Halloween DIY Napkin Rings …………. by Trenda

Look who suddenly appeared, looking like he flew straight from the pages of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem and obligingly perched, right next to me.  While I slowly reached for my phone, my mind began the recitation of these remembered words …  “Once upon a midnight dreary, when I pondered, weak and weary …” . 

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I love decorating the table for any occasion and for HALLOWEEN … I use all kinds of  “fol-der-ol and fid-dle-dy dee” to set the mood for a magical night that’s filled with possibilities and imagination!  During these next 3 weeks, I have several fun projects that I am going to be sharing with you that will help you create your own “boo-tiful” Halloween tablescape!  Today, I am going to show you how to make these spook-taular Halloween napkin rings!

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Supplies needed:

  • glue gun
  • glittered spiders 
  • copper wire (10 yds/20gauge)
  • beads (glass seed bead mix “Scream”)
  • assorted ribbons matching beads (I used Halloween polka dot & spider ribbon)
  • wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers

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Instructions: (see pictures below)

  1. Cut 4 pieces of copper wire, each approximately 12 inches long
  2. Lay the 4 lengths of wire together and pull the wires up and around your fingers to form a circle large enough for a napkin to be inserted into the opening.
  3. Twist where the wires cross at the top of the circle 1 or 2 times to secure the circle in place.
  4. Splay out the 8 wires above the now-formed wire circle.
  5. Begin threading beads, creating your own color pattern.
  6. Leave enough wire at the top exposed to bend the wire with your needle nose pliers, forming a small closed loop to secure the beads in place.
  7. After each wire is filled with beads and the wire is crimped, wrap the beaded wire around your little finger to “coil” your wire. 
  8. Remove your finger and bend each of the 8 coiled “legs” into desired shape.
  9. Using your hot glue gun, place a small amount of glue on your ribbon and begin wrapping the copper circle.
  10. Continue wrapping until the entire wire circle (the napkin ring) is covered with ribbon. 
  11. Cut the ribbon and hot glue in place, at the top of the napkin ring.  Shape and adjust beaded “legs” how you like them, then hot glue on glittery spider.

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Just look what a glitzy napkin ring this makes … perfect for all things “outlandish” for Halloween!

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Pumpkin patch and harmless spiders …

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Even just stacked in a pedestal votive cup “the eensy, weensy, spiders …” look frighteningly festive!

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“Candy-Coated Ghost Peeps” click here for instructions

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Little Ghost “Peeps” wearing “coats of chocolate” adorned with sprinkles and non-pareil’s make charming favors to take home or tuck into Halloween bags. 

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Click on the links below for all things “HALLOWEEN” 

Halloween DIY Treat Bags

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… DIY “Jolly Jack-o-Lantern” Halloween Wreath

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Have fun getting your home ready and making these Halloween napkin rings!  Before you know it, while your nodding … “nearly napping, suddenly” there will be “a tapping, as of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door” … shouting “Trick or Treat! (:

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Trenda

 

Thank you for taking some time to read my blog today!  To have all my posts delivered directly to your email address, just click FOLLOW in the post above … or click on my site:  cottagegreenonthelake.com

This week I’m joining Courtney with Feathered Nest Friday

Chloe Crabtree at Celebrate & Decorate

All the supplies I used for making these Halloween napkin rings were bought from Hobby Lobby.

 

Halloween Epilogue … recipes for Chili con Carne and “Cake Mix” Cookies with Candy Corn

Epilogue to Halloween collage.pngFor us … yesterday was a carefully orchestrated frenzy of driving to different places in 4 different cities and spending time with all of our family.  Adding to the enjoyment of all our Halloween activities, it was also Grandparent Day at our granddaughter’s school! (:  We were finally able to relax a while when our son, daughter-in-law and little grandson came over, that evening, and we all sat down together for our traditional Halloween family dinner, getting ready and “fueled” for the rest of the evening’s activities.

piccollage  Now … before we close the “book” to October, here’s the epilogue with 2 recipes I told you I would include in a subsequent post.  Both of these recipes were a part of our “traditional Halloween dinner.”   The Chile con Carne recipe below is from Better Homes & Garden; I have been making this same chili recipe for my husband and family for 39 years! (:

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Better Homes & Gardens Chili con carne

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef or stew meat
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1 16-oz. can Petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 16 oz. can Dark Red Kidney Beans (drained)
  • 1 8 oz. can Tomato sauce
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder (I used only 1 teaspoon, since I wanted our 2 year old to be able to eat it!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  •  salt, to taste (I used 1 teaspoon Morton’s Light Salt)

Directions:

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, cook ground beef or stew meat, onion, bell pepper, and garlic until meat is browned.  Drain fat.  Stir in tomatoes, drained dark red kidney beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, basil, and salt. (to taste)  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 20 minutes.  Makes 4- 6 servings.  Ladle into bowls.  Garnish w/add’l onion, jalapenos, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado, cilantro, and Fritos.  Tip:  If using stew meat in your recipe, cook until meat is tender.

