Saturday, September 19, 2015

Adventures in Diaper Wreaths

I love an excuse to be crafty and make things. My sister-in-law's baby shower is this weekend, and I am bringing decorations. So, I decided to make diaper wreaths! I had the "brilliant" idea to make a guitar-shaped diaper wreath, but it just didn't turn out as planned. When I hung different little gifts on it, they concealed the shape of the wreath. It looked like a weird, hanging blob. So, I made a regular diaper wreath as well and hung all the little goodies on that one!

I'll start with the round diaper wreath. I based mine from a tutorial from Homemade Gifts Made Easy. I changed a few of the steps based on what I had at home.

1) I used a large dinner plate to measure out a circle on a piece of cardboard I had on hand (from a large shipping box). I made a large circle around that so I could cut out a ring.

2) I used a wire hanger on the back of the ring, which I thought made it sturdier and easier to hang. I used packing tape to secure it.


3) I used wrapping paper I had on hand to wrap the cardboard and hanger. You can see how I cut strips to be able to wrap along the curve.

4) I followed the instructions from the tutorial on hot gluing the ribbon around the diapers and securing each one to the wrapped cardboard ring.

5) I criss-crossed some thin green ribbon around the diapers, and then I tied some little toys and gifts to the diaper wreath. I finished it off with a big bow on top. I love the way it turned out!

To make the guitar-shaped diaper wreath, I began by shaping a wire hanger into the shape of a guitar.

I started out by folding the diapers around the frame, but I lost the shape of the guitar:

So, I tried a different method and actually wrapped the diapers around the wire frame. I wrapped twine around as I went in order to hold the diapers in place. 

Here's what it looked like when I finished wrapping the diapers around:

I worried it didn't look distinctly like a guitar. I ended up sewing some tan-colored construction paper onto the frame using twine. I printed out a picture of the bridge of the guitar and glued at onto the front, along with a black circle for the hole in the guitar. This is what it looked like from the back as I worked:

I made a little striped sweater and rolled that up to kind of look like the neck of the guitar. I secured it with a bow. Voila! I was just happy it looked like a guitar when I was done!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Des Moines Mini Maker Faire

We spent Labor Day at the Science Center, checking out the Mini Maker Faire! The outdoor area was free, where people could get food from the food trucks and let their kids splash around. To go inside to check out the fair, we had to pay admission to the Science Center. For two kids and two adults, it was $40 (ouch!).

The first thing we found was a LEGO car building area near the high school robotics teams.We let Oliver play for a while but then reminded him he could play LEGOs at home any time.

Most of the booths would be interesting to adults, as they were showing 3D printers and other gadgets, but it wasn't especially interesting to the kids. Until we found R2D2, that is.

Oliver got to design a project out of wood. This was a regular thing offered by the science center. Oliver loved the chance to use the tools, but the wait was really long (at least 30 minutes).

While Oliver waited to use the "wood shop," Jo and I checked out other displays at the fair. There were adults blowing up balloons and twisting them together, trying to create a stable structure (at least, I'm pretty sure that's what they were trying to do). They had some discarded balloon pieces off the corner, and I noticed a little kid was playing. No one seemed to mind, so I took Jo over. Before I knew what happened, dozens of kids had found the balloons and the station turned into a party place for the kids. They had a blast! I'm certain this was not supposed to be the activity at the station, but it was fun.

We found a drone demo sign and thought of Grandpa Paul.

Jo's an environmental superhero!

While the fair was kind of neat, there just wasn't much for little kids, so we ended up ditching the downstairs fair to go explore the more kid-friendly areas upstairs. Andrew and Oliver found us up there, and the kids had a really, really good time. They got to play with balls, design LEGO cars to race, design a contraption to drop an egg without breaking it, design a LEGO city, and, of course, play with the ball wall.

While the maker fair was a cool idea, it's definitely more for teenagers and adults. I'd take the kids again when they're older, but, for now, we'll probably just stick to going on their special $5 days.