Call it a compilation of all the crazy projects I've come up with over the years. Call it a how-to for things around the house. Call it whatever you like :) It's what I do everyday. My blog is really just a way for me to share what I've learned over the years about home improvement, interior design, organization, diy, crafting and home repair. And most importantly it comes from always working on a budget and forever wanting to fend for myself when it comes to anything. I hope you enjoy (and learn a few things along the way :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My daughters monster easy

Here's my daughter's monster Halloween birthday cake.

Used a glass bowl to bake the cake, iced per usual, then went over it with the spatula and patted to make it look like hair. Dotted with chocolate chips. Marshmallow eyes with m&m pupils. Stuck them on by just pushing them down into marshmallow. Popsicle sticks to place them in the cake.  Fruit by the foot piece cut for the mouth and marshmelow for the teeth.

So fast and so cute for a Halloween themed birthday party!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

DIY Halloween Wall Art

Here's a fun Halloween craft project I took on one day last week. I love free holiday decorations, so when I came across some old frames that used to hang in my office, I decided to try to make some Halloween art out of them.

They are frames with a piece of tile art that hangs in the middle. Previously I had decoupaged a print out onto them and thought I could do the same with Halloween themed things.

Using supplies I had (craft paper, scrapbook shapes, ribbon, googley eyes) I decided to lay them on the floor and just start assembling them until they looked cute.

I am not a scrapbooker, but I think this project turned out to be a lot like a scrapbook page.

Once I had them all laid out, I stuck everything down with glue stick or hot glue gun, and voila, free Halloween decorations for my bar shelves :) Super easy and fun craft!

Halloween picture frames

I have tons of adorable pictures of my girls all dressed up for halloween, and where are they? Sitting in photo albums. So this year I decided to make some Halloween picture frames.

I took supplies I had (scrapbook pumpkin shapes, colored paper, letter stickers, googly eyes and old frames and created these : ) Just glued them straight to the outside of the glass (low temp glue gun).

Two frames that hold two of my daughters' many Halloween pictures. Currently they are part of my dining room tablescape. I must admit, the googley eyes are what started the project, the rest just fell into place.

Hoping to inspire you to pull out your old shots and display them this year!

Using Black Gauzy Draping For Halloween Decor

I have used that great, webby, gauzy, black draping throughout my house as Halloween decor and thought I'd make a compilation posting showing you several ways you can incorporate it.

First is the most obvious mandle draping.  I have stone on the top of my mantle which makes it stick fairly easily, so it was really simple, too.  This is two pieces just lifted in differnt spots to give a creepy but decorative look.

A second idea is as a cushion or buffer for candles.  In several cases I was looking for filler to make several of my Halloween decor items looks more "complete".  I used it under my black pumpkins to make them look larger and under my candles to make them look creepier.

I've also used the material as filler.  In this case its a skull in a cauldron.  I used the black fabric to help the skeleton sit up in the bowl (it's hard to'll also note I've also added a piece of the bloody white guaze for the same reason).

One craft idea is using it around candles to turn them from white candles into Halloween candles.  I hot glued a strip around each one, simply sliding them on and off each year.  This particular fabric is a little different from the stuff they are selling at Dollar Tree this year.  I picked it up a previous year at a different story and it was a heavier weave, but I think the gauzier kind would look just as good.

Lastly, I have also used it as sort of a table drape to fill in around my dining table table scape.  Sort of like spider webs meandering through the different pieces.

Hope these ideas inspire your use of fabrics as part of your holidy decor this Halloween!

Using Pumpkins on Candlesticks.

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. My anniversary and my daughter's birthday both fall near the end of October, so this time of year has always been special to me. Being able to get into a second holiday (after Christmas of course :) makes this time of year even more special.

One of my easiest tips, which I'm sure many of you already do is use pumpkins on candlesticks instead of candles this time of year. Its and easy and inexpensive way to add Halloween or Fall decor to your home. Use real mini pumpkins, or buy fake pumpkins to use over and over again each year.

