Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Vintage Inspired Halloween Party

A post also known as- Finally. I will stop talking about it after this.

Last weekend we had a rather large Halloween party. The guest list didn't start out so large, but we kept adding and you know how that goes. So we were thankful that Saturday had the most lovely weather,  making our almost 50 guests feel perfectly comfortable outside. 50 people inside my house= massive claustrophobia.

In preparing for the party I made invitations using Skip To My Lou
(note- not mine, this is the example from their website, though I am sure the Hopper's party was lovely)

Using this to set the tone for the party meant the muted gray, black, cream, and pumpkin colors I already incorporated in the Spider Wreath and Urns would work  perfectly.  Going forward it was simple to continue using these colors to coordinate the rest of the decorations.

Front Door

 spray painted sticks, Spanish Moss and two pumpkins greeted guests.

Beverage Buffet

The buckets came from the dollar spot at Target and were filled with spray painted branches and Spanish Moss and foam left over from the Urn project mentioned above. I think everyone in blog land spray painted some branches this year. Spray paint sales must have been off the charts.
The sign from the beverage tub, also purchased at Target, came from the Internet. If you look closely you can see the pictures above the buffet received Halloween masks from leftover scrapbook paper. And the mice silhouettes above were a snap to make using the template off Martha Stewart's site.

Kitchen Display

The Hallo-weenies roasted on the grill were served in our kitchen.

I made the pumpkin, owl, and cat hanging in the windows using the templates off Martha Stewart's site. I also found the template for the creepy curtains there as well. Martha made hers out of plywood, I used black poster board. Clearly Martha has no problem making extra holes in her walls but I would rather not spend my November 1st taking down plywood curtains and patching large holes.

Living Room Mantle

I never did find the mirror I talked about here. After tweaking what I had to work with I settled on this design. The candle holders were made from items from Dollar Tree. The rest of the mantle didn't change much from this post, if you are interested in reading about the other components.

Dessert Table

My favorite part of the party had to be creating this table. Hobby Lobby had the table cover and runner.

We served candy corn cupcakes with vanilla buttercream icing, mini caramel apples and sweet sugar cookies with cream cheese icing. Traditional favorites of mellow creme pumpkins and candy corn also decorated the table.  

More Creepy Curtains frame the Wal-Mart(yes, that's what I said) banner.Please forgive the picture quality our walls are a very dark blue so there wasn't enough contrast or light to properly photograph.

A Dollar Tree crow perched on top of the cupcake stand watches you grab a cupcake. The spiders were also Dollar Tree finds.


Since changing light fixtures isn't a difficult task I decided to switch our normal dining room chandelier out for one that had been properly dressed for the occasion. A little gray spray primer and leftover scrapbook paper turned an old 80's throw away into this


Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin

(Obviously little fingers played here before I took the picture)

Pumpkin Boccie

Pumpkin Bowling

we also had a Pinata, ring toss, and see-saw for the kids to use. Hopefully our guests had as much fun at the party as I did planning it. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In which we purchase a jig saw

A post also known as-A DIY bean bag toss
An old sheet  of faux wood paneling and some craft paint conspired together to become this
Stop admiring my gorgeously patchy grass, we have had some interesting weather around here. What you see isn't even the worst looking section of our yard:(

Want to make one too? Here is how I did it-

1. grab an old piece of plywood or whatever else you may have laying around the house. We found an old sheet of faux wood paneling the previous owners left in our garage. 
2. Paint the entire sheet the color of your choice. I used what I had around the house and could only find leftover chalkboard paint. I went with it, which made tracing the image onto the wood quite easy. Erasing mistakes made with chalk is a snap.
3. While paint is drying find the image you want to use. I went back to my obsession Matthew Mead and chose this
4. Using a projector, or going freehand if you are able, trace the image on the wood. Here is where the use of chalkboard paint really paid off. The chalk slid over the wood with ease and it was simple to erase any areas I didn't like. 
5. Use a jig saw to cut out the areas you plan to throw bean bags through.
6. Fill in with craft paint. I used acrylics approved for outdoor use. I also added polka dots, cause what doesn't look better with polka dots?

I also made the bean bags to go with the game. You can see them all perched and ready to go at the base of the game.  I made a simple candy corn shape out of paper and used that as a template to cut the felt. I used felt I already had left over from a-yet-to-be shown project and stitched it together by hand. I attempted to make them look vintage by using contrasting thread and obvious stitch lines, trying to make my rudimentary sewing skills work to my advantage.(or is that just what I have told myself?) I filled them with dried kidney beans because that's what was cheapest at the grocery store, but I am not sure how they will hold up over time. Anyone know?

Close ups of bean bags, and yes that is grass on them. Maybe I forgot to take pictures of these until after they had been used. Maybe.  

As you can tell from the photos, I used a variety of stitches to drive home that vintage look. Or maybe it was because I am ADD and wanted to whip these together as quickly as possible. Jury's still out.

Anyway, the hardest part of the whole project was getting the courage up to do it in the first place, I mean a saw was required and that's a bit scary. It was much less trouble than I thought it would be, and was a big hit at the Halloween party we had over the weekend. Details to follow...
next up- more felt lovin'

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Indoor decor, continued

Not finding a mirror to place over my mantle was beginning to bug me. So, I decided to let it got for awhile and move on to other indoor decorating for the Halloween party. (Sick of hearing about it yet?) I moved about two feet to the left and began working on transforming this:

into this:

This came together rather simply, using images I found online to trace the birds and the tree. Borrowing a projector made the tree a snap to make. I just found an image online and used the projector to trace this image onto some plain brown craft paper from the 'Lob. The whole shebang is hung using removable sticky putty, also found at the 'Lob, making this easy to take down after Halloween has come and gone. In fact, the plan is to move the tree to the playroom and change out the decorations for each month. We are already talking about the leaves we will put on it next month, and the Christmas decorations for the month after.

Not bad for thirty minutes of effort and about $2.00.

up  next- A DIY bean bag toss game

Monday, October 4, 2010

Easy Peasy Felt Pillow

A post also known as- Hot glue rocks my socks.

I do not know how to sew. There, I said it. The concept makes sense to me, but the execution is where it always goes wrong. So this pillow is NO SEW. I am sure you could sew it, should you be one of those crafty types that can sew. I am also sure yours would be a little more sturdy if you did. But, since this isn't a permanent cover for my pillow I don't really mind. And, as I said, it isn't like I know how to sew. 

Here is what you need if you want to make a no sew felt pillow.

About 5/8 a yard black felt. One small remnant of cream felt. A pillow form(mine was 18X18). A pattern, scissors, and a HOT GLUE GUN. 
I am sure you have noticed in the picture the glue gun is missing. I foolishly thought I could use an all purpose glue instead, only to have to go and beg forgiveness from said glue gun after finding out that the all purpose glue didn't actually make anything stick together.

Attention makers of Alleen's glue:
GLUE- defined as an adhesive. Should make things stick together. 
Just thought I would mention this.

Anyway, I made the pillow by laying the black felt over my pillow form and pinning the bird pattern to the front of the pillow. 

Then I removed the felt and cut the bird carefully out of one layer of the felt. As you will later see, I found this part slightly tricky. 

After cutting the bird out, slightly modifying the design because your sewing scissors were a little to large to make some of the details, hot glue the cream felt onto the BACK SIDE of the felt.   

Then I wrapped the pillow back in the felt, making sure the bird was in the front again. I then hot glued all the sides together, envelope style. 

The ends were secured with hot glue, similar in style to wrapping a present.

Here is the finished product-

please ignore the sage throw. It will be changed out for a cream colored one soon.

Its not perfect, but it will add a hint of Halloween to my chair for the next three weeks and then be removed, so it doesn't have to be:) 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

A work in progress

A post also known as- aren't we all? 

It isn't finished. I am not thrilled with how it looks right now. 
But when THE NESTER and Cottage and Vine host a linky party, you go!

This year we are having a Halloween party at our house. It has been said that I like to go "all out" for parties. And "all out" takes awhile to pull together. So here is what I have so far. 

Yes, yes I know. The wreath is too low. I am waiting until I can find one of those old antique mirrors, you know the kind with the time worn finish, where parts of the mirror no longer reflect? Very Halloweenish, but still able to be used on Christmas? Anyone know where such an item exists for less than 400 bucks? Yea, me neither. But if I do find one, or an acceptable substitute, the wreath will be hung from the top of the mirror. 

And speaking of that wreath- THIS is how I made it

Other pictures with various lighting- (the clouds are moving quickly today, meaning taking pictures has been interesting) 

 Does the lighting have to stink in every picture I took? Grr. On second thought- perhaps I need a lesson in taking pictures. Note to self- learn to use expensive camera properly before complaining about it. 

The remaining items up there are 

A very sloppily put together banner- didn't realize how much work that still needed until I took the picture- Yikes. 
Books I covered with scrapbook paper-don't hate on my copy of Breaking Dawn down there. I ran out of black paper, and this one seemed fitting all on it's own. 

Not my dream Halloween mantle, but it will do until I figure out what will make me happy. Or until I finish writing this and run down and tweak it again. And again. And again. Suggestions for making it look better? Referrals to a 12 step program that deals with mantle tweaking? 

Next  up-  felt and I become aquainted

A reason to run, not walk, to the Dollar Tree

A post also known as- Finally! An idea I came up with myself.

To be then subtitled- It is impossible to properly capture glitter with a camera lens

Dollar store craft ideas are all over the web right now. I have been inspired to take one on myself. Here is what I came up with:

Here is what you need to make a Not-So-Scary Spider

 A lovely, fresh from the dollar store large scale spider

Some kind of glue, a paint brush, plate, and glitter.
I also used my self healing mat to catch the drips and excess glue. 

I didn't take an action shots of the process, but I am sure you get the gist.

1. Water down glue slightly
2. Brush mixture over the spider, working in sections
3.Coat in glitter
4. Wait until dry
5. Brush off excess glitter

Difficult? Tutorial even needed? Nope.

But the end result is soooo much better than where we began


                                                                        Came from this

Much less gruesome looking, don't you think? After all, what could possibly look scary after being coated in glitter? Now, don't go googling that and proving me wrong, you hear?