Kill it at this year’s Halloween bash with kooky, creepy mood lighting you can make yourself!
The eyes have it
Let guests know you’re keeping an eye on them! Use a craft knife to cut a half-inch X into a Ping-Pong ball. Slide the “flame” of a battery-powered tea light into the slit. With fine-point markers, draw an eye (preferably bloodshot!) on the opposite side of the ball. Make several pairs and plant them in dark corners.
Facing your fears
Let a creepy guy scare guests who pass by. Choose a lightweight mask with relatively flat sides. Then buy a wood plaque slightly larger than the mask from the crafts store and stain or paint it. Working from the inside of the mask, tape sheets of colored tissue paper over the eye and mouth openings, so that light shines through. Attach two battery-powered tea lights to the center of the plaque with glue dots (also from a crafts store). Use more glue dots to mount the mask to the plaque, then hang.
Candles can mysteriously levitate with a little bit of black magic—in the form of thin, clear fishing line. Tie a length of it around the bottom of a battery-operated candle’s “flame” (look for a metal loop or simply tie it around the base of the fake flame) and use clear packing tape or hooks to attach the other end to the ceiling.
Slithering snakes on a candle! Use straight pins to attach rubber snakes to wax pillar candles. You can even make it look like one is about to chomp down on the wick. (If you’re having trouble getting it just right, snip the head off the body and pin it to the back of the candle.) Brush acrylic paint on the snakes and pinheads and let dry.
Jarring science jars
In the right setting, white asparagus pieces look like amputated fingers, knotty ginger doubles as mummified bones, and lychees appear to be eyeballs. Fill jars with your creepy body parts of choice, insert cracked glow sticks, and top off with water dyed with yellow food color for added glow. Also try cauliflower (to resemble tiny brains), gummy worms (ground-up flesh!) and more. You’ll never look at food the same way!
– By Taryn Williford; Photography by Aaron Dyer
Home and Market Editor Lisa Freedman and her husband just bought a house two hours outside of New York City. Yay! The only issue? They don’t have anything to put in it. Follow her as she shops, tackles some DIY projects and works her decorating magic.
Ready for the world’s easiest DIY project? Inspired by these knife blocks (I actually have two at my city apartment, but think they’re too modern for the house), I decided to make my own with a tin and some eight-inch bamboo skewers. I washed the tin super well and, when it was dry, I filled it with skewers. See? Easy!
One thing to note: I did use a LOT more skewers than I thought I would (I ended up needing 1,100 of them!), but I found them for a good price at Food Service Warehouse. In total, this project cost me less than $25 and it’s way more personal than a plain lacquer box. My hope is to make another one with a short, narrow tin for my steak knives…whenever we get steak knives, that is.
Check back soon to see what else I’ve been up to.
Want a chance to win $2,000? Whether you’re getting ready to move or just need some extra spending money for the holidays, our friends at Trulia are giving away some serious dough to 12 lucky winners.
That’s not all–the gingerbread fun continues! Get our best gingerbread recipes, house building tips and more. See what’s in store below!
Click here to enter to win $2,000 once daily.
Make your gingerbread house look anything but cookie-cutter—even if you’re working from a store-bought kit—with tips from beth “Ginger Betty” Veneto, owner of Ginger Betty’s Bakery in Quincy, MA., and multiyear winner at the Boston Christmas Festival’s famed Gingerbread House Competition. Read on for her delicious do’s and definite don’ts.
Make a mischievous Rudolph by coating a marshmallow in melted chocolate, adding pretzels for antlers, red candy for a nose and paper-doll sunglasses for an—ahem—clever disguise. Place him so he’s peeping out from behind a tree, thanks to a lollipop stick or skewer.
Transform ice cream cones into trees (coat with green frosting, then decorate with candy ornaments or sprinkles).
Build a fence out of pretzels. You can go the straight-up rod route, as we did here, or stand a series of traditional looped pretzels upside down. Use frosting as mortar.
Pile and scatter shredded coconut for sweet snowdrifts.
Gussy up your gingerbread men (or toy figures) with fun accessories. Licorice or any other candy that comes in strips makes for a cute muffler.
Place Peppermint Pattie candies or cookies as “pavers” to form a pathway to your house.
Build on a rainy day or store your house in the fridge. Under these conditions, moisture can seep in a make the walls wilt.
Start decorating the house too soon. The frosting that holds the structural elements together should be 100 percent dry first. Every house is different, but give yours at least eight hours to set.
Now that you know how to build the gingerbread house of your dreams, find out how you can win $2,000 from Trulia!
If March Madness means your television is turned to college hoops all month long, show your school pride by giving your couch a spirited makeover: Temporarily transform your favorite team tees into game-day decor. Don’t worry– your shirts are still wearable when the season’s over. What a slam-dunk DIY project!
1. Gather your supplies
Clear off a workspace and have your supplies handy. Slide the pillow form into the T-shirt, making sure the logo is centered. Lay the pillow flat on your work surface with the front of the shirt face down.
Square pillow form
Team logo T-shirt
Peel-and-stick Velcro tape
2. Pin it down
Fold the next of the shirt over and down the back of the pillow and secure with safety pins. Fold both sleeves in, making sure the design on the front of the shirt remains centered and smooth. Finally, fold up the bottom of the shirt and secure with more safety pins.
3. Make your backing
trim the felt so that it is 1 inch smaller than your pillow on all sides. Remove the backing from one side of the Velcro tape and secure it to the felt, placing it 1/4 inch from each edge. Remove the remaining tape backing and turn up the 1/4-inch runover of felt so it wraps around part of the Velcro.
