Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


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The Funny Bones family – our Halloween costumes

In my opinion it’s never too early to be talking about Christmas, bonfire night or Halloween, so when my brother asked me if I could sort out a costume for my niece and nephew for their first ever trick-or-treating session at the end of the month, I set to work. I found the best possible deal for costumes and was surprised at how low the prices are. I’m not talking about auction sites or facebay; these are brand new costumes from a real shop – a supermarket in fact. Yes, I managed to find costumes for the whole family from George at Asda.

Skeleton all-in-one costume in age 2-3 years from George at Asda

My nephew has just turned 2 and he really wanted to be a skeleton for Halloween so I was thrilled when I found not one but two skeleton jumpsuit costumes on the George website. One had bright colours and cartoon spiders on it and the other had glow-in-the-dark headphones around the skeleton’s neck. In the end I plumped for the DJ skeleton because it was in exactly the right size for him 2-3 years and this might last him til next Halloween as well, whereas the colourful skeleton was available in age 1-2 which would only fit this year, or 3-4 which would be too big at the moment. I was very pleased to find out that the age 2-3 costume fit him just right and the elasticated ankle and wrist cuffs meant that the little extra length could be pushed up and wouldn’t trip him up. It’s actually a very good quality onesie with soft fleecy lining and a nice thick jersey fabric, so I’m sure it will keep him warm when he goes trick-or-treating this month. Plus, he loves the glow-in-the-dark headphones which glow SO brightly and he keeps going into the bathroom with the light off to look at his glowing costume! Of course, we wanted to give him a ghoulish makeover so I got a ‘Monstrous’ face-painting kit too and he actually enjoyed having scary dark eyes and ghostly white skin painted on.

Once I’d settled on this jumpsuit skeleton for my nephew, I went looking in the baby section and found lots of super-cute costumes for little baby girls. But I knew that my niece would look fantastic matching her bother in a skeleton baby-grow and hat so I ordered this set, along with a tiny skeleton cape for my cat. Yes, I’m even buying Halloween costumes for my cats!

Skeleton baby grow aged 6-9 months from George at Asda

What’s more surprising is the fact that the cats seemed to be rather comfortable in their little costumes which fastened with just two Velcro pads around their neck and tummy. I’d imagined that they’d be trying to back-out of their little costumes or even yowl to let me know how disappointed they were at being dressed-up but no – they didn’t mind it at all and Cookie even slept on top of her costume after I took it off her!

Looking at all this family of skeleton outfits in my basket made me realise that something was missing – of course! – a skeleton outfit for ME! I looked in the ladies costumes section and the cute black and pink skeleton outfit was in fact one of the cheapest. This printed dress has a little stretch in it and is about knee-length, so it’s very comfortable to wear. Plus it comes with bone-print arm covers so I decided to wear a black long-sleeved top underneath the costume (for added warmth) and put the sleeves over the top of this. I think it looks rather cool and I’m very happy to be part of my little skeleton family! Funny Bones eat your heart out!

Womens value skeleton dress from George at Asda


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Inspirations for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration

St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching on the 17th March and whether or not you have Irish heritage in your family or have a bunch of friends from Ireland, you can still decorate your home with Irish themed decorations and even host a fun St. Paddy’s Day party!

Traditionally, green is associated with St. Patrick’s Day (the saint himself is depicted wearing green!) so get out your green throws, cushions and tablecloths to make your home a little more Irish for the day! The shamrock is also an iconic symbol of any St. Paddy’s celebration, so craft your own shamrock bunting banner or wall-curtain decoration just like the images below. When your home is nicely decorated you can invite your family or friends over for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration and let the festivities commence!

 StPatricksDayGlitterPhotoProps from liagriffith

Fun St Patrick’s Day party props by Lia Griffith

To really get your guests in the party mood, there’s nothing better than adding a little dressing-up fun for children and grown-adults alike. You don’t need to spend a fortune on shop-bought costumes when it’s just as easy to create your own themed fancy dress props! Simply cut out shapes and glue them to straws, chopsticks or even lollipop sticks. Use glitter card and coloured paper which can be bought from the scrapbooking section of any craft shop and cut out your shapes with scissors before taping or gluing to a stick on the back. Let you guests choose their props and have fun snapping photos of your pals wearing their moustaches and leprechaun hats!

shamrock pinata

Tutorial for making a mini St Paddy’s Pinata

You could entertain your guests at your Irish-themed celebration with a shamrock pinata. Fill it with chocolate coins from the ‘pot of gold’ and get your guests to take it in turns to be blindfolded and try to break the pinata with a stick. It’s a classic party game that all your friends and family can join in with and is so easy to make yourself – simply cut shamrock shapes from cardboard and cover with green tissue-paper strands.

To keep your guests hydrated at your party why not serve drinks in bottles with custom-made labels for St. Patrick’s Day such as these lucky Irish tags below? You can use bottles of juice or pop for the younger members of the family so that everyone can be involved in the festivities. Add green paper straws decorated with more shamrocks and you’ve got the party started!

