Our DIY Frozen Halloween – Family Costume How To

Disney Frozen Halloween Costumes How To - Olaf and Anna

My daughter (along with half the kids in the US) decided she wanted to be a character from Disney’s Frozen movie this Halloween. After she made the big decision of which character (Anna) and we negotiated how the rest of the family would fit in (“Nobody is Hans because he’s a bad guy.”), I got down to the business of assembling our costumes as a mixture of bought (mostly at Old Navy with coupons!) and DIY pieces (because I do not have time to learn to sew dresses!).

Here is my do it yourself process:

How to DIY your own Frozen Anna Coronation Hair Ribbon

I fell in love with Anna’s Coronation outfit (which I found cheap on eBay direct from China) and convinced O to go along with the green instead of Anna’s typical snow travel ensemble (which involves a dress AND a cape). The hairpiece was the easiest part and I think it allowed us to not have to totally copy Anna’s intricate ceremony hairstyle (we just slicked her hair up in a bun instead).

HOW TO: For her hairpiece we picked out 3 sparkly ribbons: a light green, a dark green and gold. I cut pieces of equal length from each and hot glued them to a barrette (from A.C. Moore). Then I tied another piece of gold into a bow and hot glued just the back of it to the barrette (tip: put your fingers in the bow loops as you glue so the tops don’t get stuck  or your clip will look smooshed). Easy!

How to DIY your own Frozen Anna Boots
Although technically Anna wore more formal shoes to the coronation, it’s getting pretty cold over here, so function won out (plus my daughter needed some fall/winter transition shoes). Luckily, she was okay with it because these boots are clearly featured in the movie during Anna’s visit to Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post & Sauna. I picked out The Children’s Place Ryder Boots to decorate.

HOW TO: I printed a picture of the costume boots from The Disney Store to use as a guide. Then I sketched out my design in chalk (you can easily wipe chalk mistakes off faux leather like this with a damp cloth or finger). I started out with Fun Paint Glitter Glue in gold but the applicator tube was too big and I knew all my lines were going to run together. Then I tried Martha Stewart’s brand glitter glue in lemon drop (pack of 16 assorted colors on clearance at A.C. Moore!) which had a perfect, long thin applicator but the yellow turned green on the black boots. I had to empty the Martha Stuart glue and replace it with the gold in her small tube but then I just traced my design and let the boots dry overnight.

How to DIY your own Frozen Elsa Hair Crown Braid
If my daughter is Anna, you know Mommy has to be Elsa. Since I have a pixie, I knew I’d need faux hair for Elsa’s signature over the shoulder single braid. Doing just a braid crown took less time than crocheting an entire hat and attaching the braid and I think it turned out pretty good!

HOW TO: First measure loosely around your head and down your shoulder to where you want your braid to fall and then double that length (I probably also added a few extra inches to be safe – better too long than too short). I picked a white yarn with some sparkle and cut about 200 pieces that size. Yes, it will be tedious, but turn on a movie and you’ll get through it before it’s over. Tip: make sure you lay your pieces of yarn out so that the ends on one side are lined up (doesn’t have to be exact) to save time and frustration later. Next, holding all your cut pieces together, tie a knot at the lined up end and stick it under something heavy (I put it under my laptop). Comb through the yarn with your fingers to make sure it’s not tangled (take your time!), divide it into 3 sections and braid. Use a large hairband to hold the end of your braid temporarily.

Find the center of your braid and hold the center up to your forehead. Wrap the ends behind your head so that it feels comfortable but not too loose (remember the yarn will stretch) and tie that permanently. I used two of those tiny rubber band hair ties (since they always break). Now, unbraid your 2 tail ends and re-braid them together into a single braid. Secure the end permanently and trim your ends even.

There are lots of ways to decorate your Elsa hair braid and I thought about getting some sparkly snowflake jewels but when I stumbled across these paper snowflakes in the scrapbooking section of A.C. Moore, I knew I wasn’t going to find a better deal. Put 2 aside for your shoes and hot glue the rest to your braid.

