DIY Halloween T-Shirts – Easy & Cheap

DIY Halloween T-Shirts – Easy & Cheap

It’s Fall!  That means Halloween is coming soon.  I think Halloween is my favorite holiday after Christmas.  I’ve always loved the costumes and decorations for Halloween.  It’s such a fun holiday for kids and adults.  I loved taking my kids trick or treating; these days I go with them to take the grandkids!  And when we’re not trick or treating I enjoy handing out candy from my witch’s caldron I keep on a table at the top of my driveway.  Of course we deck out the driveway with ghoulish props; we even set up a fog machine that spews fog all the way up the long driveway.  The neighborhood kids love it!

But in our family Halloween isn’t just celebrated on the last day of October.  We celebrate it all month long!  We start decorating at the end of September, play the neighborhood game “You’ve Been Booed”, make Halloween related crafts, go to a haunted house or two, throw a Halloween Party, and dress the kids in Halloween T-Shirts in the week leading up to Halloween.  Yes, it’s a month long celebration of spooky fun things!

This year I re-discovered the ease of iron-on transfers for DIY T-Shirts.  It was perfect timing.  Now that I’ve made Birthday Shirts for Jett and the twins, they have September birthdays, it’s time to turn my attention to Halloween. Since iron-on transfers are my current obsession why not combine it with my Halloween crafts.  So I’ve been busy designing and ironing on all sorts of ghouls, monsters, and Halloween stuff to just about everything I can think of.

One of my favorite projects are these Halloween T-Shirts.  They’re fun, easy, and very inexpensive to make.  Sure beats paying top dollar for Halloween T-Shirts the kids will only wear for a day or two.  In fact they’re cheap enough to make several Halloween T-Shirts for each kid, so he or she will have one to wear everyday leading up to October 31.

(This post has affiliate links to help you find the products I used.  Should you choose to make a purchase from the links, we get a small commission.  It helps keep this site going!  Thanks!)

halloween t-shirtsI’d considered making appliques tees, but decided against it.  I didn’t want to invest too much time making shirts that they’d only wear for a day or so; they’re sure to have outgrown them by the time Halloween rolls around next year.  That’s why iron-on transfer are perfect for this project!

You iron on anything you want on the t-shirts.  I made the Halloween Hello Kitty, and the witches’ feet for Harper, and the monster and jack-o-lantern for her twin brother, Sadi, and cousin Jett.

I even added their names to make their Halloween T-Shirts extra special. That’s what I love most about DIY T-Shirts, you can personalize them for free!  The letters fit on the same transfer sheet as the image, no waste!

Here’s what you’ll need to make Halloween T-Shirts for the children in your life.  They’ll love them!

Supplies:

T-shirt – They don’t have to be the best quality, remember they’ll only be used a few times.  I found the colored shirts on clearance at Walmart this summer.  They cost $2 each.  The white ones are actually Hanes undershirts, you can pick up a pack of 5 for less than $10 depending on the size.  In a pinch you can use any unprinted shirts you have at home.

Iron On Transfer Paper – There are several brands to choose from.  I use Avery Iron On Transfers; they’re available for dark and light colored material. When choosing which transfer paper to buy consider the color of the t-shirt.  For white and very light colors use the transfer sheets for light colored material; for dark colors use the dark colored transfer sheets.  Read my article on how to use iron on transfers for more details.  For my projects I used both types of transfer sheets.

Computer –  You can design your Halloween T-Shirt on the online software of the company who makes the transfer sheets or you can upload images from from phone or online photo sharing sites. Be respectful of copyrights, not all images on the internet are free.  You can find many images from sites like stockphoto.com, some are free others are not.  If you’re looking for some cool fonts check out dafont.com, they have lots of free fonts you can download and install on to your computer.

Printer – Once you’ve designed your shirt you’ll have to print it on the transfer paper.  Read my how to article for printing tips.

