Category Archives: Halloween

60 Days Until Halloween!

We’re finally in the -ber months, and that means it’s my favorite time of year.  September 1 marks 60 days until Halloween, so if you haven’t started planning, you better get at it.

Since this month ushers in the return of fall, and the whole month of September is basically Halloween Eve (for those of us that celebrate Halloween all October long), it’s a great time to start talking almost exclusively about the big day.  I’ll be posting my reviews of Halloween merchandise, creepy project tutorials, and other Halloween-related fun.

But don’t be surprised if I throw a movie review or two in.  There are a lot of great horror movies on the way (can you say IT?!?!?!?!?), so I know someone who will be busy at the theater.

Me. That’s who.

So check back soon for some new posts! I’m ready to start talking my favorite holiday of all time, so I hope you’re ready to read.

Halloween Lingers

I’m still finding Halloween items at some of my favorite stores.  It’s not all grade-A material, but if you’re looking to satisfy your Halloween fix – you know, just to tide you over – then let me suggest checking out the following stores:

Kohl’s

I’m not sure if your Kohl’s is the same as mine, but my local store has a whole section of clearance merchandise tucked away in a random home decor and bedding aisle.  If you’re up for some spelunking, you should be able to find something to your liking.  Maybe a placemat or two.

Barnes & Noble

Being the sales guru I am, I know that Barnes & Noble stores do a seasonal clearance at least twice a year, usually at the very beginning of the year after the holidays are over and then again somewhere in the middle.  I went to scope out the sitch a few days ago and was quite pleasantly surprised to find a few fun goodies.

They also had this cool book that let you create your own zombie out of their flip pages:

Check out this cool one I made:

Those two stores are the best I’ve found for having old items still hanging around, but you should also check out clearance sections anywhere including Michael’s, Tuesday Morning, and many more.

Of course, if none of that does it for you, just make your own post-season Halloween crafts and feel good knowing that Halloween is only a short 284 days away…

364 Days Until Halloween!

I hope everyone had a fantastic, super-awesome, terrifying (in a good way), fun, eventful Halloween.  I dressed up as a clown, and – guess what? – no one shot me!  I was also the recipient of several compliments about my yard, so I was very pleased.

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Now, it’s time to count down to next year’s Halloween celebration.  I’ll be posting about movies, scary stories, creepy events, etc… throughout the year, but I’m taking the month of November off for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writers Month).  Wish me luck!

Check back in December for new posts!  Until then, check out my past posts for fun lists, DIY projects, and more.  As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me through the contact page.

It’s Almost Time: Halloween Creeps Closer

Halloween is just days away, and I hope you all have everything ready for the big night.  I’m currently on vacation in the Big Easy, so – don’t be jealous – I might be on a ghost tour as you’re reading this.  I’ve had to get things ready a little early this year because of my vacay, and since I made a checklist to ensure I wouldn’t leave anything out, I thought I’d share with everyone.

Halloween Checklist

Candy – Go big if you can.  This is some kids’ favorite night of the year, and a full-size candy bar makes it that much…sweeter (I couldn’t resist).

Teal Pumpkin – Some children have deadly allergies, so they can’t partake in the usual sweet treats this time of year.  Thanks to the Teal Pumpkin Project, you’ve got a way to help them out.  Set out a teal pumpkin and provide non-food treats so that everyone can participate.

Costume – Have all parts of your costume ready.  You definitely don’t want to venture out to a Halloween store on the day.  It’s a freakin’ madhouse.

Jack O’ Lantern – You definitely don’t want to forget your carved pumpkin because you don’t want the spirits messing with you.

Decorations – For god’s sakes, put out something creepy.  It’s not hard.  Spiderwebs are so easy.  Foam tombstones are super-cheap.  I just don’t see enough Halloween decorations nowadays, and it just makes me sad.

Food – If you’re having a party, check out Pinterest for some great ideas for creepy appetizers and deadly desserts.  Or if you want to go easy, make sure you order pizza way ahead of time.  Halloween is one of the busiest nights for pizza places.  Don’t call too late.

Shopping List – I don’t know about you, but the day after Halloween is my biggest shopping day of the year.

I hope everyone is ready for the big night!

Easy Halloween Cupcakes

Looking for an easy dessert for your Halloween party?  Look no further than the cupcake.  They’re easy to make, and with some Halloween-themed cupcake holders and a little bit of icing and candy, you can make a creepy and disgusting (looking) treat.

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Check out this ghost cupcake I made with just a little bit of chocolate and vanilla icings.  All you need to do is freehand a blob.  I happened to have some Halloween sprinkles on hand, so the eyes and mouth were crazy simple.

