2012 Pinterest Challenges I Actually Accomplished : Post #1

January 8, 2013 10:21 by ehouston

Much to my extreme embarrassment I will admit right here and right now that my original, self-imposed Pinterest Challenge involving the frame collage in the shape of a heart remains unfinished.  I will say that it is at least mapped out on the wall and about half the frames are hung.  They still do not have any of the final photos added, but we are getting there.  I hope….

Since that project turned out to be such a bummer, I decided to share posts of a few projects inspired by things I saw on Pinterest, that I actually finished.  Just for fun, I will be including the failures along with the successes, so enjoy Post #1!

Halloween Door Décor

That’s right, I said Halloween!  What did you expect after a nearly 6 month hiatus?  Seasonally appropriate posts- hahahahahahahahahahahaha………..  But I digress……

I pinned this cute pumpkin idea from

Gauzy-Glow Pumpkin

Then talked to a friend about it a few days later.  She mentioned how the gauze on a wreath might make for a cool mummy inspired door decoration.  On the long ride home from that visit with her I had plenty of time to think and ended up deciding to go for the door décor instead of the pumpkin.  Thanks for the idea, Whitney!

While browsing the $1.00 bin isle at Target I found these small foam wreath forms sold in sets of three.


Combined with some muslin that I had in my fabric stash, I figured I could come up with some mummy rags.


Tearing 2 inch strips from about 2 yards of muslin proved to be just the right amount of clothes for these guys.


I wrapped, wrapped and then wrapped some more.  During this part of the process I also wrapped the three together in a layout that I thought looked right for our front door.  I secured the ends with glue and added sewing pins at the ends of the pieces that held the different rings together just for extra security.


I dug around in my button stash for some extra large eyes.  I ended up using dark green, brown and black 1.25 inch buttons for these goofy guys.


After wrapping the fabric around each wreath I just wrapped random strips around the wreath centers to help create the rest of the faces.  This takes some rearranging until you get just the right angles for the look you are going for.


Once I thought I had it all figured out, I glued the buttons in place.


The resulting wreath is a bit more jovial than scary, which is pretty much what we are going for around here with the little ones.


So, here is the first success I had in a while with Pinterest projects and it got some good laughs during the month of October.


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Making and Crafts : Thomas The Tank Engine Costume

November 4, 2011 07:04 by ehouston

I promised earlier this week to add some more details on the Thomas costume I made for my Little Guy.  So, here it is!  Nothing fancy, really, just cardboard and paint.  Let’s get started.

Of course, you know I pulled out one of the many diaper boxes I have collected.  This is a Target, Up & Up brand club pack sized box.  To start I flipped the box over, using the bottom for the top. 


Then I used the top to an oatmeal container as a template to mark three circles, along what were the top flaps, to make the wheels.


Next I marked along the top edge of the box where I planned to cut away an opening and create the “cab” portion of the engine.


If you look closely in nearly every picture you will see my Little Guy “helping” through the whole process.


After removing the top portion and creating the opening where my son would stand, I cut down that same piece to use for the front platform of the engine.  I also cut down the oatmeal container to use as the rounded part of the tank.


I cut around each wheel and using some leftover cardboard from another project I cut two more wheels for the front platform and to balance the entire look of the costume.  I attached everything with blue painter’s tape, as well as, covered all cut edges with tape to create a smooth edge.  Brass paper tacks, along with a dab of glue, were used to hold the front wheels to the front platform.


An underside view shows how I added some support to the flaps that create the wheels.  I tucked the side flap in at an angle and taped it into place.  This was surprisingly strong.


I used the front side flap, flipped out and upwards to help secure and strengthen the front platform piece.


After putting all the pieces together and priming the whole thing, I realized (along with from hints from The Mister) that the tank portion was really just off and out of proportion.


So, before adding color I removed the oatmeal container and added a “Party Pail” ice cream bucket instead.  I did trim the upper lip and handle off the pail before taping it into place. 



I didn’t toss the oatmeal container, though!  I cut away about a third of the side and bottom, then pushed them together to close the gap.  I tucked the bottom portion in to create a funnel as I pushed the sides together and then taped the whole thing in place.


Then it was time for the color!  Lucky for us we had all the colors in our paint stash.


If you are wondering, I used painter’s tape to make all the lines nice and straight, eyeballing all of it as I went along.  Then I went back with a small brush and touched up any bleed-through. 


When I got to the wheels and the face my confidence and energy, sort of wilted.  A quick Google search later and I found a head-on shot of both the face and the wheels.  I was able to enlarge them in and print them out on light blue cardstock.  A few cuts later and I just glued them into place.  The very last edition were the bars or rails that connect the wheels.  These were made from strips of cardboard cut to fit the measurements between the center of adjoining wheels.  To clean them up I cut a curve at the end of each strip.  I covered the edges in painter’s tape, painted them and attached them to the costume using more brass paper tacks.  In order to keep the costume on, I cut strips of heavy fabric, folded them in half and sewed them into straps.  I made them wide so they would not dig into my son’s shoulders.  To attach them to the costume I figured out where they needed to be placed, taped them down and then used heavy floss to stitch straight through the box.  If you have a heavy duty needle it will slip through the cardboard like budda’!

And, here we are…a finished Thomas the Tank Engine costume!




The Little Guy loved it and has been playing with it all week.  Even with all the abuse over the last few days it is still in one piece and looking pretty decent.  I never would have imagined that painter’s tape would hold so well.  This is one of those projects that did not take very long, does not require any special skills and had a lot of bang for the buck.  Since I owned all the parts it was a virtually free costume, too.  Always a bonus!

Hope this helps you make your little engineers very happy next Halloween!

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While He Sleeps….

October 26, 2011 07:58 by ehouston


…I sneak off and this is what happens…

It would be so nice to have a “before” and “after” shot for you of all the projects that are currently under way around here, but so far things are still in process.  I did want to offer up a sneak peak….


I drug this thing home from the thrift store yesterday and although I promised The Mister that I would just clean it up and put it in place, it was a lie.  Right now Senor Mini- Hutch is sitting, unassembled in the garage.  But it does have a first coat of stain at least!  I can’t wait to get this finished up and set in place.  Next step will be to figure out what exactly to display in those glass cases….don’t you love getting a reflective glimpse of all the crud in our garage?  nice!

The Little Guy also talked me in to going a different direction for his Halloween costume this year.  Here is a shot of where we are so far. 


Can you figure out what he will be?  Stay tuned for an update early next week.

One last thing, I think I have our table trays for the Family Room all figured out.  Hint, it involves one of these…


I know, I know, you are totally shocked that I am using another diaper box in a project, right? 

Yeah, right!

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The Christmas Shopping Starts, NOW!

November 1, 2010 08:55 by ehouston

It’s only November 1st and I have spent most of the day already working on my Christmas gift list.  Every year this task seems to become more and more daunting.  As all of us get older I find it harder and harder to come up with things that we need or want that we can’t just go buy for ourselves.  If the Mister had his way everyone would “get a card” and he follows that statement every year with a “Bah-Humbug”!  Sorry, but no matter how small the budget, that just won’t do!  I love making things, but find that the love of handmade does not, unfortunately, run through the family.  Or, maybe I have yet to find the right handmade things to give.  Again, this task always feels overwhelming to me.  Last year was great because the Little Guy was new and I was still in the mom-zombie stage.  So, I created a calendar with his pictures, printed that bad boy up and sent it out.  I think I better do something new this year, so I have set to work trying to figure it all out.  I will give myself a little pat on the back for having already purchased all the little kid gifts and I also placed an order earlier for one of the adults on our list.  So, that’s 6 down and about 25 to go!  ugh, I think I just threw up a little…

We did make it through another Halloween (my personal favorite holiday) and the Little Guy did just fine.  Although he would not tolerate the original costume idea I had for him and we had to REALLY simplify things this year.  We live on the main drag coming into our neighborhood, so we don’t get trick-or-treaters at our place, and since we have a 13 month old we did not want to do the trunk or treat thing and have a bunch of candy laying around calling our names.  With the coming Thanksgiving feast and Christmas baking, we don’t need anything else to run all over our moderately good eating habits.  So, this year we decided to head out to a local pumpkin patch to enjoy the scenery and take some pictures. 


(Here’s Charlie Brown picking his Great Pumpkin!)

We had a nice hayride around the farm, took in some handicrafts and sword fighting by a group of medieval festival folks and picked a pleasantly plump pumpkin for carving. 


(Here he is later, showing off his Jack-O-Lantern.)

So much for fall!  It feels like it went by in a blink.  Now, we are on to the Big One!  Are you guys making anything special for people on your list this year?  Do share!

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Making And Crafts – Halloween Costumes

October 15, 2010 01:55 by ehouston

Along with my many other projects that I mentioned earlier this week, I have been trying to come up with a costume idea for the little guy.  During this time we have been receiving the Party City flyers advertising all their costumes and Halloween party supplies.  If you don’t know what Party City is, it’s just a big warehouse store full of themed and non-themed party supplies and they usually have tons of costumes at this time of year.  Even though I think I have figured out what the Little Guy is going to be this year, I still cannot help myself when the flyer shows up in our mailbox each week.  In the last flyer that arrived I noticed quite possibly one of the worst costumes I could have ever imagined. 


Not only is the “Party Animal” costume totally stupid, but I actually found myself wondering out loud, “Do monkeys drink beer?”.  Duh!  On top of the obvious flaws with this costume idea, it happens to be one of the more pricey options.  Really?  You want to represent a partier so bad that you actually have to go out and buy a costume?  And, spend top dollar?  Really?

What I have been marveling over with each flyer is how “sexy” the costumes are for the women.  Not only the adult women, but even the young girl costumes are a bit on the overtly sexy side…otherwise known as “cute” in Party City terminology.  It makes me laugh and a bit sad to find that you can’t just dress up any more.  No, you have to be sexy in your costume…at least if you are a female, that is…


Just check out those costume names.  “Smokin Hot Firefighter”, “Too Hot” (military costume) and is that “Supergirl” or Super Hooker?  I just don’t know any more.


And, you can’t just be Jesse from the movie Toy Story, you have to be “Sexy Jesse”.  What?

Just call me old school.  (I guess I need to change that to “sexy” old school)

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