Have fun and stay safe out there tonight!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I went to the grocery store yesterday, and out front were giant bins of pumpkins. I was tempted to buy a couple for the front porch, but convinced myself it was too early. Now, after staring at pumpkins for a while, I may have to go back.
You can’t go wrong with caramel, in my opinion and the pumpkin spiced caramel at the center of these Caramel Chew Jack-o-Lantern Pops from Dollhouse Bake Shop sounds delicious. That faceless pumpkin in the middle probably feels differently.
I love this Twine-Wrapped Pumpkin from Jennifer Rizzo. Check out her clever framework to extend the stem.
I have a confession. I actually like orange slice candy. I can also eat up to three circus peanuts…don’t judge. This Orange Slice Pumpkin from Anderson Family Adventures would be great for a classroom party. Probably wouldn’t work as well with the peanuts.
I bought some cheapo flashlights for my kids once that projected a jack-o-lantern face, but these from A Real Life Housewife are so much better…different faces!
This Pumpkin Fluff from Recipe Diaries is something I would happily eat. I’d even consider sprinkling a few roasted pumpkin seeds on top.
This pumpkin princess carriage from The Fairfield House is just adorable.
Who says pumpkins have to be all spooky this time of year? These Colorful Painted Pumpkin Cookies from Glorious Treats look so happy.
I cannot believe I JUST recycled some rusty, old canning rings. They would have been perfect for this Canning Ring Pumpkin from Simply Klassic Home.
These Wizard of Oz Concept Pumpkins from Hands Occupied are a great idea. Wouldn’t it be fun to add the scarecrow, lion and tin man? How about a flying monkey?
Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up? When I was very young, probably elementary school, I wanted to be a teacher. I think part of me just liked the idea of telling people what to do, but I’m sure it was deeper than that in my little seven-year-old mind.
When I got older, I found out that there were jobs where you actually got to read and write for a living. Journalism caught my attention. That stuck through high school, where I was editor of my school newspaper (back to telling people what to do), but also became involved in a fashion board through Nordstrom. When I realized that writing about fashion was an option, it seemed like all of the pieces were falling into place. I was going to write for a fashion magazine.
Fast forward a few years. I accrued some college debt, but not enough to achieve my goal. I met my husband, settled down, had a couple of babies and let all of that go. I was where I was supposed to be and happy to be there.
The day came when I realized my kids were old enough that they didn’t need my every minute of every day and I needed something else to do. It was time to think about what I wanted to be when I grew up again.
That’s when I realized it hadn’t changed all that much, and this blog was born. It’s no fashion magazine, but tell me this doesn’t combine my teaching, reading, writing and creative loves all in one happy place? And I enjoy it, but one dream I have harbored secretly, or not-so-secretly now, all this time is being published. On paper. I wasn’t sure what form it would take – book, magazine, cereal box – but it stayed in one little corner of my mind. Well, it looks like I’m getting my wish.
I received an email last week from an editor at Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine. She found my Witch’s Laundry Day project, and is interested in publishing it in their yearly issue!
It won’t appear until about this time next year, but I’ll mention it again when it hits the newsstands. I know there are a lot of craft bloggers out there that this happens to frequently, but this is a pretty big deal to me. I think that seven-year-old teacher wanna-be would be pretty proud.
Shortly after we moved into our house, about 10 years ago, my son was bitten on the leg by a brown recluse spider. It was very scary, and he still has a significant scar to prove it. Fortunately, he didn’t come out of it with a huge spider phobia because we have LOTS of them living here with us. Our most recent phenomenon is clusters of daddy longlegs (with a leg span about the width of my hand), parking it together in one spot and staying there for about a month. This is a small group – some of the larger clusters are at least ten times this size.
Given everything I just told you, you can probably imagine why I find spiders pretty creepy. With Halloween coming up, creepy is the goal, so I’m going to show you how to make some easy eight-legged creatures that won’t bite anyone.
All you need to make one of these is two jingle bells and two pipe cleaners. You’ll want bells that are on the larger side, as you have to be able to fit 4 pipe cleaner pieces through the hole. I also made one using regular wire, which is why it’s shown here.
Cut your two pipe cleaners in half, so you have four pieces.
Slide the pipe cleaner through the hole in the first bell, then on through the second.
Repeat with the other three pipe cleaners, then slide both bells together in the middle.
Spread the legs out, bending close to the bells. This will help hold the bells in place and give it the spider shape.
Bend the legs down in the middle to make your spider stand.
I made a few more, with different sizes of legs and bodies. Not exactly scary though, are they?
So, I tried one with regular, non-fuzzy wire. He’s a little higher on the Halloween scale.
To make this one, cut four pieces of wire, each 6 inches long and one extra piece, about 2 inches long. Feed the four longer pieces through the bells as above.
Because they don’t have the fuzz of the pipe cleaners, the wire needs a little extra support to stay in place. Bend the small piece in the middle. Wrap around the wire and base of the bells and twist. Tuck the end between the two bells.
Bend the legs into a spider shape. I also gave this one some little feet.
I sat Spidey down on the table next to my son while he was doing his homework. I think if he would have had anything in his hand besides a pencil, my spider would be flat.
As my daughter keeps reminding me, she is technically an adult now. And her brother is only two years behind her. I think my big costume-making days are over. I still have to help them throw something together most years, but it’s more of a last minute thing than some of the lengthier projects I’ve pulled off in the past.
