My daughter is obsessed with cats. She will only wear cat clothes. As a result, she asks to wear a cat shirt or cat dress and cat leggings every single day. The only alternative she deems acceptable is leopard print. Leopard print is her new neutral. Who knew Leopard print would be such a big deal with the preschool crowd? Three year old girls are fashion gurus. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The problem is we only have a few items of clothing with cats on them. We didn’t know the cat-clothing-catastrophe would descend upon us so quickly. I can’t keep up with her daily demand because laundry doesn’t happen by fairies. I do the laundry. It’s me! Only me. Why can’t there be laundry fairies? Why? I needed a solution that allowed me to completely embrace my laundry procrastinating ways! I had to find an inexpensive way to expand our cat clothing collection. My budget conscious wheels were turning.
I bought a pack of Hanes boys t-shirts, some acrylic craft paint, and got to work (I am an Amazon Affiliate. Clicking theses links will take you to Amazon where you can quickly purchase the items you need to start painting). You can watch my DIY Painted Cat T-Shirt tutorial below.
DIY Painted Cat T-Shirt Instructions
Step 1: Put a piece of cardboard inside the shirt so your design stays on the front. You can paint the back after the front has dried.
Step 2: Water the acrylic paint down until it is a thin liquid. This helps the fabric fibers absorb the color. If the paint goes on too thickly it may come off in the wash.
Step 3: Paint a simple cat outline. Or any other animal your child is currently obsessed with. Then let the outline dry.
Step 4: Fill in your cat with paint. Choose colors wisely because they do tend to bleed into each other a little. So think blue and yellow so if the colors mix you have some green. Red and yellow gives you orange. Colors on the opposite sides of a color wheel will give you a brown or gray.
Step 5: After your cat is mostly dry begin painting the background. Once the front is dry, flip it over and paint the back of your shirt. Let it dry completely.
Step 6: Wash it in cold water and tumble dry on low. You may see some fading similar to tie-dye over time.
Step 7: This step is for the kids. Grownups should close their eyes so they don’t become alarmed. Kids, wear your cat shirt daily so your parent has to do laundry every single day…or they break down and makes you many more shirts. The more the merrier, right?
Or just go full on leopard print because you only live once!
I went to Walmart yesterday with both kids. Now, the baby often falls asleep in her car seat so in a desperate attempt to not wake her I usually put the entire seat into the back of a shopping cart. Of course, this leaves very little room for actual shopping items, but whatever, it’s the best I can do. Anyway, so I am at Walmart with both kids when the screaming begins.
This was no ordinary screaming. This is the kind of screaming that is so loud it takes you a moment to even localize the sound. This is the kind of screaming you feel in the pit of your stomach and the dark recesses of your soul before the sound even registers with your auditory system. After a moment I realize it’s my baby screaming at the top of her lungs like someone is stabbing her through the heart with a rusty nail. In a panic I fling the garden hose in my hands aside and get her out of the car seat as fast as I can.
As soon as I pick her up she stops screaming as if I have bumped some sort of “off” switch or turned her upside down and then right side up again (like those old fashioned dolls that used to cry). She immediately starts smiling at all of the customers who were previously scowling at our disruptive, blood curdling aisle entrance. This baby girl is no dummy. She starts using her charm to smooth things over and before I know it complete strangers who were, moments ago, giving me death threats with their eyes are now cooing at her and telling her how lovely she is.
Anyway, I now have to hold her because putting her down somehow reactivates the scream machine she possesses inside her tiny body. Putting her down also turns up the volume. I just want to buy my random junk and go home before I get banned for life due to creating obscene noise pollution. I look at my semi-filled cart, squish the baby to the side of my body and attempt to push the cart with one hand, but it will not budge. I look around and there is the six year old, legs planted, pushing against the front of the cart like a Superman reenactment.
Me: Move! I need to drive one handed. You’re in the way.
We take two steps when suddenly the cart stops moving again. I look down and now the kid is hanging off the side of the cart with her feet dragging behind her.
Me: Come on! Get up. I need to get to the bread so we can go home.
We take another three steps or so when suddenly the momentum slows. There she is on the other side of the cart trying to jam her foot in front of the back wheel. Her foot obviously wants to be run over.
Me: Look, this is your last warning. Stop it or we are going to leave this store and you will have to have soup for lunch.
