Thursday, January 24, 2013

Plush Toothless - Free Pattern!

I don't like to post things that don't turn out perfectly.

I do anyway, but i don't like it.

I was so excited when I came across Katy A.'s  pattern for a Plush Toothless (from How To Train Your Dragon) that I put aside my other projects and started on it the same day. Mine didn't turn out NEARLY as cute as hers, but I've never made such a complicated plush before, so i count it a win anyway.


The instructions are brief, and at times a little unclear, but if you are an intermediate/advanced sewer you probably can figure it out with the help of the images.

Here are a few of my tips:


The fleece i used stretched a bit while i was sewing, so his back and tail are a bit crooked. This happened because i sewed down one side, around the tail, then back up the other side. If i had to do it over, i would have started at the top (the neck) and sewed down to the tail on both sides so the stretch was going the same direction.

I'll say right now, the legs were a pain. My advice is to put them on a bit sooner than the instructions say to to avoid having to work around the big lump of body, wings, and fins. Even so, you may find it easier to hand sew them.

Lastly, USE THIS LINK! It's a visual aid to putting the head together, which is probably the most complicated part of the dragon.



So he's not perfect. So he looks like he desperately needs to go on a diet. That's okay with me, because i still think he's cute, and my kids adore him. Really, that's all that matters. :)

Want to make your own? (or at least see what it can look like when done correctly?)

You'll have to zoom in. The links to the free printable pattern pieces are below.

Have fun!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Angry Bird Snacks - "Poppin' Mad" Popcorn

I can't take credit for this idea. I found it on pinterest, which led me HERE. I love the colors and setup of this party. She's either got much more money or much more talent than I do. Take a moment to check out her photos. (i also plan to do the "smashed piggies" Jello cups. What genius!)

Anyway, I saw her picture for "Poppin' Mad" popcorn in official Angry Birds TNT boxes and i just HAD to do it for our party! But as much as i searched, i could not find a printable template anywhere.

Thanks to Vanessa over at The Sew*er, The Caker, The CopyCat Maker, I found a good quality printable for the TNT boxes. With a little tweaking on some draw software, I created a template that can be printed on a regular sheet of letter-sized cardstock.

(I didn't have any popcorn, so i swiped some candies from my husband's stash)

Here's a quick rundown on how to put it together. You'll need:


-Box Printable (found at the bottom of this post)
-Glue
-Scissors

Cut out pieces. Fold along all the squares and tabs, like so.


Glue the spare piece onto one of the end tabs.


Attach the two ends.


Glue the bottom.


Done! They look pretty small on paper - they're 3 inch squares - but they will hold a good 2 cups of whatever you're putting in them, which is plenty of popcorn for a kid to snack on all at once.

Note: These boxes are topless and somewhat flimsy (unless you use really heavy paper). Good for popcorn or lighter contents, but not for anything super heavy. It held the candies okay, but it was bulging at the sides a bit.

Here's the printable! As always, personal, non-commercial use only, please.

Update: 


The previous service i used started limiting access, so i switched to google docs.

To download the file!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Angry Bird Masks + Printable

Thanks so much to everyone who has given me so much love over the How To Train Your Dragon party! I love theme parties, and though we can't afford to do all the kids birthdays like this, I'm glad we at least get one big one a year. E and R's birthdays are less than a month apart, so we combine theirs.

This year's "Big Birthday Bash" is Angry Birds! Everyone is doing parties like this these days, so i have found no shortage of ideas and resources (Pinterest is LOADED). The trick is picking and choosing what will fit my budget and our young group of  4-7 year olds.

I'll be posting my preparations as i have time and finish things - there are far too many tasks on my to-do list for the next two months, so while I really want to blog things here as they happen, we'll just have to play it by ear.

Anyway, I finished one piece of the party yesterday. Masks!




I saw THIS picture on Pinterest, from a birthday party where they made their own masks. The little poem, ("Take a mask, take a crown, take a pic and do not frown") really sparked my interest, and I LOVED the idea of having a photo booth at the party! I've been trying to find games and activities that didn't involve throwing things (though there will be one of those two - i just want a bit of variety).

