Monsters University Game in a BluRay Case

Make a Monsters U game inside a BluRay Case

I bought the pre-sale of Monsters University on BluRay, and made some cute Monsters U Countdown blocks to go with it. I’ll be mailed the movie when it comes out… which leaves me with a BluRay case that has no movie in it. (PS – I also made Monsters U Juice Box Printables and a Mike Wazowski t-shirt if you’re into Monsters U crafts)

Monsters U Movie presale copy

I thought I’d turn the movie case into a little portable game in a BluRay Case. This is super simple to do, I’ve got all the printables ready to go… here is what you need.

Print the new BluRay Game Cover on standard paper
Print the BluRay Game Pieces on cardstock
Sharp scissors with a pointy end (or scissors and a craft or hobby knife)
Double-sided tape
Paper fastener (aka a Brad)

After you print out the Monsters University Game pieces, cut them out.

Open up the BluRay case and pull out the old cover, slip the new BlurRay Game Cover into place.

Monsters U Game made from BluRay Case

Leave the case open so that you can see the inside. You’ll want to use sharp scissors or a craft knife to cut away the raised lip on the left side. It is about 3/4″ down from the top. Just trim it down as close to the base as possible. Now you can slip the game board in on the left side.

On the right side, use the point of your scissors or the sharp point of a craft knife to carefully make a circle in the very center of the circle that holds the BluRay movie. You’ll want your hole to be about 1/4″ in diameter. Carefully cut away any plastic that gets pulled up when you make the hole. Be careful not to damage the cover or plastic on the other side.

Cut a hole in the center of the large numbered circle so that it slips over the raised center, and use double sided tape to stick it in place where the DVD would go. Use the tip of your scissors or the brad itself to make a hole in the center of the spinning arrow. Insert the brad into the arrow, an then into the hole you made in the raised center circle. Fasten the brad on the back LOOSELY. You want to make sure it still spins easily.

Fold your game pieces, and use a small piece of double sided tape to stick the bottom flaps together.

You’re ready to play your game in a BluRay Case!

Monsters U Game inside a BluRay Case

Monsters University Count Down Blocks

I picked up the pre-order copy of the Disney Movie Monsters University as part of a sponsored post for Collective Bias®. Yes, Monsters University is still in theaters, but you can reserve your BluRay Combo pack copy already! The movie won’t be available on your home screen until this fall, but you can buy it now and have it mailed to you when it is officially released. You can see my whole shopping trip here.

Monsters University Count Down Calendar

Before we count down the days to the movie release date, we’ll be counting down another special milestone in this house… my oldest is off to Kindergarten! I made a simple Monsters University Count Down Calendar that I can use with him to count down the days until he starts his first day of school… and then we can reuse it to count down to the movie release date – and lots of other special days!

count down block suppliesSuper simple to make, here is how you can make your own. You’ll need:
4 – 2″ wooden blocks
Small Wooden Plaque
Printed numbers (download my Monsters U numbers 1 through 6 and numbers 7 and up and print out.)
White Paint
Paintbrush
Mod Podge

 

Paint the wooden pieces white. I painted each with 2-3 coats of paint. Allow the paint to dry.
Cut out all the numbered pieces. Use Mod Podge to adhere a number to each side of the blocks.

mod podge onto blocks

Add a coat of Mod Podge on top to make sure that the numbers stick well.

Use the numbers to count down to whatever special day you have coming up – school, vacation, a special trip… or the release of Monsters University on BluRay!

stacked blocks

Find out more about Monsters University on the Monsters U site or
Monsters U site or on the Disney Pixar Facebook Pagee.

How to Make a Wizard Costume

Wizard Costume

Ever have those days where you find out that you need to send your child to school in a Wizard Costume on Friday… and it is already Wednesday evening? I had one of those days last week. Being a mom who knows her way around a sewing machine, I decided we would make a Wizard Costume. Not just any wizard costume… we would make the most awesome Wizard Costume ever. According to my son, we achieved this goal. Make sure you check out how to make a Wizard Wand and how to make a Wizard Hat as well.

supplies for wizard costumeThursday, after a morning play date at the pool, we headed off to JoAnns to get our supplies. We got everything we needed to make a Wizard Robe (supplies listed are for a 4-year-old child), as well as the Wizard Wand and Wizard Hat.
For the Wizard Robe we used:
4 yards blue satin (some used on the hat, too)
1 yard green satin (some used on the hat, too)
2 spools copper ribbon (also used on the wand and hat – I would get 3 if I were to make this again)
Coordinating thread

You’ll also want a sewing machine, Iron, and pins.

