DIY! Homemade tutu and dinosaur feet… for the kids who want to be everything

Yesterday was crafty craft Friday! Two projects I’ve been wanting to try: DIY dinosaur feet and a homemade tutu. Both are relatively cheap thrills and the dinosaur feet are especially super simple. I’d probably have the kids do that one more often if I had easy access to proper tissue boxes (see below).

So here we go… the imperfectionist’s crafternoon:

DIY Project #1: Homemade tutu!

Ok, so this was totally more for me than for Bebe; she never asked and I never really told her we were doing it. But she was a patient enough mannequin for a 2-year-old.

I took about a meter of tulle, elastic for the waistband, and a ribbon to jazz it up a little with a bow in the back. The ribbon was totally unnecessary and more annoying than it was worth. The waistband doesn’t necessarily look professional but this was a total ‘I’m gonna think about this till I actually just do it’ project so I wasn’t going for perfection.

Clearly a project for a mama or papa and not the 2-year-old, though older kids can totally get the job done with some supervision.

  1. Measured the elastic for the waist, and measured out the tulle for skirt length; basically went a little below the knee, doubled that, and added an inch more. Cut the tulle into about 3 inch strips, give or take for variety (and because, you know, imperfection).
  2. Sewed the elastic for the waist band.
  3. Extra, unnecessary step: I midway became inspired to pretty up the waistband by loosely sewing a purple ribbon so there would be a bow at the back. I’m sure there’s a better way to do this after finishing the tulle part. I’d do that next time.
  4. Fun fact: if you lose the ribbon method I did, it’s a no-sew affair.
  5. Setup: I put the waistband around one of those kiddie play strollers so I could work off it at eye level, sitting on the floor.
  6. Now, the knots. I folded each tulle strip in half, and the loop end went a bit above the elastic; I looped the rest through it and tightened. Then tied again with an extra knot.

It’s a bit tedious but it’s cute and Bebe had a fun time running around pretending to be a bird. Glad I could make that happen!

Here’s the original idea I used.

DIY Project #2: Dinosaur feet!

After two weeks of sick I finally acquired the essential ingredients for the dinosaur feet project: cardboard tissue boxes. It’s a rare commodity here in Israel – our tissues usually come in bags.

(See why it’s so hard to get your craft itch scratched here?)

This is super simple for the kids, and a fun (but probably short term) game when it’s done.

  1. Get two tissue boxes, paint color of your choice, paintbrush, surface mat.
  2. Have the kid paint the boxes.
  3. Leave out to dry.
  4. In the meantime, cut out the ‘toes’ or ‘claws’ depending on what your kid’s dino style is.
  5. When the boxes are dry, attach the claws. I ended up folding them in the back, taping each piece together where you wouldn’t see, and gluing as a unit to the boxes.

Totally effortless on my part, except for green paint bath cleanup. Koala stomped around until he discovered it’s a bit slippery which is way more fun.

Here’s the original idea I used.

Happy crafting!

DIY craft hack: Turn DVD cases into kids’ travel coloring kits

It was time, folks. It was long time. To empty all the kids’ DVDs from their bulky plastic cases and… well, for lack of a better idea, throw them into a drawer under the TV.

But the cases… oh the thousands of cases…

Ok, it was about 25. But still! So much plastic. Which I wasn’t sure they’d recycle here.

So I did a quick search and found Stacy! Who figured out a crafty way to handle such resources!

Thing is, Stacy is pretty awesome and managed to make a really pretty version of what I did below – a DVD case-inspired colored pencils kit. Check out her site for the proper step-by-step if you’d like to do the project elegantly, with grace.

But if you’re a sloppy, messy hack like me, here’s how you do it in 30 minutes or less:

Hack together Create your own DVD case-turned travel coloring kit

1. Pick the right DVD case and slice it up

I can’t be trusted with a box cutter. It’s just how it is. So the huz did the knifing to cut out the disk part of the case.

The point is to create a flat surface for a background.

Pro tip: Choose a DVD case where the edge of the raised disk holder part isn’t touching the clasp for the case. You still want the case to shut properly when you’re done.

2. Create the new background, with pocket

I took a thin piece of cardboard – actually, the bottom of a gift box – and cut it to fit into the now hollow back of the DVD case.

To create a pocket, because I’m lazy and was not going to figure out the whole fabric thing, I cut the sleeve off an old t-shirt and cut it, wrapping it around the front and then gluing it at the back. Then I glued the whole cardboard piece to the back of the DVD case.

Pro tip: The DVD cases come with a plastic cover over the outsides, where the DVD cover art is slipped in. You can easily remove it, flip it over, and decorate the front yourself (see step 3). So when you’re gluing the cardboard to the back, put something between the plastic sheet and the gaping DVD hole so glue doesn’t stain the sheet.

3. Decorate the outside of the case

I stuck puffy letters onto the back of the original DVD cover art (mwahaha Dora!). Granted, I skimped here a bit, but I had already put in a couple hours (it’s 30 minutes if you’re not easily distracted).

Voila! Shreds-of-paper-and-t-shirt-bits-everywhere later, and I created a travel coloring kit for my kids to fight over while we’re at restaurants!

Don’t you love those handy clips on the left for keeping paper inside?

Looking back, it was a cute messy project, but I wouldn’t do it again. I’m wondering if there are other DVD case inspired projects I could try.

Or if I can manage to stuff all these cases in the circular openings of the plastic-recycling cages.