Halloween Obsession - A Novel Approach

Posted on October 21, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

My Halloween workshops are over and were loads of fun. I especially liked the after four workshop with the kids at our local community centre. The kids were quite taken with the rosette medallion project and even asked to take home extra pages to create more rosettes at home. There's something soothing about folding paper.

Anyway, it was the favourite craft to come out of all this year's Halloween workshops and was based on the rosette medallion that I orginally created last year in the form of a garland using paperback pages for the rosettes and skulls cut from some wrapping paper.

Because of my Stephen King book find, which was quite a large volume, I found that I could create larger medallions that could be used as wall or door decorations. To do so, I simply taped pages together for the size I wanted. For a 3D effect, I made the rosettes in varying sizes and glued them together.

The skull medallion is about 2 feet in diamter and the others are about 1 1/2 feet in all. 

That big one is going up on my door this Halloween and the others will go to friends. Of course, I couldn't stop there. After all, I had all those torn pages to use up. 

Something missing from my EAP tablescape were pumpkins so I decided that's what I would add.  I supposed I could have cut out a pumpkin shape from one of my old paperbacks like this one I spotted on Etsy from Anthology on Main. And I have to admit, it's very lovely and colourful. 

But, for me, covering up a few pumpkins with torn up pages was way easier and heck, I would have probably cut off a couple of fingers. I'm a bit klutzy when it comes to detailed work. To cover the pumpkins, I dampened pages in warm water and torn into strips. Then I simply stuck them on the pumpkins - no glue required.  Easy, peasy.

By the way, speaking of EAP (Edgar Allen Poe) theme, a friend mentioned that the idea would work just as well for Dracular or Frankenstein, if you're so inclined.

That's it for Halloween. Christmas is beckoning.

Upcycling Workshop

Posted on October 12, 2016 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I'm holding a Halloween workshop at an after-four program at a local community centre and had to really put my thinking cap on to figure out what kind of projects that kids aged 6 to 8 years would enjoy. Of course, I wanted to ensure that recycling was part of the theme and when I looked through my bits and pieces I found I had a lot of stuff that could be reused.

For example, the witch hats were just made from cardboard shaped into a cone and glued to a paper plate. Then I painted the hat black.  Of course my Stephen King street find will be used to create my macabre skull garlands. Instead of pumpkins, I'm reusing my folded (in this case, rolled) books into perches for ravens and other Halloween cutouts such as witches, bats, etc.


My Upcycled Halloween - E.A.Poe Homage

Posted on October 9, 2016 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I am not a big fan of anything too macabre come Halloween - definitely no zombies or ghastly ghouls (okay, I confess, I scare easily). When I thought about what I wanted for my party, I thought that an Edgar Allen Poe homage theme would be perfect.  When figuring out what I needed for my decorations, I routed through my recycling bin and cupboards and realized I could save myself trips to the Dollar or craft stores because I already had stuff on hand that could easily be revamped in a Halloweenish way with this underlying theme. 

You’d be amazed at how many items around your home (both inside and out) can be repurposed into Halloween decor pieces. Like my stuff they may just need to be dolled up a little bit.

How I did it!

First I needed a tablecloth. Taking an old white bed sheet, I covered my hands with blood red poster paint and scrunched the sheet until it was covered with splotches of 'blood'. No worries, I was able to wash off the poster paint quite easily.

Next, I needed some table accessories. 

To add some interest and height, I pulled out a few of my book folding samples left over from a previous workshop. Instead of heading to the Dollar store for crows/ravens, I opted to copy Poe-inspired ones from an old book and printed these in colour on black card weight paper. Printing the images in colour rather than black and white made the details on the ravens stand out. For more support, I glued wooden skewer to each bird and then stuck them (the birds) into my folded books. 

The picture frame was rescued from our building tip and the picture of Edgar was copied from a biography on him, I scanned, enlarged, and printed it out at my local copy shop. 

