DIY Fire Breathing Pink Dragon

My bigLittle knew way back in MAY what she wanted to be for Halloween: A Fire Breathing Pink Dragon with Red Spikes & a Heart. OK ‎Good Ol’ Fashioned Homemade Halloween Costume‬ COMING RIGHT UP! But I had my doubts. Is this even possible‬ while on ‪‎bedrest‬!? I had to try, because our other options were in the 30 to FORTY DOLLAR range, for a one time use costume.😳 And with another baby due soon, that $40 could get some better use.

I rummaged through my craft stash & my daughter’s closet to see what, if anything, I could use & not have to buy.

I had ribbons leftover from our wedding day, a pink hoodie, a pink tank top, half bottle of Fabri-tac (this had to be a no-sew project or it wasn’t going to happen!) A sheet of thick red felt (leftover from a Kai Lan headband I made for a past costume). My daughter had a pink hand me down hoodie, that was still in good condition, but she’ll grow out of it soon & she has a couple other hoodies she can still use. Underneath she can wear her all pink ballet outfit.

[fyi – Again, this is almost a complete No-Sew project, so when I say FT’d it, know that I Fabri-Tac’d the heck out of it.]


First thing I tackled was the BODY. I cut up my light pink tank top for the belly skin. Then FT’d it to the front of the jacket.


Next, I cut to fit several strips of white sequin ribbon, a remnant from another past project. I call it dragon scales! I glued these across, to act like the belly plates of a dragon.


Then I trimmed around the tank top material with thin shiny white ribbon, remnant from my wedding day shoe accent. This hid a lot of crookedness of the tank top & gave it a finished & clean look. & My BigLittle helped me glue on random loose sequins…instead of tossing them.



I cut triangles from thick felt for the dragon spikes & attached with Fabri-Tac to a strip of ribbon. My bigLittle helped glue the spikes on a pink sash ribbon, that I suspect was from one of her first birthday gift wrap. Yes, I do hoard ribbon scraps. At first I was going to make the spikes detachable, so they wouldn’t get in the way when getting my kid into her car seat. But genius hubby said just attach them, cuz we can just remove her jacket. duh! ok, moving on. So, I FT’d it, starting from the front of the hoodie all the way down the back. Done! Instant dragon look. Could even be a dino costume.


I had great plans of making the wings. But one trip to the local Savers & a pair of $7 red glittery “fairy wings” changed that.


All I did to Dragon-fy them was to bend the wire to give them more sharp angles & ripped off this huge red rose & replaced it with red dragon spikes. Done.







My original plan, was to handmake this, using three party blowers, taped together, for more flame action. But I nixed that thought, since one party blower was plenty big already for my little one. I just tied varied lengths of red & orange ribbon around the straw, with forked tips. & added a few flame tips to the end of the paper roll, using trimmed petals from the flower I ripped off the store bought wings we found at Savers. Easy!




I almost didn’t do this. Was feeling so done with this whole costume. But one morning, got a burst of Can-Do spirit & made it happen.

Sorry, no detail step-by-step shots here. I cut up one of Ava’s old baby blankets. FT’d it over a headband. Drew ear shapes onto card stock. Cut out the ears. FT’d the ears to the blanket material. Cut it out close to the edge. then flipped it over & FT’d it again to the blanket & this time, left about a 2 cm edge around the ear. Then I FT’d around that extra flap & folded it over to hide the cardstock edge.

Next, I cut in half a gold fabric covered hair curler (I never use ’em). Then glued them to the headband for dragon horns.

Then I finished it off with dragon scales aka sequin ribbon.








Initially my husband was not a believer in tutu’d dragons. But I made him a believer with 1 1/2 yards each of pink & red tulle, a remnant piece of garter & scissors.

I didn’t bother to take too many detail shots of the tutu, since there are already plenty of diy’s around. Here’s a link to one from Cori @ Read.Write.Run.Mom

The one thing I’d note about this tutu, is that I folded the ends of each tulle strip & cut it at an angle, to give the skirt a more finished look.


Because I’m a craft hoarder, we saved a ton by working with what I had in my stash. If you had to buy all the ribbons, fabric, hoodie, etc would easily bump your costs into the $30+ range. Fabri-Tac alone can cost $15.