My first example is some glass beaded pumpkins I was given by my cousin. I use them on my black candlesticks I got for $1 a target as part of my dining tablescape.

Another example are these black pumpkins I use of some cute monster feet candlesticks I purchased at Michaels on Halloween clearance a few years back. I spray painted these black for two reasons. One, I thought they already had enough orange, and two these were orange pumpkins that started to flake, so the black paint gave them a second life.

So try pumpkins instead of candles and don't be afraid to make them the color you want!

Using permanent markers to update old candles for Halloween

A quick post to show you how I've used black permanent marker to update old candles to use for the holidays.

My first example above is my "witchy" fingers.  There are some old colored greenish tapier candles I have owned for a long time and have sat in my candle cabinet for years unused.  On a halloween decorating frenzy, I pulled them out and thought, "these are sort of spooky looking, but they need to be spookier to fit in with my Halloween stuff".  So I took a black permanent marker and drew a squiggly, jaggedy line all the way up the (like a candle cane, going around and up at an angle)  They turned out so cute.  My daughter is the one who said, "They look like witch fingers, Mom."

This next one I drew spider webs on.  These sit on my coffee table and look boring just white.   So I as sat watching TV I drew three spiderwebs on each.  Super simple, quick and free (my favorite).

My last is a random orange candle my mother gave me that had never been used because it didn't match my decor.  Naturally, being orange, it was destined to be a Halloween decoration : )  I kept it simple with the same squiggly, jaggedy lines, but this time they run up the candle.  It just adds a little touch to make it more than just an orange candle sitting there.

So there you have it.  Three ways (of many) to use black permanent market to update candles for the holiday.  Draw spiders, witch silhouettes, scary faces, ghost faces, jack o lantern  faces...the options are endless.  I'd love to see what you've done with candles and permanent marker : )

Halloween Apothocary Jars ... BOO!

Here are my latest apothocary jars.  The Halloween version with Boo as my letters.  The letters are from Hobby Lobby and are spray painted black.  I like these curly font letters the best of all the fonts I have found at Hobby Lobby and Michaels (though sometimes the letters don't look like the letter they are supposed to be, but for b & o they looked great).  I buy these on sale or with my % off coupons, so all three are less than $2.

The filler is from Dollar Tree (my favorite place to buy crafting supplies : )  This is Halloween garland, and I liked the black and orange.  I would have loved to fill these jars with candy corn, but my apothocary jars hold A LOT and that would have gotten very pricey.  This is two strands of garland so $2 for all three jars is ultra cheap.

The ribbon I purchased at Michaels in their dollar pin and I love it.  It is purple and black furry zebra ribbon.  I felt keeping it all orange and black was going to be boring, so I decided to add a little color with the purple.

Another great revamp of existing decor to make it tie in with my holiday decor.  Total cost $4.50 : )  I can't tell you how much I love my apothocary jars.  Thank you pinterest for the inspiration to start this year long journey with changing them out for the holidays.  Here are my links to my other variations so far

Valentine's Day -

St. Patrick's Day -

Easter -

Everyday in between : ) -

Blood Candles with melted crayons!

Thank you Pinterest for this tip.  Let's face it, with 10 and 12 year olds, I have hundreds of crayons, and I'm always looking for different ways  to use them.  Then one day I stumpled upon the "blood candle" pin and thought, "Thank you".  These types of crafts are perfect for me.  I'm frugal, I like creating new decorations for free, so often I use paint to make old things look new.  This was a way for me to turn plain white candles into great Halloween decorations.  And talk about easy.

One white candle, one red crayon and a long lighter (or match or hairdryer for that matter).  That's it.

I placed the candle on a paper towel (assuming I might get drips on my counter), lit my lighter and proceeded to melt the crayon above the candle letting it drip down the sides.  It really was that simple. You have to pay attention to where you are dripping obviously,  but other than that a no-brainer craft for sure.  The shocking part was how great they turned out.  They are SOOOO red.