It only seems right to start with the first costume I ever made. I was 18 or 19 and the store I worked for was having a contest. The best Halloween costume would win $50. I decided I wanted to win, so I spent at least $50 on fabric and supplies to make myself into a belly dancer. Oh, yeah…I won.
I honestly can’t remember how much of this little ballerina was actually my work and how much was store-bought, but I can tell you a LOT of my time went into the knight in shining armor next to her.
My daughter has intended to marry Batman since she was four, which hasn’t changed, so it was inevitable that one year she would have to be Batgirl. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that wasn’t how it worked.
I was pretty proud of how this Anakin Skywalker costume turned out. The very next year he was a store-bought Darth Vader.
Bat-boy and a costume we referred to as “Dead 50’s Girl.”
One of my all-time favorites…Hermione and Harry Potter.
Store-bought or homemade, have a fun, safe and happy Halloween!
Instead of always falling on October 31st, I think Halloween should always be on a Friday. How much fun can you have on a Monday? Even with candy! In the spirit of the holiday, we’ll give it a try anyway.
I don’t know that this Cutout Skully Tee from Cut Out + Keep was intended for Halloween, but it’s perfect anyway.
I love this little Ghostie Garland from Ginger and George. It reminds me a little of Pac-Man, but cuter.
I have a couple of plug-in plastic light-up pumpkins, but this Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Lamp Light from Ragdoll722 on Etsy is definitely a step up.
My son was REALLY into bats for a while when he was younger. He would have loved these Bat Party Invitations from One Charming Party.
This Pumpkin Art from Eighteen25 manages to be modern and a little vintage at the same time.
I have so many giant spiders living on the outside of my house right now I don’t need to add any decorative ones, but if yours is spider-free try these Balloon Spiders from Martha Stewart.
This Halloween Spook Banner from Organize & Decorate Everything is so simple and clever!
Candy Corn Halloween Monster from Wonderstrange. Just ‘cuz.
It’s usually getting cold around here by Halloween. These Fleece Halloween Hats from Fleece Fun would be perfect right about now. The pattern is available for download in Baby, Child and Adult sizes.
I’m off to try and find some early Halloween fun!
I bought a piece of Halloween fabric last April. I almost never buy Halloween fabric, much less in the spring. But this one was so cute I couldn’t stand it. I brought it home, put in on the shelf, and apparently forgot about it. I’m just considering myself lucky I remembered I had it BEFORE Halloween and not after.
It has a fairly large print, so I didn’t want to cut it up too much. A table runner seemed reasonable. Even with the simple design I used, I wasn’t about to spend time making something that would only lay on the table for a few days, so I made it reversible to use for Thanksgiving.
I didn’t really decide on an exact size I wanted before I started. I cut the large print into three pieces and added a strip of a coordinating print between each panel. For the reverse side, I just started piecing together appropriate pieces of fabric until it was the same size as the front. There may have been some math involved…I’m trying to block that part out.
I used iron-on fleece for the inside because I didn’t want to have to worry about it shifting. Besides, it’s my new favorite thing to work with.
I decided to sew this together at the edges instead of binding it, but I wanted some sort of decorative edge. I cut strips of fabric, sewed them end to end, then folded it in half.
I pinned the strip even with the edge of the front of the runner, facing the middle. I turned the first edge under, then stuck the second end inside that.
Then I laid the back of the runner on top so the right sides were together. I sewed around the edge, leaving a few inches open for turning. One of my most-used strings of words: “Stitch, turn, press, topstitch.”
Everything went well, except for the fact that I didn’t really think the corner through. The goal was definitely not to have them curl up like some kind of busted tea cup.
I was not about to give up on this project at this point, so I hand stitched a running stitch at each corner and gathered them. I actually kind of like the look once I laid it on the table.
Lucky for my spooky April purchase, it’s going to see a little table-time before the holiday passes.
And I won’t even have to put it away until after Thanksgiving.
It’ll be the perfect place to display my Cornucopia from last year.
If I could have figured out how to make it three-sided, I’d be flipping it again for Christmas.
My daughter told me a few days ago that she doesn’t remember having store-bought Halloween costumes. I can show her several photos that prove otherwise, but I love the fact that the ones that were handmade are stuck in her head. If you’re looking for a costume for your candy-fueled trick-or-treat machine, here are a few cute options I’ve found lately.
I can’t decide if this Pick of the Litter costume from Family Fun is cute or creepy, but doesn’t that make it perfect?
This Butterfly Baby Costume from I Love to Create looks complicated at first glance, but is really pretty simple. Oh, and adorable.
Speaking of adorable, this Toddler Cheerleader Dress from Nap Time Crafters might come in handy at a few football games.
I love this little Football Onesie from Lines Across My Face, but maybe don’t take it to any football games. Just to be on the safe side.
This Parrot Costume from Mom Endeavors is just gorgeous.
I’ve made some complicated costumes in the past, but I definitely prefer easy. Fiskars offers instructions for several different costumes that fall into that category. Handy for when your child says “Mom, I’m invited to a Halloween party. Tomorrow!”
This Pregnant Skeleton costume from Make It and Love It is a stroke of genius. Love the hair bow!
Sometimes you don’t want an entire costume. Maybe you just want to show a little Halloween solidarity as you walk your kids around the neighborhood. The next time I have a good excuse, I’m going with this Creepy Formerly Decapitated Necklace from Instructables user PixyMcCrafty.
I remember buying my son a muscle-bound Superman costume when he was little. It never occurred to me to make one! Thanks to Sew a Straight Line on Ucreate for these Homemade Muscle Suits.
Only a few days left to get those costumes finished!