by Sharla

DIY – Spooky Material

August 7, 2014 in Halloween, Halloween, Halloween Creations by Sharla

DIY Spooky Material

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Check out my spooky material.  Spooky, right?  Spooooooooky…… Well, I didn’t buy it, I made it!  Why?  Because it’s fun!  The only thing I had to buy for this project was a packet of cheese cloth from Home Depot (in the paint supplies).  It was about $4.00 for the pack but it came with a ton.  What I loved about this project was how easy, fun, cheap and quick it was.  Plus, I could customize my cloth to be any color I wanted!  Shall we begin?

What you Need:

Ink Pads (I used red, black, green, and purple)

CLICK HERE for Joann.com or Shop Scrapbooking and Papercrafting Supplies at Michaels

Cheese cloth (Home Depot is my favorite spot for this but this is my recommendation from Amazon)

 

The Method:

Ok, this is super complicated, so just bare with me.  What you need to do is open you cheese cloth, cut the desired amount (or keep it whole) unfold it, and blob it onto the ink pad.  Seriously, here’s a picture of my 3-year-old doing it.

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Man, that kids needs a hair cut.  I did one cloth that was just red, kinda gross looking but also cool if you’re into the gory Halloween look.

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Then I did one that was a mixture of purple and black and one that was black, green, and purple.  Go crazy with that ink pad.  The more ink you use the better it will look.

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And just to mix things up you can always leave the cheese cloth white and drape it like spider webs.  I have used this piece year after year.  I draped it and then just made long cuts into it to shred it a little.  I like it much better than the spider webbing you get that is just one use.  Just slap some creepy crawlys on there and you have a more than convincing spider web.

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Ok, who’s convinced?  It’s all the things I love about crafting, plus its for Halloween, sooooooo, yeah.  AWESOME!

<3, Sharla 

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by Sharla

Class Carnival

December 30, 2013 in Christmas, Easter, For Fun, Fun, Halloween, Halloween, Kids, Parties, Valentine's Day by Sharla

Class Carnival!

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Ok, best party ever!  Have you ever tried to put together a class party for a bunch of 3rd graders?  It’s super hard!  They are too old for stories and simple crafts, too cool to do anything cute or silly, yet too young for spin the bottle (just kidding).  Seriously, this is a hard age to please, but this party went over with a bang.

I call it The Christmas Carnival, but had to make it a bit more PC and changed it to The Class Carnival.  The kids didn’t care a bit about the title, they just cared about the fun.  These games and activities would work for any holiday or event for kids.  Come get some ideas!

Station 1:  Ball Toss

Remember The Bozo the Clown Show?  It’s on the cusp of my memory as a kid, but one game always stood out to me…the Ball Toss Game.  I just knew I would rock it!  And the prizes were legit.  Turns out, kids don’t need a prize to have fun.  These guys loved the challenge.

You need:

5-6 buckets (I got mine at the dollar store) 

Pingpong balls (again, dollar store)

It’s as easy as it looks; line the buckets up in a long line and give the kids a ball to toss.  They have to make it in the buckets starting with the first going all the way to the end.  If you want to make it more complicated you can limit the number of balls they throw, or add small prizes for each bucket.  If they make the bucket they get the prize inside.  These guys were more than happy to just try. 

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Station 2:  Gingerbread Fred Decorating

The class spent the month of December working on their “Gingerbread Fred”.  They made their own gingerbread man then created a journal with stories and pictures of what they did with their gingerbread men during the month.  Decorating and eating a gingerbread man was the perfect treat for this party.

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Gingerbread men that aren’t home made are hard to come by!  I ended up buying tubes of Pillsbury gingerbread dough, then I rolled them out and baked them at home.  This was a great product, tasty and easy to work with, just make sure to flour the edges of the dough generously.  Want a festive way to keep cookie mess from getting all over the class room?  Cover the cookie area with wrapping paper.  Easy clean up and festive!

You Need:

Frosting

Candy

Wrapping Paper

Gingerbread Cookies

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Station 3:  Reindeer Antler Decorating

I bought these from Oriental Trading Company in a packet of 12.  It came complete with everything you need to make your antlers adorable.  It was also very affordable.  The kids loved it. 

