Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Halloween Crafts from Dollar Tree Finds

Has anyone else been having an incredibly busy autumn this year? I've been doing a lot of Halloween related activities so it's been a fun kind of busy. One of these activities was doing Halloween crafts. I started at Dollar Tree with these raw materials in September and plans to upgrade them a bit.


I tried a few different looks with the pumpkins. I started my first project by making a zig zag pattern with painter's tape. I had planned to do a chevron pumpkin like this after seeing some how-to projects in a magazine. The process ended up involving a lot of tedious taping, so I just did it once, and went black and glittery with the top. Then I added a few triangles and shimmery bits. Now it's kind of a harlequin pumpkin.


I just glittered the next two, although they don't look much like that now. I ended up reworking the stems, so there would be something more substantial there.


Here's one of the reworked stems in process on the purple pumpkin I made for a friend. Basically, you build up a stem out of tin foil and shape it. Then you take a mix of Elmer's glue and water to apply newspaper to the tin foil. I ended up using phone book pages instead of newspaper, because they are made from thinner paper. It was nice to have a use for the phone book that just arrived!


Here's the finished fancy pumpkin! I painted over that phone book stem with some shimmery paint. The pumpkin was painted with pearly purple craft paint and then glittered. I used shimmery nail polish on some dried cedar and glued that to the pumpkin. Then I glued on a bow and a rhinestone and I was done!


This next project was tedious, but I am so happy with the result!


skull before



Here he is with a bandana, since he's a pirate skull.


A close up of his gold and bejeweled teeth:


I ended up freehand painting some eyes inside his hollowed out eye sockets, which was more difficult than expected. He's just as lifelike as I need him to be! I plan to put him in the center of the bowl of candy I hand out to trick-or-treaters. He'll go nicely with my pirate outfit for that day!

The next project was a lot of fun. I started with some silk flowers (also from Dollar Tree) and some fake eyeballs from American Science and Surplus.


I intensified the eye color with some paint and blue nail polish. Then I removed the flower's center and hot glued the eyeball in its place.


Here's one in an arrangement:


I really like the light in that photo. It was a happy accident, but it almost looks like an oil painting to me.

The last project was done with acorns and a little nail polish. If you're like me and have a lot of nail polish sitting around already, this is pretty simple. Shimmery craft paint and glitter works fine too.


Aren't those shimmery little leaves cute? Heidi from was nice enough to include those with the CD she traded me. I'm planning to Mod Podge a few of those leaves onto some plain acorns.

Just one thing I should add - wait a few days after collecting your acorns to paint them. You know those little holes you sometimes see in acorns? Well, that's where insect larvae have crawled out after hatching. I learned this lesson after having one of them crawl out of an acorn I had painted. He went straight out of layers of paint and was crawling around on my paint palette! They take a few days to hatch, so just be patient a bit before painting.

Aside from making Halloween crafts, I've also been busy reading this book:

Alfred Hitchcock Presents A Month of Mystery

I found this collection of stories lying under some other books of mine. Judging by the sticker on the cover, I paid a dollar for it. Or maybe someone else did a long time ago and left the price sticker on. In any event, it's worth that and more because it's a really enjoyable book! The idea behind it is that there are 31 stories, so you could read one every day of a month. The book is split into four sections: a week of crime, a week of suspense, a week of detection, and a week of the macabre.


If you're like me, you'll skip around where you please, starting with the macabre. If you have an orderly brain that likes to go from start to finish, I think this book would be a fun exercise for you! A Month of Mystery was published in 1969, but some of the stories go back to the 1930s. Most of what I've read was noticeably from the 50s and 60s from the slang. The word "fink" was a dead giveaway! So you'll laugh or be confused by the slang, and maybe a little spooked by the stories. Plus it would appear that it's pretty inexpensive online too.

As for the bookmark, I am using something very fitting:


The skeleton was another goodie that arrived with a CD. This and a few other creepy crawlies were from Dex at I cut the skeleton's arms loose, and he hangs over the pages nicely.

One more thing that's kept me busy was preparing for the annual Witches' Gathering. That party was last night, so photos will be coming soon!

