Alice in Wonderland Family Costumes

Costume Inspiration

For years now, I’ve had my eye on this amazing vintage fabric, illustrated by Charles Voysey. The fabric features beautiful, classic illustrations of Alice in Wonderland characters. The colors and way in which he depicts the characters is stunning, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. Then I thought–why not make this stunning fabric into our family costumes?! An excuse for my children to dress up as a walrus and card-wearing rabbit was an opportunity much too good to pass up. That’s how these Alice in Wonderland family costumes were born.

How to Recreate Alice in Wonderland Family Costumes

These costumes aren’t exactly what you’d call “simple” or “quick”. That said, they’re stunning, and so worth the time, if you plan ahead. Here’s how to recreate these Alice in Wonderland family costumes:

Walrus

I had my heart set on a walrus costume for either Jasper or Felix this year. Jasper’s getting to that age where he’s a bit more opinionated when it comes to costumes, so since Felix didn’t object, we decided the walrus was best for him. Here’s how to make it:

Hat

First, I have to give credit to the mastermind behind the paper mache, Carrie. The job she did on that paper mache walrus and rabbit was too much! Here’s what to do for the walrus hat:

  1. The paper mache hat is the most important part of this costume. First, make the cardboard understructure, using our photos as a reference. We used gaff tape to stick the cardboard pieces together because it’s amazingly sticky.
  2. Once the pieces are cut and assembled, you can add a few layers of paper mache. To make paper mache, add one part flour to two parts water, mix, then heat in the microwave or on a stovetop until it thickens just a bit. You don’t want it too thick, just enough so it’s not like water anymore.
  3. Once the paste is made, rip up strips of newsprint, dip into the paste, and apply until your walrus is fully coated. Let dry completely (this can take at least a couple days, so plan ahead)!
  4. When your walrus is fully dry, go ahead and paint in the details and add finishing touches, like fur.
  5. To attach the hat to your child’s head, tie a piece of string to either side of the head and tie around your child’s chin.

Walrus outfit

For our walrus outfit, we went the simple route and bought a walrus jumpsuit so we could focus on that paper mache showstopper hat. We found ours here. We also found some clothing (courtesy of my sister!) that was perfect for it–check out your local thrift shops for options.

Rabbit

We decided to have Jasper be the rabbit, thinking he’d be content with the choice if he got to wear an awesome paper mache hat. Well, content is a relative term–at least we could take the photos before he changed into his spider man costume. Ha! Here’s how to make the rabbit portion of our Alice in Wonderland family costumes:

Rabbit hat

  1. First, cut out and assemble the rabbit understructure, using our photos as a reference.
  2. Next, follow the instructions above to add the paper mache to your rabbit understructure. Tip: we found that, once coated in paper mache, the ears started to sag a bit. To help with that, prop a cardboard box up behind the ears to keep them from falling backwards as they dry. Once dry, they’ll stand up fine with the help of the stiff paper mache.
  3. When the paper mache is dry, paint the rabbit and add any embellishments you’d like. We painted some thin, floral wire black and turned it into whiskers.
  4. To attach the hat to your child’s head, tie a piece of string to either side of the head and tie around your child’s chin.

Shirt

The easiest option here is to buy a shirt with puff sleeves for our child. We couldn’t find one that would arrive in time, so we DIY’ed a shirt instead.

Collar

For the collar, we used crepe paper, string or yarn, an embroidery needle and the same technique as for our vintage clown costumes. Easy!

Cards

  1. For the cards, cut eight pieces of cardboard that are each 6 ½” wide and 9 ¾” tall. 
  2. Once they’re cut, paint them all white. We used white house paint and a large brush to speed up this process. We also painted them at the same time as Paul’s cards.
  3. When the paint is dry, use the cricut to cut out the card shapes using the templates. Tape in place on the white paint.
  4. To attach to each other, use ribbon and staples. For attaching the front and back, again, use ribbon and staples.

Feet

For the rabbit feet, all you need is some white faux fur. Tear it down to the size of your child’s shoe and safety pin some elastic on to hold it in place.

Brittany’s Outfit

I’m not sure of the official name of Brittany’s character, since we based the costumes off illustrations instead of the book’s official character names. That said, we’ll call her a knight. Mostly we had to make this costume because the outfit was just incredible. Here’s how to recreate it:

Cardboard Skirt/Hat

  1. Using our photos as a reference, cut out and assemble the shapes for the cardboard torso, skirt, and hat pieces.
  2. Now paint them, using our photos as a reference.
  3. Oh, and that makeup?! Have fun with it.

Pants/Tights

For the pants and tights, we used a mauve pair of sweats, cut off and gathered at the knees, and these golden yellow tights

Blouse

The next element of Brittany’s outfit was the blouse. We needed to find some great puffy sleeves, which we found here. Then we cut out fabric embellishments and appliquéed them on with a simple zig zag stitch around the edge. See our photos for the shapes we used!

Shoes

The shoes needed to be vintage-looking, sort of like pilgrim shoes. Brittany happened to own just the pair already!

Paul’s Outfit

Last outfit of our Alice in Wonderland family costumes to complete was Paul’s. His character was a card man wearing an all-blue outfit/hood. This was a simple costume to figure out! Here’s what we did:

Blue Outfit

For the blue outfit, we bought a simple blue sweatsuit with a hood. We found our’s here and here.

Cards

  1. To make the cards, cut two large pieces of cardboard. They should be the same size, big enough to cover the torso all the way to the shoulders and down to the knees.
  2. After cutting the cardboard down, paint them both white. We used house paint and a roller to speed up the process. Note: if you’d rather, you can also use white foam core or mat board and skip the painting.
  3. Once the paint is dry, cut out the card template pieces on the cricut with black cardstock and glue or tape in place on top of the white paint.
  4. Last, attach the two pieces of cardboard together using ribbon and staples. We also used gaff tape for extra support.

