Halloween is almost upon us - and although it is still a fairly new tradition in this part of the world, any holiday that endorses dressing up in costume is alright by me. I'm still not sure about this whole trick-or-treat business, but I'm all over the dress-ups in a big way. Actually, in a world ruled by me, everyone would be in costume every day. It would be the law.
But I'm not so keen on those plastic, mass produced discount store costumes, nor the slackers that turn up on the front step in animal onesie pyjamas. Some effort is needed if you are knocking at my door looking for treats. I would rather see a kid dressed in a bed-sheet and a mask he or she made herself or wrapped up in a couple of rolls of toilet paper. Sorry to be a hard-ass, but plastic Scream masks are just so yawn.
Halloween or not though, this is a fun dress-up accessory that the kids (and their adult helper!) can go a bit wild on. And you will probably have to visit the discount store to get a few things, but in the end, you will have something that could look pretty schmick, totally unique, and you'll have had fun with glue and glitter and paint in the process. What's not to love, here?
I've done a few variations here to illustrate some different ideas, but once you've made the hairband base, you'll come up with loads of ideas yourself, I'm positive. This hairband could be adapted for all sorts of occasions - birthdays, bachelorette parties, Christmas, school plays - go wild!
First up, we'll start with the hairband base. The instructions and materials list include what you need for one hairband. But of course you could make several at a time.
What you need
- Cheap plastic hairband (I found a pack of two for two dollars at my local Value Zone).
- 1 chenille stick, 30cm long.
- Sello tape or masking tape.
- Craft ribbon or bias binding - about 2 metres (the cheap stuff is fine). Even better if you can find it, is the ribbon elastic that is use to make elastic hair-ties - being stretchy, it is much easier to work with. But it does cost more to buy. Your call.
- Needle and thread (the same colour as the ribbon).
- Craft glue
- Two straws. The cheap striped paper ones are ideal.
What you do
Take your chenille stick and bend it as shown in the diagram below, so it looks like a pair of cat ears. Please disregard the fact that when you add up the measures in the picture, the total comes to 28 centimetres, not 30 centimetres. I think I was ripped off a couple of cee ems on my chenille sticks. And a bit of the length is taken up in the bends. Your chenille stick doesn't have to be spot on measurement wise, just so long as your prongs can support the straws when you stick them on, all will be sweet.
Twist up those cat ears to make prongs.
Position your twisted chenille stick on the hairband, and stick into place with tape.
Now to wind the craft ribbon around the hairband, from one end to the other. Start my taking the ribbon and winding it tightly two or three times around one end of the hairband to anchor it.
Then proceed to wind around the entire band, covering the parts of the chenille stick that are taped flat against the band, but leaving the prongs free.
Once you make it all the way to the end, again wind it around the band two or three times tightly, snip the ribbon and secure with a few tight hand stitches through the ribbon (this is really the most time consuming and boring part). Once finished, it will look like this -
Dab on a generous amount of craft glue on each prong...
...then slide the straws on. When you push the straws onto the prongs, a bit of glue may be pushed along with them, leaving a big glob of glue at the base of your antenna. Wipe over gently with a lightly moistened cloth (not too wet or your straws will go soggy) to remove the glue, and leave to dry for a half hour. Most craft glue dries clears so you won't see any that you may miss.
Once dry, the fun begins - time to decorate! I could have gone crazy making hundreds of these, but here are just a few for ideas.
For the boys - ALIEN ANTENNA
What you need
- Two ping pong palls (again, the discount store helped out with really cheap, fake ones which are most likely useless for table tennis).
-Black kids poster paint
-Kindy glitter glue in colour of your choice
What you do
Make some holes in your ping pong palls. I do this by starting with a pin, and then re-piercing the same position with a thicker needle, then re-piercing again with a knitting needle, etc. finding thicker things to pierce the same spot until the hole is thick enough to accomodate the straw. You culd try wiggling your piercing implement about, in I guess you could call a reaming movement, but very gently, otherwise the ball may split - be careful!
Pop your ping pong balls on the end of a couple of sticks or spare straws. Holding the stick or straw, paint with the black paint so that they are entirely covered. Stand them up in an old cup and leave them to dry.
Once dry, give the balls two coats of kindy glitter glue, leaving them to dry in between coats.
Trim the straws on the headband to the length you'd like (take into account the length of straw that will be pushed into the ping pong ball, and then gently screw the ball onto the straw. Done.
(*Note - if you're in a hurry, and can't wait for three layers of paint to dry, you could stick on some black circles of paper, or black sticky dots to make eyeballs, like the one Sophie is wearing.)
For the girls - FAIRY ANTENNA
- Cardboard or craft foam sheet - we used silver craft foam sheet for ours.
- Craft glue.
- Star cookie cutter (or any other shape you might like)
What you do
Take your hairband base and trim straw to desired length. Flatten the ends of the straws.
With hairband on a flat surface, place shapes right side downwards, under the straws as shown. Cover with glue.
Place other two shapes on top of the glue covered ones and press down, sandwiching the straws between the shapes. Leave to dry (you could put them under something heavy to make sure they dry flat).
And for the absolutely fabulous! - SHOWGIRL HEADPIECE
What you need -
- An extra three chenille sticks
- An extra six straws
- Foam craft sheet or cardboard- 2 sheets should do it.
- Star cookie cutters, different sizes (or whatever shape you desire)
- Sello-tape or glue
What you do
Now for this one, when making the hairband, shape all four chenille sticks, position them on the hairband and stick them down with tape, so your hairband looks like this:
...and then proceed to wind the ribbon around the band, keeping all the prongs free. Then make as for the the fairy antenna, but of course, you have eight prongs to glue straws onto and stick stars on to. I was slack here and did not sandwich the straws between two stars, but instead just taped them on. On the rear side, you can see the straw stuck on with sellotape. I just didn't have enough time or glittery sparkly cardboard, but if you want it to look as good from the back as it does frontways, by all means sandwich away! I did however have enough sparkly gold cardboard to make eight smaller stars that I stuck lower down the straw to give it extra sparkle.
Not that I think my two need any extra sparkle.
So, there you go, quick and easy, cheap and cheerful. Good for Halloween dress ups at any time of the year. I am particularly liking that last one for me, actually. I could totally carry that one off daily, I think. A world ruled by me, dressing up would be law, remember? It looks like the Queen has found her hat.