Make Gingerbread Houses Without Gingerbread!

Pretzels work great for building a "gingerbread" house. Image courtesy of The Pretzel Eater's Club.

Pretzels work great for building a “gingerbread” house. Image courtesy of The Pretzel Eater’s Club.



If you’re hankering to make a few gingerbread houses but don’t really want to buy the pre-fab house parts or make your own gingerbread  pieces, there are so many other ways to build a “gingerbread” house.

The Rules of Gingerbread House Making

Most people agree, there are a few “rules” to making a gingerbread house or village. 1) It should be made of all edible ingredients – anything else is sorta cheating. 2) You need a great Royal Icing recipe in order to secure things quickly.

There are recipes that are eggless and can still do a good job “gluing” your pieces together well. In fact, there are at least 10 different varieties of recipes that can work well as “cement.” Icings that have any fat (margarine, butter, shortening), usually will not harden enough, so they will not be appropriate.

Building Supplies that are not Gingerbread

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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)
Metal shish-kabob skewer or roofing nail
Paper towel (cheapest brand works best)

Directions: Continue reading

Tresses and Treats: Green with Envy on St. Paddy’s Day

Image Neon Yellow and Green Hair courtesy of Candy Acid Hair on Deviant Art

Image Neon Yellow and Green Hair courtesy of Candy Acid Hair on Deviant Art

Now that St. Paddy’s Day is almost upon us, have you made plans on how you’ll be celebrating? This frugal gal loves celebrating without emptying her wallet and found a few fun and unique ways to show your St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

Dye Your Hair with Green Gelatin: If you have blond, grey or any other light-colored hair, you won’t have to bleach it for green results. Sophisticated Edge provides a helpful tutorial.

Dye Your Hair with KoolAid®: WikiHow has a great tutorial on how to temporarily dye your hair with about 3 packs of drink mix.  Try green this week and another color for Easter.

Chalk Your Hair Green:  Over the recent years, there have been many tutorials on how to use chalk to give hair a temporary color. The Beauty Department offers a nice step-by-step with photos and several color examples.

Give your friends green and tasty treats worth the price of gold: Continue reading

A 5 Minute Pumpkin Project

Pumpkin Projects Everywhere

In less than 5 minutes, you can transform your toilet paper rolls into a pumpkin patch. Photo courtesy of Debbie Morrow.

I ran across this pumpkin DIY project at The Frugal Girls, Spoonful and a ton of blogs like Chocolate on my Cranium. With each of the sites I ran across, they used fabric to cover the toilet paper. But I thought: If I were a guest and needed some TP, would I be so willing to rip and pull apart a fabric-covered one? Well, if I were desperate, I guess the answer would be yes.

Yet, I thought it was the best to use something that could be ripped away like the tissue on those single toilet paper rolls. It would allow easy access without leaving any guilt for our in-need guests.

Better yet, I’ve brought the cost down to about 40 cents per pumpkin(minus the toilet paper).

My 5 Minute Pumpkin Toilet Paper Project

You’ll need:

Silk leaves, a few napkins and a piece of brown bag dress up toilet paper in harvest fashion.

A roll of toilet paper

2 orange paper napkins

1 brown paper lunch bag

A few silk leaves off a vine or floral arrangement


1)      Open the napkin up fully.  Push the corner of the napkin into the top hole of the toilet paper. Pull the napkin around(leaving creases for “pumpkin” lines) and tuck the rest of the top in and follow with the bottom. Adjust the creases if need be. The toilet paper roll should be halfway covered. Add a piece of tape inside the roll to secure the first napkin.

2)      Open the second napkin fully and repeat from where the first napkin stopped, tucking in the same around and tucking into the bottom. Adjust the creases and add a piece of tape to secure the napkin to the inside of the roll.

3)      Cut a 4 -5” x  5” piece from the brown bag. Roll it like a scroll. If it doesn’t stay rolled, add a small piece of tape to secure. Push it into the top hole and cut the top of the “stem” at an angle.

4)      Pull off a few leaves from a silk flower arrangement or vine (most of us crafty people have a dozen hanging around in the basement) and then push the stem into the top hole and position the leaves until it is aesthetically pleasing.

If you are having trouble visualizing my steps, please visit the other links that give step-by-step photos and replace the fabric in their directions with the napkins in mine.

Using Old Books for Seasonal Props

No Need for a Pumpkin Patch

Another cool project to make out of recycling books. Photo courtesy of Jean Knox at Instructables.

When I ran across a photo of a pumpkin made from a book at My Sublime Blog without a tutorial, I knew I had to take the time to track it down.

I found the directions at Creations by Kara and one even more in-depth at Crafting Mom. The photo which compelled me to begin the search can be found on the post Awesome DIY Projects I Can’t Wait to Try.

While searching, I also ran across some other great ideas for recycling books such as making a wreath out of old sheet music books or phone books.

At they show ten great ways to repurpose old books into things such as lampshades, iPod cases, and tell you where to trade them or give them away.

It is suggested that before you begin to cut up or give away that old book, you might want to check the value of it at

A Quick and Easy Fall DIY Prop

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Wise pumpkin greeters. Photo courtesy of Debbie Morrow.

Inspired by the classic monkeys that see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil, this pumpkin trio is incredibly easy to make.

You’ll need:

3 plastic pumpkins

6 skeleton hands (a dollar store find)

1 set of Christmas lights

A hot glue gun and sticks

A cutting tool such as a drill or handsaw

1)      Cut approximately a half-dollar sized hole into    the center bottom of each pumpkin.

2)      Hot glue a set of skeleton hands over the eyes, the ears, and the mouth. Let cool.

3)      Push the set of lights (with the cord plug at the bottom) through the bottom, the middle and through the top.

Not the Gingerbread Cookies Your Grandma Made

Seeing Eye to Eye

Zombie cookies, courtesy of Cake Central and Corrie76

This is fabulous! I think I will combine the zombie cookie idea from Cake Central by Corrie Cakes, with the DIY Royal Icing Eyes from Craft Gossip coupled with an idea of my own.

Since edible eyes at the store are pretty pricey (approx. 75 for 5 bucks), I had been thinking about how to make the eyes cheaper.

A few weeks ago, I picked up candy buttons for my daughter. They were on sale for a dollar a package(450 dots). She was munching on them when I got inspired. Why not get some food coloring, use a toothpick or small brush and make them eyes? I could add red veins and more!

Take a toothpick, dip it in a drop of food coloring and paint the candy buttons. So quick and easy! Photo courtesy of Debbie Morrow.

It was an easier alternative to making multiple batches of varying colored dots and it took less than 10 minutes to go from painting the eyes to being able to use them.

Since I make a huge spread of gruesome treats at my Halloween Bash, I’ll now have more than enough eyes at a reasonable price. Thank you my creative friends for inspiring me again!