Happy Halloween!

pumpkins

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Easy Halloween Decorating

Halloween is just around the corner in a few weeks, so I thought I’d show off some of the decorating we’ve done around the house. I didn’t do much in the living room since the walls are still unfinished, but the dining room is sufficiently decked out for my taste.

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I did more the orange sign down behind the village since it wasn’t readable up top, but that was pretty much the only change to the hutch. I’d love to find either an old silver or mirrored tray with a metal edging that would mimic a wrought iron fence for the village to sit on, but I haven’t found the right one yet. And I left off the spider webs that I used as fog last year since it’s a pain to work with if there’s nothing to anchor it too.

I also put up some lights in the kitchen window. All of the lighting I scored last year in the post- Halloween clearance for 50% off. I’m hoping to score some more sets this year because they are perfect and it would be great to have some for the living room and the porches.

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And I did a little something in the living room, with some DIY graveyard terrariums (stay tuned for the close up pics in the how-to post) –

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And we’ve got pumpkins, gourds and beautiful orange mums on the porches, but I don’t have a good photo of that since it’s dark all the time when I’m home on weekdays now!

DIY Halloween Round Up

Since we are knee-deep in repair negotiations to buy the house, packing up all of our worldly possessions (I am going to be highly annoyed if the contract falls through…) and keeping up with daily life here, I haven’t had much time to do anything interesting enough to write about. So I thought I would take a moment to share some of my favorite DIY Halloween crafts from around the web. I’m a big believer that a great looking home, well decked out for a holiday, shouldn’t cost a fortune. With a little creativity and time, great results can be achieved. Some of my favorites for Halloween this year –

Coffin Craft

This coffin diorama from The Glamorous Housewife is great. She uses a wood coffin (you can find it at craft stores or online for about $3 each). Bethany uses a sticker pack for the items inside, but I’ve got my eye on the haunted village accessories at Dollar Tree for this one – a wire tree, and some tombstones would be perfect –

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Dollar Tree also sells Spanish moss in the floral section. If you don’t already have black and orange paint on hand, you can usually pick up small bottles 2 for $1 at places like Michaels when they have their paint sales. So if you go the Dollar Tree route, you can have a pretty neat three dimensional graveyard diorama for just about $7! Not to bad!

Another easy on the budget Halloween craft that caught my eye is embroidery hoop spider webs. This is super easy to do is you happen to have the stuff on hand, but if you don’t, a wooden embroidery hoop will cost about $4, a package of spider web rings will be $1 at Dollar Tree and I could swear I’ve seen crocheted doilies at places like Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, but you can also order a dozen on them online for about $15 – making each one just $1.33 each. Hey, could you put them all over the house or split the order with friend or two. At about $6 a pop, that’s pretty affordable!

lace spider

Crystal ball candlesticks by Flamingo Toes is another easy DIY that really pops. This one is just so cool – I’ve already got all of the supplies I need to make mine, now I just need to take the time to do it! Candlesticks are easy – you can buy cheap ones from Dollar Tree, or pick up some truly unique numbers at the thrift shop. I found an awesome wooden one at Goodwill awhile back for just $1. The acrylic ornament globes can be picked up at Michaels for a few bucks a piece, but it looks like Dollar Tree will have some out this year for Christmas crafting! And since we majorly holiday jump in this country and I’ve already seen the Christmas gear popping up at stores, check your local Dollar Tree! You may be able to find some to use in your holiday crafting.

Crystal Ball

The most expensive part of the craft are the printable inkjet transparency sheets. They are crazy expensive. Avery seems to have the best price, and they’re a brand I really rely on for printables. They’re selling a box of 20 sheets for about $20. Shopping around on Amazon, I found a shop selling a box of 20 for just $10. And you can always look for coupons or sales, and definitely remember that once you buy a box you have it in your crafting arsenal for future projects, and you can always split it with a friend. Once you break down the per-piece price, it’s only $0.50 – $1 each, which isn’t bad. So if you get lucky on your other materials, you can make a grouping of crystal balls for a pretty good price – if you do 5, if you shop around and get some good deals on your materials, it’ll only cost you $11 ($5 for 5 ornaments at Dollar Tree, $5 for 5 candlesticks second hand and $1 for a transparency sheet, since you can print all 5 images on one piece). I suppose you’ll have to spend another dollar on spray paint if you don’t have some on hand, but $12 for 5 pieces? A place like Anthropologie would charge at least $12 each!

Oh, and one other thing about the transparency film – keep your eyes peeled when you’re out thrifting. I’ve picked up printable magnet sheets, iron-on transfers and specialty card stocks for pennies on the dollar. People buy a big pack and have extras they don’t plan to use, or they get rid of them when they cull through their craft supplies. So you can score that way too! I always grab them when I see them even if I don’t have a specific project in mind, because it’s just such a huge savings.

And last but not least, what about a super easy Halloween costume, especially if you want something understated by still spooky?

Tats

This is one is “good thing” from none other than Martha Stewart. I’m pretty partial to the spiders, and I’m going to do some to punch up my otherwise ordinary witch costume for this year. Printable tattoo paper isn’t cheap either – it’s going to be about $20 for 5 sheets, so about $4 per sheet. But where else can you get a $4 Halloween costume? So in the end, it’s all relative, and remember – you’ve got more sheets for more projects. I just happen to have a few sheets on hand in my crafting stash, so this year it’s “free” for me!

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my favorite spooky projects for this year. I’ve pinned a ton more, so please feel free to browse my Halloween Pinterest board if you’d like some more ideas. Happy Haunting!

Happy Halloween!

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Halloween Snapshots

My hands smell like Brussels sprouts. I just finished prepping and blanching a whole quart of them for the freezer. I’ve been busy putting up the last of the produce since we put the garden to bed earlier this week. I still have four heads of red cabbage to deal with – planning on making sauerkraut with that. I also have three butternut squashes, a pint of jalapenos, and a pint of sweet peppers to freeze. And that will conclude the garden preserving for this year. I also have a couple of pecks of apples to turn into pie filling from an orchard visit last weekend.

But that’s not really what this post is about. I was thinking that it’s unfair that I’m talking about all of the Halloween decorating I’m doing in a roundabout way, and not showing off what I’ve done around the apartment first hand. So I got over my case of the lazies and pulled out the camera so you can see a few of my favorite things – as they look in my real life place!

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This is the wall that greets you when you walk in the back door to the kitchen. To the right is the living room (which you can just see a peek of) and to the left is the kitchen. The pantry closet is what’s behind the wall. I love the way this little vignette looks, and the price was right. I got the wooden skeletons at Target for $2.00 a piece, and the bats are the paper cutouts I found in a package of 15 for $1.00 at Dollar Tree. So this whole arrangement came out to about $6.50! I love a good decorating deal.

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Continuing our tour into the kitchen, here are the window stickies I mentioned in the Dollar Store Decorating: Halloween post. And you can kind of see my glittered gourds, which I display in a plastic cauldron. And yes, that’s our old bistro table from the deck at the last place – we need to get a proper dining table for this new place still!

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Here’s another little scene from the kitchen – my milk glass and a collection of gourds. I keep cookies in the cookie jar (of course!), and white sugar, cinnamon sugar and tea in the canisters. And there’s my Little Dipper simmer pot!

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In the living room, I’ve got a few photographs adorned with some more of those paper cutouts from Dollar Tree – a little hint of creepy here and there!

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And this is probably my favorite decorated spot in the house right now. Some more of the Dollar Tree paper bats on the wall, some of my glittered pumpkins, and milk glass tumblers at candle holders. Since I’ve got a toddler about now, I’m using battery-operated tea lights. And the wooden vampire and ghost figures are Dollar Tree finds from a few years ago. I really like wooden decor – it holds up year over year, so when I find something I like, I snap it up and use it again and again.

I’ve got some more candle holders around (some of the pumpkin tea light holders from the Target One Spot) and a ceramic jack-o-lantern that I put out every year, plus some wooden wreaths and signs about too. But the above pics are my favorites from the season thus far. Hope you enjoyed seeing a little taste of our new place all decked out for fall.

Sunday Slow Down

The weather has taken a blustery turn today. It’s overcast and windy, with rainstorms moving in. A perfect day for hunkering down indoors. So we didn’t feel guilty for sitting around all day, we got our work done first thing – I cleaned the bedroom, tidied the house and did the dishes. Husband swept the floors and watered the plants. Speaking of, they’re faring pretty well in their winter home of the living room windowsill. I’ve got them decked out in some orange lights for Halloween. Pretty excited because I’ve wanted orange lights for a few years now to add to my fall decor, but I kept missing the sales on them. Friday, I found them buy one get one half off at the dollar store. Score! I also found some cute window clings on sale there – photo prints of pumpkins and leaves (that are up on the bathroom mirror) and a cartoonish cling of a stack of jack-o-lanterns with bats flying around it (thought my kiddo would like it). But I digress. All of the plants are looking great, except the rosemary. We had to do more triage pruning. If it’s not dead already, it will come back stronger. It’s still got some green on it, so I’m holding out hope. Cautiously. We also have a strawberry plant that we’re overwintering in the kitchen window.

Anyhow, once the work was done we were free for leisure.  Brunch was bacon and eggs with biscuits. I’ve been on a major biscuit kick, so I’ve been whipping up mason jar biscuits at every opportunity. This was an my best batch yet – especially light and fluffy –


And now, they’re all gone –


We hung out with the baby and I got to spend some time curled up on the couch with a cup of tea and reading and internetting. The baby and I had an hour and a half nap. It’s been a super good day. There’s more baking on the agenda though too, because we do need bread for the week. Fortunately, I find baking a relaxing task so it won’t mess up our Sunday slow down vibe. I’m going to do some herbed quick bread in mini loaves, and try out a great new recipe I found on Pinterestbacon pain d’epi. Stay tuned this week, and I’ll let you all know how it turns out!

Halloween Craft Roundup

Can you believe Halloween is only four days away!? Where did October go? Apartment Farm is all decked out in autumn finery – I’ve got my jack-o-lantern candle holders out, spooky labels on the bottles in the bar, my wooden plaques and wreaths hung, and glittered gourds and skulls and tchotchkes about the house. Outside, our mum is flowering nicely and we’ve got a bundle of Indian corn on the back door. We’ll be adding a small carved pumpkin too once we get it done this week – we got a pint sized one to match our pint sized kid this year. I didn’t buy any gourds for the garden though since the squirrels decided they were a free buffet last year. I ought to buy some fake ones and give the nasty little rodents a run for their money… at any rate, if you haven’t decorated yet, there’s still time! And you can do it for practically free with things you already have around the house. Check out these great resourceful crafts to haunt your house this Halloween!

How About Orange is making spiderwebs out of black trash bags.

The Spanish Medievalist showcases a photo of garlic wreath.

Dollar Store Crafts shows off how to make a gilded thumbtack pumpkin.

Boston Mamas tells us how to make simple dried lentil and nut centerpieces.

BHG is dressing up pumpkins with lace (you could also use old patterned stockings).

The Inspired Room is dressing up mason jar candleholders with candy corn.