11

Having A Spooky Time

Since I haven’t posted in a week, I thought I’d share some photos of what I’ve been up to lately! I’ve had a busy but good week – I was working 9 til 5, and I had a couple of interviews. This weekend nine of my friends came stay to celebrate Halloween with me! We had an excellent time dressing up, eating ghost shaped cookies and drinking ghoulish green punch before heading to da club.halloween 2013 1halloween 2013 2halloween 2013 3halloween 2013 4halloween 2013 5halloween 2013 6I’m sad that everyone’s gone home, the house now feels super quiet! Did you do anything to celebrate Halloween this weekend?

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11

DIY Ghost Family

My most recent Halloween decorations are these ghostly visitors! Ghosts, bats and pumpkins are probably my favourite Halloween characters. I like that these ghosts are so mobile and you can prop them up anywhere. If you have a garden by your front door, you could stick them into the lawn like scarecrows! I think one by itself would also be cute, but I thought if I was making one, I might as well make four. Don’t forget to make them different sizes, if you want a ghost family like me 🙂

ghost scarecrows 1ghost scarecrows 2

You will need:
4 Balloons
Kitchen towel
PVA
Paint brush
4 Jam jars
White bin bags
White mesh / gauze / net (as long as it’s cheap and a little transparent!) I used 4 metres
4 sticks
Gardening wire
Wire cutters
Masking tape
Black Card

ghost scarecrows 3

Step 1: Blow up your balloons and cover them in paper mache! If you haven’t done this before, just fill a jar with half water and half pva, dip strips of kitchen towel into the jar and smooth them, overlapping, onto the balloon. Do two or three layers, and put the balloons in jars so that they stay upright. Leave to dry overnight.

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Step 2: Wrap wire around the top half of the stick to form ghost arms. If your wire is sliding down the stick, tape into place.

Step 3: Once your paper mache is fully dry, tape it onto the top of the stick to form the head!

Ghost Scarecrows 6

Step 4:  Cut the handles off the bin bags and pull them over the top of the ghost. Secure the bin bags around the neck by tying with a bin bag handle. For larger ghosts, you might want to chop up the bin bags and tape them together to get a bigger ghost body!

Step 5: Drape your transparent fabric over the top of the ghost body and tie with a strip of fabric

ghost scarecrows 7

Step 6: Cut out eyes and a mouth from the black card, and glue onto the ghost face.

ghost scarecrows 8There you have it, a nice family of ghosts to welcome you home until Halloween. Mine are currently inside lurking in dark corners, as it’s been rather rainy… I will put them outside for Halloween and hopefully we’ll get lots of trick or treaters!

14

DIY Bat Costume

I have been very organised this year, and finished my Halloween costume! I’ve known for a while that I wanted to go as a bat and I was inspired by this bat wing costume tutorial for kids. I’ve put my own twist on the tutorial by giving the bat wings a long tail and extending the end of the wings using chopsticks. In these pictures, I’m wearing the wings over a black top, my disco pants and some super high heels I bought in sale in Topshop in my first year at York. And here’s how I made them 🙂

Bat Costume 1Bat Cosdtume 2You will need:2 metres of thick black fabric
Glue gun and glue
Sewing machine
2 chopsticks
Measuring tape
Scissoirs
Needle and thread
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Step 1: Take your measurements and sketch out the wing shape. Okay, so this is the part that looks most complicated but it’s actually nto that difficult. First, fold your fabric widthwise. Then take your measurements and use them to draw a bat shape that fits you, using the photo above. Length 1 is half of the distance from underarm to underarm. Length 2 is half of the circumference of your shoulder. Length 3 is the distance from the top of your shoulder to your wrist. Length 4 is half the circumference of your wrist. Length 5 is the length of your chopstick and length 6 is an inch.

Once you have used those measurements to draw on the top of your costume, draw on the loops of the bat wing, until your each the bottom of the fold of your fabric. Then cut out your wings! Phew, that’s the tricky bit over.

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Step 2: Hem the whole top edge of your bat costume (lengths 1. 3, 4 and 5.)

bat costume 14

Step 3: To make the sleeve, fold the top of your costume and sew length 3 onto the fabric. Length A (above) should be half the circumference of your shoulder. Do this for both sleeves.

bat costume 7bat costume 8Step 4: Glue the chopsticks into the fold at the end of your wings (I used my glue gun for this.)

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Step 5: Cut two small strips of fabric from your strips and wrap them around your finger. Pin them in place, remove them from your finger and then glue them in place. Try on your wings and mark where the bottom of your index finger touches the fabric. Glue each fabric ring to your wings at this point, as above.

Ta da, finished!

bat costume 11bat costume 12bat costume 13

I had a lot of fun test running my Halloween costume and make up! I decided that smiley photos wouldn’t be very scary but I’m not sure about my moody face in these pictures! Have you decided what you’re going as for Halloween yet?

