Pumpkin Carving Tips

Welcome to another week of Must Have Craft Tips! It’s Bev from Flamingo Toes here this week with some fun Pumpkin Carving tips!

Every year my family and I have a pumpkin carving competition. It’s one of our favorite traditions! We each pick a design and keep it secret from the others. On carving night we clear a huge space on the living room floor, pop in a movie and all carve our pumpkins, but we don’t let each other see what we’re making. When we’re finished, we have a big reveal and light them up! Then we take photos and post them on Facebook so friends and family can vote. The winner gets to choose a restaurant to go out to eat to celebrate! It’s so much fun and my favorite part of Halloween.

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I’ve gathered up some of my favorite Pumpkin Carving tips and tricks to share with you all, just in time for Halloween!

Tools:


Pumpkin Pileup craft from @bhg It also has a link for free patterns. #pumpkincrafts #pumpkincarving:
Photo: BHG

Carving the hole: If you carve your hole at the top, make sure you’re cutting at an angle, in towards the center of the pumpkin. This way, the top sits in the hole – if you carve the hole with your knife pointing straigt down, the top falls right into the pumpkin. (which we may or may not have done on occaision). Carving the hole at the bottom is another option.! It makes the pumpkin sit straight and it’s super easy to add a light, you just set the pumpkin over it!

For scooping out seeds: We’ve found that metal spoons work best. In ice cream scoop or large serving spoons are great for this. If you also scoop out some of the sides, this will make carving easier. You can also do some really fun things with partial carving if the pumpkin is thinner. Just scrape away portions of the outside in a design to let the light shine through. It makes for a really pretty effect!

Bouquet of Flowers Pumpkin -->
			<span class= http://www.hgtvgardens.com/decorating/pumpkin-carving-ideas?s=2&?soc=pinterest: “>HGTV Pumpkin Carving Ideas

For cutting: We use the little knives that come in the pumpkin carving kits. They have small blades that work well for carving delicate designs and they’re easy to handle. If you’re wanting to do really advanced designs, a dremel and/or drill work great too!

Everything you need to build the ultimate pumpkin-carving tool set. | thisoldhouse.com:

Fancy Carving Tools from This Old House

Fixing an oops: If you are cutting a delicate part and accidentally cut too far, you can easily add back in the section by connecting the open part with the part you cut off with a toothpick. If you need to, break the toothpick in half for really tiny sections. It works great!

Lighting:

Battery operated tea lights are our favorites! These little tea lights are so inexpensive now and you can even find styles that flicker. They last for a long time and you don’t have to worrry about open flames or the flames blowing out. Easy peasy!

Battery Christmas Lights: Thre are some really fun battery operated Christmas lights now so you could light your pumpkin with different colors, or even flashing lights!

Just for fun: If you use a real candle or tealight to light the pumpkin, sprinkle a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice on the inside of the lid. It will smell like a pumpkin pie!

Preserving:

Petroleum Jelly: Rub the open areas of the pumpkin with vaseline or the generic equivalent – this will keep them from drying out quickly.

Photo and more tips from A Real Life Housewife

Soaking: If your pumpkin still gets a little shriveled, soak it in a cold water bath for up to eight hours to help revive it!

Do you carve pumpkins at Halloween? We’d love to hear any tips you have too!

Your hostesses,
siggie Signature signature allison
The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside

Tips for Preserving Pumpkins

Welcome to another segment of Must Have Craft Tips and More!

Must Have Craft Tips and More
It’s October, a new month for the series, but Bev, Kara, Allison, and I are stilling bringing you fall-themed tips. You can’t have too many of those right?

Must Have Craft Tips: The BEST Tips for Preserving Pumpkins all fall long
I’ve rounded up some of the best tips from around the web for preserving your pumpkins, whether carved or not, to make them last as long as possible. I don’t know about you, but I’m a complete sucker for decorating with pumpkins in the fall! I love the natural look in my decor.

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We have a wonderful local pumpkin patch that grows all sorts of pumpkins and gourds and allows you to go picking in the patch. This poor wagon from last year didn’t know what hit it after I went hunting for pumpkins! You can see I went a little crazy. I did say I love my pumpkins! And, of course, I want to make them last as long as possible through the season.

I also love to bring some of my pumpkins indoors. I have the Pioneer Woman Cake Stand that I love to dress up for the holidays because, let’s be honest, it’s NOT always full of cake, much to the chagrin of my little boys. But placing live pumpkins and moss under a sealed dome can lead to problems. Moisture builds up and mold sets in. But one of the tricks I’m sharing with you today will keep that moisture away and keep everything under the dome nice and dry!

