Halloween Treat Bags

I just opened a new set from Stampin’ Up!, and it’s so cute I just had to make something with it to show you!

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The set is Mingle All the Way, from the Holiday Catalog.  There are doodle-looking sayings for every holiday between now and New Years, so I totally felt virtuous buying it. It’s available in photopolymer (the clear stamps) or digitally.  Look…

These bags just took a few supplies…Pumpkin Pie cardstock, Blackberry Bliss  and Pumpkin Pie ink, the Mingle All the Way stamp set, and the Tag Topper punch. The Chevron Tag a Bag is from Stampin’ Up!, as well. For the other bag, I just made a 2-5-7-10 bag from an easy tutorial here, using a piece of black cardstock, then added a bit of patterned paper on the front.

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I love these Tag Topper punches…you just cut your cardstock 2” wide, slie it into the punch, and punch the hole and slanted corners in one easy step.

And here are a few other past ideas for Halloween treats, like this cute Treat Pouch:SourCreamCarton-ChaosServed

Or this fun treat-filled Coffee Cup:

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Or how about a gift of cozy fuzzy socks, done up in an adorable little box?

As always, shop anytime at my Stampin’ Up! site! And thanks in advance! If you order in the next few days, you should have your supplies in plenty of time for Halloween crafting. Of course, if you want digital downloads, you’ll have those immediately. So go get crafting, already!

Simple Mummy Treat Basket

When I spied this white plastic storage crate at Target, I immediately thought of mummies.  Not scary, gross ones, but nice, clean, friendly ones!  With a smile! With about 3 minutes of work (most of which was finding the large flat glass pebbles in my craft stash), I turned it into a cute Mummy Treat Basket for our Halloween visitors.

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I just needed two of those large flat glass pebbles, some white and black cardstock, and a couple of circle punches. I punched a white circle 1-3/4” (that’s the size of the glass pebbles), a black one that’s 1” in diameter, and used clear glue to attach them to the pebbles, then to attach the pebble eyes to the plastic. I put the crate on its side until the glue dried. I used Crystal Effects from Stampin’ Up!, which hold pretty much anything and doesn’t yellow over time.

I freehand-cut the mouth and used the same glue to attach it to the crate. And I was done!

The crate was in the home storage area of Target, if you’re looking for one for yourself. It’s about 12” long, 6” wide, and 6” tall and cost about $4, I think. It’s a fun addition to our Halloween décor, awaiting its big chance to be useful on Halloween night!

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Prepping for Halloween Fun

I cannot believe it’s Halloween…and even more scary than that, it’s less than two months until Christmas!  Every year, the days seem to accelerate more and more as we approach the holidays, and I have to take time to appreciate the other seasons. Fall is my favorite season, so I ignore the impending Christmas rush and stress, and fill our days with autumnal fun.

I love Thanksgiving, but that’s what November is for…October is all about Halloween, leaves, and pumpkins!  Today, I’m sharing some of my favorite snapshots of our October…hope they bring a smile to your face!

Playing in (and occasionally raking) the leaves….

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Pumpkin Patch and the Corn Maze (we found Bigfoot!)

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Of course, we had to carve some pumpkins…

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And the hooligans dressed as saints for the All Saints Day Parade at church…

Halloween-Saints-ChaosServeAnd, of course, we made cookies! I like the jack o’lantern ones best.

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You may be forced to indulge me again tomorrow morning, when I post photos of our actual Halloween…if the kids will cooperate for pictures, that is!

However you celebrate, I hope it’s frighteningly fun! (And safe, don’t forget to be safe!)

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TBT: Punched Paper Bat Charm

So I made this necklace last year, and I wore it frequently during October…then…guess what? I totally forgot I had it! This morning, while dressing to go volunteer with the second graders, I spied it while perusing my jewelry rack. Happily spied it, I might add.