Scissors or craft knife

Iron – be sure it’s not on the steam setting

Hard Surface – NOT and ironing board.  I iron on my counter which I cover with a fabric remnant used only for this purpose.

Parchment Paper – most transfer paper comes with sheets of parchment paper for ironing on the transfer.  If yours doesn’t the parchment paper you have in the kitchen works just as well.

Directions:

Wash and dry t-shirt before you begin.  DO NOT use fabric softener.

Iron wrinkles out of the shirt and let cool completely before placing transfers on them.

Halloween T-shirtsDesign and print your transfer

Cut out images and letters they way you want to.  I used my Cricut Explore Air to design and cut my transfers, but if you don’t have an electric die cut machine you can use scissors or a craft knife to cut and trim your transfers.

Halloween t-shirts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re using dark color transfer sheets peel off the paper backing.

If you’re using light color transfer sheets DO NOT peel off  paper backing.

 

halloween t-shirtsPosition transfer on the cooled t-shirt.

For this shirt I used dark color transfer sheets so I peeled off the paper backing before I positioned it on the shirt.

It’s important the shirt is cool, otherwise the transfer will start to stick on and you won’t be able to re-position it without making a big mess!

I positioned the image and the letters on the shirt before I started ironing.

When I had everything placed the way I wanted I carefully placed a sheet of parchment paper on the entire transfer.  Be careful when you place the parchment paper on, make sure the edges of the transfer are flat on the t-shirt.  Otherwise the transfer will be wrinkled or its edges curled up after ironing.

halloween t-shirtsOnce you’ve done all that follow the manufacturer’s instructions; iron setting/temperature and time you need to press the iron on the transfer.

Be sure the iron is heated to the required temperature before you begin.

Starting on one end of the transfer press the iron firmly down on the shirt for the required time.  Do not more the iron around.  Apply as much pressure on the iron as you can to be sure that the heat goes thru the transfer.

Repeat this process until you’ve ironed the entire transfer.

Let the shirt cool completely before carefully peeling off the parchment paper (dark color transfers) or the paper backing (light color transfers).

If the transfer edges lift off the shirt replace the parchment paper or the paper backing and iron again.  NEVER place iron directly on the transfer.  You’ll  end up with a shriveled up mess.  Trust me on this!

When you’ve peeled off the parchment paper or backing you’re Halloween T-Shirt is ready to wear!

Halloween t-shirts

Have fun creating Halloween T-Shirts for your friends and family this year!  They make awesome favors for your Halloween party!

I’d love to see the designs you come up with.  Please share them with us!


Crocheted Solar System Crib Mobile

Crocheted Solar System Crib Mobile

My youngest daughter is having her second child any day now.  I’m here at her house in Vicenza, Italy, waiting for baby’s birth.  You might say I’m on baby watch.  Anyway for her layette my daughter decided on a planetary or solar system theme.  We ordered the crib set from Crate & Barrel complete with crib sheets, blanket, and changing pad cover.  To complete the look I made her a crocheted solar system crib mobile.

You might be wondering how one goes about crocheting a solar system crib mobile.  It’s really simple!  After all what are the integral parts of a solar system crib mobile?  Why planets of course!  And definitely a sun in the center.  So what are planets?  They nothing but balls of varying sizes and colors.

 

 

solar system crib mobileThat’s right think of that 6th. grade science project when you made a model of the solar system using styrofoam balls!  In my case I made crocheted balls in colors to match the planets and varied the sizes, you know Jupiter represented by the largest red ball, the earth in blue and green, and so on.  Of course the sun was yellow!  By the way this was a great way to use yarn scraps from other projects.  This mobile didn’t cost me more than the price of the hoop which was about $1.50 at Walmart.

Ok I didn’t make ALL the planets, just Jupiter, Saturn (with a crocheted ring tacked to the center of the ball), Earth, Pluto, and Venus.  But feel free to add as many of the planets as you want.

