cute more than creepy halloween suckers


If you are looking for frightfully cute last minute treats for a party or just to give to friends; you can whip up a spider, bat, or ghost sucker so fast it’s scary. They require very few materials. If you have an art box, you’ll likely only need to buy the suckers. They also make a great project for a class Halloween party. Feel free to copy the tag images into a document and add your child’s name; then just print and cut. I posted videos tutorials for them last year, you can find them on the old post if you’d like.

spider sucker


round sucker (like a tootise or blow pops)
4 chenille stems
googly eyes
tag (use the image bellow)


1. Line up 4 chenille stems so that they are even and tightly grouped.
2. Place sucker in the middle of the stems and firmly wrap around so that the stems have gone all the way around and are pointing up.
3.Bend the stems back down, halfway down the length. then bend the last 1/4 inch or so up a bit.
4. If desired, add googly eyes with white or hot glue.

bat sucker


round sucker (like a tootise or blow pops)
black construction paper
googly eyes
tag (use the image bellow)


1. Fold construction paper in half and draw bat wings. (Make sure your wings are about 1 inch thick on the fold.) You can also print out and trace this template.

2. Cut out wings and make 2 small slits on the fold about 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the paper.
3. Unfold winds and push out the strip in the center (made by the slits.)
4. Slip sucker stem into the slit and secure with tape on the back.
5. If desired, add googly eyes with white or hot glue.
6. Want a little more cuteness? Tie a bow on the sucker stem under the wings.

ghost sucker


round sucker (like a tootise or blow pops)
white table napkin
black marker

googly eyes
tag (use the image bellow)


1. Unfold napkin and center it on top of the sucker.
2. Push the edges of the napkin down around the sucker and twist slightly at the stem.
3. Secure the back with a small piece of tape.
4. If desired, add googly eyes with white or hot glue.
5. You can also tie a ribbon at the base of the sucker. This is a great way to attach a tag.

halloween votives

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Emily has been asking to make mosaic votives like the ones we did at Christmas time. I thought that they would be an excellent addition to our Halloween decor; and after some procrastination we finally got around to making some. The girls loved this activity and it is so easy and relatively low mess, it’s perfect for after school or for a long weekend like we are starting tomorrow. Really, I don’t know what I was waiting for.


clear votive candle holder (Or re-use small canning jars as we did. We loved how the rounded 1/2 pint jars looked. I think something big like a pickle jar would also be great.)
tissue paper
mod podge ( I recommend the gloss finish) thinned white glue will also work in a pinch
paint brush


1.  Lightly sketch your design onto the tissue paper if needed. Cut out the pieces, I used strips to give it a pumpkin-y feel; the girls preferred more of a mosaic technique.

3. Brush a thin coat of mod podge onto an area. It dries fairly quickly, so it is best to just coat a few inches, apply tissue, then move to the next section. It is alright if it gets a few wrinkles and uneven spots. This will give the design more character. Slick a little more mod podge over the tissue paper to adhere it to the glass.

4. Work your way around the entire exterior, covering all of the glass with a final coat to seal. If there are areas where there is a ridge or bead of mod podge, smooth out with the brush so that everything is even and flat along the glass.

Once it is completely dry, place a candle in your new holder and arrange on the table or line your spooky sidewalk with pumpkin luminaries. I recommend LCD votives – not only are they safer for little hands; but if you turned the glass upside down, you will need them as there isn’t enough O2 for a candle. Enjoy!

ruffle cupcakes-2 ways


So I did a wedding cake last week and the super-cute bride, Sid, wanted a ruffle tier. Here is the finished wedding cake.

While I was experimenting to get the ruffle technique down, I tried it for Megan’s birthday cake. I LOVE it for a 2 or 3 layer cake. I think the ruffles on the top add a lot. It is definitely a technique I’ll use again. It is so easy to do. Here is Meg’s cake, just 2 layers and made with some strawberries blended into the buttercream frosting. The strawberry was fairly subtle and SO yummy with the chocolate cake!

You can see that the consistency of the frosting makes a big difference in the finished look of the ruffles. I think both have their charms. For a more rounded ruffle, you’ll want your frosting to be the usual thinner consistency usually used for spreading.  The wedding cake frosting is a little thicker, like you would do for making flowers, etc.

This is my recipe for buttercream frosting:

1/2 c. butter at room temp.

1/2 c. shortening

2 lbs powdered sugar (about 2.3 lbs for the wedding cake consistency)

1/4 c. milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. salt

Cream the butter and shortening then add about 1/4 of the bag of powdered sugar. Then mix in milk and flavorings and salt. Finish adding in remaining sugar, a bit at a time, until desired constancy is reached. Tint and readjust sugar if needed. If the frosting is too thick, add no more than a teaspoon of light corn syrup and whip for a few minutes, then add a little more if needed. Make sure to give it plenty of time to mix before adjusting.

