11 10 / 2012

Ideas to make Halloween even more fun and stunning!! This post has some great display ideas for hallway, centerpieces and also easy kid’s craft inspiration.

 

Great looking black and white plates look so perfect in this Halloween themed display. Don’t bother yourself with real china/ceramic, just get paper plates and color then nice for a quick makeover. Super stylish at budget cost!!


Fireplace has always been a focal point in a living room. Dress it up for the occasion, easy craft store bought leaves and pumpkin with a bit of stenciling is all it takes to get this fabulous result!!


This display is all about getting the themed accessories. Look for nice festive tray and jars in the stores, they are loaded with Halloween colors and designs, create an instant gorgeous display. I would even look for some in thrift stores..they have some really quirky stuff too.


Easy way to dress up the hallway table. Get a quick and easy ‘bat tree’ with a dried shrub, paint it black and hang some paper bats. Decorate any votive with a paper sleeve with bat design. Ready for your tricksters!


Adore this cute little setup! I would even give away some spooky balloons to some little witch who comes knocking :) Very fun display and so easy to pull off.


Love the simple sophistication of the fall leaves wrapped candles. Get some real leaves or if not quite fall colors yet, look in your craft store. Pumpkin spice candles would be perfect for this season!


Love the elegance of this pretty amazing cake! The black lace looks so pretty, no small feat but give it a go. Its Halloween and no problem having some boo boos, its all good practice. Must try!


This cake looks so delicious! Easy to make and so apt for Halloween.Use box your fav boxed chocolate cake recipe and loads of frosting. Impress your family and friends!


This is a perfect way to bring some Halloween fun to your office space too. This idea is almost mess free and looks so fun. I am sure all of us know someone who are scared of a spider army :P


Love this delightful presentation. maybe more apt for thanksgiving, but a keeper non the less. Love the glazed, roasted look. How impressed would the guests be! The recipe is ‘Roast pumpkin couscous salad’ :-)


What a crazy mix of all things Halloween!! Go all the way and use your imagination to make your table extra spooky for the season. Booo!


From the crazy spooky table to this beautiful elegant table decoration. Love the table runner in love pumpkin spice color and pumpkin votive with hurricane chimney. This would keep your backyard party alive even late into the night.


This idea for displaying pumpkin craft is so unique and interesting. Perfect for country/cottage style decoration. Uses garden rake as a prop and the display is such a fresh take. I love how the petite pumpkin votive are delicately balanced on the prongs. So fab!




Halloween is one of the most awaited fun holiday for kids. Bring out their creativity and decorate their lovely crafts all over your home. It need not be costly or too time consuming. Here are some fabulous ideas to get their little fingers working and create beautiful gifts and decorations in no time! 


Candy corn! These ideas are simple to execute and look awesome. The bright color adds cheer to any corner. Make one with little effort, and decorate your home.


Place simple carved pumpkins on a cake stand to create an impressive display. Would looks fantastic on the porch, door front or even in the hallway.


 Adding a little bit of extra goes a long way when it comes to presentation! These cupcake look all dessed up for Halloween. Neat tip to decorate your treats!


I love the simplicity and technique of this pumpkin treat. Cut out lots of strips and punch a hole at each end. Run a pipe cleaner through both holes and add a leaf too. Push the strips closer and open them to look like a pumpkin. Add some treat/candy/cupcake before you open the strips to form the round shape. Easy?!!


These are typically the large Easter eggs in plastic that split in halves. But if you have a bag of Easter eggs that split across its still a good idea to work on! Place the eyes on the top half and nose and teeth in the lower one. Ta da! A thrifty fun and impressive craft idea!!


A perfectly safe and no cost idea to make treat bags more festive. Carve out designs on potato halves and let you kids have fun stamping! If they really take to it, making a skull/bat bunting to decorate your hallway/door too. How much easier can it get!


Craft using your home supplies is the best kind of craft! Toilet paper rolls wrapped in orange crepe for pumpkin. Make a little time to dress up lollipops as cute little ghosts! You will surely love the delightful squeals of little ones!


These little spooky pumpkin look absolutely wickedly adorable! Use online templates to get some fun party eye masks designs and there you have a funny bunch of pumpkins!


