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Simple Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Hallowen House - the crafty mommyThis is the first year we’ve had a yard to decorate for Halloween so I was really excited to decorate the inside and outside of the house.

I didn’t want to spend a lot of time or money so I was looking for ways to make a big impact, without spending a lot of time and effort.

Exterior Halloween Decorations - the crafty mommy

My favorite outdoor decoration are the “boarded up” windows. I used cardboard boxes, cut them up into long, narrow pieces (sometimes taping two pieces together on the backside to make the right size). Then, using scissors, I cut the edges to look like scrap pieces of wood. And finally I took brown spray paint and loosely painted the cardboard here and there and outlined knots and grooves to accentuate the paint with a brown permanent marker.

To hang them I used double-sided outdoor tape, which has held up remarkably well. We have had several storms and the boards have stayed in place without a problem.

I also used wooden dowels and added some styrofoam tombstones to the yard with plastic hands coming up out of the ground.

Halloween Porch - the crafty mommy

To top it all off I tied cornstalks to the columns of our front porch, lanterns I got from Pier 1 (they look like the ones from Pottery Barn, but are much less expensive), and some gourds and funkins. The funkins, I carved and shaved with our initial and haunted house designs.

I think the end result looks great and is sure to draw a lot of trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Easy Halloween (or Anytime) Ribbon Garland

Halloween Mantel - the crafty mommy

I love ribbon, and always have a lot leftover from other projects. This year for Halloween, I decide to use some old and some new ribbon to make a festive garland for my mantle.

I paired it with a store-bought “Trick-or-Treat” banner from Pottery Barn Kids and some black and white funkins I painted and voila, a modern, decorative mantel perfect for Halloween or all fall long.

Painting Funkins for Halloween

Black and White Pumpkins - the crafty mommyJust in time for Halloween, I’m sharing with you an easy project for decorating pumpkins (even a day before Halloween). This project uses funkins (craft pumpkins you can use again and again) and the best part is, if you head to Michael’s or your local craft store now, they’re half off.

Now I by no means consider myself a great painter, I’m not, but I did decide to paint some of the black and white funkins I picked up for my Halloween party this year.

White Pumpkins - the crafty mommy

I used a paint brush for one of the designs (the half white, half black funkin), but for the rest I used a paint pen, a sponge pouncer, and a permanent marker.

With the little help of some tape and planning ahead I came up with some modern and decorative designs. As seen with the ghost funkin, you can also carve them, but you just follow the same steps that you would to carve a regular pumpkin. This template is from Southern Living.

For the Spider Web Pumpkin
Use a white paint pen and draw vertical stripes down the natural indents on the funkin. Then draw arches all the way around the pumpkin several times to create a web design. It doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, the less perfect it is, the better it looks.

For the Polka Dot Pumpkin
I used black craft paint and a foam pouncer. The key on this is to make sure the entire pouncer is covered really with black paint. Use different sized pouncers to create more polka-dots in different sizes.

For the Chevron Pumpkin
I used Washi tape (because it’s smaller and simple to tear) and created a chevron pattern all the way around the pumpkin. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to keep the chevron stripes straight when going around. Then I took a permanent black marker and colored in the spots in between the tape. Let it dry for a few minutes and then carefully remove the Washi tape.

For the Black and White Pumpkin
I used painter’s tape to cut the pumpkin in half to ensure I had a straight line. Then using a paint brush I painted the bottom half of the pumpkin white. Before you get started, make sure you have somewhere to dry the pumpkin upside down after you paint it.

Craft Exchange and So Much More…

I’m back in the groove this week (sort of) with posting, but I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately. It has been crazier than usual around here. We have had lots of projects going on around the house, plus I have signed on to way more freelance projects that I can probably handle.

I have lots of exciting things to share with you in the upcoming weeks. One just happened this past weekend and it was H’s 2nd birthday party.

I’m also gearing up for our annual Halloween party. This will be the first time we are hosting it at our new house in Connecticut, so the stakes are high. I want to do it bigger and better than ever before, plus this time around we have the outdoors to decorate as well.

