Halloween is tomorrow! Many yards are decked out in their spooky glory. In my daughter’s Sierra Vista neighborhood there seems to be a competition among neighbors. Last year we saw some very creative Halloween decor, from growling monsters lurking in the bushes to ghoulish creatures dangling from tree branches. Awesome displays that I’m sure came with a hefty price tag.
A trip to the Halloween store showed us just how expensive some decorations can be. Fog machines, life size monsters, animated zombies, gobo lights and stencils, and other high tech gadgets can cost well over $200 a piece. It’s great that there are folks out there who take the time and spend money to decorate their yards for everyone to enjoy, to them I am grateful. But what about the rest of us who don’t have the time or a big budget? Are we doomed to a lonely pumpkin sitting on our doorstep? I say “NO”!
Here are some cool idea that are easy to make with dollar store items and stuff you probably already have at home or can get a hold of for little cost. You may not win the best Halloween decor contest, but your yard will look pretty awesome without breaking the bank.
Hide spooky eyes in the bushes. Learn how to make these eyes you using glow sticks and toilet paper rolls from The Connection We Share here.
Have ghostly heads coming “thru” your front door. This is a great idea from Sherri Foxman. Activate your glow stick and put it in the balloon. Inflate and tie a knot. Using a black marker draw the face. Tape to your front door and turn off the lights.
Hang ghost from tree branches. Same steps as ghostly heads but make sure the knot is on top of the head. Cover with cheese cloth, add a string and you’re done. Spooky idea from Simply Creative Insanity.
Glowing hands in your pond, in the bushes, hanging from trees, or anywhere you want. Activate glow stick, insert in a latex glove, inflate and tie knot at end of glove. Place where you want, if you are hanging them on a tree add a string, fishing line works well, to the knot.
Glowing monster heads found on Sassygirlz.net. Learn how to make these using plastic disposable cups, markers, and tea lights, (you can use glow sticks instead if you prefer).
Hang spooky balls from trees. Put a glow stick in a balloon, you can use any color glow stick and balloon. Fill with water. Put water balloon in a stocking and hang. Instructions from Fun Holiday Crafts here.
Line the driveway with glowing jack-o-lanterns or ghost. You can use dollar store plastic pumpkins or make your own ghosts using empty plastic milk jugs. Insert glow sticks and you’re done. You can also use strings of lights or tea lights. I prefer glow sticks, it’s easier, no need to worry about plugs or batteries.
Dress up as a witch and stir your bubbling caldron. You can use a witch cut out instead if you prefer. Buy a plastic caldron from Walmart, put dry ice in it (use gloves and tongs when handling dry ice). When you’re ready to “bubble” fill with warm water. You can use this idea to serve punch at a party, but DO NOT put dry ice directly into the punch. To learn how to use dry ice safely with drinks click here. Add a green glow stick for an eerie glow.
Use dry ice to create spooky scenes. To learn how to safely use dry ice and how much you need click here.
To learn how to make your own dry ice here’s a YouTube video. I wouldn’t recommend you make your own, you can buy dry ice from some grocery stores and propane companies. Find out where to buy it in your area soon, you may have to reserve dry ice, it’s in high demand during Halloween.
Last year my toddler grandson, Jett, dressed up as a “Chick Magnet”; I made him a chick costume and his parents made him a “magnet” to carry around or wear around his waist. This costume earned him an honorable mention in their local costume contest.
This year in keeping with this play on words we decided to dress him up as “Eye Candy”. The eye part was easy, but it took us a while to decide what type of candy he should be and what it should be made of. In the end we thought candy corn was appropriate for a little boy and that a crocheted sweater will work instead of the sack dresses we saw online, those were just too girly.
So I crocheted him a hat, which he could actually wear any time with or without the “eye” and this sweater. I show the fringe on the hat both braided and unbraided, either way is cute. The sweater can be worn later by removing the “eyes” or even for Thanksgiving by replacing the “eyes” with a turkey applique.
To download free pdf version click here!
The pattern I have here is for a size 2T sweater and a child’s hat that will fit a 20″ head circumference.