Yet another nice way to design a bat tree. Use clothes pin and glue paper bats to them. Use them all over the house too or simply get a branch to pop them on! Great diy idea.


Those looking to try their hand at carving, here are few fantastic designs! Make a template, get your thumb tack and scotch tape and get started! OR get some really bright neon yellow and paint it too. As a bonus it will look equally pretty in the mornings too :-)



Hope your creativite side has been tickled enough now :-) Try some new ways to display/celebrate the festive season. Happy Halloween everyone!!

11 10 / 2012

I am a dog lover, and my dogs loves to dress up that’s why I am always excited for Halloween. I have collected some ways on how we can create fun and colorful costumes for our beloved pooch, this is a frugal way to enjoy without hurting our budget.

1. Simba the Lion Costume. (perfect for Labrador retrievers, Pitbulls and Aspins) 


Items you will need:

1. Wolfman mask, (you can buy this for +150pesos depending on it’s quality.)
2. Elastic band
3. Piece of Velcro
4. Extra Collar
5. Needle and thread
6. Knife or Scissors
7. Optional – rubber band

Instructions:  
1. Grab a knife or scissors and unstitch the hair from the latex mask. Or you can also use a wig.
2. With rudimentary sewing skills attach the collar to the lions mane (this will keep it in place when costume is worn.
3. Next, attach the velcro under the neck. This will keep the lions mane closed around the neck area.
4. Finally attach the elastic higher up from the velcro just under the chin. This helps to keep the hair from sliding back behind the ears.
5. Optional – take an extra piece of hair from the mask and attach it to your dogs tail with the rubber band.

2.  Dog Taco Costume (perfect for dachshund, chihuahua and mini pinscher)



 Items you will need:

Felt fabric(tan, brown, green, yellow and red)
Embroidery Thread (tan, brown, green, yellow and red)
Cardboard
Velcro (the kind that you sew on, not the kind that has the adhesive)
 Poly Fill
Measuring Tape
Washable Marker
 Scissors

 You’ll need some felt fabric:

- tan for the taco shell
- brown for the beef filling
- green for the lettuce
- yellow for the shredded cheddar cheese
- red for the tomatoes

You can use normal cotton thread for the stitches (and even use your sewing machine), but I prefer to use different colored embroidery thread and hand sew the pieces together. You can match the embroidery thread and felt really well, or even have some fun with contrasting colors.

Instructions.
1. Measure the length that you want the taco shell to be.
2. On a piece of stiff board, cut a “taco shell” shape (half circle), the length that you measured on your dog, and half that for the height. Cut the shape out twice.
3. Lay one of the pieces on a length of tan felt. Measure a 1/2 inch border around the cardboard. Use this felt piece to cut 3 more pieces out of the felt.
4. For each taco shell you should have one cardboard piece and two felt pieces. Take the board, sandwich it between the felt pieces and pin in place. I used a backstitch to go around the entire piece. Try to get as snug to the cardboard as you can. Repeat with the other side.
5. Cut two strips of felt to go under your dog’s arms and under their belly.
6. One at a time, put them around your dog and mark where they meet. This will help you to determine where to put the velcro.
7. Cut a piece of velcro to fit between the mark you created, and the end of the strip, leaving a border all around. Sew the velcro on with a running stitch.
8. Repeated with the other piece of velcro on the other end of the strip. You should have a nice loop when you connect the velcro pieces. Continue with the remaining belly strap.
9. Now we need to adhere the straps to the taco shells. I suggest putting the straps on your dog, then postioning the shells where you want to go and marking the spot where the strap and shell meet. Be sure to have the good stitching on the taco shell on the outside.
10. Use a backstitch to attach the straps to the shells. Repeat the remaining shell.
11. To make the “beef filling”, cut a piece of brown felt the length of the taco shells and the width of your dog (because you want it to sit between the two shells)
12. Now take the scissors and make a creative taco filling shape.
13. Do a running stitch all the way around, leaving a hole for the poly fill to go in.Its okay if it gets puffy and imperfect like in the photo above.
14. Stuff the filling with poly fill, being sure to get into all the spots. Play around with it. Sew the hole closed.
15.  Now its time to make the toppings!!! You can really be creative and add whatever you want. I’m going to add lettuce, cheese and tomatoes, but you could make sour cream, hot peppers, whatever you can think of.
16.  For the lettuce leaves, cut a piece of green felt in a 10” x 2” strip. Draw on a “lettuce leaf” edge and cut it off. Take some green thread and do a gathering stitch the length of the felt piece. For a gathering stitch, do a running stitch, then pull the thread, gathering up the fabric and knot the end. make 3 more lettuce pieces (2 for each taco shell side)
17. Postion the “leaves” on your shell and pin in place. Use a running stitch to attach it to the inner piece of felt on the shell.
18.  Now you have some nice ruffled lettuce. Repeat for the other side of you taco.
19.  For some shredded cheddar cheese, cut 1” x 1/2” strips of yellow felt.
20.  For the tomatoes, I took a 1 1/2 ” x 1 1/2 ” piece of red felt, ran a running stitch in a circle all around the felt and then pulled it to gather into a little ball, and knot the thread. You can stuff pieces of scrap felt in the balls before you gather them to help them keep their shape.
21.  Sew the pieces of cheese to the filling with a few simple stitched in yellow embroidery thread.
22.  Use red embroidery to add the tomatoes to the filling.
23.  Place the taco with the inside exposed, and the outsides of the shells on the table.
24.  Place the filling on top, and pin it into the place you would like.
25.  Flip the taco over and stitch the filling into place with tan embroidery thread.
26.  And there you have it a felt taco costume for your pooch.

