Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party – Fun, Easy To Host

Fun and easy Halloween Girls’ Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!

 

Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party

Easy to Host – Learn How To Play + Free Printables!

 

+ Halloween Decor Blog Hop

 

Halloween is always a fun time to host a party. This year, I got to host our monthly Bunco Party for a vamptastic Halloween Girls’ Night! It was hauntingly fun and I cannot wait to share it with you.

If you have never played Bunco, you are missing out on some serious girl-time gaming amusement. Don’t worry, you can get into the game easily enough, I have downloads and FREE printables that will arm you with everything you need. Check them out below.

Since my party was at the beginning of October, I wanted to give it a Halloween theme. My house is all spooked out with the decor, I added Halloween names to the Bunco tables, and of course, I served a frightfully tasty Halloween-themed dessert, Vampire Cupcakes.

Jeepers Creepers, let’s take a peek!

I had a ton of fun creating my Halloween Mantel Decor, and am absolutely in love with the Orange, Black, and Purple color scheme. See the post HERE. This was a perfect focal point for my Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party.

Happy Halloween Sign hanging from Mantel
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 1
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 6
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 5
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 4
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 3
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!
Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black and Purple SM 2
Fun and easy Halloween Girls' Night and Bunco Party. Spooktacular ideas for food and decor. Host tips, free printables, learn to play the game. PLUS, the Halloween Decor Blog Hop!

 

I set-up a super cute buffet table for some extra snacks and my delectable dessert.

These Vampire Cupcakes are easy-peasy to make and are quite a crowd pleaser — definitely a perfect Halloween-themed dessert. CLICK HERE for the RECIPE!

 

All of my Bunco supplies had a Halloween twist. From the goodie bags for my prizes to the table tags denoting which table was which, to the pencils. Even my prizes were renamed: Master Vampire = Most Buncos; The Headless Horseman = 1st Place; Mummy in the Middle = 2nd Place; The Cackler = Most Smileys; and The Body in the Basement = Most Losses.

Aren’t these spooky Candelabra Place Cards adorable? They were perfect for marking my tables and placed beside my cupcakes.

Ready to Play Bunco?

Bunco is a very EASY game, anyone can play it. There is no skill or strategy involved. If you can roll dice, you can play. This game is a great social mixer since you change partners and tables all night long, so you get the opportunity to chat and giggle with everyone.

Very few supplies are needed to play Bunco: dice; paper; pencil; and a bell (or something to make noise with). You will also want score sheets. And, if you are starting a Bunco Group of your own, you’ll want the Monthly Paid Schedule and the Rules, Prizes & Game Play. I have FREE PRINTABLES for these!

Downloads and Free Printables for Halloween Girls’ Night Bunco Party

Bunco Score Sheets

The score sheets come two to a page. Each player needs to have one.

Bunco – Monthly Paid Schedule

If you are starting a Bunco Group, use this to keep track of who has paid. You collect money at the end of the bunco party for the following month’s Bunco.

Bunco – Rules, Prizes & Game Play

This is loaded with information and awesome tips too. It provides all the details on how to play the game of Bunco, prize descriptions, game set-up, and more.

Bunco is a great idea for a Halloween Girls’ Night or anytime. Think about it for a church group event, big family get-together, or any event where you might play a game. You will have a BLAST!

Halloween Decor Blog Hop

If you are looking for some quick and easy Halloween Decor DIY Ideas, try my Trick-or-Treat Lantern, the Haunted Mirror – An Eerie Halloween DIY Decor, and DIY Spider Candles. Spooktacular!

Check out this Bubbling Cauldron of Candy and other fun candy display ideas.

Now, you have seen a lot of my Halloween decor so it’s time to check some of the ideas from this talented group of bloggers that I have joined up with to do this blog hop. I know you will be inspired by the creativity.

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Thanks for stopping by to have some Halloween Girls’ Night fun, learn how to throw a Bunco Party, and enjoy a Halloween Decor Blog Hop too!

 

 

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Halloween Candy Baskets DIY Craft To BOO It Forward

This shop, Halloween Candy Baskets DIY Craft To BOO It Forward, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Incorporated. All opinions are mine alone. #BOOItForward #CollectiveBias

BOO it forward with these DIY Halloween Candy Baskets in eight fun Halloween-themed shapes. Craft your own using the free printables.

 

Halloween-Themed Shaped Candy Baskets

DIY Craft To BOO It Forward with FREE Printables!

 

Hooray, it’s October! I love Halloween, and I am always trying to think of fun things to make it special for those around me. So, today, I am sharing this easy DIY craft that is perfect for spreading some spooky cheer! Let’s do Some Friendly Neighborhood BOO’ing.