To make the balls I used this wonderful free pattern I found on Craftsy.  It gives directions on how to crochet 5 different sized balls and if you need a larger ball just follow the increase pattern and add as many rounds as you want.

https://www.craftsy.com/crocheting/article/how-to-crochet-a-ball/

After I made all the planets I attached them with yarn to the inside ring of a wooden embroidery hoop.  The planets obviously hang down and to hang the solar system crib mobile on the ceiling I attached 4 equal lengths of yarn to the hoop and tied the tops together in the center and folded it the tips over to form a loop.  Pretty much just follow the pictures, it’s pretty much self explanatory.

So here’s what you’ll need to make your own solar system crib mobile:

Yarn – you can use any color you want.  I used Yellow, red, blue, green, orange, purple, black, and white.

1 inner hoop of embroidery hoop set – you can use either the wooden ones or the plastic

Pattern from Craftsy click here!

 

Hope you love this idea!  Share your solar system crib mobile pictures, we’d love to see them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lowest prices on the best yarn - guaranteed at knitpicks.com

Easy Homemade Slime – 4 Ingredients – No Borax involved!

Easy Homemade Slime – 4 Ingredients – No Borax involved!

homemade slimeThe dog days of summer are upon us and we’re home with the kids wondering how to keep them busy.  Listening to kids complain about how bored they are, or worse yet seeing them spend half the day playing video games is making me crazy. I know I’m just about ready for school to start again and for football practice to begin.  So I decided it was time for some homemade slime!

Kids of all ages love homemade slime, even my grandson’s ever complaining friend Chase!  They think that making homemade slime is super cool.

There are quite a few different recipes for homemade slime, some of them requiring borax.  There’s even a recipe for glow in the dark slime and glittery slime.  But my grandson Devon opted for just good old fashioned slime so the recipe we used is super simple.

Our homemade slime recipe has just 4 ingredients and borax isn’t one of them.  Actually the 4th. ingredient is optional if you don’t what colored slime.  And I’m pretty sure you have at least 2 of the other 3 ingredients, or all of them if you wear contact lenses.

So without further ado here’s our super simple recipe!

This article contains affiliate links

Supplies:

1/2 cup Elmer’s Clear or White Glue (If you are going to color your slime use the clear glue for a more vibrant color.  The white glue results in sort of a creamy colored slime)

1 Tbs. Contact Lens Solution

1/2 Tbs. Baking Soda

Food color in color of your choice

Directions:

  1.  Pour glue into a mixing bowl.
  2. Add baking soda and mix
  3. Add food color and mix.  You can add more food color until you get the color you want.  Just remember to mix it well.
  4. Add Contact Lens Solution and mix until slime forms and it begins to get harder to mix.
  5. Remove from bowl and knead to get the right consistency.  If it’s too sticky add 1/4 tbs. more of the lens solution.
  6. Store in a sealed plastic container when not using.

Crocheted Jelly Fish Toy – Amigurumi – Free Pattern

Crocheted Jelly Fish Toy – Amigurumi – Free Pattern

crocheted jellyfishAs you may know by know my youngest daughter will be having her second child this summer and she’s kept me busy with all sorts of baby projects.  She’s been searching the internet for all sorts of cute and adorable things that I can make.  One of our favorites are these adorable crocheted jellyfish.

 

They’re very easy to make, beginners will catch on real quick!  And those curly tentacles, well think of them as free form crochet, you can make them as long as you want and as straight or curly as you want.

 

crocheted jellyfishI found the pattern for these adorable crocheted jellyfish online and I just had to share.  Of course I added my own touch by crocheting the ruffled fringe at the bottom.

The pattern I used is from One Dog Woof blog.  It was so nice of them to share!  You can use the online version for free or if you prefer you can purchase the ad free version from their Etsy or Craftsy stores.  Click here to see the online version of  the pattern.  To purchase just click on the links on their site, it should take you directly to their Etsy or Crafsy stores.

This post contains affiliate links

 

 

crocheted jellyfishAs you can see I couldn’t stop at just one crocheted jellyfish, I made 5!

