Halloween Wreath DIY Tutorial

I created this creepy, but classy Halloween wreath for my latest segment on Fox 13’s The Place. It’s a nod to Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven. You can see the segment here if you promise not to laugh at my awkwardness. Or go ahead and laugh. I’m pretty sure that’s why they invite me back every month. Creepy Halloween Wreath

When I decided to make a Halloween wreath, I wanted to take a more mature approach to the holiday. I love Edgar Allen Poe, and when I ran across this fake bird at the craft store, the whole idea came together. First I found the bird, then I went in search of “creepy” flowers. While you’re floral shopping, keep your eyes open for anything sharp, spiny or dark and brooding. I wanted to use a muted palette of black and gray, but threw in some purple and red for a little depth.

Halloween Wreath Supplies

Basic Wreath Making Supplies:

Most of the wreaths I make start with just a few basic supplies.

  • A wreath form (this one is a 24″ grapevine wreath form)
  • wire cutters
  • hot glue gun + extra glue sticks
  • floral wire

Halloween Wreath Flowers

Now add the fancy Halloween wreath stuff:
  • Assorted silk and/or plastic flowers. Black roses that aren’t hideous are hard to find. I scored these at Michaels in the normal floral section (not the Halloween florals…those were a little tacky for this project). 😉
  • Twigs, berries, moss (go crazy!)
  • Fake Bird

Halloween Wreath Tutorial

Let’s get started!

First, start by trimming the stems off of a bunch of your flowers. As you do this, remember to leave about 2 – 6 inches of stem until you decide on the final arrangement. After you’ve trimmed down a bunch of the flowers, start laying them out – either on top of or around the wreath form. I usually tuck the stems into the grapevine wreath as I go to give myself a good visual. Play around with the arrangement until you’re happy with it.

Halloween Wreath DIY

Quick Tip:

After you’re happy with the layout and arrangement of the flowers, snap a quick photo with your phone so you can replicate the design as you glue it all together.
DIY Halloween Wreath

The Big Finish: 

Warm up your hot glue gun as you remove all the flowers from your test-run. Then trim down the stems on your flowers (if necessary) I usually prefer 1.5″ – 2″ of stem. It’s perfect for glueing. Now hot glue the stems one at a time, and layer your wreath back together. You can also use floral wire for this, but I prefer the stability of hot glue. I usually begin with the biggest blooms first and then layer in the smaller bits (berries, sticks, etc.) toward the end to fill in any blank space. 

After you’ve attached all the flowers, add some Spanish moss and put your creepy bird in his new nest. Finally, all you need to do is display your fabulous new wreath for the whole neighborhood to see! 
Beautiful Halloween Wreath

Ice Cream Cone Ornaments

DIY Ice Cream OrnamentsThe weather outside is frightful, (for real – it’s a mess out there today) but anytime is a good time for ice cream, right? I’m so excited to join  some of my favorite bloggers for another #swapthatdiy exchange. This time with Christmas ornaments. We each made an ornament, and then were assigned a blogger to send it to. (I’ll put all their info below, so you can check out all the ornaments in the exchange). I sent mine to Gwen of The Bold Abode…hopefully she gets it today. 😉 And I got this adorable brushstroke ornament from Laurel. It’s perfect and I love it! 

Here’s the DIY on these easy, non-melting ice cream ornaments: Ornament DIY

I used these amazing colorful ornaments from the Land of Nod. (P.S. My friends at Nod were kind enough to send these ornaments over for this project, and they’re SO perfect for DIY projects. The ones I used are not available anymore; but I linked to a similar geometric set that is adorable). But any solid color ornament will work. Make a cone shape out of kraft paper. (I’ve provided a printable template here). It’s a semi-circle; cut it out, twist it until it becomes a cone, tape the inside to hold it in place; then glue the flap down to the outside. Once the cone is finished; glue the ornament to the cone. I used a thin bead of super glue along the edge of the cone. It worked like a charm. 

DIY Ice Cream Ornament

After the cone is glued to the ornament; brush a thin layer of glue (I like Martha Stewart’s Decoupage; but Mod Podge would be a really good choice, too.) Then grab your favorite sprinkles and a cute helper. Hold the ornament vertically as your helper disperses the sprinkles. Once the sprinkles are sufficiently sprinkled; hang the ornament overnight to dry. An optional step at this point is to do another thin layer of decoupage glue over the top of the sprinkles to seal them in. (If you do this step, give it another 24 hours to dry).
Ice Cream Ornament
I’m so excited about how these ornaments turned out. The kids and I made a bunch more because they’re so cute. Now take a look at the ornaments from these amazing bloggers:

Teacher Gifts

Remember that fun holiday party I threw with Tiny Prints last year? It seems like it was just last week. Now it’s Christmas again, and I’m excited to team up with Tiny Prints again this holiday season. They sent me a bunch of goodies to jump-start my holiday gifting.* And that is huge, because I live for the thrill of the last-minute. Or I’m lazy. You choose.Custom Wrapping PaperWe’ve got so many teachers in our lives; and I like to get their gifts done early. Not because I’m organized, but because I’ve learned the hard way: it’s the last day of school, and I’m scrambling to the store in my PJs for gift cards. It feels unthoughtful and haphazard. And every year I vow to do something more special for our teachers. Thanks to my friends at Tiny Prints, I’ve got our teacher gifts under control and ready to go. (I wish I could say the same for the rest of my Christmas checklist!) 

