DIY Upcycled Halloween Crafts

Posted on September 24, 2015 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

I do upon occasion rustle up enough energy to dive into my recycling bin and make something. I often repeat what I've done before as I can't see any reason to change what works and - for Halloween - what spooks! Anyway, here are a few current ones using materials from my bin.

Treatbox Coffins

I found the templates (hey, I never said I wouldn't borrow ideas) for these treat boxes over at our lady Martha's and used leftover scrap and wrapping paper to make them. For strength, I cut cardboard from cereal boxes to the same size as the templates and glued the paper and cardboard together. I still make these boxes and plan to give them away (filled with treats, of course). Here's Martha's template.

Treat Box Eggshells

No paper or cardboard handy? No problem - use eggshells for your treat box. This is an idea I saw in Matthew Mead's book 'Matthew Mead Halloween Tricks and Treats' that I found at my local library. He used hardboiled eggs but I substituted empty eggshells and filled each one with small Halloween treats.

If you want to make your own eggshell treat boxes, first use our lady Martha's method to blow out the contents of your eggs (you can freeze the contents for later use in cooking and baking). In order to get the goodies inside the clean and dry eggshells, you will need to make one hole larger by carefully using a pair of nail scissors. When the eggshell is ready, fill it with your kids' favourite treats. Finally, cover the hole with a witch's hat and then add the mysterious mask. Use a bit of double-sided tape to keep both on the eggshell.

By the way, I made my own hats and masks freehand but if you need a little help, here's a template for the hat and another one for the miniature mask.

Fairy Lights

I spotted these Japanese lantern (also called Chinese lantern) plants at the Byward Market and bought a few thinking they'd look attractive in a vase. Once I got them home, I came up with the idea of using these with a string of fairy (or Christmas) lights to make an attractive garland.

To make: I cut each of the bright orange pods from the stems (leaving a bit of the stem on for looks) and made a small slit at the top pod with a sharp knife. Then I popped a string light bulb into each one. There's a tough little berry inside the pod and you have to be careful to avoid trying to cut through it - it's very hard! To finish off, I piled the completed garland on top of a cake stand and used it as a Halloween decoration on my hall table. After Halloween, I'll be using it as a garland on my dining table at Thanksgiving. 

I know that you'll think this is not really a recycling project, but I did make the cake stand using a scratched-up glass plate and an unused glass candlestick. I glued the plate to the top of the candlestick and painted the whole thing black using leftover paint I got from a neighbour.

Feather Boa Wreath

This orange and black feather boa has been around for awhile now and I've used it in the past as a garland draped over my fireplace mantel and even as part of a costume. Now I'm repurposing it as a wreath. Not an original idea, I know but quick and easy to make. You can buy these feather boas in either black or like the one above at almost any charity shop at this time of year for very little.

To make the wreath, all you need is a wire coat hanger and a feather boa - I used two for a fluffier look. Stretch the wire hanger into a circle (doesn't have to be perfect). I don't use glue to hold the boa in place as I may need it for other purposes later. There's usually a little string loop at each end of the boa. Slip one loop over the handle of your stretched wire hanger and then simply twist the feather boa around the hanger. When you're done twisting the boa around the hanger, slip the second loop over the hanger handle. This will hold the boa in place. To hide the handle, I bent it back and used this to hang up the wreath. This wreath can be left up for Thanksgiving.

If you are looking for more Halloween inspiration, click on Halloween under Categories.

Upcycling Your Halloween Pumpkins

Posted on September 22, 2015 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)

If you’re anything like me, the easier it is to decorate for any holiday, the more time you’ve got to actually enjoy the holiday. And this is especially, for me at least, during Halloween. Now, I know, that there are literally thousands of ideas you can find online but I don’t have the time usually or the inclination to do much searching. I tend to get a bit dizzy and need liquid refreshment to help me out. So, as usual, I rely on my readers to help me out. This year this faithful band sent me loads of images and links.

I especially liked the ones that saved me having to carve up the pumpkin and whenever possible, able to use what I have on hand for the decoration – no heading to the mall or the dollar store for me. By the way, I’m not a great fan of the truly creepy and ghoulish, so my likes are usually pretty – well, actually – just pretty.

Here are a few of my favourites:

Office Supply Pumpkins

No doubt the easiest to do as you can be as klutzy as me and still create something beautiful. I happen to have loads of brads and pushpins on hand and will find these a delight to make. And, oh, goody, you can dress up your office desk in five minutes flat. Here's the link.