7

Spooky Decorations Pt. 1

I’m so happy that I have my first Halloween decorations up! These flying bats for my room are the first things I made. I think they’re fun – they’re simple and not too tacky and super easy to make. This DIY is as simple as cutting and sticking. By Halloween my house will be looking pretty spooooooky!

halloween decs 1You will need:
10 sheets of black card
Pencil
Scissors
Blue tack

Step 1: Draw on your bat shapes. I did four sizes of bats – the biggest were the length of a sheet of A4, and the little one’s I cut from the space under the big bat’s wings. Fold the card in half and draw on half the bat  – that way your bat will be symmetrical, and he will look like he’s flapping his wings when you blue tack him to the wall! Then cut out your bats.

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Step 2: Blue tack your bats to the wall!

I told you this was a quick decoration 🙂

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I also carved my first pumpkin! This guy is a “monster” pumpkin. I carved the witch and James carved the ghost. I’m not sure if it’ll make it all the way to Halloween, but if not at least I used the insides to attempt my first pumpkin pie (I think I need a little practice…)

Halloween Decs 6

Have you put any Halloween decorations up yet? I have big plans for the rest of the house but I’m pretty pleased with my decorations so far. I’m hoping to host a Halloween get-together at my house which will give me lots of opportunity to create some spooky concoctions!

9

Halloween TV and Film Favourites

One of my October goals is to have an excellent Halloween month. One of the best ways to do this is to dive head-first into some classic Halloween films and tv! They’re great to have on in the background whilst cooking pumpkin soup, or costume making, and would make for an excellent Halloween night in 🙂 Here are five of my favourites.

1. The Addams Family

addams family values

My favourite Addams Family movie is Tha Addams Family Values. The Addams Family are a wealthy tight-knit family of spooky characters with a taste for the macabre. The films are always more funny than actually scary and I love the dry humour and the gothic imagery. Wednesday Addams is a style icon.  In The Addams Family Values, a new baby is born that Wednesday and Pugsley dislike and try to do away with. The family hires a nanny to look after baby Pubert, and the nanny and Uncle Gomez hook up. Wednesday and Pugsley are suspicious of the nanny and try to work out what she’s up to. My favourite scene in this films is when Wednesday is forced to participate in a production about Thanksgiving at summer camp, and she leads the children who have been cast as Native American’s in revolt. This film is silly, gothic and over the top – everything that Halloween should be!

2. Sabrina The Teenage Witch 130311b-sabrina

Okay, so Sabrina The Teenage Witch is not a scary programme, but there’s lots of magic, a talking cat, and some excellent 90s outfits, which makes it perfect tv material for the run up to Halloween. I’m sad that I no longer live with Chelsea and therefore can’t borrow her Sabrina DVD’s or her collection of Sabrina magazines, but I might still try to watch as many of the seven series as I can. Sabrina finds out on her 16th birthday that she’s a half witch and has magical powers. She lives with her two 600-year-old aunts, who guide her through the troubles of being magical and being a teenager. You can’t watch this programme without wishing you will someday find out that you have secret magical powers too.

3. Hocus Pocus

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Hocus Pocus is not really a good film. It’s very cheesy and a lot of the acting is bad but it’s just so much fun! Watching this film makes me wich I could spend Halloween in a suburb in America just once – they seem to be doing it right. A boy called Max accidentally resurrects a trio of witches on Halloween by lighting a candle in their old cottage. A friendly cat tells Max to steal the witches spellbook so that they can’t kill any children, and the witches chase Max to try to steal their spellbook back. I love that Sarah Jessica Parker is one of the witches.

4. The Nightmare Before Christmas

the nightmare before christmas 2

I’m never sure whether this film is a Christmas film or a Halloween film,  but I think the abundance of scary imagery makes it primarily Halloweeny. I’d be surprised if any of you hadn’t already seen it, but just in case, here’s the plot… Jack Skellington is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town – the holiday town responsible for Halloween. When Jack goes for a walk, he discovers the portal to Christmas town and is overcome with excitement. Jack decides his town is to take over Christmas, but the pumpkin king doesn’t understand how to create a holiday without things that go boo and things start to go horribly wrong. The film also features a love story between Jack and a rag doll, Sally.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

buffy halloween

I am new to Buffy. My boyfriend is Buffy obsessed, and I used to tease him for it, but we’ve been watching it together, and I can’t remember why I thought it was silly. Buffy lives in a town called Sunnydale, which is on a “Hellmouth”. This means there are always vampires, demons and monsters popping up trying to take over the world. Buffy has been chosen to be the Slayer, so she is super strong, has a duty to protect the world from evil, and steaks a lot of vampires. She’s guided by her watcher, Giles, and her two best friends Willow and Xander are always by her side. I guess I was unsure about Buffy at first because vampire stories can be kind of cheesy. However, Buffy never takes itself too seriously and I love that Buffy herself is this really badass 16-year-old girl. Willow is my favourite character though – she has the best 90s style! Every episode of Buffy is kind of halloweeny but there are also some excellent Halloween episodes.

What are your favourite Halloween films and series? I already have The Craft and The Munsters on my to watch list, but I’m always looking for new suggestions!