I give you a brief description of each pumpkin preservation tip, but be sure to click the links on each one to read the tips in full.

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365ish Days of Pinterest
This blogger swears by soaking pumpkins in a bleach bath then giving them a good wipe down with Vaseline to extend their lives.

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Graceful Little Honeybee
A warm bath and a good towel off is what this blogger recommends to stretch pumpkins out for months of decorative use.

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A Real-Life Housewife
There are some great tips here to extend the life of a carved pumpkin, including spraying the inside with a bleach mixture to keep bacteria at bay.

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It’s Great to be Home
Floor cleaner can not only give your gourds a pretty shine, but it can create a layer to keep moisture out of them.

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Creative Cain Cabin
This blogger says after giving your pumpkins a good wash and dry to spray them with a clear spray paint to keep moisture from getting in.

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Family Food Garden
If you grow your own pumpkins, these are some great tips for harvesting, curing, and storing them until you are ready to use them.

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Embracing Homemaking
This is a pretty powerful photo. And, as stated, this blogger tried 7 different methods to preserve her pumpkins and 1 worked like a charm.

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My Science Project
This blogger did all the work for you on testing methods to find out how best to preserve a carved pumpkin by trying 5 different methods, including a white school glue method I had never heard of. Do you think you know which method was best?

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The V Spot
This tip is the one I was hinting at earlier. It is one of my favorite tips for keeping moisture out of my pumpkin displays. But I do recommend keeping the silica in the packets. It will work just as well.

Must Have Craft Tips & More!
Join us next week for another must have craft tip for the fall season!

 

Your hostesses,
siggie Signature signature allison
The Scrap Shoppe | Flamingo Toes | Mine for the Making | A Glimpse Inside

BOO Halloween Porch Decoration

I am so excited to be here to share a Halloween project I made a couple of years ago! Check out this BOO Halloween Porch Decoration…

BOO Halloween Porch Decoration1

Made using scrap wood that I already had on hand, my husband and I got busy and finished this adorable Halloween decoration. 

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First we drew out the word BOO in big bubble letters, going down the piece of wood vertically. 

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Then we used a drill to make holes for jig saw to fit into so that we could easily cut out the centers of the letters. After the centers were cut out, we ‘traced’ around the edges to define the letters a bit more. 

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Using a dremel tool, we sanded the edges and insides of the BOO letters, while my husband cut and sanded the block stand for the letters. I primed and painted all the wood in white….and then I started my favorite part…the decorative painting! 

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I used Chevron Frog Tape for the letter B and then I painted polka dots and stripes on the Os. I used Martha Stewart’s Adobo Satin Craft Paint for the orange parts of the patio decoration. Now here’s where this project gets even cooler… 

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I used Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Glow-in-the-Dark Decoupage around the edges of all the letters and on the decorative parts of the BOO decoration so that it will glow at night! How fun is that? Once everything was dry, I set it up in the block stand on my front porch. And, here’s a fun tip for you- use a black light to “charge up” that glow-in-the-dark paint to really make it glow…and it helps for photographs too! 

BOO Porch Decor

So there you have it…and easy peasy DIY Halloween decoration for your porch. I didn’t give any measurements in this tutorial because you can make this as big or as small as you want it!

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If you liked this Halloween decoration, you may want to check out my Drop Cloth Candy Corn Bunting

drop cloth candy corn bunting

 

or this Wood and Burlap Halloween Sign

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or the Reclaimed Wood Candy Corn!

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Are you decorating for Halloween yet?! It’s one of my most favorite times of the year! 

Tips: Inexpensive Ways to Decorate for Fall and Halloween

Hello and Happy Friday!! We are back with another week of Must Have Craft Tips & More. Each week my friends Michele at The Scrap Shoppe, Bev at Flamingo Toes, Allison at A Glimpse Inside, and myself (Kara at Mine for the Making) take turns sharing tips based around a monthly theme. And this month we have been sharing tips for Halloween and fall… one of my most favorite times of year!

Must Have Craft Tips and More

This week I am sharing tips on inexpensive ways to decorate for fall and Halloween! Let’s face it, you don’t need to spend tons of money to to decorate. And I’m going to tell you how to save a little moolah. 

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  1. Shop the dollar store.

That’s right! I have found the cutest holiday decorations at my local Dollar Tree. There are so many ways to dress up or spookify dollar store items. Talk about all the crafts… check out some of these awesome ideas!

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Halloween Boo ‘Mores Bar using Dollar Tree decorations

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Pumpkin Plate using an orange plate and plate stand from Dollar Tree.

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Make a fall leaf monogram using faux leaves from Dollar Tree and cardboard!

