Monday, October 24, 2011


 These come from www.notmartha.org.  Have fun with your kids by making some for dessert tonight!!

spider cakes

Last year I had a lot of fun making the creepy crawly cakes so I decided to try a few again this year. This time I pulled out my Betty Crocker mini bake and fill pans and bought a box of chocolate cake mix and some Pocky. I made whipped cream (vanilla pudding would work too) and raspberry coulis (I left the seeds in) for spider guts. I also made some cupcakes to fill, tested one using a bakery bought cupcake and did a frosting variation, the Pocky legs can take an awfully long time. Pocky leg instruction can be found mid-page here.

the dome cakes:

I found the filling stayed in fine without any icing glue, but I do think this would have looked great with a chocolate glaze poured over it.

I love love love the many sugar eyes.

the filled cupcakes:

Add caption

the bakery cupcakes:

This is a Triple Chocolate from Trophy Cupcakes here in Seattle. If you don’t have time to bake but think Pocky legs are doable, I think this turned out fantastic.

the non-pocky dome cake:

I used a milk chocolate fudge icing from a can – I figured the fudge icing would be a little stiffer. I like this effect a lot. Again I would have loved to have glazed these with chocolate, a shiny spider body would be so dramatic here.
Last year I tried pretty hard to make molten chocolate spider cakes but didn’t figure out quite how to pull it off. So, if you can imagine cutting through the side of this one and having the warm center come oozing out, that would be my ideal chocolate spider cake dessert.

the non-pocky cupcake:

I did this will a full sized cupcake and one I cut in half doing the Seinfeld muffin top thing. I like the way the short cupcake looks but it would make for a rather skimpy dessert. I would use a smaller dome pan or egg-shaped pan next time.
I linked to this last year but it’s worth a second time – Hannah made a giant spider cake using the large Bake and Fill pan and Peppridge Farm Pirouette cookies to make the legs. I totally adore it.


   This diy project is brought to you by www.blumchen.com.  A real cool project for a very impressive childs halloween party.  They also have many unique craft supplies for almost any holiday.

Tools and Supplies
pair of scissorsruler or measuring tapestaple gun"tacky" white glue-allheavy thread or stringcrepe paper, streamerscardstock or thick paper
crepe paper collection: sheets, crepe streamers
white craft cardstock
Irish linen thread
Dresden die-cut trims
scrap relief pictures
vintage florals
Party Hat Size Guide
A Guide to Average
Head Circumferences:
• Children & Teens
20½" to 22"
• Adult Women
21½" to 23"
• Adult Men
23" to 24½"

Paper Party Hats

Step-by-Step Crafting Instructions

Easily customizable to suit any holiday or festive occasion, our step-by-step instructions
will teach you the the basic crafting techniques and tips necessary to make these fun hats.
For design ideas and examples of decorated crepe party hats as well as more helpful
crafting tips from our artists, be sure to check out page 2 of these instruction.

