Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Black & Gold Dotted Monogramed Letter


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Since we've moved into our house I have talked about making an "M" wall being that "M" is our last initial. Ever since my husband made and gave me a Sea Shell "M" for Christmas, I have been collecting M's and recently decided to make a few. The Black & Gold Dotted Monogramed Letter is very easy to make and looks really nice once hung on the wall!


Supplies:

  • Wood Letter
  • Black Paint (spray paint or acrylic paint)
  • Gold Paint Pen
  • Hanger if your letter doesn't come with one

They sell black wooden letters at craft stores so you can spend a few more bucks on a black letter if you don't feel like painting. I took this "M" off of an old craft and decided to revamp it for our Monogrammed "M" Wall. This "M" was originally painted pink so I decided to paint over it to make it look nicer.

How To: 


1. Paint you wood letter. Let Dry. 
I used black spray paint but you can hand paint your letter with acrylic paint or buy a black wooden letter.



2. Using a gold paint pen, start in the bottom or top corner of your letter and begin randomly adding dots. Make the dots different sizes. Continue dotting the letter until you are satisfied. Let Dry.

I dotted both the corners of my "M". You can cover your whole letter with dots or do as I did.


Close-Up of the Gold Dots

3. Add a Hanger if your letter doesn't come with one attached. I hot glued two soda tabs to the back of my "M" so I could hang it. You can use whatever type of hanger you like.

See soda tab hanger here!

4. Hang your new Black & Gold Dotted Monogramed Letter on the wall and you're done!



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Our Monogramed "M" Wall for now!

The Black & Gold Dotted Monogramed Letter is very easy to make, cheap, and gives off a fancy appeal. I didn't have to pay anything because I already had all the supplies so my "M" was essentially free but if you have to buy the supplies, the paint pen will be your biggest cost. The Black & Gold Dotted Monogramed Letter makes a nice addition to any monogramed wall, the pictures don't do it justice. The Black & Gold Dotted Monogramed Letter would make a great addition to any monogramed letter wall, nursery, girl's room, wedding shower decoration, etc. You can also use any color variation for your dotted letter if you don't like the black and gold, the combinations are endless!  


Check out some of my other homemade letters:


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Personalized Wood Snowman Family Decor


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We recently added a new member to our growing family so I had to make a Christmas decoration that included our newest addition. I love Christmas decorations, especially snowman decorations so I decided to make a snowman family. I came up with the idea browsing through wood Christmas decorations on Pinterest. We have a ton of wood scrap pieces in our garage so I new it would be an easy and cheap craft.


Supplies:


  • Wood Blocks - one for each member in your family (sanded)
  • Long Wood piece - the length of all your wood blocks next to each other (sanded)
  • Red & White Acrylic Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Black, Red, Orange & White/Silver Paint Pens
  • Wood Sealer - I used Mod Podge
  • Screws and Drill



How To:


1.  Cut your wood pieces to the size you want them to be and sand them to avoid any rough or sharp pieces. 

You will need:
   - One wood piece for each member in your family; in my case, I had five. I made our wood pieces different sizes to represent the different ages/heights in our family.
   - One long wood piece to use as a base. The base needs to be at least the length of all the snowman wood pieces next to each other.

2. Paint the wood pieces that are going to be your snowman white and let dry.

3. Paint your base red and let dry.


4. Using the black and orange paint pens, draw faces on the white wood blocks to make them look like snowman. Make your faces different to resemble the people in your family. Use the red paint pen to personalize each snowman with your families names at the bottom of the the wood blocks.

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5. Using a white or silver paint pen, personalize the red base. I wrote "The Martini Family" and drew snowflakes on it. You can personalize it with your last name, a Christmas saying or just leave it blank.

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6. Once everything is dry, line your snowman up in the order you want them to be and begin to screw them into the base. I put two screws in each snowman to make sure they were secure and would last. I screwed the screws up through the bottom of the base into each snowman. 

7. Seal your wood with a wood sealer. I used Mod Podge since it is going to be displayed inside but you can use any kind of sealer you want. Let Dry. 