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Dollar store plastic pumpkin painted with chalkboard paint for a Halloween Countdown Pumpkin.

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This fall wreath was made with all Dollar Tree items and turned out so pretty.

2. Stroll Target’s ‘dollar spot.’

Though not everything is a dollar, Target’s ‘dollar spot’ always has adorable, inexpensive items to decorate with during the holiday seasons. Have you seen this year’s Halloween and fall decor yet? I love it all.

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Image by The Spooky Vegan

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Image by All Things Target.

3. Hit up the thrift stores and garage sales.

This is especially perfect for Halloween, in my opinion. Sometimes OLD is just plain SPOOKY! Be sure to check if your thrift stores offer special discount days or coupons… you can never be too thrifty. And rummage those garage and estate sales! One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. 

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Paint thrifted wine glasses to create a spooky centerpiece.

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Spray paint thrift store pumpkins for a whole new look!

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Make your own witch potion bottles by thrifting various glass bottles and jars and paint them black and add labels. 

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Turn those thrifted sweaters into adorable sweater pumpkins for fall! I love these.

And there you have it! Now I am in the mood to decorate for Halloween… how about you? I hope you’ve found this week’s tips helpful. We’ll see you back here next week for Must Have Craft Tips & More!

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Tips: Using Reusable Wreath Forms

Welcome to another week of Must Have Craft Tips! Every week my co-hosts and I gather up our favorite craft tips to share with you! This week it’s my turn (Bev from Flamingo Toes) and I’m sharing one of my favorite holiday Must Have Craft Tips – Using Reusable Wreath Forms!

Save Space with Reusable Wreath Forms

While I LOVE decorating for the holidays, and I completely decorate the house for the fall Holidays especially, sometimes storing all these things gets to be a problem. You can only have so many boxes of just wreaths, am I right? Especially if you’re like me and don’t want to use the same wreaths every year. I like to change things up!

My solution is to use reusable wreath forms! These wreaths were made with pins – so that the ribbons and decorations can be removed at the end of the holiday!

For this Spider Halloween wreath, all the fabric is pinned in place. The doily and rick rack are pinned to the back as well. Easy peasy!

Eeek Spider Halloween Wreath

Eeeek Glam Spider Halloween Wreath

This Ruffles and Burlap Fall Wreath is made with a straw wreath form, but it’s also all pinned in place. The pins make a great decoration on the front too!

Ruffles and Burlap Fall Wreath

Once the holiday is over, I remove all the ribbons and other decorations and store them in a gallon sized ziploc. Then I keep all the ziplocs in a small tub with the wreath forms that I use. It’s super easy and they take up so much less space!

These wreaths aren’t for Fall or Halloween, but they are all made with reusable wreath forms and pins!

Lucky Shamrock’s Wreath

Lucky Shamrocks St. Patrick’s Day Wreath

Pom Pom Patriotic Wreath

Patriotic Pom Pom Wreath

Spring Bunny Pom Pom Wreath

Spring Bunny Pom Pom Wreath

It’s such an easy space saver – I hope you give it a try!

Make sure you stop by next week for more Must Have Craft Tips from your hosts, Michele at The Scrap Shoppe, Kara from Mine for the Making, Allison from A Glimpse Inside and me, Bev from Flamingo Toes!

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Tips: Reversible Holiday Decorations

A new month means it’s time for a new theme for our Must Have Craft Tips & More series! If you’re new to our series, my friends Bev at Flamingo Toes, Kara at Mine for the Making, Allison at A Glimpse Inside, and myself (Michele at The Scrap Shoppe) take turns each Friday to present a brand new craft tip revolving around a new theme each month.

Must Have Craft Tips & More!
It’s September and we’re officially kicking off the holidays! We will be focusing on different holidays for the next 3 months and bring you tips to hopefully make them feel a little less daunting.

This month we’re focusing on Halloween and fall.

Reversible Holiday Decoration ideas!
I am focusing specifically on reversible holiday decorations. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a ton of extra space to store holiday decorations. And I am a HUGE fan of decorating for ALL of the holidays. So multi-purpose decorations are always a big hit with me. This is super easy to do with fall and Halloween. Especially if you love pumpkins, like I do!

pumpkin-patch-decor-1024x497 I have a large collection of pumpkins and jack-0-lanterns that I love to display together in October. This set up is from a couple of years ago so I’m pretty sure I have even more now. But after Halloween is over, I am able to simply turn most of the jack-o-lanterns around and pretend they are just pumpkins. Easy peasy!

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I also made this reversible Halloween/fall garland years ago. I still love to use it!

halloween-reversible-crafts I found these fun ideas that are also perfect multi-purpose crafts for Halloween and fall decor.