Shoes

The last essential element of Paul’s costume were the shoes. Like Brittany, he needed some classic-looking shoes. We ended up using some simple, black ones Paul already had. We’d also recommend checking your local thrift shop–there are often hidden gems there.

And that’s a wrap! What do you think of our Alice in Wonderland costumes?

More Inspiration

Loved these Alice in Wonderland family costumes and want more costume ideas? See these classic Halloween costumes for kids! Also see our vintage clown costumes, Barbiecore costume, wild things costumes and Campbell’s soup cans. Then check out our blog archives for tons more costume ideas. And see this post for tons of last minute Halloween ideas from our shop!

Easy Halloween Ideas From Our Shop

My Ideal Halloween

My ideal Halloween is playfully spooky, crafty, and (above all) easy, and there’s no such thing as too many easy Halloween ideas. If you’re looking for a fun, simple way to celebrate the season without turning your home into a Spirit Halloween storefront, read on for easy Halloween ideas!

Easy Halloween Decorations

This Haunted House makes a perfect Halloween centerpiece and conversation starter. You’ll make it from recycled cardboard boxes, which is a win for Planet Earth, and it’s beautiful enough to come back year after year, which is a win for you! Check out our blog post on it here.

Cardboard Haunted House for recycled holiday decor

Garlands are another classic when it comes to Halloween decor. Try this fun new Halloween garland featuring the Halloween shapes you’ve been missing. If you love the spooky aspect of Halloween, check out this Vampire Teeth Garland. It’s creepy without being too macabre, and oh so easy.

DIY vampire teeth garland

Another slightly spooky and impeccably easy decor idea is this wooden transfer plaque template! I’m all for riding the line between pretty and creepy at Halloween, and these really fit the bill. Find the tutorial here.

wooden cross sections of branches with spiders and bugs transferred onto them hanging from maroon ribbons.

This painted pumpkin face template makes for such a fun, easy DIY! Give your porch some whimsy this Halloween by painting these sweet characters on your pumpkins. Read the tutorial here and get painting!

painted pastel pumpkin faces against a pink background

How many times can you say “pretty paper pumpkin project?” Whatever your answer, you should check out this template for rainbow paper pumpkins, along with this tutorial blog post. These make a beautiful, refined, seasonal table setting, they’ll look great for all of Autumn, not jus Halloween. A Thanksgiving comeback, anyone?

orange, gold, and yellow paper pumpkins on a table setting.

If you’re in a pinch and looking for quick decorations, don’t forget this post about last minute Halloween decor!

Easy Halloween Costume Ideas

There’s something to be said for a super intricate, detailed costume for sure. But even if you don’t have the time and energy to become a perfectly accurate storm trooper, dressing up doesn’t have to be out of your reach. Lots of our costume templates just require some simple clothing, some paper, and a prop or two. No professional costuming degree necessary!

Our Ruth Bader Ginsberg collar is maybe our simplest costume for adults. Just cut it out (a cricut or other cutting machine is helpful here), put it over a dark dress, and pull your hair back. Voilà! You’re ready to advocate for your sisters.

A white paper lace collar on a black background.

If you’ve been a Lars reader for more than about a minute you’ll know that I love flowers. So of course I wanted to dress up as a bouquet! Ha! Practice making some paper flowers for this Sweet Pea Paper Flower Bouquet costume (and read the tutorial here).

Brittany wearing a bouquet costume with paper flowers and a white paper wrapper against a green backdrop

Group costumes are always so fun, so pair your bouquet costume with greenhouse garb for a friend! This greenhouse costume uses cardboard and iron-on flowers, and is sure to turn heads. You can find the tutorial here. Speaking of group costumes, you really don’t want to miss our Andy Warhol Campbell’s soup can team costumes, or our Wild Things costumes. They’re some of my favorites, and they’re great for any size group!

a white woman with brown hair wears a green dress with iron on flowers, a greenhouse hat, and yellow clogs. She's holding flowers and a watering can.

Family Costume

Another cute Halloween costume for a pair of friends would be our beehive and picnic costumes. Both use an iron-on technique to make easy halloween costumes that are as cute as a bug. Find the tutorials here.

Brittany wears a gingham red dress with ants ironed onto it and holds a rattan picnic bag. a white woman wearing a yellow dress with iron-on bees, black gloves, a bee headband, and black shoes stands in front of a blue background.

This constellation costume with iron-on stars is absolutely dazzling. Honestly, you might as well break it out all year round because it’s that beautiful.

a blonde woman wearing an off-the-shoulder black jumpsuit with silvers stars all over it, sparkly makeup, and a spangled headband against a periwinkle background

For a subtle Halloween look, just print off our Pumpkin Crown and wear warm autumn tones.

Printable Pumpkin Crown

Easy Halloween Costumes for Kids

Brand new this year are our classic Halloween costumes for kids! We give you options for a witch, bat, and pumpkin. Not only are they simple to make in a pinch, they’re adorable and you’ll be glad you tried them out. One of our most glamorous costumes with templates in the shop is our sun, cloud and rainbow set. This makes a great baby and mom costume, because you can add sun rays to a baby bonnet. I love how our model matched the baby’s outfit to her sling! With this costume you can invest as much or as little as you want. Just want the Sun and Rainbow headpiece? No problem. What about the Cloud Bag and Cloud Earrings? Done. Just want a sunny baby bonnet pattern? Your wish is our command. Make the costume just how you like it with this tutorial.

Rainbow costumeRainbow and sun mommy and me costume

This Giving Tree costume is another easy Halloween idea that you could make in a flash. And who doesn’t want to reference a classic children’s book in their costume? Find the tutorial here.

