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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Candy Cane Recipes

Candy Cane Dessert Squares ~ Rich chocolate and zingy peppermint — is there a better holiday combo than that?
Crust
36 (2 cups) chocolate wafer cookies, finely crushed
1/2 cup Butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
Ganache
1 cup real semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream
Filling
1 cup powdered sugar
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1 1/2 cups Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped
2/3 cup coarsely crushed red or green hard peppermint candies
Heat oven to 325°F. Combine all crust ingredients in bowl. Press onto bottom of ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely. Set aside. Melt chocolate chips and 2/3 cup whipping cream in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes or until smooth. Spread evenly over crust. Place in freezer at least 10 minutes while making filling.
Combine powdered sugar, cream cheese and peppermint extract in bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until smooth and creamy. Gently stir in whipped cream and crushed candies. Spread evenly over ganache layer. Sprinkle with additional crushed candy, if desired. Cover; freeze 4 hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Top each serving with small candy cane, if desired. Serve frozen or refrigerated. Store frozen.

Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Sticks ~ These peppermint sticks look beautiful and taste even better! Leave out a dish of them when trimming the tree or relaxing by the fire with a mug of hot cocoa.
12 (5-inch) peppermint sticks
7 ounce(s) white chocolate, melted
1/4 cup(s) white nonpareils
Dip peppermint sticks, one at a time, into melted chocolate. Transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Allow chocolate to set slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll chocolate end of peppermint sticks in nonpareils. Return to lined pan and let stand at room temperature until chocolate hardens.

Simple Holiday Bark ~ Keep around the house for a holiday treat — or wrap it up as a gift!
12 ounce(s) (semisweet ) chocolate, chopped
8 ounce(s) white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup(s) (coarsely crushed) candy canes or peppermint candies
Line cookie sheet with foil. Microwave semisweet chocolate in bowl on medium power 1 minute; stir. Keep microwaving at 15-second intervals, stirring, until melted and smooth; set aside. Repeat process with white chocolate. Spread semisweet chocolate on prepared cookie sheet about 1/3-inch thick. Drop tablespoons white chocolate on top. Swirl chocolates together with tip of knife to marble. Sprinkle with crushed candy. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until firm. Peel off foil; break bark into pieces. It will keep for about a month in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Cookie Recipes That Dazzle

Blondie Sticks
Bundle up fresh blondie bars in warm coats of white and dark chocolate as a sweet way to wish friends a Merry Christmas. Bedazzle them in nuts, toffee, and sprinkles, then stick them on red-and-white sticks for a cute lollipop look.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup tiny marshmallows
1 cup chopped unsalted cashews, toffee pieces, and/or jimmies
1 11 1/2 ounce package bittersweet chocolate pieces or white baking pieces
32 lollipop sticks or 6-inch wooden skewers
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the ends of the pan. Grease foil; set pan aside. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in marshmallows.* Spread dough evenly in the prepared pan. Bake about 30 minutes or until top is golden and edges are firm. Cool on a wire rack. Use the foil to lift uncut brownies out of the pan. Invert onto a cutting board; remove foil. Trim edges of uncut brownies to make a 12x8-inch rectangle. Cut rectangle into thirty-two 3x1-inch sticks. Cover and freeze about 30 minutes or until firm. Insert a lollipop stick or skewer into an end of each brownie stick and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Place cashews in a small shallow bowl. In a small saucepan heat and stir chocolate pieces over low heat until melted and smooth. Dip half of each brownie stick into melted chocolate, allowing excess chocolate to drip back into saucepan. Immediately sprinkle with cashews. Place on prepared baking sheet. Let stand about 1 hour or until set.

