diy halloween costumes

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Each year it seems our kids get more and more excited for Halloween and begin plotting their costumes months in advance. This year was no exception and our kids couldn’t wait for us to get started on their Superman, Pippi Longstocking and Flash costumes! Since neither one of us has a sewing machine or the know-how to sew a costume from scratch, we love to create “no-sew” costumes for our kids. Last year we found a brand of kids clothing called Primary, which allowed us to easily make colorful no-sew costumes for our kids. Primary has now become our go-to brand for kids’ costumes not only because they are comfortable, but they have a large assortment of styles in an endless array of colors. The fact that nothing is over $25 also sweetens the deal quite a bit!

 Superman

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For Henry’s Superman costume we started with the long sleeve pj top and the pj pant in Cobalt. For the Superman logos, we used red and yellow felt squares, and for his cape we used a 1 yard piece of red felt. We wanted to make our lives simple, so we used superhero stencils that we found on Max California. To use the stencils, we printed the artwork out on card stock at 71%, and then cut each template out with an X-Acto knife.

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To make Superman’s red S, we placed the S template upside down on the red fed and traced around it with a Sharpie. Then we traced the diamond template on the yellow felt. After we cut out the red S and yellow diamond, we glued them both together using felt glue. To finish off Henry’s shirt, we glued the Superman logo onto the front of the blue pajama top.

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To create our Superman belt, we drew a diamond shape for the front of the belt and then long narrow sides. We cut out the belt and glued it to the front of the pajama pants using felt glue. Then we cut a thin red strip of felt, the same width as the front belt, and glued it to the waist band on the back of the pajamas. We wanted to make sure we made the belt out of two pieces of felt fabric, that did not connect at the sides so that there was still some give in the waist band.

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No Superman would be complete without his cape! To make Henry’s Superman cape, we cut a long 2.5 foot trapezoid out of a 1 yard piece of red felt. We cut a half moon shape about 6 inches long, out of the top of the trapezoid so that the top of the cape would fit right along the neckline of the back of the pajama top. The logo on Henry’s cape is larger than the logo on his shirt, so we printed the Superman template onto white card stock at 100%. Then we traced the S template onto a yellow piece of felt, cut it out and glued it to the red cape with felt glue. We didn’t want to attach the cape permanently to the pajama top just in case Henry wanted to wear the costume without the cape later on, so we attached the cape using fashion tape.

Pippi Longstocking

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Mia’s Pippi Longstocking costume could not have been easier! We started with the Primary short sleeve dress in Cobalt and the sleeveless dress in Grass. Then we cut the hem from the bottom of the blue and green dresses in a haphazard way so that the hems looked more ragged. It’s important to cut the green dress shorter so that you can see the blue dress underneath. To make sure the sleeves of the blue dress matched the rest of the costume, we cut the hem off the short sleeves as well.

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To create the patches of Pippi’s dress, we cut several squares out of colorful bandanas that we found at Michaels. Then we glued them to the front and back of the green dress using felt glue.

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We wanted to make the patches on her dress look more authentic so we sewed large stitches around each patch using black embroidery floss. This step is by no means necessary so feel free to skip it.

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We wanted to give Mia braids that stuck out just like the real Pippi Longstocking, but we also wanted her to be comfortable for a full night of trick or treating. This meant we had to come up with a way to make her braids stick straight out that was more comfortable than using the traditional coat hanger trick. We started with an inexpensive plastic headband and hot glued four red pipe cleaners to the bottom 2 inches of the headband, on the outside of each end of the head band. Then we wrapped a red pipe cleaner around the four pipe cleaners on each side, hot gluing as we wrapped it around the base of each side of the headband.

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Once Mia was dressed in her costume, we placed the headband on her head and braided her hair around each end of the pipe cleaners. We secured the ends of her hair with rubber bands and then trimmed the ends of the pipe cleaners. Voila…stiff Pippi braids that she can wear all night long!

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Most pictures we found of Pippi Longstocking had her wearing mis-matched tights or socks. To create this look we bought a pair of red tights and a pair of red and white striped tights on Amazon. In order to make it look like Mia was wearing one red stocking and one striped stocking, we cut one leg off of the striped pair of tights and had her wear them over the red tights.

Flash

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Charlie decided to be Flash months ago because he loved his lightening bolts and super sonic speed! We started with Primary’s long sleeve pj top and pj pant in Cherry. We printed the flash logo templates we found on Max California onto card stock and traced the templates onto white and yellow felt. In order to get the logos just the right size, we printed the templates at 71%.

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Using the felt glue, we glued the smaller white circle on top of the larger yellow circle, and then glued the yellow lightning bolt on top of the white circle. Once all the pieces were in place we glued the logo to the front of Charlie’s shirt.