I used a large hook size so it didn’t take long to make.
Hook Size K 6.50mm
#4 yarn in Yellow, Orange, White, Black, Brown, Gray
2ch counts as 1 hdc.
Ch 2 with white
Rd. 1: 7 sc in 2nd. ch from hook (7)
Rd. 2: Ch2, hdc in same st, *hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next st,* repeat *, join (10)
Rd. 3: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next st, 2hdc in next st, join (14)
Rd. 4: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts, *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts,* repeat * 1 time, 2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2, join (18)
Rd. 5: Ch2, hdc in same st, *hdc in next 4 sts, 2hdc in next st,* repeat * 2 times, hdc in next 2 sts (21)
Rd. 6: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2*, repeat * around join, (28)
Rd. 7: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts*, repeat * around, join (35)
Rd. 8: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 4 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 4 sts*, repeat* around, join (42) – Change to Orange yarn on last st.
Rd. 9: Ch2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 5 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 5 sts, * repeat * around, join (49)
Rds. 10- 19: Ch2, hdc in each st around (49) – Change to Yellow yarn at the end of Rd. 17, continue same for Rounds 18 & 19. Do not fasten off you will work first earflap – slst in next 6 stitches and continue as follows:
Row 1: Ch2, hdc in next 13 sts, ch 2, turn (14 hdc, chain 2 counts as 1hdc)
Row 2: hdc2tog, hdc in next 9 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (12)
Row 3: hdc in each st, ch 2, turn (12)
Row 4: hdc2tog, hdc in next 7 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (10)
Row 5: hdc in each st, ch 2, turn (10)
Row 6: hdc2tog, hdc in next 5 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (8)
Row 7: hdc in each st, ch 2, turn (8)
Row 8: hdc2tog, hdc in next 3 sts, hdc2tog, ch 2, turn (6)
Row 9: hdc2tog, hdc in next st, hdc2tog, fasten off (4)
Count 12 stitches across front of hat, join yellow yarn to next st and repeat rows 1-9 above, but do not fasten off. Ch 1, sc around the hat, join to the first sc, fasten off.
Tassels: make 2
Cut (4) strands of orange, yellow, white 10″ long. Fold strands over to form a loop at the top. Take a small strand of orange yarn and slip it thru the loop and knot. You will use this to tie tassel to earflap. Take another strand of orange yarn and wind it to the top of the yarn strands about 1/2″ from the loop. You will now have a tassel. Repeat then tie tassels on to the middle of the earflap. Trim ends or braid then trim ends.
Hook size F 3.75mm
With black yarn Ch 2
Rd. 1: 6sc in 2nd. ch from hook, join – switch to brown yarn (6)
Rd. 2: ch 1,sc in same st, *2 sc in each st*, repeat * around, join – switch to white yarn (12)
Rd. 3: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next st, *2sc in next st, sc in next st*, repeat * around join (18)
Rd. 4: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 2 sts, *2sc in next st, sc in next 2 sts*, repeat * around, join (24)
Rd. 5: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 3 sts, *2sc in next st, sc in next 3 sts*, repeat * around, join (30)
Rd. 6: ch 1, sc in same st, sc in next 4 sts, *2sc in next st, sc in next 4 sts*, repeat* around, join (36) fasten off leaving 6″ tail for stitching
Hook size F
With yellow yarn Ch 2
Rd. 1: 6 sc in 2nd. ch from hook, join (6)
Rd. 2: Ch 2, hdc in same st, *2hdc in each st*, repeat* around, join (12)
Rd. 3: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next st, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next st*, repeat * around, join (18)
Rd. 4: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 2 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 sts*, repeat* around, join (24)
Rd. 5: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hdc in next 3 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 sts*, repeat* around, join (30)
Rd. 6: Ch 2, hdc in same st, hadc in next 4 sts, *2hdc in next st, hdc in next 4sts*, repeat * around, join (36) fasten off leaving 6″ tail for sewing
Sew inner eye into outer eye. Sew finished eye to the middle of the front of the hat.
Sweater: Size 2 will fit chest size 21″ Size K hook. Ch 2 counts as 1 dc
Row 1: With yellow yarn – ch 41. Hdc in 3rd. chain from hook and in each stitch across, turn (40hdc)
Row 2: Ch 2, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st* repeat * across, dc in last st, turn (40 dc)
Rows 3-5: Repeat Row 2 (40 dc)
Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn (40sc)
Row 7 – 8: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (40dc) – change to orange at the end of row 8
Rows 9 – 26 repeat row 7 (40 dc) – change to white at the end of row 26
Row 27: Repeat row 7 (40dc)
Row 28: Slst in first 4 sts, ch 2, dc in next 31 sts, leave remaining sts unworked, turn (32dc)
Row 29 – 41: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (32dc),
After row 41 you will start the first shoulder
Row 1: Ch 2, dc in next 4 sts, turn – leave remaining sts unworked (5dc)
Row 2-3: repeat Row 1 – fasten off
With right side facing you count 5 sts from opposite end, join yarn to next st and repeat 3 rows of first shoulder
Work same as the back up to row 35
Row 36 will start first shoulder as follows:
Row 1: Ch 2, dc in next 8 sts, turn – leave remaining sts unworked (9dc)
Row 2: Slst first 2 sts, ch 2 in next st, dc in remaining sts, turn (7dc)
Row 3: Ch 2, dc in next 4 sts, turn – leave remaining sts. unworked (5dc)
Row 4 – 11: Ch 2, dc in next 4 sts, turn fasten off
With right side facing you count 9 sts from opposite end, join yarn to next st and repeat 11 rows of first shoulder
Sleeves: Make 2
Row 1: With Yellow chain 37. Hdc in 3rd, ch from hook and in each stitch across ( 36hdc)
Row 2: Ch 2, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st* repeat * across, dc in last st, turn (36 dc)
Rows 3-5: Repeat Row 2 (36 dc)
Row 6: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn (36 sc) Change to orange at the end of the row
Row 7 – 31: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (36dc) change to white at the end of row 25
Row 32: Ch 2, dc in same st, dc in each st across, 2dc in last st, turn (38dc)
Row 33: Ch 2, dc in each st across, turn (38dc) fasten off
With yarn needle and right sides facing stitch front and back together at shoulder.
Stitch sleeves in body by fitting sleeves into the armholes – see picture
Stitch sleeve seams and side seams together. I matched the yarn color to the color blocks on the sweater and sleeves.
Neck line trim:
Attach white yarn to one shoulder at the neckline. Hdc in each stitch around, join to the first hdc.
Rd. 1: Ch 2, *fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st* repeat * around, dc in last st, join
Next round: Repeat round 1, join and fasten off. Weave all ends securely.
Make inner eye same as for the hat but fasten off after round 4 (24sc)
Make outer eye in gray same as for had but fasten off after round 4 (24hdc)
I made 6 eyes and attached to the front of the sweater, but you can make however many eyes you want.
This month we hosted an 80th. Birthday Party for my Mom in her Texas home. Guest seating was outdoors and mosquitoes were a concern. To keep these nasty bugs away my mother had her yard man spray mosquito repellent and we incorporated these Citronella Jars in our centerpieces, it worked out well, no one got any mosquito bites that night.
These jars are so simple and inexpensive to make and will fit any party theme or decor. I’ve used them for outdoor barbecues, birthday parties, and pretty much any outdoor event. I find them much prettier than store bought citronella candles and torches, cheaper too! You can use ribbons to match your color scheme or for a more rustic look use burlap ribbon or twine.
I fill the jars with fresh herbs that are have natural mosquito repellent and citronella essential oil. I try to use herbs from my garden when possible making these jars even more economical. Mosquito repelling herbs include Lavender, Mint, Lemon Balm, Basil, Catnip, Rosemary, Lemon Thyme, and Lemon Verbena. There are other plants and herbs that have natural mosquito repellent qualities, but I like to use the ones I listed as I have them in my garden. I like to use 2-3 different herbs and choose herbs with leaves that look good together. I add lemon and lime slices for color and a floating candle at the top to keep the herbs from floating over the jar rim.