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Station 4:  Cookie Face

This is a classic Minute-to-Win-It game.  You tilt your head back, place an animal cookie on your forehead then you have to work the cookie to your mouth without using your hands.  We made the rule that if the cookie fell on the floor you were out.  If it fell but you caught it, you could try again (that way we don’t have nasty germs getting in their mouths).  We were a little stingy with the cookies, they only got one shot, but so many come in a bag, next time I would let them try more.

You need:

Frosted Animal Cookies (easy)

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Station 4:  Kisses Match Game

This is straight off of Pinterest.  Simple, fun, easy, and they get to keep their winnings.  This game was a huge success.  Click here or the picture below to see the link.  Or click the Pinterest icon on the side of the blog to visit my boards.  :)

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Station 5:  Face Painting

No, shut up.  This really happened.  I know a company called Changing Faces and Balloons and they are done a ton of events that I’ve been to.  They are top notch.  Their face painting, balloon animals and clowns are amazing.  Since the party was a carnival, face painting seemed like a magical and fun touch.  So I got in touch with the owner, Sharon Neilson, and she agreed to donate her time to come to the class and paint faces!  This was the highlight of the party.  She worried that some kids might be a little too cool to do it, but when you have two college rivalries in town, the kids were more than willing to plaster their favorite team’s logo on their face.  Some were whimsical, some were silly.  My own son opted for a historical feel, yes, he asked to have the Titanic.  Sharon can do just about anything and she proved it!  She has has own amazing story that is worth checking out.  Click here to learn more about how her company came to be or visit her Facebook page and see more of her masterpieces.

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The thing is, you don’t have to have a pro do something perfect for the kids to love it.  Get some stencils and have a mom volunteer.  This was a fun addition to the party.  Even Mrs. Florez, the teacher had hers done!  It really created a festive feeling.

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Some other fun additions were balloons on a stick.  These were my gift to the class.  I purchased the balloons and sticks at a local party supply store and for 25 balloons and sticks it was about $5.00.  It was and impressive and fun addition that was low cost.

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Finally, I just couldn’t help myself.  Between the reindeer antlers and carnival theme I had to have a carnival take home gift.  I bought these “party invitations” in a set of 12 from Oriental Trading Company.  The boxes were beautiful and sturdy and included a party blower and clown nose (to double as Rudolph’s).  I added inexpensive sticky mittens, a chocolate gold coin and a few Hi Chew (because every kids I know is obsessed with them).  It was a hit.

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As far as parties go, this could go any direction you want.  Christmas, birthday, Valentines, Halloween, New Years, Easter or even summer fun.  Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!

<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Princess/Vampire Cape Tutorial

December 8, 2013 in Christmas, Halloween, Halloween, Kids, Sewing, Sewing for Fun, Sewing for Holidays, Sewing for Kids by Sharla

DIY Princess/Vampire Cape Tutorial

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Where do I begin with this.  It started out of a need…several years ago, when my oldest daughter and her best friend were choosing Halloween costumes.  Yes, that’s where it all began.  Abby (bestie of Olivia) needed a princess type cape to where with her Halloween costume.   Something that matched but that would also eliminate the need for a coat, because what’s the biggest tragedy on Halloween?  Having a great costume and then having to cover it with your dumb old winter coat!  So I thought, “self, I bet I could make a lovely cloak that is basically a blanket.  Problem solved.  Adorable and functional.  Well, the first one turned out so great that I had to make one for my own daughter, which lead to the vampire design for my little guy, and so on.  And here we are today.  This is one of my favorite creations.  If you can sew a straight line you can make this cloak.  Its beautiful, durable, and DO-ABLE!

What you need:

  • 1 yard of sparkle costume satin
  • 1 yard of fleece
  • 1 1/2 yards tying cord
  • 3 yards of trim (optional)
  • thread
  • ruler
  • marking chalk
  • scissors

The Method:

We need to get the inner lining lined up the the outer.  So lay the fleece down first right side up.  Then lay your sparkle satin on top right side down.  Now simply measure over from the salvage edge 47″ and cut them both at the same time.

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If you are using the ruffle trim or the ball trim do this step.  If you are doing no trim, skip to the next.

Take just your sparkle satin and measure 5″ down on both ends of the long side.  This is where you will start and stop sewing the trim on.  

