ThriftyFun News October 23, 2004 - More Halloween Tips

ThriftyFun News
More Halloween Articles and Tips

Volume Six, Number 41 October 23, 2004


Today's we have more Halloween articles and tips. Be sure to visit our Halloween section for all of the Halloween information on ThriftyFun!


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This newsletter contains:

  • Halloween Luminarias
  • Halloween How To - Fun Projects
  • Halloween & Hounds
  • Edible Halloween Bugs
  • Jelly Bean Costume
  • Last Minute Halloween Costume
  • Pumpkin Plants for Halloween Treats

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Halloween Tips

Halloween Luminarias

Through the cold nights of fall and winter, luminaria are beautiful lining walkways, garden paths and sitting on porches -- particularly on Halloween.

You can make reusable luminaria to decorate your porch, stairs and walkways -- not from paper bags, but from aluminum and tin cans plus other things you have around the house. It's easy and fun (but children shouldn't partake in this project without adult supervision).

Here are the materials you'll need:

Clean aluminum cans in various sizes

Simple fall and winter outlines (like cats, jack-o-lantern faces, leaves, stars, bells and trees from coloring books, magazines or your simple sketches)

8.5-by-11-inch paper
Black marker
Hand towel
Nail punch (or very large nail)
Yellow and black spray paints
Votive candles

With a pen, trace your design onto paper, one per sheet of paper. Fill cans with water and then freeze until solid.


Wrap the design around the frozen can and tape the paper in place. Fold a hand towel into thirds and place the can on its side on the towel.

Using a hammer, tap evenly around the design using the nail punch (or large nail) to make holes in the can. Hole size will vary depending on pressure used while tapping. Once you have completely outlined the design with holes, remove the paper. Run the can under hot water to remove the ice. Allow the can to dry. Spray interior with yellow paint and the exterior with black paint and let the paint dry.

Fill bottom of the can with sand to a depth of about 1-inch. Place the little votive candle in the center of the sand.

Place your luminaria along walkways or to decorate your porch. Once lit you will offer a gift to all who pass by -- the beautiful sight that will forever be lodged in their memories!

By Kathy

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Halloween How To - Fun Projects
By Steven James

It's that house - the one all the kids talk about. The one all the adults envy. The house that truly embodies Halloween. It has the décor, the music and of course the best candy. Every neighborhood has at least one. And this year your home can be that house. Here are but just of few of my favorite ideas.

The Great Pumpkin:
Pumpkins are the key to any Halloween celebration. You can carve, paint and even drill pumpkins, but this year why not add gourds to the mix. The "Crown of Thorns" gourd screams Halloween with its thorn-like protrusions. They can be a bit tricky to find, but check your farmer's market or specialty food retailers. With a coat of white paint they can take on the look of whimsical ghosts. Laid on their side, they take on a spookier appearance. Smaller than most pumpkins, they're a bit tricky to carve, but it can be done.


A Headhunters Hoard:
Made from dried apples, these shrunken heads can be used as place cards for a Halloween dinner, suspended over a doorway or skewered on dirty dowel rods in the front yard.

You will need:

Several Granny Smith apples
Whole cloves
Handful of dry rice
1/2 cup of lemon juice
2 tsp. salt
Snips of wig hair

Small bowl
Large spoon
Small paring knife or potato peeler
Wire rack
Bamboo skewers

Stuffed Mummy:
Newspaper stuffed dummies are a tried and true Halloween tradition. This year recreate the dummy, transforming it into a mummy with layers of gauze, muslin or cheesecloth. Wrap the material around stuffed dummy. For maximum effect dust the finished mummy with gray spray paint and place on top of a fabric covered rectangular table.

Blanket the home in horror with table cloths, curtains and sheets:
Tea-dyed and shredded tablecloths, white sheets, and curtains can blanket any home in horror. Color lightly-colored cloth in a tea bath, by filling a large basin with several teabags and enough hot water to cover material. Dry material and use scissors to shred. Place material in desired locations and continue to shred sections in need of a touch up.

Experiment Table:
A well-stocked Halloween experiment table placed in your entry way informs trick-or-treaters you mean business. Incorporate items like piles of rusty chains, old mirrors, aged wooden shelves and other interesting items you uncover in the garage. Don't hesitate to add your own special touch.

You will need:
Various glass jars and vases
1 large white pillar candle
Several packages of Top Ramen noodles
Campanelle Pasta
Food coloring (blue, red, yellow and green)
Shrunken Heads
Candle lit lanterns
Glasse cheese and cake domes
Dead flower bouquets in blackened vases

Cover table with tattered tablecloth. To create pasta experiments, place cooked unseasoned noodles into various jars, add cold water and food coloring. To create lab specimens fill large jars with red food color and cold water. Burn a pillar candle for about 15 - 20 minutes. Pour candle wax into jars of cold water, wax cools instantly forming various specimens. Place Shrunken Heads around table, on top of books under cake domes. Arrange a variety of dead flowers, branches or sticks in blackened vases. Candles should be place in sealed lanterns.

