Halloween Party (House Warming Party)

Last weekend we had our house warming party (even though it has been a whole 4 months since we moved in). We spent a good part of those 4 months working on home improvement projects getting our house in tip top shape. I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a Halloween party so since it was close to Halloween we decided to tie in our house warming party with a Halloween Costume party.
We had a lot of fun decorating and preparing for our party. I found some inexpensive DIY Halloween Party decorations on Pinterest and combined them with some store bought decorations.

Halloween Party Decorations | Sprightliest.com

I bought the door cover at Walmart for 0.97 cents. The green spooky looking light is actually a projection light we found in the Christmas decorations at Home Depot. It can do double duty since we can use it for Christmas as well. The farther away it is from the house the more it looks like snow falling, but putting it closer gives this nice spooky effect. For my goofy ghosts, I used a black marker to draw faces on plastic gallon jugs and put a glow stick inside.

easy halloween decorations | Sprightliest.com

We found these purple and orange lights at Target for $1 each. The Tombstone set came from Walmart ($14) and the 2 pumpkin balloons were in the party section. The balloons came with led lights inside, but only a few out the package worked. We also hung white balloons with blue and green glowsticks inside from the tree (not pictured).

Fall Mantel Decoration | Sprightliest.com
Fall/Halloween Mantel Decorations | Sprightliest.com
Halloween Mantel | Sprightliest.com Halloween Decorations | Sprightliest.com

This skull came out of the Tombstone set we bought, we thought it would be a nice addition to the fireplace :)

Fall Mantel | Sprightliest.comPainted Wooden Ghost Decoration | Sprightliest.com

I picked up this wooden ghost decoration at Michaels, painted it with acrylic paint and added the ribbon. It has a multi-color strobe light inside where the eyes are.

Halloween Bat Decorations | Sprightliest.com

I found the bat idea on Pinterest and used only the first page of this template to draw the outline of the bat onto folded construction paper and then cut out a bunch at once. I used scotch tape to attach them to the walls and ceiling.

DIY Halloween Decorations | Sprightliest.com

We served finger foods and mini sandwiches and I made these cute deviled eggs and cookie cup ghosts. Some of our guests also brought some goodies with them so we had a good amount of food.

Deviled Eggs | Sprightliest.com

I used this recipe as a base for my deviled eggs but wound up tweaking it a little bit. I skipped the hot sauce and added more mustard, mayo and pickle juice. The devil horns are made from a red pepper.

Ghost Cookie Cups Filled with Cream Cheese Icing | Sprightliest.com

For my Ghost Cookie Cups I used this recipe. I used a mini sized muffin pan instead of regular sized. The sugar cookie cups are filled with a cream cheese icing. The eyes and nose of the ghost are mini chocolate chips.

DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #7

DIY Bracelets | Sprightliest.comI can’t believe Christmas is only a week away. It sure came fast this year (I think I say that every year). These DIY Bracelets are another great DIY Christmas Gift Idea that are simple and inexpensive to make.
I came across these “Jubilee Bracelets” from Quiet Lion Creations and got inspired to make some myself. I even made a pair of matching earrings.

DIY Bracelets | Sprightliest.com


DIY Bracelets

What you’ll need:
.5 mm Stretch Cord
2.5 mm Crimp Beads (2mm would work also but I couldn’t find this size)
4mm Crimp Closures
Chain
Beads
Flat-nosed Pliers (for squeezing crimping beads and closures)
Diagonal or Cutting Pliers (for cutting the chain)
Step 1- Measure your wrist and cut 2 pieces of chain 1/2 inch less than that measurement. If you are making these as gifts, the average woman’s wrist size is about 7 inches. If you are unsure you can make a longer bracelet and add a clasp closure so it becomes adjustable. There is a little give in these bracelets from the stretch cord but there’s a chance they will break if stretched too much.
Step 2- Cut a piece of stretch cord about 8 inches long. I found its better to have extra stretch cord to work with when you have to feed it back through the crimp bead. The excess can be cut off at the end.
Step 3- String a crimp bead and the end of each chain onto the stretch cord. Use your thumb to hold the two chains to the side while you string the end of the stretch cord back through the crimp bead. Pull the crimp bead flush to the end of the chains, making sure the ends of the stretch cord are even. Use flat-nosed pliers to squeeze the crimp bead flat onto the cord.
Step 4- Place a crimp cover over the flattened crimp bead and squeeze shut using the flat-nosed pliers.
Step 5- Thread your beads onto both strands of the stretch cord.
Step 6- String on another crimp bead and the other two ends of the chains. String both ends of the stretch cord back through the crimp bead pull tight and make sure it is flush against the last bead.
Step 7- Crimp down the bead and place a crimp cover over the bead. Trim the excess stretch cord.