I started by laying out the blue satin, along with a long-sleeved shirt that is a little big for my son.You can’t tell here, but the left side of the fabric is the fold, and there is a double layer of the fabric, so there are actually 4 layers of fabric right there, and I’m going to cut through all of them on the fold.

I was lucky that the width of fabric was enough for the top and sleeves. Otherwise, I’d have to cut different pieces for the sleeves and set them into the arm holes. Which would be a lot more work.

measure for costume size

I had my son lay next to the fabric so that I could determine the height.Yes, his pants are on backwards… that happens sometimes when he dresses himself…

You can see I marked it with a fabric pencil here. Then I cut.
I added a little bit of flare from the waist down to the bottom to try to give the robe a little extra fullness.

cut satin for wizard costume

I also added some extra fabric at the bottom of the sleeves. Having the bottom end in a point like this makes the sleeves have a nice big point at the bottom, which is one of the things I love about this costume. I also cut a little ways away from the shirt because I needed extra seam allowance for the french seams. More on that in a little bit.

The rest of these instructions are going to be picture-less, because it is pretty basic sewing. It takes a while, but it is pretty basic. I’ll warn you, the neckline bit is a little complicated… there might be a better way to do that part.

I separated the two layers, and then cut a V shape into the fold of the piece that was going to be the front, to give a more open neckline. Then I cut all the way up the fold on this piece, because the robe was going to be open.

I pinned the pieces wrong-sides together (WRONG sides, not right sides, because I’m doing french seams here). I stitched the shoulder/sleeve tops, and the sleeve bottom/armpit/side seams all with a scant 1/4″ seam. I then flipped it wrong-side-out, clipped the seams at the armpit, and repeated all those seams with a generous 1/4″ seam. This keeps all the raw edges tucked inside so there is no fraying while the costume is worn. In hindsight, it would have been a good idea to do the shoulder/sleeve top seams, add the green to the end of the sleeves, and then do the sleeve bottom/armpit/side seams.

Next was adding the green satin to the collar. I put a piece of paper under the neckline and traced the curve from the back center of the neck, all the way down the V neckline in the front. I added a 2.5″ border to the outside, and a .25″ border on the inside and cut it out. This was my template for creating the green satin for the neckline.

I folded the green satin in half, and pinned on my template, with the bottom of the V touching the fold. I cut out the template, but at the bottom of the V cut all the way down the fold the height of the straight slit in the front of the robe.

Putting this neckline piece right-sides-together, I stitched that inner 1/4″ seam, and then turned right side out. I created a second neckline piece for the other side, and pinned them both to the robe, then pressed the raw edges under, folded it over the raw edge of the blue satin so that the blue satin raw edge sat right inside the green, touching the fold. I stitched it all down, then pinned the copper ribbon on top, and stitched that down as well. There might be an easier way to do this part, but I wanted a smooth neckline and it was already 11pm the night before he was supposed to wear the costume!

I cut 5″ strips out of the green satin, folded them in half, and pressed. I then opened up those seams, folded in the sides, so the raw edges touched that middle fold line, and pressed. Then folded it back in half and pressed yet again. This made all the trim for the bottom and the sleeves. I folded this over the sleeve and bottom edges just like before, with the raw edge of the blue inside the fold of the green. This time, when I got to an end, I trimmed off the green with about 1/2″ extra, then folded the extra under and stitched in place.

After sewing on the trim, I pinned the copper ribbon in place and stitched it down. You’ll notice that there is no copper ribbon along the bottom of the Wizard Robe. I ran out and had to choose between having it on the sleeves or on the bottom edge. The sleeves won.

That was it! It took several hours to stitch it all together, but my son was THRILLED when he woke up the next morning and saw his costume!

If you want to make a wizard costume, make sure you check out how to make a Wizard Wand and how to make a Wizard Hat as well!

wizard hat and wand

Simple Wizard Hat

wizard hat and wand

When I found out my son needed a Wizard Costume to wear to Summer School, I looked up pictures of Wizards online, and he and I studied them. We decided that what he needed was a hat, a wand, and a robe. We headed to JoAnns to get our supplies. I wasn’t quite sure what we would use, so I got a variety of things:

What I ended up using for the hat was:
supplies for wizard costumePellon Peltex 71F (fairly stiff, and fusible on one side – not shown in photo)
Satin in blue and green
Phoomph (a double-sided adhesive felt/foam)
Copper colored ribbon (this one was like a netting or lace)
Some Gear Embellishments (I wanted to make sure the hat looked more Wizard than Princess)
Large Bead
Glue Gun
Coordinating Felt
Copper Chain (optional)
Needle & thread

I started by cutting the Peltex to make a cone for my son’s head.

