A Creative Mind by Hannah Greer

It’s almost time for Halloween! Like many people I am yearning for a good Halloween party–decorations, treats, and scary movies included. I’ve never been one for the super scary decorations though. Maybe that’s due to the many times was scared senseless when I was a kid by eager fathers hiding in bushes as I trick-or-treated. Nevertheless, I love ALL of the cute decorative decorations, which are usually sparkly, smiling, or multi-patterned. Things that make a Halloween party really great for me are all the homemade touches. And since I’m definitely no pumpkin carving connoisseur, I looked for many things that to make to decorate the house that are easy, eye catching, and maybe even a little sparkly.

PLAYING WITH PUMPKINS

 

These pumpkin cans would be great for an outside walkway or on a windowsill. They’re pretty easy to make and would add that good small touch you may be looking for.

Materials:
Tin can
Clamp
Hammer and nail
Sandpaper
Metal primer
Acrylic paints: orange and black
Several yds of 18–20-gauge black annealed stovepipe wire
Tacky glue (we used Aleene’s Original)
Votive candle

Instructions:
Clamp can to table and poke holes for handle on opposite sides 1/2″ below top with hammer and nail.

Sand, prime, then paint outside of can orange.
Pencil outline of a jack-o’-lantern face on front and punch holes along outlines. Paint face black. Let dry.

Wind 27″ wire around a bunch of pencils or a thick dowel; remove and fasten ends in holes. Glue votive in place. When candle is lit, bend handle away so it doesn’t heat up.

If you want to go with an easy route, simply buy some ribbon and decorate a pumpkin with that. This look is fast and easy, but adds a small touch that makes the pumpkin look a bit more unique without going all out.

This is one of my favorites! And it would be a plus to be able to re-use this every year. You don’t need many materials, and the things that you will need to buy aren’t expensive. The person who made this pumpkin topiary bought her pumpkins on sale, the wooden letter and Krylon’s glitter blast all at Michaels. The colors they chose were “Orange Burst” and “Starry Night.” You simply need to cut a hole at the bottom of the top and middle pumpkin so that the top of pumpkin underneath can fit into it. Glue the pumpkins together and the wooden letters on to the face of the pumpkins.

DECORATING WITH BATS

I really like this lampshade idea. Not many people take the effort to decorate the lamps in their house but it adds to the mood of the party, it doesn’t take long to make or clean up, and this way your decorations are just out on display for people to look at, they’re hidden but your guests can still experience the addition. You can get the template for the bats at http://www.marthastewart.com/272505/shivering-bats-shade.

Directions:

Photocopy template to desired size; cut out. Using a white wax pencil, trace shape onto black construction paper; cut out. To suspend bats, make a ring from 20-gauge brass wire that fits just inside top of shade, resting on the shade spokes; a translucent white paper lampshade works best. Take a piece of white thread to bat; tie other end to ring. Repeat, hanging bats at varying heights and taping others to lampshade.

These bat streamers are just too incredibly easy to make I had to include them. I think they’re also a great way to decorate your mantle, or maybe a staircase. All you need is tissue paper, scissors, a pencil, and a cookie cutter in the shape of a bat. “Cutting the strings of shapes won’t drive you batty, since the paper comes accordion-folded in its package. With black tissue paper you can craft bats, cats, rats, or witches; orange makes great pumpkins; and white is perfect for skulls and ghosts.”

“Trace or draw desired design across full width of a package of folded tissue paper; we used a cookie cutter as our guide. Cut along the outline, leaving a bit of uncut fold at both sides so figures connect to one another. You’ll end up with several strings of five or six shapes each; tape together for a garland.”

MAKING DECORATIVE MICE

I’ll be the first to admit that I think mice are cute from a distance, but if I saw one running through my house I’d be that person that jumps on something high to get away from it. I love how these mice cutouts were used to decorate the stairs though. And these are also so easy. You can get the template for them at http://www.marthastewart.com/271198/paper-mice. Trace the template on black construction paper, cut them out, and tape them to your stairs and baseboards. I love them as small touches.

TRANSFORMING YOUR TABLE

I love this tablecloth, especially when paired with all of the paper lanterns. The bright colors and different patterns really caught my eye. If I saw this set-up at a party I would have to walk over right away to see what treats were being served.