DIY Bracelets | Sprightliest.com

I made a matching pair of earrings using earring hooks, stretch cord, beads, crimp beads and crimp covers.

DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #2

Reindeer Wine Bottle
My next DIY Christmas Gifts inspiration came from these Reindeer Rootbeers I found on Pinterest.

Paint a nice bottle of wine or sparkling cider for a non-alcoholic version and decorate it to look like a reindeer. Then attach one of these free printable tags to the bottle and you have a cute Christmas gift to give. There are two tag designs to choose from. The tag reads: “I don’t know if there’ll be snow, but have a cup of cheer…from this bottle of “wine-deer” or “ci-deer” depending on which version you choose.

Printable Wine/Cider Gift TagsClick Here to Print Gift Tags


Reindeer Bottle – Idea #2

What you’ll need:
Favorite bottle of wine or sparkling cider
Rubbing Alcohol (to clean the outside of the bottle)
Paint (craft or spray paint)
Pipe Cleaners (I used the pipe cleaners that have the “bumps”)
Pom Poms
Googly Eyes
Ribbon
Glue or Tape
Step 1- Clean the outside of the bottle with some rubbing alcohol and allow to dry.
Step 2- Paint the bottle using craft or spray paint. I used Anita’s Glossy Craft Paint in Chocolate and it worked well and dried pretty quick. I did 2 coats.
Step 3- Twist a pipe cleaner around the top of the bottle for each side of the antlers.
Step 4- Cut pipe cleaners in half to make the shorter antler pieces and attach.
Step 5- Glue or tape on the googly eyes.
Step 6- Glue or tape on the pom pom nose.
Step 7- Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and attach the printable gift tag.

See Also:
DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #1 DIY Christmas Ornament

DIY Christmas Gifts - DIY Christmas Ornaments

DIY Christmas Gifts – Idea #1

Is it just me or does it seem like everyone is feeling extra Christmasy earlier than usual this year? Even a plaza around where I live had their Christmas decorations up before Halloween. Now that is early!
Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving falls at the very latest it can this year. It’s 6 days later than last year and that much closer to December.
I try and wait until after Thanksgiving to start decorating and listening to Christmas music and I plan to do so this year -BUT – I’m starting some crafting and baking a little early. I have some great ideas for fun and inexpensive DIY Christmas gifts that I will be posting in the next few weeks. I will also be sharing some of my favorite recipes for Christmas cookies and other goodies.
To kick things off here is a DIY Christmas ornament that would make a great gift.

DIY Christmas Ornament – Idea #1

DIY Christmas Gifts - DIY Christmas Ornaments

What you’ll need:
Wooden Letter
Paint (Any spray paint, craft or acrylic paint would work)
Foam Brush
Mod Podge
Sandpaper or File
Sharp blade knife
Scissors
Ribbon or Embellishments
Scrapbook Paper or Wrapping Paper
Pen/Pencil
Step 1- Paint the wooden letter and allow it to dry. I spray painted mine but any craft or acrylic paint would also work.
Step 2- Lay the letter on top of the wrapping paper or scrapbook paper and trace the outline of the letter with a pen or pencil.
Step 3- Using scissors, cut out the outline of the letter, leaving a little bit extra around the edges.
Step 4- Using the foam brush, apply Mod Podge on the front of the letter.
Step 5- Line up the paper you cut and place it down on top of the letter. Try to get it as straight and even as possible, as you won’t be able to move it once you set it down.
Step 6- Gently smooth out any bubbles or ridges and coat with another layer of Mod Podge. Allow to dry.
Step 7- Trim the excess off the edges using a sharp blade.
Step 8- Carefully file down the edges with a piece of sandpaper or a strong file for a clean look.
Step 9- Coat the entire letter again with Mod Podge and allow to dry.
Step 10- Glue some ribbon or add embellishments to your letter.
Step 11- Tie or glue a ribbon on for hanging.

DIY Christmas Gifts - DIY Christmas Ornaments

Finished Ornament

Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

salt dough
I’ve been seeing salt dough ornament recipes all over Pinterest but most of them are for Christmas ornaments to hang on the tree. Halloween is just around the corner and I was feeling crafty and decided to make some Halloween decorations using salt dough.
I used a few Halloween themed cookie cutters to cut out my shapes and then painted them. If you didn’t want to make them into ornaments to hang you could just skip the step where you make a hole for hanging and use them in another way.
My Halloween salt dough ornaments are still a work in progress. I only had oil paints on hand (all my acrylic paint had dried up!) so I’m waiting for them to dry before I finish decorating them. Hopefully they will be dry by Halloween! I plan to use markers or paint pens to draw faces, add embellishments and do any detail work.

