Duct Tape Bird Costume from my book PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids

Playful Bird Costume | mer mag

It’s the weekend of creating costumes! Oh how I love this time of year! Some of you have already made this duct tape bird costume from my book Playful and shared on Instagram. Soo soo cool. Check #playfultoysandcrafts to see more.

Playful Bird Costume | mer mag

My book Playful has templates for each piece of the costume making it super easy to recreate – and then add your own touches. Cute little Lydia is wearing it here but I originally made with little O helping. He looked super cute it too so it’s perfect for either a girl or a boy.

Playful Bird Costume | mer mag

And how sweet is Lydia and Creed here? These two little love birds are the best of friends. I hope their friendship continues forever. You have to see the hashtag #creedandlydia on instagram as well. Your heart will melt. And you probably recognize them from my latest paper plate cat and pumpkin masks for Oh Happy Day. Can you believe how big they are just a year later?!! not fair. ;).


photography by Nicole Gerulat

Vintage Rocking Elephant


A little while ago my designer friend Meta and I went antique shopping (one of my favorite things to do with her! I love the hunt and that girl can find hidden wonders most people miss) and she spotted this fabulous vintage rocking elephant. We talked about how it was perfectly Playful French Industrial and that I couldn’t live with out it. I agreed. But decided I would let it sit and see if it was still there the next time I came back.

Well not two days later Meta shows up at my door with this perfectly weathered wooden pachyderm! Best friend ever! And she was right. It was meant to find a home with us.


And we love this guy. You can tell a lot of love went into making him. His trunk actually moves back and forth with a hinge too. So cool! I love finding toys made by hand. They are so special and rare these days. It used to be almost common place for parents to build toys for their kids. I love it when we can bring a bit of that magic – that history – back into our homes today.

This guys a bit hefty but we’ve come to love that aspect of him too. The boys can actually comfortably sit on him as well and will often perch here while watching a movie. It’s pretty cute.

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And I love that Miss M adores Mr Elephant and her new birthday rag doll Maggie. We made a felt ball necklace for her and have a number of outfits in mind. We also made a little sleeping bag that she goes into right next to Miss M each night. She calls her “baby” and its super adorable. Pretty much a bowl full of doll playing dreams coming true over here. And I’m not going to lie…I’m loving it.


Win a copy of PLAYFUL and make these masks on Oh Happy Day!

paper plate halloween masks

Today Jordan Ferney is giving away two copies of my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids over on Oh Happy Day! Woo hoo! Head on over there and mention why you would like to add this book to your library for a chance to win! Crossing my fingers for you!

paper plate halloween masks

I’m also offering templates and a DIY on Oh Happy Day! for these silly little Halloween paper plate cat and pumpkin masks, inspired by my projects in Playful. They are perfect for an afternoon Halloween crafting bash with little friends (you totally still have time to put one together! Especially with how simple these are). Add a few of our past spooky crafty creations from the past and you’re more than set!

paper plate halloween masks

I asked some of my favorite Playful models, Creed and Lydia to help me with these masks. I can’t believe how much they’ve grown in a year! These best friends modeled for my duct tape bird costume. Creed is also in my paper plate animal mask shoot as well so he’s a pro at this. I’m crazy about his scarecrow stance above! I’m also crazy about these amazing hand sewn pants from one of my favorite sources for great kids wear, Zanzibach. I want all the pants she makes. Perfect for my boys.

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Photography by Trisha Zemp

A DIY Halloween Craft Bonanza!!

MerMagHalloweenCraftRoundUpIf  you know me you know that I’ve been a HUGE fan of Halloween for all my life. I love autumn, the crisp air, the falling leaves, dressing up and a slight bit of the spooky. So we’ve done quite number of Halloween crafts over the years. This 10+ round up are some of my favorites.  (you might notice a slight obsession with bats…I guess I’m sort of into them).

To get going on your spooky projects click on the following:

  1. Downloadable Halloween Party Pack in my shop! Stocked full of banners, paper cut out trick-or-treators to play with!, a super cute bat party invite and more!
  2. Duct tape bat and pumpkin trick-or-treat buckets
  3. Simple Bat and Drac costumes
  4. Paper Stip Pumpkin Art
  5. My sister’s Origami Paper boxes for your Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  6. Cat and Pumpkin Paper Mache Puppets (still a favorite of my kids! They love it when I bring these out.)
  7. Easy Paper Cat Mask
  8. Monster Treat Box out of a sandwich bag carton
  9. Paper Tube Bat Cany Holders with wings recycled from paper shopping bags
  10. Security Envelope Bats
  11. And a fan favorite, our Haunted House! made with cardboard and duct tape.

