Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Brownies

 Hi Everyone.  Happy Halloween!

I have been saving this project for a whole year!  Last Halloween my friend, and super crafty homemade mama, Lisa Ballard-Hardegree made these adorable brownies for our sons' 2nd grade class.  I thought they were so cute that I wouldn't let my kids eat them until I could get them home to photograph.  She made the brownies and icing from scratch and flavored the icing with fruit purees! YUM!!! But what I also thought was so neat, was the clever way she decorated.  So cute and easy, you don't have to be an expert cake decorator to make these!  I think this would be such a great project for kids who want to help decorate, or for busy moms who want to bring in an extra special treat, who  may not have that much time to bake and decorate. You could use your favorite brownie recipe, or store bought brownies, or even cupcakes.  Feel free to make homemade icing, or store bought that has been dyed Halloween colors.

Lisa piped on the icing and then decorated with Halloween peeps, sprinkles and candy corn. Each brownie was wrapped in cellophane bags and tied with ribbon. So cute!
 Ben put his in the microwave.  They love to watch peeps expand and get all hot and gooey.  Unfortunately he left his in a little too long.  Very scary!
Have a happy and safe Halloween!
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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fruit Cup Pumpkins

Every year at Halloween our kids' teachers put on classroom parties. Typically parents are asked to help out in some way, particularly when it comes to supplying treats for the students. With all the junk food we know our kids will be eating that day I wanted to come up with a class treat that would be festive but also semi-healthy. I saw this idea (as I'm sure many of you have) floating around on Pinterest and knew it would be the perfect solution! I changed it up a bit and thought I'd share my version with you!

What You Need:
  • Fruit cups (I used mandarin oranges, but peaches would be cute too!)
  • Sharpie
  • Green ribbon
  • Spider ring (optional)
One change I made was to turn the fruit cup upside down. The tops of the ones I have had an expiration date printed on the top...hardly festive! Then I simply drew a Jack-o-Lantern face on the side!

Next I tied a ribbon around it (to give the impression of a stem and leaves) and attached a spider ring!

Super-simple but I think it turned out pretty cute! And they only take a couple minutes to make (as a working mom, quick but cute is a must!).  One down, 18 more to go!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Little Pumpkin Lanterns

Today Nana took the boys out to pick pumpkins like she does every year. We live in the city, so there aren't any cute pumpkin farms nearby, so we go to a very cute local nursery. We tried to take some festive fall pictures of the boys. As you can see they are a bunch of hams! None of them were interested in posing for pictures!

They did enjoy looking at all the gourds and mini pumpkins.

These were the boys favorite gourds.

Jonah was very excited to find a purple leaf!

Charlie found a pumpkin that was just his size!

There was so much to see.

After everyone had found their pumpkin they all needed a rest before going home. They found a great spot - again no smiling at the camera. Stubborn boys!

We wanted to make something different with the mini pumpkins that we bought today. We thought these little pumpkin lanterns were so cute, and looked easy to make. All you need is a little pumpkin, skewers or strong toothpicks. and a little candle or tealight.

Cut your pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and slime. I used wooden skewers because I only had flimsy toothpicks. I cut my skewers about toothpick sized. You can use as many as you like. I used 9 for my lantern

I used the pointed end of the skewer to "pre-drill" holes for the dull end of the skewer. Put them in the top then push them into the bottom half of the pumpkin.

Slip your candle in and your ready to light it!

We hope you and your family have a fun, safe and happy Halloween!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bleachy Stenciled T-Shirt

Today is the hub's birthday, and as usual he wanted a homemade gift from the kids (last year we made him treasure rocks!). We always try to make something that he'll actually like - and not just because the kids made it. This year we decided to make him a shirt. Now we've bleached shirts before, and we've done freezer paper stencils, so we decided to combine the two techniques and make Dad a Bleachy Stenciled T-Shirt!

Shhhh! We haven't given it to Dad yet, so keep it a secret!

What You Need:
  • T-shirt (probably any color other than white would work)
  • Freezer paper
  • Pencil/marker
  • X-acto 
  • Iron
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
First, I had the kids decide what kind of shirt Dad would like. Since these are my kids, they thought a skull & cross bones shirt would be perfect. So on the freezer paper (shiny side down), Jack made his design. 