If you use homegrown herbs each jar cost about $2 or less to make. I got the Citronella Essential Oil from HEB for just a bit over $5. I made a dozen jars and still have more than half the bottle of essential oil leftover. I got the Mason Jars (about $1 each) and floating candles (6 for $4) from Walmart. If you need to buy fresh herbs you can buy small amounts for about $2 – 3 a package in the produce section of most grocery stores, but if you need to make a lot of jars you will probably get a better deal at your local farmer’s market. If you can’t find a farmer’s market nearby consider buying pots of herbs from the garden department of Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, or your local garden shop; it’s less expensive than buying sprigs from the grocery store and you can plant leftover herbs to use next time.
Here are directions for making your own Citronella Jars, the best part it you can reuse the jars for other events, just change the ribbon to fit your decor!
Quart Sized Mason Jar
Sprigs of Fresh Herbs – Lavender, Rosemary, Mint, or any other mosquito repelling herbs
5 drops Citronella Essential Oil
1 Lemon – sliced in circles (optional)
1 Lime – sliced in circles (optional)
Ribbon or Twine
1 Floating Candle
1. Snip sprigs of herbs to size you want; rinse off any soil.
2. Place herbs in mason jar and fill jar half way with water (herbs will float).
3. Add Citronella Essential Oil to water and shake gently to evenly distribute the oil.
4. Add more water to fill the jar.
5. Add lemon and lime slices.
6. Gently push herbs and fruit slices into the water and place floating candle on top.
7. Tie ribbon or twine on the jar.
8. Light candle when needed.
When it’s very hot outside store jars indoors or in a cool area to keep the candle from melting.
Herbs will last in the jar for several days depending on the temperature. When the herbs wilt just toss them out, wash the jar in warm soapy water to remove oil residue, and make another batch when you need them.
Make these jars in a well ventilated area and avoid inhaling the Citronella Essential Oil, it’s unsafe and has been reported to cause lung problems.
Wear gloves when handling this oil as it can cause allergies in some people.
Keep the jars and citronella oil away from children and pets. It is safe to use around children and pets but ingesting large amounts of the oil is very harmful.
Unicorns seem to be all the rage these days! You see these magical creatures on everything from t-shirts to backpacks to sunglasses. And why not? They’re adorable! I myself have recently gone bonkers making unicorn crafts and selling them on Etsy and Facebook. Any they’ve been selling like hotcakes!
But you don’t have to spend lots of money indulging your love the the magical unicorn there are many DIY unicorn crafts you can make for very little money using supplies you already have at home.
To help you get started here are 5 adorable unicorn crafts you and your kids can make at home.
Unicorn Mason Jars
These are one of my best sellers. They make great centerpieces for unicorn themed parties! They’re easy enough to make at home all you need are mason jars pretty much any size, I usually make them in pint and quart sizes, or any empty jar you have at home like a pickle jar, rubbing alcohol, acrylic paints in any color you want, I use Apple Barrel paints, a paint brush, and craft foam to make the horn, ears, and flowers, I use foam sheets with adhesive backs but you can use regular sheets and just glue them on.
All you do is clean the jar’s outside surface with rubbing alcohol (this allows the paint to stick better) and let dry completely. Paint the jar in the color you want, you may need to do 3 or more coats but let paint dry between coats. Then cut out the horn, ears, flowers, and eyes and stick them on the painted jar. How easy is that! It’s a great way to recycle those jars you’ve been stashing in the kitchen!
Unicorn Gift Bags
Here’s another best seller that’s so easy to DIY. Unicorn gift bags! Who wouldn’t love to receive a gift wrapped in this adorable gift bag? You can use any size bag, yes even a lunch bag! Or a plain kraft bag with handles you can buy at the craft store. Just cut out the horn, ears, eyes, and other embellishments from card stock or construction paper and glue them on the bags.
Hey these unicorn bags make great favor bags for unicorn parties too!
Unicorn Book Marks
These book marks are too cute!
Here’s a tutorial from The Inspiration Edit!
