Oct 23, 2012

Free pharaoh's mask and collar printable

We're gearing up for Halloween here. It's not such a big deal in the UK as it is in the US though, so sadly there will be no parade in costume at school for the kids. We'll likely do a minor amount of local trick or treating though, and I'm sure the kids will be excited to embrace the UK tradition of Guy Fawke's night five days later, what with all the fireworks and toffee apples!

This year what we needed was a costume that captured the kid's current fixation of ancient Egyptian mummies, and allowed them to get involved in creating their own costume at a very low cost. So I set about making a 3D Pharaoh's mask and collar from paper that we could combine with a lot of toilet roll to jazz up the classic, low effort, loo roll mummy costume. The head dresses were just improvised by sticking a long sleeved t-shirt on our heads with the arms hanging down in front. Easy peazy lemon squeezy.

The kids loved it, and I've written up a tutorial with photos and all the print outs for both the mask and the collar, available as either A4 size, or US letter size pdfs over at Alpha Mom. If you think your kids would also get a kick out of this then pop over there to read the post and print your own copies. They are black and white line drawings, so that the kids can colour them any way they like and it is low on using up printer ink too.

I'm hoping that some home schoolers might find them a useful resource when studying ancient Egypt too (you can probably tell that I based it heavily on the mask of king Tut) Interesting fact: According to Wikipedia, on November 4th it will be 90 years since the day that Howard Carter's team discovered the steps leading down to Tutankhamun's tomb! I may put on a suit and a stick on moustache to be Howard Carter when going trick or treating with the kids. Maybe I can get Paul to go as zombie Lord Carnarvon with a tiny piece of bloody tissue stuck on his face. Sorry, I got a bit carried away there.

While I'm posting about halloweeny/fall/autumn type things, I thought it would be useful if I put a few links in here to some older posts in the Filth Wizardry archives, that might be useful for either costume making or just plain crafty fun on the theme.I'm sure there are more if you go digging, but these are the ones that sprang to mind.

Costume posts:

  1. Star Wars X-wing fighter pilot's helmet from recycling.
  2. Star Wars X-wing flight suit iron on printable.
  3. Roman centurion costume from cardboard and crepe paper.
  4. Storm trooper's helmet from two milk jugs.
  5. Mermaid tail from old pants and skirt.
  6. Gift bag robot costumes.
  7. antennae from cable ties and felt.
Halloween/Fall/Autumn craft posts:

  1.  Toilet roll bat.
  2. Halloween card printable by Carys.
  3. Laminated fall leaf magnets.
  4. Trick or treat pumpkin pots from milk jugs.
  5. Collaborative fall leaf rubbing mural project.
  6. 3D colourful skull and monster sugar dough cookies.
Hope there's something in those lists that will be useful to you this year. If anyone does make the storm trooper mask or Egyptian mask or the X-wing helmet, any of it really, I would so love to hear about it or see photos! The idea of people out there embarking on similar projects with their kids as a result of us blogging about our antics is such a lovely thought!

Have a lovely Halloween, and here's one last link to the Alpha Mom post with the Egyptian mummy mask, so that you don't have to scroll back up ;)

Oct 8, 2012

Autumn woodland treasure sculpture

Thought I should post about this project we did over the weekend, because the kids had a lovely time doing it, and the gift recipient (Grandma) really liked it too, so a win-win!

The making dragonflies using maple seeds and twigs appeared in Family Fun magazine a month or two ago, credited to a Shanti Nordholt. Here is the link to the originals (that also have glass bead eyes). As you can see in the picture below, we didn't do the glass bead eyes. I think we might have some somewhere in the shipping, but right now, a craft that we can do with just hot glue, paint and stuff we found on the ground on the way home is where it's at!

We had a couple of different sorts of seeds, so maybe one type was maple and one type sycamore? Not sure. We also picked up a load of twigs, and a small dead branch and a few conkers and leaves.

The conkers became the centers for the big flowers, with the sycamore seed petals hot glued around them, and the dragon fly bodies were a twig that had a natural little Y shape at the end to be the antennae. We used more twigs to make the flower stems and glued fallen leaves onto those too. We ended up cutting the lumpy seed bits off of the sycamore seeds with scissors to make gluing the wing bits onto the twigs a lot easier.

The kids painted them all up with acrylic paint. Some of them came out absolutely gorgeous, which is always an unexpected happy surprise when you've got little kids making stuff. I was kind of expecting that we might have really odd, crushed and weird looking insects and flora, but nope, it came out great.

All we did to give it to grandma was stick the twig in a glass full of rice to hold it. If you've got a vase and some proper floral glass nugget things it might look a bit classier, but given that it's made from hot gluing together stuff that fell out of trees, I think the glass of rice works just fine.

We are so making more of these, because I want one to stay in our home too! Something about it sort of reminds me of the victorian fixation with things like fire screens that hold stuffed bird displays or butterflies made out of feathers, or even the weird gluing seashells together to make freaky looking animals. I really do like it though, and because the seeds are so very thin, the light shines through them in a lovely way. It would also look much classier if it was done just in it's natural fall colours, but painting it all crazy was at least 50% of the fun.