DIY Witch Legs

So I looked around for a tutorial online for how to make “Witch Legs” and they were all much more complicated than they needed to be! People using irrigation tubing, tube socks with sand and tape, mannequin legs, etc… I don’t know about you, but I’m all for cheap and easy! So I tried it my way, fingers-crossed that it’d work out, and it did! I just love our witch legs…costing under $10, they took about 15-20 minutes to make!

Materials needed:

  • heeled, sparkly shoes (find them at a thrift store!)
  • kids, knit halloween tights
  • poly fil stuffing
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • scissors

(I originally thought I’d decorate the shoes with some pipe cleaner curlicues, but they ended up looking best without! That’s why the pipe cleaners are pictured here, if you’re wondering.)

First, stuff the tights with the poly fil. Leave about 4-5 inches at the top not stuffed.

Next, cut the legs off the tights, as far to the top as possible. Then tie a knot in each.


Position one foot into a shoe to have a good idea how it will set. Then, starting with the toes, glue each foot into the shoe. It’s okay if the “foot” is smaller than the shoe…it probably will be because they’re adult shoes and kid’s tights. You can continue pushing the leg down into the shoe just past the heel and nobody will be able to tell the difference.


And now for the fun part…find the perfect spot to display your witch legs and surprise the neighbors! If you have an overhanging porch on your house or a large bush in the yard, you can hide the ends underneath. There’s about a half-inch gap between the siding of our house and the front porch that I was able to wedge the ends down into. A big flower pot set on top would work too! Get creative and have fun! Ding-dong the wicked witch it dead!!!



DIY Autumn Leaf Bookmarks

We are so, so excited in Our Beautifully Messy House that Fall has finally arrived and with it new projects and crafts to do! Nature offers so many free materials this time of year…from brightly colored leaves to acorns and buckeyes of all different sizes, not to mention weird and crazy seed pods. These Autumn Leaf Bookmarks were just too perfect for me to do this week with the new addition of our Little Free Library at our house, as well as all the leaves starting to change and fall in our backyard!

Materials Needed:

  • empty cereal or cracker box
  • scissors
  • gold acrylic paint
  • brightly colored leaves
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • Mod Podge and brush

First, cut your cereal box cardboard into bookmark-shapes. I did some thin ones with square edges and a couple thicker ones with rounded edges…both turned out great!

After cutting your bookmarks, paint a couple layers of gold acrylic paint on each side. The paint job doesn’t have to be perfect since the leaves will cover up most of the cardboard.

Once the paint has dried completely, it’s time to glue on your leaves. First, prepare your leaves by cutting the stems off.

Start with one of your larger leaves, and apply the glue directly onto the bookmark. After you’ve pressed your leaf into the glue,  smooth it down as flat as possible, working from the center of the leaf out. And work quickly…hot glue dries super-fast!

Once the central part of your leaf is attached, apply small dabs of glue to the edges and tips of the underside of the leaf and continue to smooth it flat. Fold over-hanging tips around and glue to the opposite side. Continue layering and gluing leaves on both sides.




Once all the leaves are attached, examine the bookmark and try to remove any little pieces of hot glue that may be visible. Now paint one or two coats of Mod Podge on each side of the bookmark. The Mod Podge helps preserve the leaves and their bright colors. It also makes the bookmark a bit more durable!

Too easy, right? It makes such a cute, lil gift for a friend or neighbor! Check back for many more Fall crafts to come in the next couple months! Enjoy!




Playing Monet

Ever since I was a kid and was given the book “Linnea in Monet’s Garden,” Claude Monet has been one of my very favorite painters. When L found my old book last week, I immediately thought of our melted crayon art and thought that we could try to make our own impressionist, water lily artwork. We used a different technique to melt the crayons this time, and we used materials found in the recycling basket for a “canvas.” I was thrilled to be able to teach L a little bit about Monet and his phenomenal paintings…and in such a fun way too!




Materials Needed:

  • empty cereal or cracker box
  • acrylic paints
  • crayons
  • oven

First, I cut the cereal boxes to make nice little “canvases” to paint on. I left the side flaps intact, making the artwork easier to move while working, using the flaps as handles. You can cut them off at the end.