*Speaking of parties, just another reminder that my Halloween blog party is on Friday, October 26! So get those pictures to me. :)


  1. Great job with all of these. I love those birds!! The eyeball floral arrangement is way too cute :)

  2. Wendy ~ Thank You! :) Last time I was at Dollar Tree, there were still plenty of birds. So I'm sure you could find a few! Did you see the photos from my witch party last year? The little birds were dressed for the occasion:

    Witch Party 2011

    Oh, I had a lot of fun making those eyeball flowers. They were the easiest craft I did this year, and I'm really happy with them! I put them in a vase with some normal flowers, so every now and then a flower makes eye contact with you. :)

  3. Your Halloween crafts have turned out whimsical and wonderful!

    I keep thinking about your blog party and getting a picture over to you..and even still thinking about your mixed cd trade. Both sound really fun!

  4. You did a wonderful job with everything. Your pirate skull turned out wonderfully and the purple pumpkin is soooooo pretty! :)

  5. Pensive ~ Thanks! Yeah, I've been having fun in a sort of stressed out way. :) Now that some of the bigger projects are finished, I can have Halloween fun in a more relaxed way. Things will be pretty calm until Halloween night.

    Pumpkin Cottage ~ Thank you! I'd love it if you could get a picture to me and join in the fun. If you end up having the time to make a mix CD, I'd love to trade with you!

    Little Gothic Horrors ~ Thanks! Yeah, I guess you can see I was happy enough to not go with the rhinestone eyes. :) Not that I didn't like those too. They gave the skull that buried treasure kind of look. I think this one will really spook the little trick-or-treaters as I present the candy!

    The purple pumpkin is for a friend who gave me some magazines full of pumpkin decorating ideas. She's into glamorous, glittery things so I think it will be a fit for her. The glitter gave the pumpkin sort of a magical look, like Cinderella's coach. :)

  6. I'm alla 'bout the dollar tree Hallowe'en.

  7. Amazing job on those pumpkins! I'll have to get some of those. One can never have too many pumpkins!

  8. Nice work! I really love the eye ball in the flowers!

  9. Hi Justine ..I just sent in my email to you for the CD. Also wanted to let you know that I will be sending in a photo for the blog party tomorrow as well!

  10. Mantan ~ Yeah! It's a great store to visit before Halloween. They have some fun decorations, dishes, stickers, and even costume pieces!

    Magikalseasons ~ Thank you! I agree - the more pumpkins the better! Those Dollar Tree pumpkins are fairly small, so you can fit several into your decorations. I actually have a few more pumpkin projects I'm working on for Thanksgiving. I figure that a few glittery pumpkins will look nice with my harvest displays.

    Bob ~ Thanks! I'm pretty happy with my eyeball flowers too. Since I only did that to two flowers in my arrangement, they kind of sneak up on you. Even though I created them, the flowers still spook me. I feel like they're watching me!

    Pumpkin Cottage ~ Cool! I'll look at your email and get your CD packed up! Thanks for taking part in this exchange. :) I can't wait to see your photo!

  11. That purple pumpkin is so pretty. You could use it year round. All your projects look great regardless. I still have to get two pumpkins for carving.


  12. Ali ~ Thanks! :) I'm really happy with how that one turned out. It will be almost hard to give it away. I may just need to make a second one for myself! I agree that the pumpkin could stay out past Halloween. It has an almost icy appearance with the glitter, so it could work for winter.

    Have fun carving your pumpkins! There are some real pumpkins around here too, but they're not carved. I did something else with them that will be shared in my next blog post!

  13. You make Dollar Store stuff look good!!! The lavender pumpkin is gorgeous. Now I wish I had picked some of those up :) The skull looks awesome... I love the eyes that you painted in :)
    Love the eyeball flowers too! I picked up a bunch of styrofoam eyes on clearence from Michaels. The possibilities are endless :) Glad that you have a use for the leaves! The acorn bug story cracked me up... u just never know the surprises that nature has in store!

  14. Heidi ~ Thank you! :) I ended up making a lavender pumpkin for myself as well. I think it can stay out through Thanksgiving and maybe even Christmas, because it has a frosty look to it. That skull took a lot of work, but I was so happy with the results! It seemed to get some attention from within the candy bowl too. :)

    I was just at Michael's last night. I didn't see any styrofoam eyes there, but I got enough other stuff. It's hard to pass up 80% off Halloween stuff! Glad someone read that acorn story. I'm laughing about it now but at the time I was so grossed out! I was further grossed out when I saw some pics of what that larvae grows into. That thing got a quick trip outside!