Friday, September 24, 2010

going batty

Since I’ve started the fall decoration mayhem around here, I decided the kids should get in on the action. 
What’s the one thing I’ve hoarded saved from the dump ALMOST as much as baby food jars?  Paper towel tubes, of course.  They are multifunctional.  They can be binoculars, stamps, flowers, giraffes, necklaces, elephant trunks... the possibilities are just about as endless as with cardboard boxes.  
We made a kid-friendly pumpkin garland.  And this is how:
First, I had the kids paint the paper towel tubes orange.  I was planning on having them color them with crayons - much more two year old appropriate - but K and bug were begging me to let them paint.  
Then we had to let them dry.  

When that was done, I squashed them kind of flat 

and cut slits 3/4 of the way through them all down the sides, alternating sides every cut, like this:

I then pulled them apart
and folded back against the little section connecting each circle to open the garland up a little more.  I kind of smooshed them back into a circle shape, since they looked a little oblong at that point.

You can use as many paper towel tubes as you want.  I used 7 and this is how much pumpkin chain we ended up with.
I connected each chain together with hot glue, 

just gluing the ends to each other on only one side so it didn’t look out of sync with the rest of the chain.
Then, I cut stem shapes out of green paper.  I didn’t want to cut a stem for each and every pumpkin - because I’m not a glutton for punishment - but I wanted some of the circles to have tops.
I folded the bottom of the stem back 

and dabbed some hot glue on the right side of the little flap,

then adhered it to the top of the pumpkin.
I did this at random intervals along the chain.  
Now, we needed a fun way to hang it.
So I cut bats out of black foam.  (ok, I know you’re laughing at my bat shapes.  Thanks a lot.  I did it free hand and I’m no artist.)
I spread some mod podge on the front
and let the kiddos take turns sprinkling them with black glitter.  This was their favorite part by far.  We will be doing more glitter projects, I’m sure.

Then we shook off the excess and let the mod podge dry.  
I took them outside and sprayed them down with clear spray paint, because I didn’t relish the thought of vacuuming up black glitter for the next 6 months (who am I kidding?   I don’t vacuum...) and the spray paint sealed them nicely.
I also spray painted some clothespins black.
When everything was dry, I hot glued the bats to the clothespins.

Then I had bug help me hang it around my front window.
Quick and easy kid-friendly pumpkin garland.  And I busted some more stash.   Boo.Yeah.  (get it?)

- Kimberly


Unknown said...

Adorable! I'm shortcutting this for a's Halloween party! I must say, you're much better at remembering to take pictures along the way than I could ever hope to be! :) BTW, Dollar General has a set of 6 plastic cookie cutters for $1. Now, I think your bats are just fine, but I bought mine mostly to use as tracers. :)

elina said...

Drahá Kimberly...máš úžasný blog, veľmi sa mi páči a ďakujem za skvelé nápady. Si veľmi kreatívna a šikovná. Elina zo Slovenska

Unknown said...

Kimberly-But of course! And I can relate. My ghosts wind up looking like fat Polish women instead of spooky spectors. :)

Mandy England said...

Great idea! I'm sure your kiddos had an awesome time :]

Charmaine Poulin said...

Oh my gosh that is soooooo coool!

Jill said...

Very cute! I like the idea of making chains out of paper towel rolls! So very clever!

Unknown said...

How cute is this?!

Wendy said...

soooooo cute!
Love this, and I already have everything on hand!

Unknown said...

FUN! come on over and link up to MMM :)

Marie {Make and Takes} said...

Ahhhhh! I LOVE these! I'm always on the lookout for more projects to do with paper towel rolls. This is so fun. Happy Halloween!

Jami said...

This is so cute. I love kid-friendly crafts. Thanks for linking up at Theme Party Thursday!

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