It may only be October, but it’s really never too early to start planning decorations and decor for that other holiday (and I’m not talking about Halloween).
Author, designer and eco-crafter Betz White is leading the way with her Felt & Stitch Holiday Online Workshop, that begun October 18th. But do not worry, it is not too late for registering since you can follow her workshop at your own space. If you love the idea of creating your own holiday decorations, but don’t have the time to participate in a formal class, this self-paced virtual workshop may be for you.
Using PDFs, videos, blog posts and podcasts, Betz will guide workshop participants through 8 whimsical felted wool projects including ornaments, holiday and small gifts. The soft texture of the finished projects offers a cosy, kid-friendly option for decorations. The table top trees and pinecones are particularly sweet and could really be displayed all winter long.
You can find all the workshop details and how to register here.
Caramel Apples are ready to eat in one hour. It takes about 30 minutes to make them. Add 30 minutes to cool them in the fridge. Real Simple proposes a no fuss Caramel Apple recipe where you melt the generic caramel squares. If you are more fancy, you could heat a finer caramel. Local candy shops or gourmet shops sell caramel in a jar. If you live in Montreal, I suggest that you check Kréavie. They make a delicious Salted butter caramel.
You can wrap the caramel apples in clear cellophane paper that you tie with an orange ribbon. If you make a sweet table, deposit each caramel apple on a Halloween themed cupcake paper. I bought the Halloween cupcake paper set at Crate & Barrel.
Aim for a wire tiered stand or a black porcelain stand for your sweet table. Target had a Web Pastry Stand that screams Halloween; unfortunately, it is marked out of stock on their Web site. Another option is the French Wire Tiered Stand that I like because you can use it any way you want. Each tier can be used on its own or you can use only two tiers.
+ Caramel Apple recipe on Real Simple
+ Web Pastry Stand at Target
+ Halloween cupcake paper set $4.95 at Crate & Barrel
+ French Wire Tiered Stand $51.96 at Willow House
If you’ve left your Halloween decorating to the last minute, we rounded up a few ultra-easy DIY options that provide spooky seasonal effects. And if you’re just not that into Halloween, with a pair of scissors, some glue and a printer you can still create something simple yet special for family and neighbourhood ghosts and goblins.
Watch for our own set of Halloween printables later this week!
+ Printable Candy Bar Wrappers + Lollipop Flags by Shauna Younge. Don’t be overwhelmed by this haute Halloween dessert table. With Shauna’s free printable candy bar wrappers and dessert flags, you can transform store-bought snacks into elegant eats in just few minutes. You could also enlarge the flags and use them to decorate baby pumpkins and gourds. Via Twig & Thisle
+ Spooky Halloween Banner by Supermom Moments. With a palette of black, white and grey, this easy-to-assemble banner has spooky sophistication. You can customize the look by printing on coloured paper (such as construction paper or cardstock) and choosing a boldly coloured ribbon.
+ Keep Calm and Scary On Poster from Craftily Ever After. You can find the ubiquitous ‘keep calm and carry on’ message on everything from posters to notebooks and beyond; this clever, Halloween-inspired twist on the phrase is sure to make visitors smile. If you won’t be home to tend to trick-or-treaters, consider printing and posting this sign on your door (with the requisite bowl of candy nearby, of course).
+ Martha Stewart’s Tattered Tablecloth and Spiderwebs. Leave it to Martha Stewart to make you think “why didn’t I think of that?”. These DIY decorations require nothing more than scissors, a bed sheet and some black tissue paper to create a haunting Halloween dinner table for your family.
+ Owl Favour Treat Boxes from Paper Crave. Although slightly more involved than the other projects, these sweet owl treat boxes are sure to delight grown-up ghouls and tiny trick-or-treaters. They’d be a spooky surprise inside a child’s lunch box too.
Is there anything chalkboard paint can’t make more fun? I love this clever pumpkin project from Zakka Life. Not only is it easier than carving a pumpkin, the matte black paint finish is pretty chic all on it’s own.
Kids can draw a new jack-o-lantern face every day leading up to Halloween. Try using glow-in-the-dark chalk for an extra-eerie touch!
If you haven’t found the perfect pumpkin style yet, don’t miss Kim’s round-up of creative carving ideas.
+ photo: Zakka Life
I scoured the Web for beautiful, fun and unique style pumpkins. The main constant is to stay away from the orange pumpkins.
+ The carve-by-color technique gives this Night Owl pumpkin a cool and unexpected twist. One element that it not mention on the online instructions is that you also need to paint your pale Lumina pumpkin on page 6. (via Martha Stewart)
+ Anyone can do this nice trick. The effect of the sneaky trick or treat pumpkin is obtained by placing your stencil for the trick backward on the back of the pumpkin. Put a candle inside the pumpkin and simply position the pumpkin to see a reflection of the word trick on the wall. (via Sunset magazine)
+ An antique plate inspired the design of the Thorny Vines Pumpkin. Country Living carved the vines on a perfectly shaped blue hubbard pumpkin.
+ The Black & White Painted Pumpkins were done with the typical pumpkins that were brushed with a coat of white flat acrylic craft paint. You can skip that step if you buy white pumpkins. (via Country Living)
+ The leafy pumpkins seems to be giant zucchinis that also grow on width. (via Sunset magazine)
You cannot neglect your entryway for Halloween as it sets the mood for the entire house. Ideally, coordinate your outdoor decorations with what going on inside your home. The aim is to carry out one specific ambiance.
The jet-black wreath infested by snakes clearly warms your visitors. Then, continue the theme with bouquets full of spiders or covered in creepy cobwebs. Use dark flower vases to achieve the full effect. These are all easy to follow DIY projects from Martha Stewart.
+ Wriggling Wreath and Deranged Arrangement – Martha Stewart Living Oct. 2010
+ Quick-Spun Cobwebs
+ Forbidden Flowers
You can set the tone of a dessert table with a few selected items that stand out. Take, for example, the Halloween picture frames. It’s definitely for a grown up party with a Victorian vibe. They would make a great addition to your dessert table decorated with those carved pumpkins.
The cake stands would mix well with silver and glittery Halloween accessories that you already have. You can use it for a mystery island with a Mad scientist party theme.
+ Halloween Picture Frames $50 USD for a set of 2
+ Skull Halloween Cake Stand $98
Halloween props can transform the simplest idea into a unique party decor. For example, integrate the pumpkin into a scene to create a theatrical effect.
Here a simple polka dot pumpkin become creepy if you put it next to a mice feast scene. The only tool you need to make the polka dot pumpkin is a melon baller. The same pumpkin design can be used for a cute family-friendly option or a creepy version. For the family-friendly version, paint or affix one or two silhouette mice on the pumpkin and position the rest of the mouse and a mouse hole on a foam core to make a backdrop.
The creepy version
The creepier vignette involves a herd of Halloween mice eating your food. Stop at the farmers market to grab a pack of decorative corns on the cob and squashes.
+ Polka Dot Pumpkin Instructions
+ Oxo Good Grips Melon Baller $8.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
+ Martha Stewart Mice Silhouettes 12-Pack $5.99 USD at Toys”R”Us
+ Martha Stewart Mice Silhouettes 12-pack $3.80 USD at Martha Stewart’s shop
+ Bag of 12 Halloween mice props $9.99 USD at Amazon.com [affiliate link]
Now that kids are back to school, we can start to plan for the most amusing celebration of the year, Halloween. It is the celebration where people explore the most their creativity. Halloween is equally fun for kids and adults.
I like the Red Blood Wine Labels ($5.99). You could mix them with the Creepy candles. I would make one change. Purple is still hot this fall. Plus, the dark colors feel more gothic. Take that into account before making your own creepy candles.
I always browse the site of Martha Stewart for my Halloween inspirations. Her team produces wonderfully styled pictures. Good examples are:
+ The Hanging Snake and Frog Vellum Lanterns
+ The Silhouette Curtains
Have a look at the beautiful Easter eggs we painted and decorated yesterday at a party organized by my friend Bettina Forget. I will share the food later.
We had fun painting and decorating our Easter eggs. As you can see, we created many styles from the Fabergé eggs to fun character. The winning technique goes to the fabulously blowing technique of Bob. His eggs are so artistic.
If you celebrate Easter, I wish you a Happy Easter!
Kim Kruzich of Retro Mama wrote an well-documented tutorial that will teach you how to make your own Fabric Easter eggs. She provided useful tips to make this sewing project a success. If you make your own, share your photos on her Flickr group.
More Sewing Patterns
Kim also has an etsy shop where she sells her creations and her sewing patterns. I particularly like her pear pincushions and the super adorable owl softies. She has a great eye to style her product photos.
+ Fabric Easter Egg Tutorial on Retro Mama
+ PDF Sewing Pattern for Plush Pear Pincushion, Ornament, and Pillow by Retro Mama $10 USD on Etsy
+ PDF Sewing Pattern Stella and Stewart Owl Softies by Retro Mama $8 USD on Etsy
+ via My Design Folder