Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rapunzel: Nabbing A Prince

I thought I'd also share our fishing game because of that there daft picture of the witch. The girls hooted with laughter when I drew in her tiny hat. The point was to make her ridiculous rather than scary, because my littlest girls don't like scary much.

And the prince looks like a Playmobil klicky, doesn't he?

Anyway, I'll make this quick because I have a pinata to put together.

Here's the game:

1 Cut out long yellow ribbons/string/whatever.

2 Stick on magnets at the end.
Here are ours wrapped around little cards to keep them apart for the party.

3 Print out the princes and witches on cardstock and cut them out so they are the same shape (so they cannot be told apart when face down)

4 Add paperclips

5 Scatter them on the floor, face down.
With older kids, this can be at the bottom of a stairwell. With our 4-year olds, we'll be fishing off the floor while sitting on the sofa.

6 Tell the children they are Rapunzel and the ribbons/string/whatever are their long braids and they need to let their hair down and see if a prince will climb up.

7 Set them a random goal: whoever catches 5 princes first, wins.

8 Introduce a challenge: if they reel in a witch, they have to throw one prince out from their stash (but they can keep the witch as -snort - compensation).


with legs.

Jenna wanted Ariel's pink dress for Halloween.
Not the turquoise mermaid suit, which was just as well, given the temperatures in these parts.

Pink and white fleece and white shiny thingy fabric. I hesitate to call it satin because it drapes poorly and is overly polyester and has glitter stuck on, besides.

Here she is with her sidekick, Flounder:

And here's a photo of her overskirt. If I'd actually looked at the little Disney figurine we have of Ariel, I would have noticed her overskirt was NOT a cheat-gathered thing like what I made. And I would have preferred the actual swag drape that it was, because this gathered thing was very bunchy at the waist and hard on my needles. That's beside the fact that I got the colors of the skirt and overskirt switched, too.

But Jenna loves it and, unfortunately, Kate loves it, too. Simply because it's pink. Grr. I should outlaw pink in our house, and that will be the end of fights.

Here is proof that even layers of fleece will not save us from hypothermia. It was freezing today, with some wicked wind. Brrrr.

Two down.
And Emily's is also done -it just needs a few stitches put in by hand.

Now to start on the hooded cloaks.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rapunzel: Cardboard

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young maiden who lived in a tall tower

and she was very, very sad and lonely.
So she sang to keep herself sane.

One day, a handsome prince chanced to walk
by her tower and he heard her sing.

Having read all the right storybooks as a child,
he knew exactly how to get to where she was.

Unfortunately, because he was never very good
at gym (although he was a whiz at Science),
he couldn't rescue her.

Which disappointed the lovely maiden somewhat.

But, because he was
so handsome, and their circumstance
reminescent of another story of ill-fated
Shakespearean lovers
she'd read and loved as a child,
she walked down the staircase
and let him in by the front door.

And they lived happily ever after.

The end.

I love cardboard. I love it so much more than fabric.
When I need a break from sewing, I make cardboard
things. Whereas I never sew stuff when I need a
break from cardboard (which is never).
My favorite part of any kids' party is the cardboard.
Never mind the cake or the fabric nonsense or
felt food or Hello Kitties or whatever,
the cardboard is the real thing.

There is no party without the cardboard.

But making with cardboard under a time limit
with little kids at parties can get challenging,
so I often let them just do the decorating and
personalizing of cardboard toys.
Which suits me fine, because then
I get to do
all the making beforehand.

This is a little cardboard tower to house a little Rapunzel
(or Juliet) peg doll. Already my three girls have hijacked
some of the towers and the Rapunzels and fought
over the lone Prince guy and made up their own stories.
So I thought I'd take some pictures and share
them here so you can make them too.
Hint: make enough for each of your kids to have one,
because they will not want to share.

You'll need typical cardboard-crafting supplies and equipment:
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Strong scissors (I use kitchen scissors)
  • Craft /X-acto knife
  • Glue gun
  • Marker/pen/pencil and ruler
  • One peg doll

The Tower

Step 1

Cut a circle out of cardboard (we used corrugated cardboard). Our circle was made by tracing around a random coaster.

Measure the circumference of the circle. Cut out a rectangle of cardboard whose width is the circle's circumference plus one inch for overlap.

The height of the rectangle is whatever height you want the tower to be. Important: the ridges/spines of the cardboard should run parallel to the height of the tower, so that when you curve the rectangle to form the cylinder for the tower, it curves easily. One of the upcoming photos illustrates this further.