Snowball Trees
Roll and pack homemade dough into snowball-like cookie trees. String them with sweet vanilla icing, then add fun pops of color using decorative candies for lights.
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Green paste food coloring
1 recipe Powdered Sugar Icing
Decorative candies
In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough. Tint the remaining dough with green food coloring. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. For each cookie, use the green dough to shape ten 1/2-inch balls. On an ungreased cookie sheet, arrange balls in a row of four, topped by a row of three, then two, then one on top. As you arrange the balls, gently press them into each other. Use the plain dough to make a 3/4-inch ball and place it at the bottom of the tree for a trunk. Repeat with the remaining dough, leaving 2 inches between cookies on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Carefully transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Drizzle Powdered Sugar Icing back and forth over cookies to look like strings for lights. Add decorative candies to icing for lights. Let stand until icing sets.
Powdered Sugar Icing
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 - 4 tablespoons milk
In a medium bowl stir together powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough milk (3 to 4 tablespoons) to make drizzling consistency.

Friday, December 12, 2014

No-Fuss Holiday Buffet



Festive Holiday Buffet
Make planning a festive get-together simple with this foolproof plan. Here are ideas for a party that flourishes including decorative vases, handmade crafts, no-fuss foods, and more.For a simple party buffet, serve foods that taste great at room temperature, such as herbed popcorn, nuts, fruits and veggies, and a cheese sampler.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Crafty Christmas Tree Topper Ideas


Monogram Tree Topper
A wooden block letter is transformed into a creative tree topper with some paint and holiday-color ribbon. Paint your letter a desired color; let dry. Measure strips of glittery ribbon to fit across your letter and adhere in place using hot glue. Secure a paper towel roll to the back of your letter with hot glue and slip onto top of tree.

Fleur-De-Lis Medallion Tree Topper
Rolls of old book pages come together in this pretty paper tree topper with a vintage feel.

Photo Star Tree Topper
Add instant charm to your Christmas tree with this easy tree topper. Cut a star shape from thick paper or cardstock. Cut out a black and white photo, mat it with colored paper, and glue it to the center of the star. Secure the star to a rolled paper cone or paper towel tube with glue, and carefully set your star on your tree's highest branches.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Easy & Fun Christmas Decorating Projects

'Mod podge' wreath ~ A thrift store frame and fabric scraps make for a darling DIY project.

DIY snow globes ~
Put your leftover mason jars to good use by creating a magical set of DIY snow globes.

Monday, December 1, 2014

How to Create a Cozy Winter Wonderland



Shine On ~ Tired of traditional red and green? Neutrals like winter white still feel seasonal and bring some sophistication.


Center of Attention ~ Add texture to create an elegant and unique winter arrangement.  For this design, a birch log as a vase, placing the floral centerpiece on an antiqued mirror elongates the farm table and adds a nice reflective quality.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cheap and Easy Christmas Stocking Holders that Will Get Santas Attention

Folks without fireplaces, this project's for you. Get creative and craft a spot to hang your stockings and lend a little Christmas cheer to any room....turn a canvas dropcloth, drapery hardware and chalkboard paint into a clever faux mantel wall hanging that you can simply roll up and store when the holidays are over. Simply add S hooks to hang the stockings.

Rather than using standard stocking hangers, Marian Parsons uses poplar boards, chalkboard spray paint and simple hooks to create personalized pieces that instantly spruce up the holiday mantel. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions.less...

No mantel? No worries ~ use a wide shelf, paint a festive color, and add hooks or knobs. Grab your stockings and hang ~ this project is sure to get the Santa Seal of Approval.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Beautiful Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Colorful Snowflakes ~ Deck your Christmas tree with a color-happy flurry of snowflakes. To make, use lightweight wood veneer paper cut into strips to form 14-16 loops per snowflake. To add the bright colors to your snowflakes, paint one side of the wood veneer paper before cutting into strips. Glue together using fast-drying crafts glue to form a circle. Glue circles punched from scraps of the wood veneer to the center. Tie thread through a loop to hang.

Star Christmas Ornament ~ Add a festive message to your Christmas tree with our fun-to-make three-dimensional paper star ornament. Pick patterned paper in bright colors to make the Christmas craft stand out when hung on the tree. Learn more about this project.

