Kids Crafts

Kids Craft – Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts

I have this last Halloween post to share with you, before all the Christmas and Winter posts begin!

Here’s how to make some Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts with your kids (or use the same technique to make one for yourself of course!)…

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 1: Gather your supplies – a tee shirt each, some fabric paint and a plate to tip it onto, a paintbrush to stir, a black fabric pen, and some potatoes cut into Halloween shapes. We used a small circle as a spider, a larger circle / oval as a pumpkin, a tall oval with a zig-zag edge as a ghost, and two potatoes cut as bat wings to make a bigger bat:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

You will also need large pieces of card to put inside your tee shirts while you are painting – this stops the paint from seeping through to the back of your tee shirts:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 2: Protect your work surface if you want to, then spread some black paint onto the plate:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 3: Swirl the potato in the paint to make sure the design is covered in paint, then stamp it onto the tee shirts. Little ones may need help to make sure they use the right pressure when stamping:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 4: Wash the plate and paintbrush and repeat the stamping with the other designs, using one colour at a time. I had to mix yellow and red to make the orange for the pumpkins, which taught Cheeky Boy about mixing colours too. You won’t be able to see the ghosts on a white tee shirt, but stamp them anyway as we’re going to fix that in the next step:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Do you see the black line at the top of the white tee shirt? That’s where Little Miss dropped her potato and it rolled across the tee shirt. They can be a bit slippery! We decided to pretend it was a spiderweb!

Step 5: Once the paint is dry (we left ours to dry overnight to make sure, but it will depend on your fabric paint), you can then add details with the black fabric pen. Make sure you draw an outline around the ghosts on the white tee shirt:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

We also added the spider’s legs, eyes and mouths on the ghosts and pumpkins, and Little Miss added a speech bubble too, which says ‘we are spooky’. We then also added a couple of white blobs of fabric paint for the spider’s eyes, which we left to dry for a couple of hours before putting a small black dot in the middle of the eye with fabric pen:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cheeky Boy’s drawings were not as neat, but he was really enjoying himself so I just let him get on with it! I love the lopsided eyes he did, as they do look quite scary:

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

Step 6: Set your fabric paint and pens according to the instructions – if you need to iron it make sure you protect it with a cloth (like a tea towel). Then test your tee shirts out, with some face painting for good measure, and a walk on top of a misty, breezy hill!

Halloween Potato Print Tee Shirts at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were shouting ‘boo’ at anyone who walked past! These tee shirts could obviously be adapted to suit themes at different times of the year – snowmen and Christmas trees in the winter, Easter Eggs in spring etc. I’m sure we’ll be making more as they have loved wearing them!

Well I think we are all ready for Halloween. I will see you again soon to kick off the Christmas & Winter crafting!

Jennifer x

Cricut Explore

My Spooky Halloween Dining Room

This year Cricut EU have again challenged some bloggers to create a Halloween project using our Cricut machines. Last year I won the contest with my Halloween Hallway, so of course I was happy to take part again and create something new for Halloween!

I decided to spookify (totally a word, right?!) our dining room…

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cricut sent me some Window Cling, Vinyl, and Iron-On Vinyl, and I had so much fun using them. The kids were super impressed with the room, though of course they are now really excited about Halloween and I had to explain it’s still 2 weeks away!

The first thing I wanted to use was the Window Cling material, as I’ve never used that before. When I opened up a tab for Cricut Design Space the landing page showed lots of spooky projects, so I scrolled down to get some ideas. Here are some of them:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I was immediately drawn to this twirly spider web window cling design:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I clicked ‘customise’ rather than ‘make it now’, so that I could check the size and colours. I decided to leave the size as it was, and I just changed the purple spider to black (by clicking on the spider image in the layer panel, then clicking on the new colour) as I didn’t have any purple:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut the image from black & orange window cling material and weeded out all the bits I didn’t need:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Now this is when I had some trouble. I could not figure out how to stick the twirly spider web onto the window without getting into a big mess. I tried with 2 different types of transfer tape (having to pop into work to pick up a roll which I’d left there too) and neither worked – the tape seemed to be too sticky and the window cling material would not stay on the glass. It kept resulting in a tangled mess like this:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

After a few frustrated words (!) I went back to look at the ‘Spider Web Window Cling’ instructions from the landing page, and I discovered it sent you to look at THESE INSTRUCTIONS for window cling. I found out I should not be using transfer tape at all, but instead I should be reversing the image before cutting it, and using the backing of the cling material to help transfer it to the window. Now I felt rather silly – I’m always telling hubby off for not reading instructions!

