DIY Witch Shoes and Broom Outdoor Decoration

This failed cabbage pot was the perfect place to set my DIY witch shoes and props. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

This failed cabbage pot was the perfect place to set my DIY witch shoes and props. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Looking for a quick and easy Halloween decoration? These ordinary granny boots can be transformed into a great prop in less than an hour(depending upon drying time if paint is needed).

You’ll Need:

One Pair of Lace-Up, Spiked Boots (an easy secondhand store find)
Black Spray or Waterproof Acrylic Paint (If boots are not black, purple, or burgundy)
Seasonal Ribbon and/or Halloween Shoe Strings
2 Pieces of Styrofoam (to fit from inside heel to top edge of boot ankle)
Moss
6 Small Halloween Floral Bunches (Dollar Tree item)
A Low Heat Glue Gun/Glue Sticks
A Broom (pictured is one from Dollar Tree, but Kidspot has a video on how make your own)
*Optional: Witch Sign, Skull, Extra Brooms of varying sizes/styles, and lights.

Directions: Continue reading

The Mayor of Nightmare Before Christmas Tutorial

It took over 50 PVC cuts to make the Mayor but it was so worth the effort. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

It took over 50 PVC cuts to make the Mayor but it was so worth the effort. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

For those who have been waiting a year – I’m so sorry for being so tardy. If you’ve followed me in any way – you’ve seen I lost a huge part of my heart the day after Halloween – which has thrown me off kilter.

My loyal friends gently reminded me of my promise to post the tutorial – so here it is – the images are added first and then some explanation will follow with a specs sheet – that has all the measurements. Please read all before starting your project.

 

 

Don’t forget to write the word “Mayor” in Black permanent marker in white circle of ribbon. Putting Head and Hat Together: Cut a long piece of PVC pipe, slide the head on through the hole (make sure it can move so you can switch the head view when you feel like it).

Slide the black circle you cut earlier over top of head and place your PVC shish-ka-bob style piece into the “T” at the neck part of the “H” frame. Top the hat with a piece of pool noodle and cover with black fabric with a hot glue gun. Make a strip of grey trim fabric around hat and glue. * You’ll notice that the black rim of hat made out of foam board shows the white inside – use your black paint to touch that up all the way around.

The hands are made similar to my Sally, Jack, and Ring Girl. I added a stripe to a cheer horn to give it a “Tim Burton-ish” feel ( a word from the book of Deb).

Specs. Sheet:

Mayor Specs DIY Nightmare Christmas

If anyone has an issue opening the PDF specs. sheet, please feel free to shoot me an email so I can send you the word document. If anyone has a question, please don’t hesitate to email me too. Happy Prop Building!

 

 

 

Easy Last Minute Grad Party Favors and Snacks

Guest couldn't resist the grad party hats that can be made in a variety of ways without any cooking involved. Photo courtesy of Mark Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Guests couldn’t resist the party hats made from a variety of possible edibles. Photo courtesy of Mark Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

With the onslaught of graduation parties within the next few months, people are now scouring for party ideas more than ever.
Since I had the opportunity to just throw one of my own, I can offer some helpful tips that will save time, aggravation, and money.

Graduation Party Hats

These hats can be made with a variety of pre-made cookies, candies, and Fruit Roll Ups. You – the maker decides which is the easiest and most cost effective.

You’ll Need:
Chocolate-covered graham cracker squares
Choice of cap bottoms:
Mini brownies – premade as in mini brownies snacks or you can make your own brownie mix and use a mini muffin pan.
Mini muffin liners (if making own brownies)
OR  Peanut butter cups OR Round Chocolate Cookies – The choice is yours.
Choice of Tassel Tops:
Black or red string licorice OR Fruit Roll Ups (any color)
Candy buttons OR mini M & M’s OR other small round candies
Choice of frosting that hardens quickly:
Royal recipe, or my plain 10x frosting recipe: 1 cup 10x sugar, a tsp. of vanilla and enough water(add tbsp at a time) to make a very thick frosting. Mix well until smooth. Cover if not using right away or it will harden quickly.
To seal tassel top:
You can either add chocolate flavoring/cocoa to darken a bit of frosting to the side (1/8 cup) OR  melt choc. chips, melts, Kisses, or plain bar – you’ll need no more than 8-10 kisses for 40.

Before going into the directions, let me go over the most inexpensive options and my own mishaps during the process:

Continue reading

Inexpensive Balloon or Decoration Party Weights

Make your own table decoration weights. Image courtesy of http://www.awesomeevent.com/blog/category/cheap-balloon-weight-centerpieces/

Make your own table decoration weights. Image courtesy of http://www.awesomeevent.com/blog/category/cheap-balloon-weight-centerpieces/

With every party, aesthetics is important.Yet, paramount to most party planning – is cost. Each table should be decorated with a theme of colors and/or genre.Whether it is a Hawaiian Luau or a graduation party – an overall theme should exist.

Part of each table decoration often includes balloons or other lightweight decorations that need some kind of weight to keep them in place. Sure, you can purchase those balloon weights at your dollar store. But as the table count goes up, so does the cost.

Being the frugal gal, I thought of several ways to hold down the graduation caps for an upcoming graduation party. With 10+ tables to dress, I needed to consider what would travel easy and look good – even if the caps were lifted by curious guests.

Light Bulb Moment

For previous parties I’ve made my own weights using Plaster of Paris in a variety of containers: decorative Chinese food boxes, decorator cups, mini flower pots, etc. For this event, having to deal with the mess of preparing the mix along with the added drying time, just didn’t appeal to me.

This is when it struck – why not fill balloons with play sand or better yet – the more inexpensive counterpart – salt? It worked like a charm. It cost only $1.50 per 11 weights and it took less than an hour of working the salt into the balloons.

Since these were not going to be seen in generally, it was the easiest and most inexpensive solution.

Three items are needed to make balloon or table decoration weights. The cost for 11 weights: $1.50. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

Three items are needed to make balloon or table decoration weights. The cost for 11 weights: $1.50. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow, all rights reserved.

Here’s what you’ll need: Continue reading

Great Father’s Day DIY Ideas for under $10

Hand print tree image courtesy of The CraftyChicks.com.

Hand print tree image courtesy of The CraftyChicks.com.

Priceless Endeavors

Although some may believe their dad would prefer a store bought item, it will be the gifts made from the heart that will be cherished – especially when they’ve moved out and gone to college.

Every project selected can be made for under $10 dollars, but may need a few days to a week to dry and complete. Many of the items needed can be purchased at your area dollar store.

The Tree of Life

You’ll Need:
A picture frame
A sheet of heavy weight paper (ex. card stock, constructions, etc)
Paint – in any color desired but be sure to use non-toxic for young children (I’ve seen all green hands and multicolored leaf hands used in projects)
A free tree template of a tree such as the Crafty Chick’s version, Kid’s Blogspot version, and Coloring Shape’s version, or if crafty, draw and paint your own.
A pencil/pen
Optional: matte board for framing picture inside picture frame

1) Before printing template, reformat it to the correct year or reword it in a MS Word or Open Office software program.
2) Pour a small pool (big enough for a hand print) of paint in a paper plate and call the kids in for the printing.
3) Once tree is stamped and dried, place in the optional matte frame and place in a picture frame.

Love in a Jar

Continue reading

DIY: Transforming the Easter Bunny into a Zombie

This zombie bunny looks thirsty. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

This zombie bunny looks thirsty. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All rights reserved.

With The Walking Dead, Warm Bodies and other zombie movies warming our hearts, how could we not want to make zombies of our own?