I then went over it with a marker to make it easier to cut out.

Then came time to cut it out. Normally I'd use an X-acto, but in typical Maggie Style I couldn't find it when I needed it. I had to use the kids' safety scissors. Trickier, but we made it work. Charlie decided he only wanted to make the letter "C", so we decided to roll with that as well.

 Once the stencils were cut out, I put a sheet of cardboard inside the shirt, then adhered them to the shirt by pressing the shiny side down. Remember not to go back and forth with the iron - just press down. Jack's skull & crossbones went on the front...

...and the "C" Charlie drew went on the back up by the collar, like a label!

I then brought the shirt into the bathroom (figuring that if if any room in the house could use a little extra bleach it was the bathroom!) and poured bleach and a bit of water into a small spray bottle. I then misted the shirt on and around the stencil.

Since our shirt was black the color changed pretty quickly.

We them mopped off the stencil with a paper towel and peeled it off the shirt revealing the awesome design!

Even Charlie's "C" turned out cool!

I then washed and dried the shirt to get all the bleach out.

We are thrilled with the results and can't wait to give it to Dad. Until then, Jack wanted to show you how cool it is!

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Duct Tape Roses!

Halloween is in the air here. Our homes have been decorated with pumpkins, bats and ghouls for weeks, but we could always use more. I was inspired to make this project by the fall issue of Lowes Creative Ideas magazine. There are so many great ideas in this magazine, and it's free from Lowes! I love these black roses because they are both creepy and beautiful at the same time. This would be a great project for older kids. They aren't hard to make, but they do take a little time if you want to make a lot of them. I gathered my supplies and made mine while I watched an I Love Lucy marathon!

Here is my inspiration photo from Lowes.

Here is what I used. I didn't have a silver container, so I bought some glass vases from the dollar store! I also got some silver spray paint, floral foam, bamboo skewers, and black duct tape. I was able to make 12 roses out of one roll of tape.

First I spray painted the outside of the vases with several light coats of spray paint. I'm warning you, silver spray paint is super addictive. I started looking all over the house for other things to spray!

Here Is how to make duct tape roses. You can also watch this great video from Lowes. Cut pieces of duct tape about 2 1/2 inches long.

You will need 18-24 pieces for each rose, depending on how big you want your rose and how tight you wrap each petal. Take one piece and fold the right corner over. Leave about a 1/4 of an inch of the sticky side showing. Then fold the left corner over. You now have your first petal!

Repeat with the other pieces of tape.

Take a petal and wrap it around a bamboo skewer. Then add another and another. Wrap them with the points overlapping. You will quickly see a rosebud form.

Keep adding petals until your rose reaches the size you want. For my centerpiece, I placed a piece of floral foam in a vase. I then covered the foam with a circle of black construction paper. Then I arranged the roses. I did have to trim the skewers to fit my vase.

Ta-da! I love the way my centerpiece turned out! There are so many possibilities for these roses. I want to make a black Halloween wreath with them next.

They also look great mixed with real flowers too! I think I will definitely be making them for Christmas and Valentine's Day! So many possibilities!

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Handprint Spider Art

Around here the second the calendar flips to October, the kids have us hauling out the Halloween decorations. It's a big deal in our family, and has been since we were kids!  So it's no wonder that we've been keeping our eye out for fun Halloween-themed crafts since before it was even summer. One such idea we saw on Pinterest was this handprint spider on a tile. Super-cute! Charlie was home sick from preschool yesterday and definitely needed an activity to keep him busy. I had a spare small canvas so we decided to try making some spider art of our own!


What You Need:
  • Small canvas (or paper or tile)
  • Paint (one color for the background, one for spider)
  • Paint brush
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • A little goblin in need of entertaining!

 First, paint your canvas. Charlie thought silver would be good.

Once that dries it's onto the fun (read: messy) part! Paint your child's hand - or just let them stick it in a blob of black paint!

Then press it onto your canvas!

When it's dry, add a spider web.

And around here, fine art is never complete without googly eyes.

 And show off your spooky masterpiece!

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