check hat for fit

Once I had my cone shape, I unpinned it and laid it flat. I ironed my blue satin to the fusible side of the Peltex. Follow the instructions on the Peltex to make sure you get a good fuse. Be careful not to melt your fabric if you are using a synthetic fabric like I did.

iron satin to wizard hat

Roll the cone back up and stitch in place. You could hot glue, but I thought that adding a few stitches would be more secure. I then ran the copper ribbon down the seam to cover it up, and secured it with a couple dabs of hot glue.

stitch up wizard hat

Then it is time to make the band at the base of the Wizard Hat. I cut the Phoomph into 2″ strips. I cut my green satin into 3″ strips – 4″ strips would be better, though. It took 3 strips of Phoomph (cut from one sheet), and two strips of fabric for a hat to fit my 4-year-old.

I started by joining up the Phoomph strips. I cut each end at an angle, and lifted up the paper on each section to attach them together. Putting the joints together in this way prevents a big crease or bulge in one section of the hat band by distributing the seam over a larger area. Measure and cut the Phoomph strip to size to fit around the bottom of the hat.

connect phoomph

Once I had the Phoomph in one long strip and cut to size, I started “ruffling” the fabric with my fingers. Pushing the ruffles down on the Phoomph was fast and easy, much easier than trying to ruffle it with a sewing machine or by doing a running stitch by hand.

ruffle fabric onto phoomph

Once I ruffled it all the way to the end, I flipped it over, pulled off the paper on the back side, and folded over the raw edges of the fabric to adhere them to the Phoomph on the backside. My strips were 3″, but because of the ruffling, 4″ strips would have been better.

I cut strips of coordinating felt in 1 3/4″ widths, and glued it down on ONE edge with hot glue, securing the raw edges of the satin between the Phoomph and the felt. Once I had the felt on, I wrapped the hat band around the Wizard Hat, putting the felt on the inside and the satin covered Phoomph on the other side. I then glued both sides in place with more hot glue.

inside of hat

I pushed in the top point of the hat in, and glued a bead in place.

Finish tip of Wizard hat

My finishing touchs – where the two pieces of fabric met on the hat band, my ruffling wasn’t so great. I made this the “front” of the hat, and glued on a couple gear embellishments. I wasn’t sure they would hold up to a day with a 4-year-old, so I added a few stitches for security. I added a little copper chain around the edge and tacked it in place as well.

gears on wizard hat

Paired with the Wizard Wand I made, these were some great accessories. Tomorrow I’ll show you how I made his Wizard Robe

Wizard Costume

Monsters University Craft – Juice Box Printables

I created these fun Monsters Inc Juice Juice box campus printables as part of a paid social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Monsters University Juice Box Campus - Free Coloring Printables

When I was asked to make a Monsters University Craft using Juicy Juice, a great healthy drink for my kids, I knew exactly what I was going to make! I loved watching the movie with my son (I made him a special Mike Wazowski shirt to wear to see the movie), and I loved the campus buildings. Most of the movie takes place at Monsters University – there are all kinds of buildings with great monster-y details – the dorms, library, and (my favorite) the Scaring School! This Monsters craft was fun for us to make – and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

I designed Monsters University Campus printables that you can use with your kids to re-create the movie. These are specifically designed to go on the Juicy Juice products – the Scaring School printable fits perfectly on the 64-oz Juicy Juice bottle, and the archway pieces and building blocks wrap perfectly around Juicy Juice Fruitifuls juice boxes. Use the 1″ Mini Monsters, Inc. Monsters University Toys to play with the buildings you created (only available at Walmart). I bought my supplies at Walmart, you can see my whole shopping trip here.

Monsters University Toys

Start by printing out the pages. Print one of the Scaring School, one of the Monsters University Gateway, and as many as you want of the Building Blocks. The building blocks can be used to make the library, dorms, or whatever other buildings you would like.

Let your kids color the pages, or color them yourself.

coloring Monsters U printables

While your kids are coloring, rinse out your empty juice boxes and juice containers. Moms know that dried juice is sticky, so stop the mess before it starts! The bottle is easy to rinse out – just take off the cap, fill with warm soapy water, put the lid on, shake, empty, and rinse. Do the same with the Fruitifuls juice boxes, but since there is no lid to take off, lift up one flap, and cut off a corner to give yourself a large enough opening to rinse out the box.

trim off flap

After the pages have been colored, cut them out. The Scaring school can be attached to the Juicy Juice 64-oz bottle with double sided tape. You can take the label off the bottle first, if you like so that you can get the instant win code from the underside of the bottle. Go to juicyjuice.com to redeem the code and you could win a $5,000 scholarship AND a family trip to Pixar Studios! I redeemed mine… it was super simple. I won’t tell you what I won, but it WASN’T the trip and the scholarship, so those are probably still up for grabs… You can find the sweepstakes details here.

