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3 Great Costume Ideas Using Old Bed Sheets

While most of the little boys in our neighborhood wanted to be superheroes for Halloween, my son wanted to dress as his favorite fruit: grapes. After driving to several costume retailers and not being able to find what we were looking for, I decided it was time to seek alternative options. I researched homemade costumes and found an array of cheap and simple methods of creating my sons look as well as many others. Utilizing some old beds sheets and a couple of other materials, I was able to create a fantastic bushel of grapes. Not only did my homemade creation earn me some extra cool points with my little one, but I was able to save lots of money as well.

Dressing up is one of the best aspects of Halloween, however, it can also be one of the most wasteful. Every year, millions of parents purchase ready-made-costumes for their children. Their costume is usually worn one time then it’s cast aside. Instead of purchasing another costume, join me and get creative. With minimal materials, you can easily make some of the most unique and fun Halloween outfits for your children. It’s okay if you don’t know where to start as I have included 3 costume ideas you can make just by using some old bed sheets.

1. Grape Costume

Photo Courtesy of Coolest Homemade Costumes

You will need:

  • A purple or green sheet
  • A pack of purple or green balloons
  • Safety pins
  • A piece of green felt
  • A stocking cap
  • Scissors

Instructions:

First, take your scissors and cut out a hole from the sheet for your child’s head. Next, fashion sleeves out of the sheet and fasten them together with the safety pins. Now blow up balloons, and begin fastening the edge of them all over the sheet until no empty space remains. Finally, cut leaf shapes out of the felt and fasten them to the stocking cap. Now your child’s costume is complete.

2. Mummy Costume

You will need:

  • A white sheet
  • Scissors

Instructions:

With your scissors, begin cutting a variety of strips to accommodate all the different parts of your child’s body. Once you have cut all your strips, begin wrapping them around your child. Voila, you child is a mummy.

3. Greek or Roman

You will need:

  • A white sheet
  • A gold rope or belt

Instructions:

Fold the sheet in the middle, and place the folded part over your child’s shoulder. Open the ends of the sheet to wrap around your child’s body. The neckline can be as low or high as you’d like. Just remember that draping is the key. A gold rope or belt can be used to secure the sheet at the waist.

Personalize with Pooch Portraits

A lovable poodle. John Leslie from London, UK (Wikimedia Commons)

A regal dog (Valerie Leonard)

Love your dog? Do you love him enough to decorate your living room with his adorable mug? Some dog owners these days are translating their love for their dog into works of art, comissioning pooch portraits that range from adorable to laugh-out-loud kitschy. Below, check out a small sample of the artists who are actively working in this unique portrait field.

Regal Glory. Ordering a customized portrait from Valerie Leonard will get your pooch the Mona Lisa treatment. Leonard, who specializes in classic oil paintings, creates elaborate and realistic portraits of dogs lounging around in historic clothing reminiscent of the clothing you find on the aristocratic subjects painted by the European Old Masters. Your dog could be draped in an ermine stole, wear a gold pocket watch, or maybe model some napoleon era battle gear. Regardless of Leonard’s clothing choices, your dog’s portrait will certainly serve as a tongue in cheek conversation starter.

Pop art fun. If you’re more into contemporary painting, Brooklyn based artist Dean Russo can create a pop art portrait of your pooch that’s light, colorful, and very visually interesting. His doggie portraits sizzle with loud colors, pychadelic images and funky squiggles.

Elaborate Ink. Comissioning a portrait from Valentina Harper, on the other hand, will get you a South American influenced portrait of your puppy to hang by your mantelpiece. Harper, who is Veneuelan, usng black ink to create elaborately detailed portraits of man’s best friend.

Whatever your taste in art may be, there’s an artist who can help meet your doggie vision, and what better way to personalize a room in your home than a funky image of the most beloved critter living there? These artists are only a small sampling of doggie portrait artists working in the field today. To find just the right artist that suits the taste of both you and your best buddy, head over to Etsy or Pinterest to view the sample portraits of dog loving artists from all around the world.

Selecting The Right Mattress For Your Body & Sleep Habits

Choosing the right mattress can make the difference between years of satisfactory sleep or endless nights trying to find a comfortable position. Your body type has a bearing on the type of mattress you should select for best support. Your personal sleep preferences should also be taken into account when selecting the right mattress for your need

Side, Stomach or Back Sleepers

Your sleep position is a significant factor in selecting a mattress. Ultimately, a good mattress should keep your spine in a straight alignment regardless of what position you take. However, many back sleepers find that a firm mattress offers the necessary support of the lower back. Side sleepers need a bit more “give” to allow them a comfortable position that still offers support. For these sleepers, a medium firmness is a good choice. If you sleep on your stomach, a soft mattress will make you fall into it face down too readily, causing a deep curve in the lower back and neck. Choose a medium firmness mattress to allow some support for both upper and lower body.

Broad Shoulders

Individuals who have broad shoulders and are side sleepers will probably prefer a mattress on the softer side. Too much pressure on the shoulders can be uncomfortable, so softer support can be a better choice. The right mattress can be especially important for those with shoulder problems. A firm mattress can allow too much pressure on the shoulder joint, leading to aches and pains upon waking in the morning.

Wide Hips

Similarly, those individuals with wide hips may find that a firm textured mattress places too much pressure on tender hipbones. Older people who are troubled by hip pain may find this particularly uncomfortable. Give considerable thought before committing to the purchase of a mattress. A store with a good return policy may be a good idea for people who may have difficulty finding the right firmness texture for their needs.

Weight Factors

Thin individuals can generally tolerate any thickness and firmness of mattress unless they have other health issues that may come into play. However, heavy individuals generally prefer firm mattresses that are over nine inches in thickness to avoid unnecessary pressure.

Mattress Accessories

Many consumers find that adding one of the mattress accessories that are available can help to make a mattress more comfortable for their particular body type. Padded mattress covers and mattress pads can additional softness when needed and can be removed when the sensitive body part improves. Buyers can choose from a wide variety of products that can help to raise the comfort level of their mattress for a better night’s sleep.

Summer Wicker Decor

What is wicker? Wicker is woven fiber formed into a rigid material, usually used for baskets or furniture. Wicker is often made of material that originates from plants, but plastic fibers are also used. Wicker is light yet sturdy, making it suitable for furniture that will be moved often. Wicker furniture will last 20 to 30 years and therefore can be a fiscally responsible choice for furniture. It can be used indoors to improve any bedroom’s decor and also outdoors to dress up a patio or deck.
Pier 1 Wicker Chair

Wicker is made from different materials such as: rattan, cane, kubu, bamboo, willow, seagrass, and banana leaf. The primary material used is rattan vine. It can grow up to 600′ in length in a single day, making it a sustainable resource. Material from the entire rattan plant is used including: peel, core, pole and all. This furniture can be easily cleaned and maintained by wiping with a furniture polish. The durability of wicker is astonishing with the earliest known piece of wicker furniture dating back to 4000 B.C. while the oldest surviving pieces date from the Egyptian Empire.

Pier 1 Wicker Chair

Wicker chairs and sofas can be dressed up with cushions and pillows. A patio or deck can be transformed with a wicker furniture package. Add flair and decor to a boring bedroom with a wicker storage trunk, night stands, and a sitting bench. Wicker furniture is affordable and guaranteed to last many years. It’s reliable and sturdy yet lightweight making it easy to move. Summer decor is not complete without wicker furniture and stores like Pier 1 Imports offers excellent choices.

Wicker can be bought in a variety of pieces such as: dining tables, end and accent tables, chairs and sectionals, patio umbrellas, and ottomans. This furniture says backyard barbeque, summer cook-outs, and indoor elegance for those looking to change things up a little bit.

A Little Color Goes A Long Way In Home Decor

Decorating wisely with color can transform any space from drab to fabulous. Whether it’s with paint, linens, furniture, or various knick knacks, color adds life and flair to any room in a house. To get started, review color palettes that best fit your space. Usually a palette will have four colors that work nicely with each other. This will give you an idea of what the overall color balance in the room will be when finished. Choose one color but use many hues. If blue is the goal color, use dark and light shades of blue to complete the room.

Another good painting and decorating tip is to reference the color wheel. Choose colors that are complementary of each other on the wheel as this creates a balance of color. If you plan to paint a room blue, accent the furniture with orange pillows since orange and blue are opposite on the color wheel. If you are too nervous to go a little bold, start off with a neutral, gray wall color. You can always dress up the room with plush fabrics and pops of pink like you see below.

Gray and Pink

If you really want your room to be a hit, don’t be afraid to mix bright colors. They create a fashionable area and add light and energy to a room. Sometimes it’s best not to match colors as this creates a unique environment.

Colorful Mix

Revamping a room with color can be done without painting the walls. Simple decorative pillow shams, a bed throw, a chair cushion, and lace curtains can add a dramatic touch in just a few minutes. A colorful lamp shade, a patterned rug, or a painted vase are all affordable ways to add flair to any boring room. When in doubt, start small and continuously add items until the perfect color balance is achieved.