Step 2

Cut out the crenellations/battlements on the top edge of the rectangle:

Step 3

On the WRONG side of the cardboard, position the peg doll at the height you want it to be. Draw a window at face level. Also draw a horizontal line for the position of the floor the doll will stand on.

Step 4

Cut out the window.

Step 5

Curve the rectangle into a cylinder. Notice the ridges/spines of the corrugated cardboard (if you cut your rectangle in the correct orientation) running parallel to the height of the tower.

Step 6

Heat up your glue gun. You're going to be applying a thick line of glue all along that floor line you drew in Step 4, and rolling the wall onto the circular floor. Begin at one side of the wall, apply about 2-3" of glue along the floor line and press the edge of the circle onto it.

As the glue dries, continue applying more glue along the floor line and rolling the circle onto it. Roll the wall tightly around the edge of the circle so it makes good contact with the glue.

Step 7
When you get to the other end, apply glue along the overlap bit, and press firmly to seal the seam.

The floor should be firmly stuck in place like a high platform within the tower.

Here's the finished tower. Easy!


Step 1

Cut a long piece of yarn or trim for her braid. Stick it on the top of the head with craft glue.
Also cut out a piece of fleece (or felt) for her hair. Mine was roughly a broad leaf shape, and I cut small slits in the sides to wrap around the round head more snugly.

Step 2

Glue the toupee hair on her head.
This is all I'm doing for the peg dolls for the party. The kids will decorate their own Rapunzels with adhesive felt (buy these in sheets at craft stores) and self-adhesive gems and other felt stickons.

If the kids were older, I'd let them handle craft glue and make the entire doll, including the hair. And let them paint the dolls with acrylic paint. But these are 4-year-olds, and I think they'll manage better without the mess. So just stickers for them.

But for the sake of this tutorial, let's finish the doll, shall we?

Step 3

Stick adhesive felt around her body.

Step 4

Paint/draw on her face. We are going to use fine-tip permanent markers at the party. They bleed a little, but I don't think 4-year-olds are going to kick up a fuss about that.

Step 5

Embellish. Use trims, jewels, markers, whatever you like. We're sticking to only what's self-adhesive.

Step 6

Put Rapunzel in her tower, yell at her to Let Her Hair Down, and let the kids take it away.

Note: We're not providing Princes at the party. Emily wanted a Prince for her own story, so we made one - you can see him starring in the story at the beginning of this post. If you don't have peg dolls, use Playmobil. Or Legopeople. Or make your own small persons.

Next up: Our Rapunzel fishing game with daft caricatures!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rapunzel: Dresses & Tresses

We interrupt the sewing of Halloween costumes
to show you er... more costumes.

Jenna's birthday party on Saturday will be a sort of
dress-up party. Or - to be more precise - it will be
the result of fleece and crushed panne
being on sale at Joann's.

Rapunzel dresses

that are incredibly easy to make.
And very soft and comfortable.

I made my first one last year, using
Rowena's magistrate's dress tutorial.

You need about 2 yards of crushed panne
(or some other drapey fabric),folded in half
so the fold becomes the shoulder seam line.

Then you cut this shape out:

Then you add a keyhole-shaped facing in fleece

face-hem the sleeves.

I tried doing a ribbing sort of neckline at first, and it
was so hideous and Tshirtish that I yanked it off
and did the fleece neckline facings, sewn on the
wrong side of the dress and turned out to the
right side, zig-zag-stitching the edge down.

Then you sew a sash that looks like my
camera strap,
and cinch the waist, cross behind and tie in front.
Instant embellishment without trim.

Then you make more dresses, because the panne was
$2.50 a yard and you could get two size 4T
dresses side-by-side out of each 2-yard-cut
(that's $2.50 a dress!)

and size them up and down to fit different kids

and sew more coordinating sashes

and you don't even need to finish the hems
(although I must remember to trim them to
the right length before the party).

Then there is the Hair:

4 yards of fleece for 8 wigs - working out to $2 a wig.

Cut six panels - two short and four long,
sew them into a cap

braid them down the back
(I left ours loose so they would fit most of the heads)

snip bangs in front (if I had more time, I would have
added another fringy cap on top of this one so it
looks more tousled-hair-like and less turban-like)

and let them go tell their own stories.

So $4.50 an outfit, plus scraps.

Not a bad deal for a party takeaway, and maybe
someone will wear theirs on Halloween, too!