3. Dog Pirate Costume (perfect for all dog breeds)
image source: http://blog.makezine.com/craft/how-to_pirate_dog_costume/?CMP=OTC-5JF307375954
 Items you will need:

Note: Add extra yardage for a larger dog.
½yd 60″-wide, red and white striped, stretch knit fabric (for shirt)
¼yd 45″-wide, red, rib knit fabric
½yd 45″-wide, medium-weight, black satin fabric (for pants)
6″ length of ¾” red hook-and-loop fastener tape
10″ length of ¾” black hook-and-loop fastener tape
3″ gold buttons (2)
9″×12″ piece of 2mm white foam sheet or pre-cut, white, adhesive foam skull and crossbones, patch or sticker,
2″ or smaller
12″×18″ piece of 3mm black foam sheet
2/3yd 6″ flat gold braid trim
1yd ¼” clear elastic
Small fake parrot
Craft glue, hole punch, common sewing supplies

Instructions:

Step 1: Cut out and sew the shirt.
 1a. To begin, cut all the fabric pieces out, using the downloadable patterns.
 1b. Fold the cuffs lengthwise with the wrong sides together, and pin to the right side of the sleeves. Slightly stretch cuffs to match the notches on the sleeves, and sew. Repeat for neckband.
 1c. Press the seam allowances toward the body.
 1d. Attach the sleeves to the bodice, matching notches around the armholes.
 1e. Sew the sleeves closed beginning at the cuff, along the underarm, and continuing across the front chest. Finish the bottom edge of the shirt by pressing under ¼” and topstitching.
 1f. On the right center chest seam, turn under 1″ and baste closed. Pin the appropriate length of loop tape fastener on the side of the shirt that faces inward. Sew around all 4 sides of fastener. On the left side of the center chest seam, sew the matching length of hook tape on the side of the shirt that faces outward.
1g. Attach the parrot to the shoulder by using a whipstitch around the bird’s legs. (Some come with a wire extending from the legs that can also be used to secure the bird to the shirt.)

Step 2: Sew the pants.
 2a. Run a basting stitch 1″ and another ½” from the bottom of the leg opening between
the notches.
 2b. Pull the basting stitches to gather the pants, matching notches on the band. With the right sides together, pin and sew the 2 pieces together. Remove the basting stitches.
 2c. Turn under ¼” on the raw edge of the band pieces, and press. Fold band lengthwise and baste in place. On the outside of the pants, topstitch the top of the band.
2d. Finish the bottom edge of the pants and back opening by pressing under ¼” and topstitching.
2e. Turn under 1″ on the rear side of the pant leg inner seam and baste closed. Pin the appropriate length of loop tape fastener to the inside of this fold. Sew around all 4 sides of the fastener. On the opposite side of the pant leg inner seam, sew the matching length of hook tape to the front.
2f. Sew a gold button on the outer side of each pant leg band, centered. With right sides together, sew the shirt to the pants at the waist with a ½” seam allowance. Press the seams open.

