DIY Space girl costume on the cheap

I have a princess girl in the family but I’ve been excited to find an excuse to make a robot or space related costume.  So I made a space girl dress, a jet pack and called it fancy. This costume doesn’t take much time to make and all the supplies are easy to find house hold items. We couldn’t decide on shoes, so this space girl is traveling the universe barefoot! (Saves on purchasing space rocket boots, right?)

space girl dress costume

Here’s how to make your own space girl costume:

Materials you need:

Note: Over the summer I saw hoola hoops at Dollar Tree in 3 different sizes. If you can find one that is cheap, grab it, otherwise, using wire hangers works just great!

Also, I used a Force Flex lawn bag which is out I got the cool ripples in the dress… it’s just the texture the bags have already.


  • Capri sun box for jet pack
  • Large apple juice bottle for trick-or-treat bucket

space girl costume

How to make a space girl dress costume:

  1. Using the spray paint, spray both sides of the trash bag and let dry overnight. I used a clippy hanger to hang the bag up and spray easier.
  2. Cut off the bottom of the bag. How much you want to cut off will depend on how long you want the dress to be. I cut off about 4″ for this specific costume.
  3. Using the drawstring ties of the trash bag determine where the front and back of the dress is; one side of the drawstring is the front, the other side is the back. At the front, cut the draw string, pull tight, tie in a knot and trim excess. The back tie will be your tie closure for the dress.
  4. Unbend both wire hangers and create a half circle out of wach. Attach the hangers together at either end to create a full circle buy twisting the ends. Don’t worry too much how it looks, it will be covered.
  5. Attach the wire circle to the inside bottom of the trash bag by using duct tape around the entire edge. Test out the sizing before you tape everything in place. If the circle is too big, adjust it now.
  6. Cut an arm hole on each side just below the trash bag tie. Use duct tape around the edge of each arm hole to strengthen the hole.
  7. That’s it! To put the dress on, either loosen the neck tie (in the back) and step into the dress of put the dress on over your head. Tie the drawstring in the back until the neck fits comfortably.

Make accessories using remaining paint and duct tape.

Hair pieces are made of duct tape only.

space girl costume hair bow

Jetpack is a Capri Sun box that was spray painted and then duct tape was added for straps and embellishments.

space girl costume jet pack

Trick-or-treat bucket is a large apple juice bottle. I cut off the top, spray painted the outside and used duct tape to create a handle.

space girl trick-or-treat bucket

Notes: I did try a less expensive spray paint, but it flaked off the plastic bag. Make sure you use the plastic Fusion paint. To make handles or straps with duct tape, make sure to tape all the way around the object so the handles/straps hold under pressure.

I think it would be really fun to attach some battery lights to the inside of this dress, bucket and the jetpack!

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100 directions

Make a Stenciled Halloween pumpkin

Paint a stenciled Halloween pumpkin

A stenciled Halloween pumpkin is pretty and when you don’t want to deal with the mess of carving a pumpkin, or you want your pumpkin decorations to last longer than a week or two, painting is a great project to dig your brushes into. Here’s another Halloween craft using the neat new stencils from Martha Stewart Crafts. I used the stencils with the adhesive backing so I could wrap the designs on the pumpkins and even get into the creases with the paint. It’s a great weekend activity you can do with the family too!

Stenciled Halloween pumpkin

 Materials for Stenciled Halloween pumpkin:

  • Martha Stewart Crafts matte black paint
  • Martha Stewart Crafts stencils
  • Sponge brush
  • Decorative thumbtacks

How to decorate a pumpkin with stencils:

  1. Start with a washed and dried pumpkin.
  2. Apply the sticky sided stencil where ever you’d like.
  3. Using your sponge brush, dab paint on to the stencil covered area using an up and down motion. Note: brushing or moving back and forth with the brush can create a smudged look at the stencil edge.
  4. Let dry for 1 minute. Peel off stencil and set aside. Let paint on actual stencil dry before applying again.
  5. Repeat the process until you have covered the pumpkin as desired.
  6. Add thumbtacks for extra decorative detailing.
  7. For a little extra sparkly, I added a second coat of paint… a glitter paint on top of the black using a regular small paint brush.