To make this zombie bunny you’ll need:

1 Blow mold bunny (Craigslist and Ebay)
Outdoor craft paint – red, dark green, white, and black
Paint brushes with small tips
Small cups or an empty egg carton to mix colors
Pumpkin Teeth (Walgreens, Walmart)
Hammer
Metal shish-kabob skewer or roofing nail
Paper towel (cheapest brand works best)
Water

Directions: Continue reading

DIY Unique Costumes

Image and directions of the Composer Bust Statues can be found at http://www.instructables.com/id/Composer-Bust-Statue-Costumes/

Image and directions of the Composer Bust Statues can be found at http://www.instructables.com/id/Composer-Bust-Statue-Costumes/

Some people get really disturbed when they go to a Halloween party and find others dressed in the same costume. Although I look at it as: the-more-the-merrier, others might not feel the same.

So here’s a few unique ideas that I’ve NEVER seen before today.

Image of Homemade Bath Pouf courtesy of Carleyy at Instructables.

Image of Homemade Bath Pouf courtesy of Carleyy at Instructables.

Directions for the Human Scrubby can be found at the Instructables page called Homemade Bath Pouf Costume.

Smile for the Camera!

How would you like to find a camera case for this one? Image courtesy of tylercard at Instructables.

How would you like to find a camera case for this one? Image courtesy of tylercard at Instructables.

I wonder if any students can get extra credit for their photography class by actually becoming the camera? Either way, the costume can be found at Instructables and is called the Fully Functional Camera Costume.

Be a Thirst Quencher

You'll never get thirsty with the Box of Wine Costume. Image courtesy of Carlyy at Instructables.

You’ll never get thirsty with the Box of Wine Costume. Image courtesy of Carlyy at Instructables.

At least this wine spigot costume girl never leaves her friends high and dry. On the Instructables page called a Box of Wine Costume, there is an actual contest being held for anyone who makes the costume, takes a picture of themselves, and then posts with comments. Just don’t tell your friends if you want to be the only wine box at the party.

Do you have any unusual costumes you’d like to share? Send your photos and/or instructions of how you did it and I’ll post them – giving you the credit. Thanks!

Tutorial Coming Soon: The Mayor From The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Mayor is ready for my yard haunt.

The Mayor is ready for my yard haunt.

A new prop has joined the family: The Mayor from The Nightmare Before Christmas has been completed and in the next week or two I’ll be posting the tutorial.

If anyone needs the tutorial earlier, or wish to email me, please feel free to use the contact form below. Thanks!

Part 4: Completing Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

This is the last part to making Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Part 1 covered making the body and frame, Part 2 covered the head and hair, and Part 3 dealt with making the dress. Now we’ll cover the skin, hands, shoes and how to preserve your prop.

As mentioned before in Part 1, Sally’s skin color in the movie had various tints of grey to blue. I went with a grey-blue hue. Either way, you’ll be able to make the skin by finding a pair of tights to match your chosen color.

The Skin

You’ll need:

2 pairs of adult tights (matching the color of your Sally face)
Black outdoor acrylic paint
Paint brush with a thin tip
Boxing/package tape (clear) Continue reading

Part 3: Making Sally’s Dress (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

Sally posed to hold a skull, large flower head, or potion.

If you made the body, head, and hair from my earlier tutorials Part 1 and Part 2, you’re ready to make the clothing for Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

For the dress, decide which color theme you’ll go with. I found several versions – one with a burgundy base, and others using greens and  some with browns and orange tones. It really doesn’t matter which color scheme you go for, but chose ONE. Using too many clashing colors doesn’t work well. Stick with the same tones that compliment each other.

Making the Dress

You’ll need:
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 yards of brown fabric (depends on width)
2-3 yards of main color fabric(for mine I used green)
1 yard blue fabric
2 (1 yard each) complimentary tones fabric
Permanent black marker
Large hot glue gun/glue sticks
Sidewalk chalk and pen
2 safety pins or a couple of straight pins
Tissue paper
Scissors
Continue reading