I couldn't find a mask pattern i liked, so I sat down and made my own out of colored cardstock i had laying around from my scrapbooking days. Since it's a younger crowd, i cut out all the pieces for them, but if you're hosting older kids, you can just trace them and have the kids cut them out themselves. It'll save you a TON of time and scissor-blisters!


All masks are basically the same shape except for the yellow bird, who is triangular instead of round. I made up samples for reference:




At the party I'll have a background, which i plan to make out of a light blue bedsheet with paper cutouts to make it look Angry Bird-ish, where the kids can pose with their masks. I'll either send the parents digital copies of the photos, or print them out and send them with thank you cards.

Here's the fun part: I have a new printer! It's a fancy all-in-one with scanner/copier/fax that i got for half price over boxing day. Why do i mention this? Because with this new machine, i can now scan my templates into PDFs for your use! (and i found out how to post them here on the blog)

Just scroll to the end of this post for the free download. **Remember they are for personal, non-commercial use** The pieces are all labeled so you know which piece goes with which layout. If Scribd doesn't work for you, you can e-mail me as always and I'll be happy to send the templates to your inbox.

bugbooandbean (at) gmail (dot) com!


Enjoy!! 
(and leave some love - comments and praise make me more likely to do stuff like this - hahaha!) 






linking up: 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Valentines Printables Roundup

I love home made valentines. I also love to give a little treat with them, but kids seem to get way too much candy, especially during the winter months (we still have Christmas candy kicking around in February).

Dollar stores and party sections are great for little prizes to give out, and you can find all sorts of fun printables to go with them. A couple years ago, I saw THIS POST on Crap I've Made, and I wanted so badly to do this for my boy's preschool. Sadly, I couldn't find frogs ANYWHERE! So I had to go with something else.

But this year, I found them!! They were in little bags of ten in the party section of Wal-Mart.

I wanted my frog to be sitting on a lily pad, so i put together my own rather than using the one i'd found (though hers are still super cute).


I printed them out on cardstock at home and attached the frogs with double sided 3-D dots from the scrapbooking section of the store (they didn't have regular glue dots).


I think they turned out pretty cute.

For the younger ones' preschool, I got some different frogs  - the hoppy kind.

Since they're so much bigger, i had to use a different card. This one's a bit more simple.


I attached the frogs with one small dot on each front hand. 

Here are some more of my favorite simple valentine printables from around blog-land:

"Just Plane Awesome" - Toy airplanes (Another version HERE)

"A-maze-ing" - Small maze toys

"Just Write" - Pencils (Just found this today - i'll do it next year! So cute!)

"You're Tops" - tops

"I want Kazoo..." - Kazoos

Valentine Butterfly - suckers

"Have a Super Valentines" - suckers

"You Make My Heart Glow" - Glow Sticks

And if you liked mine, here's my printables. As always, if Scribd doesn't work for you, feel free to e-mail me and i'll send the PDF to your inbox!



Enjoy!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dragon Party Armour Part 2: Swords and Shields

It's finally here!! Two tutorials in one!!

When I had originally put the party together two years ago, I hadn't taken many process photos. The tutorials I put up were done after the fact, and I just hadn't gotten to the swords and shields, despite the best of intentions.

So, after many requests, here is the tutorial at last!

For these two projects, you will need:

- Sturdy Cardboard (boxes or sheets, whatever you have): The swords and shields need thicker cardboard than the helmets. I found diaper boxes are fairly sturdy. Anything that carries heavy cargo - the boxes we bought our kitty litter in actually held up the best.

- Something round to trace (unless you're freakishly good at drawing a perfect circle). However big you want your shield to be - i used a plastic bowl lid that measured just shy of 11 inches across, and it was the perfect size for my pint-sized guests.

- Another something round, but smaller - for the center piece, the "boss". I used a plastic cup, tracing the bottom which was about 2 1/4 inches in diameter. 

- Pencil or pen

- Box cutter

- Tape: silver or grey duct tape, regular masking tape, and maybe some clear box tape just in case.

- Glue gun

- Paper - Draw your own sword, or print the template. The tip of mine is curved because it was for children 5 and under - i didn't want any eyes lost.


- Scissors

- Brown paint (optional)

open your box and trace and cut out shapes. You will need 2 or 3 identical shapes for one sword, depending on how strong you want to make them. I only used two layers, because i had to make 13 swords. Some of them did hold up well, but others bent after a little use. For a sturdier sword, i'd suggest using three. 

DO NOT cut the shields on a crease in the cardboard.

Yes



NO!

IMPORTANT: Make sure the two swords are cut on a different grain. One horizontal and one vertical, or both diagonal in opposite directions, however you are able to cut them on your cardboard.


 

 The crease is not as important on the swords, since you're gluing multiple pieces together, and the grain of the other piece should support the crease in the one. Try not to allow too many bends, though. 

cut them out carefully with the box cutter. MAKE SURE you have something underneath to protect your surface. And extra piece of cardboard, cutting mat, whatever you have.

Tip: Even though we're cutting cardboard, i found it easier to use scissors on the boss (the small center circle), since cutting small curves with a box cutter was really annoying. To make it easier, the boss can be cut out of thinner cardboard. it's not necessary for this piece to be thick and sturdy.

You will also need a straight strip, about 6 x 3/4 inches, cut with a horizontal grain:



Sword

 Glue your pieces together with hot glue. Or any glue, really, i just liked that hot glue is fast. That being said, work quick so the glue doesn't cool before you get your pieces together. I glued a few inches from the top, then carefully, trying not to bend the cardboard too much, slid the glue gun between the pieces and did a little bit more.

You'll be wrapping it up with tape, so it's not super important to get every little inch. Just enough to keep them together. The glue also helps it stay sturdy.

Tape the hilt with masking tape. I had a little trial and error to find out the best way to tape them to cover all the edges without showing too many ends, but you'll have some ends showing no matter what.


Then tape the blade. Use two big pieces of duct tape for either side. Trim the curve at the top.


Then use a half strip of duct tape and, starting at the base of the blade, run it along the edge of the blade.

 
About half strips: If you, like me, are making these for a party, you will be making a lot of them. you can unwrap the duct tape and cut it in half, but that is tedious and the tape more often than not sticks to itself (or maybe i'm just an idiot with tape). I had two rolls - one whole, and one i had cut into half strips. I just ran my box cutter down the center of the roll all the way around.


I didn't cut super deep, but enough to let me wrap a few things, and when i got to the end of the cut, i just used the box cutter again.  You use half strips for most of the shield, so it was worth it to me to have it cut that way.

Your sword should look something like this.

All that's left to do is paint the hilt. If you're having older kids, it might be a fun activity to have the kids paint their own. But if you're not up for the mess, you can do it before hand. Regular brown craft paint on masking tape actually gives it a nice wooden look.


 Shield

These are the pieces you need for your shield:


Run a long half strip of duct tape around the edge of the shield.


Flatten it well on both sides. If  your duct tape is like mine, it might not stick well to the cardboard. It might just bubble up like this:

You can hot glue it if you want - i tried that, and it worked but took a lot of time and caused a lot of aggravation. My solution was to first run a strip of box tape along the edge. It doesn't have to be the same size as the duct tape. If it's longer, it's hardly noticeable anyway.



Provided you tape better than i do. hahaha! The duct tape sticks so much better to the box tape, so it stays flat.

Once the edging is done, set it aside and tape the boss with half strips, like so:

I tried whole strips, but they don't cover the curves as nicely, so it ended up looking pretty boxy. The half strips just looked better.

Glue the boss to the center of the shield.

Make the handle: Take your strip of cardboard and measure in from each end 3/4 inches, then 1 1/2 inches.


crease and bend those parts carefully so as not to rip the cardboard, down on the 1 1/2 inch mark, and up on the 3/4 inch mark. It will look like this:


Then wrap the handle with half strips. It doesn't have to be all the way to the end, as we will tape those down after they're glued.


Glue the handle onto the back. Be generous with the hot glue. Then lay a couple extra half strips across the ends. This was just for security.


 I put the handle to the side, so that the shield lays across the forearm, like this.


 All done!


Some warriors designed their shields to depict their prowess in battle, or with a symbol of their house or status. At the party, we gave the kids markers and had them draw their own pictures on their shields.


Hope this helped!! Enjoy armouring your own little vikings!