Carnival season is around the corner, and it’s time to pull out the beads, glitter, tulle and paints, and get creative for the upcoming Mardi Gras season! Today I am sharing a few, simple DIY projects to get you in the Carnival spirit!
Mardi Gras (No-Sew) Tutu
This year, my daughter and I will be catching beads wearing matching Mardi Gras tutus. It’s a great addition to our festive ensemble and SO easy to make. Make yourself comfortable on the sofa, as it does get a little repetitive, and watch your favorite hour long television show while you whip up a perfect addition to your Mardi Gras wardrobe.
- 3-4 rolls of 20 yards of 5″ wide tulle in your favorite Mardi Gras colors (Note: The total amount of tulle required depends on the overall width of the skirt, for example adult versus toddler, length of skirt and fullness you are trying to achieve.)
- Ribbon – provide the length to wrap around your waist plus 6-12″ longer (Note, you might want to consider an elastic band for the little one to avoid having to retie constantly.)
- Cut the tulle to your desired skirt length: Extend the end of the roll of tulle from your waist, to your desired length. Double the length and add another inch. Cut. Use this strip as your pattern. Cut the remaining rolls per the patterned length.
- Layout your ribbon or elastic. Consider wrapping it around a chair or circular object as you prepare to tie anywhere from 30-60 knots.
- Fold your tulle strip in half and slip and extend the loop portion under and past the ribbon (or elastic).
- Create a slip knot. Flip the loop over the band.
- Pull the ends through and over.
- Tighten the knot. Continue to add tulle and knots until you have completed the entire tutu.
Note: Create a pattern with your purple, gold and green tulle. I started with purple, then inserted the other two colors in between to create this pattern. Consider embellishing your tutu with bows, beads, pompoms, glitter, etc.
Mardi Gras Mambo Countdown Calendar
Why not countdown the days until Fat Tuesday with a king cake calender? This past weekend, the parade season started and so did our countdown. (I used the number 16 as the Krewe of Little Rascals, the kid’s first parade, runs two Sundays before Mardi Gras day.)
- Canvas (14″ x 26″)
- Acrylic Paint (Beige, White, Purple, Green and Yellow/Gold)
- Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- White Puff Paint Pen
- Foam Sheets in Purple, Green and Yellow/Gold
- Wood Dowel (1/4″ – 3/8″ Diameter x 16″) & coordinating ends
- Letter stamps
- Plastic Baby
- Draw or trace a rough oval, centered on the canvas, and paint in beige. Once dried, add numbers in white, counter-clockwise, and roughly outline in white.
- Cut out rough rectangles or trace shapes provided out of the foam sheets in a pattern to cover the numbers, except the number “1.”
- Add a dot of hot glue at the top of each foam cut out and glue down over the number.
- Follow a pattern and leave “1” open if you choose to glue a plastic baby to symbolize Mardi Gras day.
- Use letter stamps and use your favorite color(s) to label the top of the king cake.
- Use a white paint pen and add random dots on the foam pieces and “king cake” to represent powdered sugar.
- Wrap and glue the top edge of the canvas around the wood dowel and top ends with matching rounded ends. Add a ribbon to easily hang on your wall or refrigerator.
- Each day remove some of the “icing,” starting with “16,” to reveal how many days remain until Fat Tuesday.
The local craft stores sell various wood or thick cardboard shapes ready to be decorated and hung on your wall or front door.
- Wood or cardboard in the various Mardi Gras and New Orleans inspired shapes, for example a fleur-de-lis and crown
- Acrylic Paint
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Optional: Ribbon and/or other embellishments
- Paint your wood/cardboard emblem.
- After the paint dries use your hot glue gun to glue in place your favorite bead. Outline or fill in the shape. Note: Some beads are not integral with the string/link and can create a bead explosion when cut.
- Add your favorite Mardi Gras ribbon or other favorite embellishment.
I purchased plain white paper mache masks at my local craft store. They were ready for a toddler’s inspiration! You, or your little one, can base them in with acrylic paint in their favorite Mardi Gras color. After the mask dries, let them be creative with glitter pens, a low mess option, and help them glue on beads, feathers, studs, etc. It’s a great way to keep them entertained after school around the kitchen table while you make a homemade king cake. Hang up these creations on your wall and/or let your little ones wear their work of art during the carnival season.