This hat can be easily adjusted to fit head circumferences that measure from 20" to 23".
If you would like a more customized fit for the smaller sizes, just take off 2" from the
indicated lengths of the crafting materials; for larger sizes add 2" to our instructions.
Instructions to make a standard 22" circumference crepe paper party hat
1) To make this party hat you will need the following crafting materials:
• crepe paper sheet: 1 piece that measures 20" high by 25" wide, cut with the grain running vertically
• crepe streamers or cut strips of crepe paper: 2 strips that measure 1¾” wide by 25" long
• decorative crepe streamer: 1 strip that measures 1½" to 1¾” wide by 25" long
• cardstock or heavy paper: 1 strip that measures 1½" wide by 24" long
2) Fold the crepe paper sheet in half lengthwise.
Next, lightly glue the cardstock strip just below
the fold, centering it evenly on the crepe paper.
Please note that it is recommended that you use
a tacky-style white glue-all when working with
crepe paper. A runny or "wet" glue doesn't hold
as well and may make the crepe paper bleed.
3) Glue one crepe streamer along the inside top
edge of the crepe sheet. Run a small amount of
glue along the bottom edge of the streamer, not
more than ¼" away from the edge. Be careful
not to position the glue too high up on the crepe
streamer, because this may it more difficult to
create a full, fluffy fringed tassel.
4) The next step is to glue the second streamer
on to the top front of the crepe paper sheet. Fold
the sheet back in half so that the first streamer
and cardstock strip are now on the inside of the
sheet, and the folded edge is on the bottom.
Glue the second crepe streamer on the outside
top edge of the crepe sheet in the same manner
as described in step 3.
Design tip: you can use
two streamers of the same color as shown, or
try varying the colors for a multi-hued effect.
5) Now you're ready to create the hat's fringed
tassel. Starting on one side, and with both layers
together, cut down from the top in approximately
¼" wide sections. When cutting the fringe, make
sure that all of the cuts end about ¼" away from
the bottom of the crepe streamers.
Design tip: not all of your hats have to be made
with the same style of fringed tassel! To vary the
look of your tassels, try trimming points onto the
ends of each piece of fringe, or cut the fringe
wider and with rounded ends to create "petals"
to make a flower-inspired pom-pom for you hat.
6) In this next step you will create the hatband.
With the crepe sheet positioned face up, fold the
bottom section up, using the inner cardstock strip
that was glued into place in step 2 as your guide.
This folded-up section creates a sturdy hatband
that will help the crepe hat hold its shape.
7) The final step before shaping the party hat is
to neaten the back seam. Flip the crepe sheet so
that the front side is face down, then fold over
about ½" or so on the left side so that the fold
butts up against the edge of the cardstock band.
Lightly tack down along the length of the fold.
8) You are now ready to form your party hat!
Please note that our hat instructions are for an
average, 22" head circumference, but can be
easily adjusted to fit almost any head size. To
size your hat, measure 22" out (or your desired
circumference) from the folded edge of the band
and make a pencil mark. Roll the hat in a circle
so the neat side edge of the hatband meets the
pencil mark. Staple the two ends together, being
mindful to staple the hat so that the prongs will be
on the outside of the hat. And to help the hat hold
its shape, lightly glue down along the back seam.
9) Start shaping the party hat: gather the top of
the hat together, just under the fringe. The more
even you can make the gathers, the better!
10) Tie together the top gathers of the hat, using
a sturdy thread or string. Loop the thread around
the gathered point just under the fringe and pull it
tight to form the hat into a cone shape. Knot the
thread in the back of the party hat.
11) Finish shaping the party hat by rounding out
the crown area of the hat. A really easy way to
do this is to put the hat on your head, then gently
pull down until the top of the crepe hat stretches
open to become more rounded.
12) Your party hat is now ready to decorate. To
complete this Happy Halloween party hat, glue a
25" strip of decoratively-printed crepe streamer
around the hatband, starting and ending in the
back. The final step is to fluff open the fringe to
create the party hat's frilly pom-pom.
And now is when the fun really starts! Using our
basic instruction, you can create imaginative and
festive crepe party hats for any occasion. 
Halloween Party Hats

 Design Inspiration and Crafting Tips from our Artists

Additional ways to customize your crepe paper party hats
Once you understand the basic techniques of how to create this hat, it's actually quite
easy to make the small adjustments that will make big changes in the look of your hat.
For instance, just using different colors of crepe paper and types of embellishments will
customize each party hat enough to turn it into its own unique, one-of-a-kind creation.
But to really change the look of a hat, the most important decision is how you will form
the top and crown of the hat. In the examples shown below, we made hats with a standard
tassel, a crown hat with a fanned-open tassel, and two party hats that have no tassels at all.
   These crepe party hats can be imaginatively customized to suit any holiday throughout
the year, from Valentine's Day to Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations, and are
especially charming as whimsically-decorated chapeaux for children's birthday parties!
Halloween Night Hat
   This party hat was made exactly the same as the Happy Halloween orange crepe paper hat in our instructions but for the tassel. Instead of fluffing it into a pom-pom, we just slightly fanned out the tassel and added a strip of Dresden border trim to cover the thread.
   The hat's crown was decorated with a scattering of silver stars to suggest an Autumnal night sky. Using a variety of sizes and styles of silver Dresden stars, we randomly glued them onto the crown of the hat.
   To decorate the hatband, we used our Halloween Night Witches streamer, which was cut down on both the top and bottom so that it measures just 1¾” wide. After gluing on the streamer, Dresden border trim in silver was added to neaten the edges. Lastly, we created a decorative rosette using a filigree silver Dresden medallion that was backed by a circle of black paper, then encircled it with a frill of fringed white crepe paper. The final finishing touch is the "moon face" Dresden, which is actually a smiling sun Dresden with the rays trimmed off!
Halloween Crown Hat
   This hat may look complicated to make, but it is actually quite easy to craft. Complete your hat to step 11. Instead of adding a crepe streamer to the hatband, you will be gluing on a strip of our extra-large paper lace border trim in gold. First, cut down the width of the paper lace trim so that it measures 2¼" high. Next, add glue to the entire height of the paper lace, from the bottom all the way up to the scalloped edge. When gluing on this trim, center it evenly on the front, making sure that the crepe paper on the crown section adheres firmly to the top scallops of the paper lace trim. This is what creates the hat's unique, slightly flattened shape.
   To decorate the lacy hatbrim, we added a variety of Dresden embellishments, including starflowers which were painted black, then centered with silver Dresden daisies that have colored centers drawn on using a permanent marker. A strip of black paper, accented using a gold petite points Dresden border, encircles the bottom of the hat.
This hat's crowning glory is its uniquely shaped tassel. Don't "fluff" open the tassel, but gently press the fringe together, then fan it out so that it creates its semi-circular shape. A gold Dresden medallion features our grinning pumpkin sticker.