We spent about $12, since we bought the wings ($7), my mom bought the tulle ($2) & party blowers ($2), and Ava’s ninang Margie picked up the tail at the dollar tree. Not bad!

The costume we almost bought:


So glad we didn’t. Even though this ended up taking me several weeks to finish. We love how this turned out. It was what my bigLittle wanted & then some.





A few weekends ago, we braved the Labor Day crowd at Ikea to pick up under bed storage for my daughter’s big girl bed. Which meant I got my upper arm work out using one of their complimentary wheel chairs. I missed my Amigo. But the rainbow at the end of our quick trip, was bumping into our friends near the end of the maze and finding a single panel Bollkaktus curtain for just $8 in the As-Is Section. SCORE! I thought it’d be perfect for my daughter’s window, however my husband did not. Which didn’t phase me. I knew I could make something with it.

Like this floral smile pillow. I have plenty of boring pillows needing some oomph & my linen napkins are looking drab. But It finally dawned on me that the heavy canvas-like curtain would be perfect for a picnic blanket! All it needed was a quick cut to size 57×57 and a straight stitch.

It’d also be ridiculously more affordable than this $155chevron waterproof picnic blanket I’ve been eyeing on etsy. My version of course is no where near as durable as this one. But it’s a price tag that doesn’t hurt.


My daughter even helped me sew it as the designated pedal pusher. Done!


You can get all fancy by adding a layer of cushion and line the bottom with a protective vinyl. For our purposes as a photo prop, it wouldn’t be worth the time & effort. But, definitely something I could go back and add later.


P.S. I confess I’m smitten by the name & inspiration of this fabric – cactus!


Designer thoughts

“When I designed BOLLKAKTUS curtain I was inspired by photos I took during my holidays near and far – of things like balloons on strings, stones, cacti and the surfaces of rocks and brick walls.” – Designer Henna Jaakkola


In a couple weeks we plan to attempt a DIY Family Photo Shoot. We really wish we could hire a professional photographer for an outdoors photoshoot, but it’s just not in the budget for us. Being a digiscrapper, I want all my photo files, not just a a couple choice prints. Plus, there’s this whole incompetent cervix & bedrest situation we’ve been living with this whole pregnancy. As a good compromise, we’ll be doing an outdoor picnic style photoshoot with the help of our brother. My “vision” is something fun, colorful and hip. Pinterest & Etsy have pumped my brain full of ideas.

My husband’s been patiently on board with all my ideas, so long as we don’t splurge. Got a baby coming soon. Hello.

So, I’m putting to good use my craft stash to make the props for our shoot. Starting with these easy DIY Pinwheels, a fun & whimsical picnic photo prop that will surely put a smile on my girl’s face.


Thankfully I had all the supplies already in my stockpile.


I didn’t snap a shot of cutting the paper. If you need a visual, this mommy blogger took some great ones – Bern Next, I let my little one go to town on the plain side of the scrapbook paper with a sponge & paint. Let it dry.


Then I bent the pin with pliers. At first i stuck it in the paper & straw & then tried bending the pin. No Bueno. The paper & straw got smooshed. So, I recommend bending the pin first!


With the bent pin, poke the alternating corners of the paper & then straight through the middle. On the back, slide a couple beads onto the pin. Then, pierce the straw.


Wiggle the bent pin through the straw, until you can lay it flat against the straw. Secure it with clear tape.


At this point you’re good to go. If you want a longer handle, slide a bbq skewer into two straws. Tape the straws at the joint. Tape the bottom to keep the straw in.

My daughter loves it. It’s bigger than her head & she spent 15 minutes straight running around the house with it to get it to spin. She calls it a “winpeel” which fits because it certainly was a diy win in my books.


On a side note: This is my first post using only my phone because of being on bedrest. But, I must say I could get used to this! Using the phone’s camera instead of dslr and instead of photoshop, i used the #rhonnadesigns app to add text and #snapseed to do a little photo tweeking. It’s made blogging this super easy. Now I have no excuse to slack on blogging my diy adventures. Next up, Diy Picnic Photo Shoot | Picnic Blanket.