8. Set your new Personalized Wood Snowman Family out for everyone to see!

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The Personalized Wood Snowman Family Decor is a pretty easy and cheap Christmas craft to make. I did not need to buy anything to make our Snowman Family because I already had all of the supplies. This craft is super cute and one of a kind being that no two will ever be the same. Make your Snowman Family your own by drawing faces to resemble those in your family, add hats or buttons, change of the colors, etc. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, Merry Christmas and Happy Crafting!!!


Check out some of my other Christmas Decoration Tutorials:



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Ornament Wreath Tutorial


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Last Christmas I decided we needed more Christmas decorations for our house. I wanted to make an Ornament Wreath to hang on our front door so I waited until the day after Christmas and made a trip to Walmart. If you don't know this already, Walmart marks all their holiday items to 50% off the day after the holiday so it's the best time to go shopping for holiday items for the next year if you are on a budget. I managed to buy all the supplies for the Ornament Wreath for $10 max. Prices will vary depending on where you purchase your supplies, how many ornaments you buy, what kind you buy and add ons such as bows, ribbon, etc... If budget isn't a problem, the Dollar Tree has 12 packs of ornaments for a $1 they just don't have as big of a selection when it comes to colors or you can just spend the extra money and buy the ornaments at regular price at almost any store.


Supplies:

  • 60-80 Plastic Ornaments - I bought a set of small red ornaments to help fill in gaps
  • Wire Clothes Hanger
  • Bow OR Ribbon to create your own Bow
  • Pliers - Optional
  • Hot Glue Gun - Optional, hot glue ornaments back to their tops if they fall off 

* The "Merry Christmas" hanger and bow pictured were not used.





How To:


1. Bend your wire hanger into a circular shape.


2. Untwist the top of the wire hanger. You can do this by hand or use the pliers.

3. String your ornaments onto the wire hanger one by one. Rotate colors and twisting the ornaments as you go. This makes the ornaments go in different directions thus fitting more ornaments on your wreath causing it to look fuller. 

Don't squeeze to many ornaments on the hanger or they will pop off once you attach the hanger back together. If you have ornaments popping off you can Hot Glue the tops on to help prevent them falling off in the future. 



4. Re-twist the top of the wire hanger.



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5. Arrange the ornaments to your liking. Go ahead and hot glue any ornaments that have popped off their tops to prevent them from popping off in the future.

6. Cover the hanger by adding a bow.
The bow I originally bought looked funny once my wreath was together so I bought another bow.

7. Hang your new Ornament Wreath on your front door or any other door or place you might want your wreath to be displayed and enjoy!



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Make the Ornament Wreath your own. Buy ornaments to match the rest of your Christmas decorations, add bows, icicles, tulle, etc... to your wreath. Add anything you want to make your Ornament Wreath unique for your home. The Christmas Ornament Wreath is super easy to make and very budget friendly. If you want to purchase an Ornament Wreath they sell them in stores and online ranging from $50 to $200 or you can just make your own Ornament Wreath like I did for around $10; you can't beat that! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, feel free to comment below with a picture of your ornament wreath.


Check out some of my other Christmas Decoration Tutorials:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pallet Christmas Tree


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Last Christmas I decided that we needed more Christmas decorations for our house so when summer rolled around I got busy making a couple Christmas decorations. The first project was Pallet Christmas Trees. My husband brought home a couple pallets from work and helped me make the Pallet Christmas Trees. They've been sitting in our garage for a couple months but I finally got around to painting them. Overall the Pallet Christmas Trees are fairly easy to make if you have the proper tools.

Supplies:

  • Nice Wood Pallet
  • Pencil & Ruler
  • Saw - we used a circular hand saw
  • Sander
  • Hammer & Nails - to attach the base
  • Green & Brown Paint
  • Paint Brushes
  • Wood Sealer

How To:


1. Using a pencil and a ruler, mark off your Christmas Tree. You can make your Christmas tree any size you prefer.

2. Carefully follow your lines and cut out your Christmas Tree. Remove any wood pieces from the pallet you don't want showing. (Some Pallets have a back)



3. Add your base using your hammer and nails. You can do this several different ways but here is how we made our bases:




- For the small Christmas Tree, we cut one of the side pieces of the pallet, nailed the wood together in the shape of an X and attached the Christmas Tree to the base.