Tips for Making Crepe Party Hats without Tassels
   For the two hats shown below, we handled the crown of the hats in very different ways.
    The Black Cat hat is made "inside out" with no tassel at all, while the Jack-O'-Lantern
hat is topped with a "pumpkin stem" and waxed leaves instead of a frilled tassel.
Black Cat Hat
   Our fabulous feline hat is an example of a party hat made with a rounded crown. To craft this style of hat, you won't be using any of the crepe streamers; all you need is a sheet of crepe paper and a strip of cardstock for the hatband.
Follow the instructions up to step 2, then skip to steps 7 and 8. After completing these steps, you are ready to create the rounded crown of the hat. First, gently push the top end of the crepe paper down through the center of the hat until it sticks out a bit below the cardstock hatbrim. Next, evenly gather together the top end, and tie it together about ¾” in from the edge. Lastly, push the tied end back up through the hatbrim to form a smooth-topped crown for your hat.
   To create the strikingly-graphic face of this black cat, we used colored cover-weight, 67 lb. paper, but you can also use sturdy construction paper. We made the face by cutting out different colors of paper for each feature, then glued the pieces together before affixing them to the hat. You can also paint all of the features on heavy paper, then cut them out. The cat's ears were made from triangles of black paper that have rounded, not straight, sides. We then folded the ears in half vertically, and glued in smaller triangular pieces of pale pink paper. Design tip: make sure to position each piece exactly where you want it before gluing it down, because crepe paper can be damaged quite easily and it will show glue marks!
   The collar is a 7/8" wide piece of heavyweight orange paper that we trimmed with strips of gold Dresden border. The decorated collar was then glued onto the hatbrim "neck," starting and ending in the front. The connection seam was covered with a large Dresden button.
Design tip: to add a slightly more realistic look to your cat hat, tuck a ¾” wide, tri-folded strip of paper down between the hatband and the entire body of the hat. This pushes the body of the hat in and helps create a "neck" just above the collar.
Jack-O'-Lantern Pumpkin Hat
   The inspiration for this hat was a vintage papier-mâché pumpkin of the type made in Germany in the 1920's and 30's. Do note that the crepe paper we used is goldenrod in order to replicate the color often used for German jack-o'-lanterns.
   Follow the instructions up to step 2, then skip to steps 7, 8 and 9. After completing these steps, you are ready to create the rounded crown of the hat with its "pumpkin stem" topper. First, tie off the gathered crepe paper about 1¾” down from the top edge using strong thread. Next, take both ends of the thread and wind them around this top section of crepe paper, shaping it into a graduated stem by pulling the thread tighter as you wind up the stem. Tie the thread about ¼" down from the top. Finish the stem by coloring the flat top surface brown (we used a marking pen), then cover the length of the stem with brown crepe paper. For a more natural look, bend the stem slightly to add a curve, then attach the waxed leaves and a spiraled wire tendril.
   The features of the face were made using a combination of free-drawn and traced shapes. We used colored cover-weight, 67 lb. paper, but any heavier stock paper is just fine. Design tip: drawing templates are a quick and easy way to trace perfectly even shapes! Made of thin plastic with shapes cut in them, we used a combination ellipse template for the eyes. To make the googly eyes, use a black medium-point marker to trace inside the ellipse template; cut out just around the black outline. For the irises, use a blue marker to trace an ellipse shape on lighter blue paper, then cut out small black ellipse pupils; glue the pieces together. The nose and mouth have outlines made using a dark purplish-red marker; the teeth were drawn on with a red medium-point marker.
   To complete the face, add eyebrows cut from black paper; the expressive "wrinkles" that add so much character to this jack-o'-lantern party hat were cut from a dark purplish-red paper.
   The neck band was made from a 1" wide strip of green paper with a glued-on strip of darker green paper and our petite fleur-de-lis Dresden border.