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Now fold the edge of the trim over and sew it so that the end of the trim is finished.  This is necessary if you are using ruffle or lace, but not with the ball trim.   Pin the trim to the sparkle satin right sides together (some trims don’t have a “right” side, just make sure you are sewing it on the right side of the sparkle satin with the trim facing into the cape).  Once it’s pinned, sew a straight stitch all the way around to secure the trim.  When sewing the corners simply keep the needle down in the fabric at the corner, lift your presser foot, turn the fabric so the next row is ready to go and put the foot back down.  This creates a perfect corner.

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Next you are going to sandwich the trim between the sparkle satin and the fleece.  So lay the fleece on top of the sparkle satin and pin all the way around. You will only sew 3 sides together, starting and ending where the trim starts and stoping where the trim ends.  Do the corners the same as when you sewed on the trim.

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Check it out, you have the beginnings of a cape!  I know working with fleece can be tricky because it has a huge amount of stretch.  So once this step is done trim off any extra fleece that is not lining up.

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 Now flip the whole thing right side out and push the corners out so that they are pointed and not bunched.  The next step is decorative and important.  Just start where the trim does and sew a straight line all the way around the cape right along the edge, about a 1/2″ seam allowance.

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 The main part of the cape is done.  Now we need to finish the two short edges that do not have trim.  Separate the satin and the fleece and turn the fabric in about 1/2″ like a hem.  Sew a straight line on the sating then do the fleece.  Do this step again on the other side.

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Next we are going to create the pouch for the draw string to go through.  Lay the cloak out flat and measure 5″ down from the top of the cape, marking with chalk all along the length.  Do it again measuring 4″ down.  Now you have two lines, 1″ wide.  Use a straight stitch and sew along both lines.  When this is done you can see that the pocket is created and the edges the the draw string comes out of is also finished.  Hooray!

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You are ready for the last part.  You need to close the top of the cape.  The who short edges are already finished so along the top fold each fabric in about 1″ inward and pin.  Then starting at the top of the drawstring casing sew a straight line, turning at the corner and sew all along the top and then down again to the edge of the other side.  When you get to the other side of the casing sometimes you have some extra fabric that has stretched.  Just trim and tuck it in as best as possible and sew it closed.  Don’t stress if it isn’t perfect, I promise, no one will notice.

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Ok, let’s talk drawstring.  What ever you chose to use you need to finish the edge so it doesn’t fray.  I do this simply by putting a generous glob of hot glue on it.  When it’s dried use a large safety pin and stick it into the draw string.

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Now, use the safety pin  and insert it into the draw string casing on one side and work it through the whole casing to the other side.  Just kind of push and bunch the fabric and then smooth the safety pin through. 

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 When you get to the other side, TA DA!  All finished!

Don’t have the time to make this cape?  Click here or the Etsy box to visit my Etsy shop to order one already made!

<3, Sharla

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by Sharla

DIY Gum Ball Necklaces

November 19, 2013 in Christmas, Cooking, Creating, Deserts, Easter, For Fun, Fun, Halloween, Halloween, Holdiay Cooking, Kids, Parties, Valentine's Day by Sharla

DIY Gum Ball Necklaces

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Are you ready?  Are you ready for the cutest, easiest gift/activity you can possibly do?  Here it is…string gum balls on wrapping string like beads.  Wear.  Eat.  It’s that simple.  This tutorial is actually included in my Kids Halloween Party post but it’s worth pointing out how applicable it is to every single holiday.

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You Need:

Gum Balls

Curling Ribbon (you know, the ribbon you put around presents and then use the edge of scissors to run along the string to make it curl).  I usually buy the big spools of this from Joann.com, if you use a 40% off coupon you have a ton of ribbon for just a couple of dollars.

Exacto Knife

Large Needles

Ok, this one is way worth it but takes a little more prep work.  First, you need gum balls (shocking, I know).  Next you need to make the holes on either side.  I did this with an Exacto knife.  I just poked the tip of the knife into the gum ball and then twirled it around while applying pressure to make the hole on each side.  A little time consuming but easier than you might think.  What’s less time consuming is my husband washed and fitted his drill with a small drill bit and drilled the holes for me.  This was so much quicker and easier.  He drilled 200 gum balls in about an hour.

