. This is what we ended up with:

6) Just for added measure I created a wattle by painting part of a kitchen glove red, and I glued on white feathers as well. Here is the final chicken hat:

By they way, do you know who a chicken’s favorite composer is?

Bach, Bach, Bach!


2012
Oct 08

Columbus Day

by Hannah Holt »

4 comments


Here’s a quick craft for Columbus Day. Total time to completion: five minutes.

Note: the boat will take on water after a while, but my son still had a lot of fun with it in the bathroom sink. You can always take it out; let it dry; and play with it again later.


2012
Oct 02

Astroturf Dress

by Hannah Holt »

20 comments


Last year Josh went to our Halloween party as a golfer, and I went as the green. Here’s how my turf frock came into being…

A while ago Josh and I picked up Astroturf at Lowe’s. We needed something to cover the splintery wood on our back deck until it gets replaced. The Lowe’s sales-rep sold us the end of a roll at a deeply discounted price. That left us with yards and yards of extra fabric. I took one look at all that turf and knew just what to do:

front back

Since I’m feeling rather expertish on the subject of Atsro sewing (and I KNOW you are all DYING to get you one), I thought I’d share a few tips.

-Pick a pattern with few seams. No gathers or darts. This is essentially carpet sewing.

-When cutting, you don’t need to allow for much seam. You’ll be sewing and gluing the pieces almost edge to edge.

-Immediately after cutting, apply a sewing glue to ALL the edges. This will keep it from fraying to pieces, and enable you to sew the edges without it falling apart. This will need drying time.

-Do NOT use a sewing machine. Hand sew a simple stitch down each seam to draw the edges together. Then hot glue all the seams.

-You do not need to hem. Just cut a straight line on the bottom and fray check.

-Make the dress a tight fit. It will loosen up after a couple wearings.

-To clean, spray with hose.

-I was too lazy to line the dress, so I just bought a simple under-dress from a thrift store.

-Don’t forget your matching masquerade glasses.

mask

Yes, this is my first (and only) handmade dress.


2012
Aug 02

DIY: Glow-in-the-Dark* Paint

by Hannah Holt »

7 comments


This paint glows under black light.* With only two ingredients, it’s completely non-toxic (you could eat it), and it will brighten any black light party.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup tonic water
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch

1) Pour the tonic water into a small bowl and let it rest until it loses its fizzy.

2) Stir the two ingredients together.

3) Using paint brushes, decorate colored construction paper, skin, or other non-phosphorescent surfaces. (Most white papers won’t work because they also glow under black light. I used black construction paper.)

While working on my Spicy Alphabet book, I learned that tonic water glows under black light. I have a black light at home (who doesn’t?), so I tested it out.

It turns out tonic water ice cubes also glow under black light:

As does boiling tonic water:

Here’s the paint applied to my face:

When working on this post, I first tried adding tonic water to a variety of paints. None of them worked. The pigments in the dyes seemed to block tonic water’s glow. Finally my husband and I walked around our kitchen waving the black light over all the foods in our pantry. Cornstarch had the best luminescence, hence this recipe. We tried a few different ratios. The one-to-one ratio had a good consistency.

Most of my projects involve a lot of trial and error. Here’s a video I shared on my Facebook Page a while ago (from my Summer Science series):

What can I say? I like to play!

Happy painting!