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To create the lighting bolts on Charlie’s arms and waist, we folded a piece of yellow felt in half and drew 2 long, narrow lightning bolt shapes on the yellow felt. Then we cut along the lines and unfolded the felt. Using felt glue, we glued one of the long narrow bolts to the front of Charlie’s shirt at the waist, and glued the second narrow lightning bolt to the back of Charlie’s shirt at the waist. It is important to make sure that the lightning bolts line up on the sides, but that they are not glued together so that the shirt can still stretch. For the sleeves, we folded another piece of yellow felt in half, drew 2 shorter lightning bolts and cut them out along the lines. We cut those lightning bolts in half to give us 4 bolts. Then we glued each lightning bolt to the front and back of Charlie’s sleeve, making sure that the ends of the bolts lined up on either side.

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Charlie’s Flash mask was a fun puzzle to solve! We hadn’t made a mask from scratch before, but with a little ingenuity we figured out an easy way to construct one.

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Starting with the lighting bolts on the side of the mask, we drew a lighting bolt template onto a piece of card stock and cut it out. Then we traced it onto the yellow felt to create four lightning bolts and cut each one out. We glued two lightning bolts together, making sure not to glue the last 1/2 inch together so that we could eventually open the ends and glue them to the mask.

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To create the mask shape, we traced a sleeping mask onto a piece of red felt. Then we drew a 2 inch wide and 3 inch long band at either side of the mask. Flash’s mask has points at the bottom, so we added points to the bottom of ours. Once our drawing was complete, we cut out the mask. We had Charlie place the mask over his eyes, then we gently drew ovals on the felt where his eyes were. We had him remove the mask and then we cut out the ovals to create holes for his eyes. Once the glue was dry on the lightning bolts we opened the un-glued ends and glued them to each side of the mask using the felt glue. To make sure the lighting bolts stayed in place while the glue dried, we placed a heavy book on top of the mask. Once the glue was dry we sewed elastic to the sides of the mask.

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The beauty of Primary’s clothing is that we were able to create Halloween costumes that will last far longer than any store bought ensemble, which means our kids can wear their costumes morning, noon and night…and anywhere in between! Knowing our kids that could mean they’ll be wearing these costumes until next Halloween!

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Ashley + Hallman

lunchbox inspiration

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Packing school lunches can be a challenge and we all need a little inspiration every now and then. A packed lunch can get boring very quickly, especially when you are busy and tired…as all parents are! Here a few of our favorite ways to bring a little variety to your lunchbox.

Pack Frozen Smoothies

Our kids love smoothies and it is a great way to sneak in extra fruits and vegetables! These colorful popsicle molds make it easy to  include them in a lunchbox. Modern Parents Messy Kids has some great tips and recipes for lunchbox smoothies and you can find more recipes here and here.

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Modern Parents Messy Kids

Pasta Make Everything Better

If your kids love pasta as much as our kids love pasta, then it can be a great base to add protein and vegetables for your kids’ lunchbox.

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Martha Stewart

Make Food Fun

There is nothing that will make your kids smile more than something silly or different in their lunchbox. Cookie cutters, candy google eyes and fun toothpicks are sure to be a hit with your kids. We also love to include these Lunchtime LOL notes each day to make our kids giggle. Here is a great source for lunchbox supplies to keep things fun.

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Land O’ Moms

Go Beyond Peanut Butter & Jelly

Kids can easily get bored with sandwiches. Mix it up with different fillings, different bread or even no-bread sandwiches. Our kids love when we include a bagel sandwich, a wrap or sandwich pinwheels.  These Apple Cheese Wraps from Weelicious are a great example of no-bread sandwiches. There are tons of creative ways to make a sandwich, these 10 sandwich recipes are a great place to start.

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Weelicious

Make Kabobs

Kids love kebobs! You can make kabobs with fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and even mini sandwiches bites. Anything with a toothpick is fun for kids to eat.

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Following My Shoes, Make Ahead Lunchbox Ideas

Here’s a few more lunchbox tips  and our favorite printable lunchbox notes.

Happy Packing!

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Hallman + Ashley

fun with washi tape

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Replenishing our kids’ school supplies is definitely one of the highlights of the new school year. Our kids just love stocking up on brand new colorful pens, crayons and paper, and we always walk away with a few new supplies of our own. One item we are drawn to is Washi tape. The DIY, organization and crafting possibilities are endless and we just can’t help picking up a few new rolls each time we are in the craft store or Target. Now that our tape collection is suitably refreshed with a few new bright colors, we are on the look out for new, inspiring ways to get crafty.

Kid’s crafts

Whether it’s transforming an ordinary cabinet into a doll house or creating a race track for toy cars, kids love getting crafty with a few rolls of Washi tape, so let their imagination run wild!

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Ikea

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Amy Di Stasio

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City Mom

Decor

Washi tape is a colorful and inexpensive way to transform any room or fixture, but best of all it’s temporary so if you change your mind a few weeks down the road you can always take it down!

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Apartment Therapy

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IDA Interior Lifestyle

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I Spy DIY

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Design Sponge

Organization

We use Washi tape as labels to keep electronic chords and food items organized, but it also makes the perfect custom calendar or bookmark!

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Brit & Co

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The Chic Site

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HGTV

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Paper and Pin

Gift Wrap

We are always looking for creative, new ways to make our gift wrap extra special, and using Washi tape is a wonderful way to add a pop of color to any present.