This is also the time of year you can find some gross-looking candy, so put it to good use.  I was looking for some gummy body parts, but I happened upon some eye gum balls that I opted to use instead.

I made two different types with the eyes.  I used some food coloring to make a nasty green icing and layered that atop a dark chocolate cupcake.  Add some sprinkles and the gumball, and you’ve got a cauldron:

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I also just really felt like making some edible blood, so these vanilla cupcakes turned out really nice:

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The Walking Dead spoiler alert!!!  I made these in honor of fallen hero Glen’s death.  Poor guy.  I don’t know about you, but that hit me hard.

I hope you have fun with your Halloween treats!

Halloween Party Music List

It’s almost time to break out the costumes, candy, and party food, people!  It’s also time to make sure you have the right tunes to set the mood for your Halloween party.  I’ve put together a list of songs that remind me of my favorite holiday – from movie themes to monster titles to straight Halloween songs.  I hope this helps you set the mood.

(Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

(Ghost) Riders in the Sky – Johnny Cash

Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band or Sugar Ray

Addams Family Groove – Mc Hammer

Bad Moon Rising – Credence Clearwater Revival

Bad Things – Jace Everett

Beetle Juice theme – Danny Elfman

Black Magic Woman – Fleetwood Mac

Burn the Witch – Queens of the Stone Age

Creep – Radiohead

Dead Man’s Party – Oingo Boingo

The Devil Went Down to Georgia – Charlie Daniels Band

Disturbia- Rihanna

Dragula – Rob Zombie

Enter Sandman – Metallica

Feed My Frankenstein – Alice Cooper

Ghostbusters – Ray Parker Jr.

Halloween (Michael Myers ) theme – John Carpenter

Halloween – The Misfits

Halloweenhead – Ryan Adams

Highway to Hell – AC/DC

Hotel California – Eagles

Howlin’ for You – The Black Keys

Hush, Hush, Hush Here Comes the Bogeyman – Henry Hall

I Put a Spell on You – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins

I’m Your Boogie Man – KC and the Sunshine Band

Jeepers Creepers – Louis Armstrong

Living Dead Girl – Rob Zombie

Love Potion NO. 9 – The Searchers

Monster – Kanye West (ft. Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj)

Monster Mash – Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers

Paint It Black – Rolling Stones

People Are Strange – The Doors

Pet Sematary – Ramones

Psycho Killer – Talking Heads

Red Right Hand – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Runnin’ with the Devil – Van Halen

Season of the Witch – Donovan

She Blinded Me wits Science – Thomas Dolby

Sleepy Hollow theme – Danny Elfman

Somebody’s Watching Me – Rockwell

Superstition – Stevie Wonder

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) – Marilyn Manson or Eurythmics

Tales from the Crypt theme – Danny Elfman

This Is Halloween – Danny Elfman (Nightmare Before Christmas)

Thriller – Michael Jackson

Time Warp – Little Nell (Rocky Horror Picture Show)

Trick or Treat – Otis Redding

Tubular Bells Part 1 – Mike Oldfield (The Exorcist)

Walk Like a Zombie – Horrorpops

Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon

When the Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash

Who Do You Voodoo, Bitch – Sam B (Dead Island soundtrack)

Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra

Witchy Woman – Eagles

Zombie – The Cranberries

 

5 Ways to Use a Dollar Tree Skull

It’s no secret that I love Dollar Tree, and one of the reasons I love it so, so much for my Halloween shopping is that you can make so many of their items look more expensive with only a little bit of work.

Of all the Halloween items they carry, their skulls are my favorite.  I always pick up a few each year.  This year, just to help you out, I bought a few more than usual to play around with.  But with them being just a dollar, it was totally worth it.

5 Ways to Use a Dollar Tree Skull

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Processed with Snapseed 

1. Use metallic spray paint to make your skulls look at home in any chic Halloween setup.

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2. Who doesn’t love a sugar skull?  Spray paint a skull white and go to town with multicolored sharpies, paint pens, stickers, and jewels.  It’ll look great at any Day of the Dead celebration.

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3. Transform a skull into a mini jack-o-lantern by carving it with a craft knife.   Insert a flameless tea light and – voila! – glowing skull!  You can even spray paint it orange for a faux skull pumpkin or other colors to match your decor.

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Processed with Snapseed.

4. Make your skull look gross and creepy – and much more like a high-end prop – by using the corpsing technique I outlined here.

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Processed with Snapseed.

5. Grab a few items you probably already have on hand and make this cool hanging ghost.  Read the tutorial here.

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Processed with Snapseed.

SO. MUCH. FUN.  I hope you try out a few of these projects because you’ll be missing out if you don’t.  Let me know how your projects work out in the comments. Happy Haunting!