So I went back and cut it again, making sure to tick the box to mirror the image:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

It worked much better this time, though it was still fiddly and I had to go very slowly. The spiders were a lot easier as I just peeled them straight off the backing and applied them by hand:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I decided to stick to some bold, simpler shapes for the rest of the window! I used the pumpkins from #M14BC40 and bats, a cat, and a spider from #M14BC38, both called Halloween Window Cling (by Lia Griffith), and a Spider Web Silhouette #M3D1D4e (from the Creepy Critters Cartridge):

 Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

They were a lot easier to apply to the window!

Next I wanted a dramatic tablecloth. I bought a big, cheap piece of black material, and looked for some images to cut from white and silver glitter iron-on vinyls. I chose some ghosts (#M3D1D70) and stars (#M4520B) to cut from white, and some spiders (#M46A3F) and the same stars to cut from silver glitter.

To make sure I fitted as much as possible onto one 12 x 12 mat, I set the canvas (click ‘set canvas’ on the left menu, and choose ‘basic canvas’ – it will automatically be a 12 x 12″ square), then rotated and enlarged my shapes to fill up the canvas. Once it was full I selected them all by dragging a box over them, and clicked on ‘attach’ to join them all together. If you don’t do that it will try to separate some of them onto different mats because of their automatic orientation. Here’s what my attached set looks like:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I cut these out then arranged the spiders and stars in the same way. Once the shapes were all cut and weeded, I placed them all over the tablecloth to work out where they would go – I didn’t worry about them being perfectly spaced, I just wanted pattern around the edge as I would have a centerpiece or maybe a buffet of food in the middle:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I put a tea-towel under the tablecloth and another on top of each shape one at a time, and went round ironing them all down until the tablecloth was finished:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

Finally I created the centerpiece. I found these candles on the Design Space landing page:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

So I cut the graveyard one (Pumpkin Carvings #8 – code #M43515) from black vinyl to stick on a candle. Then I found these treat boxes (the Coffin Box is #M3EBCC and the Spider Web Box is #M450EE):

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

And I put them together to place inside a plastic pumpkin treat bucket that belongs to my kids. The spider web box was difficult to put together, but luckily I found THIS TUTORIAL to guide me through it!

I also found another candle, and a lacy-effect scarf which I draped around the other items (and scattered some plastic spiders on top):

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’ll also point out I’m using flame-less LED candles on top of the candles, rather than actually lighting them – after hearing how Claudia Winkleman’s daughter was horribly burned because of her witch costume I will always avoid flames when the kids will be around.

Now I’m happy with our spooky Halloween dining room:

Spooky Dining Room using the Cricut Explore at Jennifer Grace Creates

The table just needs some treats and snack on it when the day finally arrives!

What do you think, spooky enough? I think the candle with the vinyl graveyard on is my favourite bit, and I’ll be able to easily swap it for a new design after Halloween!

If you need any more Cricut Explore Halloween inspiration check out this amazing Haunted House by Cosmic Strawberry, this Toilet Monster by Mum In The Madhouse, or these Table Decorations at Blue Bear Wood – the Cake Stand Tutorial on her craft blog Zing Zing Tree is particularly cool!

I’m linking up to a couple of Linky Parties – Spooktacular Halloween and Inspiration Monday!

I hope you all have a great week,

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including vinyl and window cling, and access to the Image Library, to help me write this post. However ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by Cricut in any way. I’m also entering this into a Cricut bloggers Halloween contest.

