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Kids Crafts


Paper Bag Hula Skirt

I had a flashback the other day while making these hula skirts with Pearl– to when I was a hula girl living in New York City. You were wha–? That’s right. I was a proud Polynesian dancer with Makalina’s Hawaiian Express and The Tiny Bubble Band… (straight outta Brooklyn!)Paper Bag Hula Skirt_1

Of all the jobs I’ve held, from waitress to editor, there’s a special place in my heart for this one. It represents a time in my life when I was growing but the payoff wouldn’t come for a long time. I was just cutting paper with my kid, I didn’t expect to go deep…

I never made it to Merrie Monarch or Bette Midler’s Hulaween, but I did perform at a number of country club parties, batmitzvahs and even a New Jersey Nets halftime show. We did many South Pacific dances, but Tahitian was my forté. I like to attribute my two quick and easy deliveries to the two years I spent perfecting fast-paced pelvic bumps.Paper Bag Hula Skirt_2

Here’s my skirt. Now you’re probably wondering where the picture of me wearing it is. Unfortunately, I have none. But I have contacted my ex-boyfriend, with whom I lived in New York. We kept a box of photos (pre-digital age) in the closet of our East Village apartment. Among the photos were some of me during my professional life as a hula dancer. It was over a decade ago. But if he’s still holding on to how I conducted myself during that break up…

I’m not getting those photos.

My breakup with– let’s call him James– was like most of my breakups, ugly. Ugly words, ugly actions… when it was over it was over. Like, forever-you-are-dead-to-me-over. I didn’t behave the way I would hope my daughters would behave in their relationships– with dignity and respect for the other human being.

On the other hand, the road to love is bumpy and figuring it out takes time and tears. It takes patience and sacrifice. My narcissistic 20-something self did not have that in me then. My husband isn’t experiencing the end result of a perfectly-evolved woman, but he did get me at a point where I was open to learning how to truly love. James was an important part of the process. (Like I said, I didn’t expect to go deep today.)

Love takes years and years of practice. For me, anyway. Hula dancing was much easier. At least it was back then.

Maybe one day I’ll go to the door and find a package not from Overstock or Amazon, but from James. And maybe I’ll get the girls and we’ll dump the box on the shag rug and head down memory lane, poring over photos of Mommy before she met Daddy.

Or maybe that box will never come. And I guess I understand if it doesn’t.

So for now I’ll turn my memories into crafts. And share the past through art.

What You’ll Need:

What To Do:

Cut out the bottom of the bag so you have one flat rectangle.Paper Bag Hula Skirt_3

Decide which side is your top. Apply duct tape to both sides, so the paper is sandwiched in between.Paper Bag Hula Skirt_4

Cut 1/2 strips all the way up to the belt.Paper Bag Hula Skirt_5

Apply Scotch Fasteners. LOVE these things! I got mine at CVS. Adhesive backing, no sew. Kids can put these skirts on and take them off all by themselves.Paper Bag Hula Skirt_6

Paper Bag Hula Skirt_7

Congratulations! You’re ready for the Hukilau!