Who to BOO

We always love to BOO the neighborhood kids, but we also plan to BOO Luke’s 86-year-old dad and his friends down at the donut shop. They have been meeting there each morning for decades.

These Halloween candy baskets are great for a classroom party, any group get-together, you name it. BOO your local fire department, police station, or hospital. BOO It Forward and get everyone in the Halloween spirit. The FREE Printables make them a snap and come in pre-colored or color-your-own options.

 

It’s easy to purchase the MARS® Variety bag for your BOO Kit. Just hover over the shoppable image above to click through to Walmart.com and buy it!
Now, what good would a candy basket be without some candy to fill it? My choice is the 400 piece MARS® Spider-Man Chocolate/Sugar Variety Bag! This bag is loaded with SNICKERS®, Skittles®, TWIX®, MILKY WAY®, Starburst®, and 3 MUSKETEERS® — can we all say, YUM?! You can find some cute stickers, tissue paper, bags, and cards from American Greetings too.

Let’s get crafting!

Halloween Candy Baskets

Supplies:

  • Free Printables – Download Here: Pre-Colored Shapes or Color-Your-Own Shapes
  • Cardstock
  • Glue Stick
  • Colored Pencils, Markers, Crayons, etc.
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Bone Folder (or another flat edge)
  • Paper Cutter (helpful, but optional)

Directions:

  1. Print your choice of pre-colored or color-your-own Halloween shapes.
  2. Cut out the shapes leaving a flat edge at the bottom, and an edging around the shape. These shapes will be the sides of your candy basket.

  1. Measure and mark cardstock. You will need two pieces cut for each basket — one for the basket (3-1/2 inches x 7 inches) and one for the handle (7 inches x 1 inch).
  2. Cut the cardstock for all the baskets you will be making.

  1. On the cut out Basket card stock, measure in 1/2 inch from the long edges on each side. Draw a line with a pencil, then score each pencil line with a bone folder or other flat-edge.
  2. Fold the scored long edges inward.

  1. Cut notches into the 1/2 inch folded edges to make it easier to fit the basket onto the shapes.
  2. Lay the notched basket cardstock flat and place glue on notches, both edges.
  3. Fold the notches to a right angle so the glued sides are on the outside of the basket.
  4. Attached glued notches to a pair of matching Halloween-themed shapes in a U-type shape, so there is an opening at the top. You will be able to move and adjust the notches to fit each shape as needed. Make sure that your shapes are turned the same way with the flat edge at the bottom.
  5. Let glue set.
  6. Dab glue on both ends of the handle, and attach to the top inside of the basket cardstock. Let glue set.

  1. Print a BOO Card for your basket.

BOO It Forward

Voila! You now have a spooktacular Halloween Candy Basket! Now, throw a party or BOO a friend and share your Halloween spirit.

Don’t forget you can get the Spider-Man Homecoming DVD & Blu-Ray on October 17th at Walmart.

Want to send some Halloween spirit to loved ones across the country? No problem, Create your own BOO Kit online and have it sent to them. Then, they can BOO It Forward too!

You can only find this product at Walmart!

Follow @snickers, @skittles, and @AmericanGreetings on Facebook.

Enjoy making the Halloween Candy Baskets!

 

You may like these other Halloween DIY craft ideas: Haunted Mirror – An Eerie Halloween DIY Decor and DIY Creepy Spider Candles.

 

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Haunted Mirror – An Eerie Halloween DIY Decor

If you are looking for Halloween decor that gives a big fright with little bite then the Haunted Mirror is the DIY project for you — easy and eerie!

 

Haunted Mirror

A Hauntingly Spooktacular Halloween DIY Decor

 

Today, I have something really fun for you. If you have hung around here for any time at all, you know that I love Halloween. So, I am thrilled to bring you this eerie craft idea for Halloween decor.

This DIY Halloween project is really very easy to create.

Haunted Mirror DIY

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Can – Krylon Looking Glass Silver Spray Paint
  • Tape
  • 1 – 8″ x 10″ Picture Frame
  • 1 – Image to fit an 8″ x 10″ Frame

How to Make the Haunted Mirror:

  1. Choose your Image
  1. Scan Image and create an Inverse Image
  1. Print out two copies – 1 Original Image, and 1 Inverse Image
  1. Take Glass out of picture frame. Clean Glass very well.

