Making Vines for Your Stranger Things Yard

After creating a Mind Flayer for my roof (tutorials Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3), I knew the creature needed something more: Vines. The Upside Down World was filled with vines that hung everywhere, and vines that attacked. They were a part of the hive mind, associated with the monsters of Stranger Things.

After scouring the web for prices on vines, it was clear: My budget couldn’t afford the 100 or more feet needed. Continue reading

Part 2 of The Mind Flayer Prop Tutorial

mindflayer on roof

Part 1 of the Mind Flayer Prop build, covered how to build the torso. Now we’ll move on to the head, and if not too lengthy, the legs.

Supplies Needed for Building Head

  • A Large Cardboard Box (Like from a 45″ or larger, flat screen TV)
  • Extra Cardboard for pointed end of head, and protecting work table
  • Pool Noodles (at least 2)
  • Wire
  • Toothpicks
  • Red/Black Acrylic Paint
  • 2 Hot Glue Guns
  • Glue sticks: Clear, red, and black
  • Plastic Dip or Flex Seal Rubber Spray
  • Plastic bottles or waterproof packaging, and Styrofoam, to add shape to head, and act as filler
  • A Can of Expanding Spray Foam (preferably the type for gaps over 1″)
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Clear Packing or Clear Duct tape
  • Black 6 ml Sheeting (* FOLLOW LINK IN PART 1 FOR WARNING)
  • Heat Gun with Hi/Lo options
  • Scissors
  • 6 ft. or longer table to work on 
  • 2 Plastic coated garden stakes ( approx. 3 feet each, optional, but recommended)
  • Drill 

If you haven’t gone over Part 1 with the body frame, please do so, before moving on. A few tips there can save you some unnecessary steps later. 

Directions:

Continue reading

Stranger Things Comes to Charlotte, NC

A close up of the Mind Flayer’s head. It sits on a 10 foot body, with over 100 feet of legs, positioned on a roof. Image Copyrighted 2021, Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

With an unrelenting pandemic, coupled with the rest of the world’s chaos, how could I not think of, The Upside Down World, of Stranger Things? It seemed like the most appropriate idea for our 2021 Halloween yard.

After mulling over the size of the Mind Flayer, the next consideration was how to get it on the roof. I’ve seen a few folks have one stand in their yard, and thought, NOT BIG ENOUGH! My husband said, “Build it, and we’ll figure a way to get it up.” Also, it couldn’t just be a Mind Flayer, but the whole yard had to be an Upside Down World.

Continue reading

Welcome, Dr. Finklestein!

Dr. Finklestein now joins my NBC family. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved

Just a brief post to introduce my latest Nightmare Before Christmas, Halloween prop created: Dr. Finklestein. I’ll try to add the tutorials, when I get the chance. He joins Jack Skellington, Sally, Lock, Shock, and Barrel, Oogie Boogie, and the Duck/Vampire prop. Zero, the ghost dog, was sadly showing his age, so I actually found a new one the same size, and is now happily flying in the yard too.

If anyone wants to scramble to make this fella, he stands about 5 feet or less, and I used extra couplers of 40 degree or 90 degrees to have him sit. So if you follow my usual PVC prop skeletons (See Lock, Shock, Barrel), you’ll be able to figure out the sizing.

The tutorial for Dr. Finklestein will be split into a few different segments, because there are too many steps (especially the head), to put into one single post. If you were determined or had help, all could be complete within a week. But alas, it took me at least four weeks to finish. If you want every post sent directly into your email, click the ‘Follow’ and you won’t miss the entire process. Thanks!

An Easy Cauldron Cake for Halloween

If you are looking for a super easy Halloween cake, this is the one for you. I’ve made this cake twice over the years and one of the first tips I have to offer is: Make sure you make your edible objects a few days before (or purchase them) and give yourself enough time to put it together. I had to rush to make this cake before our Halloween Bash, and I can see ever flaw – but my guests loved it. I had to put this together in about an hour’s time. I seriously would have liked another half hour to perfect the cauldron walls, smoothing them out. But it worked. Continue reading

Remastering Jack Skellington

 

The new remastered Jack with Sally.

I don’t know what it is about The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC) that caught my attention. But since the movie came out, I’ve wanted to make every character for Halloween.

Jack Skellington was one of my first attempts. Now when I say attempts, I can honestly say, I’ve spent more time and effort making, remaking, and eventually, rebuilding him completely. Continue reading

An Easy Skeleton Horse for Halloween

An easy Halloween prop. Cover a horse (or any animal) black, then paint on their skeleton. All rights reserved, Debbie Morrow

Scouring garage sales and thrift stores is a favorite past time for this frugal gal. Finding this horse made my shopping day. Originally, it was an average white and black patched horse. But what I saw was something entirely different.