Cake-Mix Cookies with Candy Corn (pictured on right)

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These “cake mix” cookies are so easy and delicious and … the variety of cookies you can make using different cake mixes and add-ins, is only limited by your imagination! (:

“Cake Mix” Cookies with Candy Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • orange, white and yellow candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix ingredients together and roll into 1-2″ balls.  Tip:  Candy Corn will dissolve into liquid if it comes into contact with the metal of your cookie sheet.  I added my candy corn, 2-3 per cookie, after the dough was already on the cookie sheet so I could place my candy into the batter.  Bake for 9 minutes.

 For different variety’s of cookies, just pick the flavor of cake mix you want and choose whatever you’d like to add-in.  Devil’s Food “Cake-Mix” Cookies with white chocolate morsels are “delish” … as our granddaughter would say! (:

Our little grandson eating his cupcake.  After the first bite, he broke into a huge smile! (:

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A busy, tiring, fun Halloween; October is over!  Scarecrows and spider webs are already being taken off of porches and wreaths and are being replaced with harvest decorations and pilgrims.  Because, as hard as it is to believe, in only 3 short weeks and 2 days … it will be Thanksgiving! (:

But for now …

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 From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

“No Tricks just Treats”… by Trenda

It’s almost here … the most “spook-tacular”  evening of the year!  The days in October have slowly “peeled off the calendar” until finally, to the children’s delight, the “countdown” and last preparations for this very special night of costumes, late-night curfews, lots of candy, and fun are winding down.

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It’s Halloween Night!

Unfurl the tablecloth, set out the plates,

put out the punch bowl, if tarnished, that’s great!

Pumpkins by moonlight, a cauldron of sweets!

There’s Reese’s, and candy corn, Kit’s Kat’s galore!

If there’s not plenty, the ghosts are forlorn!

C’mon, let’s hurry … it’s Halloween night!

Giggles and doorbells, signal the start.

Small faces peering ‘neath masks, some quite scary!

Proffer bags, shouting, “Boo … trick or treat!”    

by Trenda

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Getting the “table set” for our traditional family chili dinner and desserts (before all the hay rides, dunking booths, bounce houses, and slides …at the Harvest Festival, held at our church.  It’s a “Happy Halloween” indeed when I get to see all our family and grandchildren! (:

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Pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins …

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I LOVE everything about these cupcake liners “Simply Baked – elegant entertaining everyday by Christy Designs, LLC.” … the playful design with scalloped edges and black stripes against the orange background; how sturdy they are compared to traditional cupcake liners, how easy it was to pour the batter in these little baking cups … and the easy clean up.  My cookie sheet was clean after baking my cupcakes!  I bought my Baking Cups (20 paper baking cups per container) at Home Goods for only $1.99!  Here they are setting on my cookie sheet, when I was filling them.  Directions on the clear plastic sleeve they are packaged in, says to fill each baking cup, 1/2 full.  Tip:  One of my favorite time savers and tricks is to use a baking funnel (I bought mine at a Kitchen Supply shop) to fill my baking cups and cupcake liners! 

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Here are the cupcakes after baking, frosted with vanilla frosting and topped with miniature bats and ghost sprinkles. Tip 2:  When in a hurry, use your favorite tub of frosting.  Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the tub of frosting for a homemade flavor, stir well to combine.  To color white frosting, use food coloring (I use Wilton’s concentrated gel for coloring my frosting, to create the bold orange color I wanted, without thinning my icing.)

Halloween sweets … Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and “Cake Mix” Candy Corn CookiesPicCollage[612].png

Our Traditional Halloween Dinner Menu

Chili con Carne with toppings … Fritos, shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped onions, and diced jalapenos (recipe in subsequent post)

Tossed Salad with Iceberg Lettuce and Fresh Spinach, diced red onions, chopped celery, chopped red onions, sliced radishes and peperoncini

Desserts:  Chocolate Cupcakes w/vanilla buttercream frosting and “Cake Mix” Candy Corn Cookies (recipe in subsequent post)

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” … the moon and the stars to govern the night; His love endures forever …”  Psalms 136:9

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Hope you have a safe and fun-filled day and evening with those that make your face and heart smile!

