Posts Tagged ‘halloween’

Easy DIY Holiday Banner Tutorial


I whine and complain all the time about not having any holiday decorations. It’s all my fault for not having anything when the holiday seasons roll around. All my fault. I’m crafty, right? Why can’t I take a few minutes and make something?


A few weeks ago I organized all of my holiday gear in boxes (a first!) so now it’s time to invest in some fun decor to fill those boxes.

Today I’m sharing with you an updated tutorial from days of yore and a way to jazz it up for the holidays.

Styrofoam Prints DIY



  • pencil
  • styrofoam sheets (or plates with the edges cut off)
  • craft paint or block printing ink (water soluble is best)
  • acrylic plate
  • brayer
  • bone folder


Happy Halloween


Halloween was much more fun this year than last because we didn’t have to commute elsewhere for the trick-or-treat festivities. Penelope’s also at an awesome age where everything is awesome and Felix feeds into her excitement with the shrillest of screams.

We live in a very trick-or-treat friendly neighborhood and the weather was dreamy; which helped lift my sour mood. Chris offered stayed home with Felix and passed out candy to the trick-or-treaters. And we ran out of candy! That’s never happened to us before!

I didn’t do anything for the kids’ costumes this year.

Felix was a race car driver (Ricky Bobby?) – I had almost forgotten about this jumper that I scored about 7 months ago. It was perfect for the occasion.

Penelope was Marcelene (or a rockin’ vampire queen). I made her cape ages ago, put her in hip clothes, bought her teeth, made her carry her battle axe and gave her some scary make up (not pictured). I drew some seriously fierce eyebrows on her before we left the house.

Penelope was so cute trick-or-treating! We went to a house that had full-sized candy bars with licorice ropes and giant pixie sticks. Of course Penelope chose the pixie stick. Then she insisted on making me carry the bucket while she went door to door telling all the neighbors about her “UGE” (she doesn’t pronounce the h, it’s cute) pixie stick!

The best part was when we got home and she tried to eat it. She dumped a bunch of pixie stick sugar in her mouth and started screaming for water. She was not a fan.

Another personal side-note: I took Felix to an audiologist earlier today. Since he’s 20 months and still not walking or talking, I’ve been concerned that there may be something up with his ears affecting his hearing and balance. Well, we found out his ears are perfect. I’m thrilled, but still curious why he’s taking his time with these major milestones. It’s just a reminder that I need to be patient and enjoy this phase with him (and keep up the PT).

We had a great time this year. We went to a couple parties, had fun with our no-stress costumes and I even decorated a pumpkin! I hope your holiday was safe and fun!

Printable: You Have Been BOOed


I’m not sure if this is a Utah thing, or something that happens in other neighborhoods around the globe, but around Halloween time neighbors doorbell ditch one another with treats and a little ghost. It’s sort of a pay-it-forward treat-giving thing that hopefully spreads to all the neighbors. There’s usually a little ghost graphic and instructions on how to pay it forward (much like amish friendship bread, but anonymous).


Last night we “got BOOed”. It sure makes me feel super loved to get treats delivered to my door. Really, we have fantastic neighbors. Unfortunately, the printed instructions tend to get muddled and pixellated after a few houses. So I redesigned ours. And added a QR code so friendly neighborhood ghosts can reprint without garbling up information.

Have you ever participated in something like this? You should do it. Your neighbors will love it.


This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Melissa Esplin. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. You may publish 1 photo along with credit back to the original post. Never link directly to the download. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!



Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween, everyone! I’m so excited for trick or treating tonight! It’s the first year we’ll be able to take Penelope out and she’s so excited! I finally convinced her that she’s not going to be spiderman; although if you ask her what she’s going to be for Halloween she quickly replies, “Spiderman!”

It’s not that I don’t want her to dress up as spiderman, I just already bought the stuff for her costume by the time she changed her mind! Typical, right? I keep telling myself that if she absolutely hates her costume I’ll gladly go to Target & pick up a spiderman outfit for her. So far she hasn’t been hesitant to put on her witch costume in the least. She looks super adorable, I might add!

Here’s the breakdown for her outfit:

  • tights & turtleneck – I found them at Walmart; since it’s practically impossible to find green things for girls, I dyed them. I added the stripes with black paint.
  • tutu – I made this from 6 yards of tulle, elastic & some felt. I’ve considered cutting it down but that’s not likely to happen. It’s one of those things that she can grow into.
  • broom – I spray painted a dowel black, cut about 14 inches of leather fringe & wrapped the dowel with the leather, securing it with an upholstery tack.
  • hat – I bought this as-is at Walmart, which just so happened to be the fourth store I went to for a hat! How come plain kid’s witches hats are nearly impossible to find? I don’t want pink sparkles or nasty faux hair sticking out of it.

Overall this costume took WAAAY too many hours to make. The broom was fast, the dyeing was relatively fast, as were the stripes, but the tutu took forever. A lot of it had to be hand-sewn. Not sure I’ll put in this amount of time on a costume ever again.

So it turns out she just wanted to fly for Halloween – this is when we discovered that we could convince her to be the Wicked Witch as opposed to Spiderman. She got so excited about the idea of flying around on a broom! After she got back from school on Friday I showed her the broom & she lit up, “For me!?! Thank you, mommy, thank you!!”

Immediately she put the broom between her legs & the biggest look of disappointment flooded over her face! She looked at me & with a sad little voice said, “Mommy, the broom doesn’t work. I’m not flying!” Oooohh, my sweet Penelope. You are too much.

I’m going as Dorothy for Halloween this year. Turns out I’ve had the perfect Dorothy costume in my closet for some time. I bought the perfect blue dress eons ago & what girl doesn’t have red heels? What are you going as?


Preparations for Halloween


I’m working on the finishing touches for Penelope’s costume. It’s by far the most work I’ve put into a costume. EVER. Originally I was going to make her a dino costume, then in the middle of doing that, she decided that she had to be spiderman. OH GEEZ. I tried to convince her that Dino Squad was cooler, then I tried to convince her that there was a green spiderman, THEN Chris had a stroke of genius: the wicked witch of the west. I’m already dressing up as dorothy for a party tomorrow, I also have a lot of green, I just need to encorporate black.

It wasn’t too hard to convince her that she wanted to be an evil witch. Witches have brooms & can fly. Turns out she just wants to fly somehow for Halloween.

I dyed some white cotton stockings green & once we figured out that she’s going to go as the Wicked Witch, I needed stripes. I used Liz’s idea for painting stripes with masking tape, but I stretched the stockings over a round mailer in order to get the lines to go all the way around. They’re even enough. I’m really excited to reveal the rest of her costume! It’s going to be awesome. Or an awesome failure.

Happy Halloween Weekend!

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