Post Halloween Fun

Usually, I don’t get very into Halloween, but this year, Vincent really did.  You’ve seen the decorating we’ve done, including a feather wreath, spooky tree, a stump side table, and carved pumpkins.  Although this isn’t home related, I just had to share our boys’ costumes.  Vincent requested to be a credit card.  Seriously, I did not suggest it.  What three-year-old wants to be a credit card?  Mine, I guess, so I went with it. 

I bought one piece of foam core from Hobby Lobby for $1.99 and cut it in half.  Then I measured and taped off lines to mimic a VISA card logo.  I mixed up my paint and filled in the areas and letters.  To create the letters, I printed off a set of 16 numbers, cut them out, painted and glued each number on the card.  To create the back, I simply measured and taped off a magnetic strip area on the back, painted it black, made a border for the signature and filled it in with a Sharpie.  To make this wearable, I hot glued two strips of ribbon over the shoulders. 

Total cost for a credit card costume: $1.99.  The look on Vincent’s face: Priceless.

I decided that Everett would make the perfect baby Hulk Hogan, so we used a pair of red sweatpants, red socks, and a plain white, long sleeve shirt from his wardrobe. 

I sewed a ‘tank top’ out of yellow felt, left over from this pillow, using a shirt of his as my size guide.  Gaudy gold fabric for $2.00 made the perfect wrestling belt, which I sewed to the yellow felt.  I bought a small piece of red cotton for $1.99 to make the ‘Hulkamamia’ logo.  To create the logo, I used left over fusible webbing from my tweed leaf bowl project and followed the same directions, only drawing the logo backward on the paper.  I ironed the logo to the front of the shirt, added three buttons to the back and we had a Hulk shirt.  A $.99 red bandana completed the look.

Total cost for Hulk Hogan:  $4.98

Grand total for Halloween costumes:  $6.97

Vincent’s costume was a big hit.  Everett’s didn’t get as much attention, but he wasn’t standing at the door asking for candy, either.  What are your favorite costumes?

Pumpkin Carving 2010

Over the weekend, we had a small pumpkin carving party, resulting in some awesome creations.  Wanna see?  Of course you do. 

The B monogram is for Bowe.  The faced pumpkins were created by my sister-in-law.  On the left, we have a mean, scary large pumpkin eating a smaller pumpkin.  Next to him, a frightened pumpkin vomiting at the cannibalistic tendencies of his neighbor. 

Next up, I created a few Martha-inspired pumpkins.  A very large (we’re talking 30 pounds!) pumpkin sports a wise owl against a full moon.

Another small pumpkin is rockin’ the faux bois. 

This is the first time I’ve tried scraping part of the front off, rather than carving completely through.  I’ve got to say, I like it.  We used wood carving tools and it was much easier than I anticipated. 

Now, on to the sad news.  We carved our pumpkins waaaaay too early.  They’re definitely looking sad.  I’ve had to skewer the B and the owl to prevent complete and total failure.  Curse you cold Montana weather!  Here they are in the daylight.

Yep, my poor owl has a skewer through his big brain. 

The B is leaning and floppy.  On the bright side, the faux bois pumpkin is still completely in tact.  So, that’s what we did this weekend.  Lesson learned the hard way, don’t carve pumpkins when cold weather is coming.  What are your favorite carved pumpkin designs?

We’re Stumped!

We’re back with yet another Halloween decorating idea.  We’ve already shared a DIY feather wreath and a spooky tree, but why not add a stump side table to an outdoor setting?  We did.  We have a huge woodpile in our backyard.  Usually it helps keep us warm throughout the winter months, but I decided to make it work a little harder.  I picked out a relatively level stump and rolled it to our front walkway and parked it next to our chairs.  I didn’t do anything else to it. 

Then, to Halloween it up a little, I topped it with a vase of pretty flowers, a paper mache skull from Michael’s that I spray painted white, a faux pumpkin from Hobby Lobby (also painted white) and a real baby pumpkin.

 Stump decoration breakdown:

Stump:  FREE

Paper mache skull:  $1.49

Faux pumpkin:  $1.49

White spray paint:  Left over from our DIY dining table

Baby Pumpkin: FREE from a friend

Total for stump and decorations:  $2.98

See the striped pillow?  I made that.  I had a few yards of white corduroy fabric left over from an earlier project, so I decided to use that rather than buy more fabric.  First, I sewed the cover, (here’s a tutorial) turning the fabric inside out.  I wanted the smooth part facing out so it would be easier to paint.  Once I had my cover, I taped off 2 1/2 inch wide stripes.

After that, it was easy.  Use black fabric paint and fill in between the lines.  Remove the tape soon after and stuff with a pillow form when completely dry. 

Pillow budget breakdown:

Fabric:  Left over from another project

Fabric paint:  Also left over from a previous project

Two pillow forms: $8.99 at JoAnn Fabric

Total cost for Halloween Pillows:  $8.99

To add more spookyness on the cheap, I picked up a plastic skeleton from Dollar Tree.

 I didn’t like the color, so covered that baby in white spray paint, too. 

Then, my skeleton fell into the freshly cut grass.  I let him dry and pulled off as much as I could and hit him with another coat of white.  He survived – he’s already dead.  Hang with fishing line and you’re done. 

One thing I loved about the Pottery Barn inspiration image were the candles.  Well, I wasn’t about to spend $30.00 or more on candles, so I looked around the house for suitable substitutes.  I had a few vintage oil lamps, so I added those to the mix.  Toss in a grapevine pumpkin and we’re done!

Miscellaneous decoration cost:

Skeleton: $1.00

White spray paint:  Left over

Oil lamps:  FREE (The black one was hanging on our fence when we bought the house and the red was a thrift store find a few years ago.  I think it was $1.50 or so.)

Grapevine pumpkin:  $2.50 at Target (but can multi-purpose for Thanksgiving, too!)

Miscellaneous Total:  $3.50

Which brings our Halloween decoration grand total to…$20.45!  And here’s how it all looks together.

Of course, we still need real pumpkins, but we’re not quite ready yet.

Eerie Tree

Last week, I shared a simple DIY Halloween wreath tutorial and now I’m back with another cheap spooky Halloween project, again, inspired by this Pottery Barn image.

I  love the look of the glitter potted trees.  I am aware that this version is some sort of foam, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money for something like this.  Instead, I used a dead branch from our birch tree. 

Using a can of black gloss spray paint, I covered all areas of the branch and let everything dry.  Then, I applied a second coat to make sure the color was truly black.  Super simple. 

After the second coat dried, I placed my eerie tree in a planter I had left over. 

To cover the dirt, I spread the remaining nuts from our fall decoration around the base of the tree and threw in a few pine cones.  A little crow from Dollar Tree adds another touch of spook. 

Eerie tree budget breakdown:

Branch: FREE

Black spray paint: $1.00 at Wal-Mart

Planter: Already owned

Nuts and pinecones: FREE from mother nature

Crow: $1.00

Total Cost:  $2.00

So far, our Halloween decorations have cost $4.98, wa hoo!  We’ll cover a few more frugal decorating ideas tomorrow, so come back for more.

Here’s a tip:  If you plan to use real nuts, plan for the squirrels to eat them.  We went out-of-town for the weekend and returned to find all the nuts missing.  I’m sure the squirrels loved it. I pictured a little assembly line of squirrels passing nuts down the line until they were gone and now they’re having a feast.  Yeah, you may want to use bark, mulch or fake Spanish moss.

Let the {Halloween} Festivities Begin

I know, I’m a little late, but better late than never, right?  Usually, I don’t do a lot (if any) Halloween decorating, but Vincent is three this year and he’s pretty excited about pumpkins and Halloween in general.  I was inspired by this Pottery Barn image. 

Almost anything Pottery Barn is beautiful, but I really liked the color palette, tons of pumpkins and the wreath.  I saw a similar black feather wreath at Michael’s for $14.99, but I didn’t want to spend that much on a once a year item.  Instead, I went to Dollar Tree and picked up a simple wreath form.  Then, I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and picked up two different types of black feathers; one package of large (about 6 inches or so) feathers and another of smaller, filler feathers. 

Once I returned home, I spray painted all sides black using paint I had on hand.  After the paint dried, I tied a loop of fishing line around the wreath form.  Our front door has trim that prohibits the use of a traditional wreath hook, so I have to hang wreaths using ribbon or string.  After attaching the fishing line, I used my handy-dandy hot glue gun to attach the feathers. 

I started by placing  a few of the filler feathers in to cover the wreath form.  Then, I cut the larger feathers into the shape I wanted.

Do you see the difference?  I shaped the feather on the left by cutting the top into a nice, rounded shape.  Then, I glued my cut feathers over the filler feathers, being sure to cover any of the wreath form.  I didn’t bother to cover the very back, because that will be against the door, but I did cover the remaining sides.  I did this all the way around, placing the feathers in the same direction until I got to the beginning.  Then, I made sure to tuck the feather ends under the first row. 

I tapped a small pin into the top center of our door and looped the fishing line around and we were in business.

Here’s what my Halloween wreath cost:

Wreath Form: $1.00

Black spray paint:  Leftover from another project, but you can get black paint for $1.00 from Wal Mart

Black feathers: $1.98 (with plenty to spare)

Fishing line: Already had on hand

Glue gun and sticks: Already had

Grand Total:  $2.98

Granted, my version isn’t as large as the Pottery Barn version, but I think it adds the same touch.  Although, I won’t be painting our door orange any time soon.  Keep an eye out for more Halloween decorating ideas soon!