Running out of time for a creative spin on this years jack-o-lantern? Mummify your pumpkin by wrapping an artificial gourd in cheesecloth. Weve excerpted directions from Better Homes and Garden here: http://nando.com/6j.
Stiffy Fabric stiffener
Artifical pumpkin (or real)
Glue gun and hot melt adhesive
1-inch googly eyes
Black acrylic pain
Glow-in-the-dark gel paint (suggested Plaid Glo Away)
Step by step
• Cut cheesecloth into 4-by-12-inch strips. Fold strips in half lengthwise. Apply fabric stiffener, following manufacturers instructions. Apply strips to pumpkin, leaving the top and bottom of the pumpkin uncovered. Let dry.
• Hot-glue eyes to pumpkin.
• Cut four 4-by-6-inch strips of cheesecloth. Fold strips in half lengthwise. Apply fabric stiffener, following manufacturers instructions.
• Cover each eye diagonally so a little of each eye peeks out. Let dry.
• Carve out a small mouth from the layers of cheesecloth using a craft knife.
• Paint the inside of the mouth black.
• Brush glow-in-the-dark gel paint onto cheesecloth. Let dry.
• Alternative directions: Wrap the pumpkin in gauze, securing one end of the roll (and elsewhere as needed) with a hot glue gun and either tucking in the end point or gluing it. Hot glue on the eyes and use cut up, sticky foam for the mouth.
Best for charity
A winter or so ago, my childrens Sunday school stocked paper lunch paper with supplies to give out to the homeless. Recently, my kids asked to make more. They chipped in their own money and picked out things to pack in the bags: gloves, socks, hats, cereal bars, lip balm, mini water bottles, trail mix and the toiletries (shampoos, lotion, soaps) weve collected on vacation at various hotels.
Sometimes they draw a picture or write something on the bags, too. We keep the bags in a tote in the car to have on hand anytime we encounter someone we think needs them. The recipients have always seemed genuinely appreciative.
This time of year, you can often find gloves and socks in Targets dollar displays. We got multiple sets of two pairs of gloves for $1.50 each at Walmart. Big box stores are great places to score deals on bottled water, and individually wrapped snacks.
My kids love the feeling of helping someone in need. And several of their friends have been inspired to do the same.
Feel free to pass it on!
Best for carving
You dont need fancy stencils or messy cutouts to carve a pumpkin. The Fresh Ideas Home blog suggests using cookie cutters you have on hand as a carving guide. Empty the pulp from the pumpkin, place a cookie cutter in the desired space and pound it into the pumpkin using a rubber mallet. Remove the cutter using needle nose pliers, if necessary. Then cut out the shapes using a serrated or other knife. You can get ideas for decorating pumpkins with cookie cutters at http://nando.com/6k.
Sanford reader Nancy Piacenza wrote in to share a tip she uses to store produce. Ive found that a leftover bag from a cereal box prolongs the life of fresh produce in the fridge better than anything Ive ever used. A clothespin does well as the bags closure. The bags can be stored flat, also using a clothespin to clip them together. So much better than any poly bag!
Best for brushes
The Thrifty Mama blog says you can clean your makeup brushes without resorting to expensive cleaning solutions. Heres how:
Mix two parts warm water and one part vinegar. If you like suds, you can stir in a drop of dish detergent or baby shampoo in your cleaning solution. Rinse well with warm water. Make sure to reform the brushes to their original shape before lying flat on a towel to dry overnight. http://nando.com/6l
On the tube
Room to grow: Dan and Michelle invested in a great piece of property, but they were never keen on the home that sat upon it. Now, with a mobile 14-month old on the prowl, theyre really feeling boxed in. Designer Hilary and Realtor David work on separate plans to renovate the home and find an alternative space the family can grow into. Love It or List It airs at 7 p.m. Monday.
Trick out your bathroom: Check out the latest in bath design as licensed contractor Jeff Devlin takes viewers behind the scenes at the nations largest kitchen and bath show. Youll see everything from audio-therapy toilets and micro-bubble bathtubs to glass art countertops and waterproof TVs in the shower in other words, everything you need to trick out your next bathroom renovation. Tune in to Hot List: Baths Special at 7 p.m. Saturday.
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