Next, looking at Monet’s painting we talked about what colors to paint the background, representing the water. We chose two colors of green and two of blue to use. I let L paint the cardboard canvas however she pleased, encouraging her to cover the entire thing.



After the paint dried, it was time to create the lily pads and flowers. I made crayon shavings by simply cutting up crayons into little shavings or pieces. You can use a cheese grater if you like, but a sharp knife works just fine! (The crayon shavings pictured here are from another piece of work…hence the orange, yellows and reds. For Monet’s water lilies, I made shaving from three different green crayons, as well as some pinks, yellows and white.)

Now, using one color at a time, L sprinkled the crayon shavings onto her canvas. We started with the greens for the lily pads, putting the shavings into little piles, and followed it with the pink and white for flowers.



Next is the really fun part…melting the crayons, transforming the artwork! With the oven set to 200 degrees F, I lay the cardboard on a cookie sheet and placed it in the oven for 5 minutes. L loved watching the crayons melt!

Once the shavings were all melted, we removed the artwork from the oven to cool. Be very careful not to tilt or shake the artwork at this point…for the first minute or two before the melted crayon cools, it’s very liquid and will drip or move-mix around. After a couple minutes, the crayon is dried and the art ready to show off and display!






I hope you have as much fun with this one as we did! If you have a favorite impressionist painter, other than Monet, I’m sure the melted-crayon technique would work to mimic their work too! Enjoy!

DIY Wind Chimes

I love finding new uses for old things and I’ll take any excuse to peruse an antique store, so making these wind chimes was the perfect project for L and me! Like most of our home decor projects, L couldn’t help with everything, but I let her help where she could…she painted all the keys and picked out all the buttons we used. Your wind chime doesn’t have to include everything ours does, but hopefully it inspires you to make one with things you do have around the house!



 Materials for Wind Chime #1:

  • antique cheese grater
  • old buttons
  • keys
  • an old prism
  • sturdy thread or cord
  • acrylic paint
  • glossy sealant spray

 Materials for Wind Chime #2:

  • antique, silver candy dish
  • old buttons
  • keys
  • an old prism
  • sturdy thread or cord
  • acrylic paint
  • glossy sealant spray

For Wind Chime #1, which we made for my younger brother, I painted an old cheese grater that I had found at an antique store. While I painted the cheese grater, L painted a bunch of old keys. Once the keys dried, we turned them over and painted the other side different colors. After both sides were painted and dried, I sprayed the keys and the cheese grater with a glossy sealant. It gives the items a more finished look and will help them stand up to the weather a little better too.





First, figure out how you’d like your wind chime to hang…for instance Wind Chime #1 was hung on a slight angle, so the painting was visible. Wind Chime #2 was an antique candy dish hung upside-down. Hang the wind chime between two chairs while you work on it. This makes fastening all your keys and buttons soooo much easier!

To assemble the wind chime, we first laid out all the materials we had on hand…buttons, keys, old thread spools, and prisms. From here we decided what we wanted the wind chime to look like and started piecing it all together. It’s a great opportunity to talk about patterns with your little ones!

After everything was strung-up and fastened the way we liked it, I put a spot of crazy-glue on each knot and cut the extra strings. Now for the fun part…ready to wrap it up and give it away as a gift or find the perfect spot for your wind chime to hang! What will your wind chime look like?





Baking Soda and Vinegar Color Fun

This is by far our favorite science experiment these days at Our Beautifully Messy House. It’s incredibly simple and quick to put together and L loves it! Whenever she has a friend over and there’s a lull in the action, I usually pull this one out to keep the hooligans entertained.



Materials needed:

  • food coloring
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
  • medium-sized container
  • cup
  • medicine dropper


First, put some drops of food coloring around the bottom of the container. Remember that the colors will eventually mix, so place the colors accordingly.

Next, pour some baking soda over the little, food-coloring puddles until the colors are completely hidden.


