DIY Knight In Shining Armor Halloween Costume

My DIY Knight In Shining Armor Halloween costume costs pennies compared to mass-produced costumes found at your local store. Halloween won't cost an arm & a leg this year! TwoKidsAndABudget.com

Halloween can get expensive quickly.  Especially when you have to shell out $15.00 or more per child for a costume they will only wear once.  Thankfully with a little imagination, some creativity, and a plan it doesn’t have too.  My easy DIY Knight In Shining Armor Halloween costume costs pennies compared to the mass-produced costumes found at our local store.

My DIY Knight In Shining Armor Halloween costume costs pennies compared to mass-produced costumes found at your local store. Halloween won't cost an arm & a leg this year! TwoKidsAndABudget.com

How To Make A DIY Knight In Shining Armor Halloween Costume

Supplies:

My DIY Knight In Shining Armor Halloween costume costs pennies compared to mass-produced costumes found at your local store. Halloween won't cost an arm & a leg this year! TwoKidsAndABudget.comI was able to purchase the helmet, breastplate, shield, sword and silver glitter hairspray at the Dollar Tree. I already had the long sleeve shirt, and purchased the sweatpants on sale for $4.00 at my local Wal-Mart.

Total: $9.00 for the DIY Knight In Shinning Armor Halloween costume! The best part is that KC was able to wear the shirt and paints over the winter and a year later they are still playing with the knight components!

Directions:

  1. Lay out the old newspapers to protect your table or working surface from being covered in silver glitter hairspray.
  2. Place each piece of the costume individually on the news paper and coat them evenly with the silver glitter hairspray.  Wait until they are thoroughly dry to spray the next piece or the other side of the clothing.
  3. Once all pieces are dry, your knight in shining armor is ready for his Halloween fun!

*Note: Some of the glitter will rub off of the costume.  I strongly suggest putting a sheet down under your child in the car to catch the glitter.  That’s what we did, and you will be glad you did too!

Do you make your own DIY Halloween costumes?  What will your little one be this year?  Please share in the comments below!

Too cold to go trick-or-treating? Try these fun Halloween movie ideas for kids. Then pop some popcorn and throw yourselves a little party. www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

10 Great Halloween Movies For Kids

Planning a fun filled Halloween party for the kids? Learn how to easily throw a Halloween party on a budget, and make it fun all without spending a fortune. www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

Throw A Halloween Party On A Budget

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Easy DIY Minion Birthday Cake

This DIY Minion Birthday Cake can easily be recreated following my step by step tutorial. Even if your just a mom in a kitchen like me! TwoKidsAndABudget.com

This easy DIY Minion Birthday Cake is the first in a series I’ll be doing over the next couple of months teaching you how to recreate this and other easy 3D cakes for your children’s birthdays!

This DIY Minion Birthday Cake can easily be recreated following my step by step tutorial. Even if your just a mom in a kitchen like me! TwoKidsAndABudget.com

Before we get started I want you to keep a couple of things in mind.  First, I’m just a mom with no formal training.  All of the cakes I have made are created using bits and pieces of tutorials that I have found across the web.  Second, and more importantly, remember it’s just cake.  Accidents will happen, but they can be fixed. I’ve had my fair share and in the end you would never know it.

 

How To Make Your Own DIY Minion Birthday Cake

While you can create these 3D cakes in a single setting, it’s best to do it over a couple of days.  The directions I’ve outlined below will help ensure that the cake is complete before your child’s birthday party.  It’s the same time frame I use for all of my cakes.

Supplies For Your DIY Minion Birthday Cake :

This DIY Minion Birthday Cake can easily be recreated following my step by step tutorial. Even if your just a mom in a kitchen like me! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.comThis list of supplies may look long, but several of the things listed are optional.  I’ve included everything that I used for this cake from start to finish.  Many of these items are also reusable for other cakes.

Three 8″ round cakes – using box mix or your favorite recipe

2 batches of your favorite homemade crusting buttercream frosting

Two 8″ round cake pans

One 8″ hemisphere cake, baked in a ball pan or Pyrex oven save bowl

8″ Round Cake Boards

Yellow Food Coloring

Black Food Coloring

Edible Black Color Markers

1 two-pound box of white Fondant  * I suggest purchasing your fondant from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s craft store with a coupon as this will most likely by your cheapest option.

1  one pound box of blue Fondant

Fondant Cutter & Embosser – used to make stitching pattern on the Minion’s overalls.

Fondant Rolling Pin or a traditional kitchen rolling pin

Fondant Mat – optional but will make things easier  

Fondant Smoother

Round Shape Cutter – Optional, but is what I used to make the goggle and eyes.

Plastic Pop Bottle Lid, plastic drinking straw (from McDonald’s) – used to make the eye

Wooden Cake Dowels – keeps your cake from shifting.

Bake Even Strips – optional

Parchment Paper – optional

Flower Nails – optional

Cake Plate or Silver Foiled Cake BaseI use the square silver foiled cake base for all of my cakes.  They are easy to handle, strong, disposable and will last for several parties before I have to toss them.

Ultimate Professional Cake Decorating Set – Optional.  I am including this kit because many of the tools I’ve mentioned above are included in it, and more.  I purchased this kit when I decided I would be making my boys cakes and it has come in handy over the years.

Directions To Make DIY Minion Birthday Cake

1.  Bake your cakes two days before the party.  Cut circles out of parchment paper the size of your pan.  Place a single flower nail in the middle of the pan and poke it through the parchment paper.   Spray the cake pan with baking spray that has flour added in it.  Fill each cake pan with 3 cups of batter.  Wrap the outside of the pan with bake even strips that have been dampened with water.  Place in the oven and bake according to the instructions in your recipe.

2.  The following day, make your favorite crusting buttercream frosting.  If you don’t have one here is the recipe that I use.  I add a pinch of popcorn salt at the beginning; it helps cut down on the sweetness that American Buttercream is known for.

Color your frosting with a few drops of yellow food coloring.  Mix and repeat until you get the color you like.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term crusting buttercream, all that means is that it will form a thin sugary crust when left sitting out.  This is important and helpful.

3.  Assemble your cakes.  Spread a thin layer of frosting on one 8″ round cake board then place your first cake layer down on top.  Give the cake just a little push so that it’s sticking well, but don’t push so hard that you crack it.

Measure 3/4 cup frosting and spread over the top of your first cake, then repeat between each layer.  This will be your filling.  Stack your second cake on top, push down slightly to make sure it sticks.  Ensure each cake layer is even using a small level, so the finished product doesn’t look tippy.  Repeat until your cake is completely stacked.

Use two wooden cake dowels to secure your layers in place.  The dowels may need to be shortened so that when placed inside your cake it stops just beneath the surface.  Otherwise it may create a funny pattern in your fondant or even make a small hole.

4.  Spread a thin layer of frosting over the entire cake.  It doesn’t have to look pretty.  It is simply to keep the crumbs from making a mess out of the next layer of frosting. Let your cake stand for 15-20 minutes so that the frosting forms the crust you are looking for.

Give your cake a nice even second layer of frosting, no more than 1/4 inch thick.  If your layer of frosting is too thick then the fondant will have a tendency to slide.  Let your cake stand for 30 minutes to allow a crust to form.

How To Assemble Your DIY Minion Birthday Cake

We have finally come to the fun part!  While your cake is sitting it’s time to create the details that will bring your minion to life!