A mom wearing a green outfit with leaves and holding a felt apple bag stands next to her child in red overalls. They're dressed as the Giving Tree.

If you have a gaggle of children to costume, consider our Three Blind Mice baby costume pattern or our Crayon Hat template. Both are simple to put together and oh so sweet. For more kids costume ideas, see this post!

3 blind mice diy costume for kidsFour kids wearing crayon halloween costumes in orange, red, blue, and green.

Halloween Party Supplies

Even though gathering in big groups for Halloween parties is starting to look less and less likely (again 😔), you can still throw a Halloween party for your family, roommates, or pod! This Halloween Party Suite includes printable invitations, placemats, party tags, and place cards. Talk about easy Halloween ideas!

Halloween themed place cards.

Paper party goods with a halloween theme on a black background. They're orange, yellow, black, white, navy, and peach.

And for a party favor, try these printable poppers or printable Halloween candy gift boxes.

Halloween party poppersPrintable Halloween Candy Gift Box

These Halloween coupons make a fun halloween activity for your family. They’re a great way for parents to get their kids to relinquish some candy in return for fun activities.

halloween coupons in pink, red, blue, and black.

These illustrated Halloween cards are another great party favor because you can attach them to treat bags, trade them, send them as cards, or just hang them up.

Printable Halloween Cards

If your party is more freaky than funky, you might like this elegant invitation and Halloween dinner menu.

black and white illustrated halloween party invitation in a black decorative hadn surrounded by foliage and fruitsBlack and floral printable halloween menu

Party Food

Real talk here: what’s a party without cake? Use these printables and templates to make your Halloween cake extra fancy. The Spooky Town printable cake topper set is quaint and just a bit creepy, while this Black Birds cake topper is decidedly Hitchcock-approved. Red velvet cake makes it even more dramatic!

a colorful, cute printable cake topper set on a cake."The Birds" Cake Topper

If your fall party isn’t so Halloween-specific (or even if it is!) this Fall Leaf cake topper will add elegance and fun to the celebration.

DIY fall leaf cake topper

More Inspiration

Looking for more cards, costumes, and decor? Search for Halloween on our blog! You’ll be blown away by the years of great, easy Halloween ideas and DIYs. If you’re interested in many of these ideas (who wouldn’t be!?), you can check out our E-Book, The Halloween that Lars Made. It’s a one-stop shop for easy Halloween ideas, DIYs, and projects. Also, for more festive ideas check out this post on how to get into the Halloween spirit this year!

Classic Halloween Costumes

Witch, Bat and Pumpkin

One of the main requisites of these classic Halloween costumes is simplicity. Of course we love a good elaborate Halloween costume, but sometimes there’s just not time for that. We purposefully designed these three Halloween costumes with that in mind. Some of them do require a bit of sewing, but just simple, straight lines that even the most beginner of sewists can handle. And if you’re not ready for sewing? You’re in luck. Our bat costume can be made with safety pins and staples alone, no sewing required.

Comfy and Cozy

One Halloween back in elementary school, I decided I wanted to be a crayon. I made this amazing costume out of a rolled up piece of poster board, decorated it and wore it to school. The only problem was that I didn’t think about sitting down or moving. I was a little robot all day, tottering around in this big tube that wouldn’t allow me to sit down or run around and play. Eventually I just took it off and people had to guess what I was based on my little sweatsuit alone. Not a dream for a child who loved the costume aspect of Halloween.

I’ve since learned from my crayon Halloween costume experience. We designed these three classic Halloween costumes with your child’s mobility in mind! They can bend, jump and play freely, all while being clearly identifiable as a witch, bat or pumpkin. That said, here’s how to make all three of our classic Halloween costumes:

How to Make a Witch Costume

Materials:

Witch templates, Black poster board, Black fabric (we used a linen/viscose blend–it has the look of linen, but is much cheaper), Black ribbon (1” and ½” wide), a knobbly stick, twine, and raffia.

Hat

  1. Using the hat template, cut out the hat in black poster board.
  2. Next, roll up the half circle so it’s a cone. The rounded edge will be the bottom edge of the cone.
  3. Now, use a pair of scissors to clip the bottom of the hat all the way around with ½” cuts.
  4. Fold the cuts out and tape or glue the rim of the hat onto them, so they’re hidden underneath.
  5. Last, tie the 1” wide black ribbon around the hat into a bow.

Dress

  1. First, cut out the front and back of the dress, using the template provided. You can shrink or enlarge the template based on your child’s size.
  2. Next, hem the bottom and sides of both the front and back.
  3. Now, for both front and back, fold the top over twice and sew down to make a casing. Insert a ribbon into each casing, leaving enough slack on each side to tie bows.
  4. Last, sew ribbon onto the sides, as shown in the photos. There should be one on each side of the front and back so they can tie together.

Broom

  1. The broom is simple! To make it, bundle the raffia around one end of the stick and bind in place with some twine.
  2. Done!

To embellish the costume, wear a simple black dress, black tights and black boots or mary janes.

How to Make a Bat Costume

Materials:

Bat templates, Faux fur, Black ribbon (1” and ½” wide), Black cardstock, cardboard box (use an old shipping box), black and white acrylic paint, black webbing strap, adjustable strap hardware (optional), Stapler/staples, glue stick, Scissors, craft knife.

Body

  1. For the body, cut out the template shape for both front and back.
  2. Then, add ribbon to the top two corners of front and back.
  3. Now add ribbon to the sides of both front and back (they should be positioned to tie at the waist). To add ribbon, you can either sew or safety-pin the ribbon on. It’s your preference!

Wings

  1. First, cut out two of the wings template. They should mirror each other. Tape them together at the center and wherever else you need, if you’re using multiple pieces of cardboard put together.
  2. Next, paint the wings on both sides as shown in the photos. Let the paint dry before moving on to the next step.
  3. Last, staple on straps. If desired, you can make them adjustable, as we did. To see how to make them adjustable, see this tutorial.

