Sunday, October 28, 2012


   This diy comes from www.modpodgerocksblog.com .  Simple and very neat!

DIY Mod Podged Halloween blocks.

Hello Podgers! It's time for Halloween - and in a big way. I'm ashamed that it's almost the end of September and I have barely started Halloween crafting. I gotta get on the stick this weekend. Black glitter isn't going to sprinkle itself!

Luckily Man Podger David has begun Halloween crafting, so he is totally saving my butt this week. These Mod Podged blocks will make a great addition to your home decor, especially to those decorative mantles that so many of you do. Here is the complete tutorial, straight from David.

It’s 98 degrees here in Los Angeles but my mind is on fall.
These rustic blocks are a variation on the Halloween Tea Light Holders I sell in my Etsy store. This version is easy to make, inexpensive and, I think, very versatile.

You will need:

  • 4 x 4 wood post cut down into 3.5" blocks (due to the funkiness of lumber measurements, a 4 x 4 post is actually a 3.5 x 3.5 post so to cut it into blocks you just need to slice off 3.5" segments)
  • Paint (I used spray paint but any craft paint will work just great)
  • 100 grit sandpaper (a orbital sander is a time saver but you can totally do this with elbow grease)
  • A candle
  • Mod Podge and foam brush
  • Paper – you can use old scrap paper or, if you’re like me, design your own using MS Word, clip art and images from The Graphics Fairy
  • Edge cutters (pinking sheers, a corner round) – optional
Cut your 4x4 post down in to 3 ½ inch blocks – they can do this for you at most hardware stores or you can do it by hand. I gave the blocks a light sanding – just to avoid splinters – but I didn’t want them too smooth as I want to make use of the rough texture. After that it was just a quick coat of my base colors on the sides, top and bottom. One coat is all that’s needed and having uneven amounts of paint is the goal so I painted heavily in some spots and very lightly in others and set them aside to dry.

After the paint dried I simply rubbed the blocks with my candle hitting spots on the sides, edges and top wherever I wanted my base coat color to show through.

Then it was time for my contrasting color top coat. So I top-coated my white block with orange paint, my black block with white paint and my orange block with black paint and allowed them to dry.

While they were drying I gathered my paper. As I mentioned, the Graphics Fairy is a great source for Halloween images. You can use clip art, scrapbook paper, scrap book embellishments, old photos – pretty much anything you can come up with. I cut all my paper down into 3 ¼ x 3 ¼ inch squares and then rounded the corners or cut them with pinking shears.

By now the paint had dried and it was time to sand away the wax revealing the base color underneath and all the nooks and crannys in the wood.

At this point I’m always tempted to just leave them as they are but I never can resist adding the images. So I just Mod Podged my squares to the sides and top of the blocks – I didn’t even have to worry much about wrinkles or bumps as they only add to the texture. I quick top-coat of Mod Podge and then, when dry, a polycrylic spray sealer and that’s all there is to it.


   The history of Halloween costumes ~On November 1st over 2000 years ago, in what is now known as the United Kingdom, Ireland and northern France, the Celts celebrated their new year. This date marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the cold, dark winter season, often associated with death. It was Celtic belief the on the night before the New Year the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead because blurred. This night they celebrated Samhain. Celts believed ghosts haunted the land and damaged crops. This night was also thought to allow the Druids and Priests to possess a heightened ability to predict the future. For the commoner, these predictions would be a comfort and an insight into the coming dark winter that lie ahead.   Druids built large bonfires where the people would gather to sacrifice crops and their animals to ancient deities.
   The Druids also wore costumes consisting of animal skins and animal heads to mark the celebration and to spread their prophecies. When the celebration subsided the Celts would re-lite their home fires from the celebration bonfire to protect their home with the worshipped god help during the coming dark winter. After the Romans had invaded and conquered most of Celtic land by 43 A.D. two traditional festivals, the Celtic Samhain and the Roman, were combined.
   Feralia, the first day of the Roman festival traditionally occurred in late October and we celebrated to remember the passing of the dead. The second day, Pomona, was to honor the Roman goddess of fruit and trees. This may be an explanation of the traditional Halloween practice of today called "bobbing for apples". Christianity had become a part of the Celtic lands and in the 7th century, Pope Bonfire IV designated Nov 1st as a day to honor Martyrs and Saints, All Saints Day. This celebration was also known as All-Hallowmas or All-Hallows and was widely believed to be the popes attempt to make the dead related Celtic festival a church-sanctioned holiday. The night of Samhain, the night before it, started to be called All-hallows Eve, which soon was named Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, November 2 was named by the church as All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. Like Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and people dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. The combined three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were then called Hallowmas.