Step 3: Make the hat.
3a. From the pattern, cut hat shape from the 3mm black foam sheet, then center the skull detail and secure with craft glue.
3b. Close the hat by overlapping the side flaps in the back, and glue. Next, glue the gold trim close to the edge at the top of the hat.
 3c. Punch 4 holes at the bottom of the hat, matching the dots on the pattern. Thread clear elastic through the holes as shown, to create the Y-shaped strap. Secure the open end of the elastic to the strap, 3″ from the bottom of the hat, by folding under ½” and hand-stitching with thread in an X formation.

Step 4: Make the belt.
4a. Glue gold trim around the edge of the buckle. Center the skull detail and secure with glue.
4b. Measure the dog’s waist, around the seam where the shirt and pants meet, and add 4″. You may need to cut 2 strips of the 3mm foam sheet to get the desired length (they can meet underneath the middle of the buckle). Once cut, center the buckle in the middle of the belt, and glue.
4c. Cut two 2″ strips of loop tape and position them horizontally on the top side of one end of the belt. Cut two 2″ strips of hook tape and position them vertically on the bottom side of the opposite end of the belt. Glue all pieces in place.
Add Alternate Accessories: Feel free to add extra props to the belt, such as a dangling pouch of gold coins or a small toy sword. Also consider a feather, pirate flag, treasure chest, eye patch, bandana, hook, or wooden leg.

4. Hawaiian Hula Dancer Dog Costume ( for any breed)

Things you will need:

Raffia
Cord or elastic
Flowery ribbon
Two seashells and pink paint
Two hydrangeas, or a store bought lei and wreath
Scissors, gluegun and gluesticks

Instructions:
Get some measurements:
- Around the chest
- Around the waist
- From the waist to the tail
- Aroud the neck to the chest

1) Cut a cord with measurement (waist) plus 4″
2) Paint two seashells pink
3) Double up a bunch of raffia strands and cut at measurement (waist to tail)
4) Slip the strands of raffia under the cord or elastic
5) Make a raffia hoop on one side of the raffia
6) Pass the loose strands through to the other side to tie a knot
7) Make a tight knot
8) Repeat to make the skirt, leaving 2″ on either side
9) Cut two pieces of ribbon: #1–measurement (chest) plus 2″, #2– measurement (neck to chest) plus 2″, folding (neck to chest) in half
10) Slip ribbon (neck to chest) under ribbon (chest)  and then through the hoop to make a tight knot
11) Glue some velcro to each end of the ribbon
12) Try on to make sure everything fits right
13) Glue the sea sells to the piece of ribbon for measurement (chest)
14) Tie the skirt around the waist
15) You can make a lei and a wreath by glueing small flowers onto a cord

11 10 / 2012

Halloween is creeping upon us and has those who are contemplating what they should be for this year’s All Hallows Eve festival surfing the Web for ideas.

1. Big Bird

2. Rudy Eugene Zombie

3. Snoop Lion

4. Christian Grey & Anastasia Steele

8. Kristen “Trampire” Stewart

9. Hologram Tupac

10. Lilith from “True Blood”

11. Fat Lady Gaga

12. Honey Boo Boo & June “Mama/Coupon Queen” Thompson

13. Hulk Hogan

14. Katniss Everdeen

15. Ravenna

Though dressing as a zombie seems like a copout, the spooky story about Rudy Eugene, the “zombie” from Miami who ripped the face off of homeless man Ronald Poppo, made people question whether or not zombies were actually real.

After Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that he wants to defund PBS, leaving its hit-show “Sesame Street” in the dust, Big Bird costumes are suddenly looking popular hits this year.