  1. Tape the Inverse Image to the front or outside of the glass (image side facing the glass). This allows you to see exactly where your image will be once it is in the frame, and will help you during the spray painting.
  1. Place glass image side down on your spraying surface. You can see the image through the glass.
  1. Shake Krylon spray paint vigorously
  1. Spray the entire glass with a fine mist of paint
  1. Then add more paint in small spurts, especially to the areas around your image. You want there to be enough paint to create a mirror, but with a lighter spraying of paint on top of the image so that it shows through.
  1. Let the paint dry for at least one hour
  1. Remove the Inverse image from the front of the glass and clean glass carefully.
  1. Place glass back into the frame–Glass side out, Painted side to the inside.
  1. Load the Original Image into the frame

Time for some Tips

  • Clean the glass, then wipe it down with alcohol. Any fingerprints or oils will interfere with the paint sticking properly.
  • Blushing: If you get blushing with your spray paint, don’t worry. The Krylon Looking Glass washes right off easily with a little soap and water. (What is Blushing? Blushing occurs when there is high humidity in the air. The moisture settles on the not cured paint and causes a milky whiteness or flat white look in the paint. This happened to me on my first attempt, because I did the spraying after the marine layer came in from the ocean–silly me.)
  • Tips for your Image:
    • Areas not showing up well – I had a large white area on my image over about half the face. So, I used colored pencil to draw it in better.
    • White is showing up to bright – Again, this was the case for me, so I sprayed a light coating of the Looking Glass spray paint directly onto my image to tone it down. This worked great, and also gave the image another dimension.
    • Be sure that you have enough paint around your image to make the glass really look like a mirror. That way your image will appear to be coming through the mirror–a very spooky effect. (You can clearly see the apple in the reflection.)
  • So, just play around with it, until you reach your desired effect.

Being that this project is making a mirror, it is difficult to photograph (at least for me anyway). But I think I managed to get some pretty cool shots of the Haunted Mirror–take a look…

Notice the reflections in the mirror…

The reflection here is a hutch. It almost looks like the lady is pushing her way through the wood.

Look at her reaching for that apple–Who is the fairest of them all…

Imagine catching that face out of the corner of your eye…spine-chilling.

 

I hope you have enjoyed our little Haunted Mirror Halloween DIY project. We had a blast making this for you — now, make you own. Have a Hauntingly Spooktacular Halloween!.

Halloween Inspiration

Looking for more Halloween inspiration? Check out these post:

Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black, and Purple

Bewitched Halloween and DIY Trick-or-Treat Lantern

Pumpkin Carving Page

Check out and Follow my Halloween Crafts / Decor Pinterest Board

 

How do you like to decorate for Halloween?

Do you have any Halloween DIY projects planned?

 

 

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Halloween Mantel Decor Orange, Black, And Purple

I love this time of year — all the holidays inspire me. So, enjoy my Halloween Mantel Decor including a quick, easy, and spooky DIY project you’ll love! #Halloween #HalloweenDecor #HalloweenCraft

 

Halloween Mantel Decor

Plus a Quick, Easy, and Spooky DIY Project

 

It’s my favorite time of year! I absolutely love this season of holidays. From the rich colors to the heavenly aromas, to the yummy foods, and wonderful family memories in the making, I find it all heartwarming.

So, I’m kicking off the last quarter of the year by sharing my Halloween Mantel Decor. I have to tell you, I am in love with how this mantel turned out. Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing some of the decor items, and to Luke who made my dreams come true with the Mantel Makeover last year.

And, bonus, this little viewing comes with a spooktacular DIY project that is fun and creepy.

So, let’s get started…

 

Halloween Mantel Decor

Since Halloween is possibly my favorite holiday, I wanted to have something fun and festive with a simple elegance. And, I decided to stick with the traditional colors of orange and black with an added splash of purple.

The Black Metal Lanterns (above) are so pretty and how cute are they filled with candy corn? A variety of mini pumpkins on multi-level candle holders and lacy tin buckets in orange and black, and a glittery black cat to add some sparkle. Don’t you love the way the Halloween Mantel Decor turned out?

Black cats and pumpkins inspired me to make a printable for my mantel frame using a quote (source unknown) that I have loved for years.

“When Black Cats prowl and Pumpkins gleam,
May luck be yours on Halloween.”

Now, check out this Spider Web Candelabra! Isn’t it adorable? With all the spiders crawling on the candelabra, I knew I wanted to have some spidery candles. So, I decided to makeover some old candles that I had stored away — you know those ones you’ve used but there is a lot of candle leftover, and you know you’ll use them again sometime but you never do. Here is your chance!

DIY Spider Candles for Halloween

What You’ll Need:

  • Grab your used candles (or new ones if you must — LOL)
  • A Permanent Marker ( I used black for the white candles and silver for the purple candles)

How To:

  1. Draw a spider web at the flame tip of the candle.
  2. Draw a squiggly line down the candle and draw a black dot at the end. The black dot is your spider body.
  3. Add eight legs to your spider body.
  4. Create the look you want by adding more webs and/or spiders.