What you need: Crepe paper: black (11208-2006), bright orange (11208-4516), and white (11208-1006) $1.07, from dickblick.com
Streamers: black (11208-2001), bright orange (11208-4511), and goldenrod (11208-4191) $3.59 per 500 feet, from dickblick.com

How-To:

1. Alternate layers of orange, black, and white table crepe paper.

2. Then, punch various size holes from streamers. Use punched circles to decorate top layer.

3. Cut scalloped edge from black streamer and use it to trim top of table.

FOOD

These Caramel marshmallows sound like they would be so rich, but oh so yummy. Simply dip a large marshmallow on a stick in to melted caramel, let it dry, and then dip it into melted chocolate. Let it completely dry and cool before eating.


These Apple Nachos look delicious! And hey, at least you’re eating fruit!

WHAT YOU NEED:

4 large Granny Smith apples, sliced

35 large marshmallows

1/4 cup butter

35 caramels

1 Tbsp evaporated milk (or half and half)

1/4 cup peanuts

1/4 cup mini semi-sweet morsels

2 Tbsp chocolate syrup

DIRECTIONS:

Slice apples and arrange on platter.

In saucepan, melt marshmallows and butter until creamy. Set aside.

In microwave dish, melt caramels with milk (cooking in 30 second intervals, and stirring). Set aside.

Pour marshmallow cream over apple slices, followed by caramel sauce. Drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle with peanuts and mini chocolate morsels. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Ok so you want to have other food that’s not covered in chocolate and marshmallows at your party? Shape your veggies in a festive way to decorate your table. This platter has carrots, broccoli, and cucumber slices with dip!

DRINK

Ok, as a s’mores lover my jaw dropped when I saw the picture of this drink. I have no idea if it would be good or not but I can’t help but want to try one. Here’s the recipe.

S’mores Martini

2 Ounces Chocolate Vodka

2 Ounces Bailey’s Irish Cream

2 Ounces Cream de Cacao

2 Ounces Vanilla Vodka

2 Ounces Heavy Cream

Graham Crackers, Crushed

Chocolate Syrup

12 toasted mini marshmallows or 4 large marshmallows

Dip the rim of 4 martini glasses in the chocolate syrup and then into the crushed graham crackers. Chill glasses in the freezer. Pour all the remaining ingredients except the marshmallows into a martini shaker filled with ice and shake until well blended. Skewer your marshmallows on a cocktail stick and place in the chilled glasses. Strain the drinks into the 4 glasses. Enjoy!

Since the process for this project is better shown with pictures, I chose not to write it all out directions, but if you want to learn how to turn a Clementine into a candle follow this link, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/how-to/how-to-make-a-clementine-candle-001453, and click “Enter Slideshow.” There is a step by step process with pictures showing how to make one. I think this is amazing and the finished product is beautiful! Very unique.

For some great ideas of decorating your pumpkins in a different way follow this link, http://www.bhg.com/halloween/pumpkin-decorating/pumpkin-decorating-ideas/?rb=Y&7781#page=1,  to the Better Homes and Gardens website.

For more ideas and crafts projects, www.marthastewart.com has more Halloween templates that you can cut out and a homemade decorating idea for every inch on your house.

Sources:

Paper mice Idea and photo- http://www.marthastewart.com/271198/paper-mice

Halloween tablecloth idea and photo- http://www.marthastewart.com/264440/halloween-tablecloth

Bat garland idea and photos- http://www.marthastewart.com/273027/bat-tissue-paper-garland

Bat lampshade idea and photos- http://www.marthastewart.com/272505/shivering-bats-shade

Clementine candle idea and photo- http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/how-to/how-to-make-a-clementine-candle-001453

Pumpkin ribbon photos- http://www.thehighheeledhostess.com/ and http://pinterest.com/pin/334659320/

Smores martini recipe and photo- http://www.mydailyfind.com/tag/smores-martini-recipe

Pumpkin veggie platter photo- http://pinterest.com/pin/242142264/

Glitter pumpkins ideas and photos- http://adiamondinthestuff.blogspot.com/2011/10/glitter-pumpkin-topiary.html

Marshamallow treats recipe and photo-

http://www.aturtleslifeforme.com/2011/04/caramel-marshmallows-oh-my.html

Pumpkin cans idea, directions and photo- http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Home/Crafts/Pumpkin-Lantern.html

Apple nacho recipe and photos- http://www.shugarysweets.com/2011/06/apple-nachos.html

NCLAC is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

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