Although this one is obviously Halloween-themed, this idea works equally as well with any small punch you might have. Or want an excuse to purchase. This was really fun to make…here’s how I did it.

I’ve had an idea rolling around in my brain for awhile that I could punch many layers of Designer Paper and glue them together to make a pendant. And I did!

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First, I punched out 15 bats from DSP. Only two have to look exactly as you want your pendant to look…for the front one and the back one. Then I used craft glue to glue them together in two stacks.

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Liberally (but not so much that it oozes out) apply glue to what will be the middle of the layers and lay a head pin on it. The put the other stack of paper layers on top of it.

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Clamp them together until completely dry. I left mine overnight.

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When the glue is dry, apply a layer of Crystal Effects (Stampin’ Up!) or Glossy Accents (craft store) to the front and let that dry completely. Repeat for the back.

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When everything is completely dry and set, run a thin bead of glue around the outside, or use 1/8” double-sided adhesive tape, and cover with fine black glitter.

To finish the bat, I used needle-nosed pliers to bend a loop in the top of the head pin, then wrapped the end around the bottom of the loop a time or two. I attached a jump ring to hang it from the necklace.

I made two other “dangles” using head pins, various beads, and making loops at the top in the same way. Then I strung the beads as I wanted them onto a silver necklace. This particular one is $1.50 at Walmart and has a magnetic clasp that just unscrews to allow you to string your beads. I love how easy it is.

Although it didn’t photograph well, the bat pendant is very glossy and then glittery along the edges. Much prettier in person…but I guess you’ll have to make one for yourself to see that! I hope you will…it took a bit of time for all the drying, but really required very little crafting skill. The trickiest part is making the loop to hang it, but I know you can do it!

Easiest Caramel Dip…Ever!

And I’m not exaggerating! I mean, sure, you could buy a jar of caramel, pour it in a bowl, and that would be easier…but not much. And it wouldn’t be homemade by you, now would it?

This sublime caramel is made with one and only one ingredient…sweetened condensed milk. And did I mention that it cooks in your slow cooker?  If you’ve ever made caramel from scratch, you know it takes almost an hour of stirring while cooking on the stove before you end up with caramel. Caramel-Dip-ChaosServedDail

So how do you make some for yourself?  Here goes (and it really is just this easy):

1. Pour the sweeetened condensed milk into glass jars that will fit in your slow cooker. You can cook this right in the can, but I’m leery of the lining of the can. You’re going to store it in something after you cook it, anyway, so just pick some jars you like with tight-sealing lids.  Tighten them as much as possible, so nothing leaks in or out.

2. Place the jars in your slow cooker and cover with water. It’s important that they be covered with water, or they could explode. No, mine didn’t, but I didn’t want to test it! Put the slow cooker lid on, turn it on low, and let it cook 7 to 8 hours, until the caramel is, well, a caramel color. The water should be simmering, but not boiling.  I had to turn mine to high for a couple of hours at the beginning to get the water temp high enough.

3. Remove from the hot water and let cool, then enjoy with sliced apples. Store any extra in the refrigerator, since we didn’t really process these like you would in canning to make them shelf stable.

One can of sweetened condensed milk made one full jar and about 2/3 of the other 8 oz jar. It doesn’t expand or contract while cooking, so the amounts in the jars will be the same after cooking as before.

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Treats To Go

I am a total sucker for the cute seasonal coffee to-go cups at Target.  I’m sure other stores have them, as well, but Target is so considerate that they put them on an end cap across from the milk! So that’s where I see them and they jump into my shopping basket. These treats were made using last year’s cups, but I saw some the other day that were just as cute. And, yes, I saw them as I was putting them away in my cabinet. Why do you ask?

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How cute is this little teacher/neighbor/bus driver/whoever gift?  Inside, you’ll find a bag of Halloween party mix (candy corn, peanuts, popcorn, cereal) and a packet of hot cider mix.  And how thoughtful will people think you are when you give them this little pick-me-up?