Feet

  1. First, cut out the feet template using cardboard. Curve the ends of the claws over a bit.
  2. Next, paint the feet as shown in the photos.
  3. When the paint is dry, attach the feet to the shoes with ribbon, elastic, or tape.

Ears

  1. For the ears, cut out two of the ear templates.
  2. Next, fold them together at the slit at the base and tape in place.
  3. Last, cut a length of 1” black ribbon (long enough to tie around your head like a headband) and staple the ears on it.

Nose

  1. Use the nose template provided to cut out the nose pieces. Use the craft knife for the nostril holes.
  2. Next fold the rectangular piece with narrow accordion folds.
  3. Now cut slits along one edge of the rectangular piece you just folded.
  4. Next, fold the slits out and curve the rectangle around the front nose piece and glue in place.
  5. Last, cut off the excess and shape the nose to your face, then tape in place on your face. If you don’t want to tape, you can also tie the nose around your head with string.

How to Make a Pumpkin Costume

Materials

Pumpkin template, Orange linen/viscose fabric, Black fabric scraps or felt (we used scraps from the witch’s outfit), Green ribbon, Orange cardstock, brown cardstock, green pipe cleaners, scotch tape, scissors, and string

Pumpkin

  1. First, cut out the front and back of the pumpkin costume using the template provided. Remember, you can make it smaller or larger depending on the size of your child.
  2. Next, as with the witch, hem the bottom and both sides of front and back, then make a casing for the top edge.
  3. Now feed a ribbon through the top casings of both front and back, leaving some excess at each end to tie bows.
  4. You’ll also need to sew ribbon to the front and back at the waist, with enough slack to tie.
  5. For the face, cut out the template provided in black fabric. 
  6. Then, fold over and iron each piece so the raw edges are hidden, then pin and sew in place. If you don’t want to fold over and iron each piece, you can use felt or something else that won’t fray.
  7. We sewed our face on the pumpkin, but you can also glue it if you don’t want to sew.

Hat

  1. For the hat, cut out the template pieces provided (the “c” shape should be cut out in orange, and the rectangle in brown).
  2. Follow the step photos to see how to assemble. Tape the pieces together to secure.
  3. Now wrap pipe cleaner around a pencil to make a spiral, then poke one end into the pumpkin hat and tape on the inside. We added about four pipe cleaner vines to our pumpkin hat.
  4. Last, tape a piece of string to each side of the hat so it can tie around your child’s chin.
  5. Done!

What did you think of these classic Halloween costumes? Will you use them in a pinch? Drop your comments below!

More Inspiration

Did you love these classic Halloween costumes? You might be interested in our other Halloween costumes! Check out our wild things costumes, mommy and me costumes, and best cardboard costumes. For even more costume inspiration, check out this list of our top 15 favorite costumes! Also see influential women costumes, these costumes made from everyday supplies, and these paper costumes. Short on time? Check out these three last minute Halloween costumes! Looking for a real showstopper? Don’t miss our Tortured Artists, Frida Kahlo, or Medusa costumes.

Mommy and Me Halloween Costumes

Mommy and Me Halloween Costumes

It turns out we have quite a few mommy and me Halloween costumes we’ve made over the years. Here are some of my favorites:

Rainbow and sun mommy and me costume

Picasso and Painting

Russian nesting doll mommy and baby costumeArtist and palette mommy and baby costume

Mushroom and garden gnome baby and mommy costume

Stork and package mommy and baby costume

Other Parent/Child Costumes

While these aren’t strictly mommy and me Halloween costumes, they definitely could be. Also make them into daddy and me, siblings or just whole family costumes! I love that the following costumes are all based off of books, too! What’s your child’s favorite book? Use your imagination and make your own costume based off of one of their favs. 

A mom wearing a paper flower costume and a daughter dressed as a mouse pose in their costumes

A mom wearing a green outfit with leaves and holding a felt apple bag stands next to her child in red overalls. They're dressed as the Giving Tree.

Group Costumes

These group costumes work great for friends, family, siblings, grandparents, you name it. Do you need multiple matching costumes? Here are our favorites.

family costume where the wild things are

Family Costume

Baby/Kid Costumes

Sometimes mommy and me Halloween costumes are more accurately just baby/kid costumes with mommy tagging along. If you’re more interested in dressing up your little one than yourself this year, we’ve got you covered. Because we all know there’s nothing cuter and more hilarious than your kid dressed up as, say…Jared Leto and his head or a viking. Sometimes those costumes just stand alone.

Oscar Tribute baby costumes

More Inspiration

Loved this mommy and me Halloween costumes post and want more? For more costume inspiration, check out this list of our top 15 favorite costumes! Also see influential women costumes, these costumes made from everyday supplies, and these paper costumes. Short on time? Check out these three last minute Halloween costumes! Looking for a real showstopper? Don’t miss our Tortured Artists, Frida Kahlo, or Medusa costumes.

Are you scared of color?

Do you love color? But also terrified of it?!

As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved color. I even remember sitting around a campfire circle my first week of college sharing the cockles of our hearts with some new friends. What did I share? “I love color, no like you don’t understand, I really love color”. Ha! I guess I had an inkling even then!

But growing up I didn’t know what color meant to me nor how it could be a part of my life. I mean, how could I? I was still experimenting. Really wish I could find some high school photos to illustrate this story, but here we are:

Brittany Jepsen on her bed sewing a dress in a colorful room

Fail: Painting my high school bedroom

Once, in high school, I really wanted to paint my all-white room. Sound familiar? I had my great grandmother’s antique wood bedroom set that’s very lovely, just dark and rather Victorian looking. There wasn’t too much in there that indicated my personality. My mom was really into periwinkle at the time and I thought it would be a good choice for the walls. I remember nothing about the process of selecting the color or putting it on but on it went and the more it went the more TERRIFIED I got. I couldn’t imagine being surrounded by it all the time.