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

A Sunday Drive in Autumn …… by Trenda at Cottage Green on the Lake

It was a beautiful autumn day here in East Texas.  The gray-blue clouds had been hiding the sun for most of the day and kept our temperature’s in the lower 70’s.  It was a perfect day for a Sunday drive … a Sunday golf cart drive!

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Lately, our lives have seemed more harried than usual and we were way overdue for some relaxation … “gazing and cruising, along the lake and the lane.”  Our only regulations for the day …

  1. to stop for any ducks crossing the road 
  2.  no speed over 20 miles per hour!piccollage

I grabbed all the essentials for a lazy Sunday drive … a jacket, a soft buffalo-checked blanket, and my vintage plaid picnic satchel – a favorite gift Richard surprised me with, reminiscent of my favorite lunch box and affection for anything in red plaid! (: (You’ll be seeing it, from “time to time” so I decided to add a full description here, for you to visualize!) The zippered picnic bag and contents were made by Aladdin in the 1970’s; the red plaid bag has two tall, red plaid thermos’ inside and a cherry red sandwich keeper. All had never been used and still had the original advertising tags when Richard gave it to me! 

I’d just made some chocolate chip cookies, so I wrapped up some of those (still warm from the oven!) grabbed our thermos’ and headed out the door.  Are you ready to go?  Let’s go together… “gazing and cruising, along the lake and the lane.” (:

Up the road we go and around the Pumpkin Patch …

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A neighbor’s house where … like the banner says, pumpkins, mums, and the people within, make everyone feel welcome!

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A lovely stone entry draped in autumn leaves …

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A scarecrow standing sentinel and greeting all, with the lake beckoning in the background …

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A lovely spot to “sit a spell” by the water …

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Grinning Jack-o-Lanterns line the curvy lane leading to this house.  We couldn’t help but smile back, as our cart whizzed by!

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Let’s stop here for a little while, enjoying our cookies and looking at this beautiful view of the lake from our peninsula.  We were thrilled when this flock of double-crested cormorants flew in chasing a school of minnows and decided to share our picnic spot!

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As the Cormorants swam away, we brushed the crumbs from our laps and headed our golf cart on up the peninsula road.  The lake is on either side of our road and can be seen in this gap between the trees …

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On further down the road, something you wouldn’t expect to see near the lake … this quaint little barnyard with llama’s, goats, and chickens.  These little goats are enjoying their evening meal …

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The owner scatters pumpkins about his charming barnyard and atop his fence posts …

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Rounding a corner we came upon this miniature lighthouse “guarding” the coastlines of our gentle lakeshores … I love the beautiful Fan Palm flourishing beside the lighthouse!

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Another sunset … (we can never resist!) and had to pull over to gaze at this gorgeous sight of the deepening shadows in the sky, as the sun slipped below the horizon …

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Last surprise of our tour, a little Tuscany at Cedar Creek Lake, a vineyard on the sloping bank leading to the waters …

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It’s getting chilly, for this Texas chic and the evening shadows are deepening.  Last bend in the road and time to head home …

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Did you enjoy our Sunday drive and our views along the lakeshore?  This is just the beginning of our “autumn show” here in Texas.  I love all the different sights, sounds, and smells associated with every season and look forward to sharing each with you … 4theseasons! (; 

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed if you don’t see your comment “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

Halloween DIY Treat Bags and Candy-Coated Ghost Peeps …….. by Trenda from Cottage Green on the Lake

Part 2 of “A Halloween of Memory Past” (Click on Part 1 of … A Halloween of Memory Past from previous post “Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween Wreath” by Trenda)

PicCollage[439].pngHalloween of Memory Past by Trenda ~ cont’d from previous post “DIY Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween Wreath”

As we walked up the sidewalk, I would size up each house, trying to determine if first … anyone was home and would answer the door and second … what kind of treat would be handed out.  My experiences had already taught me that behind the door of an unwelcoming house, there always seemed to be a stale bit of peanut butter taffy wrapped in orange or black paper.  Whereas, the brightly lit homes with welcoming porch lights and cheer-y doorbells seemed to house people who would fane surprise that there were spooks at their door and would generously grab into their bowl of treats and distribute a handful of goodies!  …………………………… by Trenda

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Recalling my memories of Halloween’s Past, I love making special treats and stuffing little treat bags for each of the masquerader’s coming to 0ur home!  Look at these cute little Halloween bags.  They were so easy and fun … to make and fill!  My treat bags are filled with a little trac of Knock-knock jokes, vampire teeth (complete with a packet of red watermelon-flavored goo, to squish out like blood!) Halloween candies, and Jack-o-Lantern rings.  I also made some bigger sized bags for our own precious goblins (a cheerleader and a vampire!) and concocted these extra-special treats … Candy-Coated Ghost Peeps and Harvest Moon Pies

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I bought the larger sized handled Kraft bags at Hobby Lobby, 5 for $1.99 and the smaller ones at Michael’s, 6 for $2.99.  I stamped each bag with black ink from my “Pigment” black ink pad and used 2 cute stamps I “found” on sale at Hobby Lobby!   To dress up my little bag, but wanting to keep it, simple … I tied a piece of raffia into a bow on each handle.  I love the “scarecrow-look” of this rustic little bag with the straw bow!

