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
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
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:
- Cover your horse (or other animal) entirely with black acrylic paint ( or black spray paint could work too)
- Google skeleton images of horses (or animal of your choosing)
- 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?
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
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.
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:
Happy Valentine’s Day!
The move is over and little did we know how much snow was possible in the South. Thankfully, we kept the winter gear to visit family in New York. But now it’s here, we need to have some fun.
Don’t Have a Sled? No Problem!
Many of us don’t have a sled taking up space in our non-basement houses or apartments. Fear not! Instead of trying to find a store that has one, transform what you already have.
In NY, we used our blow up, glow-in-the-dark chairs on big hills at night. They provided a cushion to the often unexpected rugged terrain and when “charged” correctly under a lamp, provided visibility. If you have a fabric-coated beach raft, just add a large garbage bag and you’ll be slipping and sliding ASAP.
I wish I could say this was my idea, but a friend mentioned she saw kids riding cookie sheets. Those large ones would work pretty good for a single, small child. Think of them as smaller saucer sleds. To make them really take off, I bet you can use the techniques from Living Strong to make them glide faster.
Cardboard sleds can be made from leftover pizza boxes, refrigerator boxes, or even a leftover school project made on foam board. To lengthen your use time, cover the cardboard (multiple sheets stacked are best, but not necessary), with a large garbage bag or plastic from gardening/window insulation. Take duct tape and secure it together.
If you lack cardboard, beach toys, or large cookie sheets, all is not lost. Big pieces of plastic used in gardening or insulation can be used on their own in a bind. Just sit on them and roll the front up like one of those plastic roll-up sleds. But be prepared to feel every bump.
Warning to Newbies About Sledding
People who are not seasoned snow daredevils need to heed these words: Getting hurt while sledding is easier than you think. Even with real sleds. If you’re unfamiliar with the terrain of the hill (rocks/holes hide easily under snow) or are not gauging the speed of your descent, you may find yourself seriously injured. This is not to scare people off of the idea of sledding, but just a fair warning to use any sled with caution. Especially when you don’t know how your sled will react to the snow conditions(yes, it varies).
The first few trips should be taken on a small hill. Jump or roll off your sled if you see a head-on collision about to occur with things such as trees or people. I’ve seen a few accidents over the years that necessitated a call to 911. With that being said: Be safe, dress warm, have fun, and don’t forget cups and a Thermos of hot chocolate!
Looking for other solutions for sleds? Check out Bob Vila’s DIY Sled Making.
It has come to my attention that this Frugal Gal ( under my old website name DebsDreamThemes) has been highlighted in Haunted Attraction Magazine and Inventorspot.com has recognized one of my props as 10 Epic DIY Halloween Decorations Sure to Make Your Guests Freak. For me, this is like getting an Emmy. Continue reading