Brewing up good Halloween Decorations

The Huz and I have been watching a fair amount of DIY’s on the TV lately in order to get some great decorating ideas. We really enjoy going just a bit over board on Halloween and Christmas. We like Halloween because its the one time in an entire year you get to be somebody or something else. The other 364 days of the year its just responsible, boring old me, the workaholic.

We found three really great ideas that we are going to add to our yearly Halloween decor. This first one is the Cauldron.

For the fire underneath we got a board and stapled down some outdoor orange lights. Then covered it mostly with “Great Stuff” foam. We hit it up with some red and black spray paint. While the foam was wet we put a few sticks to make it look even more realistic.

In the light – looks a bit odd.

With the lights out, looks a lot more like a lil fire.

Next we worked on the cauldron. We put on a primer so that paint will adhere to the plastic.

We then put a coat of black matte paint over the primer, we chose the matte paint to take the shininess off of the plastic. After this we added bronzing in spots around the outside to give it the look of age. We also added green paints to the top edge to give the look of boiling over witches brew.

Next is the optical illusion of the bubbling brew. We intend to hang the caldron so we can not fill it entirely with water. We found a perfect little Styrofoam cooler that fits in the cauldron in order to fill the space and is a perfect little table for a small dish that we built to hold the water and mister which will create the look of boiling brew.

The mister we found online. Its a small LED submersible electrical device that works with water and gives the illusion of a witches brew.

Next we got some bamboo and cut it to the length. We then spray painted it black for a darker creepier look. We used twine to tie the three pieces together at the top creating a tripod in which to hang the caldron.

We purchased some decorative chain link at Home Depot. We purchased 10 feet just in case and we used about 8 feet. We also got a green light bulb and a very basic work light with a clamp in order to really illuminate the decor in the yard at night.

Of course the tomb stone is knocked over in the photo.
Not much to look at in the day time.

Since starting to work on the cauldron blog post we have added window decoration where it looks like the house is on fire. The key to that illusion is a lot of fan action on a very reflective material in the window. Also there will be a neighborhood hayride for the kids this year and the neighbor asked as the grand finale that he drives the tractor into our yard to get closer to the creepiness for the kids. Also found out this evening that our neighbors kids calls our house “Halloween Town”.

Here is the YouTube channel you should subscribe to also for more cool stuff where we have recently been getting our inspiration: Wicked Makers

RickabaughReviews approves of Halloween fun and is totally in love with Wicked Makers!

Bonus 3D print!! We made a night light for the little neighbor girls.

Fireplace makeover

I know that it is a bit early for Halloween decor to be put out, but its not to early to purchase Halloween decor, so out it goes. I have wanted for a bit to place a few candle holders for next to the fireplace. By the way, in our old house we had a gas fireplace, but I wanted them back then too, so a bit is 10 years. But they are soooo expensive! And I really could not justify the expense.

Then I showed The Huz a really great idea that we saw at Spirit Halloween and he really liked it. This weekend we were on the hunt for one, maybe two candle holders to start our fireplace collection.

Plain, simple fireplace.

We purchased 6 of 5 different designs. Three are Halloween themed so they will go away at the Beginning of November, so we may need to go back and get a few more from Tuesday Morning (a local store). We did end up getting three more candle holders right before going full Halloween decor from Big Lots.

I pulled out three hard backed books from the bookshelf, that were plain. And then I started pulling out a bunch of the candles that have been purchased for this year’s winter. I like to burn candles in the winter, adds light and warmth to the kitchen.

The next thing to do was to take the tags off of the candle holders and start placing them all about, along with a few pumpkins I got from Walmart.

I added a few other candles with out the pillars, for depth and volume.

A bunch of candles that I purchase come with a plastic wrapper on them to help protect from nicks and dents. So there was a great UN-wrapping. Took forever! I will say if you are planning to do this and burn them for a long time, take care in the scents that you mix. I was going for look not smell. There are at least five different flavors in there and not complementary at all.

Lit up it looks great!

All lit for a photo and then immediately put them all out, the dog is so furry, she will catch herself on fire.

Here is the fireplace upgrade with the three more pillars and after we got down the Halloween decor from the attic. A very nice look indeed.