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Next, use a large needle and a long piece of curling ribbon (you know, the ribbon you wrap presents with that curl when you run the edge of scissors along it’s edge) just like a needle and thread.  String each gum ball onto the curling ribbon, and tie on.  Winner, winner, gum ball dinner!

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<3, Sharla

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by Sharla

Halloween Party/Play Date/Play Group Ideas

October 25, 2013 in Halloween, Halloween by Sharla

7 Great Ideas for Halloween Party/Play Date/Play Group

Yeah, I don’t know how it happened but I ended up as room mom for my 8-year-old’s class and as such have had to get creative for the Halloween party.  I’m not too sad about the creative part, and I thought I’d share my ideas.  You’re Welcome.  😉

#1…Glow-in-the-Dark Spiders

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You Need:

Small clear cups with lids

Spider Web

Small glow sticks

Plastic spiders

How fun are these?!  Cute and simple.  Take a small clear cup with fitted lid (they’re actually jello shot glasses – hee hee) a mini glow stick, a tiny bit of spider web and a couple of plastic spiders.  Break the glow stick wrap the spider web around it, stick it in the cup and add the spiders.  

#2….Cracker Jack Mummies

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You Need:

Cracker Jacks

Computer Paper

White crepe paper

Googley eyes

Tape

Glue

Black Marker

First, take a regular piece of computer paper and wrap the Cracker Jacks like a present.  Then, take a long piece of crepe paper  and wrap it around the box, secure with tape.  Last, add the googley eyes with glue and a black marker for added facial cuteness.

#3….Gum Ball Necklaces

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You Need:

Gum Balls

Curling Ribbon

Exacto Knife

Large Needles

Ok, this one is way worth it but takes a little more prep work.  First, you need gum balls (shocking, I know).  Next you need to make the holes on either side.  I did this with an Exacto knife.  I just poked the tip of the knife into the gum ball and then twirled it around while applying pressure to make the hole on each side.  A little time consuming but easier than you might think.  What’s less time consuming is my husband washed and fitted his drill with a small drill bit and drilled the holes for me.  This was so much quicker and easier.  He drilled 200 gum balls in about an hour.

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Next, use a large needle and a long piece of curling ribbon (you know, the ribbon you wrap presents with that curl when you run the edge of scissors along it’s edge) just like a needle and thread.  String each gum ball onto the curling ribbon, and tie on.

#4….Dart Board and Punch Board

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This is a game meant to be played together.  Put folded pieces of paper with numbers on them into the balloons and create the balloon board (for complete instructions on how to make the balloon board click here).  Number the holes on the punch board and fill with prizes (for complete instructions on how to create the punch board click here).  Last use this list of number coordinated Halloween Howlers and begin!  First the kid pops a balloon.  Then they use the number inside the balloon to act out the silly action found on the Halloween Howler PDF.  I made a list of Halloween Howlers (silly spooky actions) and included the PDF so all you have to do is click and print.  Last, they punch the coordinating number on the punch board and pull out a prize.  Alone, each activity is short, but together they make a great game.

#5…Leaf Creatures

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You Need:

Paper Bags

Glue

Googley eyes

Ok, this was inspired by the book Leaf Man.  It would be fun to read the book first and look a the pictures before you start this activity.  Here in Utah, we had a little bit of a late cool down, so when I did this project with the kids the leaves hadn’t changed colors yet and we may have made a few bald spots on the bushes, but you get the point.  Give the kids bags and go hunting.  Gather what ever they like and head inside.  For little kids I just did a big squiggle of glue on the page and they stuck their leaves then added eyes (because everything is more fun with googley eyes).  Older kids can really get creative turning their leaves different ways to make actual pictures.  Great for all ages.

#6…Sucker Ghosts (suckers as in actual suckers, not the kids)

 

 

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You Need:

Suckers (I like Blow Pops, they’re nice and big)

Cheese cloth cut into squares or tissues

Yarn or curling ribbon

Black Marker

This is a classic, you can use tissues or cheese cloth but the idea is the same.  Drape your cheese cloth over the sucker and tie with some yarn or curing ribbon.  Add eyes and a mouth with black marker and…BAM…spooky Halloween treats.

