Pineapple Costume Tutorial

IMG_8980_webSome years I can convince my kids that going to the store and buying a costume is the way to go. Not this year. Both of my girls wanted homemade costumes. Siri wanted to be iPhone Siri (you can see her costume on my instagram feed @carinagardner) and Felicity asked to be a pineapple.

I know pineapples have been trending recently, but the truth is, in our family the word ‘pineapple’ has been trending for a couple of years. A while back, Siri decided that she loved the way the word ‘pineapple’ sounded and used it as her go-to, everyday word (“Can I get you a drink, Siri?” “Pineapple.” “Are you ready for bed, Siri? “Pinnneapppppllle.”…you get the idea). Does she actually like to EAT pineapples? Of course not! That would make too much sense :).

Ironically, it was Felicity who decided that being a pineapple was a must this year (although I can see Siri trying to steal this costume).

Here’s a little info on how to put this costume together. Your materials may be a little different than mine so feel free to make adjustments on how you make this sublime fruity treat.


  • Either one very long yellow T-shirt or two T-shirts (Mine is a size 10 and the materials fit this size. Make adjustments for smaller or bigger T-shirts.)
  • 1/2 yard of yellow felt
  • 1/4 yard of green felt
  • headband
  • hot glue
  • 1 1/2 yards of double-sided iron-on adhesive


1. If you are working with two T-shirts, cut one in half to add to the bottom of the first T-shirt. Match up the RAW edge of the second/cut T-shirt to the bottom of the first T-shirt. That way you do not have to hem the bottom of the outfit. I used a serger with right-sides together of the T-shirts to sew these two pieces together into a long dress.

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2. Once your T-shirt is now a ‘dress’, cut out yellow felt pieces using the pattern provided below. Pin them all the way around the dress as shown here. This will help you determine how many pieces you will need. The pattern can be made smaller or larger to accommodate the size of your outfit.IMG_8877_web

3. Next, use the double-sided adhesive (using the instructions on the adhesive you buy) to adhere the adhesive to the felt pineapple pieces.


I used Heat and Bond and ironed on the adhesive on one side of the pineapple piece. Then, I pulled off the white protective layer on the felt piece and placed it on the dress. I ironed it directly onto the dress with the adhesive-side down (facing the dress).

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And you are done with the dress! Now for the headband!

4. The headband could be made so many different ways. Use my method or try putting it together anyway you want with the pattern pieces I’ve provided. You can also choose to do all of this with a hot glue gun if you want to avoid sewing!

I cut out 4 each of the three leaf patterns. I folded in half the medium and large leaves and sewed them about half way up. (You could simply hot glue them up instead.)

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5. I then sewed together two of the biggest pieces like the image below.


6. Then I laid a third piece in the middle of the two sewn together pieces. I sewed it to the front. I then sewed the fourth piece to the back center.

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This will create a little symmetrical bunch.

7. Your next trick is to add the medium sized leaves to this bunch. I sewed mine but in retrospect I should have hot glued it! It was really thick and difficult to get through the machine. Simply, place them evenly around the large leaves.


8. For the smallest leaves, I used hot glue and spaced evenly around the bunch.


9. I cut a circle and hot glued it to the center of the bunch. Then I glued up the edges and trimmed them. This is simply to keep the bunch together and add a bit of yellow to the bottom.


9. Finally, I cut a small round circle and sandwiched a headband between the pineapple top and the felt circle. Hot glue these altogether and you are done!


Here are the pattern pieces you will need to make this costume:


There’s a bit of work involved to make this costume but it was completely worth it! Felicity was giddy with the end result! Does your child want to be a pineapple? Download the pattern and get started! Halloween is around the corner!

Happy creating!

Halloween Inspiration

IMG_8541_webHalloween has officially begun at my house! Our little family celebrated by going to Frightmares last weekend and starting work on costumes—well, the kids started thinking about their costumes, and I started working on them.

(Photo to the left of Silhouette Halloween Tags now in the shop).

I’m always a happy girl when this time of year rolls around. I feel renewed with the autumn weather. I’m ready for the heat to be replaced by cool breezes and and falling leaves.

And then, of course, there is the all the halloween decor. Many years, I don’t get to pulling things out until the last minute. But these year, our studio has producing so many fun halloween designs! The end result—lots of goodies to hang all over my home.





(All of these designs can be found in my silhouette shop and digiplayground shop)


And yes, we’ve already watched The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus.


Hope you have a moment this week to pull out or make some pretty things! I’m going to get to work on costumes and start planning my Halloween kids party!

Happy Haunting,

Episode 13: Halloween Haunted Mansion for Silhouette and

IMG_7894_webThis idea has been in the works for several weeks now. I’m so thrilled to finally be able to present my Halloween Haunted Village! This is made completely from SVGS files that you can purchase from my Silhouette Online Shop or (for other cutting machines).