As an experiment I also tried with a red candle I had, not near as bright red.  They look good in their own way, but the crayon candles are much more vibrant.

  I also tried using a long fireplace match which worked as well, but I only had two.  So I had to move to the lighter and found that easier. Good luck with yours, and let me know if you have any questions.

Halloween Chandeliers! Decorate your Chandeliers for the holidays.

For those of you who aren't decoration your chandeliers, here area  few quick and easy ideas.

For my kitchen dining table, I used skeleton hands from Dollar Tree.  It was $1 for a package of 10.  They already had holes in them,  I used a little string to tie a loop on each one, then hung them from spots on my chandelier.  To add a little more interest I used bat garland from last year Target Halloween clearance to fill the inside of the chandlier a little.  It looks a little like spider webs or cob webs from a distance.  Love the spooky affect  for $1.50 : )

For my dining room I used the mini skeletons from Dollar Tree.  This one two two packages (4 for $1).  I bought one pack of black and one paack of cream.  I tied the same string around them and hung them from the bottom loops.  I also filled in with the same black bat garland.  These look a little like dead people who have been hung, but I just love it.  Can't get enought spooky, and only $2.50 total cost.

The last example is a little more "cute".  I just used these simple little Halloween buckets you find at many stores and hung the five I got in the package on the chandelier I have over my stovetop.  Less spooky and more decorative.  Quick and easy as well since they just hang from the handles they come with.  I have these in frankenstines and skeletons as well, so there are many styles available.

Hope this inspires you to create some neat chandeliers for your Halloween party!

Bloodshot Eye Ping Pong Balls as Halloween Decor

I'm always looking for inexpensive decor for Halloween, and this project definitely fits the bill.  I saw these at Dollar Tree (12 for $1) and knew they would look great somewhere in my house.  Small decor always looks best in large numbers, so this would work.

When I got home, low and behold, the candle holder that sits in my window sill has 12 glass candle holders in it.  So this was as simple as opening the package, dropping one "eye" into each candle holder and voila cute decoration that looks like a science experiment : )

I'll have to get another set for the candle holders that sit over my stovetop!  As if I don't have enough Halloween decor already!

My latest Halloween update to my candle jar fillers

Here's a quick update on my footed glass candles.   If you read my blog you know I update them for the holidays, and for Halloween it was a quick bag of Reeses Pieces from the Dollar Tree to fit the bill.

We are not fans of candy corn, so my daughter and I chose candy she would actually eat once Halloween was over.  Next year I'm going to have to find something I don't have to replace each year : )

Here are links to my other fillers and the original project where I made these using a clearance candle from Bath and Bodyworks and a dollar store glass candle stick.  Ended up costing  a $1.50 each for candles that can be modified to blend with your holiday decor.

Easter -

St. Patrick's Day -

How to make the candle holder -

Ghost topiaries for your front porch, $2!

Here is a super fast and easy way to decorate for Halloween.  These are my little ghosts that sit on my front porch that cost me $2 to make.  Using dollar store white table clothes, I draped them over my topiaries that already sit outside my front door.  I drew eyes and a mouth with permanent market and done!

You can make these anywhere you have a topiary sitting in your home.  Large or small!  It couldn't be simpler.

I used a rectangular plastic party tablecloth (because they didn't have round).  Just fold it over to the point where the front and back would touch the ground once they are on the topiary.  Once in place I sort of tuck the tablecloth around to make it stay (mine are in corners inside of an outdoor entryway.  If your are in the open, you might use table cloth weighs to keep them down, or ribbon loosely around their neck to keep the tablecloths from blowing off.

I will admit some small children are leary to come to my door because they think there is a real child in there : )  I just pat them on the head to show them they aren't.  Very funny actually!

I have been using these for 4 years now using the same cloth over and over!  Well worth the $2 it cost to make them : )  Can't wait to see others!