Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Boo! It's time to decorate

I love halloween! Let me clarify further, I am a Jesus loving Christian and I love halloween. I have some parameters set for my kids about halloween, for example I have explained the origins and I don't allow them to dress up as evil things. No blood and gore here, but I LOVE cute pumpkins and spiders (plastic ones anyway) and black cats and getting a little bit frightened. So, it is time to decorate and I don't have a ton of moolah to spend on halloween decor. So I have come up with some of my own decorations and I wanted to share. My adventures in halloween decorating began with my house o' lantern. I got this idea from an article in family fun magazine a few years ago, but they did it backward. They had the whole window covered in one large piece of cardboard with holes cut out for the eyes nose and mouth with plastic covering the holes. That seemed like a lot of work to me. I was also afraid that it wouldn't let in enough light during the day. So, I switched it up and made it my own. I like it better my way.

You will need: 

A window
A large cardboard box or posterboard
1-2 yellow plastic tablecloths (you can find them at dollar general for a buck)

It's fairly simple, so I don't have a picture tutorial, just some different pictures of the finished product. I started by getting a really big box out of my garage. I don't know why, but we never seem to dispose of boxes around here. I cut one corner so I could lay it out flat and then cut two eyes, a nose and a mouth. Remember, measure twice, cut once applies in this situation! Measure your window so you can make all of the pieces proportional. I can't tell you how many times I have had to cut the nose and I am still not 100% satisfied with it. I suggest you draw your pieces on the cardboard with chalk before cutting. Afterwards you will need to tape the pieces to the window then cover them with the plastic tablecloth from the inside. We keep the blinds drawn behind it, because my cat thinks he needs to shred the tablecloth for me. It still looks great, even with the blinds drawn. I have the eyes different than last year. I just tilted them onto their side this year. Last year they were straight up and down, but the eye balls were still looking toward the side (where the door is).

Here is a picture from the outside of how it looks during the day. If you are really a perfectionist you could paint the cardboard black before you tape it up but, luckily for me, I'm not a perfectionist.....much. Nobody can really see it during the day anyway.

Here's how it looks from inside the house.

This year, I decided to use the same method for a smaller window treatment in my upstairs window. I decided I wanted a scaredy cat. I found a picture I liked on Google Images and then (because I don't have a printer) I free handed it onto the cardboard in chalk. Afterwards I cut it out with an exacto knife and scissors. I decided to cover it with green instead of yellow. 

It looks great! My husband came home from work and said that there was a cat in the upstairs window and he didn't think it was Cheeto (that's our cat). I looked at him kinda funny and then my son pointed out that Senor Caliente was just being facetious....doh!

The last of my homemade decorations are these cute luminaries I found on Pinterest. I saved up my milk jugs for about 6 weeks in order to finally get 7. We drink more than that, but somebody kept crushing them and putting them in the recycling bin. I won't name names honey. I also used some of them for my homemade laundry stuff. This one is pretty straightforward. I used nail polish remover to rub the date stamp off and I peeled off the label. I really didn't worry about getting the label off perfectly. I just made sure that I got all of the colored part of the label off. I cut a hole in the back and decorated the front with a sharpie. I made each one different. Some of them have the handle in front and some have the handle in back. After it was decorated, I poured some sand inside so they wouldn't blow away. 

Last, I added a flickering LED tealight. I got them on sale at CVS. I think it ended up being about $3 for a 6 pack. 

Here are some pics of the finished project, I wish my camera phone could do them justice.

The one with the mustache (below), is my kids' favorite.

Well, that's all for today folks! I hope you have a fun and safe halloween. If it isn't against your beliefs, feel free to take some of these ideas and make your own halloween decor. It makes all of the kids excited to trick or treat at your house and my kids are proud to point our house out to all of their friends. Also, if any of this isn't clear feel free to ask questions in the comments section.

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