Now, pour some vinegar into a small cup. This is a great place to stop and talk a little bit about the science behind this fun and fizzy experiment. Even though L is only 2 years old, we still talk about how it’s an acid-base reaction that causes the fizzing. She loves tasting the baking soda and talking about how it’s salty versus the vinegar that smells and tastes sour. (Bottom picture is after tasting the salty baking soda.)


Now for the fun part! Using the medicine dropper, squirt vinegar onto the baking soda mounds and watch the concoction fizz while the colors appear and mix together. It should continue fizzing as long as baking soda is visible and your child continues to squirt vinegar into the container.





Not only is this experiment easy to put together, but clean-up is a cinch too! Just dump the mixture down the drain and toss the cup and container into the dishwasher. The vinegar-baking soda concoction will help clean your sink too…an added bonus! I hope your kids love this one as much as mine do! Enjoy!

Clothespin Butterflies

These clothespin butterflies are fun to make and can be clipped just about anywhere! L and I started this craft on a whim a couple weeks ago, we were trying to make butterflies with things we already had. Hopefully you have all the materials hiding around your house too! You could use paint or markers to color the clothespins. Using markers, the butterflies could be finished in one morning. We chose to paint ours…L loves to paint and I like when projects can be stretched out, keeping us busy for a few days.

Materials needed:

  • clothespins
  • paint or markers
  • pipe cleaners
  • beads
  • hot glue gun and glue

First, paint the clothespins. We painted one side, let them dry, then painted the other. I helped with the touch-ups…filling in any little spots that were missed. Let the kids have fun with it! L was happy painting hers all sorts of colors…there’s no right or wrong way.


Next, choose the color pipe cleaners you want to use for wings and the color beads. We used three colors of beads for the wings. This was a great learning activity to teach little ones about patterns! L strung the beads on the pipe cleaners, repeating our 3-bead pattern 4 times for each wing.



Spread the beads out a little bit, so the color of the pipe-cleaner can be seen. Next, loop one end of the pipe cleaner around to the middle of the pipe cleaner and wrap it once or twice, leaving about half an inch of the end sticking out. Repeat with the other side of the pipe cleaner, forming a figure-8 butterfly wing shape. Twist both half-inch ends together. (This step is much easier to see in the pictures than to explain!) Repeat for the second wing.





To make the butterfly’s antennas, cut a pipe cleaner in half. Then, bend that piece in half. Put a bead on each end of the antenna and curl it down a bit.



After you’ve shaped both butterfly wings and the antennas, it’s time to glue them to the clothespin. Using the hot glue gun, put a little bit of glue on the inside ridge of the clip and quickly press the middle of the antennas in place.



Next, put a bit of glue inside the wire coil and push one of the wings in. Repeat the same on the other side, only put the glue above the wire coil and slide the wing in place.



Cute, right? These would be beautiful hanging in a window with the sun lighting-up the beads! We’re making something special for WB’s room with ours…I can’t wait to show you next week! Enjoy!

DIY Melted Crayon Art with Variations

This was the perfect “rainy day craft” for today…fun for me and for L! I’m so excited about these melted crayon creations, I can’t wait to make more! Let’s jump right in…


Materials needed:

  • white canvas
  • crayons
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • cardboard box
  • hair blowdryer

Although there’s definitely some unpredictability in this project, you first need to plan it out a bit. Start with picking out your colors.


After deciding where your crayons will go, use the hot glue gun to attach them to the canvas.



Next, place the canvas in a cardboard box. The box will keep your work area clean, catching the crayon splatter.

Prop the box up against a chair, table, or wall. Make sure the crayons are facing down (if you want a dripping effect) and that the box and canvas are on a little bit of an incline.


Next for the fun part, use the hair dryer to melt the crayons and blow the wax around. I let L do most of the rainbow picture. Turned out pretty awesome, huh!?



Now, display your work in whichever direction you please. I think a ribbon pinned or glued around the outside edges of the canvas would give it a nice, finished look!