*She hates soup. It’s her Kryptonite.
We make it to the bread section. I toss some into the cart. By this time I am sweating because moving this cart around Walmart with one hand is no easy task, and people are in the way, and the baby is grabbing things off the shelves as we go by. The six year old is walking in front of the cart as slowly as possible and I day dream about giving her a flat tire. Or, if I am honest, running her butt over, hopping in the cart, and riding it straight to the longest check out line in the world…because this is Walmart and they never have enough cashiers. But, I don’t because that is not how good moms behave. At least not in public. Then I notice that my kid is now lying on the floor, on her stomach, practically begging me or any other shopper for that matter, to run her entire body over.
So, I walk over and hiss, “Get off the floor right now and behave yourself. I’ve had enough of this!” She gives me the big, sad eyes and says, “OK, Mom.”
We finally get through check out and I strap the baby back into her car seat, pile bags of groceries around her head and aim my cart towards the door. Finally we are blowing this popcorn stand when out of nowhere I see my six year old daughter flying through the air next to me with her hands stretched out ready to capture some invisible tiny bird. She crashes to the floor with her hands inches from being run over by the back wheels of my shopping cart. I find myself staring down at her completely at a loss for words. I want to ask her what the hell is going on, but I read once that you should never swear at kids. So I count to one hundred instead and then say as sweetly as I can through clenched teeth, “What are you doing? Did you hurt yourself?”
She got up slowly, dusted herself off, and said, “I’m just pretending to be a snail and so I needed to slow your cart down. Snails don’t move that fast.”
To which I replied, “Stop being a snail right now. You can play that game when we get home.”
She got up and we exited through the automatic doors and her eyes lit up as they gazed upon the beautiful, shiny Redbox machine. The whining for a movie began and I reminded her that we could watch Netflix at home. I told her if she just kept walking at a normal, non-snail pace that I’d put any show she wanted on as soon as we got home. I’m happy to say we made it to the car without further incident. Then we watched some dreadful Barbie cartoon I never knew existed.
These DIY butterfly wings are so easy to make kids can do it by themselves. All you need is one piece of poster board, scissors, yarn, a crayon, and paint. The first step is to draw wings onto the poster board using a crayon similar to the color scheme you have chosen for your wings. You can just “wing” it (pun totally intended) or you can ask a partner to help you. What we did is lie on the floor, on top of the poster board, and made an outline of our bodies. That way we knew where to start the wings and we had an appropriate sized butterfly body to work with.
Then we cut out the butterfly drawing using scissors and bent the wings so they would flare out. While we had the wings bent we cut two holes on the fold (on each side) to thread the yarn through. The yarn will tie in the front to attach the wings to our bodies. You’ll want to make sure you have the yarn from the top holes go over your your shoulders and the yarn from the bottom holes go under your arms. We crossed the yarn in the back for extra stability (as suggested by a Facebook Fan…thank you, Oh Rain!) and crossed them again in the front.
After making sure the wings would fit we took them off and my 5 year old daughter started painting. She used an old jar and a crayon to trace circles because she was inspired by the Monarch butterfly.
We used glow in the dark craft paint, but you can use any kind of paint you want. We painted both sides of the wings because both sides can be seen. It is best to use paint that doesn’t require a lot of water. The poster board will curl a little if it gets too soggy. We worked in thin layers to build up richer colors and used the paint straight out of the bottle. Once the paint dried my daughter also added some plastic self-sticking jewels because she is all about the sparkle.
Once the wings were dry we tied them back on to give them a whirl. My daughter particularly liked that she could make the wings move by pushing on them with her elbows. She could pretend she was flying!
We went to a Halloween party last weekend and she was complimented many times. She was very proud because she painted them herself.
If you have a daughter like mine who likes to combine costumes (this year she plans to be a princess catterfly (part princess, part cat, part butterfly) you can always adapt the wings to suit your purpose. If you made the tops and bottom of the wings more pointy you could have fairy wings instead. You could also shape the poster board so it looks more like angel wings and paint feathers on instead for a completely different look.
I know we are making wings for Halloween, but wings are also a wonderful addition to a trunk filled with dress up clothes. After Halloween I often pick up costumes and costume propts for pennies on the dollar to add to out pretend play collection, but it’s always more fun to make them yourself, isn’t it?
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