From right to left: Reversible Halloween/Thanksgiving Blocks at JN Designs | Reversible Holiday Table Runner from Simply Notable | Reversible Halloween/Thanksgiving Door Hanger at Wired Up by Mellie

fall-christmas-crafts You can make an even bigger reversible stretch with these clever craft ideas! Transition from fall to winter. I particularly like the stacked pumpkins turned snowman. Who thinks of these things?? SO smart!

From right to left: Reversible Pumpkin/Ornament Decorations at Over the Big Moon | Reversible Pumpkin/Snowman Door Hanger from Thee Alley Cat | Reversible Scarecrow/Snowman Pallet from Mollie’s Custom Creations

fall-christmas-crafts2 And here are a few more. How cute are those trucks?

From right to left: Reversible Pumpkin/Ornament Door Hanger from The Wayward Whimsy | Reversible Fall/Winter Door Hanger at Thee Alley Cat | Reversible Halloween/Christmas Mantel Scarf from Pattern Jam

Must Have Craft Tips & More! Do you have a reversible holiday craft that you’ve made? Leave us a link! We’d love to see it!

 

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Graveyard Pudding

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnackPackMixIns #CollectiveBias

Hello and Happy Monday, makers! It’s the week of Halloween and we are busy getting our homeschool co-op party on, heading to the pumpkin patch, painting and carving pumpkins, and even making some fun Halloween treats! Today, I am sharing how my daughter and I made spooky Graveyard Pudding! It’s so easy and so fun for the kids to participate in.

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Cute with a side of spooky, right? There’s only a few things you will need to make Graveyard Pudding and it all can be purchased at your local Walmart along with all of your other Halloween essentials.

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Pick yourself up some Super Snack Packs (Chocolate, Vanilla, or Chocolate Vanilla combo), OREOS, HONEY MAID Graham Crackers, baking gel, and any other Halloween candy you’d like to add.

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First, you want to smash one OREO per Super Snack Pack. You can do this in a baggie or right on your cutting board. The kids love this step.

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Next, open your choice of Super Snack Pack and sprinkle the crushed OREO on top. This represents the soil in the graveyard.

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Break off one rectangle of the HONEY MAID Graham Crackers and use the gel to carefully write RIP at the top. This will represent the tombstone.

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Stick your edible tombstone into the pudding and place any other Halloween candy you’d like on your Graveyard Pudding.

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For the finishing touch, we added a homemade cupcake liner to the bottom of the Super Snack Pack cups. I used a creepy looking fence download from the Silhouette online store and some black and white card stock and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut them out. Now it’s time to cue the spooky music and grab a spoon, don’t you think?!

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We had so much fun making these fun snacks together. Snack Packs give you that childhood nostalgia, wouldn’t you agree? It’s definitely a recipe we will continue to use each year. Yay for fun family traditions!

Not only is this Halloween treat great for an after school snack, but this would be great to make on a play date, with a co-op group, or for a classroom or holiday party!

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All you need to do to make your own Graveyard Pudding is head to your local Walmart to pick up the supplies. It is literally my Halloween go-to store…. from costumes to decor to treats, they have you covered. While you are there getting your Graveyard Pudding ingredients, be sure to keep an eye out for the “Buy 14.3oz OREOs get $1 off Super Snack Pack Pudding” coupon.

What are your favorite spooky treats to make for Halloween? Tell us in the comments!

Easy Spider-Girl Costume

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias

With Halloween around the corner, we have been busy watching all of our favorite Halloween movies this month! We were super excited to add Avengers: Age of Ultron Blu-Ray/DVD to our collection since it was released on October 2nd at Walmart. Our family is all about superheroes! Aside from popping popcorn and chocolate covered blueberries, I decided to make the movie viewing even more fun for my daughter by creating an Easy Spider-Girl Costume using a Spider-Man costume and adding a few girly touches.

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How cute is this girl? I kid you not, after she put on the Spiderman part of the costume, she looked down at the faux muscles and said, “This is so sick.” LOL! She was totally digging the muscles!

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To girly up the Spiderman costume a bit, we added sparkly sneakers, a handmade tutu (tutorial below) and a spider web mask.

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To make the tutu you will need about 5 yards of tulle and a roll of 1-2 inch ribbon and scissors. First you want to cut your strips of tulle. To do that, keep the tulle folded long ways (it comes that way off the roll) and fold it two more times long ways. Then cut the tulle at every 4 inches until you run out of tulle (refer to the first photo above). Next measure the waist line of your child and add 40 inches to it and cut that length from the ribbon. For example, my daughter was 27 around the waist, so I cut off 67 inches of ribbon. Then you want to tie a knot 20 inches in on each side of the ribbon (refer to the second photo above). Go back to your strips of tulle that you previously cut and start cutting them all in half so that they are each about 13-14 inches long. Now take the strips of tulle and loop-n-pull them on in between the two knots on the ribbon (refer to photos 3-6 above) until the the entire ribbon between the two knots is full. You kind of have to slide the tulle down the ribbon as you go so that you get a full tutu.

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Now just add the handmade tutu to the Spiderman costume and BAM! You have yourself an Easy Spider-Girl Costume.

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In between the superhero/Spiderman stances, there was some definite ballet dancing in this costume. I love this girly tomboy of mine!

spidergirl costume3 And you better believe she wore the entire costume while we watched Avengers: Age of Ultron and munched on our favorite snacks. Do your kids love dress up too? I love that we can use this costume year round…not just for Halloween!

Head to your local Walmart to pick up your copy of Avengers: Age of the Ultron Blu-Ray/DVD and any of the MARVEL Avengers and Spiderman costumes to make movie viewing and Halloween that much more fun!

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Is your family into superheroes? Which MARVEL hero would your kiddo choose to dress up like?

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Have a SUPER weekend friends!

 

Halloween BOO ‘Mores Bar

The weather is FINALLY starting to cool down around these parts, which means I can finally start thinking about fall! Hooray! I know most people associate pumpkin spiced everything with fall, but for me. . . I think about my unhealthy relationship with s’mores. I’ll eat them anyway I can get them. . . and now that the Peeps people have made adorable Peep marshmallows available for every holiday, you know I am all over this. So, I created this super simple Halloween BOO ‘Mores Bar, perfect for a Halloween Party, play date, or even trick-or-treaters!

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I used a black plastic table cloth, and a tassel banner I already had from Mod Party to dress up a small table. Tassel banners are such a great way to decorate and they are super simple to make yourself.

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Chalkboards are also great for party decorating. You can use them over and over again and write fun messages or sayings on them for different holidays and occasions. 

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I put ghost and tombstone Peeps on candy sticks and stuck them in black plastic planting pots from the Dollar Tree store to add some dimension to the table. I also use wire baskets to add to the table depth and just flipped them upside down on the table.

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Finally, I displayed graham crackers and chocolate in cute cupcake liners on white platters, ready for kiddos and adults to make a delicious marshmallow sandwich. My intention is for these to be eaten “as-is,” but you could certainly toast the marshmallow Peeps first like a traditional S’more.

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This inexpensive Boo ‘Mores Bar would be the perfect addition to your Halloween celebrations.

What kinds of Halloween traditions do you have with your kids?

For more celebration inspiration, check me out HERE.

Party On!

Mindy {Mindy Alyse Celebrations}

30 Family Friendly Halloween Movies

I am so happy that it’s October. I absolutely love this time of year… where I pretend like it’s cool out and that the leaves are changing colors. Lol! Luckily, this week we are looking at the 90s which is a huge relief. So I busted out the faux pumpkins and mini haystacks and started planning Halloween costumes and plugging in fall events on our calendar. One of our very favorite things to do is watch spooky, magical movies during October. So I rounded up 30 Family Friendly Halloween Movies that you might light to watch with the kids this year too!

*Disclaimer: As a parent, I recommend previewing the movies first and deciding on your own if the movie is appropriate for your children to view. Some of these movies are pretty spooky, some have mild adult language and they range in ratings (G, PG, or PG-13). For example, my daughter is only 7, so there are movies on this list that she isn’t allowed to watch just yet.

30 family friendly halloween movies

  • Hocus Pocus
  • Casper
  • E.T.
  • The Addams Family

goonies

  • The Goonies
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Monster House

great pumpkin charlie brown

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Ghost Busters
  • Halloween Town
  • The Witches

sleepy hollow

  • Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Ernest Scared Stupid
  • Little Monsters

boofest

  • Curious George: A Halloween Boo-Fest
  • Paranorman
  • Race to Witch Mountain
  • Monster Squad
  • Watcher in the Woods

beetle juice

  • Beetle Juice
  • Corpse Bride
  • Coraline
  • Scared Shrekless

haunted mansion

  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Harry Potter series
  • Tower of Terror

frankenweenie

  • Frankenweenie
  • The Munsters, Go Home!
  • Mr. Boogedy

Go pop that popcorn and make yourself some fun treats! It’s time to get your Halloween movie watching on! Some of these are even available on Netflix!

What’s your family’s favorite Halloween movie? We always watch Hocus Pocus and Casper every Halloween!