Snowman-Face Ornaments ~ It's easy to assemble a whole garland filled with these happy snowman ornaments. Start with small foam balls; cover with air-dry clay, adding an extra-small amount to each to shape into a nose if desired. Wet the clay to attach black beads for eyes; use a toothpick to draw mouths. Paint facial details with orange paint, or add a bit of cosmetic blush for rosy cheeks. Add a hanger using an 1-1/2-inch-long piece of florist's wire. Seal with clear gloss gel medium or clear glitter paint.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Easy Last Minute Thanksgiving Crafts to Decorate Your Home

Classic Cornucopia
Add color and texture to your harvest table with a cornucopia spilling over with apples, dried corn, and shredded paper. Craft your own by folding a sheet of gift wrap or decorative paper into a cone shape and securing the edges with tape.

Fall Tree Favors
Say "thank you" to your guests with a favor of a tree planted in their honor. (Arborday.org offers the service.) Present the certificate tied to a fallen or dried leaf twig wrapped in burlap.

Pretty Pumpkin Ideas
Turn a Thanksgiving dinner table into something special with these ideas that take only a few minutes to make. Hot-glue cloves, star anise, and leaves to a small pumpkin or gourd to make a fragrant place card. Fill a white container with white and yellow mini pumpkins resting on a bed of colorful fall leaves. Top a pale green pumpkin with a bright gingham bow. Beneath the bow, crisscross thin ribbon in colorful rows down the pumpkin.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Festive ideas for Thanksgiving decorations

Crabapple arrangement ~ The best thing about this sort of arrangement? There's absolutely no arranging involved. Liza Lubell of Brooklyn's Peartree Flowers (peartreeflowers.com) simply stripped the leaves from each limb before putting it in a vase. "This treatment highlights the prettiest feature of the plant—its fruit," she explains. Group several different-size vases for even greater visual payoff. Also try: Figs or chestnuts (Recycled glass vases, from $19; westelm.com)

Think outside the circle ~ Not all DIY front-door decor requires a foam wreath form. To make this elegant cluster, we selected 8 four- to six-inch pinecones and 8 two-foot-long pieces of silk ribbon. Use a hot-glue gun to adhere the last two inches of each ribbon to the base of a cone. After the glue dries, collect all the ribbon ends and stagger them so that the cones fall at varying lengths. Tie the ribbon ends together in a knot, trim the tips so they are uniform, and slip the knot over a finishing nail.

Take on Thanksgiving with turkey transferware ~ Antique turkey-themed transferware with its rich colors and patterns, inspired the mix-and-match look of this table. Multidimensional menu cards add an even more personal touch. (Flatware; arteitalica.com. Compote; villeroy-boch.com. Glass; laurenhome.com. Silver Vase; Barbara Barry for wedgwood.com. Pitcher; rosannainc.com.)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas for Your Table

Wooden boxes can be used for all manner of things, including a tabletop conversation-starter. Go antiquing or piece together a simple box using wood and nails; then add oil-rubbed bronze handles to each end to make it a centerpiece that can move as easily as the conversation.

Soft white and golden hues dance in natural lighting at this alfresco Thanksgiving table. A vase filled with wheat adds texture to the centerpiece. Fill a tall cylindrical vase with dried white beans. Add a berried branch from a Golden Raindrops Crabapple tree to another vase to complete the setting.

Bright radishes supply the inspiration for these sweet little place cards. Use small salt cellars or ramekins lined with a cabbage or kale leaf. Place a radish, cut with a shallow slit, on top of each leaf; insert a place card.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Creative Thanksgiving Table Setting Ideas ~ From Kids Tables to Adult Tables There is Something For Everyone

Child's Play ~ We all fondly recall holidays spent at the kids' table, joking with cousins and passing vegetables to the dog when no one was looking. To create special memories for the next generation, forgo the boring card table in favor of a fun, kid-friendly setup. In good weather, set the table outdoors and offer plenty of treats and activities to keep boredom and squabbles at bay. Giving Tree: Have the kids write down what they're thankful for this year on stamped tags, then tie to branches of fall foliage. Sweet Treats: Thanksgiving-themed chocolate turkeys and lollipops make winning favors for tots. Fun for All: Fill gift bags with rubber stamps and pads, then lay parchment paper on the table so the kids can play. Alfresco Dining: Place a rug beneath the table to create the illusion of an outdoor room.

