Today is World Book Day and, as an avid reader, I heartily approve of anything that encourages kids to read and be excited by books. However, in my household, there is very little encouragement needed, as my eldest child would read every single waking minute if she could, and the younger one was up late enough last night reading Tintin comics that I had to collect her early from school because she was so tired.

Last week, Devil got invited to go to a special Book Day event on the Southbank, and she got to choose the character she wanted to portray. Coincidentally enough, she is in the midst of a full on Rick Riordan love fest, that has recently seen her conning her grandfather into buying her a 550 page "early birthday present" by said author which she then finished in less then 24 hours. So naturally, Annabeth Chase was her costume of choice.

Cue clueless Mum: "What does Annabeth wear?"
(insert long suffering eye roll of doom): "Mum...she wears skinny jeans, trainers and a Camp Half Blood t shirt."

long pause

"She also carries a dagger."

I decided (wisely) to leave the dagger part of the costume to those in the family with greater facility with wood and metal (i.e. Dad), and bent my efforts to a Camp Half Blood t shirt.

Step 1: find orange t shirt. No problem - thank you H&M boys section.

Step 2: get Camp Half Blood logo onto shirt.

Now, here's where things get a bit tricky. My drawing skills are pretty minimal, as a number of magazine editors who have reviewed my design proposals will testify. And the logo required is pretty specific. So off to the Great Google I went. Thankfully, with out too much trouble, I was able to discover a lovely Youtube video (complete with link to a print out for the logo) that showed how to make your own Camp Half Blood t shirt in a few easy steps.

Fairly straightforward, right? Get freezer paper, make stencil from print out, iron on to shirt, color in with Sharpie, peel off freezer paper and off you go. Except there's one little problem...Reynolds Freezer Paper is not widely available in the UK. At least not in the time frame we were talking about. So...

I found a couple of websites that insisted you could use plastic carrier bags to replace the waxy layer on the paper, but had no luck whatsoever with that tactic. Things were starting to degenerate into panic (on my part) until I remembered the rolls of contact paper that I'd gotten at the beginning of the school year for covering books. Bingo!
print out, contact paper and greaseproof paper

I covered the logo with the contact paper, and stuck it to the greaseproof paper to keep it all together. Out came the X-acto knife.

Many minutes later, there was a stencil and a t shirt ready to go.

Then I peeled the contact paper/stencil off of the greaseproof paper and stuck it to the shirt. The greaseproof bit went inside the shirt to keep the ink from soaking through.

let the coloring commence!

Devil wanted to help, but eventually lost interest.

We could have cut out the inserts for all the letters, but it was easier to just leave the centers un-inked.

And finally, we were done!

Behold, the fearless and super-tough Annabeth Chase:

She was totally thrilled, I was totally thrilled at how it came out, and she wore it for three days straight (including to the event on Monday). This might be my most popular costume yet. And all it took was a marker...