Upcoming Halloween TV

One of my favorite things about this time of year is that it’s so very easy to find a Halloween-themed show or scary movie on TV any ol’ time.  If you’re looking for what to watch, look no further.  I did the research so you don’t have to miss any of your favorites.

TV Episodes/Movies

October 14

All-Star Halloween Spectacular (HGTV)

October 16

The Simpsons  “Treehouse of Horror XXVII” (Fox)

October 18

Brooklyn Nine-Nine “Halloween IV” (Fox)

October 19

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (ABC)

October 20

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again (live musical) (Fox)

October 23

Bob’s Burgers “Teen-A-Witch” (Fox)

The Walking Dead (season premier) (AMC)

October 25

The Middle  “Halloween VIII: The Heckoning” (ABC)

American Housewife “Westport Zombies” (ABC)

Fresh Off the Boat “Louisween” (ABC)

The Real O’Neals “The Real Halloween” (ABC)

October 26

Modern Family “Halloween 4: The Revenge of Rod Skyhook” (ABC)

The Goldbergs “Stefan King” (ABC)

Speechless “H-A-L-HALLOWEEN” (ABC)

Black-ish “The Purge” (ABC)

Series/Events

American Horror Story: Roanoke: The much-anticipated 6th season of this crazy series premiered on September 14 on FX, and you can catch new episodes on Wednesday nights.  Catch up on the FXNow app if you’re behind!

Scream Queens: Season 2 began on September 20 on Fox.  New episodes can be watched each Tuesday night.

Halloween Wars: The first episode premiered October 2 on Food Network, but you can watch new episodes every Sunday through October 30.

Halloween Baking Championship: The first bake-off of the season premiered October 3 on Food Network. You can watch new episodes every Sunday through October 31.

AMC Fearfest: There will be over 60 different horror movies running from October 16 through October 31 on AMC.

13 Nights of Halloween: Watch fun movies each night on ABC Family from October 19 through October 31.

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Looks like we all have quite a bit to keep us busy until the big night!  Enjoy these glory days while you can.  Before you know it, we’ll be inundated with Christmas music and sappy tv shows, and we’ll have to satisfy our horror cravings with Nightmare Before Christmas and Black Christmas.  That’s not really a bad thing, but we definitely have more options this time of year.

Are there any shows coming up that I missed?  Let me know in the comments or contact me through the contact page.

Reaper Madness: How to Make an Easy Floating Ghost

Nothing dresses up a yard at Halloween time more than a floating ghost.  Stores carry these guys plus floating zombies, monsters, and clowns, but they can get pretty pricey for some reason.  Luckily for you, these are crazy easy to make.  Please follow along, class.

First, as with all projects, you need to gather your materials.

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Processed with Snapseed.

For your floating ghost, you will need the following:

  • A plastic skull
  • Creepy cloth
  • String
  • A wire hanger
  • Foam pipe cover
  • Pliers
  • Box cutter (not pictured)
  • Duct tape (not pictured)

You can buy a skull and creepy cloth from Dollar Tree, so this project is not only easy; it’s insanely cheap.  The foam pipe cover is pretty inexpensive, too.  You can get a package at any hardware store for a couple of bucks.  They actually sell white foam cover, too, but for this project I went with the dark gray.

After you’ve gathered your items, you need to make holes in the top and bottom of your skull.  Cut a small hole in the top and one that’s a little larger in the bottom.  You won’t be able to see them when you’re finished, so don’t worry about being exactly even.

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Next up, it’s time to make the shoulders (yes, your ghost will have shoulders) and attach it to the head.   My wire hanger was one with the cardboard middles, so I’d recommend using the same kind.  If you only have a full wire hanger, you’ll need to untwist the hanger and shape it so you have a hook in the middle.

Straighten out the sides of your hanger to make the shoulders of your ghost.

Add the foam pipe to the shoulders on each side and secure in the middle with duct tape.  Use outdoor duct tape for the best results.  That stuff works miracles.

imageTie your string together to make a circle, and thread it through the bottom of your head up through the top hole or vice versa.  Take the hook of the hanger and thread it through the string from the bottom hole.

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After you hook the string, pull it through to secure your ghost.  Add a few small pieces of duct tape to the top hole to keep the string from dropping through.  When you’re finished, it will look like this:

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Your last step is adding the creepy cloth.  Just drape it over the ghost’s shoulders and head, threading the string through a hole in the cloth to secure it.  You can add as much or as little as you want depending on how transparent you want your ghost to be.

Tada!!!  Your ghost is finished!

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Processed with Snapseed.

