DIY Horsey Cupcake with Stars

The very first time I asked Qwynn what she wanted to be for Halloween she excitedly said “A cupcake!” I instantly googled “homemade toddler cupcake costume” and was thrilled with all of the ideas I was seeing. I couldn’t wait to put this together!

Then the inevitable happened. A couple weeks later, Qwynn changed her mind. Toddlers! She wanted to be a pumpkin. BummerI was really looking forward to making a cupcake. Luckily, I was able to convince her to be a pumpkin cupcake. Easy enough, right? But the next week Qwynn changed her mind again. Really? She wanted to be a horse. Really??? So, I suggested a horse cupcake, and the last week before Halloween she added the stars.

And this is how the Horsey Cupcake with Stars was born! 

I originally wanted to use a lamp shade for the cupcake liner, but it was harder to find one than I had originally anticipated (especially since I didn’t want to spend a lot of money). Eventually I found this idea, and with a few tweaks here and there, I was able to make an amazing cupcake costume!

A round laundry basket would’ve been way too big for a toddler, but I was able to find a good sized bucket at DEALS for just $1. I grabbed two of them in case I messed up on the first one. I also found the modern patterned contact paper there for just $2 and thought it would be a sturdier option than wrapping paper (Qwynn falls down a lot!).

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I cut the bottom of the tub out using a utility knife and scissors. Then I covered the rough edges with strips of the contact paper and reinforced it with strong packing tape.

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I used my Cricut cutting machine to make horse stickers for the cupcake liner. I didn’t want to make a special trip to Michaels to buy sticker paper, so I used large shipping labels instead. Our printer has been out of commission for awhile, so I used brightly colored markers to color the horses.

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I covered poster board in the contact paper to add a little more support, then I attached the horse stickers and folded it accordion-style.

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I bought two pairs of white women’s opaque tights at Target for about $5 each to use for the frosting. Since Tyson hates that we have so many throw pillows on our couches, I decided we could spare one for the stuffing inside. It was the perfect amount! I used hot glue (and a lot of it) to attach the frosting to the top edge of the bucket and the cupcake liner around the bucket.

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For the star sprinkles, I used my Cricut again to cut different sized stars from colored card stock and then hot glued them to the frosting.

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I couldn’t believe how easy this cupcake was to make and how perfect it came together!

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The hat was another story! I had an extra stuffed tight leg, so I turned it into a dollop of frosting and made a candle out of a foam art brush.

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I originally attached the frosting dollop to a headband, but it was too top heavy and wouldn’t stay on Qwynn’s head. I remembered Qwynn had a sun hat that was too floppy for her, so I cut the brim off and hot glued the dollop of frosting to the hat.

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It wasn’t perfect, but with the help of a few clips, it stayed on her head long enough to snap a few pictures.

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That’s one cute cupcake if you ask me!

Valerie Anne

Easy DIY Mermaid Costume

When Tyson’s brother first invited us to the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, I debated how much I wanted to get into it. I didn’t want to go all out, but I decided it might be fun to at least make Qwynn a simple costume. I didn’t want to spend a ton of money or a lot of time on it either, so I gave myself a $20 budget and headed to Michaels!

I knew that Michaels’ fabric selection was limited, but I was able to find 4 small squares of different green fabric designs. The problem is they didn’t have any fabric pieces large enough for the base of the mermaid skirt. I continued walking through the store and eventually came across the t-shirt section. Lightbulb!

What an inexpensive way to get a large piece of fabric! As I looked at the t-shirt more the vision just came to me—I turned it up side down and I now had a floor length skirt with a hemmed waist…essentially. I grabbed a light green small adult t-shirt and continued on. I found a piece of glittery pink felt that I thought would work perfectly for the seashell top. With my coupon (Michaels ALWAYS has coupons), my purchase total for everything was just under $10!

When I got home I searched through all my craft stuff to see what else I had that would be useful. I found some green ribbon left over from Qwynn’s first birthday. I also dug out Qwynn’s old pink sparkly skirt that was too small for her from the goodwill bag.

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Now usually when I decide to make something like this, I end up spending so much more money than if I would have just bought it already made. My projects also seem to take wayyyy longer than I anticipate. This project however was so easy, I was pleasantly surprised at how quick it went and how little I spent on it.

For the mermaid skirt, I started by putting the t-shirt on Qwynn and pinning the sides to get an approximate fit.

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I used the pins as a guide and drew my mermaid skirt shape.

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I do not own a sewing machine and I wouldn’t be able to use it even if I did. Luckily I have discovered a wonderful thing called sewing tape! It is about $5-6 at Michaels, but with a coupon you could easily get it down to $3-4. The only other thing you need is an iron. I used the iron-on tape to “sew” the sides of the skirt and the bottom hem.

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I was originally going to make the fins out of the t-shirt and continue the scales all the way down, but I discovered that would make the bottom too tight and impossible for Qwynn to walk, so I cut the fins off. Instead, I cut approximately 1-inch strips of the fabric and hot glued them to the bottom of the skirt, layering them to get a full look. This was a great solution because I didn’t need to be very exact in cutting the strips since I was okay with a more ragged look. And it didn’t take long to hot glue them on either.

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For the waist of the skirt I cut tiny slits in the collar ever two inches or so and thread the ribbon through it so I could tie it snug around Qwynn’s waist.

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The final step for the skirt was attaching the scales. I only covered the front to save time. I cut three different sized scales out of card stock to use as tracers for the fabric.

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Tracing and cutting the scales was by far the most tedious part of the project, so if you are not a control freak like I am ;-), I suggest recruiting help. I attached all the scales by using about two-inch pieces of sewing tape along the top of each one.

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For the seashell top, I used the sheer fabric from Qwynn’s old pink skirt, a small pink hair rubber band for the center, and shells cut from the pink felt. I attached the shells to the sheer fabric with hot glue.

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Qwynn already had a light-colored t-shirt to wear under the shell top which was the final piece to the costume. That, and a big smile! 🙂

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I am still so shocked at how smooth this project went and I am absolutely thrilled with how it turned out! Best of all, I came out way under my $20 budget!!

Valerie Anne

DIY Saturday: Cardboard Kitchen Center

I have been crafting and creating things since I can remember. Back in the day I was a Girl Scout, in 4H Club and I took art class until I graduated high school. Growing up, my dad’s philosophy was always “Why buy it if you can make it yourself?” I follow this philosophy a lot.

Most people know or have heard about NYC’s shoe-box-sized apartments. We are very blessed to have something a little bigger than a shoe box, but our apartment is already bursting at the seams. Everyone who has kids is aware of how much space they can take up.

So when Tyson’s parents asked what they could get Qwynn for her 2nd birthday, I had to think very carefully before giving them an answer. Qwynn LOVES playing in the kitchen center at school, but we definitely do not have enough room for a whole play kitchen in our apartment. I figured that even though we didn’t have space for the whole shebang, we could at least make room for a small kitchen set. So that’s what we told them to get her.

Of course, Qwynn’s favorite spot to play with her new kitchen set was on the floor. In our kitchen. While we are cooking dinner. Not ideal.

After tripping over her one too many times, I had to come up with a better option! Qwynn also received an easel for her birthday (don’t ask me how we found room for it, but I’m glad we did!), and the box it came in was the exact same size as our ottoman. Cue light bulb over my head!

Using the cardboard box, poster board left over from Qwynn’s birthday party, and craft paint from my craft box, I created the perfect solution. And the best part is, it slides perfectly behind our couch. Success!

Kid’s Tabletop Play Kitchen

Supplies:

– Large piece of cardboard
– Poster board (optional)
– Craft paint (or magic markers, colored pencils, etc.)

Steps:

1. Cut cardboard the size you would like for whatever table you would like it to fit on. I made this one to fit on our ottoman.

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2. If you are a Type-A person like myself and like things to be extremely neat looking, you can wrap the cardboard in poster board. This gave me a nice white blank canvas to paint on. But you could also paint or draw directly on the cardboard.

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3. Sketch out a counter, sink and stove top and use craft paint to paint your masterpiece. You could also use markers, colored pencils, crayons or even just a sharpie. If you do not have faith in your own drawing skills, you can Google image search “stove top graphics” and “kitchen sink graphics” to find images to copy or cut out and glue onto the cardboard.

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This has been an amazing alternative to having a store bought kitchen center! Plus, when we flip it over, we have a great surface for block play as well!

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Valerie Anne