Quick & Easy Halloween Treat

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012

This “Monster Mix” party mix is an easy, quick and inexpensive treat for a Halloween get together. Or, portion the mix into treat bags or mason jars to give to teachers, coworkers, or party goers as a party favor.

In a large mixing bowl, combine:

3 c. Golden Grahams cereal (“mummy scabs”)
2 c. mini marshmallows (“ghost poop”)
2 c. candy corn (“goblin teeth”)
1 c. semisweet chocolate morsels (“witch warts”)

Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container and use within two days. (The marshmallows lose their fluffiness and the cereal loses its crunch after that.) Yield: 16 servings.

To get the look shown, I used small mason jars ($1.49 each at World Market) and cut scraps of Halloween fabrics into 6-inch squares with pinking shears to cover the lids. Screw on the collar and finish with a ribbon or a piece of twine (use what you have!). To download the printable (and adorable!) labels, right click on the photo of the label below and choose “save image as.”

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10 Halloween Bathroom Updates Under $10 Each

Posted by on Oct 25, 2012

This year I wanted to bring some Halloween style to my powder room, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money–redoing the room earlier in the year ate up plenty of my house budget!

I was inspired by some black and white floral gift wrap that I had leftover from an event. That plus a similarly-patterned votive holder were the foundation of this transformation. Everything is budget-friendly and easy enough for even the un-craftiest home decorator. I used these ideas in the bathroom, but many of them translate easily into others areas of the home.

1. Stash existing artwork and replace it with BOO plaques ($9.50 each). See below for instructions.

2. Change out candles for an orange hue – about $1 each. Use existing candle holders or update plain votive holders with ribbon or scrapbook paper.

3. Change the rug for a black bath rug such as the Room Essentials 20″x3″ rug ($9.99) from Target.

4. Swap the everyday photo to a graveyard pic from vacation – free! (Yes, I like to visit old cemeteries.)

5. Spray paint a shapely bottle with black spray paint (about $7 at home improvement centers) to use as a vase. I used a salad dressing bottle, emptied and washed of course, and Krylon Fusion® spray paint in gloss black.

6. Add orange lilies ($1.50 per stem) to the new vase!

7.  Embellish the mirror with glittery adhesive flourishes ($4.99 for a pack of 30) from Michaels craft store.

8. Trade out the hand towel for a black or Halloween embellished hand towel ($5 to $12) from retailers like Target, Home Goods, or Kohls.

9. Cover existing soap and lotion dispensers with black card stock (secured with double-sided tape) and a sticker with a Halloween-themed new name like “Claw Cleaner” and “Hand Potion.” (2.5 inch round vellum printable labels, $5.95 for 60 at www.paper-source.com)

10. Add black and white printed guest towels (about $5), found at retailers such as Party City and Bed, Bath and Beyond.  

To make the BOO plaques

Remove the backing, mat and glass from an inexpensive black frame (about $4). Wrap the backing with black and white printed gift wrapping paper, securing with tape. Place the backing into the frame (save the mat and glass for later). Paint a pre-primed letter ($3 each at craft stores) with two or three coats of orange craft paint and allow to dry. Glue the letter to the plaque with hot glue. Embellish with a rhinestone flourish ($1 each) if desired.

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Why We Do What We Do on Halloween

Posted by on Oct 12, 2012

October is in full swing and Halloween is drawing near. Do you ever stop to ponder “why” we celebrate Halloween? Or why a carved pumpkin is called a “jack o’lantern?” Or why we even carve pumpkins? And what’s with all the candy??

For those of you thirsting for such knowledge (OK, it’s more like trivia), I offer the following brief explanation of why we do what we do on Halloween.

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Mummy’s the Word

Posted by on Oct 19, 2011

One of my basic tenets of crafting and decorating is to use what you already have and turn it into something cute, chic or just plain funky for your home, and this project hits all those notes.

