Friday Favorites–Decorating for Halloween

We have two October birthdays in our house, so if I’m going to decorate for Halloween I try to hold off until those have passed.  My husband’s was yesterday (Happy birthday honey!), so I think it’s time.  Since my kids are grown and we don’t get trick-or-treaters I don’t often do much, but I’m feeling it this year.  I think it might be nostalgia, since my oldest is completely out of the nest.  That’s okay, because there is no shortage of good ideas out there – I had a hard time narrowing it to ten this week!

Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites - Decorating for Halloween

I noticed after I was done collecting this week’s favorites that almost all of them involve repurposing.  One of the most impressive transformations is this pink and purple Little Tikes playhouse that became a spooky haunted mansion, thanks to the talents of Saki.Girl on Halloween Forums.

Little Tikes Playhouse Makeover by Saki.Girl on Halloween Forum

Thanks to so many charities using “flocking” as a fundraiser, you can buy pink flamingos lots of places year round.  Pick up a few and make these Painted Skeleton Flamingos with Craftbits.

Painted Skeleton Flamingo by Craftbits

I think these Rock Jack-O-Lanterns from No Time for Flashcards might be my kind of pumpkin carving.

I think these Halloween Spiders from Crafts ‘N Coffee are adorable, and not even a little scary.

Halloween Spiders by Crafts 'N Coffee

These DIY Halloween Lanterns from The Australian Baby Blog would be a fun craft to make with the kids.  All the glow, without all the fire hazard.

DIY Halloween Lanterns by The Australian Baby Blog

These Coffee Filter Spiderwebs from The Artful Parent remind me a little of snowflakes – until you add the spiders.

Spider Webs from Coffee Filters by The Artful Parent

I might need to start saving up shopping bags to make this skeleton from Curious Tangles on Instructables.

Halloween Skeleton Made of Plastic Shopping Bags by Curious Tangles on Instructables

I love a craft that can transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving, like these Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins from The Summery Umbrella.

Reclaimed Wood Pumpkins by The Summery Umbrella

These Toilet Paper Roll Bats from Practically Functional are easy, just the right amount of spooky, and use something everyone has around.

Toilet Paper Roll Bats by Practically Functional

These Barbie Zombies from Crafts by Amanda are at the top of my want-to-make list.  It probably helps that we’re big Walking Dead fans.

Barbie Zombies by Crafts by Amanda

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Halloween Spider in a Jar

Materials for this project were provided by Tombow.  The project idea, opinions and mistakes are all me.

I do not like waiting for things to dry.  Paint, glue, my hair…if it needs a little time to get there I have no patience for it.  That’s why I jumped at the chance to try this Tombow Xtreme Adhesive.  No dry time, you just swipe it on and you’re done.  My kind of glue.  The only big question was what was I going to use it on?

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 1

I’ll start by telling you that my first idea was a fail on an unphotographable level.  It wasn’t the glue, it was me.  However, attempt number two more than made up for it.  And I have a jump start on Halloween decorating!

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 2

To make this creepy little display, I used:

  • mossy twigs from outside my house
  • baker’s twine
  • spider web in a bag
  • wood letters
  • scrapbook paper
  • jar
  • battery tea light candle
  • magnet
  • a spider, instructions here
  • Tombow Xtreme adhesive

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 3

The wood letters were plain black, so I traced them on the scrapbook paper and glued the paper to the front.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 4

To create the jar scape, I started by breaking up some of the twigs to make a base for the bottom of the jar.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 5

I pulled some thin strips of spider web and wrapped them loosely around some taller twigs.  I pushed them into the jar, leaving the ends of the web draped over the outside edge.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 6

Next in was Spidey himself.  I bent his legs to hook onto the twigs so he wouldn’t fall to the bottom.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 7

I added glue just inside the rim of the jar in four or five places and stuck the web ends I’d left out to it.  That way, I could control where the webbing ended up and make sure it stayed there.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 8

I had intended to use glue on this next step, but found I didn’t need it.  However, if yours doesn’t work like mine did, simply glue the magnet to the candle.  Just make sure you can still access the switch.

How to Create a Hanging Light Inside a Mason Jar - Crafty Staci

To decorate the lid a bit, I swiped on glue in a few places, then wrapped it with baker’s twine…

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 11

..and glued a circle of scrapbook paper to the top.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 9

You can download the tag and pattern to cut the outer part here.  Which, of course, I glued together.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 12

I tied it to the jar with another bit of baker’s twine.

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 13

Not quite as creepy as when you have to catch an eight-legged intruder in your house in order to “set him free.”

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 14

Unless you want it to be…mwahh-ha-ha!

Halloween Spider in a Jar - Crafty Staci 15

Thanks, Tombow, for letting me play with your awesome glue!