There are several pieces to this village. You can mix and match or purchase the entire village. Here are the pieces you can buy in this set (links for purchase available 9/21/15):

Pumpkin Mansion
Ghost Mansion
Spider House
Witch Tower
Haunted Tree
Haunted Fence
Cat House
Tiny Bat House
Tiny Crow House

Most of these pieces (in particular the larger pieces) have a circular opening at the bottom so you can place an electric tealight. I can’t describe how awesome this village looks when all the lights are off and the tea lights make these IMG_7899_1_webhouse glow! If you want ALL the larger houses to glow, make sure you use, orange, white, cream, or transparent paper (like vellum) for the bases of your houses. Several of my houses (shown here) use a black or kraft paper base. These do not show the light nearly as well as the lighter based houses.

My kids were thrilled with this set! Charlie ended up playing in my office for most of the afternoon with the lights off, moving around the pieces and tea lights in this set!


Of course, this set has a lot of working parts so there is a video on how to assemble it! I cover several of the pieces that I feel will help you. I hope you enjoy it!


2015-2016 Carina Gardner and MiniLou Team Calls!

I’m so excited that we are finally able to open up three calls for a creative team, design team, and style team for MiniLou and Carina Gardner, Inc.! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now so I’m glad we are getting this in before the holiday season commences.

These are small teams where we send you product in exchange for you coming up with ideas, doing a small write up, and taking photos. All submissions need to be sent to our Marketing Director Jill at or Here’s the breakdown:


For the time being, we are only taking submissions that require physical products from the US. If you are International and want to apply for digital scrapbooking product and/or silhouette files/svg products, we are happy to receive submissions from you!

Have questions? Feel free to email us!

Looking forward to seeing your submissions!


Carina Gardner SVG Files Now at!


I just got back from a quick vacay with the kids before school begins next week (You can see me taking a leap from a rope swing on my facebook page here). When I opened my email, I found this gem (the image to the left). So the time has come to make a big announcement…

For all of you out there with digital diecutting machines (but not a Silhouette), you can now get my SVG files for YOUR machine at! I have been working on this for the last couple of months and there are files up there ready to go!

Every week, we are working on getting new files up so be sure to check back often. I have a 900 + back log of silhouette files that we are reshaping for your digital diecutting machines and all of them will be available at DigiPlayground. So you will see a mix of new and old going up every week.

Annnddd…to top it off there is a 40% off sale going on NOW through the end of the week (ends August 23, 2015). Take advantage and stock up on some goodies!

Happy cutting!


PS. Psst, exciting news about MiniLou! SVGs for KIDS ONLY projects and activities are coming soon here:

Episode 12: Circus Party Train Album Tutorial for Silhouette

I’m so excited to share with you my Circus Party Train Album. As suggested, it is an accordion train that fits nicely into a single album. This album is made using my Circus Party papers that I designed for Carta Bella. The album can be purchased from my Silhouette Shop. I hope you enjoy!


(links will be available soon)

CircusPartyTrainAlbumCaboose CircusPartyTrainAlbumCage CircusPartyTrainAlbumElephant CircusPartyTrainAlbumEngine CircusPartyTrainAlbumEnvelopes CircusPartyTrainAlbumEssentials CircusPartyTrainAlbumLion CircusPartyTrainAlbumPocket

Pen Pal Letters—Silhouette and Digital Scrapbooking Tutorial

IMG_7136_1webI was recently introduced to these amazing letters that you place in Artist Trading Card Page Protectors. The idea was introduced by Janette Lane, and I have been so inspired by what she is doing. Creating these little works of art means quite a bit of scrapbooking paper, washi tape, ephemera, and other little bits and goodies. I have been wanting to make some of these letters for my girls (letters to them when they are older), and created a number of silhouette and digital scrapbooking files so that I can make them. Links for all the current products I have that relate to these kinds of letters are below (in both my silhouette and digital scrapbooking shop).

Be sure you check out Janette and what she is doing because it is truly inspiring!

The image above and to the left I did for my daughter Siri who is a harpist. You’ll notice the envelope at the bottom that I plan on putting her letter in. I’ll also write a few things I love about her on the “I love” card from the starter set. I’ll add a few stories about her growing up on the tabbed set.

I think I’ll hide it away for her 18th birthday. It will be a treat for both of us!


The one below I made for Felicity for her 18th birthday. The envelope is in the left hand corner and I am loving this little fold over scalloped tab I am using in the center top to write a little story about her now. I’m hoping she loves the silly ipod in the bottom left hand corner and the tabbed pieces in the right hand corner (I might throw a few fun pictures in there for her).


My take on the Pen Pal Letters is simply another way to document bits of our lives for my kids. I love the way Janette is using them to build a fun community and create something beautiful!


Happy pen pal-ing!


Please note: some products not released yet and links are not available.


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(link to all the silhouette Pen Pal Letters here)

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Alphabet Photo Album Tutorial for Silhouette

I’m so excited about my Alphabet Photo Album series that can be purchased from Silhouette. There are so any ways to use this album. Tutorial below along with a few ideas for using this album!



1. Cut a single photo into one letter. Simply lay a large photo behind the letter and trim the photo.

2. Use multiple letters together to create a name (like C-H-A-R-L-I-E) and only put photos of that person in it.

3. Choose a theme like S-U-M-M-E-R and capture favorite moments from the season.

4. Add journaling and/or capture a specific photo shoot or time of year.


5. Create an alphabet album highlighting each letter. For example, an apple orchard experience with your children all captured in the letter ‘A’ or a swim party in the letter ‘S’.

6. Do a single letter album to highlight a holiday. For example, ‘C’ for Christmas—

7. Or highlight the holiday by spelling out the holiday like E-A-S-T-E-R.

There are so many great ways to use this album for a gift or keepsake. Here’s how you put it together.


1. Cut  out SVG files. You will have two pieces—a front overlay and a back piece with holes for attaching it to other album pieces. (PS All the Alphabet Photo Album pieces go together).


2. Use tape or a glue stick to adhere the photograph to the back of a framed window. I used scotch tape, but you may use whatever adhesive you would like to make  your picture stay in place.



3.Finally, simply place the letter on back piece to create a simple collage of fun photos.

Hope you get to make one of these fun album!













Rectangle Card Boxes Tutorial for Silhouette

I’ve been adding quite a few of these box cards to my silhouette shop recently. They aren’t hard to put together but there are a few steps. Each of my boxes are different so you will need to make adjustments to this tutorial based on the type of box you have purchased.

A couple of notes about these boxes. They aren’t true boxes in that they do not have a bottom. Once you have put them together, you should be able to fold them flat. Some of the boxes come with flaps along the edges (like the whale box) and some come without (like the ice cream box).

Here’s how to put it together:

1. Cut out the svg files. Glue accent pieces to the outside of the box. Note that most of these boxes should have a large accent piece on the back of the box AND the inside of the box. Usually you just need to cut the piece twice but on some of the designs the inside is different than the accent piece on the outside.



2. Glue the flap on the main piece to the back of the box to create the main box.


It should look like this:


3. Glue on all the accent pieces to the inside pieces (for example, the whale on the back piece shown here). Then fold on glue flap forward and one glue flap backwards.



4. Next glue the flaps into the box. Space the different pieces inside evenly. Most of these boxes come with 2-3 inside pieces. You can also fold the box flap to glue down the box pieces. Some of the boxes come with a single inside piece and a couple of little accessories (usually an object on a stick) that you just glue directly to the box.





And that’s it! It’s a cute card or fun gift idea!

Hope you have fun making these!


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Filled Basket Silhouette Tutorial


I probably redesigned this basket a half a dozen times but I think it was worth it! The end result just makes me smile!

These little baskets are 3D and take a bit of time (and creativity) to put together. Stick a little gift card in it for a friend or use it for home decor! These baskets DO NOT fold flat (they have a full bottom on them).

I hope you get a chance to make one of these darling little baskets! You can fill them as “full” as you want with the addition of little “bits” that can be glued in the front or back. You also have the option of making this front and back (by gluing the accessories —like flowers or strawberries) to the front and back of each piece).


Here’s how to put these together:

1. Cut out the svg files.

2. Glue the accent pieces to the main box. This includes the side squares and the “lid” accent pieces.IMG_6380_web

2. Next glue down all the embellishments (like the strawberries or flowers) to the inside pieces (shown below in kraft paper). You can pop dot them but because mine was full, I chose to simply glue them down. Add any embellishments (like diamonds to the centers of the flowers) at this point. Note: You can finger press anything at this point to add dimension. You’ll see that with the flowers, I chose to only glue the centers and finger press the petals to give the flowers more depth.

3. Next, you’ll need to glue in the tabs. You can see I got a little picture crazy with this because it’s a little hard to explain. I like gluing in the center piece (with the handle) first. I fold one tab forward and one tab backwards. You can see in the photo below, I glue that handle piece to the center of one of the sides of my box.


I then glue the front piece on (as shown below). I glue the flap going forward like the handle piece.

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I then glue the back piece on. You’ll notice that I try to evenly space them.


Fold up the box and see how you are doing on your spacing. This will also help you gauge where to glue the opposite side flaps on.


4. Glue the inside pieces to the opposite side of the box. I like to just glue one of the flaps first. I started with the first inside piece (you can see in the photo below). I placed hot glue on it (you can use any kind of adhesive you want) and then positioned it to the opposite side of the box.IMG_6392_web

It should look like the photo below.


I finish gluing the other two flaps onto the opposite side of the box.

5. Once I have all the middle pieces positioned, I then glue the rest of the box together.



From the top, it will look like this (see photo below).


6. There may be several accent pieces in the file you have. For example, there are “strawberries on a stick” in the strawberry basket file as well as some greenery. I placed the strawberries randomly in the box and glued them to the front of the box and behind the inside pieces. I glued the greenery to the front of the box. For the flowers, I simply added some flowers to parts of the box to give it a more “full” look.



The point is to add some depth to the boxes contents.

Hope you have fun making one!


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