Gingerly Made

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas

There's only 2 days left before Halloween! If you're like me, you're in a scramble. We have a Trunk or Treat party to attend at our church. And that means I've got to get the kids in costumes, food prepared, and a Charlotte's Web themed trunk to put together. I'm honestly not quite sure how I'm going to pull it all off.

If you're like me and on the hunt for easy DIY Halloween decor, snacks, or drinks to plan a last minute Halloween party, you're in the right place! Today's post is all about DIY Halloween Party Tips!

Halloween Party Planning

Simple Halloween Decor

Let's face it. Fun decor totally sets the mood for any party but no one wants to spend hours creating complicated props. Here's a few projects you can whip up in an afternoon.
It only takes a few supplies to create a Jack o'Lantern Balloon Garland. Use it inside or out for a fun "pop" of color.

balloon garland

Easy Honeycomb Bat Decorations are simple enough for your kiddos to make!

Easy Honeycomb Bat Decoration // My Creative Days

The entire neighborhood will love you if there's a Giant Candy Pumpkin at your party!

Halloween candy bucket
Giant Candy Bucket Pumpkin // 3 Little Greenwoods

If you've got a little bit more time to spare this Day of the Dead Party Frame is to "die for". ;)

Day of the Dead Party Frame // Home. Made. Interest.


Add a little bit of craftiness to the party with this Mama and Baby Spider Tutorial. Love those googly eyes!
halloween craft
Mama and Baby Bat Tutorial // Graceful Little Honey Bee

Treats for the Little Ones

These brightly colored Candy Corn Treat Boxes pull double duty as great tabletop decorations and treat boxes of the littles. I love how you don't have to own a fancy machine to make these!

Candy Corn Treat Boxes // Little Miss Celebration

Many families have food allergy issues to deal with during Halloween. Why not have a few non-candy treats for those children? Here is an entire list of items to ditch the candy on Halloween.

Tips to Ditch the Candy on Halloween
Tips to Ditch the Candy on Halloween // The Kennedy Adventures

Party Food and Drinks

Halloween is the best for making fun treats to eat!
Caramel Popcorn Balls are a classic!

Popcorn Balls by Yesterfood 
Caramel Popcorn Balls // Yesterfood

Candy Corn everything is good. Try these Candy Corn Cupcakes - they are quick and easy to make!

Candy Corn Cupcakes // Gingerly Made

Why not add a little bit of fruit to their day by serving smoothies? Peaches and bananas look so yummy with a jack-o-lantern face!

Jack-o-Lantern Smoothies // The Seasoned Mom

Vampire donuts are the perfect, super easy treat!

Halloween Donuts 2
Halloween Donuts // The Pin Junkie

All those little sugared up children are going to need water to quench their thirst. Make plain water bottles fun with a Dracula cape!


All of these projects and recipes came from our wonderful followers who shared their creativity at our Show Me Saturday Linky Party! We would love to have you join us this week!

Show Me Saturday Party with 3 Little Greenwoods

Like what you see?
Keep up with Gingerly Made on
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Northpole by Hallmark GIVEAWAY

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Are you thinking about Christmas yet? I sure am. I'm not passing over the other holidays coming, but Christmas is my FAVORITE holiday of the year. I love the Reason for the Season, the excitement, the spirit of giving, the joy, time with family, and the special traditions we have year after year. I'm especially excited to start a new tradition of #NorthPoleFun with my kids this year thanks to Hallmark and their new Northpole Collection.

We were sent the cutest book and toy from Hallmark and had to give it all a whirl before officially decorating for Christmas.

Reading a Special Book:

One of our family traditions, and not just at Christmas, is reading before bed time. It's a special quiet time we get with our kiddos. So reading Once Upon A Northpole Christmas felt perfect. The book is all about how Santa needs our happiness and cheer in order to deliver gifts and bring Christmas to everyone. But Christmas cheer is at an all time LOW. So, one little elf devises a plan to save Christmas.

It's a really sweet reminder that Christmas isn't about the hustle and bustle or toys or any of the trivial things that we get sucked up in. It's about JOY. You'll have to read it though to find out what the little elf does or what exactly brings joy to people. (wink)

As you can see, my girls were totally focused on the story and that doesn't happen all the time.

Leave Something Special for Santa:

Then on the book was a "Find Me Santa" ornament. This is a genius idea for people who may have to travel for the holidays. While we'll be home this year, we have family on the West Coast. And if we go there for Christmas, how will Santa know where to bring our gifts?? This beacon snowflake is how. You write your name on the front of the snowflake, press the button for 4 seconds on Christmas Eve and it will light up for 4 hours letting Santa know where you are!

We always leave Santa some milk and cookies for the night, now we'll turn on our beacon too.

Countdown to Christmas:

But I'll have to say, that of all the things that we were sent, the Northpole Communicator is our favorite. It's an old timey communicator that lets you talk to the North Pole!

