My nephew asked for a taco pillow for Christmas. I think I did a good job delivering on the request, even though we both agree that it turned out rather larger than we expected.
This is an Entbrat from a video game called My Singing Monsters.
The headpiece is made of foam core and bristol board, with horns sculpted from crumpled newspaper wrapped in masking tape. The whole thing is covered in felt. Lips, tongue, and teeth are made of craft foam colored with marker. The feet are craft foam covered with felt and the rest of the costume is just store-bought shirt and pants with felt leaves glued on and a belly button drawn on.
My younger nephew loves Harry Potter and he loves animals, so I thought he would like a Monster Book of Monsters for Christmas. I made it in the form of a box so he could use it to keep his special treasures.
I made the box out of plywood. The pages are strips of paper, all glued around the box.
I made the eyes out of the little brown stones you use in vases. I got the idea from this tutorial and it worked brilliantly. The face around the eyes, the teeth and gums, and the title text on the cover are made of Model Magic because I wanted a sculptable material that would remain somewhat soft when it dried. The tongue is made out of wood because it also serves as a latch to keep the box closed. The interior of the lid is lined with faux suede and the exterior is, of course, faux fur. I gave it a razor cut with my x-acto knife to make if nice and scruffy looking.
I think it turned out great and I do think my nephew likes it. It may be a little too accurate, though, because initially he was super creeped out by it and it was at least a week before he would bring it into his own room.
My older nephew loves imagining that he’s a master Quidditch player and inventor of superior racing brooms, so I decided to make him a snitch for Christmas, which is also a secret treasure box. Of course, it had to be oversized, because otherwise he couldn’t keep anything in it larger than the Resurrection Stone.
I began with two wooden bowls from Ikea that were perfectly sized and shaped. The wings are make of strips of ribbon on a tulle base, wrapped over bent brass rod. All the trim on the sphere is model magic. The catch is magnetic.
I’m not sure why Nathan wanted to be Pac-Man for Halloween. He may have played Pac-Man once or twice, but he hasn’t seen Pixels. The overall structure of the costume was his idea. It’s made of foam core and it has a removable compartment in the mouth so that he can collect candy in Pac-Man’s mouth. It’s also outlined in EL wire, for easy visibility trick-or-treating at night.
Sam is very into Skylanders games and he wanted to be Dark Washbuckler for Halloween, who is a kind of octopus pirate.
I started the costume with black sweatpants and a black shirt and trimmed them with silver. The six extra legs are sewn to an elastic waistband. The hat, belt buckle, mustache, and suckers on the tentacles are made of fun foam. The ladder logos on the hat and belt buckle are because Washbuckler is a climbing type. Sam insisted that there be two on the belt buckle. I’m not sure why. They have LEDs inside to help with trick-or-treating visibility.
My nephews are very into Minecraft, so of course they wanted to go as Minecraft characters for Halloween. Nathan chose to go as a wither and Sam chose to go as a mutant enderman. I spent the better part of week staying up late to build their costumes out of foam core, duct tape, and LEDs. It was totally worth it.
In my totally unbiased opinion, Nathan, Sam, and our friend Isaac (who was dressed as My Hero Zero, lavishly adorned with EL wire) had the best costumes we saw all day.
Apparently I’ve suddenly decided that I cross stitch now. So for Christmas, I made my nephews Star Wars cross stitches.
When I put them to bed, I often sing Garth Brooks’s The River. The chorus begins with, “I will sail my vessel, until the river runs dry.” Nathan made up his own lyrics: “I will fly my X-wing, until there’s no place left to go.” So I turned it into an inspirational cross stitch for him.
Another song that I often sing at bedtime is the Rainbow Connection, from the Muppet Movie. Sam is very into beautiful colors and he dressed as pink Darth Vader for Halloween, so for him I made this Darth Vader – Rainbow Connection mashup.