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BOOtiful Halloween Pumpkins

It's that time of year again, my ghosts and goblins, to delight in being frightened, maintain a constant candy high and decorate for All Hallows Eve.

Jack-O'-Lanterns have come a long way and become increasingly sophisticated since the days of triangle eyes and crooked teeth in a half-moon smile. Specialized carving tools and techniques make for 3-D faces and images or intricate designs. But what if you want a pretty or sparkley pumpkin without all of the fuss of cutting and scooping? Let me share a few suggestions that I've found with you.


I love the black painted base, but you can paint your pumpkin any color. Then glue on inexpensive rhinestones in the design of your choice. Add some candle light and you have a halloween disco ball.

Photo by frykitty








These are my favorites! If you choose to decorate your pumpkins with a skin of tacks, be prepared for a time consuming and repetative process. It's fairly simple to do, cover every tiny space of your pumpkin with silver or gold thumbtacks. It may take a while, but the finished effect is fantastic.

Photo by MadiganMade



Simple and fantastic. Brush your gourds with plain white glue. Let dry until tacky and sprinkle thoughoughly with glitter. Let dry and voilà, beautiful.

Photo by winemegup



There are so many great ideas out there! These caught my eye on the website www.stylelist.com, but the opportunities are endless. Paint, decoupage, tape, carving, buttons, fabric, ribbon - use it all! And have fun this halloween.

Now where did I put that candy??



Did you know that alumunum foil is a great and inexpensive material perfect for cleaning up chrome?!

Chrome, especially when exposed to erroding elements such that you find in a bathroom, can easily become pitted and rusty. The only way to make it like new once this happens is to re-chrome your item. However, if you're looking to give your chrome a little shine and erase small surface pits, aluminum foil and elbow grease is your answer.

Ball up the aluminum foil, shiny sid out and rub on the pitted areas until it shines. It won't remove deep rust, but will minimize small spots and give your chrome a like-new luster.

Our scale looks bright and shiny after a few minutes.


Removing a sticky mess

You've just purchased a lovely new vase or the latest PBA free flip top water bottle, brought it home and make ready to put it to use by pulling off the price sticker - or you tried to pull off the sticker. But, as it usally goes, that sticker becomes a mess of adhesive and paper that sticks and spreads to an ever widening smear of sticky goo.

There are products on the market that will break down and remove the adhesive, however these are costly and toxic. All you need is something you already have in your cupboard - cooking oil! Olive, vegatable, canola...they all work like a charm. Rub a little bit of oil on the sticky mess, let it soak in for a couple of minutes and then wash off. Violá...sticky mess is gone!

This will work on glass, plastic or any sealed, waterproof surface. Inexpensive, easy and non-toxic...perfect!


Glam'd up Wicker

One of the great things about wicker is that it can be extremely inexpensive. Perfect for our budget bedroom make-over featured on this blog. What to do, then, when you need something that provides a little more "statement" than simple wicker? Paint it! More specifically, paint it a spark-ly metallic.


The bedroom space for a chair was limited and the budget even more so. We found this simple and streamlined chair at Ikea for $30. Perfect for the budget and just the right size... but a little plain for the space which needed something eye-catching in that corner.



The solution...spray paint.




A couple cans of silver metallic spraypaint later, we have a glam'd up version of the original. Simple to do, but takes the dull brown out of the equation and replaces it with a sparkle and shine to contrast with that beautiful blue wall.


The final step is to add a pillow for the seat.

Have fun with it. Make your own or buy one. Our end result cost about $40 and is perfect for the space.


Re-invent your curtains for $20

When doing a make-over, curtains can quickly add a lot of cost to your project. However, unless you like a lot of light and want to live in a fishbowl, window coverings are necessary.

The curtains in the original room were pretty straightforward. Basic linen look, taupe, clean curtians that were still in good condition. Instead of replacing them, I decided to repurpose them and give them a little pizzaz with a wide border along the top and trim of fringe. The materials cost $20 - less than the price of a typical single panel - and the curtains were given a whole new look that fit in perfectly with the room makeover.

The how to...

I'll tell you honestly, I don't like to sew, and it isn't one of my better skills. So if I can do it, anyone with a sewing machine and a little patience can do it!

First, the fun part. Shopping and buying a complimentary color and type of fabric. Be sure to figure out before-hand how wide you'd like your band and how wide your curtains are in order to purchase the correct amount of fabric. Factor in the extra you'll need to fold under along the hems. I was able to get two bands for every yard and a half of fabric needing only 3 yards for all 4 curtains.

There are tons of trims and fringes out there. They can add a fantastic detail to your curtains and give them a polished look. They are also amazing at hiding seams that might be a little rough if you're not a practiced sewer.


Next step is to cut and pin your fabric panels onto the curtains. If the curtains or fabric is wrinkle-y iron them first. It helps to iron the panels where the edges are folded to get clean edges and keep the edges straight as you sew.


Once the pinning is done, sew away! In addition to sewing on the panels and fringe to these curtains, I hemmed them to skim the floor instead of the old "puddle" look to give them a more tailored look.

The final result...curtains with an entirely new look for a mere $20!