You can only talk to them once a day during the month of December. I mean, Santa and those Elves are busy, busy, busy. They can't stand around all day chatting. But once a day, you can dial in and get a special message.

I have been on the look out for some kind of Christmas countdown that my girls would just fall in love with and I think I've found it. I mean, look at how cute and excited they are. And the only message they are getting is

"Hello, this is Clementine Bell, one of the North Pole Elves. We can't talk right now, but check back on December first."

Would you like to win something from the NorthPole Collection from Hallmark? Enter the rafflecopter below and you might get a special surprise for Christmas too!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Like what you see?
Keep up with Gingerly Made on
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Monday, October 27, 2014

Metallic Clay Leaf Bowl

My girls are getting old enough that they want to start giving gifts now; birthdays, holidays, it doesn't matter, but they want to be part of the gift giving experience. However, they are too young to understand the concept of money. I suppose they think that stuff just appears. So instead of giving them money to buy presents, we are trying to encourage them to get creative and make gifts for people. These metallic leaf bowls are a perfect example of something my girls can make (with help) and give. 

We've been going on a lot of nature walks and collecting leaves, acorns, pine cones, whatever the girls see that interests them. Anyway, we found these humungous leaves. I don't know what kind of tree they're from. I'm guessing maple, but I have no idea which kind. Anyway, I had seen some leaf bowls on Pinterest and knew that I wanted to make some with these big guys.

**Our work area has terrible lighting and no matter how much I fiddle with my camera settings, I have trouble getting a decent pic. So, please look past the lighting issues.**


Air dry clay
Rolling Pin
Butter Knife
Aluminum Foil
Wax Paper
Paint & Brushes

Make It:

Start by rolling out enough air dry clay to lay your leaf on. Don't roll out your clay too thin - it will crack when it dries. 1/4 inch thick should do well to prevent cracking but also be thin enough to make a good bowl.

Use your butter knife to cut out the shape of your leaf.

Tear off a long strip of aluminum foil. Wad up length-wise to create a foil "rope". Circle around to make a hoop for your bowl to sit on and dry.

When it's set on the foil hoop, shape your bowl. Press it down into the hoop a bit to make it have some depth. Curl edges up or down to give it more movement and motion.

Let it sit somewhere safe to dry overnight at least. I actually let mine sit out for two days. When your bowl is dry, you can paint it any color you like. I used metallic colored paint.

If by chance you do get a crack, I did, you can fix it with some Mod Podge. Make sure to put the Mod Podge in between the cracks and then cover your whole bowl with it too. It doesn't effect the feel of the bowl at all.

These bowls can not be used for food or drink, but do make some pretty jewelry holders or just decorative pieces for around the house.

Have you worked with air dry clay or made any gifts with it?

Linking up to these link parties.

Like what you see?
Keep up with Gingerly Made on
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Show Me Saturday #4 {Come Link Up}

Welcome back to the Show Me Saturday link party!

Please follow each of the hostsess in some way.

3 Little Greenwoods 

Gingerly Made 

Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Google+

My Creative Days

You are a bunch of AMAZING crafters! We wish we could feature you all, but since we can't, we're keeping up with your stand out projects on the Show Me Saturday Pinterest board. We'd love it if you followed along too!

Don't worry, we're still showing off features on the blogs! Here are my picks for the week. You can stop by Ashley and Lindsay's blogs to see their features too.

I am ga-ga over this burlap and lace table runner by Making it in the Mountains. Gorgeous!

Burlap & Lace Table Runner :: making it in the mountains #tablerunner #burlap&lace #burlaptablerunner
USS Crafty made these adorable Owl Mug Rugs. They are just too-hoo cute!

 I'm going to be making some customized Christmas presents thanks to this tutorial by Home. Made. Interest.

Monogram Picture Frames are the perfect gift for weddings and anniversarys and now you can make your own! #monogram #gift #silhouette

 Hello Little Home made some delicious looking Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Parfaits. Yum!

Salted Caramel Apple Cheesecake Parfait | Hello Little Home #Dessert #SaltedCaramel #Recipe
Love to link but forget which party's go live when?

Sign up for an EMAIL REMINDER.

 By linking up at Show Me Saturday, you give the party hosts the right use your posts in a feature article including round-ups. We will {obviously} link back to you giving you full credit for your work.

Ok, Let's Party!

Remember, comments are like skittles. Everybody loves them!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Healthier Owl Snacks


A few weeks ago I shared that we were reading Owls in the Family as part of our school time. We made these owl paper lanterns to decorate our classroom and I promised more Owl themed crafts. While we didn't get around to making ALL the crafts I had planned (we never do), we did make a few. But the most favorite owl themed thing we made were these Healthy Owl Snacks.

You may have seen similar owl snacks on Pinterest. That's where I got the idea. But those were made with frosting and candy corn. My kiddos get too much sugar as it is, especially now that Halloween and birthdays and soon Thanksgiving and Christmas are here. So, I am already beginning the holiday sugar battle and I'm starting with these snacks.