We didn’t get too much farther when called it the whole thing off. I was Color Scared! Surely, I would suffocate in all that color! An unfinished painted periwinkle room was left for the rest of my high school experience–didn’t bother to change it back.

Brittany holding colorful paper in a rainbow dress.

Color Scared Diagnosis

In hind sight, the Color Scare Diagnosis was because of the unknown. I didn’t know what it was going to look like in the end and I certainly had no idea what it was going to look like with posters or artwork on the walls. It would have been THE BOMB (in true 90s high school fashion).

Fast forward about ten years to I’m living in Washington, DC in a small house with 3 roommates after graduating college. My roommate really wanted to paint our kitchen a dark green. I had never done anything so drastic and was SURE that dark green was NOT a good choice. It was going to be too dark and blegh! I had been living in college apartments where we couldn’t do anything to the apartment besides sticky tack and posters and colorful duvet covers. She did one coat of paint and I just about lost it. I was…

COLOR SCARED!

But then she put up a poster in lovely reds and yellows and blacks and all of a sudden it looked…well, lovely! She had the foresight (and maybe the experience) to know that it was going to work out.

Living in a rental with color–don’t be scared!

Many many years later, when Paul and I were living in our rental apartment together, I said “to heck with it all!” I’m not waiting to own a house before I make this my home. I had no idea how long it would be before we owned a house, but life can’t wait just because of contracts. SO, I cleared it with our landlord and we put up floral wallpaper, pinks walls, and painted murals (remember?! You can see it all here).

learning to use color in your rental apartment

Jasper and I have been reading a lot of Aesop’s Fables lately so, the moral of this color-scared story is:

  1. Do not wait to live life for that “one day” when all your conditions are perfect. Warning: conditions will never be perfect!
  2. When in doubt, keep on going! You won’t know what a room will look like if you don’t finish it (but I do have some stories of when you need to stop–ha! Did that just negate that point?!)
  3. The more you experiment, the more comfortable and confident you will become. And paint is one of the cheapest ways to experiment! $40 is worth the risk to see if your life will change (and yes, I contest that color can change your life!).

Tell me. Do you love color? But also terrified of it? Don’t know how to use it? Tell me everything! 

DIY Pencil Case

30 Minute Pencil Case

I’m not exaggerating when I say this pencil case is super quick to make. Seriously, it took me 30 minutes to knock out one of these babies–easy enough that it made me want to make 3 more colorways (which I did, of course). I couldn’t resist, I had to try out the new designs in our Spoonflower shop! The nice thing, too, is that you can just order a fat quarter and it’s plenty to make multiple pencil cases. 

How to Make a DIY Pencil Case

Here’s how to make your own DIY pencil case:

Prepping the Fabric

  1. First, order the fabric. As I mentioned above, we used our Spoonflower designs: blue windowpane, pink windowpane and this retro rainbow stripe. A fat quarter is a sufficient quantity. You can use a variety of fabrics, so use the one that you like most. We used petal signature cotton.
  2. Once your fabric arrives, don’t forget to prewash!
  3. When your fabric is washed and dried, iron it out nice and flat.
  4. Now, cut two pieces of fabric that are 11”x 6” each.

Sewing the Zipper

To sew the zipper, follow the instructions outlined in the pencil case template.

Assembling Your DIY Pencil Case

With the zipper in place, you’re now ready to assemble the rest of the pencil case!

  1. To assemble the case, with right sides together, sew around the remaining three sides of the two fabric pieces. Sew as close to both ends of the zipper opening as you can. Leave the zipper partially open so you can flip it right side out after.
  2. Finish the seams of the three sides with a zig-zag or overlock stitch.
  3. Now, pull one corner in and press out perpendicular to the side seam. Measure down from the point by 1” and sew along that 1” mark. Repeat for the other corner.
  4. Clip the excess fabric at the corners and finish both those raw edges.
  5. Now you can flip your pencil case right side out and admire!

More Inspiration

Stay tuned for more back-to-school crafts and DIYs coming soon, like this DIY drawstring backpack made from a tote bag! In the meantime, check out some of my favorite back-to-school projects from years past, like this DIY reusable lunch sack or DIY apple lunch sack. Also see these back to school stickers (find them in our shop!) and these creative homeschool activities. And don’t forget to check out these tips for designing the perfect dorm room!

78 Creative Summer Homeschool Activities For Kids

Explore our favorite at-home homeschool activities for your summer creativity!

DIY matisse felt board for kids

Arts & Crafts Kits

Before you start imagining your freshly organized craft drawer getting messed up, DON’T WORRY! These crafts below come with everything your child will need to learn a new skill and make something amazing! All in one tidy kit. We like the sound of that!

What’s on your kid’s schedule today? Become a collage artist, learn how to tie dye, or try your hand at embroidery!

Learn something new over the summer!

Keep homeschooling interested with mixing up the normal subjects! Math isn’t your forte? Now is the perfect time to get your kids excited about new topics like art history, gardening, meteorology, design theory, and more! The resources below will help!

Make homeschool exciting

Though some of you might be loving having your kids at home all the time, trying to find creative ways to help them keep learning over the summer might not be going as well as you had hoped. Below are some helpful tools to keep their math and geography knowledge as sharp as ever until they go back to school in the fall. Because as easy as it is to plop your kids down to watch an endless amount of movies over the summer, it’s definitely not ideal for their cognitive development. These ideas will still give you the breather you need, but will also give your kids productive and stimulating ways to spend their time that don’t involve a screen.

Books

Favorite creative books for kids during quarantine

Need some screen-free entertainment to hand out? Your kids could be quite the bookworms by the end of the summer! Here are some of our favorites:

rainbow toys and activities for kids of all ages

Keep your hands busy and your mind clear!

We’ll say it again for the people in the back – KEEP YOUR HANDS BUSY. We promise it will help. If you have already finished all the puzzles at your house, these puzzles and games will keep you busy for a while!

Get outside!

Have you heard of the game Kubb before? It’s an ancient Scandinavian yard game that, legend has it, kept the Vikings entertained for hours. We feel you Vikings–it’s definitely been keeping us entertained for the past few weeks! Buy your own set here and play with the entire family!

More Resources

Loved this post on summer homeschool activities and need more kid-friendly things to do this summer? Try this DIY custom puzzle, fusible plastic bags, and be sure to check out this compilation of kids activities.

Camp Lars: Fusible Plastic Bags

An Environmental Quandary

Ever forget to bring a reusable bag to the grocery store with you and end up with a pile of single use, plastic ones? I know I have. I try to be environmentally conscious, but it still slips my mind on occasion. So what to do when that happens? And what on earth to do with all those plastic bags?! We’ve all probably heard by now that not everything you throw in the recycling bin gets recycled, and I really hate thinking about my plastic grocery bags filling the landfill. 

The Perfect Recycling Solution

Well, it turns out that this super simple DIY craft is the perfect solution to all those conflicted feelings about plastic bags! Generally we create waste by crafting, too, right? Paper scraps and bits of fluff galore. Well not this time! Introducing fusible plastic bags. Did you know you can make DIY stained glass and all kinds of pouches and purses by fusing plastic bags together? Save those bags and turn them into these cute little crafts instead. Here’s how:

How to Make Stained Glass with Fusible Plastic Bags

Prepping the Plastic

  1. First, tear a large piece of parchment paper to go under your work. Tear another 1-2 pieces to go between the iron and your plastic bags.
  2. Now take a few plastic bags of each color and cut the top seals off.
  3. Next, cut the bottom and side seams to open the bag as big as it can be.
  4. Now get creative! Keep a few plastic bags big and cut the other bags into fun shapes of different sizes.
  5. Once you have enough pieces cut out, lay down a large plastic bag. Start assembling your design on top. You can also layer the colors to experiment and blend the colors.
  6. When you’re happy with your designs, you can prep to fuse them together. 

Fusing the Plastic

  1. To fuse your project, take your parchment paper and place it on top of your assembled work. Be careful to not knock anything out of place!
  2. Set your iron somewhere between synthetic and silk. If you have a Cricut Easy Press, set it to 215 degrees. Once it’s hot, gently press it across your work once, then lift up the parchment paper to see if it’s fused yet. If not, repeat again. Note: Be very careful to not hold it for too long as your work might melt and shrivel up. The goal is to have the plastic melt together but not shrink.

How to Make a Crossbody Bag with Fusible Plastic Bags

To make this bag, you’ll use the zipper tops of the ziploc bags you used for the stained glass. Waste not! If you’re not using ziplocs, cut strips of plastic bags and double layer them, then fuse.

Prepping your Bag

  1. First, tear a large piece of parchment paper to go under your work. Tear another 1-2 pieces to go between the iron and your plastic bags.
  2. Now lay out a few tops an inch apart from each other alternating the colors. Lay another row going the opposite direction. You can also weave the tops if you want.
  3. Take your parchment paper and place it on top of your assembled work being careful to not knock anything out of place.

Fusing your Bag

  1. Set your iron to silk/wool or your Cricut Easy Press to 275 degrees. Once it’s hot, gently press it across your work once, then lift up the parchment paper to see if it’s fused yet. If not, repeat again.
  2. Flip your work and do the same thing on the other side
  3. Once your work is melted together and feels secure, trim any edges that are uneven to make the desired shape of your bag.
  4. Repeat this for the other side of the bag.

Creating the Strap

  1. To create the strap, take 4-6 plastic bag tops and cut them apart into individual sides. Use your iron at silk/wool or your Cricut Easy Press at 275 degrees to fuse them together overlapped by 1 inch. Put this off to the side.
  2. Take another plastic bag top and your two bag sides and hot glue them together to form the base of the bag. Make sure you don’t glue the bag shut, you want to be able to open and close it.
  3. Now, take embroidery thread and a needle and work a blanket stitch all the way around the sides of the bag. On the top corners, secure the bag’s closure with a few stitches and the beginning and end.
  4. When you finish, take your handle and attach it to the top inside corners with a few embroidered stitches. Add hot glue for extra security.

What to Do With Your Fusible Plastic Bag Projects

Woohoo, you’ve successfully made your fusible plastic bags into something beautiful! Now, what to do with them? We love using the plastic stained glass in windows–the light that filters through the plastic is really striking, especially in the afternoon when west facing windows are fully lit. It’s magical! If you don’t have many window options, though, you can also frame them, make a garland or banner with them, or pin them up anywhere. Let your kids get creative, there are so many options!

As for the crossbody bags, use ‘em! They’re the perfect size if you don’t want to carry around your phone in your hand or if you don’t have pockets. Don’t want to use them? Consider it another opportunity for some unique wall art and get decorating!

What are you going to do with your fusible plastic bags? Let us know below!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on fusible plastic bags and want more kids summer craft ideas? Not to worry! We have so many options for you to choose from. Check out this amazing hack to make a custom puzzle! Also see this compilation of kids activities from our archives.

DIY Custom Puzzles

Nufun Transfer Paper Puzzle

This Nufun transfer paper puzzle is such a fun way to make a custom puzzle. That’s right! With the right materials, you can pick the image of your choice (there are so many cute prints from our shop to choose from!), print it out, and transfer it to your blank puzzle with an iron or heat press. You can even make a matching bag to go with it! I love how surprisingly easy it is to do this. It’s a great craft you can make with your kids that then becomes a cute activity they can do to stave off the boredom. 

Here’s what to do:

How to Make a Custom Puzzle

Printing Your Image

  1. First, choose a design (see our print shop for some great options). Make sure to mirror the image before printing.
  2. Load the transfer sheets into your printer so the image is printed on the non-glossy (unlined) side.
  3. Now print the image! Use the following settings: HP: Iron on Transfer, normal mode; Epson: Plain paper, photo mode; Canon: inkjet paper, standard on high mode.

Preparing for Transfer

  1. Keeping the puzzle intact, hold the puzzle and cardboard sheet together. Slightly bend the puzzle sheets to loosen the pieces so they break cleanly after ironing.
  2. Now cut a small corner (about 1cm) of the transfer paper to aid in the peeling process.

Transferring your Image

There are two options for transferring the image of your custom puzzle. The first is with a heat press machine, and the second is with an iron. Here’s what to do for each:

Heat Press

  1. First, preheat the press to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Next, place the puzzle with fabric side up on the press.
  3. Now place the printed image face down on the puzzle (the lined side should be face up).
  4. Press for 25 seconds.
  5. For best results, peel immediately (while it’s still hot). Wait 5 seconds, then remove the backing paper from the transfer using a smooth, even motion. That’s how to make your custom puzzle with a heat press!

Iron

  1. First, preheat the iron to the highest “Linen” setting. Lay a pillowcase on the ironing surface. We’d recommend not using an ironing board for this!
  2. Next, place the printed transfer sheet face down on the felt puzzle.
  3. Using firm, steady pressure, hold the iron with both hands and apply your body weight. Iron for a total of 2 minutes 45 seconds. As you iron, slowly glide the iron across the puzzle in a left to right pattern. Pick the iron up to return to the left to right pattern and repeat to cover the entire sheet. Make sure to also cover all the edges and corners.
  4. As with the heat press, wait 5 seconds, then remove the backing paper with a smooth, even motion while still hot. You now have your very own custom puzzle!

Breaking the Puzzle Apart

  1. To separate the puzzle pieces, hold the puzzle sheet with both hands. Carefully and gently snap apart the edge pieces on all four sides of the puzzle until the border is separated. Discard the border. Tip: for a crisper look, use the iron set to the hottest setting and repress with the parchment paper for 30 seconds with the same left to right pattern. Make sure the border is removed and the parchment paper covers the entire puzzle as direct exposure with iron and transfer could damage your masterpiece! Wait to peel the parchment paper until the puzzle is completely cool.
  2. Now, one vertical row at a time, loosen and separate the rest of the puzzle. Carefully separate each puzzle piece by pulling apart gently. Repeat with each row until all pieces are separated. Done!

How to Make a Matching Bag

  1. Follow the steps in the “Printing Your Image” section above to print your image.
  2. After printing, trim your image from the transfer sheet to remove excess area. Round all sharp edges. This will make transferring the image easier!

Transferring the Image

As with the puzzle, you can use either a heat press or iron to transfer the image. Here’s how to do both:

Heat Press

  1. First, preheat the heat press to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Now press the fabric to release moisture and remove wrinkles.
  3. Next, place the printed image face down on the garment with the lined side face up. Set to 40-60 PSI or use firm pressure for best results.
  4. Press for 25 seconds, then peel immediately for best results. Wait 3 seconds and remove the backing paper from the transfer using a smooth, even motion while the transfer is still hot.

Iron

  1. First, preheat the iron to the highest “Linen” setting for 50-100% cotton blends, and “Cotton” setting for fabrics less than 50% cotton or stretch fabrics like Lycra. Lay a pillowcase down on ironing surface. Remember, we’d recommend against using an ironing board.
  2. Now pre-iron the fabric to release moisture and remove wrinkles.
  3. Next, place the printed image face down on the garment (lined side face up).
  4. Now use firm, steady pressure to glide the iron in a circular motion over the entire transfer for the following time durations: ¼ sheet: 1.5 mins, ½ sheet: 2.5 minutes, full sheet: 3.5 minutes.
  5. After ironing each section of the transfer, glide the iron once more over the entire surface to heat evenly.
  6. Once that’s done, peel immediately for best results. Wait 3 seconds and remove the backing paper from the transfer using a smooth, even motion while the transfer is still hot.
  7. If any image lifting is observed while peeling, stop immediately and glide iron over the transfer to heat evenly while focusing on the areas that have lifted. Then repeat step 6.

Washing Instructions

Turn the bag inside out and wash in cold water separately from other clothes using a delicate cycle. Dry on low temperature or hang to dry. If drying in the dryer, take it out quickly when it’s done.

When you’re not using your puzzle, store it in the adorable matching bag you just made!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on how to make a DIY custom puzzle and matching bag? Check out this post where we’ve compiled other great kids activities to keep them busy all summer!

Camp Lars: Summer Activities for Kids

Crafts

Crafts are at the top of our list of summer activities for kids. We’re all about crafts! So obviously we made some with kids in mind. And don’t limit yourself to this list! See our blog archives for more craft ideas. There are plenty we left off the list that your kids would love to try. Some are advanced enough that older kids will enjoy them more, but don’t fret. There are plenty for all ages to enjoy.

Here are our picks for best crafts for kids:

Matisse Felt Board

DIY block printing stamping art with potato

Courses

Another must-have on our list of summer activities for kids are our courses. Since your kids are out of school, it’s the perfect time to try a fun, easy course to keep their brains in gear! Our Great Artists courses are designed to get kids thinking creatively. They get to learn about different artists, with lots of great kids crafts to compliment what they’re learning. 

