Halloween Celebration!

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Happy Halloween everyone! I know it’s on a boring old Tuesday this year, but make sure to have some fun with it in a small way. Be it taking kids trick or treating, enjoying a scary movie, or ya know, decorating your house elaborately for the Holiday.

No, it’s not that other guy, this is a light display done by Tracy, a California music school teacher set to one of the best Halloween songs ever: “This is Halloween”. A fun watch though, I think I’d go crazy if I lived near anyone that does these big light displays. Definitely invest in some black out curtains at the every least, lol.


Fall & Halloween-Themed Knits

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Happy Eve of All Hallow’s Eve, Hackers!

With this being my favorite season and tomorrow being my favorite holiday of the year, I decided to focus on some cute, themed knitting patterns for today’s post. (I am focusing my post on knit patterns since we have some other, more experienced posters to focus on crochet patterns.)

I may not have human children of my own (and my cat, Helo, isn’t thrilled about wearing things I knit for him) but I just love some of the adorable ideas that people come up with for babies and toddlers. For example, this pattern for a little fox hat and baby mitts is not only one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, it also is a fairly easy pattern. Both beginners and experts would have little to no difficulty following this pattern and this would be a fantastic shower gift for a baby due in the fall. You will need to have knowledge of your basic knit and purl stitches but you shouldn’t need to go in to the detail of increasing/decreasing stitches. The pattern is currently marked down in price but even at it’s regular price, it is pretty affordable.

This next pattern does have at least a little crocheting, however, you can adapt it with a knitted strand instead. This too-cute pumpkin hat for babies is simple and wouldn’t require a ton of your time. And with a little change here and there, you can make it for toddlers or even adults as well.

One of the things I am most obsessed with in the fall is that it’s the perfect time of year to wear shrugs and ponchos. And for those of you who are big-time Outlander fans, this pattern from Ravelry for a Claire-inspired shrug will give you that Sassenach look with little effort and time. Find the free pattern here. (This may be the next thing on my “to knit” list since I think it’s simple and elegant and because my office building is usually set to sub-arctic temperatures.) Depending on the type of yarn you choose and the pattern, shrugs and ponchos can be worn year-round as well.

Because the fall weather can be crisp, I wanted to share one more pattern to help keep you warm from head to toe: leg warmers. While this may bring some of you flashbacks to the days of Flashdance, these simple items are a great way to keep toasty in the brisk weather, whether going out on a blustery day or just bumming around you home with a mug of tea or cocoa. A lovely pattern for chunky yarn leg warmers can be found here.

The best part of fall is the crisp, clean weather, in my opinion. Knitting and crocheting provide stylish ways to keep warm and it’s a great skill to have and hone. And as usual with my posts, these items all make for great gift ideas too!

Keep warm, Hackers! And stay stylin’.

~Scribe Sarah~

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Last Minute Mania

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Happy Sunday, all!

I know most of the Halloween parties probably took place last night but there are still some purists that celebrate on the day itself or some of those that would like to have more attendees and wait for the following weekend. So if you or even the kiddos have been invited and you still haven’t figured out that perfect costume, maybe one of these will spark your creativity.

First up is one of my absolute favorites for a couple from Creating Really Awesome Fun Things (not just because the Art of Chill came out this year), Bob Ross with Happy Tree:

Complete with Peapod the squirrel!

A lot of this, save the squirrel and magnificent hair could come from your own closet, which I love. Simple, yet effective. Other accessories could include an easel and painting if you feel so inclined!

My second pick comes from another wonderful childhood memory (and not JUST because the memes on the subject have been fantastic), this DIY Arthur tutorial from LaurDIY:

I would definitely encourage some red Chuck Taylors and a backpack to complete the look.

A warning on that tutorial – she is VERY perky so I would recommend having at least one cup of coffee in you if you are watching early in the morning (not that I learned that from experience or anything). Ultimately it’s really a tutorial for the ears, which could be used for a variety of other possibilities as well.

Third up is a truly terrifying costume…and by terrifying I mean if you are an animal lover and a Pixar fan. Because Amy from Amy Ever After has come up with a brilliant Darla from Finding Nemo costume, complete with tutorial:

The horror! Just don’t use a real fish, please.

I may honestly have to try that one in the future. Brings back fond memories of the year the husband and I went as Vanellope Von Schweetz and Wreck It Ralph:

Pardon the crappy lighting and Ralph trying to look grumpy.

I used this tutorial from The Lovebugs Blog for the tights and movie screen shots for reference on the other pieces. It was super fun to make and took only the bare minimum of sewing (for the bright pink yarn on the hoodie).

One of my most favorite things about Halloween costuming is the kiddos because, let’s face it, they are just too cute. Like this amazingly adorbs scuba diver costume for toddlers from Ali Schroeder:

OMG, the binkie attached to the “oxygen tank” and the tiny flippers. I can’t even, you guys.

Or this equally sweet, freaking darling snail costume from Oh Happy Day:

If you have any brown packing paper laying around from your last Amazon order, this is a great way to upcycle!

The last one I have to offer today literally made me giggle with delight. My fellow hackers, this Little Dude costume from Skirt As Top is something I keep in my heart as #parentlifegoals:

This is definitely my El Duderino of choice.

While it is not a full tutorial, she does make mention of the pattern used for the bathrobe (if you feel like doing a little bit of quick sewing) and the other pieces seem easy enough to find.

So there you have it, folks! I did sort through a ton of “last minute” lists in my search so there are plenty out there. Whatever you choose to dress up as, stay safe and have a wonderfully spooky Halloween!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Halloween-Themed Snacks

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Hello my Halloween-y Hackers!

One of my very favorite things to do each Halloween is to make yummy treats. Well, I like doing that year-round but it’s most fun at Halloween. To me, there’s something deeply satisfying about making a hot dog look like a bloody finger. So this week, I wanted to share some fun recipes and tips for making your Halloween party treats the talk of the night.

One thing I make every year (both at Halloween and Christmas) is soft sugar cookies with either a buttercream or royal icing. My recipe for the cookies is from my Hy-Vee Employee Cookbook (courtesy of the lovely Linda Myers of Mt. Ayr), included below, and the buttercream icing that I favor is Wilton’s recipe, found here. Royal icing can be whipped up from a box mix from the store (Michael’s will almost always carry it). This recipe is best for rolled & cut-out cookies. Decorate how every you like. A big tip though is that royal icing works best for cookies you’ll need to transport. Royal icing will harden and your designed cookies will not get destroyed in transit. Buttercream pairs with the soft sugar cookies better because the frosting does not harden. So really, it’s a choice for you which would work best for you and your situation.

Another fun and easy thing to put out for a party is a party mix. This is easy and inexpensive to make (or if you really have a time crunch, you can buy bags of pre-made Chex Mix). Then it’s as easy as adding a little Halloween themed candy to the mix. I prefer candy corn or the pumpkins but you can also use orange and brown M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces. Harvest Hash Chex Mix recipe on Pinterest can be found here.

Other fun finger foods to try out are Deviled eggs, Halloween pretzels, Rice Krispie treat pumpkins, and Ghost Strawberries.

If you are having a smaller soiree with a sit-down dinner, a wonderful dish to serve is Eyeball Pasta (recipe found here). You can also find some fun and frightful ideas for dinners here.

If you want something to set out that is of the healthier snack variety, a simple veggie tray can be set out and arranged in fun designs. There is a Jack’O’Lantern pattern found here and a lovely owl design found here.

As always, imagination is key in your food creations. See that can of black olives? So easy to turn it into black spiders that can be put on top of a pizza with just a few slices of a knife. Those pretzel sticks? A little white almond bark drizzled across them makes them mummy sticks. With that imagination, your Halloween party can be filled with feisty food and tantalizing treats.

~Scribe Sarah~

 

Soft Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 c. margarine

1 egg

1 c. sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 c. thick sour cream

3 1/4 c. flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Cream margarine, egg, sugar and vanilla for 2 minutes. Add sour cream and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Do no chill; roll out and cut. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.


The Festive Portal

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Happy Sunday, all!

It’s a little more than a week until the big day! Since I still live in a condo, my decorating capacity is rather limited so I tend to gravitate towards door and window décor, which might explain why I’m the one that posts the most about wreaths. Hopefully it comes as no surprise, then, that this week I found some door décor tutorials that I simply must try out! First up is something adorably creepy, this Monogram covered in googly eyes from Craft Cuts:

Now I finally have a use for my googly eye collection, besides putting them on random things and laughing.

While we are on the slightly creepy route, I quite like how all of these are also very cost effective to make, including this dollar store skeleton hands wreath from Tried and True:

A round of applause for this neat wreath!

If you’d like a little more elegance but still keep the spookiness, this tulle wreath from Our Best Bites is just the thing:

And if you feel like adding a spider instead of a raven, you do you!

Finally, because fandoms are kind of our thing on Craft Hackers, a little Nightmare Before Christmas action from Thrifty Fun:

This is DEFINITELY Halloween.

I don’t know which one it will be, but I will certainly be adding one to my personal collection (pending what the dollar store has to offer). Since the weekends before and after Halloween are usually reserved for parties, next week we’ll take a look at some great ideas for last minute costumes!

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Loot Carriers Made Easy

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Happy Sunday, all!