I also tried ruffles on some cupcakes. I thought it turned out cute and decided to share a tutorial that is a little rough, but get the job done. 😀

make felt christmas stockings

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We are still up to some serious craftiness at Today’s Mama. Come see today’s post about making felt Christmas stockings. These are quick and easy (my favorite) and are so darling. Your kids will love making them for favorite friends then stuffing with a bit of candy. The inspiration for these, was actually my own beloved Christmas stocking growing up. Which was a red ballet slipper. I think my Mom made them, she is impressive that way. She also had cowboy boots for the boys. So clever. Give it a try, you can make them big or small, but either way, you’ll love how felt stockings turn out.

homemade hot chocolate and marshmallows


Ready to really indulge? Head over to Today’s Mama and get the recipe for homemade hot chocolate and fluffy marshmallows. They make a decadent gift for friends. My book group got them last night. 😀 You certainly don’t have to share if you don’t want to. Get the how-to on hot chocolate here.

make your own felt stockings

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I love working with felt; I don’t know why, but anytime I use it for a project, it always turns out so well. These stockings are super simple to make. The biggest job is just figuring how to design and decorate them. Keep an eye out for interesting things to embellish with. Small Christmas ornaments or pins, and buttons or pom-poms would all make a stocking whimsical and fun. It only takes about a quarter of a yard to make a good sized sock. Once it is finished, stuff it with favorite candies or a homemade treat for a traditional gift.


felt (about 1/4 yard will do. You may want a few colors)
hot or craft clue


1. Fold the felt in half (with the inside facing out if there is a “good side”) and draw the outline of your stocking. Now carefully cut it out. The felt should stick together fairly well, just be mindful to keep it even so that your 2 pieces are the same.

2. Now turn the pieces over if necessary and run a thin bead of glue around the edge of one. Line the other piece on top and then gently press the edges together.

3. Now it’s time for the fun part. Trim that stocking as much or as little as you like. I made the scalloped trim by folding a strip of felt in half and then half again until it was about an inch wide. Then cut a half circle from edge to edge. You may need to clean up a few of the scallops after you’ve unfolded it.

You can make a rose with a strip of felt that you have scalloped (or just cut rough bumps into) by rolling it into a spiral. Put a drop of glue between the layers every once in a while to keep it firm. Then spread glue over the entire base to hold it together (and stick it onto the stocking.)

I made the tree trunk by lining up 3 strands if thick yarn and gluing them on. Then trimming up the base to make it nice and even.

To make the ballerina slipper, lay a finished stocking on top of another piece of felt and trace the sole and a little over the toe to get the shape of the shoe part. Then criss-cross thin strips up the leg section.

initial door hanger

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The fun continues at Today’s Mama, where I am showing you how to make door hangers with friend’s initials or other cute phrases on them. Stop on by!

jams and jellies in handpainted jars


Come visit me at Today’s Mama where I am counting down 10 Christmas gifts to make with your kids. Today we are doing jams and jellies in jars that you paint with your kids. Simple, easy, and really yummy.  I made Apricot Jalapeno for friends this year. The girls loved painting away and I love how they turned out! Take a look then make your own.

eggshell mosiacs

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I love these because they have such a pretty, delicate look and it is a super easy project. The great thing is that you can do something like mine in about 30-40 minutes or spend a lot of time and have a frame-able piece of art by filling in the whole picture.


eggshells from colored eggs*

white school glue

heavy cardstock (Tag or mat board is ideal; a dark color tends to look better.)



*If you don’t have shells from Easter eggs, make an omelet for breakfast and rinse the shells. You can put them into a few small bowls and just barely cover with water. Add  several drops of food coloring and let it sit for a minute or two. Drain on paper towels and you are good to go.


1. Sketch a simple design or picture on the board.

2. Using a toothpick, spread glue onto a small section of the picture.

3. Arrange the eggshells to fill in the area. Keep it simple, or use variations in the hue and intensity of the color to create shading. It also looks great to use similar tones in an area. (ie. oranges, and yellows or blues and purples together.)

4. If desired, embellish with glitter, paint or even sequins, buttons, ribbons and such… whatever works with the design.

Megan’s house with fluffy clouds and trees.

Emily wanted to add paint. (Actually, we spent about 20 min. on the mosaics, then the girls moved on to all paint.) This is her “tower, with Jasmine and rain clouds/drops in the sky and mud on the ground…” with the original flower in the center. That girl comes up with quite the story for each picture. She cracks me up!  As you can tell, the patience that mosaics tend to take really show in the outcome. The girls (3 and 5) thought this was fun. An older artist will actually make something that looks cool. (This isn’t the first time I have wished I had a 10 year old around! :D)



I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve tried for play dough; but I think I’ve finally settled on a favorite. This one is quick and cheap, with common pantry ingredients. It also has a fantastic texture–just like “Playdoh”.



  • 3 1/2-4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tarter (found with the spices on the baking isle)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • cherry, strawberry, vanilla, or lemon extract (optional)


1. Heat water to boiling in a medium saucepan. If you want one color of dough, add the food coloring now. This makes it very easy to color. If you want multiple colors, you can work the food coloring into the finished dough.

2. Measure a generous 3 1/2 cups flour into a medium-large mixing bowl (one that holds at least 8 cups.) Reserve extra to add if the dough is too sticky. Mix in the salt and cream of tartar. I have to admit that I love the way this feels, so I always use my hands. Salt and flour just have an interesting texture together. Is that weird?

3. Once the water is boiling, whisk in the oil. Remove from heat and add extract. I like this because it makes the playdough-and your hands-smell good. It can smell too good and be tempting for your child to eat, but this dough is fully edible–just not tasty. I prefer lemon because it smells clean. My girls haven’t ever been interested in eating it, but leave it out if you are concerned at all.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the water mixture in. Stir with a spoon until flour is incorporated, then turn it onto the counter or a cutting board and knead until smooth.

5. Now play! clay2

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