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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Halloween Felt Play Boards

PicMonkey Collage

It's another "I love felt" addition on Spontaneous Clapping.
Mostly that's because I'm not very good at making things that are hard to handle.
Felt is easy to use, it's easy to cut, it's cheap, and hello, you can hot glue it!


3 weeks before the party I still had no idea what I was going to make for a party favor.
The first year we did the pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.

And really, you cannot beat the Adopt-A-Monster that we did last year.
I just can't.  Nothing is going to be as cute as that.  

Plus, I wasn't feeling the motivation to get anything done.
You know what I mean, there was no inspiration and I was seriously dragging my feet.

So mom was over, looking at my fall felt tree when she suggested I do some play panels as favors.


I was immediately excited but since I didn't have a game plan, I wasn't able to take advantage of Peanut's Yen Yen (grandma), my lovely mother in law who was in town.

She would have been more than willing to help cut out shapes but I just kept sitting down and staring at big pieces of felt.  This would continue for 2 weeks.  Felt Everywhere.

Contrary to what most of you think, I'm not very creative.

But I'm great at copying things!
As you can see a few pictures up, I have my phone out.
I like to google pictures so that I know what to sketch.
Google:  Pumpkin Outlines
Google:  Bride of Frankenstein
Pinterest:  Jack-o-Lantern faces
Pinterest: Witch Crafts

This is where I get my "original" ideas. 


My felt panels are 2' x 2' which is really big.
I wanted to be able to hang it on the wall or door handle and have the kids stand and use it.
Alternatively you could make it small enough to sit on their lap.
I thought about doing it on half-size baking sheet from the 99 cent store but I didn't want to bother with cutting out such small felt pieces for 24 different panels.

My mom made them look all professional by sewing a sort of open-ended hem, 
 adding a 2' dowel (from Home Depot), cutting a slit below the dowel (no problem with felt)
 and tied a string around it for hanging the panel.


I glued on some of the pieces so that the kids would have a general idea of what they were looking at.

I also wanted the big pieces to be anchored so the smaller pieces would stay on.
Each Frankenstein had pieces to make both the Bride of Frankenstein and the man himself.


This photo is too dark to really see her hair but I was pretty happy with it.

In general, the less the panel moves around, the better the felt pieces will stay on.
BUT if you're in a situation where it's getting jostled a lot, the pieces will fall off.

So, either lay it on the floor or table to be used
stick some velcro on the back of the pieces.
This is what they do in a lot of preschools.  
The only disadvantage is that the velcro tears up the bottom piece of felt 
and over time it'll need to be replaced.


You could get really creative with these.

I originally just cut out the eyes and decided later to make the masks.
The littler kids may have a hard time with all those individual eye pieces, so I thought this would be a way to help make it easier for them.
It also adds color.


You see what a difference it makes to just turn the mask upside-down?

A bow can also be a bow tie depending on where it is placed.


You could make costume faces too.
A kitty mask, a witches hat, a scarecrow face, etc.


I used one pumpkin as the stencil for the rest of them.
Working in duplicates really helped move things along.


We have witches!
Each one has a hat and several different "faces".


You could do a night sky behind her, a broom, a black cat or just a moon and stars.


Again, all I did was flip the eyes in the 2 pictures above and the faces look completely different.

This could be good teaching tool for feelings/emotions.


I also love these because they serve as decorations during Halloween.


This was how I felt when I accidentally cut through some pieces that were already finished.

Don't be lazy like me and cut felt on a table full of other felt pieces!


You just can't go wrong with owls.


The body and the branch are hot glued on.
I sketched both with chalk on the felt,
cut it out, smacked the chalk off and then used that to trace and cut the rest.


I made the eyes by tracing the bottom of a kids cup on white felt, glued it to another piece of felt (in the above photo I used orange) and then cut that out.


I found I liked the pupils to be towards the bottom (or top) instead of the middle because it gave more character when you flipped it upside down.

This way the owl can always look in different directions, as you can see in the photos below.


The wings are not attached and I did decorate some of them.
Decorating the wings would be a great craft to do with the kiddos.
These are all decorated with scrap from this and other projects.


In keeping with the theme of the Halloween Outer Space Party, 
I also made some space ones that I will show to you later!