Friday Favorites–Halloween Costumes

One of these years, I’m either going to host a Halloween party or find one to attend, just so I can wear a costume.  I’ve had an excuse to dress up exactly twice in all the years I’ve been married and I’m feeling way overdue.  I’m not sure what kind of costume it will be, but it will definitely involve a cape.  I mean seriously, how many excuses do you get in life to wear a cape?

Halloween Costumes

If you have any doubts about the awesomeness of a cape, check out this Little Red Riding Hood Tutu Costume from TrinitysTutus on Etsy.

TrinitysTutus on Etsy

I just watched my first-ever episode of Dr. Who a couple of weeks ago.  How have I been missing this?  I don’t even know where to begin to catch up, but I’ll be figuring it out.  I can’t believe I didn’t understand the importance of this Tardis Costume from Southern Fried Northern Chic.

Southern Fried Northern Chic

One of those two costumes I mentioned I’ve worn was a witch, but my cape wasn’t nearly as fancy as this No-Sew Halloween Spiderweb Cape from Delia Creates.

Delia Creates

This Giggly-Wiggly Octopus Costume shown on Costume Works is so cute, easy to make, and shouldn’t cost much.  Perfect!

Costume Works

I love a Halloween costume that can be used for something after the holiday is over.  These Princess Play Aprons from Gluesticks certainly fit the bill.


While we’re on the subject, check out these Princess Peasant Dresses from UCreate.  For extra fun, watch the video in the post.  I’ve watched it three times and can’t stop laughing.


This couples costume made to look like stick people from Team Ibrahim is funny, but that little stick baby just takes it up a notch.

Team Ibrahim

This great Airplane Costume from Oh Happy Day is actually much easier than it looks, but you’ve got to find the hat and goggles.

Oh Happy Day

There’s something I really love about the feathers on this Peacock Tutu from The Train to Crazy.

The Train to Crazy

Since we’ve already gone to the birds (wha-wha), I’ll show you this cute-but-easy Last Minute Kids Owl Costume from Alpha Mom.

Alpha Mom

When is the last time you dressed up for Halloween?

Friday Favorites–Halloween Crafts

Halloween is one of the biggest holidays for crafting.  I’ve watched people who won’t consider making anything during the rest of the year pull off amazing costumes for their kids, elaborately carved pumpkins or treats that would make Martha Stewart envious.  It might have something to do with the fact that when it comes to inspiration, Halloween never fails to deliver.

Friday Favorite - 10 Halloween Crafts

I think these simple Magnetic Spiders from Delia Creates are a brilliant idea.  My arachnophobic daughter could not disagree with me more.

Delia Creates

I like candy corn.  Yes, eating it.  Don’t judge.  But I also love decorating with it this time of year, so these Color Block Candy Corn Pillows from Positively Splendid would fit right in.

Positively Splendid 

It’s hard to get anyone in my house excited about carving pumpkins anymore.  They just won’t sit still long enough.  Maybe I can get someone back on board with me when I show them this clever cutting method from Make.


If you’ve ever been a party parent for your kid’s classroom, you know finding activities can be challenging.  These Printable Halloween Bingo Cards from Makoodle would work well whether you use candy or some non-edible markers.


What kitchen couldn’t use a jar of Edible Googly Eyes on hand?  Thanks to Your Homebased Mom, we don’t have to be without them any longer.

How to make Edible Googly Eyes

Speaking of googly eyes, they’d look great on this No Effort Halloween Treat from Lovezilla.  I may never eat another doughnut again.


Sometimes the easiest thing can be the most impressive.  Check out this broken glass window.  Looks pretty trashed, right?  The thing is, it’s not broken at all.  Those are bits of frosted Contact paper.  Thanks to Halloween Forum for the tip.

Halloween Forum

I’m definitely making these Halloween Bones from Budget Savvy Diva sometime before Halloween.  And eating them.

Budget Savvy Diva

These DIY Halloween Bats from Craftbits are a great recycling project.  If you don’t have any coin wrappers available, I think a toilet paper or paper towel tube would work too.


I love everything about these Halloween Yard Skeletons from MetalArchitect on Etsy.  Apparently, so did everyone else because they’ve been sold, but maybe the artist will make more.

MetalArchitect on Etsy

Enjoy the pre-Halloween full moon tonight!

Friday Favorites–Pumpkins

I love almost everything about pumpkins.  Looking at them, eating them, making things from them or that look like them, all make me happy.  The only exception is when they’ve started to rot and they’re still sitting on my front porch.  If someone could come up with a self-disposing pumpkin, that would be great.  Oh, and one that ejects its own seeds and guts.  Never mind – that sounds even more gross than having to remove them myself.

Friday Favorites - 10 Pumpkin Crafts

The Newbie Farmstress has a great idea to get that decomposing pumpkin to pull its weight.  First it’s a lovely planter, then it’s compost.