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Now, for some fun and easy treats to make and put into each treat bag!  These darling little Ghost Peeps are dressed for Halloween with a “coat” of candy (;  and are adorned with bright polka dots, sprinkles, nonpareils’ and a fun assortment of Halloween pumpkins, bats, and mini ghosts. 

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Pictured below are all the supplies needed to make the Ghost Peep Pops Tip: I melted my candy melts in tea cups so I wouldn’t have to use so many melts, but would have enough “candy depth”  to coat the bottom of each ghost.

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Then I inserted a Halloween straw (I bought mine from Home Goods) into the bottom of each ghost and propped the chocolate coated Ghost Pops up, while the candy hardenedTip:  I found that my toaster made a perfect drying rack! (:  I made sure my toaster was unplugged and then inserted each Ghost Peep Pop into the toaster slots.  The candy hardened up perfectly, without having any side flattened.

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After the candy hardened, I wrapped each ghost in a cellophane candy bag and tied it with a brightly colored polka dot ribbon.

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed when your comment doesn’t “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I send or receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

Halloween DIY Treat Bags and Candy-Coated Ghost Peeps …….. by Trenda from Cottage Green on the Lake

Part 2 of “A Halloween of Memory Past” (Click on Part 1 of … A Halloween of Memory Past from previous post “Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween Wreath” by Trenda)

PicCollage[439].pngHalloween of Memory Past by Trenda ~ cont’d from previous post “DIY Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween Wreath”

As we walked up the sidewalk, I would size up each house, trying to determine if first … anyone was home and would answer the door and second … what kind of treat would be handed out.  My experiences had already taught me that behind the door of an unwelcoming house, there always seemed to be a stale bit of peanut butter taffy wrapped in orange or black paper.  Whereas, the brightly lit homes with welcoming porch lights and cheer-y doorbells seemed to house people who would fane surprise that there were spooks at their door and would generously grab into their bowl of treats and distribute a handful of goodies!  …………………………… by Trenda

PicCollage[437].png

Recalling my memories of Halloween’s Past, I love making special treats and stuffing little treat bags for each of the masquerader’s coming to 0ur home!  Look at these cute little Halloween bags.  They were so easy and fun … to make and fill!  My treat bags are filled with a little trac of Knock-knock jokes, vampire teeth (complete with a packet of red watermelon-flavored goo, to squish out like blood!) Halloween candies, and Jack-o-Lantern rings.  I also made some bigger sized bags for our own precious goblins (a cheerleader and a vampire!) and concocted these extra-special treats … Candy-Coated Ghost Peeps and Harvest Moon Pies

PicCollage[484].png

I bought the larger sized handled Kraft bags at Hobby Lobby, 5 for $1.99 and the smaller ones at Michael’s, 6 for $2.99.  I stamped each bag with black ink from my “Pigment” black ink pad and used 2 cute stamps I “found” on sale at Hobby Lobby!   To dress up my little bag, but wanting to keep it, simple … I tied a piece of raffia into a bow on each handle.  I love the “scarecrow-look” of this rustic little bag with the straw bow!

PicCollage[486].png

Now, for some fun and easy treats to make and put into each treat bag!  These darling little Ghost Peeps are dressed for Halloween with a “coat” of candy (;  and are adorned with bright polka dots, sprinkles, nonpareils’ and a fun assortment of Halloween pumpkins, bats, and mini ghosts. 

PicCollage[481].png

Pictured below are all the supplies needed to make the Ghost Peep Pops Tip: I melted my candy melts in tea cups so I wouldn’t have to use so many melts, but would have enough “candy depth”  to coat the bottom of each ghost.

PicCollage[490].png

Then I inserted a Halloween straw (I bought mine from Home Goods) into the bottom of each ghost and propped the chocolate coated Ghost Pops up, while the candy hardenedTip:  I found that my toaster made a perfect drying rack! (:  I made sure my toaster was unplugged and then inserted each Ghost Peep Pop into the toaster slots.  The candy hardened up perfectly, without having any side flattened.

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After the candy hardened, I wrapped each ghost in a cellophane candy bag and tied it with a brightly colored polka dot ribbon.

