Not so Itsy Bitsy Spider

Julius is getting good at walking!  He walks like a penguin, without bending his knees, but he can nearly make it across an entire room without losing his balance.  If he has something to hold onto (like your hand) he can walk pretty much indefinitely.  He’s also been working on feeding himself.  In the next classroom (at 15 months) they no longer spoonfeed so he must be able to feed himself!  Since he isn’t great at using a spoon by himself we’ve been giving him finger foods for lunch instead of his usual mushed up baby food.  While easier than pureeing, I haven’t figured out how to store a bunch for later (I freeze the pureed baby food in ice cube trays so I only have to prepare a variety of foods at the beginning of the week).  We try to give him the same food we eat for dinner or lunch but frequently I make items that are spicy or very flavorful so I need a backup plan.  Suggestions are welcome!!

Hammin’ it up!

I’m actually in the airport writing this (another wedding!) and currently Julius is off charming everyone in the room.  He has made a full circuit of the gate area and has befriended a stewardess, the three people next to us and the custodian.  He came back over to get Sheepy and is again making the rounds to introduce him/her to all his new friends.  What a ham.

His personality is evolving constantly and it is so incredible (and bizarre) to see him grow into a little boy with his own opinions and ideas.  Despite looking exactly like Will he has a personality all his own.  Though I do wonder if he’ll inherit Daddy’s affinity for board games or my love of sewing.  We’ll see.

Speaking of my love of sewing, the many weekends of weddings have put me way behind on my craft projects!  I have a backlog of projects that I’ve been trying to catch up on, the first of which is for my work Halloween party which is only a couple days away.  I have been put in charge of decorating the building for the party and of course I wanted to throw in an element all my own.  I decided to cover a wall of the cafeteria with dollar store spider webs and put a giant spider in the center.  I made the spider last week.  You can make one yourself if you’re feeling creepy-crawley.

Giant Hang-able Spider

What you’ll need:

  • 8 wire coat hangers (I used the free ones you get from the dry cleaners)
  • 1″x5″x12″ piece of scrap wood
  • 2 picture hangers
  • 1 yard of black fur
  • 1 yard of black flannel
  • stuffing material (I used a combination of stuffing and packing peanuts)
  • thin feather boas – 8 (I got them from the dollar store)
  • black duct tape
  • 2-8 googly eyes (I used 6 1-3 inches each)
  • pattern here
  1. Cut out a 24″ diameter circle of black flannel (this will be the head).  Divide the circle into 8ths and mark off 8 equidistant points along the circumference.
  2. Fold the black flannel circle’s darts as indicated on the pattern.  Stitch.
  3. Trim the darts to 1/2″seam.
  4. Draw a 12″ diameter circle on the black flannel, overlap a 16″diameter circle with the first circle, so the distance between the points they intersect at is 5″. Cut out. (This will be the body piece)
  5. Attach the black flannel head to the flannel body piece along the small circle (right sides together). Leave a 5″ gap where the two circles overlap.  Stitch and turn right side out.  Stuff with stuffing.
  6. Cut out a 24″ diameter circle of black fur (this will be the spider’s bottom).  Divide the circle into 8ths and mark off 8 equidistant points along the circumference.
  7. At each point along the circumference, fold fabric so furry side is on the inside.  Form the fold so it is 3″ deep.  Mark at 5″ from the unfinished edge of the fold upwards then stitch from the 3″ deep mark on the circumference up to the 5″ mark on the fold along the invisible leg of the triangle connecting them.
  8. Trim the darts to 1/2″ seam.  Repeat for other folds.
  9. Attach the fur bottom to the flannel body piece along the larger circle, right sides together.   Leave a 5″ gap where the two circles overlap.  Stitch and turn right side out.
  10. Using a set of pliers, straighten your clothes hangers.  Drill 4 9/64″ holes through the . piece of wood for the legs
  11. Insert piece of wood into head of spider, through the stuffing, close to the body piece of flannel.
  12. Insert hangers through the head of the spider to form the legs.  Remove the piece of wood from the head of the spider to insert hot glue into the holes, place back into head of spider and insert clothes hanger wire.
  13. Using the pliers turn the tip of each leg into a small loop so it is not sharp.  
  14. Cover the entire wire with black duct tape, enclosing the sharp point of the hanger.
  15. Glue one end of a feather boa to the point where each leg meets the head.
  16. Twist boa tightly around the leg and secure to the end of the leg with hot glue.
  17. Flip the body right side out and stuff (I used mostly packing peanuts for this part so they’d be light).
  18. Handstitch the body and head to one another to seal up the holes used for turning and stuffing.
  19. Cut chelicerae/mandibles out of fur using the pattern.  Make sure to cut two from one side and two with the pattern flipped.
  20. Pin each pair of mandible pieces right sides together.   Stitch along the edges leaving the straight edge at the bottom opened.  
  21. Flip right side out then stuff lightly.  Hand stitch the mandibles to the head of the spider just below where the head meets the body.
  22. Position picture hangers at either end of the wooden board on the belly of the spider.  Screw by hand into the spider so you have something to hang your spider from.
  23. Finally, attach googly eyes to the spider by sewing or gluing (depending on the type of googly eyes).

    Spider pre-googly eyes. It looks pretty fearsome.

Side note: Julius usually loves cuddling with any toy that is larger than he is but I think the spider freaked him out a bit.  While he didn’t cry when he saw it; he also didn’t run over and try to hug it either.

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4 Responses to Not so Itsy Bitsy Spider

  1. Kaaaaa says:

    Hmm, if you go through the food relatively quickly you can probably put them in a few tuppies (or take out containers)…you’ll prolly get thru them before freezer burn hits?

    or are you trying to decide what to make that he can pick up with his hands? if that’s the case maybe berries or diced marinated chicken breast?

    • lexicolton says:

      I suppose I could freeze cubes of stuff and just use them quickly. I have not tried it yet… he does like both raspberries and chicken! Today he’s having beef stew so we’ll see how he does with that!

  2. Overton says:

    A wee, smiling, uninhibited child can make a LOT of friends in an airport terminal. Just the kind a stress relief every one needs. Lifts me up just thinking about it. Right up there with a plate full of warm cookies or a basket full of puppies.

    And concur with Julius on big spiders. An appropriate level of judgement and reasoning and not even a year old!

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