4. Put it together
Flip the felt back over and center it on the back of your pillow, making sure to cover up all the safety pins. Press down on the adhesive Velcro to secure the edges.
When the season’s over, remove the Velcro and pins and your tee is as good as new!
If decorating a pumpkin has gotten buried in your to-do list between whipping up dinner, baking Halloween treats and–dare we say it–starting to plan for Thanksgiving, have no fear. These three pumpkin ideas are easier than making a ghost costume out of a sheet. All you need are a few inexpensive items you may already have at home. You stoop has never looked more festive… for less!
Now that the Greek yogurt bandwagon is overflowing with foodies, fitness junkies and just about everyone else, we’ve decided to try a ride on a new train: the skyr train. Never heard of skyr? Neither had we.
Skyr is the traditional yogurt of Iceland, and what differentiates it from traditional yogurt is not only what it’s made of but also how it’s made. To make skyr, skim milk is incubated with live active cultures. Then, the whey, or natural water found in milk, is completely strained out, yielding an incredibly thick yogurt. To make one cup of skyr, you need 3-4 times the amount of milk as you would to make a regular cup of yogurt. If you can believe it, skyr is even thicker than Greek yogurt!
Where can you find such a luscious cup of skyr, you ask? At your local grocery store, in the form of siggi’s, a New York-based yogurt company that was launched in 2004 due to one man’s homesickness for a childhood staple snack.
Photo courtesy of siggi’s
Besides being high in protein, low in sugar and downright delicious, siggi’s is becoming one of our new favorite yogurts because of their unique flavors and dedication to simplicity. At the beginning of May, siggi’s introduced their newest flavor, Strawberry & Basil. Perfect for spring, this flavor represents two things we love about the warm weather: sun-sweet berries and intoxicatingly fresh-smelling herbs. The berries and basil are blended gently with plain skyr, and each flavor is poignant enough without being overpowering. Great on its own, the yogurt also pairs perfectly with almond granola or a sprinkling of flax or chia seeds.
Photo courtesy of siggi’s
Just like us, siggi’s is dedicated to green living, healthy tips and DIY crafts. They have purposely created a label that is easy to pull off so you can recycle or reuse each yogurt cup once you have devoured its contents. After enjoying our siggi’s breakfast, we thought, what better way to recycle our strawberry & basil yogurt cup than to plant some basil leaves in it? Talk about full circle.
You can find siggi’s in grocery stores across the country, but be sure to grab a strawberry & basil while you can! It will only be available at Whole Foods through August 2014.
Here’s a fast idea for a hostess gift that’s both beautiful and useful: an edible salad bouquet! Here’s the how-to:
Buy starter plants– green-leaf (like oak), red-leaf (like ruby) and flavorful mesclun mixes (arugula, kale)– at farmers’ markets or gardening stores and transfer them to a planter or pot. Add a note on a gardening tag, then let your friends dig in. Your hosts can enjoy it all season long!
More Fast Ideas
Nothing makes us happier than seeing our ideas in YOUR homes! Two very special readers put our November issue to the test this Thanksgiving holiday and we were wowed the by results. Check is out!
Jaime Hollander, Every Day with Rachael Ray merchandising director, made all six of our gravy wheel recipes and turned them into a full on gravy bar. She completed the spread with a chalkboard platter that’s both informational and super cute (you know how much we love chalkboards!).
The Spivak family from Potomac, MD used two ideas from our “15 Holiday Table Tricks from the Pros” story: David Stark’s apple centerpeiece and Alison Caporimo’s kids’ tablecloth. We think it was a smashing success!
If you’re like me, you always over-buy paint. I mean, who wants to get halfway through a painting project and realize you don’t have enough paint and need to go back to the store? Not me! So, with this philosophy in mind, I often end up with extra paint. So after my last painting project–a chalkboard cabinet door–I had an immense amount of chalkboard paint to get rid of, thus I began a search for more chalkboard paint ideas. Check out the 7 cool ideas–I might actually try–below!
Chalkboard Wine Glass Labels
Looking for wine glass charms before a party is a pain in the butt so nix the idea completely by opting for chalkboard paint-dipped wine glasses. You’l never get your wine glass confused with someone else again.
As of now, I’m not sure what I’m would do with chalkboard painted bottles, but as I collect beautiful bottles and always want to upcycle old wine bottles, this could be a great solution.
Chalkboard Wrapping Paper
How fun! Personalize your gift wrapping paper with chalkboard paint. Supposedly, the chalkboard paint wrapping paper is reusable too.
Can’t have a real fireplace? No worries, just draw one instead! I particularly like this photo because of the small candles in front of the illustrated fireplace.
Chalkboard Herb Garden Labels
Classy and cute labeling is hard to find. Chalkboard paint provides the much-needed solution here.
Chalkboard Wall Calendar
Got a blank wall in your office? Then dress it up and simultaneously get a handle on planning with this chalkboard paint wall calendar. Write directly onto the chalkboard paint days or use post-its as an easy (and moveable) alternative.
Chalkboard Cheese Plate
I love this idea because it provides an easy solution to the “labeling the cheese plate dilemma.” Not sure what I’m talking about? Labeling a cheese plate on the fly with something classier than post-its–yup, it ain’t pretty–is hard. So this easy chalkboard cheese plate is the perfect, easy solution.