Batty Pumpkins Hat
    The flattened crown of this party hat gives it a unique look that is quite stylish, and especially suited for male partygoers.
Make your hat as per our instructions through to step 4, but instead of using a second streamer of black, substitute a strip of buttercup yellow crepe paper. Continue following all the instructions until you complete step 11.
   To flatten the crown, you will need a piece of cardstock or heavy paper. If you are making our standard, 22" circumference hat, then you will need a cardstock strip that measures 8½" long by 1½" wide; if the hat you are making is larger or smaller then you will need to adjust the length accordingly. Fold over each end of the cardstock strip by ½". The next step is to glue this support into the inside of the hat: attach the strip across the inside the hat, about ½" up from the bottom edge of the hatband. Add glue to the central, top surface of the cardstock strip, then gently press down the crown of the hat until it adheres securely to the cardstock support.
   To complete this hat, glue on a strip of our batty pumpkins crepe streamer, first trimming its edges back to the black borders so that it measures just 2" wide. Lastly, fan open the tassel and add a ¼" wide strip of black paper or doubled piece of crepe paper to cover the juncture where the tassel abuts the crown of the party hat.


  The Jidai Matsuri  Festival of the Ages is a traditional Japanese festival (also called the matsuri) held on October 22 annually in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of Kyoto's renowned three great festivals, with the other two being the Aoi Matsuri, held annually on May 15, and the Gion Matsuri, which is held annually from 17 to July 24.   It is a festival enjoyed by people of all ages, participating in its historical reenactment parade dressed in authentic costumes representing various periods, and characters in Japanese feudal history.

   Jidai Matsuri traces its roots with the relocation of the Japanese capital to Tokyo in 1868. This involved the relocation of the Emperor of Japan and his imperial family, the Imperial Palace and thousands of government officials and subjects to the city. Fearing for Kyoto's loss in glory and interest by her people, the city government and the Kyoto Prefectural Government commemorated the 1100th anniversary of the founding of Heian-kyō  which was the former name of Kyoto, in 794 by Emperor Kammu  (737 - 806). To inaugurate the first Jidai celebration in 1895, the city government built the

Heian Shrine  to enshrine the spirit of Emperor Kanmu. To add meaning to the festival, it staged a costume procession representing people of each era in Kyoto history. In 1940, the local government decided that on top of honouring Emperor Kammu, the Jidai festival was also to be held in honour of Emperor Kōmei  (July 22, 1831 - January 30, 1867) for his work in unifying the country, the power of the imperial court and the affirmation of Kyoto as the center of Japan at the decline of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Edo Era.

   The Jidai Matsuri begins in early morning with the mikoshi (portable shrines) brought out of the Old Imperial Palace so that people may pay their respects. The mikoshi represent emperors Kanmu and Kōmei, respectively. The five-hour, two-kilometer costume procession begins in the afternoon, with approximately 2,000 performers dressed as samurai, military figures, and common people, from the earliest eras to the Meiji era These are followed by Japanese women who are dressed in elaborate jūnihitoe. And, finally, the mikoshi are carried from the palace and are accompanied by a costumed military band that is playing the gagaku. The procession ends at the Heian Shrine.




   I thought these would be cool for an adult halloween party.  Who wouldn't want to attend it after getting these in the mail.  Brought to you by www.trulysmitten.blogspot.com .  May your party raise the DEAD!!