For the libations, I shopped my recycling bin (again) to retrieve glass bottles with interesting shapes, mostly olive oil containers, to make perfectly spooky potion bottles. After cleaning the bottle labels off with warm, soapy water, I glued on the creepiest (free) paper labels that I find online (there are oodles of them). 

I couldn't resist making these dessert toppers to decorate my (store-bought) cheesecake treats. EAP and his favourite bird, the raven, were perfect. I made the cake stands by glueing old plastic plates to (really ugly) candlesticks and painted these all black.

The bloody splotched napkins were torn from a couple of old pillowcases. The napkin holders are simply luggage locks and keys holding a bit of 'chain' links (leftover from an old project - I throw little out!) around the napkins.

My only cost was for photocopying - $4.50. And that's all.


DIY Halloween Leaf Bunting

Posted on October 3, 2016 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

I had been out of town for a few days this past week and arrived back on Sunday - the day I take on the little ones in our apartment building. No time to prepare anything (you'd think I'd be more organized by now), so I took the kids out to collect what we could find along the Rideau Canal and Confederation Park. There were, fortunately, loads of pretty fall leaves that hadn't been cleaned up the parks maintenance guys, so, we took a pile home. Now what to do with these? Putting my thinking cap on, I remembered that my friend Colette, who visited me from Germany this summer, mentioning that she likes to paint leaves into miniature 'ghosts' and string them up as Halloween bunting (that's garland to you and me).

So, here's what we did:

First we painted a bunch of maple and oak leaves (back and front) using white poster paint (all I had on hand - and it's easy to clean). As each leaf dried, we added on the eyes and noses with some black paint. When all the leaves were done, we tied the leaves with twine into bunting.

By the way, I covered my table surfaces with brown paper grocery bags and they did not look as pristine as the photo above shows when we were finished.

And here's what we ended up with. Nice.

Tutorial - Workshop Wreath Making DIY

Posted on September 28, 2016 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

My Halloween workshops all went well and, if I can find the time, I will try to squeeze another one in before Halloween even though right now my mind is focusing on Christmas workshops.

Meanwhile, for those of you who couldn't come to my workshops and want to know how we did what we did, I will be posting DIYs so you can create your own versions of these Halloween decor ideas, if you're so inclined.

Halloween Wreath How To

Up first is the Halloween wreath we made. Because time was limited, we couldn't create a large wreath so I limited my materials to a paper plate as the backing for the paperback book pages.

First you will need to cut out the centre of the paper plate, then set the it aside for now. Next make the 'leaves' of the wreath.

The paperback pages were folded as shown above - sort of an S-shape and the stapled at the bottom. Make a whole pile (it's really quick) of these and then start creating the wreath.

Next, staple each of the folded page leaves to the paper plate in rows. 

When you get to the last row, tuck the edge of the 'leaves' under as shown above and then staple in place. Then decorate with anything you've got that's disgusting and weird. I cut out a few old crows, insects and snakes and also later added a cheesecloth spider's web.

Easy, no? And very quick. If you want to make a larger version, you will need to cut out a circle from cardboard. Just ensure that the doughnut formed is at least 2 inches around the sides.

Halloween Workshop News

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Is it really time to start thinking about Halloween? Yes, it sure is and when you come to our Halloween Decorating Workshop, you’re in for a ghoulish and ghastly time. There's not a pumpkin in sight. Instead, think Edgar Allen Poe meets Alfred Hitchcock, then you'll have an idea of what I've planned for my three Halloween workshops. Deliciously wicked but with a touch of elegance. The good news is that almost everything I'm planning (whether it's a wreath, bunting, or scary images for your tableware), can be recreated from what's hiding in your recycling bin and cupboards.  

Are you ready to be frightened (but only in a good way)? For more information and to register, click here.

UPDATE: All Halloween workshops are sold out. Keep watching for our last minute Halloween decorating workshop. Our Christmas workshops are coming up soon.