New House to Home: September 2012            

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fun DIY Halloween Costumes

Where has September gone?  I can't believe this is the last week.  With October quickly approaching, I'm sure many moms and kids are looking for a unique Halloween costume.  I just saw my first commercial for Halloween candy tonight, so you know it's right around the corner.  I've got two fun ideas for you.  These are the costumes my youngest daughter, Olivia, wore last year and the year before.  Here's what she wore in 2010:

She waited until the last week of October to decide that she wanted to be a donut.  The costume itself was very easy to make. 
  • I just spray painted a pool inner tube brown to represent a chocolate donut, and then applied a "glaze" of 50% Elmer's glue and 50% acrylic paint. 
  • As we applied the glaze, Olivia and I added colorful pieces of construction paper to represent sprinkles.  We had to work fast, as the glaze dried quickly. 
  • The headpiece was simply a Dunkin' Donuts cup attached to a headband.  I thought about hot gluing the two together, but I wanted to be able to use the headband again, so I used my favorite Command Picture Hanging Strips instead (I know I talk about the Command Strips all the time, but I am not being compensated for my endorsement.  I just looove them and want to share how versatile they are with everyone).
  • Finally, I looped a ribbon through the inner tube to hang it around her neck.
The most difficult thing about putting this costume together was trying to find an inner tube in late October.  If you are unable to find an inner tube locally, and you'd like to make things really easy on yourself, you could order this giant donut shaped pool float
 Warning -  this float is a whole four feet in diameter. Be sure your child can handle it before you go this route.

Now, on to 2011.  Olivia decided to be a giant box of popcorn.
Is anyone else noticing a food-related theme with this child's costumes?  She loves her snacks, so it makes sense.

The popcorn box was not really difficult, but it was definitely more time consuming than the donut.  If you would like to make a popcorn box costume for your child, here's how you can do it (sorry I don't have photos of the process - I wasn't blogging then).
  • Gather Supplies - 5 Foam Core Boards, White Duct Tape, Red Spray Paint, Great Stuff Expanding Foam Sealant (available at Home Depot), Large Bowl of Air-Popped Popcorn, Utility Knife, White Card Stock, Red Card Stock, Elastic, Wide Painter's Tape, Glue
  • Cut down four of the foam boards so that you can make a box.  We used Olivia's body size to determine the size of the box we wanted.  It makes sense that you would make a smaller box for a smaller child.  In Olivia's case, we trimmed a few inches off the sides of boards used for the front and back of the box, and trimmed an even greater amount off the boards we used for the sides.  If you have a much smaller child, you would probably want to trim the boards at the bottom, too, so that they're not too long.
  • Assemble the boards into a box, using duct tape at the corners to secure everything together.
  • Use your painter's tape to tape off equally spaced vertical stripes the whole way around the box.  Mine were about two inches apart.  I figured out where the center of the box was and started taping about an inch to the right and an inch to the left of center to ensure that I had a red stripe in the center of the box. 
  • Once everything is taped off, get out the spray paint and start painting.  Olivia was ten at the time we made her costume, so I let her do the spray painting.
  • Allow the paint to dry and then carefully peel the painter's tape off.
  • Measure the opening at the top of the box so that you can make a top out of the fifth board.  Cut the board so that it fits snugly into the top of the box.
  • Cut a hole in the center of the top.  Check to make sure it slides easily over your child's head before you attach it to the box.  Save the circle you just cut out.  You will use it for the headpiece.
  • Attach the top to the box with duct tape.  You will have to put the duct tape on the underside so it doesn't show on your red stripes.
  • Apply the Great Stuff to the top of the box a little at a time and stick the popcorn into it before it dries.  I tried to get the foam in the seams to help secure everything together a bit better than the duct tape alone.  This is the Great Stuff we used:
  • Figure out where you want the arm holes, and cut them out with your utility knife.
  • Punch two holes on opposing sides of the headpiece circle.  Thread your elastic into each hole, leaving enough slack that the elastic fits snugly under your child's chin, and knot it. 
  • Apply some Great Stuff to the headpiece and add popcorn.
  • Print out an extra large popcorn logo.  I just went into power point and selected a font that looked appropriate and played around with it.  Mount the logo on the red card stock, and glue the entire thing to the front of the box.
  • Send your child out trick-or-treating.  Tell him/her that you need to check all of their treats before they eat anything.  While you are "checking the treats," put all the Snickers bars in your pocket and consider them your reward for making this awesome costume!
My favorite part of Halloween - checking out the stash after the kids go to bed!
Truth be told, the popcorn box was a bit of a challenge for Olivia to wear.  It was wide and a bit heavy, and it made it hard for her to keep up with the other kids.  She was able to wear it for the pre-trick-or-treating party, but after about twenty minutes of tick-or-treating, I ended up wearing it.  This costume is probably better for an older child or for a party where the wearer doesn't have to move around much.  Keep in mind that this costume requires assistance to put on and take off, and the wearer won't be able to sit while wearing it.  That being said, it is super cute and we got tons of compliments on it (even when I was wearing it).