Doesn’t he look cool?  It was so easy that I plan on making a few more.

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So there you go.  You just made a cool decoration for your yard.  And the beauty of this little project is that you can change it up quite easily.  You can do all sorts of variations to make different kinds of ghosts or other types of monsters.  Paint the head with glow paint.  Use a foam head with a mask.  Add lights.  Use cheesecloth instead of creepy cloth.  Add hands.  Use longer, stronger wire to make a gigantic creature.  There are so many possibilities.  Not to go self-help on you, but the only thing limiting yourself is you.

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy tutorial.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message through the contact page.  Happy Haunting!

Corpsing A Skeleton: An Easy Guide

I just discovered my favorite Halloween DIY project today: corpsing a skeleton.  I’d been hesitant to try it before because I’d only seen tutorials that used sticky adhesive or latex, and I’m cheap enough to not want to “mess up” one of my skeletons.  But after finding a tutorial online that only involved plastic sheeting, a heat gun, and some stain and realizing that I can pick up a new skeleton any time I need, I decided to try it out.

It’s way simpler than I thought it would be, and I love the results.  If you have a skull or skeleton or even just a bone lying around, you should seriously think about giving corpsing a try.

First off, let’s talk supplies.

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Processed with Snapseed.

To corpse a skeleton or skeleton part, you need the following:

  • Skeleton/skull/bone
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Heat gun
  • Spray adhesive (optional)
  • Varnish (assorted colors)
  • Box cutter/scissors
  • Rubber gloves

Speaking of heat guns, just look at this beauty I picked up this weekend, care of a well-timed gift card to Lowe’s from my husband.  He’s a good man.

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I’m going to go through this step-by-step as if you’re doing a full skeleton, but you can use the technique for whatever part your corpsing.

If you opt to use spray adhesive (and I highly recommend that you do), lightly spray the torso of your skeleton.  Cut a section of drop cloth to the length of the torso, and start wrapping.  You can wrap the full plastic around the torso at one time, or you can wrap in sections.

After you’ve wrapped the torso of your skeleton, it’s time to break out the heat gun.  Focus the heat gun on the plastic, making sure not to stay in one area too long (you don’t want to melt your skeleton).  You should also focus the heat on different sections of your plastic to melt holes strategically around your skeleton.  Corpses don’t rot neatly (I should know), and you don’t want your nasty guy looking too Martha Stewart perfect.  Play around with it.  If you don’t like what you see, add more plastic, and melt it again.

Repeat on each section of the skeleton.  I recommend going in the following order:

  1. Torso
  2. Arms
  3. Legs
  4. Pelvis (overlapping the legs)
  5. Shoulders (overlapping the torso and arms)
  6. Neck
  7. Skull

This is what your skeleton should look like after torso and arms wrapped and shrunk.

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Processed with Snapseed.

For the hands and feet, you need to use your box cutter or scissors to cut the plastic around the fingers and toes.  Then, shrink the cut plastic around the smaller bones.

When adding plastic to your skull, it’s much harder to wrap like the other areas, so this is where the spray adhesive really comes in handy.  Take smaller squares of the plastic and spray lightly with the adhesive.  Smash the sprayed plastic on the skull without keeping it straight.  It looks best when it isn’t perfectly flat.  Add heat, and when it looks right to you, you’re finished.

Next is my favorite part of any project: making it pretty!

Using a foam brush, dab whatever color of stain you’re using to the plastic on your skeleton.  You can use any combo of colors you want.  I went with a red and dark brown combo because I wanted my corpse to have that human-jerky look.

After dabbing color on a section, use a paper towel to smear and spread the stain around to hide any brush marks and blend your colors.  When you’re finished and the stain is dry, dry-brush the full skeleton to highlight the sinewy effect of the melted plastic.  I used a moss green here, and I really liked the result.

These are some other color combos you can use:

  • Bloody corpse: red stain with a little black stain added; bright red dry-brushing
  • Toxic corpse: green, gray, and black stains; lime green dry-brushing
  • Buried corpse: light tan and brown stains; black dry-brushing
  • Burnt corpse: dark brown and black stains with red highlights; orange dry-brushing
  • Moldy corpse: green, brown, and tan stains; light green/blue dry-brushing

Play around with it.  There are so many different kinds of paints and stains out there that you can get any look you want.

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And here’s a close-up of my guy.  The pic really doesn’t do him justice.  He’s much better in person, and I’ve already gotten quite a few compliments.

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I really hope my newfound corpsing enthusiasm takes some of the trepidation out of corpsing your own props.  I also had a little fun corpsing a Dollar Tree skull, but I’m saving that for another post.  Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or just send me a pic of your project!