Personalized Pumpkins Place Cards ~ Small details can make a big impact on your Thanksgiving table. Try tying handmade place cards to mini pumpkins for a personal touch that will make guests feel special.


Homespun ~ In the days before Thanksgiving, a sense of anticipation fills the house as preparations begin. Spend an afternoon enjoying this feeling along with some young helpers or friends. This felt tablescape can be crafted days or weeks in advance to suit your schedule. Visit a fabric or craft supply store to buy wool felt, keeping in mind the length of your table and the number of guests. Cut a wide strip of felt in burnt orange for the bottom layer of the runner and a narrower green layer for the top. Wrap the candles and napkins with their lettered bands, and then arrange "falling leaves" along the table's length.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Keeping Our Faith Alive

“No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.”Romans 4:20

Scripture tells us that faith without works is dead. This means that if the faith we have inside of us doesn’t get expression through our actions and words, it will no longer be alive ~ if we don’t use it, we will lose it! We have to step out in faith in order to keep our faith alive.

Every one of us has been given a measure of faith by God. When we hear the truth of God’s Word, we receive more faith, that’s why it’s so important to put the Word of God inside of us through reading, memorizing, and studying scripture as well as praising and worshiping Him. When we do these things, we are building our faith. To keep that faith alive and thriving, we have to put it to use (or lose it). One of the easiest ways to put our faith into action is through praise and worship. Praise is a supernatural force that causes us to stand strong in our faith even when our thoughts or circumstances are coming against the truth ~ it keeps our thoughts going in the right direction. It’s hard to be negative when we are always declaring the goodness of God!

From now on, we need to let our praise from Him make us stable and strong. Put that faith in our heart into action. Look for reasons to thank God and as we do, we’ll feel that inner strength and be empowered to move forward into victory all the days of our life.

Father, I thank You for life. I thank You for breath. I thank You for provision, healing, strength and joy. Today I choose to put my faith in action by praising You throughout the day in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Easy Halloween Treats Even The Kids Can Make

Candy Corn Push-Up Pops ~ Craving a big bag of candy corn? Get your Halloween sweet fix a different way with these creamy cake push-up pops.
To make, follow these steps: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8x8x2-inch baking pans and line with parchment paper; set aside. According to the recipe, prepare, divide, and tint the cake batter. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Once the cake has cooled completely, transfer to a cutting board. Prepare the orange filling and cream cheese filling according to the recipe instructions, then spoon both into separate pastry bags fitted with a large round tip. Use the open end of a push-up container to cut the cake into circles. Pipe cream cheese filling into the bottom of each container, then insert one yellow cake circle, followed by orange filling, one white cake circle, and cream cheese filling.

Goblin Cookie Truffles ~ Boo! These adorable little goblins are made from everyone's favorite snack, chocolate sandwich cookies. They're frightfully good!
What You'll Need: 8 ounces cream cheese, softened-36 chocolate sandwich cookies-Purple candy melts-36 white and milk chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped-Purple, orange, and black sprinkles for decorating-Candy eyes, such as Wilton brand
To make, follow these steps: Crush sandwich cookies in a food processor. Combine softened cream cheese and cookie crumbs until evenly mixed together. Form cookie mixture into 1-inch balls, and place them on a waxed-paper-covered baking sheet. Chill for 1 hour or until firm. Melt purple candy melts over a double boiler; once melted, transfer to a piping bag. Pipe small circles onto a waxed-paper-covered baking sheet. Immediately press an unwrapped chocolate kiss into the center and add sprinkles around the brim of the hat. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until chocolate is set. These goblin hats will sit on top of the cookie balls. Once cookie balls are firm, dip them into melted chocolate. Use a fork to lift the balls from the bottom and transfer back to baking sheet. Apply candy eyes to cookie balls by gently pressing them in. Immediately top goblins with the chocolate kiss hats. Allow truffles to set for 30 minutes in refrigerator.

