Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Homemade Max Costume from Where The Wild Things Are

I wanted to do this costume for my son since he was born but wanted him to be walking so I could see that cute little wolf tail trotting behind him. At 19 months old, this was the perfect year to do it. I must admit that I was a bit ambitious with this one hence, not posting it 'til now as it has many components and well, I'm just an amateur sewer who procrastinates. I mocked the one-piece body suit after a pair of pajamas similar in structure to what I wanted. Everything is held closed by sew-on snaps. The wooden buttons are purely decorative. I picked them up at Jo-Ann's: La Mode style 3102 and cost $1.60 for two buttons. I just saw that these do say, "dry clean only" so I'll have to see how they hold up in the wash. Oh well, at least they're cheap to replace if they're totaled after.

The tail was made from a couple of inches taken from fur fabric (buying the fabric was actually cheaper than the trim by-the-way) I made the tail removable so that the one-piece could be washed easily. The tail has a strip of the ivory fabric sew to it so that it can be looped through the button hole I added to the back of the suit and tied on the inside of the one-piece.

The wolf headpiece was made by using a hood from my son's sweatshirt as a pattern for the shape. I then added a strip of fabric at the bottom of that which looped around the bottom of the hood's edge and velcroed under his chin. I didn't want to use yarn or pipe cleaners for whiskers. I wanted something that felt a bit more authentic. The "whiskers" I used are actually strands cut off from a household broom we already had. They are the exact texture I wanted, and the price was right! These were meticulously placed so that the ends would be in the seam allowance in order to not irritate my son's face. I poked the plastic pieces through the fabric, knotted them and then folded the seam allowance over the knotted ends, sewing the fabric shut over them. The ears here were just two triangles sewn together, stuffed with poly-fil and hand sewn to the top of the headpiece.

The crown is an independent piece that can be removed as I wanted my son to be able to play with it long after Halloween. I love the authentic feel of this piece from the fabric to the faux fur trim. My son now loves to play with it everyday. From being a king while he eats breakfast to a must-have-accessory every time we read "Where the Wild Things Are," this is now one of his favorite imaginary play toys.

UPDATE: This crown is now for sale in my Etsy shop! Here's the link to purchase: Kings & Queens of the Forest Crown

As I mentioned before, I am a beginning sewer. I blame this attribute for my one-piece being an inch or two too short (and too snug, for that matter) None-the-less it forced me to add "wolf feet." I made a shoe cover that would wrap around the shoe and up over the ankle of the one-piece. It just velcroed in the back so a fairly easy addition to add. Plus, it solved my faintly high-water problem.

I love this face! It's such a devilish "Max" look.

 This Trick-or-Treat basket was found at Michaels for $3.50. I love that it has a similar color scheme as the book's illustrations.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Crafty Fun with Your Toddler

I now have my 19-month-old son home with me full time and realize how important it is to keep up with the craft and sensory activities he was doing at daycare. Given that Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, I embraced it with several themed crafts and books. Hope this sparks some ideas to do with your little one!

Put A 'Stache On Your Pumpkin

We plan to carve our big pumpkin as a family tonight; however, obviously a toddler isn't going to be too hands on with this classic way of pumpkin decorating... other than perhaps squishing the oh-so-messy pumpkin guts between those cute little fingers! So, I thought a fun way to decorate our four little pumpkins on our fireplace mantle would be to give them each a foam paper mustache! My son assigned which mustache went with each pumpkin. I, then, pinned them in place with straight pins. The pins were silver so I just colored the heads with a black sharpie so they blend in. This was super easy....and no paint or pumpkin gut mess to clean up after!




Toilet Paper Ghosts

 Before deciding to make these toilet paper ghost, I "attempted" to make a game of a toilet paper mummy of mommy. Given that he's 19 months old, he didn't quite get the concept nor was too keen on me flipping the roles and trying to wrap him up with toilet paper as a mummy. We settled for running around the house with toilet paper streamers instead....still fun. Given that I now had a bunch of unraveled toilet paper I wanted to do a craft with it. I started by cutting out the shape of a ghost on white construction paper. Next, we took a glue stick and covered the ghost in glue. (This was my son's favorite part as he had to man the glue stick at all times.) I then had him tear up small pieces of toilet paper and stick them on the ghost. After the ghost was filled, we took a black sharpie and I helped him draw eyes and a mouth. We just taped our ghost to a piece of black construction paper so you could see it on our white fridge! My son now points to it as he walks passed it and says, "BOO!".....as we learned this week that ghosts say, "Boo!"

Foam Paper Bats

I hand drew a template of a bat silhouette out of newspaper and then cut the shape out of black foam paper. Using washable school glue, I helped my son dab a dot of glue for where the eyes should go. He next placed the googly eyes (bought from Michaels) tediously on the glue dots. (by himself) I was so surprised on his fine motor skills here...and the fact that the eyes were actually facing up. These turned out super cute...I'm just debating whether to hang them using clear string perhaps from a chandelier  or maybe place them in the windows! Who knows?!

My Favorite Halloween Books for Toddlers

In order to get into the Halloween Spirit, we have been incorporating themed books into our reading time. Here's some great one's to share this Halloween:

Where Is Baby's Pumpkin? By Karen Katz
One of my son's favorite books is Karen Katz's "Where is Baby's Belly Button." This book is a great holiday edition. It has the same great, sturdy flaps and simple language. My son loves lifting the flaps, counting the bats in the closet and pretending to munch on the candy apples behind the bowls!

Where The Wild Things Are By Maurice Sendak
So, we all know this is a classic, and I'm sure you all either own or have heard of it. But, what a great adventure book with a kiddie-friendly spook. My son loves this book-- Halloween or not. In fact, it's the inspiration behind this year's Halloween costume. Bring this book off the shelf and share with your little one this Halloween!