Pallet Christmas Tree Base


- For the bigger Christmas Tree, we left part of the back of the pallet attached to the Christmas Tree. We then cut a small rectangular piece of wood and attached the front and back of the Christmas Tree to the rectangular piece. This Christmas Tree is a lot more sturdy than the smaller Christmas Tree. 


Pallet Christmas Tree Base


4. Sand your Christmas Tree.

5. Paint your Christmas Tree. Let Dry.

I painted the Christmas Trees green with a brown base. You can paint/decorate your tree however you want. You can paint your tree white, green, red, rotate green and red; stain your tree, paint ornament's on your tree, add a star, add lights, etc...


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6. Cover your Christmas Tree with a wood sealer. This will help protect your Christmas Tree, especially if you plan on decorating the outside of your home with it. The wood sealer will also lock in the paint and add a nice glossy finish to your Christmas Tree. Let Dry.

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When Christmas rolls around, decorate the outside of your home with your new Pallet Christmas Tree or find a place for it to go inside. You can add Christmas lights to it to make it stand out at night if it is outside or you can add a star and some ornaments to it if it is inside your home. Decorate your Christmas Tree however you want!


Check out some of my other Christmas Decoration Tutorials:

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Wood Stocking Holder


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The last couple of years we have hung our stockings with tacks on the wall. I have looked for stocking holders in the store that hang on the wall and that sit on top of a fire place/mantel but I haven't been able to find a set I like for a price that I like, plus most stocking holders that sit on top of a fire place/mantel are in sets of four and with our growing family, that won't be enough so I finally decided to make one. I have seen several variations of wood stocking holders on Pinterest but I liked the single piece of wood with a saying on it best. I searched for a tutorial for reassurance I was making it right but had trouble finding a tutorial so I decided I would share how I made our wood stocking holder. The wood stocking holder wasn't to hard to make and it looks good once hung on the wall. 

Supplies:


  • Wood Slice approx. 6"x36"
  • Sander or Sand Paper
  • Red Paint
  • White Paint or White Paint Pen
  • Paint Brush
  • Gloss Spray or Wood Sealer
  • 5 White Hooks (use the # in your family)
  • Screw Driver
  • Wall Hanger & Hammer

How To:


1. If your wood isn't the size you need, cut it to the size you'd like. I used a piece of 6"x36" old fence wood to make my stocking holder. The length of the wood depends on the size of your family, how many hooks you want, and how spread out you want the hooks to be. This wood size can fit four to six hooks. 

2. Sand the piece of wood.

3. Paint the piece of wood any color you'd like. Let Dry. 
I used red acrylic paint to paint my stocking holder. Other possible colors to use are green, white, red, light blue or a wood stain.


4. Choose a saying to put on the stocking holder. Write OR Print out the saying in the font and size you want to use. I used the saying, "And the stockings were hung...". Some other possible sayings you can use are:
  • "And the stockings were hung..."
  • "The stockings were hung..."
  • "All the stockings were hung..."
  • "The stockings were hung by the chimney with care"
  • "Stockings hung with care"
  • "Merry Christmas"
  • "HO HO HO"
  • "Twas the night before Christmas..."
  • "Believe in the Magic"
  • "He knows if you've been bad or good..."
  • "Dear Santa, we've been good..."
  • "Dear Santa, please define good..."
  • "The (enter last name) family"
  • Personalize it with your last name or first names

If you don't like any of the sayings you can add a Christmas related image such as snowflakes, Reindeer pulling Santa's sleigh, mistletoe, or leave it blank with just the hooks.

5. Transfer the words onto the wood. You can do this several different ways. In this case, I placed my words on top of the wood and centered them. I used a ball-point pen and gently traced over the words thus creating a small outline in the wood. If you look closely you can see the outline in the picture below.

*** Check out Step 4 in my blog, Growth Chart Ruler Tutorial, for another way you can transfer the words onto the wood.




6. Fill in the woods with white paint. Let Dry. 
I used a white sharpie paint pen to fill in the words. The red paint bleed into the white a little so I had to go over my words with a thin paint brush and white acrylic paint. You can use any color you want to match the color of your wood.

7. Optional: Cover the wood stocking holder with a sealer. You can use a gloss spray such as Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover Clear Gloss Spray, Mod Podge or a wood sealer. The sealer will help seal the paint and make your stocking holder last longer. Depending on what sealer you choose, it will also add a shine to the wood.

8. Add the hooks.
The hook number will be for the number of stockings you want hung so if you have a family of four, add four hooks. Make sure to evenly space out the hooks.

I measured 4" from each end and attached a hook.  I then did the math to evenly space out the other three hooks. Divide the length between hooks (27") by the number of hooks left (3) plus one (1).  Then place the rest of the hooks evenly apart; in my case, 7" apart.

Example: Length between hooks ÷ (# hooks +1) = distance to space 
My stocking holder: 27" ÷ 4= 7"   

I used 5 white hooks I bought from Lowes. You can use any color hook you want to match the colors of your wood stocking holder. The hooks usually come in white, black, brown, gold and silver. You can also use dresser draw knobs instead of hooks if you prefer.

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9. Add a wall hanger or two.
I used two sawtooth hangers and attached them to the back so I can hang my stocking holder every year. You can choose any hanging technique you prefer. You can add one huge sawtooth hanger, drill two holes in the wood and attach a ribbon/twine to hang your stocking holder, command picture hanging strips if you don't want holes in the wall, etc...



10. Hang your new wood stocking holder on the wall, add your stockings and wait for Santa to come and fill them with goodies!

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The wood stocking holder will make a nice addition to anybody's Christmas decoration collection. The wood stocking holder is pretty easy to make and is a lot cheaper than buying stocking holders from the store. It looks great on the wall, especially once you add your stockings to it! The best thing is that you can personalize it any way you want. You can paint it to match other Christmas decor in your house, add your family's names or add a cute holiday saying. We have gotten so many complements on our stocking holder as I'm sure you will too!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy Crafting!!!


Check out some of my other Christmas Decoration Tutorials:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Simple Refried Beans


Since we started making Easy Taco Dip more frequently as a quick dinner or an appetizer, we decided that it is cheaper to make our own Refried Beans and it is a lot easier than you would think. A jar of Refried Beans usually cost $3 or more. A can of Pinto Beans cost about $0.92 so you are saving between $1 and $3 every time you decide to make your own Refried Beans. It may not sound like a lot but it can add up, especially if you make Refried Beans a lot.

Simple Refried Beans


Time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:


  • 1 can Pinto Beans
  • Water
  • Seasoning - Salt, Pepper, Garlic, Onion, Taco Seasoning, etc...
  • Food Processor

Directions:

1. Pour a can of Pinto Beans into a medium skillet and let simmer over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally.

NOTE: The bean juice should be enough but if the Pinto Beans start to dry out you need to add water to the beans. Add up to a  ½ cup of water if using a full can of beans.

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2. Add some salt and pepper to taste. You can add a little bit of Garlic or Onion if you prefer but we don't because we are usually making the Refried Beans for the Easy Taco Dip

3. Optional: Add ½ a packet of taco seasoning if you are making the Refried Beans for the Easy Taco Dip.

4. Pour the Pinto Beans into a Food Processor and blend until the beans are mashed up. Pour into a bowl and serve.

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There are several different ways you can make Refried Beans. You can add a bunch of different ingredients from seasonings to oils to your pinto beans as they simmer if you prefer. This recipe is very simple and very easy to make. The taco seasoning adds the perfect amount of seasoning to the beans, especially if you are making the Easy Taco Dip. Plus you save money by making your own refried beans which is always a plus in my books!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Pumpkin Carving with a Drill - Toddler Pumpkin Decorating


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This year we got our pumpkins at the beginning of October but didn't get around to carving them until the weekend before Halloween. My husband and I stuck to the Halloween Tradition and both gave our pumpkins faces. We wanted to make pumpkin carving fun for our toddlers (almost 3 and 1.5 yrs old) and since toddlers can't really draw faces on the pumpkins much less carve the pumpkins, we let them color on the pumpkins with Sharpies. Once they were done coloring, we took off the lid and let them attempt to clean out their pumpkins. My son kept trying to eat the pumpkin seeds so needless to say we cleaned out their pumpkins for them, but hey at least they tried!!!