Snoop Dogg announced that he decided to change his name to Snoop Lion after a Rastafarian priest told him that he had the soul of a lion, not one of a dog. Needless to say, anyone who is able to pull off a Snoop Lion costume will definitely get some chuckles.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” erupted in 2012 and it has been all women can talk about. Even men have been spotted reading the “love story with a kink.” Fans frantically check the Internet to see if anyone has been cast in the film adaptation of the movie, but why not dress up as the characters themselves this Halloween?

Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson is probably the biggest celebrity scandal to explode in 2012. After she was caught cheating on her “Twilight” costar she was dubbed a “trampire” by comedian Will Ferrell. This costume would be a little more difficult to portray, but would be unique nonetheless.

Slain rapper Tupac Shakur “came back to life” when he performed on stage at “Coachella” as a hologram. Try to go for a ghost Tupac to pull off the hologram look.

The vampire series “True Blood” went in a different direction during their 2012 season, bringing Goddess Lilith into their show. She was always shown naked, with her hair slicked back, covered in blood and of course having fangs.

Lady Gaga has been in the news lately because of her 25-pound recent weight gain. She was photographed at a concert in the Netherlands looking less-than desirable in.

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08 10 / 2012

Well, it is officially September and summer is almost over. This is a bittersweet time of the year, as cooling temperatures bring a reduction of barbecues and beach trips. However, with Halloween around the corner we can look forward to the fun and festivities of costume parties, pumpkin pies, and trick-or-treating. For some people, these good times may come with added financial strains, and this can raise anxieties that may dampen, or even cancel, such events. Yet by opting for a few alternatives to the traditional holiday costs, you can save yourself a lot of money, thus giving you a Halloween experience without the need to look for outside sources of cash to fund your fun.

One of the priciest aspects of Halloween is the costumes. These fundamental components of the holiday can range from $10-15 up to $50, depending on the complexity and popularity of the particular costume. For those living check to check this is no amount to scoff at, as this can mean the difference between running water or a (semi) full refrigerator. For those of you who find yourselves in such a conundrum, why not look in your closet for the solution? A homemade costume can save you some money, ensuring that you can attend your friend’s costume party dressed up as someone other than ‘Starving Student’. For the men, a flannel shirt can easily transform you into Paul Bunyan, with the added bonus of having something warm to wear on cold October night. For the ladies, a pair of jeans coupled with the right shirt and a little hair dye can have you looking like a number of recognizable women on TV, like Lois Griffin or Lucille Ball. This will give you the opportunity to express your creativity in a way that store bought costumes do not allow, all while saving you some money and a trip to the bank.

This do-it-yourself attitude can be extended to include Halloween decorations as well. Some glue, orange and black construction paper, and scissors can save you some money while giving you the opportunity to get creative. Why not make it a family night and have everyone get together a week or two before the holiday for an art project evening? This can help to build the bonds of family and friends without having to break the bank. Also, by preparing ahead of time you can save yourself a trip to the pumpkin patch. Those of you with a backyard or some piece of land can grow your own pumpkins for the cost of a few seeds. If your gardening endeavor produces more than one pumpkin, you can make a pie, bake some seeds, or simply give them away to a friend also looking to cut holiday costs. Growing your own pumpkin has the added benefit of giving you a new skill and perhaps even a new hobby.

Unfortunately, candy cannot (easily) be made at home, and this will most likely be one Halloween expense that you may have to budget for. However, by buying in bulk and opting for non-name brand sweets, these costs can at least be reduced. Generic candy may not make you the most popular house in the neighborhood, but candy is candy, and kids will usually be happy simply to get free candy of any sort, ensuring you an egg-free house. However big or small your celebration may be, it’s important to make sure your pomp and circumstance fits your budget without causing the need to use a credit card or take a out a payday loan to cover your costs. Going overboard will only dampen the occasion and leave you with a lasting memory that is not all that happy.

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08 10 / 2012

Halloween is not only for kids. Teens and young adults can also take part in the fun. In fact, it is encouraged that such age group engage in Halloween parties since these activities help them relax and have a great time. These occasions can also help you create more endorphins which in turn can help you become a little more productive and more content and happier in your personal life and career. Also, it is a great way to socialize and it is common to hear of stories of couples meeting during these gatherings.

In the past few years, kinky Halloween costume parties are really well-liked by those from eighteen to thirty years old. If you wish to go to a naughty Halloween party, listed in the following paragraphs are some handy hints.

Firstly, develop a costume idea. Costumes for Halloween are historically patterned after supernatural figures like monsters, spirits, skeletons, sorcerer, and demons. Over time though, the costume selection have broadened to include characters from fantasy books, shows, and generic archetypes which include soldiers and princesses. Wonder woman costume, for example, are particularly sought after among teenage and adult women. This is fairly common though and to many, even uninteresting. Don on something unique, for instance, you can wear a burlesque costumes. For women, find a costume that shows off your legs, and for men, showing some biceps or abs would be a good idea. Still, choose something that won’t make you feel uncomfortable. Keep in mind though, there is no need to be half naked to be sexy. No matter what you’re wearing, if you’re confident, you will look sexy. Don’t wear something excessively sexy though, especially when going to office parties. There’s a fine line between being sexy and being raunchy, so only put on something that is proper.

Also consider the weather when picking out costumes. Sheer dresses certainly would not be the most suitable option for very hot or cold weather. In the same way, putting on fur in hot or humid days will make you uncomfortable and keep you from enjoying the party. Make sure to read about the weather days before the event and on the day itself so you can bring the proper gears to defend you from the elements.

A word of warning though, Halloween can make some people do stupid and risky things, specifically when alcohol is involved. With individuals donning masks, it can also be difficult to determine assaulters if you happen to get into trouble. This in mind, it is doubly important not to go out by yourself. Donning coordinating costumes with your close friends would be an excellent excuse to turn up and leave the gathering together.

Sexy Halloween parties are popular among teens and adults these days. If you’re going to one, make sure to wear something fun, comfortable, and sexy but without looking indecent. For more information: http://couponinstantly.com/category/halloween-coupons/

08 10 / 2012

If you were the mad scientist who owned a time machine and you decided to go back in time 20 years or so during Halloween, you’d see something strange. Instead of skimpy costumes like a sexy French maid, nurse, firefighter, cheerleader, etc., you would see most women would be wearing costumes to dress as their favorite movie character or as more traditional (and clothed) fare, like vampires or zombies.

Things sure have changed since the 90’s. Nowadays Halloween is the time of year when women feel comfortable going out in the equivalent of lingerie, but with a theme. While a sexy outfit years ago may have been a sexy Playboy bunny, the options now are limitless (and in some cases, quite ridiculous).

Shopping online or offline you will see an influx of costumes that are sexy, and some that really aren’t. On the actually appealing side of things you have the aforementioned costumes, along with revealing, cleavage enhancing costumes like beer maidens, vampires, doctors, lions, tigers, bunnies, superheroes like Wonder Woman or Supergirl, and much more.

If you’re in the market for a costume the first thing you’ll have to decide is just how revealing you want to be. If you’re having a private party with a significant other and no one else we would recommend looking at your local lingerie specialty shop to see what they have to offer. These are definitely not the types of costumes you’d want to be wearing at the company Halloween party!

If you’re still filling risky, but don’t want to show off too much, you’re in luck. The sheer amount of halloween costume ideas means that you can add appeal to many costumes without coming off as going overboard with your costume. Be careful to really think about the setting you’re going to be in, since the difference between the bedroom and the company party is wide and can have an impact on your work and/or personal career.

For those not averse to taking a drive into town, just do a quick Google search of costume shops. Most mid-size or larger cities have costume shops available year round. Additionally, seasonal shops always pop up around town, so make sure to do a search for a few locations before you take off on your shopping adventure.

For the more internet oriented folks out there, just do a quick search! You’ll be amazed at the literally hundreds of merchants out there that sell sexy costumes in a discrete fashion.

Visit here for more info:

https://plus.google.com/106592932219701871282/posts

08 10 / 2012

loved Halloween. But I did not have the skills I thought were necessary to create my own Halloween costume. Well, that is, I was a ghost several times (thank you for the old bedsheet, Mom) and a hobo more times than that (sew patches onto sweatshirt and sweatpants). Not your most elegant or creative designs.

Friends were more inventive for themselves and for their kids. Robot costumes formed out of cardboard boxes. Princess outfits with pointy hats and flowing veils. As an adult, I had a roommate who became the main character (Alex DeLarge) from the movie A Clockwork Orange. She was WAY creative.

Me? I just never came up with anything really unique. My aversion to needle and thread probably contributed to this!

But recently, I learned a secret.

You can channel your creativity into accessorizing a simple and basic element. For example, get a white hospital gown. By adding a belt or gluing on ribbons or sequins, you can become a princess or queen. Design your Autumn costume by pinning on silk leaves and pumpkin images or cornucopias. Or become Spring with flowers in your hair and tulips/lilacs and feathers drawn or glued to the gown. Get a wig and some dayglo paint and become a hippie.

This is the key, get that simple clothing element. Sweatshirt and pants. Leotard and tights. Even buy a straightforward outfit like a black cat.

Then make it your own and unique by accessorizing. Consider a hat that could jazz it up. Add sparkly gloves or long black ones. Carry something in your hands: flowers, a magic wand, a broom, a mirror, a bag of tricks. Add fake fingernails or a wig. How about a special belt or sash? Or a cape? Also, jewelry can really give impact to a costume.

Literally, go head to toe to think about what accessories could add POW! to the look you are going for. I once saw someone who pinned fake fur to the top of regular boots and it made her “leopard” outfit really unique.

Pair up with a friend and become part of a famous couple or an item that comes in pairs. A cat and mouse. Snow White and the Wicked Witch. Frodo and Samwise (or all four hobbits in Lord of the Rings). Get six friends and become the Seven Dwarfs! Again, use your creativity to make the costume fabulous with accessories, not by purchasing an expensive pre-made costume. Make it reflect YOUR inventiveness.

Visit craft stores to be inspired by the fabric and other materials. Look in your jewelry box for pieces you haven’t used in years and see how you can use them in your costume. Have fun and release your inner designer!

One warning: remember that the point of costumes is to enjoy yourself. So keep your costume simple and you won’t spend your time worrying about things falling off or being reluctant to move freely. Enjoy your costume this Halloween!

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08 10 / 2012

Long before the actual day, children and parents anticipate what character they want to portray for their Halloween costumes. This has now become an American tradition first developed in Europe in the twentieth century. But the first outfits, available in stores, didn’t show up until the 1930’s.

Beginning in the 1920’s, this holiday began to blossom into community-related functions such as parades and parties. The whole town became involved as neighbors started to realize it was a fun way to meet and greet their neighbors.

Originally, the holiday derived its meaning from Celtic spirit world legends as well as religious celebration of their saints. With the spiritual influence, it’s not unusual Halloween costumes often duplicate gruesome or spooky characters. The old cultures believed ghosts and the living dead came out on the last day of October and, by wearing masks and outfits, they would avoid recognition of these evil spirits.

The onset of Hollywood horror movies has only increased the appeal of ghoulish character choices. All of this helped to establish the significance of Halloween costumes.

Dressing up as someone other than your own character allows people to have some good, clean fun. It’s also a way of expressing who you might like to be if you only could. Add to this the aspect of trick or treating, and it wasn’t long before everyone looked forward to this night of somewhat mischievous fun, frivolity and profit as goodie bags began to overflow with candy and fruit.

It didn’t take long before innovative businesses began to realize that profit could be gleaned from the manufacture and sale of Halloween costumes. More friendly characters began to make their way onto the stage such as clowns, pirates and princesses. Today, the outfits have even branched out into more historical and superhero figures like firefighters and politicians.

With all the patterns on the market today, creative parents can choose to make their child’s outfit. Or, if you’re into “thrifting”, it doesn’t take long before you can spot one you know will please your child. It’s even possible to create an outfit from the clothes in your closet.

This holiday celebration of spirits and friendly characters has become the third highest annual party time. People don’t seem to be fearful of shelling out money making it the second highest monetary holiday following Christmas.

Nowadays, portrayal of modern day figures has created new traditions and made changes to old ones. Haunted houses run by non-profit groups, inspiration taken from movies and parties where prizes are doled out to the most creative outfit have increased in popularity.

As the days and nights grow shorter and colder, people enjoy celebrating the tradition as a way of welcoming winter. The popularity of the entire holiday can be one of neighborly parties and good food. Halloween costumes are most likely here to stay.