  • The Eye: One large white circle, use the round shape cutter to cut it out. Use the bottle cap to cut out the blue circle. Make the black pupal, using the drinking straw.  Finally a small ball of white for the sparkle in his eye.  As there are several layers to the eye, you will want to make each layer fairly thin but not paper-thin.
  • The Goggle: I used the round shape cutter as the silver part of the goggle.  However, you could make some gray fondant using a little less black food coloring.  Roll it out, cut it into a strip then make a circle shape by putting the two ends together.  Fondant will stick to itself if you use a very small amount of water brushed onto the two ends.  This will need to set to dry and harden.  The band of the goggle is a long strip of thinly rolled black colored fondant.
  • The Arms:  This is simply two long yellow fondant logs.  Make them longer than you think you will need, you will cut them down to size later.
  • The Hands:  Start with two small, equal sized balls of black colored fondant.  I freehanded them by molding each hand around my pointer finger to give it some shape.  Then I used a small knife to cut slits all the way through it to make the fingers.  Mold them into the shape that you like.
  • The Legs: These are made the same way as the arms only out of blue fondant and much shorter.
  • The Feet:  I made them the same way as the hands using two small, equal sized balls of black fondant.  Slightly flatten the ball with your thumb, then make a shoe shape.  Using a small knife indent the bottom of the shoes, the part you see when looking at the cake, creating little lines to give them some character. Each shoe should be about the size of your thumb.
  • Overalls: Your Minion’s overalls are created out of blue fondant.  Make two panels, one for the front and one for the back.  The front panel was a 3 1/4″ high and the back was 2 1/2″ high.  You will need to find the right measurements for your own DIY Minion cake.
  • Overall Straps:  After placing your overall panels on the Minion you will need to measure from back to front to see how long your straps will need to be.  When measuring, make sure to consider final placement of the straps.
  • Buttons:  The buttons are made out of the same blue fondant as the overalls. I used the bottle cap to create the them.
  • Hair: I used black candles, I wanted the Minion’s hair to look like it was on fire when we lit the cake.  It worked out great and was a very cool effect!

While the fondant pieces drying, move your cake to the foiled cake base.  Open your fondant and begin to knead so that it becomes pliable.  While you are working the fondant add in a few drops of yellow until you reach your desired color.  If it becomes sticky sprinkle a little cornstarch on the fondant mat and it will help remove it.

Measure the height of your cake, then using the measurements on the fondant mat as your guide begin to roll out your fondant.  Make your yellow fondant larger than you need so that you have plenty to work with.  This will also allow you to have excess to trim creating a clean edge.  Once your fondant is rolled out to the right size cover your cake with it. Use your fondant smoothers to gently but firmly smooth the fondant on your cake working in a circle from top to bottom.  Gently pull the bottom of the fondant as you work around the cake to help keep it from wrinkling as you work.  Once you have covered your cake in the yellow fondant it’s time to assemble the components.

To attach the fondant pieces to your cake use a small paint brush and a little water.  The water will act like a glue and the fondant will stick to itself.  Be careful when applying the fondant pieces as the colors can bleed onto one another, you don’t want to be moving them around once applied.

Begin with the placement of the eye and goggle, followed by the overalls making sure to leave room for your Minion’s mouth.  Next add the legs, feet, arms and hands.  You may need to make adjustments to the length of the arms and legs.  To secure the arms to your cake; insert toothpicks into the ends and paint the fondant with a little water then push the toothpicks into the body of the cake. If the arms want to drupe you can support them with balls of fondant until they have dried and stiffened.

Once your arms are in place you can add the overall straps, buttons, and front pocket.  Use the stitch wheel of your fondant embosser to create the stitching pattern on the overalls.  Give your Minion a smile, add your child’s initial to the pocket, and button holes on your buttons using the edible black fondant marker.  Finally, add the black candles to create the Minion’s hair.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section and I will do my best to help you.  Have fun creating your own DIY Minion Birthday cake!

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DIY Fingerprint Painted Flowerpots

As a thank-you gift for the boys teachers this year we made fingerprint painted flowerpots. It's a fun, easy & frugal teachers appreciation gift for less than $10.00! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

The end of the school year is quickly approaching for my boys.  As a thank-you for their teachers this year we made DIY Fingerprint painted flowerpots.  It was a fun, easy and inexpensive teachers appreciation gift.  The best part for this frugal mom was the price!  For less than $10.00 we were able to make and give away four flowerpots.

As a thank-you gift for the boys teachers this year we made fingerprint painted flowerpots. It's a fun, easy & frugal teachers appreciation gift. www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

How To Make Fingerprint Painted Flowerpots

Supplies Needed:

Four Inch Clay Flowerpots

Four Inch Clay Flowerpot Saucer

Paint Brush

Acrylic Paint – We used 5 colors, pink, purple, teal, yellow and green

Paint Pen

Potting Soil

Flowers

A cooperative child!

I was able to purchase all of my supplies at our local Wal-Mart and the boys even chose the flowers that filled their teacher’s flowerpot.