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Decorating their pumpkins with Sharpies

My toddlers loved coloring on their pumpkins with Sharpies. The Sharpies are permanent so they won't wipe off the pumpkins if it were to rain. You can also use paint and let your child paint their pumpkins. In my experience, paint is messier, takes longer to clean up than just picking up markers and can run if it were to rain thus staining the concrete, house, etc... depending on the type of paint used so for now I think we are going to stick to using Sharpies until my kids get a little older.


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Posing for a picture with their colored pumpkins!

Once my toddlers where done decorating their pumpkins and the pumpkins had been cleaned out, my husband took a drill and drilled holes in the pumpkins. You can use any size drill bit you want to make the holes. You can drill random holes in your pumpkin like he did to my son's pumpkin or make a pattern like he did to my daughter's pumpkin. 

Pumpkin Carving with a Drill is very easy to do, just be carful not to drill through to the other side of the pumpkin. Also be prepared for a mess. The drill causes little pieces of pumpkin to go flying but it is an easy clean up. 


Once you have drilled a pattern in your pumpkin and are satisfied, then take your pumpkin outside, put a candle in them and enjoy your new temporary Halloween decorations!!! Pumpkin Carving with a Drill is a fast and easy way to carve your pumpkins plus it is knife free. My toddlers had a blast coloring their pumpkins and they were front and center while Daddy drilled their pumpkins. My daughter was super proud of her pumpkin as you can see in the picture below!

Feel free to comment below with how you let your toddler decorate their pumpkins!


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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Incredibles Family Costume


Sorry I didn't get a chance to post a blog last Wednesday, we've been in and out of the hospital with my newborn since he has been born but hopefully we won't be going back.

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For Halloween this year we decided to go as Disney's The Incredibles. Since our newest addition just arrived we figured if we ever wanted to go as The Incredibles, now is the time to do it because we will have one girl and two boys, one of which is a baby - Perfect Right!?!? We kept The Incredibles costumes super simple this year since we have three kids under three, we figured we wouldn't be out to long since toddlers tend to get overwhelmed fast but needless to say once the kids found out they got candy they where all for going door to door or booth to booth... probably because mommy and daddy don't let them have candy and these strangers were. All in all we had a good Halloween weekend and the kids had a lot of fun!

The Incredibles Family Costume is honestly one of the easiest and cheapest costumes I've put together. It would make a great last minute costume! Here is how I made our costumes:

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Supplies:

  • Red T-Shirt - I bought ours for $2.79 each at Hobby Lobby
  • Black Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Black Long Pants
  • Print out The Incredible's Logo - there are different sizes you can choose from to print
  • Clear Packaging Tape
  • Black Mask - HERE is how I made our masks







How To:


Outfits: I recommend raiding your closets for the Red T-Shirt, Black Long Sleeve Shirt and Black Pants before you buy them. You can always turn a shirt inside out so you can't see the logo if you want to. We didn't have any red t-shirts so we were forced to buy them.

Total Cost for 4 Red T-shirts = $11.16
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Masks: I made our mask out of black felt and elastic. You can check out my blog, No-Sew Felt Mask, to see how I made our mask. If you don't feel like being crafty you can buy black mask at any Halloween store.

Total Cost for 4 Masks = $1.50 with supplies left

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Incredible's Logo: I found a free PNG of The Incredible's Logo HERE. I downloaded the sizes I needed, pulled them into a Word Document and printed them out on normal computer paper. I then cut out the logos.  Once we were dressed, I used clear packaging tape to tape the logo onto out Red T-shirts. I put the tape on the outside of the logo so the kid's wouldn't mess it up but you can put the tape on the back of the logo if you want, it just might not stay on as well.