Scaring School Juice Bottle Printable

The other pieces need to be folded. You’ll see dots at the top and bottom of each piece that indicate where the folds go. Fold down these lines to fold into 5 segments.

fold at dots

Using double-sided tape, attach the smallest flap (on the right) to one of the short sides of the Juicy Juice Fruitifuls juice box.

Tape printable to box

Then fold the paper all the way around the juice box, and attach the last flap in place with double stick tape. Repeat this process with all the pieces to make the campus!

For the archway, cut out the archway piece, fold on the lines so that the flaps are facing to the back, put double-stick tape on the flaps, and attach to the two pillar juice boxes.

Monsters University Juice Setup

Stack your building pieces up to make the dorms, library, or other campus buildings.

Monsters University Juice Library

My son loved playing with his juice box campus and Monsters University Toys!

Paying with Monsters University

Did you love Monsters, Inc? Then you’ll LOVE the new Monsters University movie! Get the details about the movie on the Disney/Pixar Facebook page, and about Juicy Juice on the Nestle Facebook Page.

Mod Melts Butterfly Decor

This post was sponsored by Plaid.

Mod Melts Butterflies hang from ceiling

Like most boys, my son loves bugs. But thankfully, he’s not very into spiders. Instead, he loves ladybugs and butterflies. If we’re at the park, he’ll find the only ladybug poking through the grass. And he has had a fascination with Butterflies lately. The ladybugs land on him – why won’t the butterflies?

I decided to make him his own butterflies that could hang from his ceiling. That way he could enjoy them, even if he can’t catch them! The Mod Melts made this very easy to do.

Plaid sent me some paint, a spouncer, the Mod Melts, and Mod Melts molds. To this I added some orange paint so that I could make the butterflies Monarchs, and some string to hang them with.

Mod Melts are easy to use – just insert them into a high-temp glue gun, and squeeze into the mold from the center out.

put melts into mold

I filled the mold about halfway, then added a string with a knot in it (so that it won’t pull out easily), and then filled up the mold the rest of the way.

insert string

After 10 minutes, I could pop out the butterfly, and he was ready to paint.

I tried painting him black, then adding the orange accents, but it worked better the other way around. First, I painted the butterflies orange, and let the paint dry.

paint base coat on butterflies

Then I added a thin layer of black paint to the spouncer and lightly tapped the black paint on. This painted the raised area, but kept the back area orange. Much easier than trying to get that detail with a paintbrush.

paint butterflies

I tied a thumbtack to the other end of the string, and hung the butterflies. My son loves it!

mod melts butterflies

I also made some simple paperclips! How will you use Mod Melts?

You can learn more about this fun new product if you catch up with Plaid on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or on the Paint Me Plaid Blog.

Check out these other fun ways you can use Plaid’s Mod Melts!


Ever-changing Wood, Nail, and Rubber Band Maze

My son is a maze savant. Yes, I’m his mom and I’ll brag about him even if nobody is listening, but at not quite 5 years old, he totally rocks mazes. And he loves doing them. We’ve gotten him maze books, which he loves, but I wanted to do one better. I wanted a maze that could be fully customized, changed, and never get boring. So I came up with the idea to make a maze board out of wood and nails. Now he has a maze that can be changed in a nearly infinite number of ways! And, it was super simple and easy to make. It took us less than an hour. Totally my kind of craft!

First, we started with our supplies:
18″x18″ square of 3/4 inch plywood
Box of nails
Quilting ruler
Pen
Cordless Drill
Hammer
Rubber Bands

I picked up the plywood at The Home Depot, and had them cut it to size. Having them cut it on their giant saw is so much easier than trying to cut it at home.

Using my quilting ruler, I marked a grid on the board, spacing the lines 1.5″ apart. Once I had my grid marked, it was time to drill pilot holes into my wood. I made sure that the drill bit I was using was a couple sizes smaller than my nails.

The idea is to drill a guide hole, but you still want the nail to be super snug when it gets hammered in. I made sure not to drill all the way through the wood.

Then it was time to hammer in my nails. As I hammered them in, I tried to keep them about the same height. This isn’t essential, it just looks nicer.

I hammered…

And hammered…

It took a while.

Once all the nails were in, I double-checked that they were all pretty much the same height.

Then it was time to add the rubber bands! We stretched the rubber bands along the nails to make the “walls” of the maze. We were so excited about this part, we didn’t bother washing all the black from the nails off of our fingers… we just went for it!