Last week I promised some DIY loot bag ideas and these will not disappoint! 3 of the 4 do involve sewing but they are all pretty easy to make, even for those new to sewing. The first one up is a very simple box bottom bag done in fun Halloween print from Almost Supermom:

Best part is making them to suit the size you want…for more loot.

I think they are super cute and will give everyone some more practice on the basics. Now you’ll have the pattern for a basic box bag! Bonus! Plus the fabric selection is completely up to you – so if your kiddos want a bag to match their costume, there is plenty of fabric out there to choose from (like those new Star Wars fabrics we mentioned?). The second has a similar tutorial but on a much cheaper scale. So if you are trying to save a little money by making your own trick or treat bags, this bandanna bag tutorial from 2 Little Hooligans is the right choice for you:

I am NOT a fan of candy corn but I do love that bandanna pattern.

I think that one is also super cool for customizing as I’ve seen all kinds of themed bandannas out there. Again, this does not have to be used solely for Halloween purposes. Super awesome bandanna bags for all occasions! The third one is interactive and kind of creepy. This “sticky” spider web loot bag from Merriment Design has just the right amount of fun for the little ones:

They also make flies and other bugs that the spiders could have “trapped”…just sayin’.

I love the innovative use of the Velcro to bump up the play factor. The fourth one I found is for those of us that either don’t know how to sew or would rather let our sewing machines have a break after rocking out some amazing costumes. This duct tape bag from Dukes and Duchesses looks simple and useful:

Plus this one is guaranteed to be fairly waterproof in case Halloween is a bit damp.

I’ve seen all kinds of cool, creepy, or even shiny types of duct tape that could be used for those. Hope you’ve enjoyed our festive romp through DIY bags this week. May your bag overfloweth this Halloween season!

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Cauldron Bath Bombs

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I’m sure some people are sick to death of seeing posts about bath bombs, but it’s the month of Halloween, and these were just too cute!

 

This is a Cauldron Bath Bomb designed by LeBijouDesign of Louisiana. Shop owner Kaeli Creel is a big Harry Potter fan and decided to use that passion to create all sorts of lovely magical inspired items. Each plastic mini cauldron comes filled with a bubbling and fizzing ‘potion’ that will help turn your bath experience into a magical one. Sadly they are sold out right now, but be sure to keep an eye on her shop of restocks in the future. 🙂


Halloween Out of Doors (DIY Decorations)

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Happy Monday, my crafty little minions!

Last week, I gave you all some ideas and tips for fun and freaky Halloween decorations that can spruce up the inside of your abode. But what about the outside? If you live in a home with a yard or porch/balcony area, this provides a fantastic addition to showing off your Halloween-y adoration.

The website HomeBNC has a lovely article that you can check out here if you want some great tutorials and ideas. A couple of my favorites from this site include Hanging Spider Sacks and Haunting Hooded Ghouls.

    

Another thing that is quick and easy to do and helps creepify your porch or balcony is just pulling some cheesecloth or natural cotton scrim around the railings or from the ceiling, hanging down. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can dye this black, grey, or tan to give it an extra edge.

Nowadays, you can purchase orange colored string lights. These are just as fun to simply wrap around trees or through bushes as they are to hang across your porch. However, you can also take small plastic hollow pumpkins (usually found at places like your local craft or dollar stores), poke holes in the tops or bottoms and slip them over the individual lights. Viola! String o’ lighted pumpkins! (You can also hood the lights with orange Solo or Dixie cups. Draw Jack’O’Lantern faces if you like.) This can be hung or strung as usual or you can tape/staple it down to the top of your balcony or porch railing to display a cute row of glowing pumpkins. (Make sure that you don’t leave them on all night because the plastic could become too hot and melt, creating a fire danger.)

Want something a little extra creepy? Go buy a skeleton head and arms and stick it into the ground. You can have it look like it’s crawling out from under that big old oak in your front yard or it can be clawing its way out from under the front porch. If you have a felled log or slab of rock in your yard that you consider a terrible eyesore, use it to your advantage. Have this be the thing your skeleton is emerging from underneath.

The best thing I can suggest for your yard or outdoor areas are to use your imagination. Every space has unique aspects to it; use the items around you, incorporate them into your decorations. It can make it feel more authentic!

Happy decorating!

~Scribe Sarah~


A Glance into the Future

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Happy Sunday, all!

Today I have for you a DIY project that is just too cool not to share and (of course) it’s a bit creepy! From Bev at flamingotoes.com, I give you spooky crystal ball candlesticks:

They don’t HAVE to be creepy but they sure look good when they are!

I will say that you do need a few specialty items to make these look great like ink jet printable transparencies and good quality images but the original tutorial has a complete list and some resources for those images! Ultimately you’ll need: Inkjet Transparency film, candlesticks, clear holiday bulbs, hot glue, a candle, and the crystal ball shape pattern.

It starts with printing the images on to the transparency film and cutting them into the crystal ball shape:

Eye see some other great ideas in your future!

Make sure that the little tab at the bottom is included as that will become important in another step. But first, the crystal ball should look a little smoky so the next step is to light a candle and let the smoke drift up into your clear bulb:

Use extreme caution! It will get hot!

As it states in the tutorial, do this is stages so that you don’t burn yourself and the bulb does not shatter. After it is a lovely smoky shade and has cooled, it’s time to insert the image:

Also, make sure you are inserting with the tab facing out of the opening!

Once the image is inserted, the tab should be slightly sticking out so that you may glue it to the rim of the opening. This will make the image stand upright:

Thank goodness you remembered the tab, right?

Finally, it’s time to place it on your candlestick. I would definitely get a feel for the size of the rim to the size of your candlestick opening as you may have to use a little filler if the candlestick is bigger. If not, it’s still suggested that glue be applied for stability:

The eyes have it!

So there you are, some added sophistication and creep factor in your decorating this season. Next week we’ll take a look at some DIY treat bags for the kiddos.

Stay crafty!

~Laura

 

 


Easy DIY Halloween Crafts and Decorations

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Hey Crafty Peoples! Sorry about my absence last week; I was on vacation but I’m back and ready to hit you with some sweet sweet Halloween decorations and crafts. Y’all, this is my favorite holiday of all the holidays. I would celebrate this one all year round. Nothing is better than the creepy, the scary and the Halloween-y. In my opinion, that is.

This week, I wanted to focus on some easy and cost-effective ways to decorate the interior of your home for the spookiest of holidays. Next week, I shall direct you to some wonderful sites with ideas for outdoor decor.

There are a lot of crafty folks out there so the majority of these ideas I saw via Pinterest or Facebook. Most of these are ways to re-purpose old household items into fun crafts to keep the kiddies busy or to decorate the house/apartment when you’re pinching those pennies. Some of these are as simple as getting some construction paper or poster board and cutting out Halloween-y shapes. For example, you can cut out bat shapes and either just tape them to your walls (make sure you use painters tape to protect your walls!) or you can pinch them near the middle, attach a string and suspend them from your ceiling. I personally like this way because it looks like there’s bats flying ’round your house and it scares the crap out of people who come by to visit or take care of your cat. You don’t have to stick with bats either. Pumpkins and Jack’O’Lanterns are fun and festive but easy to cut out. If you’re feeling particularly artistic and ambitious, you can cut out witches on brooms, ghosts, mummies, zombies…the possibilities are endless!

For those of you who can’t seem to bring yourselves to toss out those empty pill bottles, you can use them to make some fun and creepy-looking, old-timey apothecary bottles. Magia Mia has a wonderful tutorial here that walks you through making that garbage into Halloween gold. Also, environmentally friendly because you’re reducing the amount of trash you toss. Recycling at it’s crafties.

Another quick and inexpensive way to dress up a room is to give your candles a little makeover. I saw this on Pinterest but the original idea was posted by the wonderfully hilarious (and stylish!) Big Ang Raiola of Mob Wives fame. You can add flourish to small candles in glass by gluing lace around the glass. These have a gothic Victorian feel to them but you can add any kind of ribbon or lace you’d like. Customize to the theme of your Halloween abode.

If you want some scary spiderwebs around your house but you don’t want to deal with that sticky, hard-to-clean fake webbing from the party supply stores you can either just not clean for a really long time (hey, realism in decorations is KEY) or you can make these fun balloon spiderwebs. They are easy to make but it does take a little longer to make than some of the other crafts I’ve posted about here. You’ll want to make sure you have ample time to complete them properly. You can find the instructions here.

And for my pièce de résistance, a little something for all you Harry Potter fans out there. Ever want your home to look like the Great Hall at Hogwarts? I don’t know about you, but I wanted candles magically hovering above my head from the first moment I saw it in the movies. Well, here’s a way to accomplish this feat, at least for a few weeks. Follow these easy-to-understand instructions over at The Sway to make your home into your very own Great Hall.

These are just a few ways to make your home more festive for this spooky holiday. I highly recommend checking out Pinterest for more ideas and remember to think outside the box. Something you see someone else having posted may inspire you to create your very own unique Halloween decorations.

Next week, I’ll talk about some truly terrifying decorations you can add to your porches and yard (should you be lucky enough to have a property with either of these things) to make your house the most frightening on the block.

Happy decorating, Hackers!

~Scribe Sarah~