House of Wax

I’ve shared the super-easy recipe for recycled crayons here before, but this week we decided to give it a Halloween spin, attempting spooky color combinations like black and orange or purple and red.

Of course, we had to assign names to the new cray-ations: from top left, I give you Jack-o-lantern, Dracula’s Blood, Dead-end Road, Midnight Blue, Mermaid Sea, Candy Corn, Fire in the Sky, Ghostly Greys, and Swamp Thing. 😉

Tip: Because these are so fat, they’re great for gravestone rubbings. There are also often surprise color combos inside once you give these a crack — so get whackin’!

Two all-beef patties of cute

Here’s a quick tutorial: The one-time use hamburger costume for toddlers, brought to you by Procrastination Parenting.

It’s two halves of a burger made from poster board (or felt, construction paper, old grocery bags, what-have-you…seriously. Whatever you have) and held together by two straps made of equally immediately available materials.

First, I cut out two circles of ‘bun colored’ paper and two larger circles of black for the patty. I used a file folder for the bun (art by necessity!), so creating two identical circles was simple. For the patty, I just folded the poster board in half.

Then it was on to the fixins… I used red poster board cut into wavy strips for ketchup (it was green on the other side, as seen in the photo above) and yellow triangles for cheese, eyeballing the front every now and then as I glued. Using green tissue paper for lettuce, I ripped each sheet into four squares, did a quick fan-fold, smooshed (very technical) the ends down flat in the middle and glued one on top of the other. I used Elmer’s carpenter glue, which is really thick and held the many smooshed leaves of lettuce together nicely. I imagine liberal amounts of regular Elmer’s would work just fine.

I cut another circle of paper when I was done with the lettuce, so I’d have a smooth surface on which to mount the shoulder straps — made from every procrastinator’s favorite product, duct tape. Ribbon or strips of fabric would probably suffice…it’s about whatever’s lying around the house, after all.

Taping two pieces together to make straps, I laid them out with the two halves of the burger on either end and eyeballed the distance so it would be easily slipped over my toddler’s head and wouldn’t slip off.

Because it was nap-time during this entire endeavor (obvi), I kept the strips of tape holding the straps on to the paper loose in case I had to re-position. When I was sure they were good to go, I glued one more circle of poster board over the tape to clean things up and give it one more layer of substance.

I covered the duct-straps with more tissue paper and flipped over for the finishing touches (sesame seed buns, of course)…

…and made a pickle topper and pinned it to a hat with one of Dada’s tie clips.

By the by, if you’re wondering why we went with ‘hamburger’ for a costume choice, it was to complement the parental ensemble; an homage to Bob and Linda Belcher of Bob’s Burgers, also DIYed:

Our little slider wasn’t bothered by the costume and it also hung well when she was in her stroller, so that was a win overall for a Halloween night that included marching in a parade, trick-or-treating, and visiting with friends.

Whatever works, that’s my motto!

Willow House magazine launches!

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 11.14.42 AMExciting times in WriterJax World this week! A new lifestyle magazine has just launched and I’m psyched to have an article in the premier issue.

Willow House magazine is geared toward young couples and families looking to make their lives a little better, brighter, funkier, more organized… you name it.


Photo by Sarah Severson

An idea for an article on DIY Souvenirs has been in my pitch book for years, inspired by the little freebies I’ve collected along the way as a broke college student, frugal travel writer, and now penny-pinching working mom. Gladly, the topic was a perfect fit for Willow House, and now it’s finally seeing the light of day. That’s a win in WriterJax World. Hope you can take a look, and please share your own DIY Souvenir ideas in the comments — either here or at Willow House!