ProjectLife 2013: Video QR codes

Right before the birth of my daughter in 2009, my husband and I eagerly purchased our first DSLR, so that we would never be frustrated with lack luster photos. It’s amazing to look back at the past 3+ years and see a photo each day of our little girl. We have just as many videos!  But, the videos are never included in photo albums.  It’s always been a separate experience to watch the videos later.  Not anymore thanks to    YouTube + QR codes + Goggles.

I found these nice tutorials on how to incorporate QR codes into your photo albums:  mswhitaker231 and TraciReed.  I’m so excited at how easy it was to do. This is how I do it:  After I upload my video file to my YouTube account. I copy+paste the link into the QR code generator.  You can choose to download, print or email a copy of the QR code.  


I opt to download the QR code. Then I open the file in Photoshop.  I  just completed this easy 4×6 layout of a recent family outing (to watch ERTH’s Dinosaur puppet show and check out the Yarn Bombing at the Mesa Arts Center).
I find the easiest thing to do, is to simply drag the QR code layer into my layout. Super easy!  Now when I print the scrapbook page, the video code will be built in.  (You could also opt to print out your scrapbook page and code separately. Then, attach the code to your page later.)    

I know QR codes have been out for awhile, but I never bothered to put a QR code reader app on my mobile before.  Today, I tried out Google’s Goggles app.  Once installed, I  was seriously giggling with excitement as I took a snapshot of the QR code on my scrapbook page. (I did this from the laptop screen, but after I get the 4×6 page printed out, I’ll update this post.)


After I snapped the shot, the correct YouTube link appeared at the bottom of the app.  Click on it and enjoy your video!


I hope you try adding video QR  codes to your photo albums too. It’s definitely going to be part of my regular ProjectLife routine from now on.


products used:  4×6 Photo Templates, Tag-It, Pedal Pusher

DIY Halloween 2012 | Violet Parr Force Field Energy Ball

In the weeks before Halloween, my little girl was in love with the movie #TheIncredibles.  She must’ve watched it a hundred times.  So, it’s no surprise what she asked to dress-up as for #Halloween. Can you guess who?


Thanks Ninette Perias for the awesome snap shot!

No, not Dash.  I know, I know, my little girl has a boy cut…it’s just her hair grows super sloooowww.  So, how perfect that I found a wig just right for that “Violet Parr” look.


Only problem was it kinda creeped out my daughter for some reason.  She absolutely would not let it near her head. I gave up on trying to get her to wear it long enough for a picture.

We ordered her costume right away from not wanting to deal with the difficulty of last minute costume shopping.  OK, I admit, it’s a Dash costume. Shhh…she won’t know the difference.  The costume didn’t come with gloves or a head band.  But, those things I found easily at Walmart, including her sequined black boots, which she’ll get lots of use out of this winter.  Coincidentally, the boots are called Girls’ Sequin Violet II. nice, eh?

Finally, the pièce de résistance – The Force Field. I  was on my way home from one of my many trips back and forth from Walmart when I had the epiphany that those same balls I used to make the diy eye balls would be perfect for a force field!  My friend happened to be at a Walmart the next day and she picked one up for me.  Awesome, right?! I know! Thanks gandech!

Here’s what my little/big Incredible looked like just before trick or treating tonight.  The gloves never made it on her tonight, not cold enough. And the mask and head band lasted about four houses deep, before she was done with them.  It’s no surprise she was mistaken for a boy in a Dash costume once or twice, even with the super cute glow-in-the-dark beaded necklace.


Oh, in case you need a little visual aid on where exactly in Walmart to find them, this funny little video will show you exactly which bin to find the translucent blue bouncy balls.

That’s all for tonight.  Will try to post pix of how mine & my hubby’s Incredible costumes turned out, sometime this week.

DIY Halloween 2012 | Eye Balls

cover bouncy balls with white trash bags, red & black craft paper and black sharpie. secure with clear packaging tape. Throw eyeballs in your yard for kids to play with during parties or perch them up in your trees.

DIY Halloween 2012 | Zombie Buffet 5k

DIY Halloween 2012, a set on Flickr.

My first zombie themed race day {Zombie Buffet 5k | Phoenix} was crazy hot and totally worth it. The best part is when I heard, “Dude, it’s Michonne!” as I was passing through a crowd of zombies pre-race. stay tuned for a post on how I put together my Michonne look.