Maybe next year you can try some of these out… because it's already nearly 2 weeks since Halloween and I'm just getting this posted, ha!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Peanut's 3rd Birthday: Outer Space


I'm not sure if I've told you this yet but Peanut has been obsessed with outer space for the last 6 months or so.  He loves outer space, planets, rockets and Star Wars.

He can name the planets in the solar system.
I had to look this up.  It's terrible but seriously, do you remember the names of the planets in order?
Anyone who names Pluto is automatically disqualified.


Of course, we still wanted to do Halloween so we just threw it all together in a mish mosh.

A Halloween/ Outer Space/ Costume Party!


Instead of elaborate cupcakes I wanted to simplify and do cake push pops.
We started these at 11 pm the night before.
We had a really full day with another party to go to so it couldn't be helped.

If you really wanted to make them cute you could do flames coming out the bottom!
But you don't do those types of things when you start at 11 pm.
Why won't kids every go to bed on time when you have a deadline?

Anyway, cake push pops.  Hmm, I'm going to try these again but I'm not a huge fan of frosting so an entire layer of it is not a perk for me.  AND the boxed cake mix was too fluffy so it fell apart when we stuffed them.  I'm going to work on this process and get back to you.


Cake decorating is really not my thing.  At all.
Frosting cakes is not my thing.

So I made a sheet cake, froze it, cut out a paper stencil of a rocket,
cut around the stencil and then used canned white frosting on it.
Then I cut the circles out of the stencil and stuck them on the iced cake, cut the fins?  (you see, that's how much I know about rockets) off the stencil and stuck them on the cake.
Added sprinkles to the body of the rocket, removed the stencil pieces,
added Dollar Tree candles, called it a day.


This kid.  Do you see this kid?  
Can you feel the energy coming through the screen?
Yup.  He's hilarious.

His parents are AMAZING and made this for me.
2 1/2 weeks before the party I still had no idea what I was doing for the outer space theme.
His mama sent me a message that she would throw this together.
Can you believe that?
Me neither.

This rockets was completely amazing.

It was completely free standing.
Peanut is still using it, he thinks it's hilarious.
I should just set it up in his room in front of the mirror.


Snow White came by and all the little girls swooned.
Her little Mulan was incredibly adorable.

I love seeing all the kids dressed up.


This little boys birthday party was the day before.
These guys met at My Gym and immediately clicked 
so I guess you could say he's Peanut's first friend.
You know, a friend of his own making, outside of the friends that I have introduced him to.


Oh my God.
A little chicken!

I've really been cutting back on the parties
 but as my friends keep having babies, the parties never seem to get any smaller.


Cousin Daniel, always camera ready and without the strained fake smiles I get from Peanut.

Did I mention the RJ stand for Peanut's initials and the 3 for his age.
They thought of everything!


This is why you have little girls.

Her expression is fantastic.


And then I died.


Come on up little batman!


That finger full was all he ate of his cake which is why I don't believe in putting a lot of effort into it :)


My niece and her baby.

She's a parrot!  And my niece made her costume!
Baby Charlie's parents were pirates for Halloween 
and they looked adorable carrying around their little parrot.
Did I mention that both of them have Dawn as a middle name?
I like to mention that to people.


I did not previously know that spider girl existed but I love her.
Peanut was very envious of her brother, Darth Vader.


She's like the spokesmodel for cake push pops.
AND she has the modeling leg pop down.

I swear, every time I pulled out the camera she struck a pose!


Because my friends are awesome, we got a lot of themed cards and bags and presents.
Snow White made this one.


What 3 year old doesn't want a solar system in his room?
OK, my kid is a little odd.


After most of the guests left Daniel and Ryder decided to open some presents.
What this means is that Daniel opens the presents and we try to get Peanut to pay attention.


Peanut would be happy to open one present and then play with it.
Present opening could take days.  Months even.


I made Halloween and Space felt play boards for the kids to take home.

Thank you mom for the idea as I had no idea what to make.
My mom made them look professional.
I'll post about these soon!


And then there was this face.
You want to squish it and kiss her cheeks don't you?
She'll be a year old this month.

When she smiles, she has dimples and then I give her whatever she wants.


He had a great time!

PS In case you noticed, yes he was wearing pajamas the entire party.
They were supposed to go under his costume that he didn't wear.
It wasn't the type of costume that you can climb around in but I thought I could at least get one picture.
He was in it for days beforehand but you know how these things go.

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