Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's Starting to Look a Lot Like... Halloween!

Several years ago I had a wild hair and decided I needed some Halloween decorations.  That's kind of a funny thing since, to me, it's not all that big of a deal for a holiday... and it's not something my family ever made into a major celebratory event.

Yeah, I went trick-or-treating as a kid.  Usually as a ghost.  But hey... it was Idaho and often there was a foot of snow on the ground for Halloween and a sheet is something that fit pretty easily over a heavy coat and a few layers of pants!

Otherwise the clearest memory of Halloween I have is from about 5 years ago when I answered the door expecting to see some little kids out for an evening of candy collecting and found a taller-than-me grim reaper announcing "I'm here for your soul!"  I have to admit that was not the greeting I was expecting and it kind of made me pause for a moment or two...

So I don't know why I decided to get decorations.  Maybe the leftovers after the holiday were especially cute that year?  Anyway, I have a few things.  And low and behold, the plastic storage tub where they get stored made it onto the moving truck with the Christmas decorations when I moved.  And that turned out to be a fortuitous thing since Halloween is one of Derek's favorites.  He likes the spooky fantasy motif and it's one of the few holidays that Americans do actually decorate for as part of the celebrations.  He's been out of town the past few days and as a surprise I started hauling stuff out and even crafting a couple of new items so there'll be something cheery to greet him when he gets home tomorrow evening.

Here's a little peek!

 I have these on the front porch for now.  Even if the ghosts, which will light up with a little battery power, stay in place I think we'll replace the bucket with a real jack-o-lantern.  Then I can take it inside to hold candy...

 The jack-o-lanterns also light up.  The big one in the center plugs in so the kitchen table where I've got it setup now is probably not the best place for it.  The outlet is right over the dog dishes (they are infamous little chewers who gnaw on anything they can get into their mouths!) and it doesn't work.  We haven't figured out why yet.

 I put a couple of little towels on the oven door to brighten things up in the kitchen.
This is 33 cents worth of paper plates cut up and strung together with some yarn...  I think I'll find a black marker to redo his eyes and give him a gaping mouth and get a little tape to hold his arms and legs in a more interesting shape.  He's silly, but cute!

There is a template you can print and use to cut the plates here or do like me and just free cut them by looking at the picture.

I bought a pack of 45 plates for $1.  They are the cheap, flimsy, little plates that you really don't want to eat from but they work perfectly for these kinds of kid-friendly craft projects.  This nearly adult-sized skeleton takes 15 plates.  And yes, if you are making a lot of them you can buy a bigger quantity and they are even cheaper -- I saw 100 plates for $2 at Dollar General.

I also like that the cost makes him expendable.  I don't need to worry about protecting him from the weather and trying to save him for another year.  If he gets trashed it's no big deal!

This is my other big project...

I put little pictures in each of the 9 panes of the carport door.  I had thought about using markers to 'paint' something on clear contact paper but ultimately decided I was too lazy to do all that.  What I used is little treat bags that are about the size that would hold a smallish popcorn ball.  I just cut them apart (as you can see below) and used the picture on the front for this and kept the clear purple backs for another project that hasn't quite all come together yet.

This would also be a cute idea to display kids' artwork.

All I did was cut clear contact paper to fit the panes, center my 'art' on it and press onto the glass.  The easiest way I found to center the pictures was to only partially peel the contact paper back, lay the picture on the backing and then carefully lay the clear part back over it.  Mine are mylar and the static between them and the contact paper and backing was insane!  I solved that by using a sponge to moisten the back of the picture a bit.  That killed the static and made it cling in place while I pulled the contact paper back up.

Cutting the bags apart.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out!  It's a fun and cheery greeting to arrive home to!!

Can hardly wait to see what Derek adds to our decorations over the next few days!

No comments: