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.

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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