Seamingly Crafty

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Having A Fun Frugal Halloween

So my intention was to get on here and share all of my money saving tips for Halloween!  Of course around here, I sometimes get so busy, I barely have time to breathe 😉

Well I decided that even tho I didn’t share my Halloween throughout October, I’d share what I did to save money this season, still have a great party, great decor, and amazing costumes on a dime!

The Decor

We are a Halloween loving family! We literally could transform our home into a haunted house inside and out every year.  Although we don’t go quite that far we do decorate a lot.  This year we made a trip to the dollar store and grabbed some cool murals to decorate the walls with.  These added so much more depth to our house and just some clear tape and a couple bucks and we had a spooky backdrop on several walls.  These did double duty when we had our party cause they gave our guests several options for photo ops. 🙂

This one we taped onto the brick right outside our front door. *TIP* Dollar store boxing tape stuck and stayed on the brick! Be sure to tape all around to keep the wind from getting under it and ripping it off the wall.

We hung up several different jointed life sized cutouts as well.

these make fun decorations, and fun for party pictures when they are posed 🙂

DON’T THROW AWAY THAT BROKEN BATTERED HALLOWEEN DECORATION!!

As with most years our decorations get roughed up outside from the wind.  This year one of our decorations was in desperate need of some TLC.  Most people would just toss them out when they get as battered as this guy was!  Since I don’t have a picture of him I can explain what we did.  He started as a 2′ hanging skeleton reaper.  He has plastic hands and foam head and originally was draped with a greenish soft papery type fabric and a cheese cloth over that.  The green papery fabric (I don’t know what else to call it) was torn up really bad and since it wasn’t really a fabric more like a glorified paper towel there was no way to doctor it up with matching material.  So what we did was used some scrap black fabric, and black creepy cloth from the dollar store to replace his existing fabric.  We kept the cheese cloth as that was real and the older it is the spookier it looks 🙂  We used hot glue to attach the fabric and creepy cloth and I used a wire hanger cut and bent into a new hanger for him which I attached securely.  We now had a new from old decoration.  If you don’t want to re-do your similar decoration that is too battered to use simply cut off the re-useable parts.  In this case I would have saved the head and hands along with the cheese cloth for a different project.  Any decoration for outdoor can be upcycled or recycled into something new or updated.  Don’t toss it out save $$ 😉

We used the cheese cloth we took off of the decoration to wrap around 2 large dollar store skeletons we painted green to make mummies. 🙂

Creepy cloth can be purchased at the dollar store.

A must! It comes in black and gray.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR CEMETERY WITH FUN IDEAS

We had to touch up some of our outdoor headstones too.  This just required paint which I had on hand and some outdoor clear coat spray which I also had on hand.  We made a couple of new headstones this year.  We are scary movie buffs 😉 so of course our cemetery reflects that.  On our headstones we have:

Fred E. Krueger  his headstone is dressed up with a hand painted Elm St. Street sign and of course his razor knives glove laying on the grass in front of the headstone I made it with an old winter glove spray painted brown and cut out of foam board the knives.

Micheal Myers  his headstone is dressed up with his iconic butchers knife purchased from the dollar store it came white glow in the dark I painted it with silver and blood red.

Jason Voorhees his headstone has his iconic hockey mask screwed to the top corner and his iconic machete screwed to the other side.

Jedidiah Sawyer I haven’t come up with a way to incorporate his iconic chainsaw but I did lay some severed body parts from the dollar store by his headstone.  I’d love to hear chainsaw ideas!!

I made a small coffin a couple years ago to cover our fog machine. I also had purchased after Halloween a couple years ago 3 small headstones with tubes that attach to the fog machine.  even tho they were made for the machine I have, the machine melted the attachments.  I have yet to come up with a way to fix it but still put the headstones out.

Here’s a link to my Instructable on making the coffin.

NOTE* Please follow your instructions that came with your fog machine.  My dimensions were cut to fit a small fog machine and I was sure to keep the end protruding out to keep the fog end cool.

SPEAKING OF CEMETERIES…

My daughter and I love these little headstones at the dollar store.

We grab one or two every year.  They make a nice mini cemetery for the mantel or coffee table etc.  We added some mini plastic skulls and mini skeletons from the dollar store.

While browsing Pinterest I came across this amazing life size spooky tree at 102 wicked things to do blog. I knew I didn’t have time to make it for this Halloween but as my daughter and I were cleaning up after making a Halloween wreath I thought Hmmm…. how about a mini spooky tree for our mini cemetery! YES!  So I kept the cardboard rolls from the dollar store ribbon we used on the wreath and followed most of the her instructions and created my mini spooky tree!  I LOVE IT!!  I added some purple spider LED lights also from the dollar store.

WHILE WE ARE ON TALKING ABOUT MY TREE FIND

Also on 102 wicked things to do blog I found a tutorial on how to make candles that look real but use cardboard tube and LED tealight candles from the dollar store.  We made 5 of them 3 for our candelabra and one for the bathroom candle holder.  She hit it on the head when saying you don’t want anyone catching on fire at your Halloween Party.  I actually had someone almost catch their hair on fire on my toilet… yes… toilet…. I had a tealight burning on the back of it thinking it would be safe. yes I thought it would be cause I don’t sit back and relax on the pot lol so these candles were an awesome SAFE way to spook up the commode. Find the tutorial HERE.

For the Halloween Party Costume contest I used her idea for the trophies!  They turned out great!

We also made 2 extras that weren’t featured in her tutorial.  Our categories were:

Best Costume

Most creative

scariest

funniest

best couple

most original

sexiest

penny pincher

party pooper

We purchased several skeletons from the dollar store. Some wood bases from the craft store some creative props a small piggy bank from dollar store a candle holder and we used a small skeleton we had already.  On Avery.com I chose small mailing label size labels I printed on 6 labels

The Austin’s Halloween Party
BEST COSTUME
2014

I made one for each.  On the Penny Pincher tag I added “start saving for next years costume” and put a penny in the bank. On the party pooper (the little skeleton) I added “next year wear a costume”

I made the background a goldish color on the labels. Printed them out on plain paper, cut them out and used mod podge to attache them to the bases of the trophies.  My daughter and I had so much fun making these!  And even more fun awarding them to the winners!

For voting I used 3×5 cards cut slits down one side to make 9 tabs, I decorated paper lunch bags and taped them to the wall around the voting table.  Taped up simple rules for voting (ie. only vote once for each category) and left the cards and several pens on the table.

——>Click Here to go to 102 wicked things to do<——

SPEAKING OF COSTUMES

This year I spent a lot of time on my daughters costume leaving very little time for my own.  So I decided to go simple and be a Witch.  All I did was make a simple tutu skirt out of tulle and ribbon.  I purchased a hat from the dollar store.  Used some scrap black fabric and the extra tulle and modified the hat to fit my liking. I wanted it to be crooked and longer.  I used floral wire glue and grocery bags to form the end.  Here is what I made for a buck and some free colorful leaves from my yard 🙂

THINK FRUGAL! PARTY TIME!

To keep the food cost down, we chose to do a taco bar.  We purchased taco meat from our local GFS store along with taco shells and a big bag of shredded lettuce, cheese sauce and tortilla chips.  I diced 5 medium tomatoes 2 large onions and served shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives etc.  I kept the meat and cheese sauce hot in crock pots laid out the spread and done.  I also made some witches hats zombie fingers and even put out some powdered donut holes covered with a couple black spiders (spider eggs) 🙂

I bought a few different flavors of 3 liter pop and made fruit punch and iced tea.

All our supplies were purchased at the dollar store.

That was some of our 2014 Halloween!

To wrap up this post I’ll leave you with a few pointers and must haves list for the dollar store.

MUST HAVES:

skeletons large and small

wall murals

party supplies

mini skulls

mini headstones

spiders

crows

creepy cloth

ribbon

LED candles and mini string lights

TIPS/POINTERS:

The dollar store stock sells out FAST!  I missed out on a couple of things I really wanted cause I waited to buy them.  Start shopping for Halloween at the dollar store at the end of August.  The items that don’t sell out too fast are skeletons crows and spiders these they seem to re stock or over stock.

SHOP FOR HALLOWEEN CANDY AT 5 BELOW if you have one near you.  I try to avoid the dollar store for this because although you think you are getting a deal in some cases you aren’t. By the time you purchase enough bags of for example charms suckers to equal the amount you get in a grocery store bought bag you are paying the same price if not more.  Certain candies are ok to purchase at the dollar store like dum dums and pixi stix.  You can always price and weight compare before you buy.

SHOP NOW! Halloween clearance is up to 75% off right now!  You can get ribbon, decorations, etc. at a fraction of the cost! Even the dollar store clearances their Halloween stock.

Think simple for party food!  Stick to one theme. example tacos.  This will keep your cost low.  You can also make it a pot luck ask your guests to bring a spooky dish.  And always do BYOB (bring your own booze)  We do offer what we have to all our guests but I always throw BYOB on the invites so the guests know they are welcome to what we have but any special drinks they should bring.

Think simple for your decor if you host your party out in the garage or a tent.  We put up black poly plastic on the walls and over our not so sightly garage junk hung up some caution tape all around. DONE!  Our guests were welcome inside or out.

If you have your party outside or plan on having any outdoor activities ALWAYS have a back up plan.  We had intended to have spooky stories and pass the story game by the fire pit.  Hot apple cider by the fire pit, and Halloween movies on the back of our house using a friends projector for fire and a movie after games and stories for the kids.  However, the wind was horrible so we couldn’t put up the party tent and couldn’t safely have a fire and since it was so cold and windy we couldn’t do the movies either.  So instead we hung apples on strings for no hands apple grabbing game.  I printed out free coloring pages from crayola.com  and my daughter offered several board games for indoor activities.  I would have done more but I didn’t have a back up plan. 😛 the weather changes like crazy here!

That about wraps it up for this Halloween Post!

Until next time… Keep it Frugal!

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Custom Chandelier

As promised in Bedroom Re-Design Vol. 1 I am sharing how I made this custom chandelier.

I would suggest reading this entire post before going at this on your own.

It is always best to consult a professional.

I ASSUME NO RESPONSIBILITY IF YOU INJURE OR ELECTROCUTE YOURSELF OR A FIRE IS STARTED IF YOU ATTEMPT TO MAKE THIS.

Be sure to read and follow all instructions contained in your light fixture kits you purchase.

Now with all that out of the way, I used parts I had left over from 2 previous light fixtures I either made or altered.  If you make this project I have listed the parts I used, some of them may come in kits or can be purchased separately.

For this project I used:

  1. Two cluster fixture socket (pictured)
  2. swag light kit (pictured)
  3. electrical tape
  4. electric wire nuts
  5. wire strippers/cutter
  6. screw collar loop kit w/swivel crossbar (pictured below) you may also need to pick up a longer nipple (which is the tube in the left picture below with the threads on the outside)
  7. round box plate with center hole (pictured below)
  8. Two wire wreath forms I used 14″ (cheapest found at Walmart under $3)
  9. Pliers
  10. heavy duty wire cutters (to cut hanger)
  11. 3 wire hangers
  12. scissors
  13. 1 yard choice of fabric
  14. hot glue and gun
  15. beads of choice (Walmart cheapest)
  16. floral wire (thin gauge to affix beads)
  17. 4 yards ribbon (possibly less)
  18. jewelry Chain & jump rings
  19. rivet gun and rivets med. to large

To start out I opened the wire holding the circles on the wreath.  I used the outer and inner circles.  Those where not welded to the holding wire.  And were the perfect size for the chandelier I had visioned.

Next Icut wire hangers to get 8 pieces.  I bent the ends as seen in picture.

I attached 4 to the small rings and 4 to the large rings.

Before crimping I had to make sure the rings sat straight and even.  After fighting with it, I finally got it somewhat straight.

as you can see there was still one or two that just wouldn’t stay straight but that was fixed while adding the fabric and ribbon.

Taking the larger shade and the swivel crossbar I found my center, placed the center hole of the swivel crossbar on my center mark (this can be done on the floor or table by taping a piece of paper down, putting something on 4 sides of the shade to hold it in place then marking the center on the paper).  I measured the distance between the holes at the ends of the swivel to the shade added 2 inches cut 4 more pieces of hanger, made a loop on one end and crimped the other around the top of the shade. I then used the rivet gun to attach the other end to the swivel crossbar.

The next step was adding the fabric and the ribbon to the shade forms.  This was a daunting task.  I first measured then measured again then cut the length and width I needed leaving plenty on the length to fold a nice hem.  I then began gluing.  and.. gluing and.. yep you guessed it gluing some more.  It looked hideous. However the ribbon was intended to cover the wire form and hide the hideous glue 🙂 So I began to glue again first inside then out.

Next I assembled the light.  Using the kits and various parts I had from other projects.

I used screws to attach the wall box plate to the swivel crossbar.  This was to insure the chandelier wasn’t applying any pressure on the wires while hanging.

I ran the wires through the nipple and the swivel and plate. I followed the instructions that came with the swag kit and strung the chain and attached the switch.  Then I  attached the wires from the fixture to the swag with wire nuts put elec. tape over them just to be extra safe. I made sure everything was tight and in place.

I then measured the chain and attached it to the top cross bars and the bottom shade poking the jump ring through the fabric around the wire.  You can see it in the above photos.

Finally I decided on how to place the beads used the floral wire and poked it through the fabric where I wanted it to hang.

I plugged it while my husband held it up and turned it on to test it.  everything seemed to be in order and functioning properly.  We hung it up with the hooks that came in the swag kit.

For my second light fixture I made from scratch I’d say it turned out pretty good. 🙂

I did have a little pinspiration.

After completing this light I found that there were other light hardware pieces I could have used as opposed to riveting and cutting hangers.  But over all this was pretty cheap to make.

The one pictured above on ebay was going for $100

Mine was a fraction of that.

Until next time!

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Hand Painted Signs and Potato Stamp How-to

Well I have been MIA for some time now.  There has been so much happening in my life, it’s taking a toll on me.  I have been taking a mental break so to speak. 🙂

I have found a little time to work on a few projects.  One of them is these signs.  Another thanks to Pinterest!

My husband brought home a few big boxes of these pieces of wood.  They look to be sides of drawers.  I instantly had ideas floating through my mind.  I am a big fan of these cute signs you see all over the net.  I think they look amazing with decor.

I tried giving them a distressed look.  The sign above I used a potato stamp for the small stars.

Here’s how:

Materials:

Potato

pencil

stencil (optional)

paring knife

paint

How to:

Cut the potato in half.  Using the stencil and the pencil 😉 trace or just draw out the shape you want to stamp onto the cut end of your potato.  You may need to scar the potato if it is really wet the pencil may not show up.

using your paring knife carefully start cutting away the potato around your shape.

once finished dab the the potato on paper towels to dry.  Dip into paint and stamp away!

The above sign is my favorite!  It represents these tough times in my life that at times seem unbearable but through the grace of God, my will to push on and great friends and family (anchors) I have remained sane.

Hope you enjoyed!

Till next time!

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