Perfect to DIY your own Frozen Elsa Costume
I already owned a blue skirt and I found this very Elsa-looking top on Amazon for $10!!! I decided to do without the cape (partially because somewhere inside I was convinced my daughter would change her mind at the last second and steal my costume identity) but I did buy some rhinestone stickers for $1.99, also from the scrap-booking section at my local craft store, and my 4 year old had a blast sticking them to me. Yes – they fell off all over the place but she went a little overboard so I had plenty to spare. :)

How to DIY your own Frozen Elsa Costume Shoes
I kept 2 snowflakes leftover from Elsa’s hair and hot glued them onto some teal blue Sueded Pointed Toe Flats from Old Navy. These are another totally different shade, but at least all the pieces of my costume were blue, right?

How to DIY your own Frozen Costumes for a Family - Olaf and Sven
For my son’s Olaf costume, I decided to plan everything around the hat but so many of them were kinda scary looking I was relieved to find this Disney Frozen Flipeez Olaf Hat on Amazon. From there I had planned to put him in just a big, cheap white sweatshirt but I couldn’t find any anywhere! I thought I might have to settle for like 3 layered white shirts for warmth when I noticed a shearling lined brown jacket in the Toddler department. Turned inside out, those unlined brown arms become instant sticks and I have my (off) white snowman. Oh, except there was brown down the center for the zipper too – so I actually had the jacket inside out and backwards. My little guy didn’t seem to mind one bit though. Circles of sticky-back black felt were used as faux buttons and easily covered the interior jacket tag. The best thing about this costume is that I can use all the pieces again later throughout the winter – no waste! :)

Mimi went as Sven the reindeer (a close win over a rock troll). I already had a brown furry cape so she paired that with some brown pants, a black turtleneck and inflatable antlers (the fuzzy ones looked really straggly, plus these were cheaper). Of course her costume wouldn’t be complete without an “Official Arendelle Ice Master and Deliverer” medal, so I found a glittery snowflake and hot glued it to some leftover maroon ribbon from Daddy’s costume to make it a necklace.

How to DIY your own Frozen Kristoff CostumeMy husband’s costume was the only one that required sewing but it was still fairly simple. He used his own gray twill pants an Bogs boots to finish off the look.

HOW TO: I started by pinning the grosgrain ribbon around the collar and v-neck of the shirt/tunic. Then I added a stripe across each shoulder, following the existing seam. I didn’t have a thicker piece of ribbon, so I laid 2 about 6 inch long pieces of my 1.5 inch wide ribbon side by side down the front of the shirt from the point of the v-neck and sewed everything down. Next, I cut out a V shape from the bottom right side of the tunic and pinned faux fur along both sides of the V and around the bottom hem. I pinned and sewed faux fur around both arms and the neckline – but not all the way to the center of the V-neck – leave an inch or 2 free of fur there. I don’t think you can even tell in the picture above that I left that empty space in front, but, trust me, his chin would have been swallowed by fur otherwise (it also helps ensure he can pull the shirt over his head – see below).

Quick tip: I found out that sewing trim onto jersey material is hard; if you pull too much, it’ll bunch and if you pull too little, the sleeves might be too tight to get on. To solve this, I sewed 3/4 of the way around and left the a big tail at the underside of the sleeve. Then I had my husband try on the shirt to make sure his arms fit in and just did a quick tack stitch by hand to connect the fur pieces and cover the empty section. Faux fur is so forgiving, it was completely unnoticeable.

Frozen Anna Boots After Tantrum
P.S. This is what happens to the boots after they’ve been worn during an epic, probably candy-fueled, tantrum. Next time I’ll add some sort of mod podge or sealant or something over the top of the glitter glue. But it was good while it lasted!
How to DIY your own Frozen Costumes for a Family
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Family Summer Bucket List: Week 3 and 4

I love that I’m able to see exactly what we’ve done this summer and relive those fun moments through these blog posts. So, we crossed off the following bucket list items: Make Gak, Find a New Playground, Have an Adults Only Monster Golf Date and Make Stained Glass with tissue paper.

gak collage

1. I found a bunch of different recipes for Gak (aka goop, slime, silly putty) online; most use Borax but there are also creative versions made without borax too. I decided to go traditional since this is our first time. Surprisingly, even though there are only like 3 ingredients, there’s more than one “right” way to do it – so I had to try 2 different versions (we needed 2 colors anyway). Both recipes are below for you. First we tried making Gak using the recipe from The Magnolia Barn. I used some leftover purple pigment from Glob Natural Paints to color the Gak which also made it smell fruity and amazing . The end result wasn’t as stretchy as I assumed it should be; it tended to break off in nice chunks instead (which was still cool looking), but it took on shapes easily and held them for a while (hand prints or shapes of things left on top of it, for example) and it had a nice feel. O immediately asked for her rolling pin and began making tissue paper-thin sheets of Gak and then started methodically punching out “cookies.”

Next we tried the recipe from Come Together Kids. I was able to get almost 6 half teaspoons into mine (see step 4) but I was trying to get as much Borax as possible to really see the difference in these recipes. We made this batch orange. It looks like the Borax helps make the Gak stretchier. I put a small bit of each Gak version over two outstretched fingers about 12 inches from the top of the table and timed which one would blob down to the table first. The orange recipe (from Come Together Kids) stretched down to the table in about 10 seconds but our purple version (from The Magnolia Barn) was barely starting to feel the pull of gravity. The downside to the orange version though is that shapes formed are quickly gone (hand prints almost immediately flatten out) which might be frustrating to some.

So both recipes are good but each might be better for different ages and/or different personalities. For kids who are tickled by gross things and boogers, for example – I recommend the orange. For kids who like to mold shapes and flatten with rolling pins – the purple might be better.

Gak Comparison colored

2. Our goal to find a new playground was actually fulfilled by accident. I had signed us up to go to an annual ladybug release event sponsored by our local Junior Women’s Club and that meetup just so happened to be right next to a cool new playground. Releasing the ladybugs to help local gardens and doing ladybug-related crafts was fun too though. And yes, I’m playing with photo editing software again (addicted!!).

ladybug collage
ladybug park dance

3. As I mentioned when I made our summer bucket list, we added in a few Adults Only items to ensure that daddy and I made time for our date nights (which always seem to get pushed back for some reason or another). A new Monster Mini Golf place open up near us a while ago and we’d been wanting to go for months – thanks to our bucket list, we finally made it happen. We were hoping we could go back with O, but it was lucky we tried it out alone first – the place was way too scary for a 3-year-old (large animated monsters, loud music, monster paintings on the walls, etc). But it was fun for us (and mommy won by 9 strokes). For the future, clearly we missed the memo and should have worn white shirts.

monster golf collage

4. I’d been waiting to do tissue paper stained glass with my daughter since before she was born – I clearly remember doing it myself when I was little. When the activity came in one of our monthly craft subscription boxes and I didn’t have to do any work to make it happen, I was even more excited. O and I peeled the backing off a piece of contact paper and laid it sticky side up on the table, then we placed the black paper frame over the top to hold the contact paper down (and make it look nice). I cut pieces of colored tissue paper into small squares and O applied them with the concentrated precision of a focused preschooler. It was a quick project but at least our art can stay up in the window for as long as we like.

stained glass collage

Family Summer Bucket List: Weeks 1 and 2

We’re participating in the 2013 Summer Bucket List Challenge. Here’s what we’ve checked off so far:

1. Ride a Carnival Coaster – Technically not a coaster but our local carnival didn’t bring one this year so we worked with what we got. O was not disappointed in the slightest to ride the spinning dinosaurs.

coaster collage
2. Play with Water Balloons – Take that 90 degree day! (unfortunately Daddy and I were too caught up in trying to get each other that we forgot to take more pictures). Our purple Pumponator worked like a charm and O loved pumping and counting (exactly 7 pumps was perfect for us). P.S. the Pumponator is also great for shooting water at unsuspecting victims but it’s not fast on the refill so it’s easy for the other party to get revenge.

water balloon collage 2

Yes, I was playing with cool photo effects.

3. Go to a New Museum – We visited the Museum of Science in Boston over Memorial Day weekend (The Dead Sea Scrolls special exhibit tipped the adult votes away from the Children’s Museum). Since none of us had ever been there before, I was worried it might be better for older kids but it turned out there was lots of stuff O found fascinating and that was totally in her skill level. We attended a free show about Lightning where the world’s largest air-insulated Van de Graaff generator created lightning bolts indoors for us (recommended for grades 3 and up but O has never had a problem with loud noises) and a free live animal presentation on geckos. We also bought tickets for the Butterfly Garden exhibit which rewarded O, after being unbelievably patient and still, with 2 butterflies landing on her knee. We also loved the full dinosaur skeletons and life-size T-Rex model, and the Science in the Park exhibit (included with ticket price) which was basically a playground (The museum site explains it as: “Run, jump, swing, and use familiar objects to investigate the pushes and pulls of everyday life.”). Highly recommended. P.S. If you ask the info desk, there’s a private nursing room (not on the museum map) that you can use if unoccupied!

Boston museum collage 2

Clockwise from top left: 1. Don’t worry, the baby was “driving” at a rest stop. 2. O started with a green elephant then said she was building a house around him. 3. Have you seen these optical illusions where the object looks like you can grab it? 4. The view from inside the Butterfly exhibit. 5. Waiting patiently for butterflies. 6. Mommy had a brown butterfly land on her the moment we walked in.

4. ADULTS ONLY – Zip Line Date with Zoom Ziplines at Mountain Creek, NJ. I bought tickets for this from LivingSocial back in December as a Christmas Gift for my husband. They operate year-round (so yes, you can zip line in the snow!) but since the trip there and back would take half the day, we needed to wait until Number 2 was a little older and nursing less often – luckily we had until June to use the deal. We rode a Gondola lift up the mountain, did a short training zip line and 3 big zip lines, walked across a suspension bridge and sat in a Unimog back to the Gondola lift down. Our guides were competent, friendly and I felt very safe with them. Although I’m not totally sure it would have been worth it at full price, my husband and I had a blast.

Zipline collage 2

The gondola lift and the view of NJ as we went up the mountain

Zipline collage 1

Left: The longest zip line (our barely visible landing deck marked with an arrow) and Right: my husband and I in our gear.

Our 2013 Summer Bucket List for a Happy Family

family pic 064

Yes, Daddy has a funny smile but since the blog writer and the babies look great, this photo wins.

I love being creative, Pinterest sucks away hours of my life, I’ve been hoarding Family Fun, Crochet Today and other crafty magazines for as long as I can remember, and I’ve got about 5 million bookmarks on my laptop. But, I’m also the type of person that needs sticky notes in every room just to remember to take my vitamins. Too often I read an article and say, “We should totally do that!” and then completely forget about it. Or, after the kids are asleep, I think to myself, “Oh man, we should have done X fun thing today!” but, of course, it’s too late. So, when I found out about The Summer Bucket List Challenge last year and again this year, I joined excitedly – an easy way to ensure we’re not missing out on those special little things that create memories and make childhood magical? Yes, please! Plus, there are honestly no cons; it’s all-inclusive, pure fun.

But I still have a few other reasons why I like the Bucket List Challenge anyway:

  1. Literally writing out and displaying our Bucket List in the living room, where we’ll walk past the list multiple times a day, makes it impossible not think about which activity you could make time for (and for visually oriented people like me it’s even better).
  2. Since the Summer Bucket List Challenge is public, that makes everyone online my new accountability partners.
  3. I’m addicted to photo books and The Bucket List will make a great one!
  4. Did I mention I’m also an obsessive list maker?

This year’s Summer Bucket List Challenge, sponsored by The Happy Family Movement, begins on May 20 and lasts until Labor Day, Sept 2. (It’s free and fun so if you haven’t signed up yet, click here now – you won’t regret it). That time frame gives us exactly 3 months and 13 days to create some serious summer memories. Now, 13 has always held a special place in our family – it’s the day Nick and I decided to get married and we always try to do something small and special whenever a 13th falls on a Friday. So… I’m pretty sure this is some sort of cosmic sign that we’re destined to have The Best Summer Ever thanks to our Bucket List!