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Lines Across

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Shari’s Berries

Happy taping!

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Ashley + Hallman

pouch patrol

How often do we reach into the bottomless pit of our tote bags, scrambling to find a lip balm, or schlep that same tote bag into a store when we really only needed our wallet and keys? We have recently become completely obsessed with using pouches in every size and color because they are the ultimate multi-tasking accessory.

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We use bags like this Legend of Lido pouch for everything, from organizing our kids’ snacks and toys to a night on the town. We especially love how Happily Eva After paired her colorful clutch with jeans and leopard sandals to give her outfit some pop! Because we can’t get enough of these pouches, we’ve put together a collection of our favorites that can seamlessly go from a tote bag accessory to an evening clutch:

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1. Mark and Graham Foldover Clutch ($29.99), 2. Legend of Lido Rays of Aloe Pouch ($89), 3. Bungalow LA Kampala Travel Bag ($42), 4. Monserrat De Lucca Leather Pouch ($150), 5. Baggu Leather Clutch ($29), 6. Mark and Graham Leather Pouch ($49.99), 7. Sole Society Faux Leather Clutch ($44.95), 8. Legend of Lido Jaipur Pouch ($72), 9. Herschel Clutch ($44.99), 10. Madewell Small Zip Pouch ($18.50)

Happy Shopping!

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Ashley + Hallman

the best lunchbox notes

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We started writing lunchbox notes for our kids in preschool, when they had trouble saying goodbye and needed a little extra love at lunchtime. We still love writing lunchbox notes for our kids, but it is really hard to come up with something new every day. There are A LOT of lunches to be packed during the school year! If you are like us, the mornings are really crazy and at night we are too tired to do much prep for the next day.

Thank goodness for printable lunchbox notes! We found some really cute lunchbox notes that can be printed and cut out in a flash. They hold up better if you print them on card stock, but plain copy paper will do just fine! Spend an hour prepping a stack of notes on the weekend so you can slip one into your kid’s lunchbox each morning. You will look like Super Mom with minimal effort!

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One Charming Party

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hello, Wonderful

 

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Fresh Mommy Blog

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A Whole Lot of Tiny

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Alice & Lois

If you want a cute template with a blank space to write your own know, check out these cute lunchbox notes from Minted. If you don’t want to mess with printing or cutting, we love these Lunchtime LOL notes.

Here’s to a great school year!

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Hallman + Ashley

colorful front doors

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London was my home for nearly 9 years. There are so many things that I love about London, but the colorful front doors all over the city can brighten the rainiest of days. The good news is that you don’t have to live in London or rent a charming flat to have a colorful front door. Painting your front door is an inexpensive way to up your curb appeal and transform the look of your home.

There are so many amazing colors that it can be hard to make a choice. Even colors that feel too bold for the interior of your home can make the perfect statement on your front door. If you are having trouble picking a color or a shade The Decor Fix  and A Life in Full Color both have a great list of paint colors for front doors.

Blush, Pink and Coral

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Apartment Therapy

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Apartment Therapy

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 Orange, Yellow and Red

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Say Yes

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One Kings Lane

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Domino

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Sarah Richardson Design

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Blue, Green & Purple

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Bright Bazzar

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One Kings Lane

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Southern Living

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One Kings Lane

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Cheers!

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Hallman

back to school photo ideas

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The first day of school is a mere two weeks away for our kids! This Summer has just flown by, and while we are relishing the last few days of Summer with our kids, we have started to think about preparing for the upcoming school year. One of our favorite moments to capture is their first day of school and each year we try to come up with a creative new way to photograph it. It’s not easy to get the kids to stand still for the perfect photo, so we like to give them a prop to make the photos more fun. We’ve come up with a few creative and easy ideas for photographing the kid’s first day of school that will make everyone smile!

Polaroid Frame

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Creating a mock Polaroid frame was a great way to get our kids to pose for their close up. It also let us include information on their grade and date. To create the frame we cut a square hole out of a large piece of white foam core that we found at Michaels. We used large, colorful letter stickers to note the grade and date, but you could easily use any markers or crayons you have on hand.

Stack of Books

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Our inspiration for this idea was the middle school task of covering school books in paper grocery bags. After we covered some books from our own shelves in grocery bags, we used black letter stickers to indicate our kids’ grade and date. If you don’t have stickers you could hand write the grade and date with pens or even crayons. For a pop of color we added an apple to the top of the books. A helpful hint if you’re adding the apple: be sure to tape it to the book, otherwise it will topple off pretty easily. For an easy tutorial on how to cover a book, check out our article on DIY book covers.

Chalkboard Talking Bubble

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This was a really easy photo to take because all you have to do is ask your child to shout “hello” or say the phrase on the talking bubble! To make the talking bubble prop we cut the bubble out of a large piece of black foam core. Then we rubbed white chalk all over the bubble and wiped it of with a paper towel. Using the same chalk we wrote our phrase. We love this prop in particular because we were able to erase and re-write the information for each child!

For more fun and easy first day of school photos check out our post from last year.

Happy first day of school!

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Ashley + Hallman