Start with clean, dry pumpkin

apply stencil pressing into creases

dab paint on to stencil using sponge brush

stenciled pumpkin

add decorative thumbtacks for extra detailing

stenciled pumpkin

stencil decorated pumpkin

Decorative stenciled Halloween pumpkin by Jen Goode

You can mix and match the stencils however you like. Combine painting and stenciling with your carved designs. Get creative and see what pretty pumpkins you can come up with!

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100 directions

Happy Halloween Wall Decor

Eileen Hull’s new Sizzix collection and her Fresh Vintage Album die along with Die Cuts with a View paper packs are used to create this project. The products compliment each other beautifully! I’ve always loved the vintage style designs. I love Steam Punk and classic textures mixed with rough, raw materials. So combining the materials I received with this project and the upcoming Halloween season, I thought I’d make some new decor to add to my own home. I’m so excited about this piece!

Happy Halloween wall decor by Jen GoodeHappy Halloween wall decor by Jen Goode

Eileen’s album die design is so fabulously versatile and because it’s a Sizzix Big die cut design it will cut through thick materials and even fabric. The DCWV paper pack I received for this project is called Tattered Time and is filled with warm and weathered vintage style images including gears, rules, tickets, two alphabet sets and a whole slew of wonderful patterns and designs.

Eileen Hull Sizzix Album die and DCWV Tattered Time paperEileen Hull Sizzix Album die and DCWV Tattered Time paper

I used scalloped portion of the die to cut paper from the DCWV pack as well as some balsa wood. I couldn’t be happier with how the die cut the wood. I then took an exact-o knife to trim some of the cut pieces to fit my project design.  I colored the wood by dying with Rit dye and adding painted accents using DecoArt craft paints.

Balsa wood cut with Sizzix dieBalsa wood cut with Sizzix die

To include my own personal JGoode touch, I added my own Halloween art accents to this piece. The cat, pumpkin and witch are all Jen Goode original designs you can purchase as digital stamps from Lil’ Goodies.

Halloween Digital stamps by Jen Goode at LilGoodies.comHalloween Digital stamps by Jen Goode at

Here are more pictures of the process to make this Happy Halloween wall decor… I had so much fun!

Making Happy Halloween wall decorMaking Happy Halloween wall decor
Details on my Happy Halloween wall decorDetails on my Happy Halloween wall decor

I’d love to see what fun you can create with these amazing products! Check outEileen Hull’s website to see more great project ideas using her new Fresh Vintage collection of Sizzix dies!

Black grape vine pumpkin with lights tutorial

I’ve been seeing these really cool black grape vine pumpkins all over the place this but was shocked at the prices.. anywhere from $39 up to over $100 but a pumpkin made of sticks and lights. So I set out to make my own. You need a little patience, the steps require drying time so the project takes a few days, but I’m loving the end result and the price can’t be beat. I’ll show you how…

Back grapevine pumpkin with lightsBack grapevine pumpkin with lights

Materials you need:

  • Grape vine wreath
  • Black spray paint
  • Craft string or twine
  • String of lights
  • Painters tape
  • Black craft wire
  • Optional: glitter and clear spray sealer
  • Additional tools: wire cutters and scissors

make sure the grape vine wreath you choose is not woven or twisted. You will be unraveling the vine so make it easier on yourself by finding the wreathes that are just bunched together.

Making the grape vine pumpkin

Soak the wreath in water for 24 hours.
Unwind the vine carefully. Use wire cutters if there are wire rings holding it together. You want to divide the vine into 3-4 loops of vine. make sure to cover work area for this step as the vine will create a bit of a mess on the table.

Soak the vine for 24 hours and then unwind while wetSoak the vine for 24 hours and then unwind while wet

Insert one vine ring into the other intersecting in the middle so you create a 3 dimensional x. Add a 3rd loop of vine into the 1st and 2nd loops, you’ll start to see the “wire frame” of your pumpkin take shape as a bit of a sphere.

separate grapevine into loops of vineseparate grapevine into loops of vine

building the pumpkin from grapevine
building the pumpkin from grapevine

Tie the vines together at the central intersection of all the loops at both the top and bottom of sphere. If you’re sphere isn’t sitting upright well, press down on the top while tying one piece of string to the top center and tightly pulling through and tying secure to the bottom center. This will create a bit of a base of your pumpkin.

making a grapevine pumpkinmaking a grapevine pumpkin

secure with string by pressing down and tying top to bottomsecure with string by pressing down and tying top to bottom

spray paint black applying as many coats as needed for full coveragespray paint black applying as many coats as needed for full coverage

Carefully separate the vines and spread out the various pieces to fill in your sphere. Readjust or add new string ties to help the vines stay in place.Once you are happy with the shape of your sphere, create a stem using remaining vine, cut and tie with string. Secure in place on top of the sphere using craft wire. Create a cork screw curl for extra detail.
Spray paint the entire pumpkin and let dry as directed. Add a second coat as necessary to ensure all visible areas are black. Set aside.

Painting the lights – if you can not find decorative lights with black cords, you can paint your standard lights black. This is what I did…

  1. Using painters tape, carefully cover every light bulb of your light string (this is a great activity to do while you’re on a conference call!) – Don’t forget to cover the metal of the plug and the holes on the other plug.
  2. Spray paint the light string until all areas are black. Remove tape. Voila.. black cords on your string of lights!
cover lights with painters tape before painting string of lightscover lights with painters tape before painting string of lights

Finishing Touches

  1. Add lights to the pumpkin by carefully weaving the light string in and out of the vines. Make sure to leave enough excess so you can plug the cord in.
  2. Optionally spray a little clear varnish on the entire piece and lightly sprinkle with glitter. I also added a little extra sparkle by spraying some Smooch Spritz in both orange and purple.
glitter details of black painted grapevine pumpkinglitter details of black painted grapevine pumpkin

Upcycled T-shirt

Recycled t-shirt button skirt

I’m all about finding ways to turn old stuff into new. Lately I’ve been playing with a lot of Rit dye as well so when I came across a pile of old t-shirts from my oldest son, I decided to re-purpose them into something a little more girly for my daughter. Recycled t-shirt project #1 is a cute little button skirt complete with hand stitched swirls and brightly colored buttons. Because it’s an old t-shirt, it’s super soft and comfy but the new color and added embellishments make it a brand new favorite.

recycled t-shirt button skirt
Steps for making a recycled t-shirt skirt

To make this skirt you need:

  • An old t-shirt
  • Rit dye
  • Embroidery thread and needle
  • Buttons
  • Scissors

I created this project using buttons from Buttons Galore and shared the project on their blog. You can find the full recycled t-shirt skirt tutorial there.

If you don’t have white t-shirts on hand for this project, you can use color remover (also a Rit product) to lighten the color of the fabric instead of bleach. Make sure to always use 100% cotton fabric when dying, otherwise you might not like the results of the dying process.

What kind of cool stuff can you make with an old t-shirt and some fun buttons?

Faux Faberge Eggs

I had a recent project come up where I was asked to make a faux faberge egg. I wasn’t really asked to make it as much as I was asked to incorporate an image of one into another design. I don’t own any of these fancy eggs and I had no idea where I could get a hold of one to borrow for a photo opp, so I decided I’d try to make one.

faux faberge eggs by Jen Goode

It’s definitely a project requiring some time and patience but the result can be brilliant.