Bone Cookies in Oreo Dirt:
To create great resting place for a batch of free form bone cookies, finely ground the chocolate wafer portion of Oreos with a food processor.

To make bone cookies you'll need:

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes or overnight. Preheat oven to 325°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Using a small knife, pizza and biscuit cutters create free form bone shapes - no need to be perfect. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and bake until edges begin to brown around 8 to 10 minutes.

Carefully remove cookies and cool on wire racks. After cookies have cooled completely apply a layer of white royal icing and allow to dry before placing in dirt. Fill a shallow wooden box with a layer of Oreo crumbs and place bones throughout. Makes around 15 - 30 cookies.

To make royal icing you'll need:
3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
4 cups of confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a kitchen mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). Recipe makes 3 cups.

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Halloween & Hounds
By Jennifer Shryock

Halloween is "fright night" for humans not dogs. Screaming, running, spooky children in masks make many dogs uncomfortable, nervous and frightened.

Halloween costumes are fun and are meant to disguise our normal appearance. Dogs do not understand this change in appearance and may become frightened. Costumes that change the way a person walks, stands, or their general appearance may cause a dog to react different then usual even with those they know.

Keep in mind that children on Halloween night are excited and doing their best to be scary. This is not a fair or safe situation to put even the best of dogs in. Even the normally terrific tolerant family dog can find this night hard to handle.

Along with costumes being frightening to a dog there are some that may become interesting too. Swords, tails and dangling things may be fun for an excited dog to chase and toddlers certainly won't appreciate that.

Every child and every costume is a new opportunity for different reactions from the same dog.

I recommend setting up your dog with their own private Halloween bash in a safe quiet spot with a yummy treat of their own. Here are some tips to help make this safe haven most comfortable.

1. Stuff a food dispensing toy with yummy mush and freeze it until it is "Halloween" time.
2. Use a fan or radio for white noise. Something consistent is best.
3. Be sure the blinds are down or the dog is not watching kids coming and going by the window. This will only frustrate him and allow him to practice barking and carrying on at the window.
Chocolate is toxic to dogs. Put candy in a safe spot.
Many dogs are stolen, poisoned or injured by Halloween pranks. Keep your dog safe and sound inside your home.

Be safe and aware and have fun!

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Edible Halloween Bugs

1 bag small candy bars
40 vanilla wafers
1- 16 oz tub vanilla frosting tinted orange
1 Bag of M&M's or cake decoration candies.
1 bag small pretzel sticks.

Take a bag of the small size candy bars. Roughly chop them in half. Put in microwavable bowl and warm just until candy will flatten between fingers. (Be careful to not over heat and burn your fingers.) Place between two vanilla wafers and lightly press wafers together. Take six small pretzel sticks and press into candy, three on each side for legs. Frost top vanilla wafer. Use M&M's or cake candy decoraions for eyes. (You can just mix small amount of chocolate in the vanilla frosting to use for eyes.) To make M&M's or cake candies stick well, dab bottoms with small amount of extra icing.

Gladys Hill

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Jelly Bean Costume

A cute inexpensive Halloween costume is to get two large pieces of plastic, large enough to cover your body front and back (furniture stores are great places to get this) or use a large clear garbage bag. Tape the bottom and side edges together, but leave openings for your arms and legs. Leave the top open.Blow up assorted colors of balloons and fill the bag. Step into the bag, putting your legs and arms through the openings, then tape top edges together but leave your head out. You are a bag of jelly beans!!

By Mel

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Last Minute Halloween Costume

Last minute Halloween costume: Use a marker to write on an old t-shirt. I AM A _________(cat, pumpkin, puppy... If you can, draw a stick figure on the back, and a few whiskers on the child's face. Call it minimalist!

By Linda

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Pumpkin Plants for Halloween Treats

I'm giving out tiny pots of planted pumpkin seeds this Halloween.

Last year, I saved the seeds from pumpkins when making jack-o-lanterns and dried them. We roasted and ate some, planted others in our vegetable garden and saved the rest.

You can buy either the biodegradable planter containers or just cute little pots at the collar store, fill with earth, push in a seed, water and cover with plastic. Then you've got your unique "treat" for trick-or-treating this year. The child can transplant the seedling, and watch his or her very own pumpkin grow big and round!

By Stephanie Olsen

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