A Halloween prop in the making:

  1. Cover your horse (or other animal) entirely with black acrylic paint ( or black spray paint could work too)
  2. Google skeleton images of horses (or animal of your choosing)
  3. Paint out the skeleton with white paint. Don’t worry about mistakes. You can always go back and use black paint again to fix.

Probably the shortest tutorial on my blog, but kinda cool results. Don’t you agree?

 

Lock, Shock, and Barrel Join The Nightmare Before Christmas Clan

An Easy DIY – Lock, Shock and Barrel masks. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. (c)All Rights Reserved.

Anyone who is familiar with The Nightmare Before Christmas (NBC), knows these trick or treater masks were used by Lock, Shock, and Barrel (DSB). It had been a few years since I added other characters to my NBC clan because of the lack of free time. So the plan is to make the masks this year, their body props next. But many enjoy the masks on a wall, as is. Here’s the tutorial on how to make them: Continue reading

Bugs Ruining Your Picnic? Try These Homemade Hacks

Homemade fly paper. Courtesy of Liesl Clark of Trashbackwards.com

 

 

 

If you are someone who enjoys spending time outdoors, you’ve probably already been accosted by a bug or two already this summer. Now you may want to reach for bug spray, but before you do, why not try some of these less toxic suggestions:

No More Ants

Ants can be bothersome or even harmful with their bites. Here are a few suggestions for keeping them away:

Vinegar and Windex Spray – According to Melromanczak on HomeTalk, this little mixture works instantly. They measured a half a bottle of Windex with a half a cup of vinegar to kill them on contact.

Create a Barrier: Sprinkle one of the following around your patio: Cayenne pepper, Cloves and Cinnamon, Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, Lemon Juice,  and more are suggested from Mother Nature Network.

Tell Bees, Wasps, and Flies to Buzz Off

Stinging insects flying around can ruin a day of outdoor enjoyment. These tutorial hacks can trap them, deter them, and even kill them.

Keeping Wasps at Bay: Although Science World is still undecided in this technique, many people believe if you hang a puffed up lunch paper bag nearby, certain types of wasps will be deterred. Bob Villa offers a tutorial on building a trap from a soda bottle and Natural Living Ideas suggests using spearmint or peppermint oil on cotton balls and placing them strategically around your area.

Deter Bees Instead of Killing: Since bees are now on the endangered species list, it’s better to deter them, or even have nearby hives removed for free. Bees and other insects are known to dislike mint scents. Many people have suggested spraying the yard with dollar store mint mouthwash before a gathering. PestKill suggests sprinkling generous amounts of garlic powder.

Block Flies From Ruining Your Picnic: EHome Remedies offers over 15 solutions for your fly problems, including burning camphor candles or making a yard and patio spray of 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper to 1 1/2 cups of water.

An Ounce of Prevention

Taking steps to ensure your yard is not a bug magnet is half the battle. Make sure your area is clear of garbage, empty beverage cans, and standing water. Tightly lid garbage cans and remove them from the area of your social gathering. Strategically plant herbs that deter bugs: Eucalyptus, Lemon Grass, Mint, Citronella, Lavender, Basil, are a few to mention.

With a little prevention and planning, you’ll be able to focus on friends and family, rather than shooing insects.

 

10 Ways to Say “I Love You” Beyond Valentine’s Day

Love and gratitude are priceless gifts. Image courtesy of ChineseMedicineLiving.com.

Love and gratitude are priceless gifts. Image courtesy of ChineseMedicineLiving.com.

 

 

With Valentine’s Day less than 48 hours away, some of us are still scrambling to get our loved ones a gift. But why do we have to wait for a holiday to show people how much we care? It doesn’t cost a penny to show kindness every day.

 

Ideas That Change People’s Lives

When we are grateful each day, the people around us thrive. Our smiles can engage strangers to pass on the goodwill and although it may seem like a small gesture, for others it will be huge.

Examples of Showing Love Without Pulling out Your Wallet

  • Offer to drive an elderly, disabled, or just any person without a car to the store.
  • Invite someone who is single/divorced/widowed to dinner.
  • Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or rake their leaves when you do yours.
  • Call someone you haven’t spoken to for awhile ~ and really listen.
  • Spend time with family members instead of on your devices.
  • While cooking for yourself or family, put aside a meal for a friend and delivery it.
  • Volunteer at your local charity or child’s function.
  • Surprise your loved ones with breakfast in bed ~ even if you can’t cook.
  • Use your unique talents – e.g. wipe someone’s computer, fix something, etc.
  • Help with chores – parents/spouses will rejoice.
  • Use your crafting talents and re-purpose an item for gift giving. Nothing says I love you more than homemade ingenuity.

So without a penny spent, show your family and friends how much they mean to you ~ everyday. Tomorrow is not promised and money cannot buy love.

To help get your creative juices flowing, see the links below:

 27 Weekend Breakfast Ideas

221 Upcycling Ideas that will Blow your Mind

Happy Valentine’s Day!