Directions:

1.  Remove any stickers from the flowerpot and make sure no sticky residue is left.

2.  Put paint colors on a paper plate, you don’t need a lot for each individual flowerpot.

3.  Help your child dip a finger tip or thumb into the paint making sure it’s well covered.

4.  Gently place fingertip on pot going straight down then straight up to leave a painted petal.  Continue to make petals in a circle to create the flower.  Leave a little space in the middle to make the center of your flower.  Check your child’s finger or thumb often to ensure a good coating of pain remains for the next flower petal.  Repeat to make the rest of the flowers.  Let dry.

5.  Once dry to the touch go back and using the center color, on our flowerpots we used yellow, make the center of your flowers.

6. Using a paintbrush and a bit of green paint, make your flower stem and a leaf.  Let dry.

7.  Use the paint pen to write a message for your child’s teacher along the rim of your flowerpot.  The message we left was, “Thank you for helping this flower grow.”

8.  Once the pot has set for a couple of hours you can fill it with potting soil and help your child plant their teacher’s flowers in it.

9.  If you plan to water the flowers before deliver, and I suggest you do, you should do it the night before as the clay flowerpot will absorb some of the water and discolor the flowerpot temporarily.

The boys were so proud of their fingertip painted flowerpots, and their teacher’s loved their handmade gifts.  If you’re still looking for a simple, heartfelt thank you for your child’s teacher this is it.

Foam dough a fun simple two ingredient alternative to Play-Doh. Keeps kids entertained for pennies! With a soft & silky texture, it's great for sensory play! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

Easy DIY Foam Dough

These little marshmallow slingshots are simple to make & lots of fun to play with. I've included instructions for a toddler friendly version, & a fun game. www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

How To Make A Marshmallow Slingshot

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Easy DIY Foam Dough Keeps Kids Entertained For Pennies!

Foam dough a fun simple two ingredient alternative to Play-Doh. Keeps kids entertained for pennies! With a soft & silky texture, it's great for sensory play! www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

My boys love playing with Play-Dough, it doesn’t matter if we make it from scratch or if is store-bought.  The squishy, messy, dough can keep them entertained for long stretches of time.  But now and then we need a break from the routine and then it’s off to find something new to experiment with.  A couple of months ago I discovered a fun alternative to our standard Play-Dough, a simple two ingredient foam dough.  The boys had so much fun with it that they have asked me to make it several time since then.

To be honest, I always consider it to be a gamble when experimenting with different DIY kid related craft recipes and activities found online.  If you’re not careful they can be quite costly, can take forever to make, and then what happens if the kids don’t like it?  You simply have to toss it out and there goes your time and money down the drain.  I really loved that the foam dough recipe has only two ingredients, is inexpensive, easy to make and there was no cooking involved.

How To Make Foam Dough

 

Foam dough a fun simple two ingredient alternative to Play-Doh. Keeps kids entertained for pennies! With a soft & silky texture, it's great for sensory play. www.TwoKidsAndABudget.comSupplies:

The total cost of this project was $3.18, as I was able to purchase the shaving cream and disposable baking pan at the Dollar Store and the cornstarch was easily found in the baking section at my local Kroger store.

Directions:

Here comes the hard part!  Dump any amount of cornstarch into a bowl or directly onto your kitchen table.  Squirt about the same amount of cheap shaving cream on to the cornstarch then add a few drops of your liquid food coloring.  Mix with your hands or a spoon until the dough forms.  If it seems a little too dry or a little to wet add a little more of one or the other ingredients.  You will be able to tell the dough is ready when you can squeeze it together with your hand and it forms a ball.  When you’re done clean up is a breeze, just put it in a ziplock bag or toss it in the trash.  Any left behind easily washes away with a little warm water.  That’s it!  See I told you it would be complicated.

I did pick up a couple of tips having made the foam dough a few times now.  These may help you have an ever better experience with it.

