Paper Dolls for Boys

Raising 2 crafty boys and thrifting every chance I get.

Play With Your Food January 15, 2009

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 2:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m feeling sick as a dog today, as I was yesterday.  The grating sound of children’s television motivated me to do a craft project with my little one.  I am proud that one of his growing, but still few, words is sew.

I set up the fabric markers & crayons on the floor of the craft room/office and let him go to town.  He made a banana with eyes and requested I make a “cheese bar”.   I haven’t finished the cheese bar but I have to say I think it’s fetching so far.  Here is a photo of the banana in process.


I also made a lollipop, baked potato and a reversible spaghetti/pizza number.  We just filled them with rice and sewed them up, bean bag stylie.  Easy, durable, not plastic and definitely not DORA the SCREAMAH!

The wee one is giving it all a good wash below.


I have been meaning to brag tell you about a great trash score.  A good friend of mine teaches (very well, I might add) at a public school in a neighboring town.  They got a grant for new play kitchens and I bought a set from her at a very reasonable price.  After hauling these heavy pieces to the car I saw MORE in the trash.  I loaded the car with 3 complete sets (it was all that could fit, it was like a Survivor puzzle challenge).  I went back but the rest had already been picked up by the big green monster.  I have a set in the basement I meant to put on Craigslist before the holidays but never got around to it,  am going to list soon.  I think I will make the money I paid my friend back and maybe a little extra to spend on a mom’s night out!  That money went to a good cause, new books for the classroom.  Why the other teachers didn’t do the same I don’t know.  It would have kept the stuff from the landfill, made the classrooms a little money and the playsets would have gone to good homes!


I still have to scrub some stickers off and fix up a few more handles but these are quality school grade pieces.  Love them, thanks K!

Okay, now I nap.


Alphabet Sunday :: C November 23, 2008

Filed under: Project Alphabet Sunday — twlowenstein @ 10:53 am
Tags: , , ,

Lauren says, C is for Completion.


Tracey says, C is for Cuckoo Clock.



And by “Every room” I meant the living room… July 3, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 9:38 pm
Tags: , ,

and by “see the floor” I meant patches of promise. Job well done me!

I have never been a softie, plushie, stuffie kind of gal. I appreciate the skill and creativity that goes into designing and making them but they’re not my thang. I did however make a little scrap monster that often gets mistaken for an owl for my oldest when he was a baby, about 6 years ago now. My second (and last) baby has just discovered the little guy and has taken to carting him around and chewing on his little limbs.

I love him in all his wonkiness. He’s velvety, sassy, and just the sweetest little peanut if I do say so…

The little guy doesn’t have a name yet and we need your help. We’re going to have a Name Me Contest! Leave your suggestions in the comment area and my boys will pick the entry they think best suits the fuzzy dude. I will send the winner a little prizey something, give you a shout out on this post (the hits will JAM your site), and we will think of you with flowers in our hearts every time we call to the the little monster! You in?

edit: We’ll take suggestions until Monday night and announce the winner Tuesday.   You guys are cracking us up!


Low-Tech Wall Art June 6, 2008

Filed under: Craft — twlowenstein @ 9:52 am
Tags: , ,

I’ve been coveting the wall art stickers that are everywhere these days. Etsy has some that are more reasonably priced than the big mod sites. I particularly like this, this and this. Search, “wall sticker” on etsy and you’ll be busy for a good hour sifting through them all.

I also want to try the fabric silhouettes found at Anna Maria Horner and Ohdeedoh. I should start a summer list of projects to hold me accountable.

But here is a low tech wall treatment I made about 7 years ago, when I still had access to a laminating machine. I dream of owning a massive laminator. One year the kids in my first grade named our class The Laminators, true story. Maybe I could get rummage tattooed on one wrist and laminate on the other.

I cut fade proof paper into different sized circles, wonky is a-okay. Then I layered them and feed them into the machine. I made two panels that were originally used as curtains in our computer/craft room in our last apartment. Then when my big guy was born I used them for his nursery and here they are pictured in my little guy’s nursery, that he never took to. The one that is in the process of being switched back into a craft room, it is taking WAY too long. I put some grommets in the top to hang it and it’s held up incredibly well.

Fun, cheap and a smidge tacky – the project, not me!


Crafty, I said Crafty, Right? May 4, 2008

I’m getting ready for my little one’s 2nd birthday and I’m in a reflective mood. Mostly about him but also about our family of four and even a little bit about just me.