Some others from the archives you might also enjoy: Our well loved (and probably most popular Halloween craft of all time) Jon’s Snowflake Paper Pumpkins; fun and easy Felt Halloween Pumpkin FacesMix-x-Match Up Monster Paper Paper Puppets party; Check our Monster Photo Booth Back Drop complete with spooky signage; Host your own kids Halloween Crafternoon party with all these easy crafts!

And here are some favorite costume links: Juice Box CostumeBandit Wolf costume and Baby Octopus Costume DIY, and more from our 2009-2011 costume round up


Stay tuned for even more spooky Halloween ideas this month. And I can’t promise I’m done with bats yet! EEEEEK!


Make a Juice Box Costume from a Cardboard Box

Juice Box Costume | mer mag

My boy’s initials are AJ and OJ and for the longest time I’ve wanted to make them Apple Juice and Orange Juice box costumes. I’m so happy to say that this year I’ve finally made a juice box costume! I love it for the littles but I think it’s totally perfect for older tweens/teens and even adults. I’m crazy about the idea of of a group getting together and making juice box costumes for a variety of juices – apple, orange, grape, pineapple, etc. Perfect idea for an enssamble costume choice.

Juice Box Costume | mer mag

To make a juice box costume you will need:

  • a regtangular cardboard box
  • utility knife
  • paint
  • a pool noodle
  • hot glue
  • newsprint paper
  • spray glue or adhesive

Juice Box Costume | mer mag

Juice Box Costume | mer mag

Making the Juice Box costume: (more…)

A 2nd Birthday for Little Miss


My baby girl had a birthday this past week and she turned two. We had a mini little family party and she was just the cutest.




I’ve been collecting Mifi books over the past year for her and it was fun to finally wrap them up and give them to her. She LOVES books and I was so happy to see how delighted she was with these. I can’t wait to read this sweet little series with her.


I also tried my hand at a creative cake. Give me some cardboard + tape or wood + paint and I can make a cute house for you. Try to transform a cake into a house and then frost it? Now that’s a whole different story. It’s an entirely different medium I’m not used to or skilled at. So it’s not perfect but she loved it and it did taste rather yummy.



I also found a cute vintage Dick Bruna puzzle for her.


I love the shot above. We set her final gift on her lap and she was super bummed because she wanted to play with her books and puzzle. The boys thought it was hilarious.

But when she unrapped the cloth to find this handmade “baby”, as she calls it, all aprehension was forgotten.

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I wanted make her a doll that was large enough for a 2 yr old to cuddle. I also wanted her to be large enough so that her clothing would be easier to make (I loose patience when sewing gets too microscopic). We call her Maggie May as she’s inspired by an illustration and Little Bit story I did of a Mini Maggie May. I’m excited to make her more clothing and we even turned the floral cloth that we wrapped her up in into a bed roll for her (it was originally a prop that Meta made for my book Playful). She now sleeps next to Miss M each night. I sort of love it to death.



Doll and Book winner!


Thanks to everyone who entered the trapeze doll and PLAYFUL book giveaways!

We have 2 randomly selected winners! Katelyn of Be Katelyn has won the trapeze doll! woo hoo!

Playful: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids

and Ry Simmons of Oh Little Lovelies has won a copy of the book PLAYFUL! I do hope you both enjoy! Please email me with your mailing addresses and I’ll get these shipped off to you.




Hi Five Swag Bag and Instagram Giveaway!


If you haven’t hopped on Instagram today you best be over there because in honor of our little girl’s birthday I’m giving away one of our covented Playful Book launch party Hi Five swag bags! It’s full of creative and artsy goodies such as all natural watercolor paints from GLOB Colors (can’t wait to play around with these!), A sweet floral card from House that Lars Built, notebooks, pencils and some really cool glue from Yoobi (a company that gives back!), some story starter cards from my #littlebitsbymer series, happy sunshiny cards from Hello Lucky!, super cool dry erase duct tape from Scotch Duct Tape (one of the sponsors a the event – stay tuned for more crafts with them from me!), the best craft felt balls from Hello Maypole, cute pencil heart print from Caravan Shoppe, darling prints from the new shop Petit Pippin (by the lovely Ez of Creature Comforts – I’m DYING to see her little critters!), loveliest tree rubbing print from Light and Ink, sweetest lamb card from Sycamore Stree Press, darling animal ear headbands from Hello Shiso, the cutest package from Nicole’s Classes (another sponsor) complete with paints and wooden beads to make your very own face necklace (from my book)! Oh and a Hi Five canvas bag from my Hi Five print. (I will be selling just the canvas bags in the shop soon too!).