Kids Crafts

Halloween Monsters + Creature Consequences Game!

Hello all. Sorry it’s quiet here lately. As well as my part-time job in the school library and my volunteer work running a Rainbows unit, I am now also the Chair of the very busy PTA at my kids school. So my blogging is running a little behind. I hope I’ll find my groove eventually as my crafting and blogging is my haven from all the madness!

Today I’m sharing a new Try-It-Tribe project that me and the kids made with the help of Staedtler. We were challenged to design some Halloween Monsters, so we played a game of Creature Consequences (I’ll explain in a minute if you don’t know what that is) to come up with some ideas. Then the kids picked their favourites to copy onto white card, and coloured them in for us to stick up on the wall as Halloween decorations this year:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

Cheeky Boy’s is on the left, and Little Miss’ is on the right, in case you can’t tell! I was actually quite impressed with Cheeky Boy’s monster, it’s the first time I’ve seen him concentrate on getting eyes and ears in the right places. I almost tried to explain that monsters could have eyes and ears in the wrong places, but I thought that would totally confuse him at this stage of his drawing development! He did give his monster a wind-powered water canon, so that was creative enough!

So we started our ideas with a game of Creature Consequences. Here are the kids all ready to go. Little Miss was super excited to be playing an ‘art game’:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

I’m going to show you how the game is played – these drawings are all by me as no way would the kids let me take photos during game time, but normally you pass the paper around to another player between each fold.

1: Fold an A4 piece of paper for each player, so that it has 3 folds (four sections of paper). Basically fold it in half, then in half again. Then unfold it. Then, keeping it a secret (you shouldn’t be able to see each other’s drawings), each player draws a head at the top of the paper. You have to make sure the neck crosses the first fold slightly:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

2: Once you’ve finished the head you fold the paper a couple of times, so the head is hidden and all you can see is the little tiny bit of neck which you crossed over into the next section. Then you all pass the piece of paper to the player on your left, and draw a body in the next section, making sure the bottom of the body crosses into the next section:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

3: Repeat the folding and passing of the paper, then draw some legs:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

4: Repeat the folding and passing of the paper, and finish with some feet:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

5: Then the fun bit happens when you unfold the paper and reveal the monster:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

Here’s the monsters we ended up with during our game:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

The kids giggled a lot when they unrolled the monsters!

This is a great game as you can play it with any number of players. You could also use it for developing characters for stories. Or there is a ‘story consequences’ game where you write a boys name, a girls name, what he said, what she said, etc… rather than drawing.

Creature Consequences is great for Little Miss’ age (7) but was a bit hard for Cheeky Boy (age 4). I certainly wouldn’t play it with more than one child of that age. I did have to keep peeking at his to remind him to cross the picture over the line just a little bit. But he really enjoyed it and I know it’s something we will play again!

After the game they all looked at the monsters and chose what bits they’d like to use on a big picture. So I gave them a piece of A3 card each and they got drawing. Here’s Cheeky Boy explaining how the wind-power is going to work on his monster:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

They used a combination of Staedtler pencils and crayons for most of the drawings, then finished off with some touches of gold and silver metallic markers, and Little Miss used a fineliner on hers too:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

I love how unique they are!

I made my own monster too, of course:

Halloween Monsters and a Creature Consequences Game at Jennifer Grace Creates

He’s got gold toenails. I was really impressed with how well the gold metallic marker showed up on top of the purple pencil, these metallic markers are great if you want to draw on top of dark colours!

What do you think of our Halloween Monsters? Have you ever played Creature Consequences or Story Consequences?

I’ll have some more Halloween projects appearing over the next week-or-so! You can also check out the Staedtler Facebook Page or their Blog for more Monster inspiration!

Bye for now, Jennifer x

Disclosure: Staedtler sent us the products to use for this post, but all photos, text, and opinions are our own.