To make the wildflower piece, I used mostly greens and browns. After I was done melting the crayons and the wax had time to cool down, I used the hot glue gun to attach flowers. Do this step carefully, so no glue shows! It works best to glue the flowers on spots without any wax.






Wild Splatter

I experimented with this one a bit, trying to plan for some future creations. I kept the box flat to the ground and used broken crayon pieces. To hold the crayons in place while melting them, I used a fork and smudged them around a bit. The outcome was a little funky…next time I’ll use smaller crayon pieces and maybe some crayon shavings instead.






I’m hoping to make a vibrant, Autumn tree next! I’ll be sure to update the blog and add those pictures as well, so check back soon!!! What “melted crayon art” will you make???


Making Food Fun Again!

I don’t know about you, but we definitely have a picky eater in our house. L is not a fan of most fruits or vegetables, so we have to be creative to get her near any of them! While many parents get upset with their kids for playing with their food, I figure if my kid is actually eating healthy, why not make it fun?! Here are a few of the quick and easy tricks we’ve come up with to make food fun again!

Stack fruits or veggies on a shish-kabob skewer.



Arrange foods in a funky and fun pattern with a dipping sauce in the middle. It can be as simple and easy as apple slices and peanut butter with a touch of honey. Kids love dips!


Put fruit in a silicone muffin cup (or any colorful cup) and give your child a toothpick to eat it!


Stack up fruit slices and your kid’s sandwich and tell your them you’ve made fairy houses and rocket ships for lunch. It’s silly, but it works!

I personally don’t agree with forcing kids to eat and try my best to avoid any arguments over food. So far our little tricks and games seem to work! What tips or tricks have you come up with??? Please share in the comments section below…we’re always looking for new ones!


Stick Shapes Game

Do your kids do this? Lately L makes shapes and pictures with everything stick-like…markers, crayons, toothpicks, straws, hot glue gun sticks, chopsticks, everything! It’s a great learning activity though and can be a lot of fun! It’s also something you all can play anywhere at any time…think restaurant, waiting forever for dinner to come…




  • markers (or anything stick-like)

L always initiates this game, usually by making triangles and squares.

We do some letters.

Make some snakes…be careful, this one bites!


Sometimes I tell L which shape to build. Other times we can take turns building shapes, having the other person guess what it is. I made this one and L proclaimed, “Like a stop sign!”



And still, other times we make pictures and shapes together.

You can also practice colors and counting with this game too. It’s so simple, yet so much fun for a two year old or older! Sometimes simple really is best. What little games like this does your family play?

DIY Rustic Spinning Stars

I love these Rustic Spinning Stars. When I first saw something similar here on the “happy hooligans” blog I just knew we had to make them! They’re fun to make with the kids and are beautiful hanging inside or outside. We have ours spinning on our front porch, while my dad hung his (which we gave him for Father’s Day) in their kitchen. I think the stars would be really fun hanging, spinning from the branches of a big tree too!



Materials needed:

  • sticks
  • glue gun and glue
  • white acrylic paint and brushes
  • colored ribbon scraps, string, raffia
  • florist wire

First, have your little ones collect sticks. You can make big stars with big sticks or use little twigs, like we did, to make little 3 to 5-inch stars.

Use the hot glue gun to glue five sticks together into the shape of a star. The stars don’t all have to be the same size and they certainly don’t have to be perfect…any imperfections give your stars more character! Don’t worry about the glue showing either, in the next step the paint will cover it up.

Next, have your kids help you paint each star with white acrylic paint. This is a great painting project for little ones, since any missed spots give the stars their rustic appearance.


After the paint dries, tie one end of your ribbon to the center of the star and wrap it around. Again, no need to be perfect here…another great task for your kids to help you do! After the star is wrapped, tie the end in a knot around one of the star’s arms.

You can attach the stars to each other with string or wire. We used green florist wire, which is weather resistant and sturdy. If you link two pieces of wire together, between each star, the stars will spin a little more than if you use only one wire. We tried both ways…both did the job and look great, so it’s up to you!

Now for the fun part, find the perfect spot to hang your Rustic Spinning Stars! Enjoy!