I used 5 colors of Lion Brand Ice Cream Yarn.   This yarn comes in a variety of colors.  The ones I used are Strawberry, Grape, Mint, Blueberry, and Lemon Meringue.  They’re all variegated and you end up with a lovey combination of colors.

I used a 6mm hook but you can use whatever size you like to get the correct gauge.  Better yet experiment with different hooks and get variety of crocheted jellyfish in different sizes!

I also added the ruffle you see at the bottom edge of each crocheted jellyfish.  This is definitely optional, they look just as cute without.

If you want to add the ruffle just do this after you attach the bottom to the stuffed head:

*sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc in first stitch, sl st in next* Repeat all the way around ending with a sl st in the last stitch.  Fasten off and weave ends in.

Other than the changes I just mentioned I followed the pattern from One Dog Woof to the tee!

Click here for the pattern!

Love these adorable crocheted jellyfish? Check out the crocheted octopus pattern I shared!

 

 

Lowest prices on the best yarn - guaranteed at knitpicks.com

Round Up of Star Wars Crafts for Kids

Round Up of Star Wars Crafts for Kids

star warsHere we go again.  Just in time for summer vacation Disney is releasing the newest Star Wars movie.  This one’s called Han Solo – A Star Wars Story.

Just like Roque One released two summers ago this movie is not part of the original Star Wars saga.  Instead it’s a stand alone story designed to eventually tie all the movies together by filling in the background for characters and events brought to life in one of the movies starting with the very first Star Wars classic now called the New Hope or episode 4.  Long story and actually even debatable as to which order the first 6 movies should be viewed.  I’m not going to even get into that debate.  I’m a Star Wars fan pretty much but I’d hardly call myself a hardcore fanatic.

star warsRegardless what order one chooses to view the Star Wars saga I know that this latest addition will stir up interest in all things Star Wars yet again.  Just like how The Last Jedi stirred up interest in the later part of last year when it was released during the holiday season.

So to give you a heads up here are a few Star Wars related crafts that should keep the kids busy for a while.  So go ahead take them to see Han Solo and gather your craft supplies and let them get creative.   I know I’ll be taking the grandkids to see the movie and we’ll probably end up making some of the crafty things I’ve posted here!

By the way Star Wars aren’t just for kids, adults love them too!  I’ll be posting some crafting ideas and even recipes that are Star Wars related in the coming weeks so check out my posts this may get interesting!  If you can’t wait check out my round up of Star Wars  free crochet patterns!

star warsChewbacca Hand Puppet

Since the movie is clearly about Han Solo it’s only fitting that the first craft the kids make is this cute Chewbacca Hand Puppet.

A Grande Life gives you step by step instructions on how to make them out of brown paper bags!

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

star warsStar Wars Magnets

I just love these Star Wars Magnets by the Rural Mom!

They seem pretty easy to make, they look super cool, and they’re practical!

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

star warsStained Glass BB-8

BB-8 is the adorable little drone we met in The Force Awakens.  He’s become a favorite with kids and adults alike!

Here’s a frugal craft featuring this beloved character by Raising Whasians!

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

star warsYoda Puppet

Yoda is timeless.  Who doesn’t love this sometimes silly little green man with the pointy ears?  Learn how to make this super easy Yoda puppet from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

star warsSponge Printed Death Star

A round up of Star Wars crafts wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t make a Death Star.  Gotta have a Death Star!

Here’s a cool one from Crafts on Sea!

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

star warsLight Sabers

You know it’s all about the light sabers!  Here are 3 different crafts that make some sort of light saber.

Play Trains will show you how to make these super cute mini light sabers for your plush Star Wars critters to hold.  The kids can play with them too!

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

star warsThe mini light sabers a bit too small for you?  Or you’d prefer something a bit more educational.  How about these Light Saber Sensory Bottles by Little Bins for Little Hands?

They look super cool.  I’ sure the kids will love them!

Click here for instructions![spacer height=”-20px”]

 

 

 

 

 

star warsStill want something useful?  How about these Light Saber Popsicle Holder by Celebrating with the Bug?

 

Still looking for more Star Wars related crafts?  Check out my round up of Star Wars crafts for the Family.

Keep an eye out for more Star Wars crafts and even recipes!  I’ll be sharing some soon!

 

Ready for some Star Wars fun at the Disney Theme Parks?  Let us at help you plan an amazing Disney get away for you and the family!  Call us 808-372-7734!

 

cruise

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Comic Strip Frames & Boxes for Father’s Day

DIY Comic Strip Frames & Boxes for Father’s Day

Comic Strip Frames

In our family Father’s Day is sometimes overlooked, lost in the hustle and bustle of summer vacations, family reunions, and other events.   Determined not to let this happen I scoured the web last month for gift ideas my grandsons could make for their poppa, and uncles.  There were many great ideas out there, I even wrote a post, 12 Really Cool Father’s Day Crafts – FREE Printables, highlighting my favorites.

I showed the different ideas to my grandsons, Dion and Devon, they both loved the comic book decoupage frames and boxes. Devon especially loved the frames and wanted to put his picture wearing his Captain America costume in them.  Definitely right up his alley!  Dion decided he’d make the boxes and fill them with candy, he knows how much his dad and uncles like candy.  He’s filling his poppa’s box with coffee K-cups, his poppa’s a big coffee drinker.
These ideas came from Crafts by Amanda, aside from the frames and boxes she also makes comic strip magnets.   She uses comic book pages from comic books she was lucky enough to find at a garage sale for a quarter.  We weren’t so lucky, we didn’t have any old comic books laying around and I didn’t want to hit the garage sales in search of any.  Instead I found some free images of comic strips online (there are many, just do a google search for “free comic strip images”) and printed them to use for our craft projects, they worked just fine.
I found the unfinished frames at the Walmart craft department, they cost $1.11 a frame.  The paper mache boxes came from our local craft store and were $4.39 each for the large oval ones.  The boxes come in many shapes and sizes and ranged in price from $1.99 on up.  Mod Podge can be purchased at Walmart’s craft department and most other craft stores.  We used small sponge brushes that we got from Home Depot for .54 cents each, they have them at Walmart in the craft and paint departments as well.  This whole project ( 4 frames & 4 boxes) cost me less than $30 and I still have lots of Mod Podge glue and sealer left for future projects.  So the average cost for each frame and each box is about $3.75.  A great deal!
We pretty much followed the directions found on her site but added extra coats of Mod Podge glue (affiliate link)and a coat of Mod Podge gloss sealer (affiliate link).  Thanks to Crafts by Amanda we came up with super Father’s Day gifts that didn’t cost much and were very easy to make.  The boys made 4 frames and 4 boxes in a couple of hours, that’s including drying time between coats!  (The boys went out to play while they waited for the glue to dry, they are very good multi-taskers!)
I found that working with comic strip pages is very forgiving, the print is so busy you don’t really notice flaws such as wrinkles and seams.  A great craft for kids who aren’t always patient about gluing things together!
*Clicking on affiliate links will take you to our Amazon affiliate.
Comic Strip Frames
Here are instructions for the frames and boxes!
Supplies for frame:
Comic Books or printed comic strip images – if you are going to print them be sure to adjust the size on the printer so that the image will fill the page otherwise you may end up with a tiny image surrounded by white paper.
Mod Podge Original Glue – Matte finish
Mod Podge Acrylic Sealer – Matte Finish
Small sponge brushes
Scissors
Pencil
Newspaper or drop cloth to cover work surfaces
Comic Strip Frames
Directions:
1.  Position the frame on top of the comic strip page as best as you can so that you can have the images you want on the frame.  The boys tried to get as much of the super hero’s image on the frame as possible by shifting the wood frame around until they were satisfied that they weren’t cutting off “vital” parts. Trace frame onto comic strip page with pencil. To get the desired images you may have to trace two “C” shaped strips and connecting them when you position them on the wood frame.  We didn’t need to so we just traced the whole frame and the inside part as well.  Remember the rectangle you cut out of the middle won’t be placed on the wood frame.  We saved those pieces for later should we decide to make them into magnets or other craft.
2.  Cut out the traced shape being careful to cut the middle opening out without cutting into the surrounding piece.  Should you nip a bit of the outer piece don’t worry too much about it.  You don’t need to start all over, just glue it securely in place later on, you’ll probably hardly notice it.
3.  Brush a light coat of glue on the wood frame and on the backside of the strip or strips you will be using.  Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
4.  Carefully position the comic strips onto the glue coated wood frame (place the side of the comic strip you brushed glue on to the frame – both glue coated surfaces should be together).  The strip should lightly adhere to the wood.
5.  Working from the middle of the frame out, gently lift off the comic strip section by section and press onto the frame to work out bubbles and wrinkles.  You may have to dab on a bit more glue so that the strip sticks to the wood well.
6.  When you’re satisfied with the placement and have made sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles brush on a coat of glue over the entire surface.  You don’t have to soak the paper, just be sure you get the glue brushed on evenly on the whole frame.  Allow to dry 10 -15 mins, or until it’s no longer sticky.  We had a fan on so it didn’t take our glue to dry, it dried in about 5 minutes.
7.  Once the glue is dry check the frame, you may have to trim off excess paper at this point.
8.  Brush on 3 – 4 more coats of glue, allowing glue to dry between each coat.  About 10 – 15 minutes drying time between coats.
9.  After your last coat of glue allow the frame to dry for an hour.
10.  Spray on acrylic finish.  This is a job for adults to do outdoors or in a well ventilated area.  If you’re sensitive to chemicals wear a mask when applying the acrylic finish, it has a very strong smell and can’t be healthy.  Allow to dry at least an hour before inserting your photo.  We let ours dry overnight.
Comic Strip Frames
 
