May the Fourth Be With You

Had to ping back to these projects in honor of today’s date…

Darth Leia Buns


Light Saber

May the Fourth be with you!


Mug Makes! Tombstone Cupcakes

I volunteered to make a sweet treat for Mini Mug’s class Halloween party tomorrow.  I thought cupcakes would be fun, and because, let’s be honest, I’m really not a baker, a box mix was welcome. But making them more Halloweeny – that’s up my dark, creepy alley.


I purchased everything from Target (cake mix, graham crackers, frosting and black gel) and Michael’s (sprinkles and color mist). The cookie crumbs I picked up at the local pay-by-weight frozen yogurt place, because having to eat the cream out of a dozen or so sandwich cookies sounded great to my mouth, but not to my hips, and my hips won (for once).

Bake your cupcakes according to the package’s directions.

While your cupcakes are baking and cooling, you can cut your graham crackers. I used a serrated knife even on the perforated cookies to get a clean cut. Lightly sawing back and forth worked really well.

Once all your cookies are cut – you need one for each of your cupcakes – lay them out on paper towels to get ready to spray them.


While your spray is drying, you can frost and add the dirt and grass to your cupcakes.


I found there were 2 different ways to get your dirt and grass applied. One is to press lightly into your cookie crumbs first, and then the sprinkles.

Or, mix them together in one bowl and press into that.

The difference is subtle, but there is a difference and it’s of course your preference.


Now it’s time to make your tombstones! I kept them simple with just an “RIP” and some details to add a little something-something.

I think they are so fun…


Last step is to insert the tombstones into the cupcakes, being careful not to smudge your spooky writing.


And then of course try not to eat all of them before delivering them to the party. Oh wait, that’s me…


What a delicious looking graveyard.



Mug Makes! Toddler Light Saber

This is a 2-post series: first was the buns, now the saber…

I just couldn’t find the right size light saber for Mini Mug’s Darth Leia costume, so I made one…


The only item I needed to purchase was the glow stick, and I found it in Target’s “The Spot” (you know, that area at the front of the store where everything is like $1-$3 and you end up buying crap you didn’t need, or end up distributing said crap around the rest of the store as you slowly realize you don’t need that, and don’t need that. Definitely do not need that. I bet there are a lot of “The Spot” items strewn around a lot of Targets. Unless that’s just me.)

Take your toilet paper roll, cut it down the length, attach a strip of double-sided tape to both cut edges and wrap it with the aluminum foil.


Once your tube is wrapped, trim the excess length and fold down the edges into the tube.


After you’ve covered your tube with foil, you want to tape it to the size of the foam stick, as this will be your handle. I used a piece of the double-sided tape on the overlap.


Slide your taped tube off  the foam stick and take a piece of your black tape to trim the top and bottom.

As you did with the foil, fold the untaped edges into the tube.


Then take a few pieces of tape, around 2 or so, and cut them in half lengthwise to make them thinner.


Add these to the bottom of your handle, trying to keep them evenly spaced and lined up at top.



Now you’ll take your black paper (I used a piece of my origami paper), fold it in half and cut the approximate shape show below.



You will wrap this around your tube and tape it to itself using another piece of double-sided tape. You don’t want to tape it directly to the foam stick because you want to be able to slide it up and down to adjust.


Now you can slide your tube over the wand and tuck the paper sleeve under it.


And that’s all there is to it! A baby light saber is born. Congratulations!


When I made this costume for Mini Mug 5 years ago, I was so excited to get her in it admire my handy work. We’ll as luck – and being the mother of a new toddler – would have it, she was petrified of the Darth Vader costume.


I mean wouldn’t let me put it on if her life depended on it. Kicking and screaming and crying a shrieking.  Had I recorded it, I would have had a great soundtrack to scare off any would-be trick or treaters.

Not accepting that this vision would not come to be, I took scissors to the jumpsuit and created a belt and patch that I fastened onto a black long-sleeve onesie using fuseable iron-on tape.


I took the cape that came with the original costume and also fastened that to the shoulders of the onesie. That, paired with black leggings and the raddest toddler-sized Adidas high-tops and this kid was a rock star.

I promised cuteness in the Leia bun post, so…







And if that wasn’t cute enough, how about Mini Mug Goes Trick or Treating for the first time…


You’re welcome.


Mug Makes! Toddler Darth Leia Buns

This is a 2-post series: buns and light saber. Buns first…

We dressed up Mini Mug as Yoda for her first Halloween. She was 3 and a half months old and the cutest little Jedi Master you’ve ever seen. The following year, we wanted to stick with the Star Wars theme. Mr. Mug is a big fan. He says in order of importance: Mini Mug is first, I am second and pizza and Star Wars are tied for third. Some days I suspect they bump me to the bottom slot.

After a quick search online, I came up with this little number.


But I knew I wanted to make it a bit more special, and a bit less villainy – I mean she was only 15 months old, I figured she’ll have plenty of time to master that side of her (read: tween/teen years). So Darth Leia was born. Instead of the felt helmet that came with the costume, I made Leia buns to clip into Mini Mug’s hair. She already had quite a bit at that age. For this post I’ll be attaching them to a headband.


*I used a pair of brown socks for the buns, but you could also use the arms from a long-sleeve T-shirt, or tights. And who says you have to stick to brown? Pink Leia buns would rock!

You’ll twist the socks into your bun shape – think cinnamon bun, rather that, let’s say hot dog bun.


As I’m wrapping the sock around I’m also twisting it slightly so it keeps firm.wrap-3


Once wrapped you’ll  flip your bun over and use your needle and thread to stitch it together. I started at the toe, which was my loose end.


Continue to stitch around, flipping over every so often to make sure it looks good to you. I was careful to make sure the open end of the sock (the middle of my twist) stayed tucked in as I stitched.


Once you’ve done your stitching all around and feel it’s fairly secure. You can knot and clip your thread. Remember your stitches do not need to be even, or even pretty, they will be covered. They are definitely function over form.


Once your buns are sewn, it’s time to attached them to the headband. I cut a small piece of felt to cover the back, and attached with a glue gun.



Then used another piece of felt to attached the headband.



And that’s it. Your buns are done!


And because mine and Mr. Mug’s 7 year anniversary was yesterday, I thought I’d include the card I got him.


Maybe next anniversary I’ll make a pair for me… and that Leia golden bikini… well, um, ok, never mind (til next year, maybe…).

Meanwhile… Thursday I’ll be posting the mini light saber I made, plus pictures of the full ensemble, which you do. Not. Want. To. Miss (read: adorable!)

Mug Makes! Origami Bat Garland


In keeping with the Halloween theme, I wanted to share a banner that I’ve made as a subtle seasonal decoration through our house. When Mini Mug was younger we had a lot of the more colorful, loud, dare I say cheesy decorations, because she was little, and it was fun, and I was excited to decorate. Fast forward a few years and now I’m a little more conscious of the aesthetics of our decor. And a little more receptive to Mr. Mug’s aversion towards those earlier assaults on the eyes.


Step 1: Take a sheet of origami paper and fold it on the diagonal. I purchased my paper at Daiso, but you can easily find it at a craft store or on Amazon.


Step 2: Fold that triangle again in half, and then unfold so you can see the crease in the middle.


Step 3: Fold the bottom of your triangle (the longest side) up but leave about half an inch of the tip showing. The crease from the fold in Step 2 will help you line up the middle of your fold and keep it even.


Step 4: Fold the small triangle left at the top down.


Step 5: Now fold the sides back along the middle crease. The small triangle you folded down in the last step should be on the outside.


Step 6: Fold one of your “wings” up from the corner, leaving about 3/4″ from the folded-down tip.


Step 7: Fold the other wing over to match.


Step 8: Now fold the bottom corner up to meet the top, and the other side to match.


Step 9: Take one of your top points and fold it over and up slightly so your crease it at a 90 degree angle with the bottom.


Step 10: Now take the other point and fold it back to line up with the first.


Step 11: Tugging gently on the wings will help them take shape. Then just pinch the bottom back.


Step 12: Your almost-complete bat!


Step 13: To add the finishing touch, lift up the little tip you folded over in Step 4 and cut with your scissors along the middle crease to form 2 triangle flaps.


Step 14: Fold these triangles down and they become your bats ears. Over-fold them ever so slightly so the tuck under, and…




To create the garland you’ll just tape them together. I found it easiest to turn them over (the wings lay flatter that way), and line up the tops, leaving a little room in between:


Place a small piece of tape over, lining it with the tops, and leaving half the height of the tape off:


Then fold that loose tape over, to cover up the sticky side left in the space between the 2 bats. It’s OK if it’s not lined up perfectly, that’s why we use clear tape.


Connect as many bats as you need in order to make your garland the length you want.

I used poster tack because it’s easily repositionable and removable (Remember that sticky putty we used to use, unsuccessfully, in college to keep our dorm decor up?) Tape would work as well, as the garland is so light weight. Just be aware of your surface, as tape may damage some.

Once you get the hang of the folding steps, you can bang out quite a few while watching TV. Then you can have bats all over your home.

Like over the windows:


or on your banister (don’t they look fun with the ghosts?):


what about over your Storm Trooper:


or even here…


Too much? Maybe… or maybe not.

(and yes, I did get into the bathtub to take that picture).

Inaugural Post and Some Ghosts

Welcome to Mug Makes!, a blog full of crafts and ideas and all around fun and inspiring stuff that I’d like to share with you. I’m Lesley, and it’s nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by.

I am a former 9 to 5-er (or 6, or 7 or occasionally 8-er). An Art and Events Director at a video game publisher. After a 13 and a half year tenture there, I was recently “re-orged” (wah, wah). So I decided to take the opportunity to start this little crafty blog that I have thought about doing since my daughter, who is now 6, was born.

One door closes, another one opens? Well, we’ll see. In the meantime, let’s have a good time making some fun and crafty stuff. I plan to post twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursday. You can press the “Follow” button for alerts when new posts are up. I hope you’ll come back to hang out with Mug Makes! 

So, without further ado, I’ll start with something simple and seasonably appropriate…

Mug Makes! Milk Jug Ghosts


Got milk? We do. Mini Mug drinks a lot of milk. So why not create something fun and festive out of those gallon containers. I mean if everyone makes these, like everyone – that’s less garbage in our landfills, right? Let’s all do our part to save the environment. It’s a simple and easy project using supplies you probably already have at home.


Step 1: First step is to throughly wash your containers to avoid the lingering smell of spoiled milk. Unless of course you’re trying to keep the trick or treaters away. Maybe you forgot to buy candy or maybe ate it all yourself (no judgement here) – you can skip the washing step.

Step 2: Remove the labels on both front and back of the container. Mine were plastic so they peeled off pretty easily. A warm, wet sponge set a top paper labels for a few minutes will help loosen them. This should make them easier to scrape off.

Step 3: Once clean and label-free, use an x-acto blade or small box cutter to make a small opening at the bottom back of the container. I made mine about 2-1/2 x 3 inches or so. It should be large enough to get your hand into.


Step 4: For the faces you can use the ones I have included below (print out at 100%), or make your own. They should be no more than 4 x 4 inches to fit on the bigger, back side(s) of the container. Those are the sides opposite the handle corner and have more surface area for the image.

Ghost faces.pdf

Step 5: Once you have your image printed out, roughly cut away the excess paper so you can fit it into the container through the hole you cut earlier. Use a small piece of tape at top and bottom to secure it for tracing.

Step 6: When your face is placed where you want it, just trace away. I used a Sharpie but you could do it in pencil first and then go over your lines with a marker. Permanent is reccommended to avoid smudging or flaking. I also suggest 2 ‘coats’ of marker to make your blacks really black. And if you do it in an unventilated room, you may even get a bit loopy, so win-win.


Step 7: Once you’ve finished your faces and removed the printed template from inside, you can consider yourself done, as they look pretty fun already.


But  I wanted to use mine outside at night so I purchased 3 battery-operated candles at Dollar Tree and inserted them into the holes I cut at back. Isn’t the orange glow nice?


Wouldn’t it be fun to have a whole army of the festive fellows lining your driveway, or sitting on your lawn. Or use them inside on a fireplace hearth or one on each step in your stairway. However you chose to display them, I hope they bring you as much friendly Halloween fun as they are bringing us.