Archive | October, 2009

Pumpkin Carving Patterns

26 Oct

I’m carving pumpkins for the party and I found this site for pumpkin stencils. They’re not exactly horrifying, but they’re definitely fun and kid friendly. So far, I’ve carved the skull and am planning on trying the night scene next. Happy carving!

DLTK Halloween Pumpkin Carving Patterns.

Update: Check out our pumpkins, I think they came out great! What a pain though. We actually had to do two batches because our first molded after just 2 days! That was disappointing. We’d kept them in a relatively cool dry space, but whatever, damn you mold!!! 🙂

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I think carving into the skin in much easier than the traditional method. It may take a little (or a couple hours) longer, but I’m twisted like that so I didn’t really mind. Here’s what I did:

First, I printed and pinned the picture and some text to the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Carving

Then, and here’s the painstaking part, I poked mini holes all around the picture so I knew what to scrape later.

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It’s a little tough to see but this is what it looks like after I’d finished poking the crap out of the poor pumpkin:

Creepy Carnival 065And finally, the scraping. We used general wood carving tools (way better than those cheap and cheesy kits) and scraped the outline first to get a better idea of the basic shape. Once the outline and details were finished I scraped some more pulp on the inside to create thinner walls for a better glow.

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All done!


Creepy Carnival Update; Specimen Jars, Gruesome Bears and Demons, Oh My!

15 Oct

Well, our projects are creeping along now!

A couple of days ago I finished my specimen jars, not bad huh?

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The cost was – free! (I sound like such a cheapskate huh?)  Well, I really did have all the elements at home, so why go out and buy stuff, right? So, I found some old jars  and sprayed the lids black. As I’m sure you guessed I used red and yellow food coloring for the water in the jars and filled them up about halfway using warm water. Then, on to finding stuff to put in the jars. This part got a little interesting and I really began to realize how much easier it was coming up with ideas for specimen jars when I was five!

Coagulated Virgin's Blood

Sun dried tomatoes packed in oil for the “Coagulated Virgin’s Blood.”

Hobgoblin Testicles

Dried limes for the “Hobgoblin’s Testicles.”

Demon Embryo

Wild caperberries for the “Demon Embryo Sacs.”

Faerie Hearts

Faerie Hearts

Dried (and now re-hydrated) cranberries for the “Faerie Hearts.”

Carnivorous Ectoplasm

Globs of dried hot glue for the “Carnivorous Ectoplasm.”

It took a little experimentation to figure out what would work, and I’ll admit that most people probably don’t have wild caperberries or dried limes hanging around. Details.

For the labels, I used Power Point, mainly because I like that I have tremendous creative control and few formatting issues. That and I’m too lazy to figure out how to do it in Word. Microsoft Clip Art had all the designs I was looking for, just type in “swirls,” “flourishes,” or “decorative elements” and you should get some pretty cool designs. I recolored some of them too.  The Blackladder font Arana Muerta’s Witches’ Kitchen suggested worked out great. I tried to use her tutorial, but I was too impatient to let the ink dry for more than 10 minutes on the plain paper and the ink kept running during the tea soak. Luckily, I had a few sheets of antiqued paper from Michael’s so I used that instead and skipped the soak altogether. I had to do a few test runs on plain paper to determine the right size for the jars and the “Faerie Hearts” label is still a little too big, but I accidentally printed that on my decorative paper. Since I’d run out, I was stuck, but it doesn’t look bad enough for a drive to Michael’s. Then I sprayed all the labels with some matte clear coat for acrylic paint and cut out the designs. Using a glue stick, I carefully coated the backs of each label and stuck them on the jars.

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Demon Embryo Specimen JarCoagulated Virgin's Blood

Hobgoblin Testicles Specimen JarsCarnivorous Ectoplasm Specimen Jar

We also finished decorating the bears and it really was a bit tough coming up with ideas on what to do. Plus, it feels a little creepy ruining the cute bears, but hey, it’s all in the name of Halloween, so I guess I’ll just have to bear through it. (Yes, I know, that was horrible.) I’m kind of worried they look a little too similar, but there’s really not much else I could think of other than tearing them, bloodying up their faces and bodies, burning their fur and painting their eyes. We even re-sewed a couple with yarn (thread was invisible on their fur) and decapitated one. That sounds so bad. So here are our gruesome little bears:

Gruesome Bears

And my hubby created some shadow demons, or demon shapes cut out from the cardboard that was behind some old framed posters he didn’t want, painted black. There’s a  big white wall in the space and with some lighting adjustments, these should come out really great. He’s planning on making three more and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

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I forgot to post this last time but we found these decorations at the Dollar Tree to give away as prizes for the carnival games too.

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Phew, now on to this weekend, we still have A LOT to do.

Harrowing Halloween Labels and Specimens

11 Oct

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with searching for great details to add to our Creepy Carnival Halloween party this year. The devil’s in the details, as they say, and to spook up our bar and food tables, vintage labels and specimen jars will do the trick.

I really liked the Martha Stewart poison labels she featured last year and you can find those and some new ones at Grand In Road.


But I also perused the web and found these awesome inspirational labels. Some of the designs are free and will definitely save you some time and $$$ The tutorials will also keep the designs from looking sloppy. I’m planning on premixing a signature drink and displaying them in old wine bottles with some creepy labels at our bar.

Here are some samples pictures from the sites I’ve found with links below the pics.


Spookshow’s Vintage Halloween Labels


Love Manor Vintage Halloween Labels


Chronophobia Vintage Halloween Labels

Shadow Manor even created a Doom It Yourself Poison Label Generator, so you can add your own text to these vintage labels!

Poison Label Generator

Specimen jars aren’t just for the kiddies anymore. Some specimens on risers will elevate our dessert bar to Halloween standards 😉

Arana Muerta’s Witches Kitchen is a great guide on creating your own concoctions and it features a great little tutorial on how to make the labels. I Make Projects features some really fun ideas on what to use as specimens.



Witches Kitchen


I Make Projects Specimen Jars

Happy Doom It Yourself-ing!

Creepy Carnival Sneak Peek

9 Oct

I’m so excited that we decided to throw a Halloween party again this year. In the past we’ve done some really fun themes. One year we had a “Dead Man’s Pirates Party” where my hubby designed and made a big walk-in cave out of paper mache and a dungeon out of wood. Another year we did a “Halloween in New Orleans” complete with a creepy graveyard and tons of Mardi-Gras masks. This year we are going to have a “Creepy Carnival.”

My hubby is also a diy’er, and this is hands down his favorite holiday. So he’s already planning some great budget friendly projects that I’ll be posting as we go. (Yikes, we only have a little more than 3 weeks!) We’ve already run a muck at the Dollar Store and bought a bunch of creepy looking baby dolls and stuffed bears for decor. For the dolls, we let them soak in tea and coffee to give them a weathered and dirty look.

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They look creepy just sitting in the bucket, yuck! Then we painted them with some leftover acrylic paint and burned a few.

Creepy Carnival Dolls

For the bears, we’re trying to give each one a distinctive look, but it’s harder than it looks as you can see from the pictures. So far,  for one, we burned and painted him (I had old oil paint laying around so we used that) another one was slashed and resown, minus some stuffing. For the zombie looking bear we pulled out some stuffing, painted the eyes white and made his fur look wild by cutting it in random spots. We haven’t completely finished with the bears but here’s a little sneak peek.

Creepy Carnival Bears

This weekend we’re going to try and tackle some more projects so hopefully I’ll have an update soon.

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