New pattern! Field of Flowers costume for kids & adults

I’m super excited to announce that my first costume pattern is ready for the world! Come meet the Field of Flowers costume for both kids AND adults! Back in 2008, when my daughter was two years old, my husband had the idea to dress her up for Carnival as a bunch of flowers or some […]

Free Pattern! Valentine’s Day bag tutorial

The day that some people absolutely love and others absolutely despise is coming up. Yep. I’m talking about Valentine’s Day! I’ve always fallen into the second category because I am ideologically against the consumerism of this day and I don’t like the idea of being told when I need to celebrate my love for the […]

10 Reasons to make your own costume

The one question that I get asked in every interview I’ve ever had is what or who my creative inspirations are. I usually give a different answer every time because I am inspired by so many people, places and things. But my first creatively inspirational input was without question my mother. (Hi, Mom!) As a […]

Healthy Sugar-Free Lemonade Recipe

There’s no denying it: summer is suddenly here! Our family is doing everything we can to stay cool. The kids have started using the bathtub as a swimming pool, our ice cream machine* is back in business, we’ve been making all sorts of homemade popsicles, and we’ve been doing everything else that I’ve written about […]

Wine bottle crafts: 2 upcycled vases with materials you already have

Mother’s Day is creeping up and will be here before you know it. Have you started preparing gifts for the most important women in your life? Most mothers (at least the ones I know) are happiest to receive something small, but from the heart, and what could be more from the heart than personalized homemade […]

DIY Paper Poinsettias from Upcycled Egg Cartons

When my daughter’s teacher invited me to come into the class to make crafts with the kids that could be sold at the school’s charity Christmas market (a couple of years ago I did the same thing with these yarn Hopi Eye ornaments), I was thrilled to find out that this year’s theme was “recycling”—my […]

How to make striped popsicles (and fruit popsicles)

Last week, as part of the Beat the summer heat series, I started talking about one of our favorite – and most delicious – ways to cool off during the summer: making homemade popsicles! The wonderful thing is that you can make them just as healthy as you want, so when your kids ask to […]

How to make healthy DIY popsicles

In last week’s post on refreshing activities to do with kids inside the house in the summer, part of the Beating the Summer Heat series, I mentioned that I had another fun activity to do with kids. But even more fun is when you EAT it with kids. I’m talking about no-guilt, ice cold, healthy […]

Refreshing summer activities for kids in the house

Hello, all! I just got back home a few days ago from a 3-week trip to the States to visit family and friends. We had a great time, which is why- despite my best intentions- I didn’t do ANY of the blogging or pattern or shop work that I’d planned on. Whoops! But I really […]

How to make homemade iced tea

Today, for the first post in the Beating the Summer Heat series, I want to share one of my absolute favorite things to drink when it’s hot out: iced tea! Have you ever had real iced tea? I mean the real stuff that’s actually brewed from tea leaves, not that glucose-y industrial stuff with fake […]

How to beat the summer heat!

I love the summer and I love hot weather… but I hate humidity. I hate sticky skin that mosquitos get stuck on. I hate that sluggish feeling that doesn’t let you do anything. I hate air conditioning. And there’s nothing I hate more than being stuck at home when it’s hot out. I figure I’m […]

18 Mother’s Day DIY gift ideas with upcycling

Mother’s Day is right around the corner and, if you’re anything like I am, you want to make something for your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, best friend who is also a mother, etc, but you haven’t even started yet and you probably don’t want to have to pay very much, either. Well, don’t fear, because today […]

Tutorial: Make Easy Recycled Crowns for Kids

Happy Easter Monday! Hope you had a lovely day yesterday! And if you have children, I’m sure you now have insane amounts of candy and chocolate in your home. Here in Italy there’s no Easter Bunny, but kids get these huge chocolate eggs with a little gift inside. The eggs are wrapped in big squares […]

Easy DIY Gift Bags with boxed corners

Remember when I said that we would use our practice pieces from the boxed corners lesson earlier this week for something useful for Christmas? I guess it wasn’t particularly difficult to figure out what I was getting at: DIY gift bags! I have come to really hate disposable gift wrapping, so I am trying to […]

A little Halloween story

So Halloween 2014 has come and gone. Halloween is a pretty recent import in Italy, where I live, so it’s much less of a big deal than it is in the States. Here some kids (but definitely not all) dress up as a witch (girls) or a vampire, wizard, pumpkin or ghost (boys). And that’s […]

Good mothers = each and every one of us

You know, I have something I have to get off my chest: I’m not perfect and I’m not a perfect mom. Guess what else? You aren’t either. But you know what? Nobody is, yet we are still all awesome and great mothers in our own ways. There’s no point in comparing or judging yourself or […]

The Homemade Play Doh Competition (a.k.a. Easter 2014)

Yes, I am a bit late, but let me tell you about our Easter this year. We of course had our usual Easter egg hunt (my daughter had been talking about it for weeks before). Besides little odds and ends that I have hanging around (candies, stickers, erasers, spider rings, mini ladybug clothespins), I also […]

Jar of Hearts for special Daddies: DIY Father’s Day gift

This year we nearly missed Father’s Day (March 19th in Italy) completely. It had sort of slipped my mind to make something with the kids for my husband until that very morning, so I quickly racked my brain for a DIY gift idea that we could make in a very short time after school. Then […]

Despicable Me costumes: make a DIY Stuart Minion costume

A few days have gone by since Carnival and I’m only now publishing the tutorial for Nicky’s costume going along with this year’s theme of Despicable Me 2: the Minion Stuart. Sofia and I thought that he should be Dave because of his fantasy with the agent Lucy Wilde (Sofia’s costume), but he had his […]

Carnevale 2014: Despicable Me 2 Carnival costumes

Here we are on the day of Carnival, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras… and it’s raining. Doh! So now celebrating in the streets with the wonderful festivities planned in many towns in the area for us. Some of the celebrations have a rain date, so hopefully at some point soon we can make up for it. […]

Despicable Me costumes: Lucy Wilde’s scarf and coat

Back to our Carnival costumes! To recap, my kids are dressing up as Despicable Me characters and I’ve already written about the wig and accessories of Agent Lucy Wilde. But the costume is just not complete without her scarf and, even more importantly, her turquoise coat. What do you say? Is there a resemblance? (Ok, […]

Despicable Me costumes: Lucy Wilde’s wig and accessories

Oh yes, my kids just love Despicable Me. (Evidence of this can be seen here, here and here.) And yes, this year my kids are dressing up as Despicable Me characters for Carnival. And yes, I’m making the costumes. Sofia decided to be AVL agent Lucy Wilde. Want to know how to make a fantastic […]

Happy Holidays from Cucicucicoo (and the Minions!!)

My kids and their cousin are totally obsessed with Minions. We let our kids (and guests) draw on the walls. The natural result? Lots of pictures of Minions on our walls. (Some of which resemble my little guy when he’s angry, according to the writing, although apparently the author changed his mind and crossed it […]

Tutorial: How to make gift bags from cereal boxes

Panic time! If you’re anything like me, you have a last few gifts hanging around waiting to be wrapped (or perhaps all of them), so today I want to show you the last idea for this season of my eco-friendly gift wrapping guide. This one is really super fast to whip up and you can […]

Cereal Box Gift Boxes with Produce Net Bag Bows

I just love cereal boxes. We always have loads of them and I use them for everything. I glue small pattern pieces onto them for stability. I use them as a backing for product tags. I’ve started making shipping envelopes out of them to send things in (I’ll get around to writing about that one […]

Pine Cone Christmas Trees: a tutorial for kids

A couple of weeks ago I published a tutorial for a children’s activity, making woven Hopi Eye Christmas ornaments, for the advent calendar countdown at the blog Creare per r’ESISTERE (in Italian, while the English version can be found here on cucicucicoo.com). Elisabetta asked me to contribute a second tutorial, so I proposed this project […]

Tutorial: Reusable fabric gift bags from freebie bags

Welcome back to my eco gift wrapping guide! Today’s tutorial requires a tiny bit more effort to make than the other projects in this series (though being far from difficult) but is probably the easiest one to use afterwards, and will definitely be used many times. Simple drawstring bags make incredibly convenient gift wrapping; you […]

Furoshiki: Japanese reusable fabric gift wrap

For part two of my Ecological Gift Wrapping series, something I’d been wanting to try for years (I first mentioned it here): Furoshiki. This Japanese technique is basically a form of reusable fabric gift wrap. Wrap a square piece of fabric around an object, either to carry it or to just make it look pretty […]

Tutorial: Make recycled gift tags from old cards

Welcome to the first installment of my Eco Gift Wrapping Guide! In my introduction to this series I mentioned my thrifty mother and how she would get the most out of any wrapping paper or materials that came her way. But her wrapped packages didn’t look as if they were from reused materials; they were […]

Ecological Gift Wrapping Guide: reusable gift wrap ideas

When I was a little girl, I loved getting gifts on Christmas, my birthday, or any other occasion. But I hated how my thrifty mother would insist I be careful not to wrip the wrapping paper so that she could reuse it. I always felt mortified as she picked all the pieces of paper and […]

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