Materials for making a detailed faux faberge egg:

  • Plastic Easter egg
  • Decoart craft paint
  • Thin gold cord
  • Alene’s clear gel glue
  • Triple thick brush on glaze
  • Various gems and gold bead embellishments

I blotted a couple shades of blue and lavender over a blue plastic egg to add a little extra dimension and texture to the surface. The toughest part about making the faberge egg look genuine is measuring to get the lines layed out correctly. I used cord that I taped into place to determine where everything would lay out and then I carefully glue each intersection. Once all the glue dried I glued a small gem or gold bead in place. To finish the look, I used Triple thick making sure to cover the cording entirely so it not only stayed in place but also creates a nice thick coat to resemble a clear enamel.

making faux faberge eggs

I tried a couple different methods for making my eggs. Another faux feberge egg project I worked on used just the plastic Easter egg and a bunch of self-stick gems and beads. This method is much quicker and the result is a pretty decorated egg.

Make a handprint keepsake

One of our favorite gifts we’ve made is our handprint keepsake. The kids and I created it for Father’s day last year and had a great time putting together this special project. The concept is simple… using soft molding clay we created handprints. After the clay dried overnight, we painted one of the handprints. If you have older children allow each to paint their own pieces. I then created a backing for an acrylic shadow box out of black foam core and hot glue. I mounted both handprints in shadow and voila, gift complete!

make a handprint keepsake

You could create a more elaborate display by adding a pretty background paper and other accessories. Create extra notes and descriptive words, or even make pretty frames for each piece. Because this was for Dad, we wanted it to look clean and simple, perfect for his office.

You can view the entire tutorial to make a handprint keepsake at Projects for Preschoolers.

Bookmarks made easy

A great project to do with the kids that can utilize their artwork and recycled items is bookmarks. They’re quick and easy to make and very low cost. You can create simple bookmarks just by cutting cardboard. At a minimum you need thin cardboard such as cereal boxes, scissors and markers or crayons. Or make elaborate bookmarks by including extra embellishments, your own painting or drawing, and other add-ons.

Easy handmade bookmarks by Jen Goode

I like to add eyelets, ribbons and rounded corners to all my bookmarks. However, you can create whatever look you like!

Bonus idea: This is also a fun project to make when talking about a specific book the kids are reading. Cut out the bookmark pieces and have your child draw a picture that goes along with whatever book is the current favorite.

For full instructions check out my making bookmarks tutorial.

Handpainted wine glasses

Hand painted wine glasses by Jen Goode
Hand painted wine glasses by Jen Goode

I love to make handmade gifts that I can embellish with my own art. Hand painted items seem to be a perfect fit, if I can find the a good blank space to paint on. I recently painted these wine glasses to donate for a silent auction raising funds for Breast Cancer awareness. They’re super easy to do and turn out wonderfully.

I used Plaid’s enamel paint which has a nice opaque color coverage. With wine glasses I highly recommend you lightly paint your initial design idea on the glass using a frost medium. This is a rather subtle paint that is easy to cover but will allow you to place some paint on the glass before adding your bold color. You don’t have to be a magnificent painter to create really pretty glass art. Think simple, stick to shapes and shades of color and you can come up with something amazing!

I added layers of color until I had the look I wanted. When I finished putting down the color, I went back over select areas with the frost medium again to add some subtle touches of sparkle.

This enamel sets nicely after 24 hours but it’s still a good idea to avoid using for about 7 days to let the paint thoroughly cure. Hand wash.

Cute flower clothespin magnets

Clothespin magnets by Jen Goode
Clothespin magnets by Jen Goode

Make your own cute clothespin magnets to dress up those papers your kids insist on hanging on the fridge. You can make a variety of shapes in a wide array of colors. We chose to make some cute spring themed magnets because a princess can never have too much girly flare, even on the fridge.

Making clothespin magnets is a relatively easy project to do with even very young kids. You only need a handful of supplies. It’s fun for little hands to create the different shapes and glue and put in place. I recommend using Aleene’s fast grab tacky glue as it sticks to the foam really well.

Check out the full instructions for clothespin magnets at Projects for Preschoolers.