Another course that’s great for older kids is our Learn to Draw Flowers course. This course will teach your kids all about 31 different types of flowers and how to draw them. Once they’ve nailed this course they can move onto some of our other crafts, like these nesting eggs or our classic nesting dolls (here are the plain wooden nesting dolls to paint). 

Art Supplies

These art supplies made for kids are the perfect compliment to the courses we just mentioned! Not only are they a great way to keep your kids busy this summer, they’re also an important developmental resource to boost your children’s creativity and kick their imaginations into action.

Here are some options from our shop we love:

Other Kids Toys/Activities

Our shop is full of other summer activities for kids! From puzzles to bug hunting kits, we have something for every type of child, so take a look and see what suits your child’s fancy. 

Eeboo kids toys

back to school stickers on notebooks

 

For the Littlest Ones

We didn’t want to leave the littlest ones out of our list of summer activities for kids! While your older kiddos are off on a bug hunt or playing with puzzles, here are some things that are cozy and fun for even those who can’t walk yet. 

cute gifts for baby

Colorful, geometric paper shapes hang from a mobile in a green room.

Home Decor for Kids

Last but not least is our print shop. Summer activity, you ask? Hear me out: we have a shop full of kid-friendly art just waiting to be put to use somewhere in your home. Are your kids old enough to help decorate? Enlist them! What better way to decorate your child’s room than with art they love to look at? Even if your kiddos are too little to pick out their own art, consider it a great opportunity to decorate your baby’s nursery.

A print of a girl reading in a garden surrounded by trees, grass, and flowers against a golden background.

Four illustrations from fairytales hung above a child's kitchen toy set.

 

cheap art for kid's rooms

We hope we’ve given you some good ideas to keep your kids happy and busy this summer! Now we want to hear from you: what summer activities are your kids doing this summer? And what other kids crafts and activities would you like to see from us? Let us know in the comments below!

Cake Topper Sparklers

Sparklers and Fireworks on the Fourth

You can’t get much more classic than sparklers and fireworks on the Fourth. And I happen to love that these cake topper sparklers, in addition to being adorable, are not a fire hazard. With two little kiddos, I don’t love the idea of sparklers and fireworks that could cause injuries and fires with a simple accident. Jasper has just enough energy that I’d rather err on the side of caution, know what I mean?

The other perk about these cake topper sparklers is that you can keep them for years to come! Make them a tradition and add them to cakes and cupcakes every Fourth of July. Don’t live in the U.S.? Not to fret! Use these sparklers to celebrate any occasion. And that goes for those in the U.S., too. Once the Fourth of July is over, keep using these pretty little sparklers to celebrate birthdays and other special occasions all year long.

How to Make Cake Topper Sparklers for the Fourth

Here’s how to make your own cake topper sparklers:

  1. First, cut three 12 inch by 5 inch strips of cellophane. We used red, silver, blue and pink. Gold, this iridescent option and this colorful set are all great options, though! You can also use ribbon or tissue paper.
  2. Now create a fringe effect with each strip by cutting parallel lines down the full strip, making sure never to cut all the way to the edge of your material.
  3. Once all 3 strips are fringed, take your dowel and begin gluing one strip on to the top of the dowel. Start on one side and twist it around the skewer, adding a dab of glue when needed to keep it in place.
  4. Do that for each strand creating 3 tiered layers at the top of the skewer.
  5. Last, simply add 1 thin piece of cellophane around the bottom of the 3 tiers for the finishing touch!

More Inspiration

Loved this tutorial on how to make cake topper sparklers and interested in more Fourth of July crafts? Step right this way! You can try out these Paper Firework Cake Toppers, to start with. Need more decoration ideas? You won’t want to miss 3 bunting ideas or this brand new Fourth of July wreath! Also see this compilation of Fourth of July projects. Then head to our shop to check out our Fourth of July content!

Felix’s First Photo Book with Printique

Tangible vs. Digital

One thing I love about Felix’s photo book with Printique is that it’s tangible. You know how it is–we all have so many digital photos now (45k and counting!) that it’s overwhelming to even look through them to find favorites. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to have all my favorite photos of Felix all in one place in a book I can hold. And Jane took so many lovely photos of him over the first few months of his life–thank you, Jane! Being able to flip through a book full of them was a dream.

Beautiful Details

Friends, Printique‘s photo books are beautiful! That was a requisite for Felix’s first photo book. The cover is a beautiful fabric with gold embossed lettering. It’s exactly the kind of book I want to display and look at all the time, and the beautiful details don’t stop with the cover. I can’t stop running my fingers over it–it’s QUALITY.

There are tons of customization options available for the interior layout and so many cute backgrounds to choose from. And the print quality is spectacular! It was such a pleasure to open up that book for the first time and see the printed versions of those lovely photos. I got all the feels, believe me.

User-Friendly

I’m not the biggest technology guru (even though I’ve had a site for about 15 years now!) , but thanks to Printique‘s user-friendly website, making Felix’s first photo book was a breeze. All you have to do is put the photos you want to use in a folder and upload to Printique‘s website. From there, you can customize by adding major milestones, like Felix’s baby blessing (something we do in my church for babies when they’re just a few months old). Oh, and one of my favorite user-friendly features is that Printique allows you to hide the photos you’ve already used. That way you don’t accidentally put duplicates in your book.

What can I say? I’m in love with Felix’s first photo book, and can’t tell you enough how happy I was with Printique. They delivered!

Discount Code

Last thing: you won’t want to miss this! For the next few weeks, Printique is offering a special discount code for Lars readers! Just use code HappyJuly for 15% off. Runs June 30 – July 10 at midnight PST, so hurry and get your books before it ends!

What photo book are you dying to make? Let us know in the comments!

More Inspiration

Looking for more Felix content? Right this way for his birth story and my experience with thyroid eye disease. You also won’t want to miss seeing his new nursery or his adorable Easter outfit!