 St_Patricks_Day_Labels from liagriffith

Drinks labels printables by Lia Griffith

I hope that these crafty ideas have given you inspiration for your own Irish themed St. Patrick’s Day decorations and if you have a party celebration perhaps you’ll make use of the printable labels and DIY pinata instructions in the links above to create your own custom-made party decor! Above all, drink responsibly and have fun with all your friends and family!


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Back to school and more dressing up!

Now that the little ones are all back to school and the new term in is full swing (with mock exams going on this week – good luck teens!) I’ve been adding the official term dates to the calendar and have spotted another important date for your diaries – World Book Day on March 6 2014.  I am very keen on the ideas of book week and world book day because as a child I was a keen reader and have continued to enjoy reading throughout my life so I’d like to think that these educational days are helping to encourage a lifetime of reading in the next generation. I really believe that reading helps children to develop an inquiring mind and sparks their imagination in a way that watching TV simply doesn’t. Surely children painting their own pictures of the story in their minds-eye from the clues that they are reading will  lead to a whole new generation of film-makers, artists, actors, writers and influence millions more to be creative and questioning throughout their education and onwards into their working life.

So often I’ve read a book and imagined a scene in a certain way, and am delighted when I watch the film version and see my thoughts come to life – for example, when I watched the recent Chronicles of Narnia films and saw the beavers’ home from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe I became quite emotional at seeing ‘in real life’ the scene that I’d conjured up in my mind so many times as a child – it brought back memories of childhood that, although completely imagined, were very real in my mind. I hope you understand what I mean… it’s hard to explain how a scene I’ve read about and imagined as a child could become as real a memory to recall as any other experience.

girls fancy dress for book week and world book day

Little girls book week fancy dress costumes

Anyway, I’m sure you can see how passionate I am about encouraging children to take up reading and I think that engaging them in any kind of reading activity – such as book week – will be very beneficial and encourage them to above all enjoy reading! World book day and book week always seem to creep up on parents and before you know it, it will be the night before book day and your child will be asking where their costume is – that’s right, you knew there was something you had to sort out! So I’ve been thinking ahead to the storybook costumes that your little ones can maybe wear this year and you’ll have everything organised well in advance! I love these cute costumes above – especially the little evacuee outfit and Mary Poppins – something a little bit different to the Hogwarts outfits that have been so popular over the past few years! Anyway, getting dressed up for book week and world book day will be fun for children and I really hope that many of them start to enjoy reading more as a result.


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Tuesday Shoesday ~ Scary shoes

With Halloween only a couple of days away I’ve been getting carried away while looking for costume accessories and the result is this Tuesday Shoeday blog post about spooky shoes. Now these aren’t really the kind of shoes you’d want to wear all year round (or maybe they are, who am I to tell you otherwise?) but they are good fun and look really cool so I’m coveting these items of freaky footwear as much as any pair of shoes that’ve been featured on my blog. So here are my favourite Halloween-inspired shoes that I’ve found on Pinterest and check out  my Tuesday Shoesday board for all the links to the image sources:

Tuesday Shoesday spooky heels scary shoes for halloween costume 2013

I also found this tutorial for creating your own witches-cat shoes to accompany your Halloween costume so if you’re stuck for a last-minute outfit, why not have a go at this DIY by Scathingly Brilliant blog?

cat diy shoes from scathingly brilliant blog

Image & DIY c/o Scathingly Brilliant 


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DIY scary skeleton Halloween costume

It’s Halloween this week and as usual I don’t have any budget for a costume for all those parties I’ll be going to. But I’m not worried about that because I personally think that Halloween is about making-do and creating some crazy costume yourself that no one else will be wearing – the tattier the better in some instances! I have therefore made my own last-minute skeleton costume using an old (and I mean ooolllddd) stretchy top and I’ll show you how to make one for yourself below:

diy skeleton header image

You will need: old black top, white top to wear underneath, scissors, white pen or chalk

Step by step

  1. Fold your top in half along the centre point.
  2. Use the chalk or white pen to mark out where you will be cutting out the ribs
  3. Cut out the ribs, making sure you’re cutting all the way through both layers of fabric. This will give you a symmetrical set of ribs on each side when you have finished cutting.

diy skeleton step by step

4. Cut out small triangles along the centre to create the spine bones

5. I even cut some bone shapes from the arms, which aren’t clear in the photo, but when I’m wearing it, you can really see them.

6. Wear over the top of a white t-shirt to show off the shape of the bones!

diy skeleton before and after

It’s a great way to get a last-minute outfit sorted out, and I hope you’ll have a go at making this simple Halloween costume. I wrote this blog post for Oxfam Fashion so check out their blog here and have a read of all the other fabulous fashion bloggers’ articles. Enjoy your spooky celebrations, whatever you get up to!

More Halloween articles from Cassiefairy: