Tongue Tied-ings

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Tongue Tied-ings

A memorable scene in the film "A Christmas Story" inspired our goofy daredevil, who issues freezin' greetings to all she meets. This realistic ruse is made by dressing a simple yet sturdy hanger-and-dowel frame. (Check out other ideas for outdoor winter crafts.)

What you'll need

  • Pink adhesive craft foam
  • 8½- by 11-inch photo (or color photocopy) of a child's face
  • Plastic gallon jug
  • Clear packing tape
  • Craft knife
  • Plastic grocery bags
  • Newspaper
  • Child's boots
  • Duct tape
  • 2 (3-foot) wooden dowels
  • Plastic hanger
  • Child's snow bib
  • Child's hooded parka
  • Child's mittens
  • Safety pins
  • Permanent marker
  • Plastic lawn sign, 15 by 19 inches or larger (we got ours at an office supply store for $5)

How to make it

  1. To make the head, cut two identical tongues from the craft foam (ours were 1½ by 4 inches) and stick them together. Cut out the face from the photo or copy, center it over the edge of the jug opposite the handle, and line up the chin with the spout. Adhere the face with packing tape, covering it completely so that it's weather-resistant. Use a craft knife (parents only) to cut a slit through the jug at the mouth, then slide the tongue into the opening.

  2. Loosely fill a dozen or so plastic grocery bags with newspaper and tie them closed (you'll need enough to stuff the bib, parka, and boots; we used 14). Slide one or two stuffed bags into each boot.

  3. To make a frame for the body, duct tape the dowels to the hanger and cut off the hanger's hook just below the curve as shown.

  4. Slide the frame into the bib with a dowel in each leg and the hanger supporting the shoulder straps. Push the ends of the dowels into the snow boots and stabilize them with more bags of newspaper if needed. Pull the elastic ankles of each pant leg down over the boots. Fill the bib with bags of newspaper until it's rigid enough to stand on its own.

  5. Stuff the arms of the parka, then attach the mittens with safety pins. Place the parka on the hanger, zip it up, and fill it with more bags as needed. Put the head on the neck of the hanger and pull up the hood so that it fits snugly around the head.

  6. Write "Mehwy Twismas" on the lawn sign. Stand your greeter next to a pole, wrap the arms around it, and secure them with safety pins. Position the tongue so that it touches the pole (if desired, secure it with duct tape) and post the sign in front.

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