The Newbie Farmstress

I’m intrigued by these Roasted Pumpkin Pie Chickpeas from Produce on Parade.  It looks like I’ll need to find myself some pumpkin butter and give them a try.

Produce on Parade

With all the reusable craft pumpkins out there, it’s nice to find something to carve into them that can be carried into the Thanksgiving season, like this design from Family Circle.

Family Circle

This Pumpkin Gift Tag from Do Small Things With Love is adorable.  Maybe on that jar of pumpkin butter I’m looking for?

Do Small Things With Love

Childmade shares a Paper Pumpkin you can make with the little ones.


This felt pumpkin is cute all on its own, but Rust & Sunshine included stick-on felt jack ‘o lantern features.

Rust & Sunshine

Pumpkin spice makes everything taste better, and this Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Chow from What Megan’s Making is just proof.

What Megan's Making

The bathroom is often left out when it comes to seasonal decorating.  At least that’s the case in my house.  This Pumpkin Soap from Clean and Scentsible would add a seasonal touch and keep everyone clean at the same time.

Clean and Scentsible

I like the papers used on this 3D Paper Pumpkin from Crafts by Amanda.  You could also fold it flat for easy storage.

Crafts by Amanda

Burlap is everywhere right now, and I gotta tell you, I don’t mind one bit.  These little Burlap Pumpkins from Refresh Renew don’t require much sewing and are a great way to bring a little of that trend in for the season.

Refresh Renew

The Nightmare Before Christmas Inspired T-Shirts

We’ve been to Disneyland at almost every time of the year.  We’ve braved the crowds during summer and spring break and enjoyed the relatively empty park during the off seasons.  We even got to spend Christmas there a couple of years ago.  The one season we haven’t experienced is Halloween, and from what I hear we’re really missing something special.  We’re going to remedy that next fall, but in the meantime I have to enjoy Disney Halloween from the comfort of my own home.

When Undercover Tourist asked me to come up with a craft to celebrate Mickey’s No-So-Scary Halloween Party at Magic Kingdom in Disney World, I found out this year would mark the first appearance by Jack Skellington and Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas, so my project almost had to revolve around them.

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 1

I made these shirts using reverse applique and embroidery.  You can see all the instructions on my tutorial at Undercover Tourist.

I think these would make fun Halloween costumes.  Jack would be complete with a pair of black and white striped pants.

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 2

And Sally just needs a patchwork skirt.

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 3

Jack and Sally are ready for their Halloween Disney trip.  How about you?

Jack and Sally T Shirts - Crafty Staci 4

Coffee Sleeve of the Month–Halloween Bat

With Halloween just over the horizon, I thought I’d make a bat for this month’s coffee sleeve.  I’ve had the shape in my head for a while now, so executing it should have been no problem.  Ack.  I went through a lot to make this, so he should be spectacular, but I will admit he’s not.  He’s not awful, but he was definitely cuter in my head.  If you’re looking for a little Halloween to wrap around your cup though, he’s your guy.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 1

To make this bat, you’ll need this pattern, fabric for the front and back, InsulBrite, black felt, a 3” piece of elastic cord, a 3/4 – 1” button and two small 3/8” buttons.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 2

Cut out the front fabric and InsulBrite.  Turn the pattern over and cut out the back.  Cut two ears from the felt.  Tie or stitch the two ends of the elastic together to form a loop.

Before we get into the rest of the assembly directions for this, I’m going to tell you about my big dumb mistake.  Maybe I won’t need to explain.  What is wrong with this photo?

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 3

If you noticed that those ears are facing the wrong direction, you win.  They would have been on the inside once it was turned right side out, and facing backwards to boot.  I had to rip out all those stitches, including that little black mass on the right, which is how I make sure the elastic is secure.  I was close to tossing the whole thing in the trash, but making things is sometimes about making mistakes.  Instead of throwing a fit I decided to be a big girl and fix it.  It’s kind of like exercising.  I hate to do it, but I feel better about myself if I do.

Anyway,  let’s start back at the beginning.  To make it easier to insert the ears, fold both sides in to meet in the center and stitch very close to the edge to hold.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 4

Lay the front piece right side up.  Pin the ears with the inside edge at the mark on the pattern and with the ears facing inside.  The turned-in edges should be facing the fabric.  Place the elastic with the loop end to the inside.  I added my tag to the other end.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 5

Lay the back fabric over, right side down.  The InsulBrite goes on top of that.  Pin everything in place.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 6

Starting just before the ears, stitch all the way around 1/4” from the edge, stopping 2” before the start point.  The curves are a little challenging, so if you’re a new sewer you might want to practice on a scrap first.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 7

Clip all corners.  Turn right side out and press, turning in opening and being careful not to press the felt ears.  Top stitch all the way around.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 8

Stitch a button on the end opposite the elastic.  Slip a toothpick under the button while stitching so the elastic will slip around it easily.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 9

Sew the button eyes on where indicated on the pattern.