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

 

Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave any questions you may have or comments, below.  Don’t be dismayed when your comment doesn’t “appear” right away.  Word Press checks everything I send or receive for SPAM and all have to be approved, before posting.

DIY “Jolly Jack-o-Lantern” Halloween Wreath … by Trenda

“A Halloween of Memory Past” by Trenda  In just a little over a “fortnight” we will have a host of little ghosts and goblins coming to our doorstep.  Once, not really so very long ago, I was one of those happy “trick or treater’s” … traipsing down the streets, I peered to see out of my plastic mask that was always askew, had eye slots that were cut too small to properly see and was held in place by a thin rubber band that pulled my hair and I was always afraid would snap and pop me in the face!  I made sure I stayed close to my strong, broad shouldered father and seeing his comforting silhouette outlined in the shadows was particularly assuring on a night called All Hallows’ Eve!  My father carried a railroad lantern to lead his little band and family of mix-matched character’s … a hobo, a skeleton, 2 gypsies, and a clown … and I remember the red glow cast by his lantern, added to the mystique of the evening. (to be continued)piccollage

 

Remembering that feeling, I love to make our home as welcoming as possible on Halloween and enjoy creating an expectant atmosphere, befitting the night, that the children can sense as they climb up each step to our door.

Now with all that in mind … today I am writing the DIY instructions for this Jolly Jack-o-Lantern Halloween wreath that you can make and hang on your front door to welcome each of your little visitors!  The “jewel and sparkle” a wreath adds to your door, is like adding a necklace to your outfit! (: 

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Below, is a list of supplies you will need to make your wreath.

Materials needed:

  •  metal wreath form
  • up to 3 rolls of mesh in your choice of Halloween colors
  • pipe cleaners
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • assorted Halloween decorations
  • scissors & wire cutters

Instructions:

First, make a simple loop hanger using a pipe cleaner and wrap it around the back of the wire wreath form.  This is the hanger you will use to display your wreath on your door, but it is also convenient to use while constructing your wreath.  TipI always use  pipe cleaners that match the colors I am using in my wreath.  Then, when I am finished they aren’t easily seen and “blend” right into the decorations and colors of the wreath.   Take your first color of mesh and go around the form of your wreath, bunching the mesh loosely.  To form a “poof” or segment, wrap a pipe cleaner around the mesh and wire wreath form to secure the mesh to the form.  I trim my pipe cleaners off at this point to keep things neat and so they won’t get “in the way” and snag my material.  Continue bunching and securing mesh around the perimeter of your wreath form.  Don’t be timid!  There’s no wrong way to do this! (:   

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Then, do the same thing again with the next color you have chosen for your wreath.  Gather and bunch your mesh and secure it with pipe cleaners to your wreath form.  Be sure and “stagger” where you bunch and secure your mesh, not conforming with the same pattern you used with the first color.  This will make your wreath fuller.  See picture below.

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Repeat the same procedure again, using your last color of mesh and making sure to weave and bunch your mesh in areas you see that need more fullness.  Note:  It is up to you how many colors of mesh you use.  Sometimes, I use only 2 fabrics or even one color of mesh or burlap.  Just make sure when you are using fewer colors that you bunch your fabric tighter, so you have a full wreath.

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Now, the fun part begins!  Take your decorations and just hot glue them to your wreath.  I add my biggest items first … next, any smaller items I have.

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Then … I add my “filler” last.  Filler is added to your entire wreath and “pulls” the look of your wreath together, unifying and blending all your colors and decorations on the wreath.  Filler can be any material – it adds texture and conformity.   In the photo below … see how I’ve used my neon green curly twigs as filler.

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Then, I added a few “bursts” of accent with a ribbon that incorporated all the colors of my 3 different mesh … a purple, orange and black plaid.  Wherever I wanted a little more color, I cut some random lengths of my plaid ribbon and “wove it” into the mesh ribbon, and hot glued the ends to hold.  The final step was gluing some sparkly wrapped paper candies … table confetti, that I found at Hobby Lobby for only $1.50 … in just my colors of purple, orange, and neon green! 

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Now when …

“Silent phantoms

of the night

In their robes

of ghostly white.

They are always to be seen

On the night of Halloween.”

come to your door, they will be delighted to see the wreath you made welcoming them to your haunt! 

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Thank you so much for spending some time with me today!  I’d love to hear from you and I am truly delighted, reading what you have to say.  Please leave a comment, below.  Don’t be alarmed when your comment doesn’t post, immediately.  Word Press makes sure each post I send or that I receive hasn’t any SPAM attached … “it’s a good thing!” (: 

From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda