Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt riddle ideas
There is nothing more fun than a scavenger hunt and what better time of year to do it than Halloween. The only challenge was that I wanted to do one without disturbing all of our neighbors. So I came up with a plan to hide items around the house and in the yard, kind of like an Easter egg hunt. This was geared towards 9-12 year olds as some of the riddles might be more difficult for young ones without a little help. It all started in the front yard, aka, the witch's forest. I told the kids that I needed items for my potion and gave them a list of items shown below. The list can be adjusted for your own home as needed.

 witch's cauldron how to
The witches forest had to include a cauldron so I could put the prizes in there when the kids returned with the items. I bought four "large" prizes (light sticks) for the first ones back and every group that brought back all of the items received a goodie bag with a full sized Hershey bar, vampire teeth, spider ring, a skeleton parachute and gooey eyeball. This was all done at night with the fog machine going and I was dressed as a witch of course. No time to take pictures with kids hovering around me in anticipation. Hovering is kind word for what was actually going on!

I just bought a cheap cauldron from Party City and hung it from chain attached to some sticks that I trimmed from one of our Crepe Myrtles. I used firewood below with a flame cauldron. It was more realistic looking at night. :)

Here are the items and clues for the hunt:

Scavenger Hunt

1. He lurks halfway above ground and halfway below. By him you will find what I need for my brew. You don't have to dig deep to bring me this item. The worms should be above ground feasting beside him.

2. Not in a tree but not on the ground is where the next item for my potion will be found. Bring me a feather from the crows that nest here but beware of the troll that always lurks near.

3. Near the logs and the ashes lies the coal that I want but beware of the victim that guards this next haunt. Do not reach inside or he might grab you keeping me from getting what I need for my brew.

4. She catches her prey in a web that she has spun so be careful not to be a part of her fun. I need some of her eggs to add to my potion so bring me one quickly to show your devotion.

5. Don't be afraid to look in the dark up the stairs. That's were they sleep upside down in their lairs. It's bats in the belfry and that's what I need, a bat for my potion so bring it to me.

6. They have been stealing my cheese and now it's time for them to pay, bring me one now from a place where they play. You can usually find them in a small room where the door is always shut and I store my broom. Rats!

7. Not really a dungeon although down the stairs. It stores mostly cars except for this scare. Near the fridge you'll find what's the matter. You'll have to grab quickly because they tend to scatter. I need this bug to add to my brew. I just need one, not a few.

8. Outside is where you'll find them but there is no picnic this night. To get to them move quickly passed the ghosts that cause such a fright. Look near the lanterns that are lit on the table. Bring me one ant for my brew if you're willing and able.

Hurry back with my items and make sure that they're right because if something's missing , you'll be sent back into the night. The first ones back will get the big prize. If you don't come back, it will be your demise!

The first item, rubber worms were hidden here.

The second item was a crows feather that was hidden in the kid's clubhouse.

skeleton ideas
The third item was hidden just outside the fireplace. You can use chocolate marshmallows for the coal.

 halloween decoration ideas
The 4th item was hidden on the ground below the spider. I used cotton balls for spider eggs.

 halloween chalkboard idea
The fifth item was hidden here. I found glow in the dark bats but bat wings cut out of construction paper would work too.

I found these cute stickers at Target and I figured that the best place for rats would be the pantry.

For the seventh clue, I found rubber cockroaches which I spread around the garage refrigerator.

For the eighth and last clue, the kids had to bring me ants that were on the picnic table. I found glow in the dark ones at The Spirit Halloween Store.

 bobbing for apples station how to

The scavenger hunt was so much fun and really easy once you have the riddles. Try it out. The kids will love it!

Happy Halloween!!!!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cheap and Easy Halloween Decor Ideas (Inside)

When I decorate for any holiday, I like to look around the house and use things that I already own. This silver platter is a good example with just enough tarnish to make it look old and creepy. Every spooky house needs a head on a silver platter.

cheap and easy Halloween ideas
Gage and I made this head with a Styrofoam head shape and athletic tape. The tape works great as it is already sticky and you don't have the mess of gauze and glue. We just took it outside and rolled it in the dirt to make it look like an aged mummy head. Easy and cheap!

Another thing thing that I do when I decorate is to use the same type of items and spread them out. For instance, you'll see this year that I added some crows that are dispersed throughout the decor, as well as skeletons, spiders and pumpkins. (Obvious choices I know but the point is if you stick to a scheme when decorating anything, your decor will be more cohesive without having to think about it too much.)

I love these changing photographs from Target. They were only a dollar. I just added the frames from home. The mummy hand, also from target actually crawls so the kids love that!

I love to use spider web because for the money it makes a big impact and you can put it up even on a chandelier, in less than 15 minutes.

Another chandelier idea is just simple cheesecloth. I just stuck the metal from the fixture right through it. It is Halloween after all so it doesn't matter how many holes are in it!

The fireplace did end up getting the bloody hand treatment after all. I think the boys were right.

The hands even cast an eerie reflection.

Some wax battery candles were added to the fireplace because we don't want the skeleton to actually burn! Even though I broke this guy last year, I knew I would be able to use the pieces some way. Never throw out broken and old Halloween stuff. It just adds character!

I just changed out a few items on the cocktail table for fun.

Of course the chalkboard had to have the Halloween treatment.

The chalkboard upstairs had to be done for the scavenger hunt which I will share with you in the next couple of days.

This large spider from Walgreen makes a big impact for $9.99. I like Walgreen's because they have some of the same items as the pop up Halloween stores for less.

So for cheap and easy Halloween decor, use what you can from home such as old silver, picture frames, glass jars, old books and candles. Add to that some craft projects with cheese cloth and some inexpensive items like spider web and pumpkins and you're all set!

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Monday, October 14, 2013

An Entry Table That a Witch Would be Proud OF

I thought that before my kids get too old for it, we would have a Halloween party for them and their friends. The most fun, I think, will be the preparation for it. My 4th grader in particular is very crafty and loves to watch Halloween Wars and Martha Stewart craft shows geared towards Halloween. He has all kinds of ideas that we are going to try out. We have already started to have some fun decorating for the party. This is our spooky entry table.

My favorite find is this black hour glass that I found at Homegoods. I was so excited when I found it! Yes, I was Homegoods Happy. Does anyone else get that commercial stuck in their head? I couldn't wait to get it home and put it out but in my haste set it down to hard and the bottom of the glass cracked and all of the sand came pouring out. Luckily, I was able to turn it upside down and fill it back up and serendipitously a small piece of broken glass got stuck so that all of the sand stays at the top so it constantly looks like the sand is trickling down and the hour is ticking away. The bad thing, however, is that the first thing that anyone wants to do with an hour glass is turn it over. I think I'm going to have to move this before the party or we will have a mess on out hands.

While looking around the house for some old books to transform, I found ,"The Art of Getting Even." How appropriate for a witches library. I can't remember buying this. I wonder if I was angry at someone? LOL

Transforming this bottle and jar into spooky storage was easy with stickers from World Market.

A free printable from The Crafty Cupboard makes this old textbook look like a real book of spells.
The table is set for a spooky night of Halloween thrills and chills.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Halloween Mantle (In Progress)

It's beginning to look a little like Halloween around here.

We have a friend in the fireplace. I know what you're thinking, "How will you light a fire?" Well, I live in Texas so it would be a miracle if it's cold enough by Oct.31 for me to be able to actually use the fireplace!

No spooky mantle would be complete without some spider web and an old antique candelabra.

It was difficult to capture this image for you but the photograph is one of those pictures that changes into a scary face when you look at it from different angles. I bought this at Target in their dollar section. It actually had a cheesy gold and black frame around it which I cut off. I put the picture into an existing frame that I already had on the mantle. I bought two more which you will see later on with the rest of the Halloween reveals soon to come. I think this picture has great impact for just a dollar investment and the kids love it too.

I thought the mantle needed at least one scary book so instead of buying one, I made one out of an old college textbook that I no longer needed. I was searching online for fonts and ideas on how to do this and ran across a blog post from The Crafty Cupboard. She had free printables of these cute covers already done. All I had to do was download the printable, print it out, tear the edges, soak in some tea to give an aged effect and decoupage on. To make the book itself look old, I soaked it in some water to make it more full and old looking which also made the binding easier to tear off. I tore the binding and front and back covers off and reversed, leaving a plain area to cover with the printable. I also stained some of the outer pages and even burned a few edges with a lighter. So easy to do.

You might be wondering why I put "In Progress" in the title. It looks finished, right? Well, at least I thought so until the kids came home from school and their dad came home from work. It was brought to my attention that there was a severe lack of gore. It seems that my tasteful, understated mantle is not going to fly and I need to scurry over to the nearest Halloween store for some bloody hands to place behind the glass on the window. (among other things) BOYS!

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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fall Carnival School Bulletin Board

bulletin board idea for Fall school carnival
This year Gage's elementary school is having their first carnival. That made coming up with an idea for the Fall bulletin board easy.Here are some detailed pictures in case you are trying to do a carnival style board for your school.

The yellow construction paper is for our upcoming Volunteers of the Month who, so far, have been evading the camera. The Ferris wheel was a convenient way to display the calendar. No carnival bulletin board would be complete without a ringmaster and the banners complete the look displaying our school name.