NOTE – For Halloween, using the old, perhaps discolored, candles make for a perfect creepy look. I had one that had a lot of candle wax dripped down the side, awesome. Also, with Halloween, you do not need to have your candles standing perfectly straight. So, if they teeter a bit in the candle holder or have a little curve to them makes it all the more spooky and eerie.

I hung my Halloween wreath above the mantel. It’s a piece I’ve had for years and is always fun to unearth each year.

Then, tying all the decor together is the amazing black Gauze Garland String Lights with purple bulbs — love it!

I draped the lights over and under the fireplace mantel and hung my Happy Halloween sign from the hidden hook beneath my mantel. It provided the perfect spooky touch to finish off my Halloween Mantel Decor.

I hope you have enjoyed this peek into my Halloween Mantel Decor, and wish you a spooky and fun Halloween!

Be sure to check out Oriental Trading for all your Halloween shopping.

 

 

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Beer Rice With Cilantro And Lime Recipe + Mini Piñata Garland DIY

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Constellation Brands. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CervezaCelebration #CollectiveBias

Mexican style #CervezaCelebration with Cilantro and Lime Beer Rice! Grab a Corona or Modelo, and start the fiesta with a quick and easy recipe plus a fun DIY craft.

Beer Rice with Cilantro and Lime Recipe

DIY Mini Piñata Garland Craft

 

What do you think of when Cinco de Mayo rolls around? Around here, it is just another reason for a Corona to get its lime! So, we are throwing a fiesta with great food and some festive decorations. Saber Vivir (knowing how to live) and making the most of every moment.

In the spirit of keeping things light-hearted and easy, I’ve got a couple of things to share with you. The first is a super simple and tasty recipe — Beer Rice with Cilantro and Lime. Oh, YUM! Then, I’ll show you how to make the cutest mini piñatas that can be used in several different ways.

Beer Rice with Cilantro and Lime Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups – Rice (I used a quick or instant rice)
  • 1 Bottle – Corona or Modelo Beer
  • Water
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1-2 Lime
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Pour the bottle of Corona Beer into a 2-cup measuring cup
  2. Add enough water to the beer to bring the measurement to 2-cups
  3. Place the liquid into a medium pot
  4. Toss in several full sprigs of Cilantro (I used about 6-8 sprigs)
  5. Squeeze the juice from the Lime into the pot
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Add Rice and salt to taste, mix well
  8. Remove from heat
  9. Cover the pot
  10. Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice (or follow directions on your box of rice)
  11. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges

Notes:

This unique rice recipe is perfect as a side dish or used as an ingredient for tacos and burritos — ¡delicioso!

Here’s a Printable Recipe just for you:

5 from 1 reviews
Beer Rice With Cilantro And Lime Recipe + Mini Piñata Garland DIY
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This unique rice recipe is perfect as a side dish or used as an ingredient for tacos and burritos -- ¡delicioso!
from:
Type: Side Dish
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 Cups - Rice (I used a quick or instant rice)
  • 1 Bottle - Corona or Modelo Beer
  • Water
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • 1-2 Lime
  • Salt
Directions:
  1. Pour the bottle of Corona Beer into a 2-cup measuring cup
  2. Add enough water to the beer to bring the measurement to 2-cups
  3. Place the liquid into a medium pot
  4. Toss in several full sprigs of Cilantro (I used about 6-8 sprigs)
  5. Squeeze the juice from the Lime into the pot
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Add Rice and salt to taste, mix well
  8. Remove from heat
  9. Cover the pot
  10. Let stand for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice (or follow directions on your box of rice)
  11. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and lime wedges
Notes
Corona Extra or Corona Light will add a light refreshing taste
Modelo Especial or Modelo Negro will provide a richer full-flavored taste
3.5.3226

 

If you are having friends and family over for your fiesta, check out this super cute, super easy decoration. This DIY craft makes a fun decor, or you can even use them as party favors.

Mini Piñata Garland DIY Craft

Supplies:

  • Tissue Paper (I used Red, White, Green, Yellow – 2 sheets each)
  • Empty Tissue Paper Tube
  • Clear Glue Pen
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon (smooth or ribbed curling ribbon works well)
  • Candy – Individually wrapped pieces that will fit inside the tube

Instruction Slideshow:

Mini Piñata Garland DIY 1
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 2
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 3
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 4
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 5
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 6
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 7
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 8
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 9
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 10
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 11
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 12
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 13
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 14
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 15
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 16
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 17
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 18
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 19
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 20
Mini Piñata Garland DIY 21

Instructions:

  1. Decide how many Mini Piñatas you want to make.
  2. Pull Streamer – Cut a 24-inch piece of Ribbon for each piñata.
  3. Handle – Cut a 6-inch piece of Ribbon for each piñata.
  4. Trim – Cut a 6-inch piece of Ribbon for each piñata.
  5. Take two sheets of each color Tissue Paper, open them up and stack them together neatly. (I had one color of tissue that was larger, so I used the excess for my squares — next step.)
  6. Using the excess mentioned above, or another sheet of tissue paper, cut out a 2-inch square for each piñata.
  7. Stack the squares and lightly fold them in half corner-to-corner. Cut a small slit in the middle of the fold. Then, fold the square again to the other corners and cut another small slit, making an “X.”
  8. Take a 24-inch ribbon and slide one tip through the X, tape the ribbon on both sides of the tissue. Be sure you have taped the ribbon well, so the X will rip open when the ribbon is pulled to release the candy from the piñata.
  9. Tape a square and ribbon set to one end of the Tissue Paper Tube. This will hold the candy in place. Make sure the ribbon is on the outside of the tube. It will hang down to be the pull streamer.
  10. Now, cut your stacked sheets of tissue lengthwise into 1-1/2 to 2-inch strips. (I got six strips out of my sheets).
  11. Stack strips. Cut narrow slits about 3/4 of the way through the strips to make fringe.
  12. You will use 3 or 4 fringe strips per tissue paper tube. Carefully separate the fringe strips (two piñatas at a time).
  13. Using the glue pen, lay a thin bead of glue on one side of the solid band on the fringe strip.
  14. Adhere the fringe to the tube starting at the bottom (with the tissue square and ribbon), and working your way around the tube with a slight upward spiral.
  15. Continue adding fringe this way until you get to the top, but DO NOT glue down the end of the last fringe strip. Leave enough to go around the tube a full turn, at least.
  16. Tape a 6-inch Ribbon piece to the outside top of the tube for a handle. Then, finish gluing the rest of the fringe strip to cover up the taped handle ends.
  17. Finish off the Mini Piñata with another 6-inch piece of Ribbon glued around the top edge of the tube as trim.
  18. Let dry.
  19. Fill with candies.
  20. To make a Garland – thread mini piñatas over ribbon or string. Tape in place if needed.

Time for the Fiesta!

Now that you have your Beer Rice recipe and a great decor idea, it’s time to head out and stock up on Corona and Modelo for your big fiesta! Corona Extra and Corona Light have a smooth crisp flavor with superior ingredients that is perfect for someone like you and me. They make moments more enjoyable. Modelo Especial is a Pilsner-style Lager, rich and full-flavored, and the Modelo Negro offers slow-roasted caramel malts for a remarkably smooth taste and rich flavor.

If you would like more ideas or information you can check out the Corona website and the Modelo website, or follow them on facebook — Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo.

Saber Vivir, and don’t forget the lime!

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

#CervezaCelebration

 

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Create A Gumdrop Topiary – A Sweet DIY

This adorable gumdrop topiary DIY is great for home decor and parties, as well as being a fun craft for kids highlighting math skills and textures.

Create A Gumdrop Topiary

A Sweet DIY

Who knew math could be so fun? Your preschooler or kindergartener will delight in this counting activity that results in a beautiful holiday decoration for the whole family to enjoy. Your child can count out loud as he adds each gumdrop to the topiary, and as he sees how high he can go, he will be practicing important math skills! This activity will also help your child practice color recognition and learn about different materials and textures.

Beauty and the Beast – Lumiere_and_Cogsworth_Topiary – Disney Wiki – Wikia

Topiary is the art of trimming and shaping trees into sculptural, ornamental shapes. Disneyland boasts some of the most famous American Portable style topiaries. In the early 1960’s Walt Disney used the theme park’s landscape shrubbery to recreate his beloved cartoon characters. They continue to be a highlight today!

What You Need:

  • Large Styrofoam ball (this will be the “canopy” of your topiary)
  • Wooden dowel, up to 1” thick and approximately 15” long
  • Green spray paint
  • Flower pot or vase
  • Moss, faux grass, or shredded paper
  • Floral foam (available at your local arts and crafts store)
  • Toothpicks, broken in half
  • Gumdrops in many different colors
  • Ribbon (optional)

What You Do:

  1. Spray the dowel green with the spray paint and let it dry completely overnight.
  2. Cut a block of floral foam to fit inside the flower pot or vase and place it inside.
  3. Help your child insert the dowel into the center of the Styrofoam ball about 3” deep.
  4. Help your child insert the other end of the dowel into the floral foam all the way down so that it touches the bottom of the vase. Make sure the dowel is stable.
  5. Have your child sort the gumdrops by color.
  6. Have your child stick a gumdrop onto one end of the toothpick and push the other end of the toothpick into the Styrofoam ball. Working in rows, continue placing gumdrops all the way around the ball.
  7. As your child works, ask him to count each gumdrop out loud. Occasionally ask how many of each color he has used or has left.
  8. Once the Styrofoam ball is completely covered, assist your child in placing moss, faux grass, or shredded paper into the vase to cover the floral foam.
  9. Tie a bow around the dowel with the ribbon (optional).
  10. Now stand back and enjoy your new Candyland-inspired table topper!

