25 October 2012


She's obsessed. Ariel is all around as is Belle, Cinderella, Aurora and every other princess conceived by Disney. When I asked my oldest, "What do you want to be" and she said Ariel with a huge grin, I decided I'd better make this one because the purchasable costumes are a wee bit too "show-E" for my four year old.

My littlest wanted to be Belle. That one I could buy but I've found that whatever costume I get for my kids, there's at least some altering needed if not embellishing. That's ok, that makes it their own.

First, I drew up a pattern and measured my daughter's waist, hips, and leg length. She wanted a tail instead of just a pouf skirt so I thought if it ended right at the ground, and came up a bit in the front, maybe she could walk rather than waddle.

Next for the top, I bought a bodysuit from American Apparel and sewed on sparkle purple fabric shaped like the shells and then carefully glitter glued an outline as thin a possible. Then I sewed on a gold fish button. For the skirt, I got "Spirit Mermaid Foil" fabric at Joann's (I actually preferred pale green back-side because the color was closer to Ariel's tail). I basically made a simple elastic waistband skirt that has a glitter fabric fin in the back and it comes up in the front. Then I added a bit more glitter fabric on the back-side and a gold starfish button.

I must admit, this isn't a toss-it-in-the-wash costume, but I'll keep it in the dress up closet after Halloween. She loves wearing it and feels quite proud. Next year, she announced, she wants to be a mermaid every year. Just a different color each time. Uhhhm, no.

The shoes came from the Disney Store, but they were last year's and slightly used for $5.00! Sold! I don't think I've ever purchased anything from that store for $5.00.

10 October 2012


I saw this cute chain in a nearby shop for... too much money... and thought, good grief, that's easy and it was. Takes about two hours to make one chain. So I popped in a movie I've seen about twenty times and started in.

I used less than one package of each and made a 6' chain, a good size for above my daughters door.

Wire Cutters/Needle-nose Pliers
Scissors (that are able to cut through wire)
Orange and Black Pipe Cleaners
Approx. 1" tube

1. Take one orange and one black pipe cleaner, line them up and wrap them together around a 1" tube (your template to keep each ring the same size).
2. Cut the pipe cleaners about 1/4" past the start of the circle. I use my thumb to hold them in place. I can get about three sets of circles per pipe cleaner.
3. I like to cut a bunch of the circles first and have them all ready to link. Use your wire cutters to bend each end about 1/4". I bend the left end back and the right end forward so they can hook together and "catch" each other.
4. Hook the circle by "catching"and bend the tabs down. I use the pliers to smooth down the ends and blend them into the circle a bit so not sharp bits stick out.
5. Repeat by linking the next color, if you started with orange, use black next and keep alternating.
6. Repeat the links about a bajillion times ;) As many as you'd like for your needs.

06 October 2012


This was by far the easiest DIY project I had done in a while. I bought some glass vases at Savers, each only .99 and I have lots of acrylic paints on hand. So for $5.00 and 10 minutes I made several cute vases for a party table centerpiece.

I've seen this around the internets and I think we all agree that the patterned glass and pretty colors are a lovely combination. These can't hold flowers or be cleaned out with water. It's really a nice way to bring in color to a party table.

1. Glass vases
2. Acrylic paint - One color per vase
3. Paper towels - Have a damp one ready to wipe the rim
4. Spoon - To reuse the excess paint that drains out

1. Clean and dry vases. You don't want the inside to be wet so if you clean the inside and  you can't wipe it dry inside, air dry it.
2.  pour in paint and slowly swirl it around the bottom so that all areas are reached.
3. Slowly tilt the vase down so that some paint starts to drain out (about 2-3" in length)
and slowly rotate so that the paint reaches all around the neck of your vase.
4. Make sure all areas are covered.
5. Place it upside down on a paper towel and let it drain out for a few minutes.
6. Carefully pick it up and wipe the rim with a damp paper towel.
7. Spoon excess paint from the paper towel into the original paint bottle.
8. Let the vase dry overnight.

ONE ISSUE that I noticed a couple of weeks later, the paint started to crack slightly in some areas so I'm going to go back and do another coat, possibly seal it with a varnish. I did a larger vase with spray paint and a spray varnish (several coats of both) and that has held up longer.