And finally, but not least, I have joined an exciting group called the Craft Exchange ‪#‎craftXCHallenge‬. We were fortunate enough to get sponsorship from Martha Stewart Crafts #‎marthastewart‬ and so we have some amazing materials to work with.

craft exchange supplies-the crafty mommy

This has been a bit of challenge for me. I basically have to make five of my project using the following: flocking powder, decoupage, and fringe scissors. I think I’ve figured out a fun way of integrating all of these materials together, but if you have any ideas, please send them my way. Once I do figure out what I’m making and then actually make it, I’ll be sure to share the final product here with you. Stay tuned!

DIY Monster Birthday Invitations

diy monster invitations - the crafty mommyI love the Internet! There are so many great ideas and photos you can use for inspiration. I knew for H’s second birthday I wanted to do a monster theme (if you haven’t been around him lately, you probably haven’t heard him roar, but he’s obsessed with Monster’s Inc. and Monster’s University).

I looked for adorable invites that I could just order online and be done with it, but I unfortunately didn’t see any I liked. So I decided to make my own, and they were so easy.

Lime green paper
White paper
Blue paper
Black paper
Circle cutter (see below for specifics)
Self-healing mat
Glue stick
Black marker

How to Make the Monster Birthday Invitations
1. All you need is blue, lime green, black, and white paper (I used scrapbook weight paper to give it some heft) and a circle cutter. I used two, the large circle cutter and the simple circle cutter, both from Martha, but you could get away with using just the simple circle cutter if you wanted. I also used a circle punch from Martha for the smallest circle, but again, you could use the simple circle cutter if you just wanted to purchase one tool. Tip: If you’re using the simple circle cutter, make sure you hold down the paper with whatever hand you’re not cutting with, the thing I don’t like about this cutter is the paper can tend to slip messing up your perfect circle.
2. On your self-healing mat, using your circle cutter, cut a circle from the lime green paper measuring 6 inches (you can get away with cutting two from one piece of 8 1/2 x 11 paper you just have to plan ahead when cutting). Cut a circle out of the white paper measuring 4 inches. Then cut a circle out of the blue paper measuring 1 15/16 inches. And finally cut a black circle 1 inch.
3. With a glue stick, glue the white circle on the lime green circle, slightly off-center. It should be towards one side more than the other so you’re leaving room for the mouth.
4. Next, glue the blue circle in the middle of the white circle and glue the black circle in the middle of the blue circle.
5. Finish the monster face by drawing a smiley face (or whatever you like) with a black marker.
6. For the party details, I typed them out in Word (ensuring the type didn’t measure more than 6 inches – the size of my lime green circle) and printed it out on the same white paper I used for the front. I used my circle cutter again to make a 5 1/2-6 inch circle and glued that to the back.

I mailed them using white envelopes I found at Paper Source.

I always say the invitation sets the tone of the party. It’s the first impression your guests will get and I think this is definitely a start to a great party!

A Monster Birthday Party

monster party decorations - the crafty mommyH loves monsters, he roars at almost everyone he comes in contact with (I always say it’s a sign he likes you). So a few months ago I started putting together ideas for his 2nd birthday party, which was monster themed.

I started with handmade invitations (the how-to is coming your way) and it all took off from there. The decorations included pom-pom Sulleys, lantern Mikes, door garland, scream canisters, food signs with the characters, a game of pin the eye on the monster, Monster’s Inc. hard hats, Mike and Sulley cupcakes, and one very happy birthday boy!

Here are just a few photos from the party itself. And if you’re interested, I will be selling some of these items in my shop so stay tuned.

Monsters Birthday Party - the Crafty Mommy

Our Improved Sun Porch

I found white lanterns from Ikea in two sizes (big and small) that sit all around the room. The indoor/outdoor rug was a steal at $60 from and can easily be hosed off if need-be.

I found white lanterns from Ikea in two sizes (big and small) that sit all around the room. The indoor/outdoor rug was a steal at $60 from and can easily be hosed off if need-be.

We are lucky enough that our house came with a three season (or what I would really call two season) sun porch.

From what I have been told by our neighbors who have lived here for over 20 years, this great space has never been used. I definitely intended to change that, but first it needed some sprucing up.

Because we live just a few minutes walk from the beach, I decided to go with a beach theme for the details and artwork.

We love to entertain out here, H loves to play out here (hence why a lot of his toys are stored here), and my husband and I like to light the lanterns and have a cocktail after the baby is asleep and just talk. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to go for date nights with him.