I love making these creative homemade costumes, but I'm secretly hoping that both my kids choose a store bought costume this year.  One of these would be perfect:
I'd love to have the extra time to plan a Halloween party or do some fall baking with the kids.  I'll let you know what they decide.  Whatever you decide to do or wear for Halloween, I hope you have fun!

HookingupwithHoH UndertheTableandDreaming

Free Time Frolics

shabby creek cottage

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fall Decorating Home Tour

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend.  We certainly did around here. We celebrated a few birthdays, had our first fire of the fall (complete with hot dogs and s'mores), and spent some time getting our home ready for the cooler weather.  I know that it's been fall in blogland for at least a month, but I have a hard time getting into the spirit until the temperatures drop.  The fact that the local stores weren't even selling pumpkins until late last week didn't help, either. Well, now that the calendar officially says it's fall and the temperatures have dropped enough for the local television stations to issue an overnight frost warning, I am finally excited for the season!  I've started decorating my home for fall, and I'd like to take you on a quick tour.

Let's look at the exterior first.  The front door sets the tone for what you'll find inside.

The grass in this planter is the only thing left from a summer arrangement.  It was surrounded by petunias then.  The petunias are long gone (probably due to the fact that I totally neglected them), but I thought the straw-like grass would look great surrounded by some autumn decor.  I used some artificial pumpkins and flowers from Hobby Lobby, along with a few real gourds.  There's a funny story behind the gourds.  This summer I planted what I thought was the type of yellow squash I like to sautee and eat, but the plant produced these crazy looking gourds.  I had absolutely no idea how to cook them, or if they were even edible, so I decided to put them in my planters.  We'll call it a happy accident.

If you decide to enter the house through the garage, here's what you'll see at the end of the driveway:
Hooray!  Pumpkins are finally available in this area!  These were purchased at Kroger.  The large one was $3.99, and the "pie pumpkin" was $1.69.  All of the mums were purchased at Home Depot for $4.99. 

This fun pumpkin patch sign was a Home Goods find.  It cost $14.99.  I'm not sure it was designed for outdoor use.  I think I need to top it off with a protective coating.

When you enter the house, you'll see this simple yet beautiful lamp on the console table in the entry way.
I found this about a year ago at Big Lots.  I have a more expensive fillable glass lamp from Pottery Barn, but I like this one better because the large opening offers more versatility as far as what you can put into it.  I usually keep artificial artichokes in it.
Moving into the great room, I have my mantle decked out with artificial pumpkins and gourds.  
I've had them all so long, I'm not sure where they came from.  Most of them are ceramic.  A few of them have Old Time Pottery stickers on the bottom, along with a 99 cent price tag.

If you look closely, you can see I used the old "candy corn in the candle holder" trick. 
I got these candle holders at Target a long time ago.  I think they might still sell them.  The dried grasses and the large pumpkins were purchased at Hobby Lobby last year.