Isn’t this a fabulously fun and festive DIY project? What a bonus that it provides practice with math skills, dexterity, and textures for your little ones too. This would even make a cute Mother’s Day present!

 

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5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

Hosting a Family Christmas Party can be stressful. You want everything to be perfect, full of family tradition and holiday spirit in order to create those magical memories that will last a lifetime. So, we have some great tips and trick that will help you host a stress-free family Christmas Party. Of course, these tips will help in planning and in hosting any party!

5 Tips for Hosting a Stress-Free Family Christmas Party

 

With winter holidays straight ahead and drawing closer by the minute, we’re all looking forward to lip-smacking Christmas banquets and family reunions, right? Well, not exactly. Every time the season comes for Santa to slide down the chimney and deliver gifts, busy moms start bracing themselves for second helpings of stress and hard work required to host a pitch-perfect at-home Christmas celebration. Nevertheless, the fact that your whole family will be coming together to welcome Father Christmas in a few weeks’ time doesn’t have to be a source of angst or dread this time around. All you need to do is arm yourself with tried and tested tips on how to throw an unforgettable, stress-free Christmas party and act on them without delay.

1. Invitations Nobody Can Say No To

Before dashing off to decorate the dining table and whip up food for the Christmas party, pause for a second to do a brief guest count. Draw up the guest list and seating plan to make sure your party goes down without hitches or unpleasant guest table quibbles.

With the guest list in place, it’s time to send out invitations (preferably in the written, not digital form). You should send invites at least two weeks ahead of the celebration to allow your guests ample time to RVSP. Expert tip: be sure the invitations are so lovable your invitees can’t say No to them. If you hate the idea of DIY invitation crafting, you can find various printable Christmas party invites online. Use them to cheat your way to bonus party turnout.

2. Decide on the Food and Drink Menu

The next point on the stress-free Christmas party staging list, the choice of food and drinks you’ll serve your guests deserves an extra dose of attention. As a general rule, the party bar should contain both alcoholic and soft drinks, just to stay on the safe (and relatively sober) side of the dining table.

If possible, it would be a wise idea to check with the guests if they suffer from any food allergies or follow special diet plans: such a precious piece of info will help you stock the party table with delicacies all invitees will relish. If you don’t want to go through the food prep hassle, you can look up the offer of best finger food catering services in Melbourne and pick tasty bites that fit the party budget and your guests’ dietary preferences.

3. It’s Time to Dress Up the Party Venue

After you’ve sorted out the essentials for the Christmas party, you’ll need to dress the venue for the gathering. The rule of thumb here is that ornaments in red, gold, and green are best-suited to the biggest event of the winter season, but you can also use violet, blue, and orange details as accents.

To achieve a festive yet suave tablescape, you should bring out finest silverware and porcelain crockery: after all, Christmas is precisely the type of a special occasion that calls for such displays of elegance and luxury. For final touches, you can top the Christmas party table with fragrant candles, string lights nestled in jars, and a centerpiece in the form of an evergreen arrangement with red and white ribbon.

4. Devise a Fail-safe Entertainment Program

To keep boredom at bay and avoid awkward party silences, create a special playlist and pick a few games you and your guests will play after dinner. Christmas Carol Pictionary, white elephant gift exchange, and other themed games are a great entertainment choice, but you can also opt for non-Christmassy activities if your party crowd isn’t exactly a major fan of traditional festive amusement.

As far as music is concerned, you shouldn’t leave out Christmas melodies from the playlist, but you can structure it around handpicked non-seasonal tunes such as jazz, blues, R&B, and classic rock. Expert tip: melodies that make your guests’ ears prick up and set the mood to merry are a good choice of music for the Christmas party.

5. Party Favors, the Hospitable Hosts’ Way

No Christmas party is complete without gifts, but the Christmas tree shouldn’t be the only place for your guests to find tokens of appreciation, caring, and love. To bring home the medal as the most hospitable host ever, make cute party favors before the big event which you’ll place at the dining table.

Gingerbread cookies, lollies, tree ornaments, and chocolates in Christmas wrappers are just the tip of the party favor iceberg. If you want to go pro with the Christmas party staging, you can present the guests with personalized favors such as swag bags, printed mugs with funny slogans, spa and massage coupons, and creative cookie tins or favor bags which you can order online for bonus stress-free party organization.