Fanciful Pumpkins

A lovely Halloween centrepiece and so easy-peasy to make. I've masked a lot of pumpkins in the past but haven't used butterflies as well. It may be a bit of a pain to cut out all those butterflies but hey, it looks great. Any guests of yours will be envious of your talent. Of course, if you're a purist,  you could substitute bats for the butterflies. To check out these pumpkins and 46 more pumpkin decorating ideas, click here.

Lace Pumpkin

Definitely a more romantic way to decorate your pumpkin. This one is covered by a lace stocking but you could also use lace doilies, etc. Whatever you've got on hand is the idea. Check it out here.

Washi Tape Pumpkins

No fuss, no muss. These little pumpkins are decorated with double-sided tape and patterned ribbon but washi tape would do the trick as well. For this idea and more no-carve decorating ideas, click here.

Book Page Pumpkin

So what happens when you haven't had time to get to the market to pick up some pumpkins? Don't you worry, don't you fret - just head for your bookshelf and see if you've got a long-neglected, unread book taking up space. Et voila, a pumpkin centrepiece like not other. And you can use it for Thanksgiving, too. Find out how here.

Construction Paper Pumpkin

One for the kids - a pumpkin made from strips of orange construction paper. Easy-peasy instructions here.

Disguised as Pumpkins

My own version of faux pumpkins. I got a good deal on grapefruit at the market recently and decided that before being eaten, a few could easily substitute as wee pumpkins. Adding a witchy paper hat and mask was an easy way to make these look a little sinister - okay, they're not scary, just cute.

Halloween Workshop Studio

Posted on September 16, 2015 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Well, I'm already and so is my studio for our first workshop of the season. It was fun going through my storage unit and finding all my Halloween decorations. Usually I get rid of stuff once I've finished a class but for some reason I tend to hang on to my Halloween and Christmas stuff. And I'm glad I did.

I stopped by the Byward Farmers Market today and couldn't resist adding some fun to the piles of pumpkins I saw there. Wonder what people will think when they see these starring up at them.

Workshop Prep - Decorating the Studio

Posted on September 11, 2015 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Getting my studio ready for my Halloween (Hallowgreen) workshop has been a lot of work but fun. I decided to put samples from my Bookfolding Workshop to good use by adding a few freaky touches and scattering these around the room.

The skull image is one of my sticky label ideas. As you can see, at my Halloween DIY Sticky Label workshop, you'll discover that you can create images of almost any size and won't have to limit yourself to small ones only. As the label is removable, I can reuse the tray for other holidays!

Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, I added a 'murder' of crows with glowing orange eyes to add a nice macabre touch to my folded books. What do you think - spooky enough?

Last Minute DIY Halloween Ideas

Posted on October 25, 2014 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Halloween is just a few days away (okay, a week) and I thought you'd like these two Halloween projects which would be fun to do with your kids. No kids, do these anyway.

'Poisoned' Apples, Anyone?

I will be making these to hand out if I recover from my trip back from Scotland. Traci over at FresnoBeehive gives you the recipe and the how-tos.

Not So Itsy, Bitsy Spider!

Haeley over at Design Improvised shows you how to make this spider balloon and also a balloon ghost. Check it out!

What's that on my plate?

Posted on September 3, 2014 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)

At Halloween I like to add a few little surprises for dinner guests to discover while wining and dining on the big day but these bugs I found over at Better Homes and Gardens aren't so subtle, are they? Hit you smack in the face. 

So easy to make and the folks at BHG even provide the images so you can create your own. Go here for instructions and for the bug image pdf.

Cassie over at Hi Sugarplum borrowed an idea from our lady Martha using bug images to decorate drinking glasses, vases and jars. You'll find her instructions here.

My own take of bugs on plates (in this case, the ubiquitous house fly) is somewhat less threatening but no less revolting. Imagine finding these under your salad! By the way,  You can use the images from BHG (see above) or get your bugs and crawlies over at the The Biodiversity Heritage Library. You might have to do some searching to find what you want, but it's worth the effort.

And if you're wondering what all this has to do with recycling - well, because you are using stick-on transfers as opposed to glue-on, you can actually remove the images (carefully) off your regular plates and glassware, stick them on a bit of plastic (I stuck my on a piece of aluminum foil), roll up, and store to use again next year - they're good for at least two more stick-ons! And, best of all, your plates, etc. will show no sign of their sinister and dark evening performances. 

Now - isn't that just plain weird?