I’m sure you and the kids will end up making a bunch to keep and to give away!
Hey it’s a great activity at a unicorn party too!
Unicorn Pencil Holder
Here’s a great way to recycle tin cans. Turn them into Unicorn Pencil Holders!
Here’s a tutorial from Crafts On Sea.
Here’s a fun craft from Simple Mom Project. Unicorn masks!
Click here for instructions and template!
Cleaning the toilet bowl is probably one of life’s most unpleasant tasks. I know I hate cleaning my toilet bowl and am always looking for ways to make the task easier, faster, or at the very least a bit more pleasant.
That’s why I decided to try this DIY Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets. They’re pretty easy to make and doesn’t really need a bunch of costly ingredients. In fact most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen or can be purchased inexpensively at Walmart or other discount store.
This article contains affiliate links.
After trying these toilet bowl cleaning tablets I can safely say that they aren’t really going to leave your toilet bowl spotless without any effort (elbow grease) on your part. They will however leave the toilet bowl and the bathroom smelling very nice.
These toilet bowl cleaning tablets work best if your toilet bowl isn’t super dirty and have rings around it. Trust me if you have built on rings inside the toilet bowl no tablet, spray, or cleaner will magically remove them. The only way to get rid of those rings in my experience is a good old fashioned scouring with a pumice stone! I prefer using a Pumie, that’s a pumice stone attached to a handle so you can scrub without getting your hands too close to the toilet bowl surface. So before you toss in one of your DIY fizzing toilet bowl cleaning tablet don a pair of disposable gloves , grab a Pumie and scrub!
Once you’ve got the rings out of your toilet bowls these DIY Fizzing cleaning tablets will easily keep the bowl clean and fresh when used weekly. In short they’re a great way to maintain the freshness of your toilet bowl and bathroom! I keep a jar in each bathroom and toss them into the toilet every few days just because I love the smell! I used Neroli essential oil to scent my tablets because I love the citrusy scent of Neroli, but you can scent your tablets with your favorite oils!
Other essential oil scents that would give your bathroom and toilet bowl a fresh scent would be: bergamot, lemon, and orange blossom for a citrusy scent; eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint for a minty pine scent; or lavender, ylang ylang, or rosemary for that calming scent like you find at the spas. Or you can mix and match these and other oils to get the scent that you love!
To make these fresh smelling Fizzing Toilet Bowl Cleaning Tablets here’s what you’ll need:
2 Glass bowls – 1 large and 1 small
2 Cups Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Citric Acid powder (you can find this in the canning section of most markets or order it from Amazon)
1 Tsp White Vinegar
2 Tbs Hydrogen Peroxide
30 drops of essential oil – your choice – I love Neroli Essential Oil
Candy or soap molds – I prefer silicone molds that come in various shapes and sizes like hearts and roses. (I usually use the baking or candy molds but keep a set to be used just for making non-food items and one set I use strictly for food like the wine gummy bears I love! – I guess you can use a set to make everything just be sure you thoroughly wash them between uses.)
Once you’ve gathered your supplies it’s time to make your fizzy tablets! Here’s how!
- Place baking soda in the large glass bowl and using a fork or whisk break up any clumps. You want the powder to be fine and powdery not hard and clumpy.
- Stir in the citric acid powder and set the bowl aside for n ow.
- In the small glass bowl mix the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
- Slowly, and I mean slowly like one drop at a time, add the vinegar mixture to the baking soda mixture. Again do this very slowly, just a little liquid at a time. If you add too much of the liquid mixture you the baking soda and citric acid will react and you will have a big mess on your hands and no cleaning tablets. That situation is not salvagable!
- Add the essential oil of your choice and mix gently. Again add oil drop by drop.
- Scoop powder into your molds. Don’t overfill the mold as the powder will expand as it dries. So fill it about 3/4 full and gently press the powder into the mold with your finger.
- Let dry overnight.
- Gently pop out each tablet and store in a sealed glass jar. Be sure you label them and keep them out of children’s reach! Keep the jar in your bathroom and pop one in your toilet whenever you want to freshen it up!