Life Sew Beautiful

my little handmade corner of the world

Valentine Boxes February 13, 2012

Filed under: little man's paper creations,valentine's day — faithandfamily @ 6:07 pm

We have a Valentine party tomorrow for our homeschool group, and there is a contest for Valentine boxes. I think my kids did a great job!

My son’s idea was to make a Darth Vader Valentine box. He asked me to search for an idea on the internet, and I had very little faith that there was anything out there, but I was wrong. We found this post, which was our inspiration. The main body for our Darth is a Bisquick box painted black. We used black construction paper for the cape, helmet and belt, I found some HVAC foil tape in the garage, and we used some paint to add button details.

My daughter didn’t have any ideas to begin with, so I suggested she make a monster mouth with an empty kleenex box.  I was thinking of a colorful rectangle with teeth. But she had the idea of gluing a paper plate to the top to make a human face. We found some foam balls in my craft stash and used yarn for hair.

I think both these boxes are adorable. I love to see my kids creating. Unfortunately, they’ve hit a phase where they doubt their abilities, want to scribble things out and start over or quit, etc. They no longer admire their own work but instead compare it to “what Darth Vader really looks like” or “what a real girl looks like.” There’s a great art studio in town that I’ve got my eye on. I’m planning on enrolling the kids next school year and I hope that the inspiring teachers will be able to instill some confidence in my kids, because I think their artwork is wonderful, and I want to see them developing their abilities rather than doubting themselves so much. Despite what I’ve said, the kids did end up being proud of these creations.

We made Valentines too.

Originally, my son was going to draw Yoda for his Valentines, but when he finished his Yoda, he was afraid people would make fun of it, and I thought that was a valid concern, so we found an image online, instead, and he wrote the message himself. I ended up drawing the owl for my daughter because she was discouraged and didn’t think she could draw it herself. So…..the Valentines weren’t as kid-made as I had hoped they would be, but, still, we worked together and made them together. And, to me, that’s what makes these contests and holiday celebrations so special.

P.S. Yes, my daughter misspelled “always,” but I didn’t want to discourage her further, so we’ll just work on that spelling lesson another day. 🙂

Update: Daughter ended up winning the box contest for the girls. 🙂


Paper Mache Mask August 11, 2011

Filed under: little man's paper creations — faithandfamily @ 5:27 pm

I try to get my kids some non-fiction books, in addition to all our fiction, whenever we go to the library. I always know I’ll score big with my son if I pick out some crafty types of books. And, especially since he adores costumes, I knew he’d love a book about making your own masks. I checked out Make Your Own Masks by Anna-Marie D’Cruz, and my son immediately wanted to make the Viking mask pictured.

We had a great time doing the paper mache together, and then when it was time to paint, he let his sister help him. My husband just happened to be playing the piano at the same time, and all the creativity swarming around me made for a happy atmosphere, indeed.


A Cartoon Artist Someday? February 22, 2011

Filed under: little man's paper creations — faithandfamily @ 10:54 pm

Here are some pictures of some of Little Man’s recent paper creations:

(I think this is a radio-controlled car from Toy Story…)

A rocket, from Toy Story, of course.

Yoda. This boy knows more about Star Wars than I do, and he hasn’t seen any of the movies.


Paper, Tape, and Cardboard Are All You Need January 17, 2011

Filed under: little man's paper creations — faithandfamily @ 1:38 am

My 5-year-old little man loves to create stuff. My husband and I wondered why we even bothered buying Christmas presents this year when we watched him having so much fun making his own toys with all the empty boxes we had from online purchases. My son spends most of his free time at his desk cutting, coloring, folding, etc. My husband and I figure that he’s destined either to be an artist or some kind of engineer.

I’ve decided to start posting pictures of his recent creations here. I’ve been taking pictures of them, because most of his creations have to make their way to the trashcan at some point. There just isn’t room to keep most of them, but I’m hoping to keep the memory of them, at least. And I thought this blog might be a great place to display them too. So, without further ado, here are some of his recent creations!

Zurg suffering “death by monkeys,” as Andy would say….

Some sort of rifle…..

A gun that seems to have a rotating “shooter” and a dial…

It’s fun to watch creativity blooming in my own children.


Mouse King Costume December 19, 2010

Filed under: a handmade Christmas,costumes,kids' stuff,little man's paper creations — faithandfamily @ 1:45 am

Both of my big kids really love the Nutcracker. I’ve gotten one particular video recording out of the library so many times (and it seems I’m the only patron who cares about it at all) that I really wish they’d give it to me. (And I can’t find that particular one that my kids love so much for sale anywhere on the internet.) Anyway….

We went to a Nutcracker ballet performance last Sunday, and my kids are still on their Nutcracker “high.” My daughter has been acting it out with her ballet Barbies, dancing around the house to the Nutcracker music, etc. and my son has been drawing Mouse Kings and making Mouse King and Nutcracker masks. Here are some photos of his awesome creations:

(There’s no way I’d have thought of a way to make a 3-dimensional mouse hat like this out of paper. I think I have a pretty intelligent 5-y-o!)

We’re on Christmas break right now, so I’ve had some extra time to scratch my creative itch. This is what I made today, much to the delight of my dear son:

(My daughter made her own mouse mask while I made his.)

He was so excited, and it was so fun making it for him.

Here’s what I did:

I had actually seen felt Mouse King masks for sale in an Etsy shop, so I copied the idea off someone else (sorry, whoever you are out there…) I sketched it out on paper and then cut it out of the felt and stitched it together with embroidery floss. I bought 3/4 yard of purple velvet at Hobby Lobby, and it would’ve cost $9, except that I had a 40% off coupon. I had leftover fleece material from the cape I made my nephew last Christmas, and I edged the cape with that. (I happened to still have the receipt and noticed that I paid $2 last year for 1/2 yd. of it, and it was enough for 2 capes.) And I had leftover gold rope from that costume too. So, I certainly paid under $10 for the whole costume.

Something significant that I did that I think makes these capes fit nicely: I cut a piece of 1/2 in. elastic to a length so that it just touches his collar bone on either side when wrapped around the back of his neck, and sewed it into the ends of the cape. It keeps the cape bunched up nicely and helps it to stay put when he’s wearing it.

The only tough part: The fleecy material is pretty thick, and when I was sewing layers of it together, it was kind of hard to move it through the machine. When I was sewing two layers of fleece, a layer of velvet, a layer of elastic, and a layer of rope together, my machine had a pretty hard time with it. I ended up doing a bit of hand-stitching to make sure the elastic was going to stay put.

So far, Christmas break has been all about creativity in this house. Maybe tomorrow I can show you what I’ve been making for my daughter….