Search Results for: spider

How to Make a Simple Paper Spider in its Web: More DIY Halloween Decorations!

First, take a square piece of paper and fold it in half. I usually just start cutting out the spider freehand, but if you prefer, draw the spider on the paper first, like this:

paper spider1

Then cut out everything surrounding the spider’s body and legs, leaving a border around the edge.

paper spider2

Open it up and there you have it: A creepy paper spider to hang up for Halloween. Tip: If you want the spider to be a black widow, cut a diamond shape out of the abdomen and tape a piece of red paper behind it.

paper spider3

A Creepy, Crawly DIY Halloween Craft: Another Paper Spider in Its Web

Last year I dazzled you with my Paper Spider. (Not to brag or anything, but this easy Halloween craft was showcased on the French website Bulbinblue earlier this month!) What crafty goodness do I have in store for you this year? Another, different paper spider. A creepier, crawlier paper spider:

Here’s how you do it:

1. Fold a white, square piece of paper in half, making a triangle

2. Fold it in half again

3. Fold that in thirds

4. Cut the top off at an angle

5. Draw a web pattern as shown

6. Cut out the web

7. Fold a piece of black paper in half and cut out a spider

8. Unfold the web, hang it on the window, stick the spider on it, and shiver in fright!

How to Make a Paper Spider in Its Web: An Easy DIY Halloween Decoration

This post originally ran in 2009. I’m re-running it today because it has remained one of our most popular Halloween posts!

First, take a square piece of paper and fold it in half. I usually just start cutting out the spider freehand, but if you prefer, draw the spider on the paper first, like this:

paper spider1

Then cut out everything surrounding the spider’s body and legs, leaving a border around the edge.

paper spider2

Open it up and there you have it: A creepy paper spider to hang up for Halloween. Tip: If you want the spider to be a black widow, cut a diamond shape out of the abdomen and tape a piece of red paper behind it.

paper spider3
Happy Halloween!

Green Spotlight: Eileen’s Advice for Keeping Green Choices Simple and Finding Support

If you were lucky enough to read last week’s Green Spotlight, you know that Eileen Spillman has become one of our eco-heroines.  She doesn’t weave her own homegrown linen or knit her children booties out of repurposed shoelaces.  In our opinion, raising two young children as a single parent while working full time and making green choices is just about as honorable as it gets.  Read on to see just how she started.

What green choices seem to work best for your family?  

 I try to keep it simple as I have a tendency to over-do and then get overwhelmed and give up.  Here is what I can think of:

  1. We gave up paper towels and napkins. (This is actually super easy once you have a collection of linen napkins and rags.)
  2.  I started buying eco-friendly detergents and recycled toilet paper. (I was worried about         sacrificing quality but has not been an issue.  I actually love the eco-friendly detergent I found.)
  3.  I stopped buying household cleaners and pretty much rely on baking soda and vinegar for most jobs. (Again, they work very well.)
  4. We switched nearly all of our light bulbs to compact fluorescent (I haven’t found any in night-light size yet, but that’s next.)
  5.  We don’t have AC, which is no big deal in Oregon.
  6. I have an energy efficient washer and dryer.
  7. We eat a lot less meat.
  8. We shop at thrift stores as much as possible.
  9.  I car-pool to work when I can.
  10. We walk or use public transit more and more (still not enough) and I am trying to do car-free week-ends although it doesn’t always work.
  11.  I own a bike and have good intentions of riding it.
  12.  I started a container garden and am growing (fingers crossed) some tomatoes, peppers and beans.
  13. I started composting (yes, in an apartment!) as an experiment, and it’s working!
  14.  I’m learning to can [produce] and bake bread.
  15.  I try to buy local when it’s not too out of my way or price range to do it.

 All of these things were implemented one at a time and none of them required any great sacrifice on my part.

4. How important has it been for you to have eco-friendly acquaintances to share green tips?  

Hugely!  Living in Portland helps a lot because it is such a part of the culture here.  Shopping at thrift stores is cool, riding a bike is common, recycling is just something we do without thinking anymore.  Reading the Green Baby Guide has given me tons of inspiration!  I have known Joy forever (and she is one of my favorite people on the planet).  In high school we were forcing our parents to recycle, giving up hairspray and boycotting McDonald’s because of the rainforest.  But then, life got overwhelming for me there for a while and I became one of those, “why bother” people. 

Seeing other people’s examples of green living gave me a jumpstart.  For example, when my sister gave up paper towels and I was flabbergasted at the idea of living without paper towels.  For a long time I bought the pick-a-size so I would use less.  Then I realized that using rags are no big deal and actually easier.   If I hadn’t seen my sister doing it, I don’t think I would have ever considered it. 

Hopefully our small community here at Green Baby Guide will  be able to support each other as our readers struggle with integrating green values into their hectic lives.   If you’d like info on finding a green group in your area, check this post to get some helpful tips.

What are Your DIY Halloween Costume Ideas?

It’s October–officially time to start thinking about Halloween! What costumes have you created in the past? Do you have any DIY costume ideas for yourself, your baby, or your kids? What about homemade maternity Halloween costumes? Let us know in the comments and we’ll highlight our favorites in a future post. Stay tuned!

The ever-popular bandit and swimming bear!

If It’s Good for the Environment . . . Why Don’t You Do It?

Last week we heard your eco-confessions. This week we want to know your justifications for all of that appalling behavior! If you know it’s good for the environment . . . what’s holding you back?

They look like they’re having a good time . . . so why don’t I do it?