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The hooligans made the bats for the top from a kit from…yes, Target!

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The tags I stamped using my all-time favorite Halloween set, Twick or Tweet, from a Stampin’ Up! Holiday catalog from a couple of years ago.  The middle kid thought of using a scallop punch to take a “bite” out of the tag.  He’s a little crafter-in-training. Heck, who am I kidding…they all are!

We attached the bats with double-stick tape and the tags have bakers’ twine that’s caught under the lip of the lid.

These took very little time to whip up, and brought a smile to their recipients’ face (I know, ‘cause I spied!).

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TBT: 8 Favorite Halloween Projects

Because I was feeling quite indecisive this week, I’m posting links to eight of my favorite past Halloween projects for Throwback Thursday…hope you enjoy them!

Halloween Collage

(top left to bottom right):

Batty Bleached Tees

Peanut Butter Eyeballs

Starched Fabric Pumpkin

S’Mores Class Treats

Shaving Cream Leaves Kid Craft

Bling a Pumpkin

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Halloween Washer Necklace

Hard Cider and Caramel Apple Gift Bucket

Although I’m not a huge fan of most draft beverages, I do have a weakness for hard cider. I think its sweet. crisp, flavor with a bit of tang goes perfectly with pizza, burgers, popcorn…you name it! I was thrilled to discover our favorite burger place in Washington has Angry Orchard Cider on tap, and then happy to find it at Costco, as well. But I do feel a bit lush-ish, having a whole case of it in the house! I need to share it, people…then I remembered…

The hubs and I actually are behaving like real grownups this weekend and attending a cocktail party. It’s pretty casual, and the hostess told us she doesn’t drink wine, only beer and mixed drinks. So I thought a bucket of hard ciders would be a perfect hostess gift!

I picked up a Halloween-themed bucket at Target, along with some Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples. I just tucked a few bottles of cider, a jar of caramel sauce (I made my own, but you could also buy a jar, and even pour it into a Mason jar to make it look cuter), and several apples into the bucket.  Voila!

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So go ahead and invite me over, already…you know you’d love to have this bucket o’apple deliciousness!

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Cute and Easy Packaging with Tag a Bag

So I recently gave in to my acquisitive nature and ordered the Tag a Bag line from Stampin’ Up! And, of course, I couldn’t wait to create with them when they arrived…gift bags, gift boxes, and the accessory kit.  Super cute and even easier than they are cute, y’all!

Socks-ChaosServedDailyI also used my new Tags 4 You stamp set, which came in a bundle with the Label Bracket Punch…they coordinate perfectly, of course!  For this box of cozy Halloween socks (Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet…get it?), I inked up my stamp using Tangerine Tango and Basic Gray markers, running a bit of the gray along the top of the words for a little interest. Then I just punched it out, and layered it on a tag from the Tag a Bag Accessories Kit. The Tangerine Tango Bakers’ Twine was included in the kit, as well.

I’m kinda loving the Tag a Bag Gift Boxes…kraft boxes with a heavy plastic sleeve. Since you get 8 for $6.95, they’re a great price for neighbor or teacher gift packaging.

While I was at my craft table, I also whipped up this fun Thanksgiving treat bag, perfect for favors or small gifts.

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Again, I used the Tags for You stamp set and Label Bracket punch, and a bit of the Sweater Weather Designer Series Paper I’m using every chance I get this fall. I don’t know if you can see, but the orange paper in the photo has a knitted sweater print. Adorable! For the stamp, I stamped it in Tangerine Tango, then used the “Rock-n-Roll” technique to add a bit of Cajun Craze ink around the edges. You just ink up your stamp with the main color, then roll the edges around a darker color ink pad

I clipped the tag over one of the Tag a Bag Gift Bags, already printed with a trendy chevron design, using a mini-clothespin and bakers’ twine from the Accessory Kit. I filled the bags with a mix of caramel corn, candy corn, and peanuts, if you’re curious. Of course, that will be stale before Thanksgiving, so I just went ahead and ate it after I took the photo.

