DIY Fall Table Runners and Placemats

It's easier to make than you think: A Fall table runner and placemats. Image courtesy of shopfonsandporter.com

It’s easier to make than you think: A Fall table runner and placemats. Image courtesy of shopfonsandporter.com

Adding to our Goal: Bringing a Fall Table Setting Together

We started with Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With, followed by Fall DIY Napkin Rings and now we move on how to make your own table runners and placemats.

Budget Decorating, by Tonya Lee has a great tutorial on making a basic runner. Although they use fusing bond in their directions, using a Hi/Lo glue gun can help create a runner even faster and let’s not forget the old stand by: sewing(the most time-consuming).

My suggestion is to put some thought into the time and energy you will have as well as the durability from possible years of use.

With that in mind, check out some of these beautiful runners and placemats that can wow a crowd. Most will have a link to the original site tutorials – so you can make your own! Continue reading

Fall DIY Napkin Rings

Burlap makes a great fabric base to embellishments for Fall napkin rings.  Image courtesy of Tater Tots and Jello, where they offer a tutorial at; http://tatertotsandjello.com/2010/02/burlap-napkin-rings-tutorial-dollar.html

Burlap makes a great fabric base to embellishments for Fall napkin rings. Image courtesy of Tater Tots and Jello, where they offer a tutorial at: http://tatertotsandjello.com/2010/02/burlap-napkin-rings-tutorial-dollar.html

 

Since we covered Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With, it couldn’t hurt to add a few posts on how to bring your table settings together.

How to Make a Napkin Ring

Sure, you can buy plain ones at the dollar store, but this frugal gal likes to use and recycle. By making the ring yourself, you can have the control of the width – which allows for more embellishment space.

Start with the base: Save cardboard paper towel, gift wrap or toilet paper tubes. Sometimes you may even be lucky to get a tube with your last fabric purchase. Continue reading

Fall Centerpieces to Fall in Love With

Simplicity at its best: Nature, harvest, and candles come together with a log with holes drilled for candles and accented with leaves, gourds, and mini pumpkins. Image courtesy of The Berry and SAS Interiors.

Simplicity at its best: Nature, harvest, and candles come together with a log leftover from pruning. Image courtesy of http://www.theberry.com and SAS Interiors.

Now with Halloween behind us, it’s time to begin planning our Fall or Thanksgiving centerpieces. These ideas below can work with a dining room table, mantle, or accent pieces. Best of all, not only are they charming, they are quick to craft and easy on the pocketbook. Click on each image for more info.

 

When making a dining table decoration, keep in mind the size of your table and the amount of space that will be needed for a Thanksgiving meal. But most importantly, keep it simple to save you time for other – more important things: enjoying time with friends and family. Now THAT is something we can be truly grateful for.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15+ Unusual Pumpkin Seed Recipes

Spicy Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds image courtesy of girlmedallyn.wordpress.com

Spicy Roasted Sunflower and Pumpkin Seed image courtesy of girlmedallyn.wordpress.com

Many of us have waited until the last few days before Halloween to carve our pumpkins. The reasons vary from the lack of time/motivation to ensuring we don’t have a pumpkin that molds too soon.

Honestly, I like to cut them early. But I’ve tried the bleach method, and others. I followed the directions faithfully but still my pumpkin rotted by Halloween. So now – the last minute – my pumpkins get carved. Which means, pumpkins seeds are done at the last minute as well.

After scouring the internet for flavor choices I thought I’d add a quick note to help those who are also last-minute carvers and seed makers:

Not like the old days of having a 2-day prep, Food Network has several flavors to complete within approx. 30 minutes – Italian, Sweet and Salty, Indian, Spanish and BBQ.

If those flavors don’t appeal to you, why not try:

Salted Caramel Pumpkin Seeds
Jalapeno Pumpkin Seeds
Bourbon Pumpkin Seeds
Sweet and Salty Chocolate Pumpkin Seeds
Jerk Pumpkin Seeds

Maryland Pumpkin Seeds
Drunken Pumpkin Seeds
Ginger-Orange Pumpkin Seeds
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Caramelized Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t use the old 2-day drying method. Follow the directions for drying on the Food Network link and you’ll be eating those seeds by the end of the night. If any of you try some of these recipes, give me a critique. I haven’t tried all of them, but they sound delish!

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Ways to Trick Your Treaters

Giving your treaters a fright: Priceless! Image courtesy of Micah Maziar on Flickr.

Giving your treaters a fright: Priceless! Image courtesy of Micah Maziar on Flickr.

It’s coming fast. Halloween is only a few days away, but it’s not too late to plan out/build a prank for your trick or treaters. Here’s a few quick suggestions:

  • Place a chair immediately outside (visible for all to see) with a stuffed costume (such as scarecrow, reaper, etc.). On the night of Halloween, place that costume on and sit in the same chair still and quiet with a bowl of candy. When a child comes up to get a piece of candy (because some people do just leave a dish out) either speak up or move to startle them. You’ll get screams, laughs, and a giggle or two yourself.
  • Come to the door decked out in a costume that makes a statement. Example: Wear a butcher bib covered with fake blood, bloody plastic gloves, and greet the children with statements like “oh, good – I just finished off the last kids. Are you next? Let me get my tools,” but instead grab the bowl of treats.
  • If you don’t have a coffin laying around, make your own from cardboard, pallets, foam board, etc. Place the coffin either standing near your doorway or laying down on the ground near your steps and pop out to hand out treats.
  • If you happen to have a lot of leaves in your yard, this is a great way to play a prank on your visitors. Wear dark clothing/hat and tape(scrapbook dots or squares work well) a bunch of the leaves to your fabric to help you blend in. Bury yourself in the mound of leaves and wait for the trick or treaters to come and again, pop out to hand out candy.

* Please understand some children are more impressionable than others and even adults. Someone told me a story about a parent peeing their pants right on their driveway when they were frightened. So let’s not be too frightening to anyone because this is suppose to be done with no harm intended.

Luckily, about every other year or so we play a prank on our neighborhood kids. When we don’t, they seem a bit disappointed and ask where’s the live prop? The key to keeping them on their toes is not doing a prank every year.

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin Without Carving it

Watching the show Halloween Wars entices me to carve a pumpkin into a work of art. But not all of us have the time and many of us have children who do not have the coordination to handle sharp knives even for a regular pumpkin.

Don’t Just Give in to Normal

For parents, the easiest and safest idea for carving a pumpkin is having your child make the markings and you – the adult – do all the cutting. But how about going in a different direction?

Creating an Awesome Pumpkin Differently

 

If you’d still rather carve a pumpkin, here are a few free template sites to help you on your way:

78 Geeky Pumpkin Templates140 Free Pumpkin Carving Patterns
A 100+ Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils

Single Christmas Light Hack

Don't throw your light strand away if part of it is broken. Save some of the lights for single use. Image courtesy of Education.com

Don’t throw your light strand away if part of it is broken. Save some of the lights for single use. Image courtesy of Education.com

A quick and easy tip for those struggling to get every pumpkin lit. Education.com offers a tutorial on how to turn one light bulb from a broken strand into a battery-operated one for a prop. I’m gonna have to try this. If you do before I get the chance, shoot me an email and maybe a pic of how you used a single light. Thanks!

A Classy Halloween Party Idea

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Fang place cards are a perfect touch for a Halloween Wedding. Image courtesy of Natalie from Doodlecraft.

Although I am one of the biggest fans of gory foods and props, I cannot deny the love I have for Halloween weddings or parties that can be pulled off in a more subtle, classy manner.

The idea for these silver fang place cards comes from Doodlecraft, a blog that has a plethora of beautifully crafty ideas.You can find the tutorial to make them at Instructables. 

Along with this theme, I could see tables including homemade bell jar dioramas and other Victorian-themed Halloween props/food, such as:

A Dark Raven Wreath
Victorian Halloween Invitations
Spiderweb Eggs
Styrofoam Grandfather Clock

Not all of us are crafty or have the time to make some of these ideas. This is where the VictorianTradingCo.com. can help. They have some inspirational items that can give the final touch to a prop, costume, or event.

A New Inspiration in Gruesome Food

If you’ve read my recent post The Guilty Pleasure of Making Gruesome Foods, then you won’t be surprised that I am in awe of Kim Atkinson Fiorini‘s food serving idea. I believe she made it for a Walking Dead party.

What a way to serve a spread of meats! Image courtesy of Kim Atkinson Fiorini.

What a way to serve a spread of meats! Image courtesy of Kim Atkinson Fiorini.

Either way, I’m in complete awe on this one! I have to say this is THE BEST idea I have seen for serving meats on a table for Halloween or as in a zombie party. I can really see this work for a zombie wedding too! Thanks Ms. Fiorini for your creativity!

Easy and Awesome Costumes You Can Make

It’s about time to think about costumes (if you haven’t already). Here are some brilliantly thought of costumes. Many can be made by someone without a crafty bone in their body.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

For more DIY costumes, check out:

One Good Thing by Jillie
Red Tricycle
DIY Studio
Mashable