My owls are still made with a graham cracker, but instead of frosting for the eyes I used bananas, peanut butter, and mini chocolate chips. Those mini chips are just enough to let the girls think they are getting something sweet, but it's not that much, so I don't mind. It's a nice compromise.

Then instead of a candy corn for a beak, we used a baby carrot. You can cut the carrot in half or use a smaller carrot for a smaller beak. Or go ahead and use a longer carrot for a funny looking long beak.

The girls think this is the coolest snack. They have requested it over, and over, and over again.

Sometimes when I get lazy, I just spread peanut butter over the cracker and add sliced bananas on top. It doesn't look like an owl, but you get the same flavors.What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Linking up to these link parties.

Like what you see?
Keep up with Gingerly Made on
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Monday, October 20, 2014

Candy Corn Cupcakes Halloween Snacks

This shop has been compensated by #CollectiveBias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Candy Corn Cupcakes with Fanta

Do you have Halloween parties before trick or treating starts? We typically go to our church for Trunk or Treating. It's a fun time where the kids can collect candy, the parents can socialize, and we offer a lot of fun besides just trick or treating. One of the games is a cake walk. It's a bit like musical chairs except you land on a number. A random number is pulled from a hat and if you are on that number you win a cake of some kind. So, I made these fun Candy Corn Cupcakes using Fanta to give as a prize.

I partly went with candy corn because Halloween is full of #SpookySnacks and I'm not a big fan of spooky. It's just not my thing. But I DOlove the colors of candy corn! It's fun and festive with out being gorey or creepy.

You might notice though that I got my colors mixed up. It's supposed to be yellow on the bottom, orange in the middle, and white on top. I made mine orange, then yellow, then white. Doesn't it just make better sense to go from dark to light?? Oh well, you get the idea right. I'll get it straightened out for the real Cake Walk batch.

If you have never made a cake using soda, you HAVE to try it. The cake turns out so flavorful and moist. It's great! And easy! I really like using Fanta because it gives the cake a nice orange flavor. And when paired with a lemon flavored cake, the citrus flavors pop.
Fair warning: Because you are using two boxes of cake mix, you will end up with a LOT of cupcakes. So be prepared to host a Halloween party, give them away, or just be really hungry. I ended up with 3 dozen cupcakes!


2 boxes yellow cake (I picked a lemon cake)
12 oz. or 1.5 cups Fanta
2 cans white frosting
ingredients for 1 of the cake mixes
red & yellow food coloring
cupcake liners

I picked up everything  I need from Walmart. It's just so easy to run in and grab what you need. But I have to make a list or else I grab a bunch of other stuff too. Anyone else like that? There will be an in-store demo at select Walmart locations October 24-26th featuring Fanta, as well as Wheat Thins and Halloween Oreos. So make sure you plan a trip that weekend - like you don't end up there every weekend for one thing or another anyway.

Shopping at Walmart


Start by mixing your first box of cake mix with the ingredients directed on the back of the box.

In a separate bowl, mix the second box of cake mix and Fanta. Mix. -- Yep it's that easy. 

Fanta and Cake Mix

My first batch of cupcakes came out DELICIOUS, but the color difference between the yellow and orange just wasn't obvious enough. The picture below makes the colors blend even more than they really were, but you get the idea. Or rather... you miss the idea.

Needs more color

So, with the second batch, I added red and yellow food coloring to the orange batter. WAY better!

Add cupcake liners to your baking pan and spray with a vegetable spray so your cupcake won't stick to the liner. Then layer your batter. YELLOW first, THEN ORANGE; opposite of what I did.

Don't overfill or your cupcakes will look more like mushrooms than cupcakes.

Cook according to package directions.

When your cupcakes have finished cooking and cooling, add a swirl of white icing on the top to finish it off.

These cupcakes are some of the moistest (is that a word?) cupcakes. You almost don't even need the frosting on top. Almost. Well, I may or may not have had enough frosting to finish all 3 dozen cupcakes and I may or may not have eaten the ones with out frosting. Let's just say that these cupcakes are rather tasty.

Candy Corn Cupcake Recipe

Whether you are going to a Trunk or Treat type party away from home, hosting a party at your house, or just looking to give the kiddos some pre-trick or treating snacks, these cupcakes are a must. And don't forget to have some bottles of Dasani on hand. Drinking water will keep everyone hydrated while trick or treating and help ward off a little of that sugar high.

And on a side note, I love that All Dasani bottles are made from plant resin. I'm usually a little weird about buying bottled water, but I don't feel so badly about it when I know that the bottles are better for the environment compared to other plastic water bottles.

Pre Trick or Treating Snack

Keep Up Fanta & Dasani on Social Media:
Fanta: Facebook | Twitter Dasani: Facebook | Twitter

 What are your favorite Halloween snacks?

Linking up to these link parties.

Like what you see?
Keep up with Gingerly Made on
Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Pinterest

Blogging tips