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?

 

15+ Unusual Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Spicy Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds image courtesy of girlmedallyn.wordpress.com

Spicy Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed image courtesy of girlmedallyn.wordpress.com

Many of us have waited until the last few days before Halloween to carve our pumpkins. The reasons vary from the lack of time/motivation to ensuring we don’t have a pumpkin that molds too soon.

Honestly, I like to cut them early. But I’ve tried the bleach method, and others. I followed the directions faithfully but still my pumpkin rotted by Halloween. So now – the last minute – my pumpkins get carved. Which means, pumpkins seeds are done at the last minute as well.

After scouring the internet for flavor choices I thought I’d add a quick note to help those who are also last-minute carvers and seed makers:

Not like the old days of having a 2-day prep, Food Network has several flavors to complete within approx. 30 minutes – Italian, Sweet and Salty, Indian, Spanish and BBQ.

If those flavors don’t appeal to you, why not try:

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds
Jalapeno Pumpkin Seeds
Bourbon Pumpkin Seeds
Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pumpkin Seeds
Jerk Pumpkin Seeds

Maryland Pumpkin Seeds
Drunken Pumpkin Seeds
Ginger-Orange Pumpkin Seeds
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t use the old 2-day drying method. Follow the directions for drying on the Food Network link and you’ll be eating those seeds by the end of the night. If any of you try some of these recipes, give me a critique. I haven’t tried all of them, but they sound delish!

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Ways to Trick Your Treaters

Giving your treaters a fright: Priceless! Image courtesy of Micah Maziar on Flickr.

Giving your treaters a fright: Priceless! Image courtesy of Micah Maziar on Flickr.

It’s coming fast. Halloween is only a few days away, but it’s not too late to plan out/build a prank for your trick or treaters. Here’s a few quick suggestions:

  • Place a chair immediately outside (visible for all to see) with a stuffed costume (such as scarecrow, reaper, etc.). On the night of Halloween, place that costume on and sit in the same chair still and quiet with a bowl of candy. When a child comes up to get a piece of candy (because some people do just leave a dish out) either speak up or move to startle them. You’ll get screams, laughs, and a giggle or two yourself.
  • Come to the door decked out in a costume that makes a statement. Example: Wear a butcher bib covered with fake blood, bloody plastic gloves, and greet the children with statements like “oh, good – I just finished off the last kids. Are you next? Let me get my tools,” but instead grab the bowl of treats.
  • If you don’t have a coffin laying around, make your own from cardboard, pallets, foam board, etc. Place the coffin either standing near your doorway or laying down on the ground near your steps and pop out to hand out treats.
  • If you happen to have a lot of leaves in your yard, this is a great way to play a prank on your visitors. Wear dark clothing/hat and tape(scrapbook dots or squares work well) a bunch of the leaves to your fabric to help you blend in. Bury yourself in the mound of leaves and wait for the trick or treaters to come and again, pop out to hand out candy.

* Please understand some children are more impressionable than others and even adults. Someone told me a story about a parent peeing their pants right on their driveway when they were frightened. So let’s not be too frightening to anyone because this is suppose to be done with no harm intended.

Luckily, about every other year or so we play a prank on our neighborhood kids. When we don’t, they seem a bit disappointed and ask where’s the live prop? The key to keeping them on their toes is not doing a prank every year.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin Without Carving it

Watching the show Halloween Wars entices me to carve a pumpkin into a work of art. But not all of us have the time and many of us have children who do not have the coordination to handle sharp knives even for a regular pumpkin.

Don’t Just Give in to Normal

For parents, the easiest and safest idea for carving a pumpkin is having your child make the markings and you – the adult – do all the cutting. But how about going in a different direction?

Creating an Awesome Pumpkin Differently

 

If you’d still rather carve a pumpkin, here are a few free template sites to help you on your way:

78 Geeky Pumpkin Templates140 Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns
A 100+ Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils

A Classy Halloween Party Idea

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Although I am one of the biggest fans of gory foods and props, I cannot deny the love I have for Halloween weddings or parties that can be pulled off in a more subtle, classy manner.

The idea for these silver fang place cards comes from Doodlecraft, a blog that has a plethora of beautifully crafty ideas.You can find the tutorial to make them at Instructables. 

Along with this theme, I could see tables including homemade bell jar dioramas and other Victorian-themed Halloween props/food, such as:

A Dark Raven Wreath
Victorian Halloween Invitations
Spiderweb Eggs
Styrofoam Grandfather Clock

Not all of us are crafty or have the time to make some of these ideas. This is where the VictorianTradingCo.com. can help. They have some inspirational items that can give the final touch to a prop, costume, or event.

A New Inspiration in Gruesome Food

If you’ve read my recent post The Guilty Pleasure of Making Gruesome Foods, then you won’t be surprised that I am in awe of Kim Atkinson Fiorini‘s food serving idea. I believe she made it for a Walking Dead party.

What a way to serve a spread of meats! Image courtesy of Kim Atkinson Fiorini.

What a way to serve a spread of meats! Image courtesy of Kim Atkinson Fiorini.

Either way, I’m in complete awe on this one! I have to say this is THE BEST idea I have seen for serving meats on a table for Halloween or as in a zombie party. I can really see this work for a zombie wedding too! Thanks Ms. Fiorini for your creativity!

The Guilty Pleasure of Making Gruesome Foods

A body cavity cake with ribs made from white chocolate and every organ is made with a different flavor cake and filling. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All Rights Reserved.

A body cavity cake with ribs made from white chocolate and each organ made of a different flavor cake and filling. Image courtesy of Debbie Morrow. All Rights Reserved.

Confessions of a Party Planner

I must confess: it is a highlight for me to get an emotional response from guests before they even taste a morsel at my Halloween parties. But beyond their visual appeal (or gruesome effect), it has to be undoubtedly tasty.

Luckily, it usually only takes a few brave souls to initiate the tasting of horrifying foods and giving them the thumbs up. Word-of-mouth is very powerful and thanks to those who initiated the food fest, a chain-reaction will occur of good conversations, laughs, and most importantly, everyone else digging in.

Below you’ll find awe-inspiring Halloween recipes that have been tested by my own party attendees or are on my “must try” list from my peer’s tried and true recipes. Continue reading

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

A New Samara’s Well from the Movie “The Ring”

From left to right: Original stone-casted well weighing over 40 pounds The same well after about 10 years of elements and lawn mower hits. The newest well on right taking 3 days to make and only 5 pounds. Images courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

From left to right: Original casted well weighing over 40 pounds. The same well after about 10 years of elements and lawn mower hits. The newest well on right taking 3 days to make and only 5 pounds. Images courtesy of Debbie Morrow, All Rights Reserved.

Desperate Times Calls for Desperate Measures

Many times I can work better under pressure. This is one of them. When my Ring Girl Well was destroyed between lawn mower hits and age, I was at a loss for a few days. Since I’m still recovering from back surgery I couldn’t think of any possible way to achieve the rock casting and the bending needed to either repair or make another well as in my older Ring girl well tutorial.

Light Bulb Moment

Continue reading