All set? Don’t forget to put on your finest party clothes, don a wide smile, and have tons of fun –after all, joy, laughter, love, sharing, and positive mood are the whole point of winter holidays. Enjoy your family Christmas party to the fullest. Merry Christmas!


 

 

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Magical Reindeer Food + Free Printable

There is just something magical about Christmas. Some of my favorite memories revolve around this holiday season and the love, joy, and excitement on the faces of my children. I am sharing one simple yet special Christmas tradition that your kids will love — Magical Reindeer Food.

Magical Reindeer Food

A Christmas Tradition Your Kids Will Love!

 

Christmas Eve is full of fun and excitement. Children laughing and playing, making sure their stocking are hung with care, and of course waiting with great anticipation the arrival of Santa Claus.

Why not give your kids something a little magical to occupy a moment of time before they go off to dream of sugarplums in their wee little beds. This simple project is easy to prepare and uses things you may already have in your home. Plus, I have a really cute printable for you to download.

How To Make Magical Reindeer Food

What You Need:

  • Dry Oatmeal
  • Glitter
  • Mylar Confetti (something sparkly)
  • Plastic Bag with a zipper closure – snack or sandwich size
  • Free Printable Bag  Topper (see below)
  • Stapler

Directions:

  1. Print the Bag Toppers and cut them out.
  2. Mix Oatmeal , Glitter, and Confetti in a bowl.
  3. Place handfuls of the mixture into the plastic bags.
  4. Fold Bag Topper over the top of the closed bag and staple it in place.

 

Here is What You Do with the Magical Reindeer Food

On Christmas Eve, take you children out into the yard. Search the sky looking for Santa and his reindeer. Then, have them sprinkle the magical reindeer food on the ground. The glitter and confetti will sparkle in the moonlight. The shimmering light will lead the reindeer to your home.

This sweet little poem is on the printable bag topper:

Sprinkle on the lawn Christmas Eve night,
the moon will make it sparkle bright.
As Santa’s reindeer fly and roam,
magic feed leads them to your home.

 

Download the FREE Printable!

 

CLICK HERE to Download

These make great gifts for classmates, or it is even a fun craft / project idea for a school Christmas party.

Enjoy the smiles, awe, and wonder on your children’s faces.

Merry Christmas!

 

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Hoot Owl Craft – DIY Centerpiece For Autumn

This shop, Hoot Owl Craft DIY Centerpiece For Autumn, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CoffeeCreamerCombos #CollectiveBias

Hoo’s ready for Fall? I am, that is for sure, and I am so excited to share with you one of the ways I celebrate this amazing season — Coffee with friends and fun decor like my Hoot Owl Craft Centerpiece.

 

Hoot Owl Centerpiece

A Fun and Easy DIY Craft  for Autumn

 

Fall is such a wonderful time of year. I love the rich colors, the crunch of leaves beneath my feet, pumpkins, the cooler weather, and holidays denoting autumn. Here in Southern California, I don’t get much of the traditional fall, so I have to create my own glorious autumn atmosphere with fun decor and tasty holiday flavors.

I love have friends over for coffee, and it is so fun to offer them a variety of holiday flavored coffees and creamers. One of my new favorites is the Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Coffee Cake from their Bakery Series with the International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer. Ooh, yummy! It’s like a pumpkin caramel latte…so good.

Several years ago, I saw a really cute craft in a magazine, making hoot owls using cardboard tubes and cupcake liners. So, I thought I would put together an adorable centerpiece using this idea.

Hoot Owl Centerpiece

Supplies:

For crafting the Owls —

  • Cupcake Liners – (I used regular and mini sized liners.)
  • Cardboard Tubes – (Paper towel and toilet paper tubes work great.)
  • Paper – (cardstock or construction paper – I used yellow and white cardstock.)
  • Glue – (glue stick or regular glue)
  • Hot Glue Gun with Hot Glue Sticks
  • Markers – ( I used black and orange.)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • 1 – Quarter
  • 1 – Nickle

For making the Centerpiece —

  • 1 – Terra Cotta Pot
  • 1 bag – Marble Stones
  • Ribbon
  • Fall Decor Sticks (optional)

Directions:

For the Owls:

  1. Cut the Cardboard Tube to the height you want.
  2. Fold the top of the tube so the flaps meet in the middle. This will create a swoop, forming the top of the head and ears of the owl.

  1. Cut the Cupcake Liners into quarters, and trim off the flat part of the liner (what would be the bottom of the liner).

  1. Make your owl eyes. Using the yellow paper, trace around a quarter with your pencil making six circles. Then, do the same with a nickle on the white paper. Cut the circles out, just to the inside of the pencil line.
  2. Using your black marker, color in the center of the white circles, leaving a slight white mark somewhere in the black, so the owl’s eye will shine. You will have three owls, so create three PAIRS of eyes.
  3. Use the glue stick or tacky glue to adhere the whites of the eyes to the yellow circles. Let dry.