So there you have it…two fabulous ways to package your gifts, created in less than fifteen minutes for both…and that was thinking of the concept, too, so once you got started, it would go even faster, I think. I made these between morning soccer games and leaving for Legofest in Portland Saturday, and only had a few minutes for a creativity break…but was sorely in need of a little respite from kid stuff before I could face Legos and ten thousand kids for an afternoon!

Here’s a list of all my supplies, if you’re interested in ordering any of them:

  • 130927 Tag a Bag Gift Boxes,set of 8         $6.95
  • 131370 Tag a Bag Gift Bags, set of 10        $3.95
  • 130153 Tag a Bag Accessory Kit                 $7.95
  • 133293 Tags 4 You Wood Bundle              $30.95
  • 133294 Tags 4 You Clear Bundle               $26.95
  • 132184 Sweater Weather DSP                  $10.95

The Tags 4 You stamp set and Label Bracket Punch are available separately, as well, but you can save 15% by ordering the bundle!

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Throwback Thursday: Marbleized Halloween Cookies

The hooligans love to bake cookies. Well, actually they like to bake cookies. They love to decorate them. And who wouldn’t, using this simple technique that gives such gorgeous results. This week’s Throwback Thursday show how easy it was for my little hooligans to make these impressive treats!

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I want to emphasize that these designs were made by my six- and four-year-old hooligans. Seriously. That’s how easy they are to do, and they’re fun for any holiday or cookie occasion.

We’ve made trees, ornaments, and bells at Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day, Easter eggs, and even St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks. Once I even sent shamrocks decorated like Easter eggs using this technique to Iraq, because the holidays were so close together.

Any sugar cookie recipe will work, but for these I made an almond dough. I wish I could give credit to the source, but it’s a basic sugar cookie dough that I’ve made for years. A few years ago, I substituted almond for vanilla, because we really enjoy it.

Almond Sugar Cookies

Makes about 30 medium cookies

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose white flour (whole wheat white is okay, but a bit heavy)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt (if you only have salted butter, leave out this salt)

1. Blend the sugar and butter together until creamy. Stir in almond extract and egg.

2. Mix baking powder and salt into flour and add to butter mixture.

3. If dough seems hard to handle (too soft), chill for an hour or so. Turn out onto well-floured board and roll to ¼” thickness. Cut into desired shapes.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, until the edges brown slightly.

Click here for a printable recipe for the cookies

For the icing, I use Royal Icing, made with meringue powder. You can find the meringue powder with baking supplies at craft stores or even grocery stores(Wilton makes a decent one). Follow the directions on the package, making the icing thick enough to pipe along the outlines of your cookie. Tint as desired. I use AmeriColor gels.

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I use the finest of pastry bags for piping, a Ziploc with a small hole cut in one bottom corner. Pipe around the edge of each cookie, or to make the webs make that shape instead.

After those outlines harden a bit, add a spoonful or so of water to your remaining frosting to thin it out. Put the accent colors in Ziplocs as you did for the piping.

Spread the main color on, using the outlines as a dam for your icing. This is called flooding, by the way. When it’s nicely flat, pipe on a swirl or lines of your accent color. I only ice about 2 or 3 cookies, then the contrast. Otherwise the icing will harden and it won’t marbleize nicely.

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Then (this is the most fun part, but being a good mom, I let the hooligans have the fun), slowly draw a toothpick through the swirl or lines, making magic.

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He did his very methodically, while Princess Thundercloud was a bit more…enthusiastic, shall we say. Hers still looked great, though, so it’s all your preference!

For the bats, we just put drops of contrast and drew out a tail to look like a paisley. The spiderwebs we pulled from the center to the point, and the pumpkins had lines that we drew down through to make ribs.

Cool, huh? And they certainly don’t appear to be easy enough for children, but they are!