Marshmallow Pops ~ A marshmallow, a straw, and your kid's imagination are all you need to create a collection of frightful friends.
To make, follow these steps: Skull- Insert a straw into each marshmallow. Press in two chocolate pieces for eyes. Flatten chocolate caramel logs and cut into thin strips. Use strips to form "mouth". Mummy- Insert a straw into each marshmallow. Roll fondant to 1/8-inch thickness and cut into 1/4-inch wide strips. In a small saucepan cook and stir candy coating until just melted. Cool slightly. Dip marshmallows into candy coating and wrap fondant around wet marshmallows. Place on waxed paper to dry. Attach "eyes" with additional melted candy coating. Ghost- Insert a straw into each marshmallow. Thinly roll fondant. Divide fondant icing into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a 4-inch circle. In a small saucepan cook and stir candy coating until just melted. Dip marshmallow tops into candy coating. Drape a fondant circle atop each marshmallow. Press in black sugar pearls for eyes. Pumpkin- Insert a straw into each marshmallow. In a small saucepan melt candy coating over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Spread marshmallows with candy coating and sprinkle heavily with orange nonpariels. Flatten black gumdrops and cut into shapes for eyes and mouth. Flatten green gumdrops and cut into into leaves and stems. If necessary, secure with candy coating. Frankenstein Monsters- Insert a straw into each marshmallow. In a small saucepan melt candy coating over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cool slightly. Spread marshmallows with melted green candy coating. Flatten gumdrops and cut for hair and mouth. Attach candy-coated chocolate pieces for eyes. Slice two of the candy logs for bolts. Flatten remaining candy logs and cut into strips for eyebrows.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Learn and Do

"Pray that the LORD your God will show us what to do and where to go . . . Whether we like it or not, we will obey the LORD our God to whom we are sending you with our plea. For if we obey him, everything will turn out well for us." Jeremiah 42:3, 6

According to the Scripture above, when the Israelites asked Jeremiah to speak to God on their behalf, they had already decided they were going to learn what to do, and, no matter what it was, they were going to do it. Wouldn't it be nice if we all declared as much.....we all KNOW what to do in almost any situation, BUT knowing what to do and actually doing it are two totally different things ~ human nature, and I blame it on Adam and Eve and that darn apple! (Notice, I'm admitting that I still pass the blame!)

I wonder what would happen if people today had this same attitude every single time they sat anywhere the Word was being preached. What would our life be like if every time we went to church or listened to a teaching CD or read the Bible we had the mind-set, "Whatever I learn today, I’m going to do it"!

James 4:17 says "if we know what to do and don’t do it, that is sin." The wrong things we commit are sin, but the right things we omit are also sin. We need to make a conscious decision to be a “doer” of God’s Word, and not merely a “hearer.”

Dear Heavenly Father, help and guide me to do what I already know to do and not to do.  Give me conviction  when I start to slide and sin, open my eyes and ears to listen and obey you. In your Name I pray, Amen.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dazzling, Gleaming, and Shining DIY Halloween Pumpkin Decorations

The Shining ~ Studded with self-adhesive crafts store jewels, these blinged-out pumpkins prove that diamonds are a ghoul's best friend.

The Gleaming ~ Paint jack-o'-lanterns shades of heavy metal before carving features. "Rock" them out with plastic gems, sequin strips (around the witch's eyes), and glitter glue (outlining the ghost).

The Dazzling ~ Creating a trio of crystal-accented cats is so simple, it's frightening. Pick large pumpkins for the bodies, smaller ones for the heads (snap off stems; turn upside down), and squash for the tails. Spray on a couple of coats of glossy black paint, and carve almond-shaped eyes. Cut triangle ears and collars from felt; affix with straight pins. With a hot-glue gun, attach plastic gems and rhinestone strips for purrfectly gloomy glamour.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Easy Last Minute Halloween Party and.or Snack Time Treats

Candy Corn Popcorn ~ Pop some corn, homemade or packaged, add in some candy corn, shake it up and around! You've got a wonderful party mix.

Jack O'lantern cocktail ~ 1 ounce bourbon, 1-1/2 ounces orange juice, 1/2 ounce bubbly (prosecco, Champagne, sparkling cider or ginger ale), Orange wheel for garnish. Combine orange juice and bourbon in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a glass over ice. Top with bubbly and garnish with a large orange wheel.