Halloween Traditions of Trick or Treat and Halloween Costumes

   "Trick-or-treating", the American tradition of celebrating Halloween is very similar to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. Poor citizens would beg for food and be given pastries called "soul cakes" by families and in return they promised to pray for their dead relatives.
   The ancient practice of leaving wine and food for spirits was replaced by the soul cakes with blessing of the church. Soon children adopted the practice of "going a-souling"; visiting the houses in their neighborhoods to collect money ale and food.
   The modern tradition of dressing up in adult Halloween costumes and kids Halloween costumes has both Celtic and European roots. Many hundreds of years ago the winter was an uncertain time. With people being scared of the dark and low on food the constant uncertainty of the short winter days would set in. On Halloween it was believed that ghosts would come back to the earth plane and would be encountered if anyone left their home. To avoid being recognized by these unearthly spirits, people would adorn masks and Halloween costumes when they ventured out after dark in the hopes these ghosts would mistake them for one of their own. To appease these ghosts, people would also leave food and drink outside their homes to prevent them from entering.

Evolution of Halloween

   New European immigrants brought their Halloween costumes and their customs with them to America. Because early New England contained a strict Protestant belief system, celebration of Halloween in colonial times was extremely limited.
   A distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge as the beliefs and customs from the different European and American Indians melded. In Maryland and the southern colonies this holiday was much more common. During "play parties", citizens took part in the public celebrations of the harvest by telling stories of the dead, dancing, singing and telling each other's fortunes. Colonial Halloween festivities also featured the telling of ghost stories and jokes. Halloween was not yet celebrated everywhere in the middle of the nineteenth century, but yearly fall festivities were common.
   Towards the end of the nineteenth century the full celebration of Halloween began. With the new rush of English and millions of Irish immigrants escaping Ireland's potato famine of 1846 Halloween was celebrated nationally. Along the same lines of Irish and English traditions, Americans began to wear Halloween costumes and go house to house begging for food or money, a practice that is now today's "trick-or-treat" tradition. Youthful women believed they could predict the appearance and the name of their future husbands by doing tricks with apples parings, string or mirrors.


   In the late 1800s, the tradition gravitated away from pranks, spirits, divination and witchcraft to a more neighborly holiday. At the turn of the century, Halloween costume parties for families became the most common way to celebrate the holiday. These parties focused on Halloween costumes seasonal foods and fun Halloween games. Now parents were encouraged through local media to remove the grotesque and superstitious overtones that Halloween was typically associated with. By the beginning of the twentieth century these efforts came to fruition and once again the Halloween traditions were altered.
   By the 1920s and 1930s, the October 31st Halloween holiday had become a celebration with Halloween costume parties, Halloween parades as the national Halloween entertainment. All that attended wore Halloween costumes of ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Despite the best efforts of communities, vandalism began to ravage the Halloween celebrations during this time. By the 1950s, community leaders had successfully limited vandalism and Halloween mainly evolved into a holiday for the young. Because of the baby boom of that era, parties were moved from the local centers into the family home and the local schools to accommodate the numbers. Also from 1920 to 1950, the ancient practice of trick-or-treating was also rekindled. Door to door "trick-or-treating" was a great inexpensive way to bring about the community to share in the Halloween spirit.

   Today Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion every year on the Halloween tradition, making it the second largest commercial holiday.


   This drink recipe comes from www.cookmee.com .  Nothing like something with pumpkin to bring in the fall season.


1 c cold brew coffee*
1 c milk (any kind)
1/4 c pumpkin butter*
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Preparation method

  1. To prepare cold brew coffee, place 2 cup ground coffee – the bolder the better – into a bowl, top it with 4 cups of water and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Strain in the morning and reserve the leftover in the fridge.
  2. Prepare milk ice cubes in advance by pouring your milk of choice into a bowl and mixing in pumpkin butter, agave nectar and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk to ensure even distribution.
  3. Pour mixture into an ice cube tray, covering lightly with saran wrap, and freezing overnight.
  4. Choose non-dairy milk to make this vegan friendly. I went with 2% for an extra creamy texture.
  5. In the morning, place 1 cup coffee and 8-10 pumpkin ice cubes in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add a packet of stevia or extra agave if you prefer a sweeter beverage. Additionally, add more pumpkin pie spice or pumpkin butter if you prefer a spicier flavor.
  6. Optional but recommended: Top with whipped cream and cinnamon for serving.
* Sub chilled coffee or espresso * If you are using pumpkin puree, still use 1/4 c but compensate flavor by adding extra agave and pumpkin pie spice.


   This is another diy from lifeartcollide.blogspot.com .  What an ingenious person this is.  Just wanted to share another great thing to make.

Homemade Apothecary Jars

How much fun was it to make my own set of creepy apothecary jars! They are going to look amazing on my Halloween treat table this year. I've put together a little bit of a How-To for anybody who wants the basics on how to make their own apothecary jars. Get your family involved in this fun Halloween project, you'll have a great time filling jars...just keep your eye on Grampa's teeth or they may end up in one!

Keep your eyes open for all types of jars! Start by looking at home you’d be surprised what you’ll find hiding in your kitchen cupboards and medicine cabinet. Other great sources: Dollar stores, garage sales, home d├ęcor centers, kitchen supply outlets, recycling centers and second hand stores.
Try using candy jars, home canning jars, perfume bottles, wine bottles, liqueur bottles, food coloring bottles, jam jars, and olive oil bottles.
Now gather up some creepy crawly nasty bits of fun to put inside your jars. This time of year is great for finding discounts in the fishing sections of sporting good stores or local department stores. Look for grubs, minnows, leeches and frogs. BEWARE don’t buy the scented varieties...they smell like rancid fish oil!

Spirit Halloween stores also carry bags of mice, cockroaches, worms, bats...etc.
Take a trip through your variety stores for things that might look fun inside a jar like rubber frogs, lizards and snakes. Black flies, spiders  cockroaches and mice all work great. Skulls, small skeletons, fangs, false teeth and eyeballs look very freaky squeezed into jars. Peek around outside for leaves, twigs, seed pods, butterfly wings and dandelion fluff ...let your imagination go wild!


 Other supplies to gather would include: twine, corks, beeswax, tea bags, alchohol inks, labels, non-bleachedcoffee filters and brown florist tape (shown here, available at Michaels):

Squeeze your ghoulish goodies inside the jars. Fill your jars with tap water. The water can be tinted with food coloring, tea or alcohol based inks or use olive oil by itself. Slide a wooden skewer or knife around the objects in the jar to release trapped air bubbles. Secure the lid or push in the cork depending on the container being used. If the bottle does not have the original cork, new corks can be purchased at some craft stores or wine bottlers. Carve down the new cork with a knife to make a tight fit in the bottle.


 Wrap a portion of the cork and bottle neck with brown florist’s tape to mimic a wax seal.  

Wrap with jute secured with white glue. Brush the cork, florist tape and twine with melted beeswax. I melt my beeswax by placing it in an old glass bowl then I place that dish into my slow-cooker (used just for this purpose) set on high. This is my method, I'm sure there are other ways out there on the net.

 For large jars wrap a brown (non-bleached) coffee filter over the top and secure with jute.  Brush the entire coffee filter with melted beeswax. The wax will whiten with age as the years pass thus adding to the aged effect.

Apply a label to each of your jars, using white glue, for the final touch.