  • First, it’s easier to mix your foam dough in a bowl using a spoon than mixing it with your hands and it keeps your fingers from getting messy if you have to add more of one ingredient.
  • My boys loved the feel of the dough and liked to crumble it.  The first time we made it was a mess, although it was easy to clean up afterwards.  To help control the mess this time around I dumped the foam dough into a disposable baking pan and then when they were done with it I just tossed it in the trash.  You could also play with this outside and just not worry about it.

The cornstarch and shaving cream foam dough has a very soft and silky texture, it makes for a great sensory play craft.  I have to admit that I enjoyed playing with it almost as much as the boys did!

Easy Homemade Bath Crayons

How To Make Homemade Bath Crayons

These little marshmallow slingshots are simple to make & lots of fun to play with. I've included instructions for a toddler friendly version, & a fun game. www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

How To Make Marshmallow Slingshots

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*This post contains affiliate links. You do not have to purchase items through them.

Easily Update Your Kitchen Walls With Contact Paper!

Every now and then I get the urge to redecorate.  To update a room and give it new life.  That however can take a lot of work and get very expensive when you start purchasing cans of paint, rolls of wallpaper, and boxes of tile.  Those traditional options also lock you into a theme for a fairly long period of time.  But what if you want a more temporary and less expensive solution?  Then decorating with contact paper may be a great option or you!

Using contact paper with a pleasing pattern is a quick and easy way to have a focal point on a single wall.  Or use it to replace wallpaper for an entire room!  There is a large variety available today in all types of styles from country to modern; your options are almost endless.  If something simple is more your style there are lots of plain, solid colored contact papers to choose from as well.

In my kitchen I chose a patterned adhesive paper that complemented both my cabinets and my wall color.  I wanted something that would bring interest to my kitchen without overwhelming the small space.  Ultimately I  chose the Duck Brand Taupe Swirl which was available at my local Wal-Mart for only $5.99 a roll.  It took two rolls with a little left to spare to create my focal wall and the little decorative area behind my stove.  I loved the look and the way it turned out so much I thought I would share it with all of you.  It’s so simple and easy to do you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it yourself already!

Using contact paper is a quick & easy way to have a focal point on a your wall. It's so easy & inexpensive you'll wonder why you haven't done it already!  www.TwoKidsAndABudget.com

 

How To Update Your Walls With Contact Paper

  1.  Measure the wall or walls you plan to cover in the contact paper of your choice.  That way you’ll know how much you will need.  I recommend purchasing an extra roll especially if you have a pattern you will need to match up.
  2. Prepare your walls by filling any holes or uneven areas with spackling.  Wait 24 hours before sanding and then washing them with warm soapy water.  If they are very dirty you may need to use a heavier cleaner like TSP that will cut through the dirt, grease and grime.  Once your walls are washed let them dry completely before applying any contact paper to them.
  3. As you wait for the walls to dry you can begin to lay out your contact paper, measure leaving a couple extra inches at the top and bottom, and then cut it into strips much like you would do with wallpaper.  Now would be a great time to match up your patterns as well.  I also suggest labeling the backs so you will the order each piece goes up on the wall.
  4. If you have a large area to cover you will want to make some guidelines for yourself to make sure your lines stay straight. Use a straightedge and a level to make sure your lines are plumb.
  5. If you have ever wallpapered a wall before then this next set will be an old hat for you.  You will want to place your first piece of contact paper in the corner, aligning the paper with the guideline you drew.  Start at the top and work your way down as you smooth out any air bubbles as you press the contact paper to your wall.  You will want to remove a little of the backing at a time as you work that way the adhesive won’t be able to stick to itself.  If you make a mistake and find that you’re going crooked you can peel the contact paper back.  However, be careful not to do this too much as it will loose its stickiness.
  6. When you reach the bottom of the wall use a utility knife and a putty knife to help cut away the excess paper. Done properly you should have a clean edge at the bottom.
  7. Continue the hanging process until your desired area is completely covered.

When you are ready to change the look of your room again simply peel off the contact paper to reveal your walls beneath.  Should you come across a stubborn area use a blow dryer to apply a little heat and loosen the glue.  Finally use hot water and soap or the TSP once again to remove any sticky residue left behind on your walls.  Volia!  A simple, inexpensive way to update your walls on a budget!

Have you ever used contact paper to decorate a room?  If so how did it go?

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