Ramekin Treats ~ Find holiday or party colored ramekins and fill with treats like M&M's, Goldfish, Nuts and of course Candy Corn!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall Outdoor Decorating That Will Last from Now through Thanksgiving

Planters ~ Pumpkins in various colors and sizes make a beautiful fall decoration when piled in a planter and placed on your porch. If your planter is too big for your pumpkins, use a block of florist's foam to keep your gourds at the top.

Centerpieces ~ Transform a traditional cornucopia into an outdoor table centerpiece that's absolutely wow-worthy. Shop the supermarket for squash, shallots, onions, nuts, and pears. Pile them in a woven basket that's treated to withstand autumn weather, along with a few dried naturals from a crafts store, and place the display on any outdoor surface.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Go Batty With Grosgrain Ribbon Bats ~ Easiest Projects EVER

The simplest bats ever! Just grab a few yards of black grosgrain ribbon, tie them around anything you desire, add eyes if you wish, and trim the tales to resemble bats. Here are a few ideas to get you started but with the easy decorating idea the skies the limit ~ this is also an easy craft project for the kids that won't leave a mess that will drive you batty! Have fun creating and post a pic if you wish of your creation.

Party Invites ~ Make 2 hole punches, thread the ribbon though, tie in a knot (the knot will be the body) and hot glue two tiny wiggly eyes.

Decorative Straws ~ Just simply tie the ribbon around a straw in a knot and trim the tales, here pinking shears where used to resemble the scalloped wings.

Treat Bags ~  Make 2 hole punches (here they added 2 bats so you would make 4 holes), thread the ribbon though, and tie in a knot (the knot will be the body).

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Fun Halloween Party Favors and Tablescapes Projects and Ideas


Pumpkin Balloons ~ A gaggle of helium-filled jack-o'-lantern balloons hovers near the refreshment table. The simple features are drawn onto the inflated balloons with permanent marker. Choose an assortment of geometric shapes that are easy to create freehand.




Halloween Crackers ~ You will need: Crepe and colored papers, Scissors, Stickers or rubber stamps, Toilet-paper rolls, Glue stick, Twine and Plastic spider or bat rings Instructions: 1. Cut an 11-inch square of crepe paper and a 4-by-7-inch piece of paper in another color; decorate with stickers or stamps. 2. Roll crepe paper around a candy-filled toilet-paper roll; glue seams closed. Wrap paper rectangle around center; glue. 3. Tie ends with twine; snip for fringe. Slip rings over twine. Pull ends to break open.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

spooky and creative Halloween craft projects

Candy corn candles
Anchor pillar candles in Mason jars among a bed of candy corn or black and orange jelly beans for a simple and festive Halloween decoration for the tabletop or porch.

Spiderweb doormat
Lure visitors with a spiderweb doormat. Step 1: Purchase an indoor/outdoor needle-punch carpet ($3.70 for one square yard; Caldwell Carpet, 800-772-7090). To turn it into a circle: Mark the rug's center point with a Prismacolor white-colored pencil (88 cents; dickblick.com). Measure and mark the distance from that point to a spot about half an inch from the rug's edge. Cut a piece of string to that length. Tie one end of the string to the pencil and secure the other end of the string to the rug's center point with a tack. Pull the string taut and draw a large circle onto the rug; remove the string. Cut out the circle, just inside the white pencil mark, with sharp scissors. Step 2: Using a yardstick, evenly space and draw eight intersecting lines that cross the rug from edge to edge. Between those lines, draw arches around the mat, using our photo as a guide. Step 3: Lastly, coat the rug with a clear finishing spray (Krylon Make It Last Clear Sealer, $3.99; joann.com) to protect your web from trick-or-treating feet.

Felted pumpkins

Cultivate your own pumpkin patch indoors with Decadent Fibers' needle felting kit. Needle felting is an easy-to-learn craft that's akin to sculpting with wool. The kit includes two needles, illustrated instructions, and custom-dyed wool roving for two medium or eight small pumpkins. ($24; decadentfibers.com)