Supplies for box:
Paper Mache Box  – any shape or size
Small sponge brushes
Scissors
Pencil
Newspaper or drop cloth to cover work surfaces
Spray paint (optional – in your choice of color)
Directions:
1.  If you want to spray paint your box before applying the comic strip you can spray paint it in what ever color you want.  Allow it to dry completely before proceeding to glue on comic strips.  We didn’t paint ours.
2.  Position the lid on the comic strip page, try to include the images you want to apply to the lid.  Trace the shape of the lid on the page.
3.  Cut out the traced shape.
4.  Cut out 2 strips of the page in the width you desire – you can cut them as wide ad the sides of the box or slimmer so that you will have plain edges on the top and bottom.
5.  Brush glue on the box lid, sides of the box, and on the backside of your comic strips.  Allow to dry 5 minutes.
6.  Position the comic strips to on the lid and sides of the box.
7.  Working from the middle, gently lift off the paper and work out bubbles and wrinkles as you press it on to the box.
8.  When you’re satisfied with the placement and are sure you’ve worked out all bubbles and wrinkles brush on a coat of glue on the comic strips.  Don’t soak the paper, just be sure the glue is spread evenly.  Allow to dry 10 – 15 minutes.
9.  Once the glue is dry check all sides of the box and lid. You may have to trim away excess paper so that the comic strip is even with the lid and box.
10.  Brush on 3 – 4 more coats of glue, allowing glue to dry between each coat.  About 10 – 15 minutes drying time between coats.
11.  After your last coat of glue allow the frame to dry for an hour.
12.  Spray on acrylic finish.  This is a job for adults to do outdoors or in a well ventilated area.  If you’re sensitive to chemicals wear a mask when applying the acrylic finish, it has a very strong smell and can’t be healthy.  Allow to dry at least an hour before inserting your photo.  We let ours dry overnight.
Fill box with what ever you want or nothing at all, the boxes make great storage for cufflinks, coins, and other small stuff.
Comic Strip Frames