You can make your logo out of felt and fabric glue to make it look nicer and use the Logo Print-out as a guideline but being 9 months pregnant/having a newborn I didn't feel like/have  time to get super crafty.

Once you have all your supplies for your costume, get dressed, put on your mask and go have some fun Trick-or-Treating as The Incredibles! Like I said before, The Incredibles Family Costume is honestly one of the easiest and cheapest costumes I've put together!

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It cost less than $15 for me to make The Incredibles Family Costume. That is FIVE COSTUMES for less than $15! If you already have Red T-shirts then your costumes will cost less than $5. That is a great deal compared to store bought costumes that run $15 to $80+ a costume.  If you are worried about your costume looking cheap or tacky, don't be. In my experience, my homemade costumes have been a bigger hit than my store bought costumes. Plus, The Incredibles Family Costume was a huge hit this year. Everywhere we went we heard "Look their is the Incredibles!" or "Awesome, The Incredibles Family!". We even won a certificate for a free pizza because they liked our costumes at an event we attended in our county. Feel free to share a picture of your Incredible Family Costume below!!!



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Other Halloween Costume Tutorials:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

No-Sew Felt Mask


For Halloween this year we decided we are going to go as Disney's The Incredibles. Since our newest addition  is due any time  just arrived we figured if we ever wanted to go as The Incredibles, now is the time to do it because we will have one girl and two boys, one of which is a baby - Perfect Right!?!? We kept The Incredibles costumes super simple this year since we will have three kids under three, we knew we wouldn't be out long, and toddlers tend to get overwhelmed fast.

If you've ever seen The Incredibles then you know The Incredibles' costumes cannot be complete without a black mask. I didn't have a lot of time to shop around this year being nine months pregnant with two toddlers so I decided to make our own black masks out of felt. There are several different ways to go about making felt mask but I kept it fast, simple and cheap. Plus, what one and two year old is going to keep a black mask on all night? So why spend extra money when they are most likely just going to play with it...

Check out how I made The Incredibles Family Costume HERE!!!

No-Sew Felt Mask

Supplies:

  • Black Felt - I used two sheets for four mask and had some left over
  • Elastic Cord
  • Scissors
  • Chalk
  • Pen
  • Paper


How To:


1. Using the pen and paper, draw a mask outline to the size you want and cut it out.



2. Place the outline on the black felt and trace it with chalk.




3. Using the chalk as a guideline, cut out the the mask from the black felt.




4. Cut a tiny hole in the left and right side of the mask. You don't want the hole to be two big because felt can tear easier.

5. Thread the Elastic Cord through one of the holes and tie a knot.




6. Measure the length of Elastic Cord needed to fit around the person's head, cut and thread through the other hole and tie a knot. 

I held the mask up to my children's heads and ran the elastic cord around the back of their head to the other side of the mask to get an estimate of where to cut the elastic cord. Remember elastic stretches so cut it a little short so the mask will stay on.


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7. Try the mask on and make sure it fits comfortably and doesn't cover to much of your eyes. Make adjustments as needed.


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Easy as that! As you can tell both of my children liked the mask for the brief time I left them on. Hopefully they will leave them on Halloween night so we can get at least one good picture. I told them that if they don't like them we can always pull them up so the mask sit at the top of their heads. The No-Sew Felt Mask are super easy to make and the best part is how cheap they cost. I spent maybe $1.50 total on supplies (2 sheets of black felt aprox. .20cents each; 1 thing of elastic cord aprox. .90cents) and I still have enough left to make at least two more. There are several different ways you can make your felt mask, you can double up the felt so the mask will be thicker and most likely last longer, buy black elastic cord so it blends in better (the black elastic cost more for less so I stuck to the white), or use any color felt and glue designs on it to make the mask resemble an animal or super hero. I was short on time so this is how I decided to make our masks, especially because I don't need them to last super long/I know they won't with toddlers playing with them. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and your little one enjoys wearing their new mask!


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