Then my son got to find his way through the maze. Once he figured it out, I adjusted a few of the pathways by moving around rubber bands, and he got to do it again. I kept switching them to give him new routes through the maze. He LOVED it.

I know we’ll be using this toy a lot this summer – such a fun boredom buster!

I might still give it a coat of paint… I haven’t decided yet. But for now, it is getting plenty of use!

Parachute and Landing Pad Toy Craft


My husband just had his birthday. I was badgering him for weeks to find out what he wanted for his birthday. He didn’t have an answer. Until the day before. The day before his birthday he told me, “I’d really like to go skydiving for my birthday.”

I wasn’t completely shocked. Skydiving has come up before… but not in an uber-serious way. I’m not completely thrilled with the thought of the love of my life jumping out of an airplane… but he really wanted to go, and without resorting to extreme hypotheticals – why not?

As a fun way to actually GIVE this gift to him, I made him some parachute super heroes and a drop zone. The drop zone was on the bottom of a box that opened up flat, so that it was easy to fold back up and wrap with the parachute men inside. And it was a fun thing for him to pay with the boys as well.

If you want to make your own drop zone parachute toy, here is what you need:
Box that opens flat
Pencil or Pen
Several sizes of plates
White paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Red paint (I used DecoArt Patio Paint)
Paintbrush
Plastic grocery bags
Small toy men
String
Black paint pen or marker (I used a DecoArt Glass paint pen, which is great on glass, but worked well here as well… I love getting multiple uses out of products!)

Start by tracing your plates on the flattened box.

Paint the entire circle white. Let it dry. Paint every other ring red. You should be able to see your pencil lines through the white paint. Allow to dry. (You can see I like to pour paint into disposable cupcake liners – they work great!)

While the bullseye is drying, lay out your bags. I used these plastic bags from target. Lay them out flat, and cut squares as large as possible from the plastic. I used squares from both the front and back – one side has the bullseyes, one side is plain white.

Cut two lengths of string each 3 feet long. Tie one end of a string to one corner, and the other end to another corner. Repeat with the second string.
Line up the corners of the parachute, and pull the strings so they are parallel, then tie around your toy. Trim any excess string.

To store, I folded the plastic parachute into thirds, and then wrapped in the string so that they wouldn’t get tangled.

By the time I finished making the parachutes, the paint on my drop zone was dry. I used a black paint pen to trace the circles, and then added the words “drop zone”.

The parachutes were a hit with the boys! This is the least blurry of all my photos of them playing – they had a ball!

And skydiving was a hit with my hubby!

Ice Cream Pizzas

My 4-year old loves Team Umizoomi. If you don’t have small kids, you don’t know that Team Umizoomi is a team of 3 tiny cartoon characters (4 if you count Umi Car), who run around Umi City helping their friends by using their “Mighty Math Powers”.

Team Umizoomi has helped to teach my son math issues like units of measure, identifying patterns, and shapes. They also reinforce proper social behavior like sharing and helping friends. One of my son’s favorite episodes is about Ice Cream Pizzas. The ice cream truck has broken down, and can’t get down the street to bring ice cream treats to the neighborhood children. The ice cream treat of choice is the ice cream pizza. My son asked me if we could make ice cream pizzas together, so of course I said yes!

We had to start by getting our ingredients. Large sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream (which I allowed to soften) and gummy candies. In the show they use a striped candy. Since we couldn’t find the right color striped candy, I went with these gummy candies that are the right color, but weren’t the right size. I cut them down to size for our pizzas.

I spread the softened ice cream on to cookies. I had softened the ice cream so that it was about the consistency of margarine.

I cut up the gummy candies and then let my son put them on. Team Umizoomi used 5 candies on their ice cream pizza, and so did we.

All that was left was to chow down! Nom!

Mod Podge Dinosaur Wreath

This Dinosaur wreath is so simple to make that I don’t have an official tutorial for it… but if you want to make your own, or something similar, here is what you need:

Tissue paper (I used the leftovers from my pennant banners)
Ribbon (I used rainbow colored)
Foam craft sheet
Extruded Foam ring (this smooth surface works great for Mod Podging)
Hot Glue
Scissors
Ballpoint pen
Mod Podge
Paintbrush
Google Eye

Use the Mod Podge to layer the tissue paper on the wreath. Make sure the wreath is fully covered. Adding multiple layers will increase the depth of color on the wreath.

Once the wreath is dry, tie a large bow on one side with the ribbon.

With a pen, draw your dinosaur shape on the craft foam, and then cut out.

Hot glue dinosaur on the bow of the wreath, attach the google eye, and hang the wreath.