This weeks DIY project shows how to make some easy gravestone treat bags for Halloween. I am assuming you are making these for a party or small number of kids. We had over 150 trick or treaters last year so clearly they aren’t each getting hand made treat bags. However, some select family and friends will be getting Halloween favors.
Gravestone Treat Bags
Basic paper treat bag (Grey would speed up the process but good luck finding that)
Black & white acrylic paint (cheap is fine)
Old paint brush
Printer & stencil plastic
Step 1: Cut Your Shapes
I laid the bag flat and cut a simple notched shape along the top. Just Google gravestone images for basic shapes. It will leave a small triangle in the side which I leveled off with the scissors. You could make a template but I just eyeballed it.
You can freehand the ‘RIP’ but my hand writing is unattractive so I printed a Gothic font out of the computer. If you were assembling a large number (Anything over 15) go ahead and get some stencil plastic and cut letters from that. The plastic will remain intact through the entire project. If you are only doing a small batch then cardstock will hold up for some painting. Make sure to save the round parts out of the ‘R’ and ‘P’.
Step 2: Prep The Bag
To get the gravestone look I did a wash of grey on the outside. Just mix white with a little black. While the paint was still damp I used the brush to smudge in a darker grey to make it look worn. Then allowed the bag to dry.
If you were making a large number of these the process could be sped up by either purchasing grey bags or spray painting in batches.
Step 3: Stencil Time, Rest In Peace
If you used a stencil now is the time to LIGHTLY coat it with repositionable spray adhesive. Then take a tiny amount of black acrylic paint on a very dry brush and tap it into the blanks of the stencil. I tried to let the grey show through in places to give it an aged look.
One of the things that often holds me back from entertaining is the feeling I need elaborate decorations. Honestly, after I have managed to clean the house and corral the toys I have very little energy left to give a nice seasonal feel to the house. So to prove to myself you can make some pretty place settings in no time I created:
5 Place Settings in 5 Minutes for under 5 Dollars
I used a placemats, napkins, and china I already had to make these place settings. I figure most people own a neutral napkin and placemat they can use in a pinch. I can guarantee these are quick, easy, and cheap. Why? Because I did these last night in less than an hour (with pictures) after McClain went to bed. Of course this is also why the pictures are a little dark.
Butterflies and Dried Hydrangea Place Setting
Wired craft butterflies taped to the table. The tape is covered with mini-pumpkins and dried hydrangea.
Country Acorns Napkin Ring
Simple strips of burlap act as a napkin ring. Just use hot glue to close the ring and attach the acorns.
Fall Berries Tucked Around the Place Setting
The napkin is folded to allow a small pocket. Instead of inserting the silverware simply tuck in some fall berries. Add some more small branches along the outsides of the plates.
Copper Vines Napkin Ring and Wine Charms
Scrap wire in various shades of copper and gold are wrapped to mimic vines. Matching wire is placed around the stem of the wine glasses to make wine charms.
Fresh Autumn Leaf Napkin Rings and Coasters
Simply hot glue colorful fall leaves together; creating the original disposable napkin ring. A few dots of hot glue keep the leaf coasters from scattering when guests lift their glasses.
Now there are no excuses left for me to not entertain. Well except maybe cooking the food…
One of the easiest ways to create pretty Harvest or Fall themed decorations involves nothing more than 8 ears of Indian corn, wire, and a stick. With these simple items you can create a pretty fall swag like this one:
Gather your materials. No, I wasn’t joking, it really does just require corn, wire, and a stick. I guess if you want to be technical you will need wire cutters (in this case old garden shears) and something to hang the swag with (more wire).
Take one ear of corn and overlap the pulled back husks of the second ear. Wrap wire around the corn at the base and through half the husks of the first ear. I suggest using half the husks so you can fluff the other husks out to fill in between the ears.
Obviously, I didn’t worry to much about the wire showing. I knew this would be hung high over my door and not really visible from a distance. You could easily hide the wire by using brown floral wire or tie with monofilament instead of wire.
I wired 4 ears together facing one way and 4 ears the other direction. Then I wired them to a branch (i.e. the stick) I had laying about the yard. I suggest wiring the corn together first before attaching to the branch. This allows for the corn to hang down freely and look less rigid than when wired directly to the branch.
The corn isn’t all that heavy so you could simply hand the corn attached together however I found a firm base makes it much easier to hang the whole swag on the wall Plus it allows you to arrange the corn attractively while it is on the ground. As you can see from the above picture using a rustic branch, as opposed to a dowel, blends with the harvest theme and doesn’t stand out if it shows between the ears.
There really is no step four because it is that easy.
Usually the grocery stores offer indian corn this time of year but you might also try your local farmers market. While your out, snag a few pumpkins to give an extra harvest touch.
Since Halloween is right around the corner I couldn’t help but add a gargoyle into the mix.
We were a little too busy celebrating Halloween and scraping paint off the mantel to wish you a Happy Halloween. We took the baby viking out for a spin. I couldn’t help but share the infant viking costume I made. It even had a felt axe to go with it:
Pacifiers keep him from pillaging the village. See, here is what happens when he doesn’t have one:
Marauding Baby! Run!
I made his baby viking costume, it was pretty easy just fake fur, felt, and leather string.
The rest of the evening we spent giving out candy to around 200 trick-or-treaters and hanging with our friends who helped pass it all out. Our new street was bumping!
As the evening wore on I thought to tell my friends that are getting ready to have babies, one of the best things about holidays is that you get to relive them all over again through your kids. This Halloween was just perfect for McClain’s first. I hope yours was just as nice!
I created some quick, cheap, and easy fall table decorations for my niece’s 1st birthday. Even though I “cuted” them up with bugs I reused them to make a nice, adult autumn decorations after the party. Here’s what you’ll need:
Various clear glass vases (Mine were just a few bucks from Goodwill and the Dollar Tree)
Fall leaves of assorted colors
Yep, that’s it! I went up to the local library with a bag and grabbed a bunch of red, yellow, and orange leaves off the ground. Then I used the still-green/yellow leaves off of my dying morning glory vine. Separate your pile of leaves into green, yellow, orange, and red. Then I started at the bottom. It is important to curves the leaves around the glass to let the colors show. I actually filled the center with yucky brown leaves from the yard to hold the next layer of leaves up. Then I just went from green to yellow to orange to red.
Amazingly they have mellowed nicely and still look good a week later.
The rest of the decorations I made just using various papers, printer, old school markers, and vegetable oil (rubbing a bit of that on the bugs made them translucent). It made nice, relatively cheap decorations and the crepe paper streamers and balloons just screamed “old-school birthday party”. The bug theme with beetles, caterpillars, butterflies, and dragonflies was chosen to be gender neutral so Mr. Mac could get in on the birthday fun. We celebrated his for the family that won’t actually see him on his 1st in November along with his cousin who turned 1 a couple of weeks back.
Do you have any quick and easy fall or birthday decorations? Please share.