  1. Starting at the bottom of the tub and work your way toward the owl’s head, add one quarter piece of regular size cupcake liner at a time. Hot Glue the underside of the flat edge and stick it to the tube. Overlap the layers. I started on the front sides, and then placed a cupcake liner of the center area. You will also do the back side bottom of the tube.
  2. On the front, I tucked in a row of my mini cupcake liners; and then, topped that with a row of my metallic mini cupcake liners.
  3. Fold two regular size cupcake liners in half, do not cut. These will be the wings for the hoot owl.
  4. Hold the wings on the back, checking to be sure they are where you want them, and mark the cardboard tube with a pencil to denote wing location.
  5. Add quartered cupcake liners to the back to cover where the wings will not.

  1. Hot Glue eyes to the front of the owl. The tops of the eyes should stick up slightly above the cardboard tube, but not above the ears.
  2. Cut small long triangles out of the yellow paper and color them orange with your marker. This is the hoot owl’s beak.
  3. Hot Glue the beak on the lower center of the eyes.
  4. Hot glue the wings on the back side of the owl.

Voila! You’re finished making your owls. Now, it’s onto creating the centerpiece.

For the Centerpiece:

  1. Tie Ribbon around the top edge of a terra cotta pot.
  2. Fill the pot to almost full with marble stones.

  1. Stick twigs and branches into the marbles.
  2. Set hoot owls over the tops of twigs. You can give these a little glue if needed.
  3. Stick in your additional fall decor sticks if you have them.

Isn’t that an adorable autumn centerpiece?

 

Invite your friends over for coffee and show off your new Hoot Owl Craft centerpiece. Be sure to enhance the seasons atmosphere by serving up your Dunkin’ Donuts Caramel Coffee Cake coffee and International Delight Pumpkin Spice creamer. Rory really loves the Salted Caramel Mocha creamer from International Delight as well. And, the Land O’ Lakes Fat Free Half and Half is amazing–so many uses!

You can find all of these at Ralphs, or your local Kroger Banner store.

How would you mix and match your coffee and creamers? #CoffeeCreamerCombos

 

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26 Fabulous and Easy DIY Projects Round Up

I am so excited to bring you this fabulous and easy DIY Projects Round Up today! After a year as a regular contributor, Michelle James, is moving on to other things. We are incredibly sad. She is an amazing friend, talented blogger, and an inventive DIYer. Today, as a way of saying thank you for all of her many posts, I am presenting a year’s worth of DIY projects created by Michelle James Designs. Thanks, Michelle, we love you!

 

26 Fabulous & Easy DIY Projects

A Year’s Worth of Creativity in One Sensational Round Up!

 

Here are 26 creative DIY projects that you will love. Michelle takes care of your home inside and out with decor and organization. And, she has great seasonal, entertaining, and gift giving ideas too. And I’ve compiled all her posts into this one sensational round up.

Make your guest feel special.

Guest Room:
Guest Room Essentials
Warm & Cozy Guest Room Throw Blankets
Charging Station For Your Guest Room

 

Fall:
Fall Wine Labels & Free Printables

 

Add some personal touches for the holidays.

Christmas:
Holiday Foil Pillow Cover DIY
Holiday Tags – Free Printables
How-To Create A Christmas Topiary

 

Entertain with style!

Entertaining:
DIY Napkin Rings With Beads
DIY Double Tiered Tray
Retro Napkin Holder

 

Organize:
Recipe Card Organization & Free Download
Make A DIY Custom Wire Basket

 

Valentine’s Day:
Easy Valentines Ideas

 

Create unique and lovely home decor.

Home Decor:
Spice Rack To Cool Vase
Painting Mason Jars With Chalk Paint DIY
DIY Wooden Beach Marquee Sign
Framed Seasonal Art
Coordinates Sign DIY
5 Reasons To Love Coffee & Free Printables
Farmhouse Scale Makeover
Farmhouse Style Wood & Metal Vase Decor

 

Outdoor:
DIY Outdoor Lighting From Discount Store Vases
DIY Wooden Garden Sign

 

Bedroom:
Pillow Shams – Easy Peasy

 

Gift Ideas:
Wine & Chocolate Gift Jar
S’mores & Popcorn Camping Gift – DIY

I hope you enjoyed this round up, and will give these amazing projects a try. Be sure to share them, and let me know how they turned out!

 

Find more wonderful and creative DIY ideas at Michelle’s blog, Michelle James Designs. Visit her, and tel her, “Hi!” from me.

 


 

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