Coffee Sleeve of the Month Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 10

Wrap it around a hot cup and you’re ready to welcome Halloween!

Coffee Sleeve of the Month - Halloween Bat - Crafty Staci 11

Friday Favorites–Halloween

I have no idea what I’m going to do about Halloween this year.  My daughter is away at school, my son is making plans with friends, my husband is 2,827 miles away and we don’t get trick-or-treaters at our house.  The idea of sitting around by myself watching scary movies is not appealing, although the candy-eating part kinda is.  Maybe I’ll find a new, interesting tradition to start.  I’m thinking it will involve coffee, caramel and sci-fi.

I might also include these bite-sized Candy Corn Cookies from Always Expect Moore.  The method for making the candy corn shape is clever.

easy mini candy corn cookies

This ghost from Thrifty Décor Chick is one of those things that I found on Pinterest with directions that had nothing to do with the original project.  However, in this case I think Press and Seal cling wrap (the Pinterest claim) might work for a smaller version.


I have to say, this Skeleton Wreath from Tried and True freaks me right the heck out.  Yes, that’s exactly the words I used in my head.  Nearly.


Quick, something not scary!  How about this cute Candy Corn Cupcake Stand from The Swell Life?


The most awesome thing about this Halloween Bag Toss from Craftsman is that the pumpkins are attached with Velcro and can be changed out for other shapes.


I’ve seen ghosts made from cheesecloth before, but the mannequin heads inside these Cheesecloth Spirits from Martha Stewart definitely bring up the creepy factor.


This Jack ‘O Lantern Vase from Dollar Store Crafts is inexpensive, easy to make and doesn’t have any icky pumpkin guts to take out.


I’ve never said this before, and probably never will again, but isn’t Lil’ Death cute?  Check out the free printable from StitchPunk.


These cupcakes from I Don’t Know How She Does It would be a fun addition to a party and, even better, they’re raspberry filled.


These Spinning Spirits from Parents magazine would be fun to make with kids.  That is, if you can bring them down from their sugar high long enough to trust them with scissors.


Friday Favorites–Halloween Costumes

Before I get into my favorites today, I wanted to share a bit of good Etsy news.  They’re now offering gift cards!  To celebrate, they’re giving a few away.  You can click here to enter and, in the interest of full disclosure, when you click through you get an entry and so do I.  Imagine what you could do with $100 on Etsy!

Now, on to today’s topic – Halloween costumes.  I’ve only dressed up for Halloween a handful of times as an adult.  When I was working for the credit union we did a branch-wide Peter Pan theme one year.  We had a television in the lobby playing the movie, all of the loan officers were pirates, the member reps were Lost Boys, the head teller was Captain Hook and the rest of us filled in the remaining characters.  I was Princess Tiger Lily, and I also made Peter Pan and Tinkerbell’s costumes.  It was a competition between the different branches and I don’t remember if we won or not, only that it was a very fun day.  In my book, that means we nailed it.

Get ready for the “Aww.”  What’s cuter than a baby?  A Sock Monkey baby, like this one from Grosgrain.


What’s cuter than a Sock Monkey baby?  Well, nothing really, but what’s just as cute?  A Moose baby, wearing this adorable and easy costume from Dollar Store Crafts.


Personally, if I were going to dress up this year (which the office staff at my one-woman-work-at-home business has voted against.  She’s no fun) I’d go for this Gumball Machine from Inchmark.


My son’s favorite movie when he was small was Toy Story.  This Toy Army Guy costume from Wild Ink would have been a huge hit.


I don’t think it’s too late, though, for my teenager to try out this Abducted by Aliens costume from Coolest Homemade Costumes.  That alien would just have to be a foot or two taller.


Maybe you’re looking for an adorable costume you don’t have to make?  Check out this Spunky Skunk from TheLittlePeaBoutique on Etsy.


I always loved costumes that my kids could wear, at least in part, after Halloween.  Pajamas were a favorite.  I could see this Twirly Butterfly Skirt from The Train to Crazy getting a lot of post-Halloween use.


Sometimes you’re not looking for an entire costume, but just a little something different to spice up your Halloween.  This Bat Bow Tie from Wear the Canvas would be a fun accessory.


I don’t know what the answer to the “What are you supposed to be?” question would be when it comes to using these googly eyed shoes from Glitter ‘N Glue as your costume, but I don’t care.  I want them.


I love group costumes.  I wonder if I could still get my family to dress up as S’mores with me, like this at Family Fun?  I think I can picture my daughter as a candy bar, but I don’t know how we’re going to fit my son in that fire-wagon.