I’ll start. I know that hanging laundry to dry saves a lot of energy. I’ve written several posts about it and admonished others for it. Yet . . . I often dry my clothes in the dryer! Why? Well, I think it’s obvious, but I’ll say it anyway: It’s simply easier. I don’t need to clutter up a room with laundry and have it sit there for a week drying in the air. I like to fold warm, fluffy clothes. I save fifteen minutes every time I toss a load in the dryer instead of hanging it up on the rack. Terrible excuses, I know!

I hope to get back in the hanging habit now that the weather has warmed up. Go ahead—you can chastise me if you want!

DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Kids and Babies

You could spend hundreds of dollars on an organic free-trade toxin-free biodegradable Halloween costume–or you could just make one yourself.  Do-it-yourself Halloween costumes (formerly called “last-minute Halloween costumes” or “lazy parents’ Halloween costumes”) may seem like the latest thing in green parenting, but really they’ve been around for years. 

Keep in mind that I’m not talking about a lovingly handmade Halloween costume that takes hours hunkered over the sewing machine.   I’m talking about ransacking the house for interesting odds and ends, putting them all on your child, and winding up with a one-of-a-kind Halloween costume that requires no raw materials.

Here are some ideas that I may or may not have tried on myself or my child:

  1. Hobo.  This is a DIY classic, and easy to pull off using Dad’s  beloved pilled sweaters and garish ties from 7th grade.  With a little ingenuity, “hobo baby” could also be accomplished with the contents of his or her own wardrobe.
  2. Ragamuffin.  Variation of hobo, above.
  3. Hippie.  Another classic.  “Hippie baby” would be especially funny if you could find some miniature John Lennon glasses to complete the look.  Try tie-dying some baby’s old white onesies using grape juice.  (Note: I have not actually tried this, but I am only partially kidding.)
  4. Swimming bear.  All you need for this ensemble is a bear hat and swimming suit, which can be pulled over several layers of warm clothing.  My cousin thought this one up herself in her younger years.
  5. Cold-weather bandit.  As you can see from the photo, you will need a parka, some patterned pants, a Zorro mask, and a cape.
  6. Robot.  Dress your child in gray clothes and affix a metal colander or sieve on his head.  Voila!
  7. Glad bag.  This same ingenious cousin who invented the “swimming bear” decided to masquerade as a garbage bag one year.   In this day and age, it may be better to go as a canvas bag instead.

More ideas: “George Washington” and . . . a big pumpkin with a small head?

As for Audrey, she’s thinking of being “Baby of the Eighties” or perhaps “Punk Rock Baby.”  I hope this list has inspired everyone to create a green Halloween costume that will be gentle on the planet and the pocketbook.   For more inspiring Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer

Please let us know if you have any creative DIY Halloween costume ideas to add to our list, and don’t forget to join us tomorrow evening for Thrifty Green Thursday!

Our Favorite DIY Halloween Costumes of 2010

We asked our readers what their favorite DIY Halloween costume ideas were, and they delivered!  How will they outfit those trick-or-treaters this year?

Pair of dice. Cut head and arm holes in boxes. Paint them or wrap them in white paper, add some black dots. (Thanks, Brittany!)

The world. Use old boxes to make a sandwich board that fits over the shoulders. Paint it. Attach planets, the sun, and the moon made from cardboard scraps onto a headband. (Thank you, Lauren!)

Fairy. Scavenge around the house for materials! Lauren’s daughter will wear a tutu over a onesie and sweatpants. Felt will cover her shoes, transforming them into fairy shoes. Make a wand out of a stick, ribbons, and paint. Fashion wings out of hangers and old tights. The final touch? A crown made from fake flowers.

Baseball player. If your child refuses to wear a store-bought get-up, just use one of his outfits that can approximate a costume! Ali transformed her son into a baseball player by dressing him in a baseball jersey and sweat suit he already had in his closet.

These last three are from Eileen:

The Wind. Use strong hair gel to make your child look like he’s caught in a wind tunnel. Add silver and blue streaks and a cloud. Attach some fabric to wire to stream behind him.

Classic ghost. It doesn’t get simpler than this! Cut eye holes in a white sheet for a retro Halloween look. (Check out the detailed instructions over on Kaboose.)

Spider. Here are Eileen’s instructions: Black turtleneck, black sweatpants, 4 lengths of pipe insulation (very cheap at hardware store) either painted black or, in our case, wrapped in black velour. Make the pipe insulation the length of his arms and attach it (sewing will be the most secure but hot glue will work too) to the side seams of the shirt. string them together and to his wrists and elbows so that when he lifts his arms, 6 of the spider legs go up (number 7 and 8 are his legs). I attached some big eyes to a black ski cap. Finally, we looked at spider markings in a book we found in the library and we used bright green duct tape (reflective tape, even better) to make spider markings on the back and legs for visibility.

Need more ideas? Check out these vintage posts:

Family Halloween Costumes

DIY Halloween Costumes for Kids and Babies

Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes for Babies and Kids

More Fabulous DIY Maternity Halloween Costumes

My $1 Maternity Halloween Costume

The $2 Baby Pumpkin Halloween Costume

Happy costuming!

Halloween Costumes Using Your Baby

It’s one thing to coordinate your Halloween costume with your baby.  It’s a whole new level of awesome when your baby is essential to your costume.  As a devoted baby wearer, I especially like the costumes that utilize a sling or carrier.  A quick Google Search while give you some great ideas.  Here

are a couple of my favorites:


All you need is for mom to dress up as the three breasted woman!


My favorite spider costume



Would work just as well with baby facing in