Kindergarten GiftsI chose a personalized stationery set for each of my kids’ teachers. There are so many color options and styles to choose from, it was easy to find the right one for each teacher. Side note: I believe there’s a special place in heaven for kindergarten teachers. This set is my very favorite because I love the colors and the patterns.

Teacher Stationery SetTeachers make such a difference between having a great year and a rough one. We’ve really lucked out this year. I want our teachers to know how much we appreciate them. I think getting a customized gift shows your teacher you were actually thinking about her. Plus, having a cute notepad like this will probably make all those “Johnny forgot his homework” notes easier for her to send home.

Tiny PrintsDon’t forget the office staff. You know, the one you call every time you have a question, who reminds you your son’s lunch balance is negative. The one who delivers your daughter’s forgotten backpack at least once a week; or takes care of your son when he skins his knee at recess. Make sure they know they’re appreciated. The office staff are constantly jotting down notes and sending messages…so a stationery gift set is perfect for them, too.

Dance Teacher GiftIf your family is anything like mine, there’s a whole host of teachers that come into play after school is over. I used to be a dance teacher; and I never expected to receive a Christmas gift from a student, but when I did it really made my day. Dance teachers, gymnastic coaches, piano teachers and swim teachers (along with so many others) all really love and invest so much time and effort into our kids…so the holidays are a perfect time to show them how much they mean to us. This note set is perfect for my daughter’s dance teacher. 

Personalized Wrapping Paper Every time I work with Tiny Prints, I’m impressed with the quality of their product and the speed of their work. I’m sure most of you are more prepared with your holiday game plan than I am; but they always make me look like I’ve got my act together, even when that’s the farthest thing from the truth. 
Customized Wrapping PaperTake a look at their gorgeous personalized wrapping paper. This style is my very favorite; but they have a bunch of other cute styles. Personalized gift wrap makes gift tags or cards unnecessary. A lazy-wrapper’s dream come true. Also: the paper is so thick and opaque there’s absolutely  no risk of seeing the gift through the paper. I hate it when that happens. 

Christmas Wrap CustomA huge thanks to Tiny Prints for making my teacher gifts so effortless and beautiful this year. 

*This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. Tiny Prints sent me all the product for this post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands who support my work. For more information on how I work with brands, please visit my disclosure policy

Spooky Smoothies

Most Halloweens, I get to the end of the day and realize I haven’t eaten any real food all day. We even have a Halloween birthday in our family; and after all the candy, donuts and other sugar-related shenanigans, choking down that birthday cake nearly does me in every year. Spooky Smoothie BarSince Halloween is on a Saturday this year, I’m going to do a Spooky Smoothie bar for breakfast…so we can throw in a few fruits and vegetables before things get crazy. The kids and I gave the smoothie bar a test-run the other day. It was a hit! You can’t see it very well in the photo, but the “snake venom” is apple juice, and I put an eye-dropper in it so they could add some to their concoctions.
I pretty much raided the fridge + freezer for this, so here are the ingredients I used: 

  • Frozen Fog: ice cubes
  • Eye of Newt: grapes
  • Witch Fingernails: apple slices
  • Pickled Brains: frozen (pitted) cherries
  • Poison Ivy: spinach
  • Vampire Blood: cranberry juice
  • Slug Tails: frozen peaches
  • Swamp Slime: vanilla yogurt + food coloring
  • Hearts of Toad: sliced strawberries
  • Snake Venom: apple juice
  • Bat Droppings: blueberries

Spooky SmoothieI had a label for “mud” that was supposed to be Nutella; but it disappeared while I was setting up. You could label really any food with these labels and your kids will be grossed out. Mine loved it. I gave the kids a cup, they filled it up; and then I blended each smoothie individually. Then I poured it in a black cup with eyes glued onto it. Super quick and easy. 
Smoothie Order FormI decided to change things up a bit for the older kids, with a blind order form. (You can download it here). It’s a checklist of the ingredients, and they pick what goes into their smoothie without knowing what they’ll end up with. Bonus: you don’t have to make the table look pretty with labels and bowls, etc.–just pass out an order form and keep the ingredients in the fridge until you need them.

If you want the printable ingredient labels, they’re available over at Honest to Nod.

Happy Halloween!