After I had my first son my world became much smaller in many ways and my heart much bigger. I say the latter bit because a. it’s true and b. it makes me feel less guilty for saying the former. I didn’t make much of anything craft-wise the first year or at least what I previously considered craft. After being inspired by Get Crafty and many amazing craft bloggers, I started to look around my cozy little world and realized that there was so much creating happening in our house (just a tiny part of it mine).

I’m hoping Paper Dolls for Boys is a place where I can expand my world/community a bit and hold high the art of being a crafty mom. And here’s the ugly truth bit, I’m hoping it will inspire me to do more with my second son. As we live by the schedule of my first born, now in school, I’m finding it challenging to find time to create art and fun projects with my little guy.

Since I claim to be crafty in my tagline but have produced little to no evidence, I dug up these kid/mommy projects from the past.

This puppet theater was a big hit with the playdaters. My eldest and I painted the wardrobe box (freecycle) and sewed the Thai silk curtain. My big guy (who was then my little guy), operated the pedal. My favorite thing about this puppet theater was the unbreakable mirror I glued to the inside at little eye level so he could see the puppets and himself as the puppet master. I think I finally cut this up and put it out to recycle a few months ago. It was a little hard but I kept telling myself it’s to make room for new projects.
puppet theatre

Dinosaurs in space? Yup, we got ’em. We made the helmet out of a milk jug and tin foil. We cut a piece of the red webbing that holds the tangerines in the crate for the mask. We also crafted a control panel from a shoe box and scraps and an air tank from water bottles. The dino part was super fun, just cut a straight line up the back of a thrifted shirt and cut and stuffed spikes from an old t-shirt. Last step is just sew the shirt back up with the spikes in the middle. How that’s for a tutorial? I’m going to try it with a hoodie next.

dino in space

At the Science Museum, all geared out.

control panel

I’m not the first to make a tangerine crate bunkbed and I wish I could remember the blogger that inspired me 5 years ago to make this one. It’s still getting much love in the playroom and has held up surprisingly well. If I got a tattoo of a glue gun would you promise to get one too?

As I was making felt doggy ears for the party, I realized that I haven’t really made anything that wasn’t birthday related (either for my own kids’ parties or as presents) for a long time. Too long. I feel a quilt coming on, not the baby clothes quilt I’ve squirreled away pieces for and not a quilt for the boys to snuggle but a quilt for our bed. I’m thinking greens.

This week I’m going to challenge myself, even with crazy birthday prep, to engage my little one in 2 1 fun projects this week. Suggestions welcome.


Birthday Crazy March 15, 2008

About a week after the birth of my second child my foggy brain came up with an awesome realization. “I get to plan 2 birthday parties a year now!” I excitedly said to my husband (who humors me beyond belief). I love love love planning my kids’ birthday parties. Usually I stick to it being all about them but I fumbled on my eldest son’s 3rd birthday. I’m embarrassed to admit that I started planning for it about 8 months before his birthday! At the time he was way into robots, I like the vintage kitschy quality of robots myself so I got busy. I hand sewed felt robot invitations with silver metallic thread:

robot birthday invitation

I gocco’ed Thank You cards:

robot birthday thank you

I print gocco’ed some paint sample cards to string together for a banner:

robot birthday banner

I sketched the cake, I saved recycling and shiny things for the kids to make their own robot costumes, I’d even started on the robot piñata. Can you see where this is going? The whole thing became more about me, my vision and the pleasure I get from being crafty than about my son, HIS party and his CURRENT interests. So after some soul searching I asked my son what kind of birthday party he’d like to have, “Baseball!” he excitedly shouted. So I acquiesced. But I decided I wasn’t going to spend any more money on a second party. So I tucked away my runaway robot creations (although I’m really hoping my youngest develops an affinity for robots) and happily planned the baseball party. This time I looked at it as more of a joint project. My husband came up with a great idea, to cut paper plates to look like home plate and have the kids decorate them. My son asked that he get to throw “sprinkles” and dance. It was a kickass baseball party.

fenway bean bag toss

I used popcorn containers I already had for the goody bags, filled them with stickers and a Red Sox bracelet (the Lance Armstrong kind). The only bits I bought specifically for the party.



Swing battah battah! We filled the inside with baseball cards and “sprinkes”.

baseball pinata swing

I have to see if I can find one of the invitations to photograph, I delivered each kid a baseball with the party info written on a sharpie. I’m all about invitations that are also part of the favor.