Of course I made sure that plenty of pillows and cozy throws are available for cuddling up on the couch on chilly fall evenings.
In the kitchen I added a few fall accents to the display that sits on my island.
You may have seen this centerpiece with burlap wrapped candles before.  I'm thrilled that it is being pinned and featured on other blogs.  You can read about how I made it here.
I keep moving it from the screened in porch to the kitchen and back again.  I'm not sure where I like it better.  Maybe I just need to make another one.
I usually don't bring out the Halloween decorations until October, but these guys are so cute that I want to enjoy them for as long as possible. 
Read about how to make your own Ballard inspired chandelier magnets here.
Here's the view from the kitchen as you look toward the mantel.
I got this arrangement at Sam's Club many, many years ago.  It's held up quite well.
Finally, here's a view of the great room in its entirety.
Sorry about the pitiful photography.  I'm working hard to improve.
It was a busy weekend getting ready for fall, but I'm so glad everything is done.  It makes me want to plop down next to a cozy fire with a warm cup of hot chocolate and my favorite blanket.  What have you done to get ready for the season?
Linking to:
Today's Creative Blog
fall mantel party centsational girl
Home Stories A2Z
Fall Party


An Ugly Separation - Part One (Our Basement Gets an Update)

No, I'm not talking about Tom and Katie or Heidi and Seal. I'm talking about the separation of the red and green in my house. As long as I've been married and decorating houses, I've used lots of red and green together. I've always loved the bright energetic look, but lately I'm not so sure about the combination.  My kids were always telling me that my living room looked like Christmas all year long.  Instead of completely getting rid of all of the red or all of the green in the house, I've decided to keep all of the green on the main floor and move all of the red to the basement. It's a much less expensive option than completely starting over.

Here is my once bland and empty basement with the new additions (please forgive the awful photos - the basement is so dark and hard to photograph):

I love that there are just subtle hints of red, and it's not too "in-your-face."

These inexpensive prints used to reside in my living room as two sets of two.  Here in the basement, I have the space to group all four prints together. 

With the exception of the linen-look pillow in the center of the sectional, which was a recent purchase, all of the pillows down here came from the living room. 
 I made these pillows.
This is the pillow I purchased at Target.

Several pieces of art have been moved from other areas of the house to their new home here in the basement.
Look - it's Memphis!

This beautiful piece was done by my oldest daughter.

This rug, which was once in the living room, looks right at home in the basement.  The busy pattern will hide a multitude of sins.

Our old living room coffee table has a a new look thanks to the addition of two seagrass baskets that are perfect for concealing games and videos.

We are fortunate enough to have a little area in the basement where the kids can play games and air hockey away from the television.  We have outfitted the area with an inexpensive table from Target, perfect for playing board games, and a chalkboard that can be used to keep score.  The chalkboard was an easy DIY project that I made using an old mirror frame and some chalkboard paint.
This sweet little mug keeps chalk and an eraser handy.

In our last house we used this armoire in the bedroom, but there is no room for it in our current bedroom.  Fortunately, there is plenty of room in the basement, and it has served us well as storage for games and toys.

I was lucky enough to find these substantial iron pieces on sale at Kirkland's.  They were only $59 each. 

The bar area hasn't gotten any sort of makeover, but I thought you might like to see it anyway.

When we have parties, we set up the food buffet-style on the bar.

Here's the living room before I started removing everything.  You can see a few of the items I moved to the basement - the rug, the picture over the couch, the pillows.  Again, please forgive my poor photography.
Of course it looks like Christmas here, this photo is from our first Christmas in our new home. I've got to admit, I get what the kids are saying.
Moving so much out of the living room left quite a void.  I think a shopping trip may be in my future.  I'll show you the updated living room at a later date in a post entitled "An Ugly Separation - Part Two."

  • Handmade Pillow Fabric - Calico Corners
  • Coffee Table - Overstock (I spray painted the legs)
  • Rug - Tuesday Morning (about 9 years ago)
  • Set of Four Harbor Prints - Home Emporium (also known as Discount Building Materials or Southeastern Salvage, depending upon where you live)
  • Large Iron Wall Decor - Kirkland's
  • Bar stools and Pads - Pottery Barn (about 8 years ago)
  • Linen-look Pillow on Couch and Game Table - Target
  • Seagrass Baskets - Home Goods
  • Framed Prints - Local Shops
Have you ever given your home or part of your home a dramatic makeover just by moving things around?  I'd love to hear about it.

Linking to: