I'm a sucker for a vintage towel. I buy them up at the thrift store whenever I find a batch from the 60's or 70's that through the decades, in a feat that can only be credited to science, seem to have retained all of their color glory. I find their cheery powder-roomness quaint and their size, adorable--I mean really, how did grown-people wrap themselves in these things?!
In the past, I've used these towelettes as re-usable wrapping paper, cut them up and knit them into bath rugs
and turned them into swimsuit cover-ups. Today however, I'm turning terry cloth into toys by making these cutie cubes for a little beach blanket blocko! They're great for baby to play with at the pool or snuggle with in the sand. Join me in a little cuddly kitsch, won't you? Here's how!
Discarded Towels (Vintage towels from the thrift store are great for this craft!)
Paper, Pen & Ruler (Optional)
Sewing Machine & Thread
4 1/2" Cube
Directions (Makes one block)
- Cut out six, 5" pieces of towel. You may find it helpful to first create a paper template to pin on the fabric before cutting. Your choice.
- With right-sides (aka the pretty side) facing and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew four of the squares end-to-end to create a long piece. Sew the remaining two squares to either side of the 2nd square of the long piece, creating a cross shape (see below.)
- Fold and sew piece into a cube shape, leaving one side open. When sewing is complete, it will look like the picture below.
- Turn piece right-side out. Generously stuff with polyester or bamboo stuffing. If you're feeling fancy, you can substitute 5" pieces of foam for the stuffing. I was not, in fact, feeling fancy.
- Fold the edges of the open side under and pin together. Hand sew closed.
Make as many as you feel like toting to your next trip to the beach for your family's very own block party! Har, har, har.
Craft Apparently Yours,
(L-R: Strong Man, Munchkin, Wee Witch & Baby Sasquatch Costumes)
Hey there and welcome to the very first article on the PBS Parents' CRAFT APPARENT blog! I'm Vickie Howell, and I'll be your guide to all things craft-- with and for your kiddos. As the mother of 7 & 9 year old boys and a 4-month-old girl, I'm inspired on a daily basis by my children. They're often my creative muses as well as both recipients and collaborators on projects I make. Like most parents though, I struggle to juggle family with life's other obligations. There's not a lot of time and in this economy especially, not a lot of extra money--if we're going to nourish our creative sides, then it needs to fit into both our schedules and our budgets. CRAFT APPARENT is right there with you; focusing on get-crafty projects for you and your kids that only require a little bit of time and cash!
Today I'm showing how to create unique and adorable costumes for your little goblin; all beginning with a plain, white snap suit (ya know, those one-piece rompers that have a name that's trademarked ;-)). They're easy to assemble (with both sew & no-sew options), can be made in a few hours, and all cost under $20. Hooray for Halloween!
Here's the scoop.
Basic Materials (all costumes)
White, Baby Snap Suit
Fabric Glue, Sewing Machine OR Needle & Thread (your choice)
Model: Quinn Corcoran
Strong Man Extra Materials
Pot of Coffee
1/8-1/4" yd Leopard Fabric (depending on size)
Black Embroidery Thread & Needle
Small Amount, Black Yarn & Felt
Strong Man How-To
- Naturally dye snap suit by simmering on the stove top, in a large pot filled with 8-10 cups of already made coffee. The longer you let it soak, the darker the snap suit's "skin tone" will be. Rinse thoroughly; let dry.
- To make leopard front, lay a small piece of fabric over snap suit. Using a marker, trace the outline of an over-the-shoulder-type loin cloth on top of fabric (Doesn't need to be perfect!); add 1/4" around. Cut out.
Fold over rough edges 1/4" & press with iron to create hem. Glue or sew hems.
Machine, hand-sew or glue leopard piece to snap suit at the crotch, sides and shoulder. Make sure to leave a little bit of give room for baby belly!
- To make chest sprouts, use needle to pull knotted pieces of embroidery thread through from the underside of snap suit. Snip pieces to about 1". Rub between fingers to fray.
- To make mini-barbell, braid 3, 10" bunches of yarn; knot at both ends. Cut out 4, small circles (juice glasses make a great template) of black felt. Sandwich yarn between 2 felt circles and glue or sew together. Repeat on opposite end.