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The salt dough comes together quickly and with ingredients you probably already have on hand: salt, water and flour.
I used this recipe from Spoonful to make my salt dough ornaments and it worked well.
Since making these I have found another recipe using cornstarch that says they are even better than salt dough but I have yet to try it out. Maybe for Christmas I will try them out and compare.

Salt Dough Ornament Recipe

Recipe from: Spoonful.com1 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup Water
Yield: I was able to make 11 ornaments but the yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
1) Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
2) Mix together all ingredients.
3) Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough comes together and starts to feel smooth and elastic. (I don’t think I kneaded my dough enough and some of my ornaments came out uneven so I would suggest kneading for about 8-10 minutes)
4) Roll out the dough to a uniform thickness, about 1/4 inch and cut out shapes.
5) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment (I used parchment for easy cleanup).
6) Use a toothpick to make holes for hanging or skip this step if you don’t want to make ornaments. Move the toothpick in a circular motion to create the size hole you want.
7) Bake for 2 hours.
8) Allow to cool completely before using.
9) Paint, decorate and embellish your Halloween salt dough ornaments and hang them up for everyone to enjoy!

DIY Decorating Projects

dandelion_decals

Making Things Pretty

Sometimes you just need some decoration to liven up a space.
We’ve been in our apartment for almost two years now. (Wow time flies, I can’t believe it)
After cleaning up my desk and clearing out the paper clutter I got the itch to do some decorating. I needed some excitement in my office so I had something to look at instead of the drab tan walls. When I’m surrounded by color and artwork I feel more inspired and enjoy being in my space.
These DIY decorating projects can be used in any space but are perfect for decorating your apartment or rented space since they won’t cause any damage. They are also easy, super cheap and can be changed out anytime you’d like!

Wall Decals:

I found these cute wall stickers for $1.00 at the dollar store, of all places. I first tried them on the walls but since my walls are a textured tanish color it didn’t look that good. We have smooth white doors so I decide to put them on the door. It just adds that sparkle and whimsical touch. These decals are removable so it won’t cause any damage and I can move them around whenever I want.

dandeliondandelionsdandelion_decals2

It’s hard to tell but these decals are actually a metallic silver which you can see a little better in this picture below.

dandelion_decals3


Make and use your own artwork:

Above my desk I hung a puzzle that I put together years ago featuring a sunset over the water. In the corner of that I hung a painting I did one day when I was feeling creative. It has one of my favorite mantras on it. I took a plain canvas and stuck on vinyl letters and then painted over with different colors. Then I used a hot glue gun to create the raised dots and little flourish designs and painted over that. Once the paint was dry I peeled away the vinyl. I then filled in the letters with a coat of hot glue so it has a sheen.

office_artwork2office_artwork


Wrap your desk:

My extra work space is an old table that was really ugly and had paint and stains all over the top. I covered it with a bright and shiny wrapping paper to add some color and fun. The best thing about using wrapping paper is I can easily change it out to another design anytime!

covered_table

So now that you have some inspiration, go have some fun and create something, it’s good for your soul!

How To Make a Wreath – Fourth Of July Craft

With July 4th coming up I wanted to make something fun and festive. I have quite a bit of tulle and ribbon laying around so I decided to make a wreath for our door. The same wreath making technique could be applied to any occasion by using different colors of tulle and ribbon.
fourth of july wreath
Step 1: Make a frame: I took a cardboard cake circle and cut out the middle for my wreath frame. A foam circle would work for this as well.
Step 2: Cut strips of tulle and tie them around the wreath frame with a simple knot.

july 4th wreath

Step 3: Cut a piece of coordinating ribbon and loosely wrap it around the wreath frame. Use a dab of glue on the backside to secure the ribbons’ ends.

july fourth wreath

Here is what the wreath looks like after tying the tulle strips and wrapping the coordinating ribbon around the frame.

red, white and blue wreath

Step 4: Loosely wrap another decorative ribbon around the red ribbon and secure the ends with a dab of glue. (I found the blue star garland at Hobby Lobby or you can get it here.)


fourth of july wreath

Step 5: Create a bow and glue it to the bottom of the wreath. (I used a little device called a Bowdabra Bow Maker and Craft Tool to make this bow though you could easily make it without). I also added a pearl gem to the middle of my bow for a little something extra.

fourth wreath

Step 6: Tie a coordinating piece of ribbon around the top of the wreath so you have something to hang your wreath from. Here is the finished wreath:

patriotic wreath