I switched out some pumpkins for a display somewhere else in the dining room.

RickabaughReviews approves of Halloween decorating. Its so much fun.

Bonus!!! The 3D printed spiderweb corners for doorways made out of glow in the dark filament printed last year. 1-did not melt in the attic & 2-still glow in the dark when charged up with light.

Halloween Apothecary Decorations

I have been so busy working on my costume and crafts I am just now getting to post my work. Start to finish on the projects instead of a few steps at a time.

I found some super cute D. I. Y. Apothecary bottles on Pinterest, I tried making them myself and I think I did ok. Below are how I made them with photos.

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This is the photo that I found and were my inspiration bottles. I knew if they turned out half as good as these they would look great in the kitchen.

First step was collecting bottles, this I did for about 6 months in advance of actually doing the project. Another quick way is to hit up your friends for two to three weeks prior to project day.

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Step Two- The removal of labels. This part is the least fun. I tried several different methods filling the sink with hot soapy water and letting the labels get soggy worked well. I then took a fingernail scrub brush I use after I gardening and scrubbed the softened labels.

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The bottles were still sticky where the labels were, but I was hoping it would help my hot glue words stick and stay in place as I was placing them on the bottles.

I have worked with hot glue before when I made some snow flakes for a costume and I used the same technique with this project. Hot glue is messy and is stringy. So I used wax paper and put my design on the wax paper, let it dry and then cut it out with small sharp scissors.  This way its not stringy and if there is a bit to much in one spot or another I trim it to how I want it.

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Next they go on the bottles. I used the hot glue gun to put tiny dabs of glue on the back of the cut out words to permanently adhere them to the bottles.

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I also purchased a small bag of 12 plastic eyeballs for a dollar and hot glued them to the top of the lids. I had wanted to find some small plastic animals for on the lids but I did not find any that I liked enough, or for a reasonable price.

You can see they are really starting to come together, the last and I think the most fun is painting. Just a quick tip, you might want to plan a few other tasks for in between drying times. For a well mottled look it takes 3-4 coats of different colored paint. Each layer of paint needs to dry before the next layer is placed on top of the last.

I have found that when layering colors going from darkest to lightest or lightest to darkest works the best. I went from dark to light because I wanted to make sure all of the white parts of the bottles were covered.

Charcoal and green mixed for the base coat, the whole bottle and lid.

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When the base coat is complete on all of the bottles ( dark green) you just add paint to your base color. This saves paint and time and you know that the colors will work well together because your next color created is a variation  the current base color (dark green).

I added a small amount of metallic gold to my dark green, to produce a slightly lighter and shimmering green.  This coat was not a complete covering coat like the dark green was. I splotched it on.

The next layer of paint I added even more metallic gold paint.

This makes three layers of color. I then used the gold paint with just a very little bit of my mixed lightest color for a slightly bronze or dirty gold look to paint on just the words to help them stand out.  Also on our blood bottle we used red paint to make it look like blood.

Finished products were not too shabby.

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We have gotten a great deal of positive feedback from our friends and family. I think this project was fun. I think it would be a great October or late September art project for kids home schooled or not. It teaches color mixing skills as well as patience and dexterity. Cutting out the hot glue words and painting the gold on the words helps with fine motor skills and the development of them and learning how to control the tools used in this project.

RickabaughReviews Approves!

 

 

 

D.I.Y. Halloween Decor

Halloween is a fun and silly time of year.  I especially love decorating.  But Halloween decorating can really add up! Every year I try to add just a few things to my stock pile of decor for each season, and I really try to keep a good tab on how much I am spending.  We moved into a new house this summer and the decorating spaces went from three rooms and a small porch to 6 rooms and a porch and front yard 5 times as large.  Lucky us when we purchased the home from relatives they left some items, Halloween and Christmas because they were downsizing.  I try to only purchase decor for special season’s after the holiday is over, when prices are slashed.  If we do purchase something before the season it either must be super cheep on clearance or there must be a coupon that is 20% or higher off the item.  I know this may sound really silly but I put a Halloween decor list on the fridge this year.  It lists a few items that I would not mind purchasing after the season which I think we could add to our home.  As an example we have more windows as well as more artwork on the walls as this new house so I think we can stand to add a few more sections of creepy cloth.  Also maybe some more spiders.  I would like to add more reusable, craft pumpkins that you can carve like a real pumpkin but they don’t ever rot.

D.I.Y. Decor is probably some of my favorite kind because most times its free, I have the items on hand. The “WOW” factor from friends and family also is really nice.  Are my D.I.Y. projects always perfect. Nope. But sometimes I find some good ones to try out.

I have seen in the store lots of fun ideas-I snap pictures of them and then go home and reproduce them. One such product was small black bats that you can tape to the inside of your lamp shades and they look like little flying bats at night.

Love the concept!

I headed off to work the other morning asking my husband, the artist, if he would draw me a few bats on an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of white paper for when I get home.  When I got home he had 5 of the most adorable bats ever! He was not sure what I was going to use them for so he made different sizes for me.  Best Husband ever!

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I got out two sheets of black card stock paper. This type is my favorite, it is heavy duty and holds up well over the years with all sorts of projects including scrap booking.

I used a light colored pencil in order to trace the bats on.  I placed them all down, rearranging to get the most out of one sheet and have as little waste as possible. Then the tracing began, and what followed was a whole lot of cutting.

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Then I used double sided tape and popped the bats here and there on windows and in lamp shades.  I kept my patterns in a small baggy. With the amount of windows we have facing the street in the new house I think that I can make the whole pack of black paper of bats and have just enough.  But instead of focusing on just one craft this year I am doing a few.  So I am saving the patterns and can make one or two sheets of black paper of bats a year.

The end results you can see in the following photos are stellar!!!  I love them and the husband loves them, so that means Rickabaughreviews approves!

Fun easy and cheap!

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Hela of a costume-top Part 1

I worked on the turtle neck of my Hela costume this evening. I started with turning my top inside out and popping it on.

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Then with help from the husband We drew on what sections I wanted to cut away in order to have the shoulders out.  I used a tan colored pencil, rubs off easy- and in case it doesn’t thats why we flipped the shirt inside out.

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And the side/back close up.

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Then the shirt comes off and gently cutting begins. Then the shoulders are off, trying it on to make sure I don’t need to take any more off anywhere.

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Shoulders are gone! Then I found the old bra I wanted to sacrifice for the costume and pinned the shirt to the bra. I put the bra on and then the shirt on correctly with the right side out and then carefully pinned the shirt to the bra in strategic places in order to know where I need to stitch. I will be taking out the wires later for comfort, but I need a good shape for the beginning of sewing.

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I am leaving the straps on the bra- I can slide them off shoulder and that is also where I want to attach the cape mainly for structure and strength and for easy attachment as well as a great deal of flexibility.

The next part I took off the top and bra and started hand stitching them as one. I do a great deal of hand stitching because I have found it to be quicker and more precise for myself.

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So all I got done tonight was a bit of sewing but here it is.

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I decided to attach a bra to the inside to give it the best shape structure in order to work on putting on the overlay fabric. I am glad I got a bunch of this overlay material because I realized tonight that I need to pay close attention to the sample photos I am using to see which angle the pattern is laying (oval overlay) I need to be able to recreate the same exact pattern angles will only pose as a slight bit more work.

 

Weekend Warrior!

Last weekend in August! Got to make the most of it!

Last Weekend in August-Work hard, play hard, sleep hard too.  Had so many gardening tasks planned for this weekend but only got a few done- due to my finger cutting episode. That is okay, we worked on a million other things this weekend. Plus we spent a little sweetheart time date night out to a movie.

Yesterday bright and early I started cleaning. Bathrooms, floors, laundry and ceiling fans. Then we did some gardening where my finger got cut, but it is healing great.  I soak it in warm soapy water every morning and then wear a bandage with triple antibiotic ointment, changing the bandage 4 times a day and letting the skin dry out a bit in between.  I wait until my skin is not so wrinkly from being wrapped up with moisture before I wrap it up again. When we go out I put a small finger splint we have on hand over my finger for extra protection. it is still just slightly sensitive.

While soaking my fingers in soapy water I set up a stepping stone to start painting. Looking good.

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I got around to water proofing my concrete leafs as well as a rock I painted months ago. The tops of these are done. I will get the bottom s of them tomorrow.

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I have the border on the baby boy blanket completed and am working on tying in the ends, so almost complete blanket! In plenty of time before my friends baby boy is here.

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I have successfully designed, printed, addressed and yes put in the mail box. Invitations to a great Aunt”s 90th birthday party.

The husband and I both sanded for an hour each on my China cabinet makeover.  The husband used the Dremel on the top edges where its a bit fancy and too tricky and small for the Black and Decker Mouse hand sander that I prefer to use.  It doesn’t look much different then my last update on my china cabinet makeover but it is coming along.  I did some sanding on the bottom of the shelves and I used the 220 grit on the one outside and my goodness that is so smooth.

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We went material shopping for my Halloween costume updates are in my previous post Hela of a costume. Made my cutie pie niece a card for her birthday. 8 is great! Also in the mail.

We also finally started working on our new bar.  We left the old bar behind when we sold the old house, it really was beautiful and it went great with the dining room.  It was our first bar building experience as a couple and we have a few things we are very excited about doing differently.  We got some stain, and some frame! 2x3x8 boards to start building the frame.

Busy! To bed at midnight and Up at 5am. Do it all over again tomorrow.

Hela of a Costume Part 2!

We worked on getting great under threads.  Leggings were first. I really like no nonsense brand and they fit great.  These were what I got.

No Nonsense Women’s Cotton Legging, Black, Large

Next was a black turtle neck. It needed to be nice and form fitting.  We went to several different stores trying on a ton of tops. What I found best was at Costco. It was a two pack white and black turtle neck set for under $20

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In my earlier post I had found a great black over lay material to give me the textured look with out the heavy and super hot look of rubber or plastic/leather and the comfort of cotton. The lighting isnt perfect but I think it looks great layered.

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This weekend in our non stop weekend warrior lives we got the green material. We purchased 4 yards because we are going to use it for the cape as well as the green accents on the main body of the costume.  We probably only needed to get three yards but I mess up sometimes.  The material was 30% off original price and then I found an online coupon for an additional 20% off my total purchase. Which saved me just over $29 on  the green material. I highly suggest always using coupons.  It makes my life more affordable.

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One of the key elements that I look for in a material is how much it is going to fray when it is cut.  This green that we purchased is spandex and will not fray much at all when cut so I do not have to worry about stitching the edges I can just cut out the shape and hot glue it on.

Hela of a good costume!-Part 1

My husband and I greatly love Halloween. We work very hard at trying to make most of our costumes from scratch every year. We are both very creative and a bit on the crafty side. They usually work out well!

Hela from Thor Ragnarok. When the movie came out in November of 2017 I started right then and there growing out my hair to be Hela for Halloween 2018.

My hair is naturally curly-easily fixed with a flat iron. But its not black. So we just dyed it last week. I will have to touch up before the big day in October because my roots will have grown, but I wanted to make sure I was okay with the change and because I have a few allergies, wanted to make sure I was not allergic to the hair dye.

I used nice and easy brown/black.

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Movie hair on top-my hair on bottom.  Pretty close.

Next step was checking out her threads close up.

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We watched the movie again recently on Netflix and I was confident I could do it.

It is not going to be 100% movie accurate but it will be in our price range and much more comfortable in the chilly Pennsylvania night then leather would be.

We noticed on the close-up that there is a unique texture and we hit the local fabric store to find something similar.  When we found the fabric that we purchased for the main body, we were so excited that it was the exact texture that we needed.  When we pulled the bolt out and layed out the fabric in our hands we had a moment of panic. It was a bit sheer! But together we realized quickly that we could layer it over tight black clothing and then we wouldn’t need to develop a whole pattern. 30% off and we were sold!

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My next challenge was finding inexpensive black leggings, they will only ever be used for this costume. So we didn’t want to spend much.

We found some that fit great!

Next was a black turtle neck!

  • We are off to a good quick start! The quicker I have my costume complete, the sooner I can start assisting my huz with his yet to be determined costume.