Model: Clover Campbell
Munchkin Extra Materials
1/8"-1/4" Solid Color Fabric (depending on size)
Small Piece, Patterned Fabric
Fusible Tape (Optional: Only for a no-sew version)
1 yd., 1" Wide Ribbon
Small Amount, Green Tulle
2 Buttons (optional)
Scraps of RicRac, Lace and/or other Embellishments
White Craft Paint & Sponge Brush
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Stick
- To make skirt, measure around baby's waist to give you measurement "x". Multiply "x" by 2. That number will give you the pre-gathered, skirt width "y". Cut "y" x 9"(length) piece of solid color fabric. Note: Add 1"-2" in length for older babies.
Cut 7"x 9" (or whatever the length of other piece is) piece of contrasting fabric.
Hem sides and bottoms of both pieces by pressing 1/2" and sewing, gluing or using fusible tape to secure.
Center contrasting piece on solid fabric; fold top edge of both pieces over 1 1/2" and sew or glue or fuse (using 1 1/4" seam allowance) to secure. This will create a ribbon channel.
Use safety pin to feed ribbon through channel. Gather skirt, tie a bow and trim ribbon.
- Decorate snap suit by attaching decorative RicRac & ruffle to collar & sleeves. Hand-sew buttons to bodice. Important: Do not glue--buttons are a choking hazard if not secure!
- To make flower pot head piece, paint plastic cup. Let dry. Embellish with Ric-Rac at top and bottom of cup.
- Cover inside bottom of cup with liberal amount of hot glue. Place flower in center; stuff in tulle. Hot glue flower pot to headband.
Model: Talullah Boehk
Wee Witch Extra Materials
Black, Washing Machine Fabric Dye (iDye, RIT, etc.)
1/4" Each, Orange & Black Tulle
2 Pieces, Orange, Stiff Craft Felt
2, 1 yd Pieces of Decorative Ribbon
Black Needle & Thread
Orange Thread (Optional)
RicRac, Ribbon, Sequin or other Embellishments
Wee Witch How-To
- Dye snap suit in washing machine, using black fabric dye and following manufacturer's instructions. Wash & let dry.
- Embellish onsie by sewing or gluing RicRa to collar. Hand-sew spider to sollar. Important: Do not glue--plastic spiders are a choking hazard if not secure!
- To make skirt, hold black & orange 1/4" yard tulle pieces together; fold in half length-wise.
Use a needle and thread to make a running stitch about 2" from fold. Pull on thread ends to gather.
Use safety pin to feed 1 piece of ribbon through channel. Gather skirt, tie a bow and trim ribbon.
Hand sew plastic spiders to skirt front.
Cut up skirt bottom to desired length--the more jagged the spookier!
- To make hat, use a dinner plate to trace a semi-circle onto orange felt. Cut out semi-circle, then cut it in half--you'll use just one of those pieces. Roll 1/4 circle piece into a cone. Hand sew or glue seam. Trace around the circumference of the cone opening onto the 2nd piece of felt. Center salad place over the circle you've just drawn and trace a larger circle around it. Cut out both outer & inner circles to create brim. With right sides facing, stick cone inside inner circle; glue or hand sew into place.
Glue buckle adornment onto hat, above brim.
Cut piece of ribbon in half; hand sew pieces evenly, to underside of brim.
Model: Clover Campbell
Baby Sasquatch Extra Materials
Brown, Washing Machine Fabric Dye (iDye, RIT, etc.)
1/2 yd, Tan, Faux Fur
1/4" Wide Baby Elastic
1/2" Wide Elastic
Scraps, Tan Fabric
Baby Sasquatch How-to
- Dye snap suit in washing machine, using brown fabric dye and following manufacturer's instructions. Wash & let dry.
- Use a marker to draw chest & belly shapes on the back of faux fur. Cut out. Glue or sew to snap suit front.
- To make legs, measure around the chunkiest part of baby's thigh; add 2" to that measurement. Measure length from thigh to heel. Using those measurements, cut out 2 rectangle pieces of faux fur. Cut 1/4" wide elastic pieces to baby's thigh measurement (without adding extra 2").
Hem the top and bottom ends of one rectangle by folding raw edges over 1/2" and machine or hand sewing. Use safety pin to feed elastic through top hem of piece. With right sides facing, fold faux fur in half width-wise. Machine or hand-sew up the back. Turn right side out. Repeat for other leg.
- To make headband, measure baby's head; add 2" to that measurement giving you measurement "x". Cut out faux fur strip that measures 2" by "x". With right sides facing, fold strip in half width wise. Seam up; turn right side out.
Cut piece of elastic to baby's head measurement (without adding extra 2"). Feed elastic through headband; fold in half and sew ends together to form a circle.
Psst! Make this craft? We'd love to see a picture of it...and we're sure others would too! Join the Craft Apparent Flickr group and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent Crafts!