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08 10 / 2012

Making homemade Halloween crafts is one of the best ways to celebrate the holiday with your kids. For some of us, it is our favourite time of the year. We can dress up, decorate, make yummy treats, and act like a kid again. These are some fun and easy ways to have Halloween fun with your kids.

Decorations are a great way to get everyone in the Halloween spirit. For those of us on a budget, it can be pricey to make your home look spooky. A relatively inexpensive way to have decorations is to make your own. This is easier than it sounds. Most materials can be found in your home or in a local craft store.

I make homemade Halloween decorations using construction paper, heavy poster board, kid-safe scissors, glue, and a computer printer. If you don’t have a printer at home, you can print out the designs at the library. Print out the designs you can find online and trace the outline on construction paper and poster board. Using the scissors, cut around the pattern you have traced. Then glue the construction paper to the poster board. This will make the decorations more sturdy than regular construction paper. You can punch a tiny hole at the top to hang from the ceiling. Use dental floss to thread through the hole. It is invisible and easy to use. This is also an easy project for teachers to do with their class. I use black construction paper for silhouettes like cats, spiders, and witches. You can also use this to make flying bats which can be hung from the ceiling. The other patterns look great on walls and make a spooky addition to windows. Orange construction paper can be used for pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns.

It’s fun to make Halloween trick-or-treat bags with your kids. You can buy plain canvas bags and have the children draw their favourite characters on them. There are several patterns online that you can print out for free. If you use the printing method, make sure you use transfer paper. Cut around the design and iron onto the bag. Remove the transfer paper and have your child colour the bag with crayons or markers. They can also add their name or which character they are dressing as for a one of a kind trick-or-treat bag.

Halloween stencils are another inexpensive way to decorate. You can find them in your local craft store. I use stencils to decorate linens like tablecloths, placemats, napkins, and even hand towels. Pick a few stencils that you or the kids like and that go with your party theme. Trace over the stencils with a marker and have your child colour inside the lines. I use white linens for this project. Black is usually associated with Halloween but a little white adds a nice contrast so it doesn’t look too dark.

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08 10 / 2012

With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about whether you’ll let your children go trick-or-treating this year, and how best to prepare for the scary occasion. Put together your own Halloween checklist and talk to fellow parents in the area.

Costume Tips

There’s a lot of pressure on parents to spend money on kitting their kids out in the year’s “trendiest” costumes. Often, however, the most impressive and scariest costumes are the homemade ones designed from household items, fabric scraps and alike.

Start thinking about a costume well in advance so you have time to acquire all the materials you need to make it. Decide on a character together with your child to see if it’s going to be possible to design an appropriate costume.

Safety & Supervision

It’s not adviseable to let your kids go trick-or-treating around the area unsupervised. If they’re heading out in a bigger group, make sure there is always at least one parent or guardian accompanying them. Coordinate this with the other parents in your area.

Before heading out, brief your children on road safety. While having so much fun it’s easy to forget to look out for cars and cyclists. It can also be harder to spot approaching danger in the dark.

Let your kids know that some people aren’t the greatest fans of Halloween and might not be overly enthusiastic to find a group of costume-clad children on their doorstep. Tell them not to take this kind of behaviour personally. For this reason it’s also worth advising your kids to check any sweets or other treats before gobbling them down. They could have been tampered with.

Weather Considerations

Don’t let the weather ruin your plans for the evening. In October, rain is very likely so just make sure to dress yourself and your kids accordingly. Don’t forget the chill factor either, and be sure you’re all warmly wrapped up and ready to spend a few hours in the great outdoors, walking around the neighbourhood.

A simple and effective idea for warming up along the way is to bring a flask of tea or hot chocolate. Just a few sips of a warm drink can return smiles to unhappy, chilly children’s faces.

If possible, integrate a waterproof coat into your little one’s Halloween costume, or use waterproof materials such as bin bags to design the outfit. In terms of footwear, wellies for kids are the wisest decision. These are easy to integrate into a costume too.

A new trend for 2012 is the glow-in-the-dark welly boot. This could be perfect for anyone planning to dress as an alien or a skeleton.