Introducing My Mickey and Minnie Mouse Party Kits

I’m so excited to announce I just launched another party kit theme in my store. It is the Mickey and Minnie Mouse party kit and it is my favorite party theme yet.

Are you hosting a party for a boy? No worries, I can customize everything to be Mickey Mouse. Having a party for a little girl? I can do all Minnie Mouse too. Or mix them together to create a little bit of both.

In this kit you get the following (it’s the biggest one yet):
- 10 favor bags with Mickey handles
- 18’ of mouse garland
- 10 handmade invitations, which you can customize with details
- 20 red polka dot straws
- 10 sets of ears for the kids to wear (you can specify whether you want Mickey and Minnie or just Minnie or just Mickey)
- 4 black balloons with mouse ears
- Instructions for putting it all together

I can also make more or less of the items in this kit (like the favor bags and ears if you are having a larger or small party), just message me. You can also buy any of the items in my kits individually, just shoot me an email and let me know what you’d like to purchase and I will work with you to customize the detail of your party. Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog!

DIY Terrarium

The Crafty Mommy Terrarium DIYDinosaurs are anything but extinct in this mini terrarium. Not into dinosaurs? Use soldiers, farm animals, bugs, fairies, or any other figurines your kids might like. Have a small glass jar? No problem, just make sure you use a smaller plant like a succulent, or you can have it slightly sticking out like I did. Have a massive container? Still not a problem, use a few different plants and characters to fill the space. The key is to have fun and find a plant and glass vessel that will work together to make a magical diorama.

Materials for Terrarium DIY
Glass vessel – this can be anything from a mason jar to a large container
Potting soil or dirt from your backyard
Small, plastic figurines – I used miniature dinosaurs Water and sunlight

Optional Materials:
Construction paper
Craft glue or glue stick

How to Make the Terrarium

1. Get your hands dirty and fill your glass vessel 1/3 to 1/2 way with dirt. You may want to do this project outside, dirt plus kids equals messy fun, but I don’t have to tell you that.
2. Dig a small hole in the center and place your plant in it. Cover with dirt and water it. Repeat this process in several spots in the dirt if you’re using more than one plant.
3. Place figurines around the plants. You can have them peeking out, hiding, or front and center. Be creative!

Other Ideas to Customize Your Terrarium:

  • Cut out a rainbow, sun, clouds, or raindrops and glue them to the inside of the container.
  • Put a miniature plastic bird, pterodactyl, or monkey in the leaves of the plant.
  • Add rocks, twigs, and other greenery from your backyard.
  • Add colorful sand on top of the dirt to add more dimension and interest to your terrarium.

DIY Pottery Barn Curtains

finished roman shadesI absolutely love these curtains, however, I do not love the price of them. I could not justify spending this much times three for H’s room, but have wanted a similar look to finish his nursery (more photos to come soon of the completed room).

So I searched high and low for a less expensive version of the white curtains that I could add my own trim to.

I think the end result is pretty darn close to the original and I couldn’t be happier with them.

Pottery Barn Total: $447

Total Cost for Mine: $250

Materials for DIY Pottery Barn Curtains

White roman shades to fit your windows (I used blackout ones since this is for a nursery)
Ruler or tape measure
Fabric pencil
Grosgrain ribbon – the length of your curtains times 2 plus 2 inches for each shade (I got mine from Pins & Needles, one of my favorite shops in the city)
Fabric scissors
Needle and thread (the thread should match the color of the ribbon)
Hot glue gun

How to Make the DIY Pottery Barn Curtains

measuring shades1. Lay your curtains out on the floor fully open (you can also do this after they’re hung if you’d prefer). From each side, measure in 4 inches with your ruler and mark it with your fabric pencil. I added a mark every fold of the shade.
2. Measure your grosgrain ribbon so it is the length of your curtains plus 2 inches. Cut two pieces for every shade.

shade with trim 3. Fold under each end of the ribbon so there is a nice finish and to prevent fraying and pin at the top. Working your way down the curtains, continue pinning so the edge of the ribbon sits inside of the marks you made and lays straight.

trim on shades 4. Take your needle and thread and make a few stitches just above every fold of the shade to keep your ribbon in place. When finished with this part, repeat steps 3 and 4 with the second piece of ribbon.
5. To finish, take your hot glue gun and glue the ribbon down to the shade in between where you sewed it down.