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Halloween Tricks and Treats!

'BeWitched', my very own 'Great Pumpkin' creation, and I would like to wish you

Happy Halloween!

Tonight, after the cute little trick or treaters have been tucked into bed,
the ghosts and ghouls here on our street will gather for a dessert party!

Some very simple ideas and materials were pulled together in about two hours
to create this fun party decor...
One roll of orange wrapping paper forms a backdrop AND the center stripe on the table.
found at Marshalls for $2.99

[ disclaimer: the 'happy Halloween' writing was added in my photo editing program - 
it's NOT printed on the paper on the wall ]

One package of vintage-look crepe paper fringed garland frames the center stripe on the table
and forms a short swag above.
found at Salvation Army for $1.99. NEW!

The large plastic chargers (and other containers) await the food...
found at Walmart for $2.49
A gathering of apothecary jars (from elsewhere in the house) is filled with decor items
like plastic eyeballs, spiders and candycorn from WalMart.
The last snippet of the fringed garland tucks inside one jar.

You could fill yours with candy for guests to actually EAT...
but we have so many goodies, we didn't need candy!

continue reading to see MORE easy party decor ideas!


Who Knows? SHEknows!

I am pleased to share with you an article on the SHEknows.ca website, 
a DIY resource for a largely Canadian readership. 
Writer Jessica Padykula contacted me a few months ago, and asked me to contribute
some of my creative ideas 
for decorating with pumpkins AND decorating pumpkins... 
I was happy to oblige!

Thank you, Jessica, for creating a great story with my content,
and for sending your readers here to my blog. Welcome, girls!

I invite you to peruse the tabs up above and the links on my sidebar,
which will take you to the most popular posts and projects that I've shared here,
as well as to creative decorating ideas for every season of the year!

I've shared even MORE content on my Pinterest boards and Facebook Page -
come on over!

Here at HOMEWARDfound Decor, it's ALL about using what you have on hand ;)
[You'll find more about that philosophy, and me, on my 'Start Here' page]


8 'Black Magic' Halloween Ideas!

 As Halloween Eve creeps ever closer, don't forget about the simple SCARY touches you can add
to everyday items in your home!

The black chandelier above has a center that resembles a cage -
so I treated it like one, and filled it with some drippy spanish moss and one solitary black crow.
I wrapped the faux candles in black glossy paper,
and used clear low-wattage nightlight bulbs for a sinister glow.

Click here for another idea for embellishing your chandeliers!
These two photos show an elegant carved wood white mirror that has been spookified:
A length of black sheer fabric is tucked between the wall and the mirror,
with one end of the fabric hanging down below it and one end tucked into a 'hood' shape at the top....
shrouding the mirror in mystery...

 more ideas for spooky black decor:

Bewitched Mirror Trick

Glass Globe Crystal Ball

Mad Science

Big Black Spiders


Charming Little Scarecrows

 A VERY unusual element makes these charming little scarecrows 
a 'Fast, Cheap & Easy' project... and you won't believe what it is!

Years ago, my friend Karen made the scarecrows in the image above
for the porch decor at one of our client's Seattle area homes.
A few years later, I made a similar little scarecrow, 
and came up with my 'crazy but ingenious' plan for his support system...
a standard rubber bathroom plunger.
yeah, really!

I DO suggest that you get a NEW plunger from a home supply store for this!
['reduce reuse recycle' has its limits, you know?!]

This illustration shows the process - 
Look at it from the BOTTOM UP !
Basically, you are building the scarecrow OVER the handle/post of the plunger,
which is stuck to the floor of your entryway, porch, etc.
Generally when I hear a description like that, I nod my head and go 'oh, I GET it!'
but I know not everyone is like that...
so here are some basic 'how to' steps to follow if you need them:

#1: First you stick the plunger to the floor - in your entryway, on your porch, wherever.
It won't stick to concrete, though, unless the concrete is really smooth.
If you have an extra doormat, flip it over and expose the rubbery side - the plunger will stick to that!

This method will make small scarecrows...
but you can stick the plunger onto taller items to make the scarecrows appear taller:
a five-gallon paint bucket wrapped in burlap, a metal milk can, anything that the plunger will stick to!

#2: Take a pair of child's pants - jeans, cords, overalls - and do one of two things:

If you want the scarecrow to sit down, put a hole in the crotch
so that the plunger's handle will go through the pants.

If you want the scarecrow to stand up, just slip one leg of the pants over the plunger handle.
[You'll need to 'scrunch' the pants down a bit once stuffed,
 to allow the shirt & head to fit on the handle, too.]

Close the ends of the pantlegs with a rubber band, and cover with raffia.
Then stuff the pants - I use plastic grocery bags or trash bags.
Stuff them REALLY full, making the pants as firm as possible  - not squishy.

#3. Place a wire clothes hanger inside a long-sleeved child's tee shirt or sweater
then place the shirt over the top of the plunger handle,
with the handle coming up through the neck of the shirt.

Close the ends of the sleeves with rubber bands, and cover with raffia.
Tuck the bottom of the shirt into the pants - use straight or safety pins to hold them together.
Add a raffia 'belt' in the pant belt loops if you'd like.
Then stuff the shirt with more plastic grocery or trash bags - 
again, stuffing it VERY full so that it is firm and not squishy.

Bend the top loop of the hanger in the shirt up straight, 
and DUCT TAPE it onto the plunger handle - this will help to hold the shirt and pants upright.
Leave about 4 inches of the handle at the top for the pumpkin head to fit onto.

#4. Get a lightweight 'FUNKIN' pumpkin, a plastic pumpkin pail, 
a plush pumpkin, or even a Sweater Pumpkin!
Put a hole in the center of the bottom of it. 
Then slide the pumpkin onto the plunger handle and snug it down to the neck of the shirt.

*** The pumpkin has to be lightweight - if it's heavy, it will cause the stick to lean over ***
You can add stuffed socks or shoes to the ends of the pant legs,
a stuffed pair of mittens to the ends of the shirt sleeves, 
and a hat to the top of the pumpkin if you wish.

You could also use children's Halloween costumes for this project!
Try some from the thrift store, or maybe even use the costumes that your kids have worn in past years!
[If , like me, you kept them because they were just too darned cute to part with. 
Yeah, I was that mom ;) My daughters have 'the Costume Box' now]

Just think how darling your front porch would be 
with a gathering of little costumed 'Trick or Treater' Scarecrows!


That's Scary, Baby!

 I saw this incredibly CREEPY idea at the Roger's Gardens 'Night Gallery' Halloween House...
another stellar and original visual effect created by the RG visual team!

It's simply baby doll heads, painted in ghostly gray tones,
swathed in gauze or netting, 
and then plopped into glass canister jars.

Displayed en masse on dark shelves, they create a 'library' of ghoulish frights:
You could even use tiny doll heads in baby food jars, for a miniature version!


One LAST Sneak Peek!

 I was very surprised to learn that my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins 
have been published in the November issue of Romantic Homes Magazine!

[and no, that red oval announcing my pumpkins' inclusion is NOT on the actual cover!]
I'd like to offer my gratitude to writer Beth Livesay and photographer Susan Frick,
for including my lil' product in this issue.

Now, on to
 that super dooper sneak peek   of my BRAND NEW PRODUCT for the Holiday season
that I promised to share with you today!

 I am thrilled to share these new creations with you...
They were inspired by my pumpkins
and some Christmas decor that my daughter Bethany and I made together [SEVEN years ago]
and a few nudges from my mom... she kept suggesting this idea, and I repeatedly balked at it.
"I don't want to be a one-hit wonder and just make things from SWEATERS!"
was my constant argument.
I finally (wisely) got to the point where I realized
"Oh, for Heaven's Sake, Deb... when life hands you sweaters, USE THEM! "

... and I did:
Made with vintage and vintage-inspired components,
 these Original Sweet Sweater Snowmen will warm up any room...
I'll have all of the snowmen, women, and babies shown PLUS a few MORE
[ some are tiny, some are HUGE, and they are all one of a kind! ] 


Wicked Easy Chandelier

I love great decorating ideas.
I REALLY love huge visual impact that comes from SIMPLE, easy methods...

I saw this idea at the Roger's Gardens 'Night Gallery' Halloween House displays,
and it perfectly fits my 'Fast, Cheap and Easy' TM decorating mantra.
 Take your shabby chic decor into the realm of the undead with one simple move:
drape lengths of netting from your crystal chandelier!

Buy this inexpensive yardage and then cut it into long strips @ 18 inches wide,
so that it will puddle on the floor way down below the chandelier.
You can use black, as shown here, for a ghoulish effect,
OR use white for a ghostly effect.
[ TIP: IKEA sells 90" long white netting curtain panels 
in sets of two for $5! CHEAP!]

If you added flickering bulbs to the chandelier, it would be even more wicked
over your dining table, in your entry, in the powder room, or even outside in your garden...

Either way, it's a sure-fire trick to get BIG effects without spending big bucks... which is always a treat!
View more of the AMAZING visual effects and displays on the Roger's Gardens blog


Tutorial: Pumpkin Pails!

 Today, I'm re-visiting a seasonal craft that I created nearly 20 years ago!  

Waaaaaay back in 1994, I painted some tin cans with jack o'lantern faces,
then added wire handles to make them into fun little pumpkin pails to sell at street fairs.
And because I had an endless supply of cans from a restaurant owner, I kept coming up with ideas....
I ended up creating all kinds of cute little 'painted pails' for every season FOR YEARS!
[ I might share some of the others in  upcoming seasons, we'll see ;) ]

Recently, I found a photo of that street fair booth (above)
and decided to make a NEW version of this craft so that I could share a tutorial with you!

This is an easy craft project that makes use of an everyday item,
is a perfect teacher's gift, and.... it's a timeless idea!
Painted Pumpkin Pail Tutorial

tin cans - any size, clean, dry, and with one end removed.
white spray paint (satin or gloss)
clear spray paint (any finish)
craft paints in orange, yellow, white, and brown
various sized artist's paint brushes
water to clean brushes
an old fashioned bottle opener (has a pointed end)
a screwdriver with a long shank
 thin baling wire

Project Time:
@ 30 minutes
+ can be made in multiples at once
 1. Sit the tin can in a protected area for spray painting with the can bottom facing up.
2. It's easy to place two boxes together as shown to create a draft-free mini spray booth.
3. Spray one side of the can with the white paint. let dry for ten minutes,
turn can around, and spray the other side.

You may, at this point, choose to spray the can with a second coat of paint - in ORANGE.
This will enable you to skip step 5 below.
 4. Take the can, now dry, out of the paint box and move it to a table work area.
 5. Paint the can with the orange craft paint, using a large, flat brush.
[ art class #101: acrylic paints work best with synthetic brushes ]

6. Use a smaller flat brush and white paint to paint a jack o' lantern face on one side of the can.
Use two thin coats of white paint for best effect.

7. Clean that brush in water, and use it again with the yellow paint to fill in all of the white areas. 
Use two coats for best effect and brightest color.
 8. You can leave the face as-is, or add more detail using a small brush and paint mixed into more colors...
Shown here, there is a peachy-orange color pumpkin 'flesh' detail,
with a dark edge on the 'inside' and a white highlight on the 'outside', 
to make it look more like a carved pumpkin.

9. When the details are dry, put the can back into the spray box,
and spray it with clear sealer on both sides.

10. After the sealer is dry, remove the can from the spray box and go back to the table.
Place the can with the painted face toward you, and lay the 'old fashioned bottle opener' across the can. 
 11. Using the bottle opener's pointed end, poke a hole in the side of the can from the outside.

12. Reposition the bottle opener to the inside of the can,
 and press the triangle of cut tin up and toward the rim of the can.

13. Continue pressing the point of the tin triangle until it curls under into itself,
presses up against the inside edge of the can, and the point is no longer visible.

14. Repeat on other side of can.

You can also use a drill to put two small holes into the sides of the can.
 15. Cut a length of baling wire @ 18" long. BEND (not fold) it into a large loop, 
and thread each end of the wire through the holes on the sides of the can. 

16. Bend the end of the wire up and around the loop on each side, as tightly as you can to secure.

17. Wrap each end wire tightly around the screwdriver shank to create a corkscrew curl.
slide the curl off of the shank, and bend into position. Repeat on other side.
When complete, your Painted Pumpkin Pail will look like the lil' guy on the left above!
Add a ribbon and fill him up with candy, treats, a plant, a candle, 
or even a Sweet Sweater Pumpkin!