#7…Spooky Treat Scene

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You Need:

Graham Crackers

Frosting

Black Food Coloring

Pretzels

Various Candies

How cute and easy?!  Simply use black food coloring to color frosting, and the rest is self explanatory.  Gather a few cute treats to decorate with and go to town.  Upside down peanut butter cup with a pretzel is a witches broom, peep ghost, gummy worm, and candy corn pumpkin.

<3, Sharla

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by Sharla

I Need A Dr.

October 20, 2013 in Halloween, Halloween, Halloween Creations by Sharla

Attention all Dr. Who Fans……

You’re Gonna Wanna See This!

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Seriously!!!  Look at this thing…the pic on the left is what Matt used to go off of, and the pic on the right is what he created!!!  Wait, I need to use some more explanation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is me…AAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ok, I think you get the point.

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If you follow the blog at all you know that A) my husband, Matt, is incredibly talented and artistic, B) he works with a lot of mediums (wood, painting, drawing, sculpting, spray paint…) and C) he loves me very much.  So when I come to him and say, “Hey babe, I think I want to build Dr. Who’s space ship for a Halloween decoration” the last thing he is going to do is leave me to building a Tardis by myself which would have ended up being a step below a card board box.  Just so you know, a step below a card board box is a two story Doritos bag.

Thus it bagan.  I don’t think he really thought it would take as much time, work, planning, effort and trips to The Home Depot to get it done, but here I sit, the proud owner of Dr. Who’s space ship, lovingly refered to as The Tardis (re-named by Matt as the “Re-Tardis”, or the “Tar-Taris”, as well as many explicative when it didn’t go together as quickly as he had hoped).

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Dr. Who has a very specific cult following, which, I think, makes me a nerd.  Do I care?  No!  I freaking love that show including all of the cheesey costumes and plot lines.  It’s kid friendly, fun, imaginative, and a little spooky at times.  All of which make it delightful.  So if you’ve never given it a chance you should get on Netflix or on the Amazon Prime account and start watching.  Seriously, why are you still sitting there.  Go watch Dr. Who!

As far as making the Tardis, I don’t have step by step instructions, but I did document some of Matt’s work as he went along and can share a little about what he did if you choose to attempt it.  If not, just look at mine and feel happy, like me.

So, Matt found this little paper box pattern online for the Tardis.  That gave him an idea, he used the paper box for the basis of his measurements.  He decided doing one actual size would be, well, expensive, hard, a lot of money, difficult, pricey, and enormous.  So he went half size.  He used this to figure out the normal size and then cut everything by half.  Let me just say, genius. 

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Ok, so first step, by and cut a lot of wood…I don’t know what Matt’s dimensions were, but he started with a flat piece of MDF and then used other strips of MDF and 2x4s to build up the design on the doors.  He also used finishing edging on the inside of each square for added effect.  Then he built the box that sat on top of each door for the window that would say “police box”.  He did some junk to stabilize the inside and then calked everything.  Yes, he did this four times (once for each side).  He originally put the plastic behind the windows during the build but later took it out for easier painting.

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Once all sides were done he assembled it in the back yard to paint, add the roof (which he built up the same as the doors) and the light on the top.

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He was super smart about the painting and used a paint gun.  He started with a light blue base coat, then added dark blue using the spray gun.  He finished it off with black and a dry brush.

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Wanna know how we got the police window to look so good?  This is something I wish I could take credit for, but again, it was Matt’s idea.  There is a custom vinyl shop in the mall and they can create any design in any font and cut it for you.  I took a picture of the Tardis into the mall, gave them the measurements and they cut it for me on the spot.  Four signs for each side.  Freaking awesome.  We couldn’t find a lock that matched the show, but we couldn’t leave it out because, hello!  The lock and key play such an important role in so many episodes.  Plus, it’s super funny that a simple lock and key protects a machine that harnesses the powers of the universe.  So Matt made a template of a circle and used gold paint (and his skills) and painted the lock on.  He also printed the little sign for the door off the internet on a tan paper, I laminated it and he screwed it on.  

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Handles from Home Depot, and there you have it…

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The best, most amazing gift/decoration ever!

Thank you, Matt!  I love you.

<3, Sharla