Fun with Kids: Bead Spiders

The last time we were down visiting Grandparents, Aunt Linda brought her bead supplies, and taught The Boy how to make a bead spider. So I documented the process to share it with you guys! (Now, The Boy’s version reflects how much fun it is for a kid to take all kinds of different beads and put them together, without much regard for symmetry, but The Husband also followed along with the lessons, and the photos below show the more symmetrical and traditional one that he made. But honestly, let the kids go wild. The Boy loves that HIS spider has star shaped front feet and 3 different leg patterns!)

[anything_slides cat=spider-2 width=500 height=350 delay=3000 resume=15000 animation=750 order=ASC orderby=menu_order theme=minimalist-square]

Halloween Food: The Mummy’s Hand..

yummy sausage mummy hand for halloween dabbled.orgHappy weekend… this is from several years ago, but it was so good, I thought it deserved a repeat!

My dear creative friend, Chad, made this for the Halloween party …  and was kind enough to give us a tutorial, so we can all make our own!

Sausage and Bread Mummy Hand

Published on: Oct 3, 2009

The Skylanders Party Highlights: The Invitation! (free printable)

Kaos Skylanders Party Invitation (printable)


Continuing the highlights from yesterday’s Skylander’s Cake, I just realized I never posted the invitation to the Skylanders Party.  I wanted to do something a little different, and most of the invites I’d seen in my travels around the web were just repurposed graphics of a selections of popular skylanders.  And while cute, I figured why not give the Bad Guy a starring role in the invitations?  So here is Kaos, inviting the Skylanders to come to a party.  And really, he promises it’s not a trap.

So, if you’d like to use this yourself, here’s a free download, because Dot is just all kinds of sweet that way!  Here’s the graphic with a more generic “you’re invited to a birthday party” message, that works for anyone child’s name (Click for large):

Download the Skylanders invitation from

Just right click and save:

OR, if you’d prefer to personalize the banner that Kaos holds, you can download this blank printable, add your own text either via a graphics program and print, or by hand, and have the invite color copied. (Click to see larger)

Download blank Skylanders Kaos invitation from

Just right click this link and save the file:

Of course, if your kid’s name is Dominic, you’re welcome to use the real invitation :)

More highlights to come!


Highlights from the Skylander’s Birthday Party: the Cake

I’ll get a tutorial up on several of these, including the cake, but here are some of the highlights from The Boy’s 8th Birthday Party – Skylanders!  But if I waited til I got around to doing the tutorials, you’d never see the cake for months.

Here is the Cake.  I decided that I would go relatively simple — a fondant covered floating island… with Candy Clay Chompies.
Skylanders Chompie Birthday Cake

This year’s Birthday Cake (Skylanders) is in the works!

OK, I know, I’ve been a slacker, don’t shoot me!

But it is June and you know what that means, time for another birthday party for The Boy and another birthday cake.  This year The Boy is turning 8, and he’s all into Skylanders.

So I’ve been working on the cake today.  It’s not going to be as ambitious as last years Dalek cake for the Doctor Who party, but I am trying out a new technique: Candy Clay.

Today I made candy clay, baked 4 cake layers for a 2 tiered cake, frosted the top and bottom tier with a crumb coat, and made up and colored a batch of marshmallow fondant.  whew!  I’m going to go play around with my candy clay now….

So, follow along on Twitter if you like to see pics of the in process stuff.

instagram cake photos

Pics from Instagram.

Previous The Boy Birthday Cakes (with tutorials):

Tutorial homemade dragon cake dabbled

Dragon Cake, featured on the cover of Amazing Cakes (Instructibles) book.

Perry The Platypus Cake (featured a bunch of places, including Disney blog.)

Perry The Platypus Cake (featured a bunch of places, including Disney blog.)

Angry Birds Cupcakes Tutorial

Angry Birds Cupcakes

The Dalek Cake, from last year's Doctor Who party.

The Dalek Cake, from last year’s Doctor Who party.

My first one - Robot cake (featured on MSNBC)

My first one – Robot cake (featured on MSNBC)

Clone Trooper cupcakes (from the Phineas and Ferb meet the Clone Wars party)

Clone Trooper cupcakes (from the Phineas and Ferb meet the Clone Wars party)

Tutorial: Super easy (& inexpensive) french door curtains

…or (almost) no-sew ‘two seams and you’re done’ curtains you can make in less than an hour.
Make almost no-sew french door curtains super quick and easy. Just 2 hems, so very little sewing for a neat effect!

We have a GREAT sunroom. It’s got a huge vaulted ceiling and french doors on both sides and lots of windows. But, we also have a computer at a desk in the corner, and the light from the windows can cause a glare on the screen. Hence the need to occasionally cover up these gorgeous windows with some sort of curtain. And curtains or shaded on french doors are really a pain in the butt to me. They either get in the way, or they are clunky and unattractive, so I had avoided doing anything about the glaring window til forced to by nagging husband and kiddo.

So, I wanted a solution that would be easy to make, easy to remove, and look nice while it was up there. So what’s the secret? Well, note the 5 lovely buttonholes at the top of each panel. Does that give you any hints? It’s a shower curtain! We found a pretty black cotton waffle weave shower curtain at Target for less than $20.  And it’s held up by buttoning the button holes onto pushpins stuck in the door.  I used clear ones, but you could also do this with some really fun and funky push pins.


  • 10 clear (or interesting) push pins.
  • 1 standard size shower curtain of a nice material, like cotton, with 10 holes at the top. [I originally wanted one with grommets at the top, but didn’t find one, and I think the button holes by themselves work fine.]
  • Sewing machine (or a needle and thread and a bit more time and patience than I possess.) Pins, Scissors, matching thread.

How to do the transformation:

  1. easy-french-door-curtains-2Cut the shower curtain in half down the middle.
  2. Starting with the Left half:  Measure the distance from the left seam to the first button hole.  Fold your right seam and pin all the way down, the same distance from the 5th (last) buttonhole.
  3. Noting the size of the hem on the left side, stitch down the right hand side with a similar size hem.
  4. Trim the excess fabric.
  5. Repeat with the right half.
  6. Hold up your curtain to the door and determine where you want it to hang, and mark each button hole.
  7. easy-french-door-curtains-1Stick pushpins where you marked, then just slide the buttonholes onto the pushpins!
  8. Easy peasy mac and cheesy, you are done. The curtains can be folded back on themselves to let in light, or removed altogether, easily.

There are some really cool shower curtain patterns and fabrics out there, so you can really get creative with this project.  Just make sure you pick one that has 10 evenly spaced holes, meant for inserting the shower curtain rings.

That’s all there is to it…  hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and it inspires you to make something cool !  There are some more sewing type projects in the Related Posts box below, so if you like this, go check them out too…



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