The other night I was contemplating a plain jar candle and wondering what I could do to add some Halloween charm to it. Voila! The mummy luminaria was born. This project works great with cheese cloth, gauze bandages, or strips of cotton voile and a clear cylindrical vase, a jar candle (or a great re-use of a leftover jar from a candle) or any clean glass food jar. Any size will work! For the eyes, use wiggle eyes (I happened to have some left over from another craft), black buttons or pieces of felt. In other words, for every element of this project … use what you have! No special supplies or equipment necessary.

To begin, cut cheese cloth or cotton gauze fabric into strips. The width will depend on the size of your container. For the large vase shown, I used 4 inch strips, but for a smaller jar candle, cut the strips about 2 inches wide. Gauze bandage material does not need to be cut down.Wrap your container with at least two or three layers of material depending on its transparency, overlapping the layers for a mummy look. Attach two eyes. I used some tacky putty to stick on my eyes, but glue or double stick tape would work as well. Wrap another layer or two of material around the container, once underneath the eyes and once over the top of the eyes. Tuck in the end and leave a bit of fabric loose. Adjust the layers as needed, tucking or folding as necessary. If using a vase or empty jar, add a candle and enjoy! (Always practice candle safety and never leave a burning candle unattended.)

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Custom Halloween Napkins

Posted by on Oct 11, 2011

For this project I took inspiration from a high-end table runner that had a Halloween night scene printed along the length of the material, which was burlap. I thought about stenciling with fabric paint, but that could be messy and time-consuming; and with the uneven texture of burlap, it could also be difficult.

When I saw a package of 6 generously-sized, Halloween orange cotton napkins at my local Cost Plus World Market store for only about $10, all the pieces came together. This is a quick, no-sew way to brighten your Halloween table.

6 cotton napkins

Iron on transfer paper*



1. Open a blank page in your word processing program and insert at least 6 black and white clipart images of your choice. Size the images so they are about the same dimension. (Or, download a sheet of Halloween napkin art here.)

2. Insert a piece of the transfer paper into your printer as directed on the package. In the printer dialog box, select “transfer paper” from the paper type menu or set the printer function as directed by the transfer paper instructions.

3. Print the images and cut them out as close the edge of the image as possible.

4. Place the napkin on an ironing board or a table that is protected with a towel. Place the image, ink side down, on one corner of a napkin and cover with an iron on high setting (no steam) for 10 to 15 seconds (or as directed by the instructions that come with the transfer paper). Remove the paper backing to reveal the image. Here I’ve printed on one corner of the napkin, but you could easily create a scene along an edge, or fill each corner with an image. You could use the same image on each napkin or create your own theme. You may also use this technique for other holidays and celebrations … the possibilities are endless!

*When purchasing transfer paper, make sure it is for the type of printer you have (such as an ink jet) and for the type of fabric you will be using (colored cotton).

Table setting tip: Layer a white dinner plate with a felt Halloween cut-out (about $1 each at craft stores) and a clear glass dinner plate for instant Halloween flair! And remember, every evening can be a special event when you set a fun table. Why wait for “company”?

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Ravenous Hallowen Candles

Posted by on Oct 3, 2011

As with many of my craft projects, I am inspired by looks I see in magazines or my favorite home stores. This year, I spied some vintage newsprint candles. I liked a lot about them, except the price: $29.50 each! I knew I could do better. While searching for vintage news clipart online, I was inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, and quickly found a complete verse of his classic poem, “The Raven.” In a few minutes, I had created the perfect candle wrap. (You can access the Raven Candle Template.) Print it on vellum or parchment paper (as I have here) and then get creative!

Here I wrapped a flameless 4-inch diameter candle (center) and trimmed the top edge with a thin black grosgrain ribbon. The paper edge extends a few inches above the candle, but it’s flameless. (Always practice candle safety!) For the pillars, I wrapped a two-inch band of black cardstock around each pillar and cut 1 ½ inch strips of the Raven print, and cut the long edges with deckle-edged shears. Everything is secured with double-stick tape.The possibilities are limitless. You could frame the image for a quick piece of art, wrap glass votive holders, laminate the sheets as placemats … and it will all have a coordinated look.

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