And I just had to share this sweet images of Imogen who said to her mother after the book launch party: “Mom, can I make everything in this book tomorrow?” Sweetest thing ever! We love you Shannon and Imogen!


My PLAYFUL book Launch Party and Signing


So last week was nothing short of crazy AMAZING! On Tuesday I had my launch party for my newly released book PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + Kids and it was soooo sooo fun! The turn out was incredible – 322 people showed up to craft, purchase books (we sold out in the first hour!), enjoy snacks, be a Playful cover model for a night and more. I’m so thankful to all of you! SO thankful that so many of you waited in line for 30-45 min. to come in (it was at max capacity most of the time – we needed a bigger room!) so I sincerely hope you and your little ones had a good time. And big thank you to my party sponsors Scotch Duct Tape, Astrobrights Paper and Nicole’s Classes for making such an amazing party possible!



I tried to have fun little touches at the party such as these adorable tiger and lion cookies made by Dolce Bella by Erin to look like some of the crafts from the book. They were given to anyone who bought a book (and they were sooo tasty too!).



Meta, one of my amazing stylists on the book, came to help out along with so many others such as Brittany, Amy, Hillary and Melissa (whom you might recognize as some of House that Lars Built’s cutest interns) who set up dessert table.


We had cake bites from My Sweet Toothfairy, macaroons from Dolce Bella by Erin, cupcakes by the Cocoa Bean Cupcake Cafe and the sweetest vintage candy selection by my favorite local kids toy store, Blickenstaff’s. All of it was devored and enjoyed quite thoroughly. (i only wish I was able to get a taste of one of those scrumptious looking macaroons!).


I had three craft tables set up for kids to create paper puppets, plaper plate masks and finger print stamed art from the book. You can see Ashley setting up the birds at the paper puppet table below.





It was so cute to see the personlized variations guests made to each craft. Nicole’s classes, whose founder is none other than our Playful photographer extraordinaire, Nicole Gerulat, put on a super fun photobooth for guests to be a Playful “cover model” for a night. I died seeing all of you and your beautiful little ones and their creations in this booth!



My kids had a blast at the party and I was told by Little O that he’s been wanting to make the bear all this time and now he finally got to. Who knew I was holding out on him?




These cuties are some of the first guests to enter. And you guys, I’m seriously flabergasted because there was an insane line! The first 35-40 guests recieved a fun filled swag bag with lots of really good stuff like dry erase scotch duct tape , a handful of Yoobi supplies, and the sweetest prints from Ez’s new shop Petit Pippen. I’ll be blogging more about the bag, as well as giving one more away!, later but you can see a peek at it here on Instagram.


Victoria, an acquaintance from my Knoxville days so long ago as well as one of Brittany’s interns, came and did the cutest clown face paint on the kiddos. I just about died every time I saw another little sweetie pop up in the book signing line with their make up.  I loved it so!





It was so hard for me to narrow down my favorite photo booth photos, so I just decided that I had to share, oh a TON of them with you! I mean how stickin’ cute are these girls above?!

And Pearl (below), our duct tape brownstone model from the book, came with her mom Abby. Cutie patootie! So many of our Playful models came to the launch party and I’m was sooo happy to see them again.

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And how sweet are these photos of Eva and Sarah with their girl’s. I’m in love.

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Playful Book Signing and a Craft at the GAP at University Mall in Orem, UT

Merrilee Liddiard's GAP signing invite for her book Playful

Happy Friday friends! If you missed the signing for my new book, PLAYFUL: Fun Projects to Make With + For Kids,  at the Provo Library you’re in luck because I’ll be doing another signing at the GAP at University Mall in Orem, UT on Saturday, Oct. 4 from 1:00-3:00 pm. We’ll be doing a craft and I’ll be signing books! If you have your book bring it or you can buy one from me there.

As you might know I’ve worked with GAP before doing craft weekends for them and it’s a load of fun! We’ll be doing a fun finger print craft at this upcoming signing and I can’t wait to see you and your little cuties!


(photos by Nicole Gerulat)