Cricut Explore

Halloween Hallway with the Cricut Explore

My daughter wanted our house to be creepier for Halloween. We don’t celebrate it in a big way, but we will dress up on the day, and we might get a few trick-or-treaters stop by, so I figured we could at least decorate our entrance hallway. Then anyone who stops by will get a spooky surprise, and the kids can have fun each time they run through!

Halloween Hallway:

Halloween Hallway with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

Little Miss said her favourite “Halloweeny thing” is bats, so my main aim was to create a colony of hanging bats all over the ceiling!

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

To create this I fired up my Cricut Explore and the Design Space, and chose a bat image (#M2E38A):

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

I dragged the corners to resize it at 9.5″wide, 4.27″ high:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

Then searched for the Score Line image:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

I duplicated the score line so I had 3 of them, and then positioned one in the centre of the bat, and one on each wing (turning on the guide lines in the design space can help you place the score lines in the correct place):

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

Once you are happy with the placement of the score lines, you need to drag a box over the bat and all three score lines, and click ‘attach’. This joins them all together so the machine knows to use it as one shape rather than separate layers.

Then click ‘go’ to send the shape to the mat preview. Here you can change it to make 2 projects (you need to click ‘apply’ after altering the number of projects). Rotate the bottom bat so that it’s upside down and manoeuvre it so it’s close to the top bat, this means there’s enough left from a 12×12 sheet of card for you to cut another bat, or use for a different project later:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

I cut my bats from a variety of black cardstock and black patterned papers. Once the Explore has finished cutting them you just need to gently fold along the score lines, like this:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

Keep going until you have lots:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

To attach to the ceiling you can pierce two holes near the top of the bat’s head:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

Tie through some cotton thread to match the colour of your ceiling. Knot it at the back and leave a long string:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

To tie mine to the ceiling I first pushed a couple of pins into the edge where the top of the wall meets the ceiling, and then tied some more of the cotton thread to the pins:

Hanging Bats

I had two running in straight lines along the ceiling, and then I tied a few more lines of string across the room so there could be bats in the middle of the ceiling too:

Hanging Bats with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

You can’t see the strings at all from below, it looks just like they are fluttering above us!

Seeing as the Cricut Explore was already set up I used it for some more room accents too!

I went to the landing page to try out some pre-designed projects, and chose the Halloween Luminaries. I clicked ‘customise’ rather than ‘make it now’, so that I could delete a couple of the lanterns – I just wanted the haunted house one. I didn’t make any changes to the size though. I also chose a Spooky Spiderwebs project to decorate my glass bowl, again I clicked ‘customise’, but this time I deleted all-but-one of the spider webs and re-sized it, to fit at the top of my bowl. I cut it out from black vinyl and used transfer tape to help me place it on my bowl, and repeated with two more:

Halloween Hallway with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

You can also see a spider, placed strategically on some toy stuffing that I used as cobwebs! The spider is #MA0465, and I cut three of them at 3″ tall and three of them at 2″ tall, from the off cuts of black cardstock I had left from the bats. They look good tucked in a few places around the room, and are surprisingly realistic considering they are made from card, I scared myself with one late last night, seen out of the corner of my eye!

The finishing touch was the ‘Happy Halloween’ sign and skeleton stuck on the door at the back of the room:

Halloween Hallway with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

The words (#M39CD8) are cut at 11.39″ wide from orange cardstock, and the skeleton (#M44F29) is cut at 11.59″ tall from more black cardstock – I’m going to need to replenish my black cardstock after this!

A cackling witch and a roaring monster have already tried the room out:

Halloween Hallway with the Cricut Explore by Jennifer Grace

They declared it very spooky!

I’m linking up to a few linky parties – Inspiration MondaySpooktacular Halloween, and Show & Tell Wednesday.

Do you decorate your house for Halloween? Would the bats and spiders freak you out?!

Bye for now,

Jennifer x

DISCLOSURE: Cricut have provided me with a Cricut Explore Machine, some materials including vinyl, and access to the Image Library, to help me write this post. However ALL opinions in this post are my own and not governed or controlled by Cricut in any way. I’m also entering this into a Cricut bloggers Halloween contest.