Saturday, October 31, 2015

Planning a Halloween Birthday Party

Halloween is going to take over ChemKnits for the next few months!  I love Halloween so much.  It is really fun to decorate the apartment and to create costumes.  For Lucky's second birthday we decided to have the party on Halloween, which means that all of the decorations we create can be used for years to come.  I'm going to be spreading out many of these crating DIY projects over the next few months.  I can't wait for you to see what I've created!

I'm not sure how long it will take to get through all of the projects I accomplished for this party, but you will see a little bit of everything.   Coloring, painting, sewing, knitting.  I hope that you will enjoy this spooky twist on the blog as much as I will. These projects will enable me to decorate my house for Halloween in style for years to come!  Today I will share a few tiny projects that we created for our Halloween Housewarming Birthday Party.

Painted Bottles

It is fun to create party decorations out of things you have laying around the house.  For weeks we saved up old soda, milk and beer bottles and used our acrylic paint to create some magic.

I painted the beer bottles with two coats of black paint and then turned them into spooky or apothecary bottles.  

The milk jugs turned into ghosts with a little black paint.  I'll put battery powered candles in them to light them up tonight.  With some colored paint and faces, I turned the soda bottles into cartoons of Halloween characters.  Since this party is for toddlers, I am going for fun and cartoonish versus spooky in our decor.  

Finally, while these aren't bottles I also painted a cheap frame and flickering pumpkin stand I found at the local craft store.

Ruffle Streamers

I have a sewing machine now, so I wanted to try to take the crepe paper up a notch.  Two colors of crepe paper through a sewing machine with high thread tension and long stitches = ruffled garland.  This looks easy enough to attempt, and will give me 81 feet or so of sewing a straight line practice.

It works it works!  Stitch length = 5, tension 8 (I'm not even up at the highest!).  I will admit that I tested this a bit on fabric before I went to the paper because I don't know my machine that well yet.  I placed the streamer rolls in a bowl at my feet so they could unwind with ease.  I never had any tangles or major kinks in the streamers.  I only had to stop sewing when I needed a bit of a break.

The streamers basically sew themselves!  This is also my first time using the machine at the fastest speed.  I feel like I'm flying.  I ran out of the bobbin once, but now I know what happens (i.e. what to look for) when you run out of a bobbin (you get a lot of holes in your crepe paper!)

Keith and I liked how the streamers came out so much that I decided to try a three color version with black, purple and lime green.  The purple and green ill overlap each other and the black will be on top of them.  But I am going to sew this wrong side up, so we will not see the black really while sewing but see where the green and purple overlap.  This is really so I can make sure I'm sewing in the right place.

I started with a completely full bobbin and this time I didn't run out, although I am now almost out of black thread.  Time for another trip to the fabric store!

Sticker Goodybags

With the cookie treat bar at my party, I needed to have some bags so people could take cookies home with them.  I found some packages of treat bags that were 5"x9.5"x3" that would be perfect.  I got plain black bags and some fun Halloween Stickers so Lucky could help me decorate

With these stickers there is a little prep work before Lucky can help out because I have to remove the center parts of the stickers.  But I think we should have fun working on this together.

Lucky loved playing with the stickers.  He picked out which sticker he wanted next and I removed the backing.  Some stickers went straight onto the bag, and others first made a pit stop on his belly.   After 8 bags Lucky was begging to do more. I knew that we needed to wait and save some of these stickers for another day so we stopped.

Can you tell which bags Lucky decorated versus which ones I decorated?

Foam Pumpkins

With some 12x18" pieces of craft foam, I sketched out some pumpkin silhouettes and cut them out.  I plan to tape these to the floor with painters tape to create some pumpkin "stepping stones."  This will either be a fantastic game for the toddlers or they will immediately rip them up off of the floor.  Either way, they were cheap and easy to create.  

I'd better stop working on this post and get back to assembling the party decorations!  (Normally I schedule posts in advance, and while I started working on this one a while ago here I am finishing it up the morning of the party!)  I have made so many awesome things over these last few weeks that I cannot wait to share with you over the coming months.  I hope you enjoy Halloween taking over ChemKnits for a while!