 DIY Ghoulish Halloween Invitation

   With my favorite ghoulish holiday fast approaching, I thought I'd share with you an antiquated and creepy DIY Halloween invitation I made over the weekend. Hope these come in handy for your halloween festivities!

What you'll need:

- kraft paper (5.5 x 8.5)
- white envelopes
- white card stock (4 x 6)
- 2 black tea bags (I used Twinning's English Breakfast).

**You can download my invitation template here and a portrait of the unfortunate uncle here.

   The longer you soak the paper, the darker and more antiquated the paper can look. I soaked for a good 10 minutes.


   These come from www.bakerella.com.  Super cool looking and easy to make,  maybe you could scare up some time to make a couple dozen of these for your next Howloween party!!

   I’ve been wanting to make eyeball cake pops every Halloween since I made these cake pops back in 2008.

Spooky Sweets

But, when I made these, I was completely focused on making more character-style cake pops instead of objects and challenging myself to do something different. These were really the first ones I made that involved carrying out a theme and making varying shapes without the use of a cutter. I can remember when I made them and how excited I was that they turned out so cute. I couldn’t wait to show them to you. Once I went beyond the basic ball, there was no turning back. I couldn’t stop making them… and still haven’t.


So this year, I decided to finally make eyeballs. They are an obvious choice for the medium wouldn’t you say.


Crumbled cake. I know. I know. Red velvet would have been so much more effective here. But, with dark cakes and light colored candy coating, sometimes the shade of the cake can show through the coating slightly.
And I wanted to make sure I could see the whites of my eyes.


Chilled cake balls.
By the way, here’s the Basic Cake Pop How-to if you don’t know what I mean. It’s not as thorough as the directions in my book, but it will get the job done.
And below is a quick illustration of how I dip.


First dip the end of your lollipop stick in some of the melted candy coating and insert into a chilled ball. Then insert cake pop into a bowl of melted coating so that the coating is about 3-4 inches deep.


You want the coating to be deep enough to dip and remove in one motion and without stirring.
If the coating does not completely cover the ball, don’t stir. Just gently rock the stick left and right until the coating completely covers the ball.


And remove.


The more fluid your coating, the easier this will be. This is perfect.
You can tap off any excess if necessary.
If your coating is too thick to do this, simply add a little vegetable oil to help thin it out.


Before the coating sets, place a green candy coating wafer right on the front. It’s the perfect size.
This is my work around since I try to avoid piping whenever possible.
Shaky hands.
Actually, I’m just not that good at it. I definitely could use more practice.


So deciding to use the wafers really helped make these eyes look spot on.
To decorate these is really easy. You just need a few things.


Green candy coating *
Red and black edible ink pens (I use Americolor Pens)*
Miniature confetti sprinkles (the white ones, of course)*

And if those are hard to get your hands on, you could always go the piping route.


Such a cute pair.


Does anyone feel like they’re being watched?


See, this would have been much more effective with red cake. If I were making these for a party and not for pictures, red velvet would be the way to go.


So when I made these eyeball cake pops, I decided to do a little more playing around.


And I made little spiders crawling all over the cake pops. Well, they look kinda like spiders. Or m&m’s with eyelashes. But given on Halloween, people would get it.
I used black m&m’s for the bodies and attached to the pop while the coating was still wet.
And after the coating set, I used black jimmies for the…


You can just use your black edible ink pen to draw the legs on the stick and melted white candy coating to attach the m&m’s.


Creepy. Crawly. Cute.
Then I made another version – going for spiders that are a little more spooky than sweet.


Hmmm. Still kinda cute.
They need to be spookified.


That’s better. A toothpick and a little melted red candy coating did the trick for these treats.
Look at those beady little eyes.


These are pretty easy, too. The spider bodies are black licorice buttons.
I get licorice mix* like this at the Fresh Market, but they are available at most places that sell candy by the scoop.
For the spider heads, I used black coated sunflower seeds. (keep your eyes open in stores… you’ll stumble on seasonal sunflower seeds like these)
And jimmies for the legs.
Attach the bodies while the coating is still wet and the legs after it sets.


Hope you have fun making these.

See ya later.
I know … dorky, but I couldn’t resist.