If you’re a long-time follower of my blog, I admit we did not publicly participate much last year because Number 2 arrived and the season turned out to be an overwhelming blur of preparing, caring and adjusting – more so than I ever imagined it would be. But, now that we’ve had time to get used to our new family dynamic and Number 2 is a little older and less demanding, we are SO READY!

What to do with 15 weeks, 105 days or 2,520 hours of potential fun? In order to make sure our list wasn’t overwhelming, my husband and I voted on 2 activities per week (or 30 total), with the option to add more (which we quickly did). We also decided we should add in some Adult Only dates too because we’re terrible at making them happen and because happy parents = a happy family. So, (drum roll, please) here is our 2013 Summer Bucket List:

067

  1. Make Gak
  2. Go on a scavenger hunt
  3. Get ice cream from an ice cream truck (must be playing music)
  4. Ride bikes
  5. Go berry picking
  6. Go grocery shopping with O’s own cart and list
  7. Visit a farmer’s market
  8. Attend a baseball game
  9. Go swimming (first time!)
  10. Take advantage of BOA’s Free Museum Day
  11. Watch fireworks
  12. Play with water balloons
  13. Visit Sandy Hook beach (if re-opened)
  14. Go bowling (first time!)
  15. Visit the local zoo
  16. Trip to Boston
  17. Use sidewalk chalk
  18. Visit the Camden Aquarium
  19. Have a picnic
  20. Visit the Central Park Zoo
  21. Airbrushing
  22. Trip to California (first airplane!)
  23. Make stained glass with tissue paper
  24. ADULTS: Zip-line date
  25. ADULTS: Miniature Golf
  26. Bike on Governor’s Island
  27. Find a new fun park
  28. Play with bubbles
  29. Make popcicles (first time!)
  30. Ride a carnival coaster
  31. Have a one color meal
  32. ADULTS: Go to the movies
  33. Go on a firefly walk
  34. Visit Sesame Street Place

This year we’re going to document the things we cross off our List with lots of pictures. Stay tuned! Have you signed up yet? Do it NOW!!

Our Summer Bucket List


I found this on another blog and I’m glad I did! First of all, I love making lists period (have I mentioned this before?). So making a specific summer fun bucket list is something I’d naturally gravitate towards and one I haven’t done before. I’m going to try to make sure that my list includes both family fun activities and some mommy fun stuff too. Still a work in progress obviously, but wanted to post the first few things that came to mind.

  1. Have baby #2 and recover
  2. Make sure little O still feels loved, secure and hopefully not too jealous of the new baby
  3. New Jersey State Fair – we miss this every year! And it’s usually in Secaucus which is one stop from Penn Station. Even though O is probably still too short for any of the rides and my prego belly is going to keep me off the fun rides, there’s usually still a petting zoo, fun demonstrations, carny food, etc.
  4. Make initial pancakes (and decorate with whipped cream)
  5. Central Park Zoo – ashamed to admit we still haven’t been here
  6. Make fruit popsicles
  7. Bronx Zoo again – we’ve been to this one but didn’t make it through the whole thing cause this zoo is Huge! Maybe an elephant or camel ride too?
  8. Use the new sand and water table that O got for her birthday from her Auntie & Uncle
  9. Paint with O using the Glob paint kit I just got (probably after newspapering the entire kitchen)
  10. Finally try that Turkish restaurant near our house
  11. Make room for another family member? (no, not #2 – he’s already got space)
  12. Catch fireflies
  13. Go to the beach (more than once!)
  14. Stay up late to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July
  15. Attend storytime at the local library
  16. Ride our bikes with toddler trailer (at least until hubby refuses to let me ride anymore due to the unfortunate combination of clumsiness + prego belly)
  17. Make homemade ice cream (decaf coffee choc chip for mommy!)
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