DIY Costume Awards

We have a fall / Halloween party every year and many people come in costume although it's not mandatory.
Our Halloween parties started when the kids were little but it has now evolved into a mostly adult party, although kids are encouraged and welcomed to come and I always have kiddy food, drinks, and treats.

When my kids were little I would give out prizes for top voted costumes but we haven't had a costume contest in years.
My daughter Alexis asked me to revive the tradition. So this year we had a costume contest, complete with voting jars for each category, and slips of paper and ink pens for everyone to pick their favorites.

We also decided that if you win an award in one category, you could not win in another.  That rule just allows more people to take home an award, but feel free to make up your own rules.

The costume categories were:
  1. Best Girl's Costume
  2. Best Boy's Costume
  3. Best Man's Costume
  4. Best Woman's Costume
  5. Best Group or Family Costume
  6. Most Original Costume
  7. Funniest Costume

Skeleton are hot glued into a pose, then glued onto the base and are ready for painting

I wanted to come up with something fun to give out to the winners so decided to make awards.
I found this idea on Pinterest and just love it and we got so many wonderful compliments!

Spray painting them gold

Skeleton Costume Award or Trophy

What You'll Need:
  • A bag of plastic skeletons
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Pieces of wood for the platform
  • Gold spray paint
  • Scrapbooking paper
  • Sticker embellishments (optional)

Mason jars to place votes in and the award trophies

I used a 2 x 2 square piece of wood to cut 2-inch stands for the base.  You can use a round rod to cut out the bases or just purchase wood cutouts at a craft store.

I started out posing the skeletons.  To do that I snapped or broke the arms and/or legs at the joint, then hot glued them into a position I wanted the skeleton to stand in.
I then hot glued any joints that moved to make the skeletons stiff.
Last I glued the skeletons onto the base.
Once the hot glued dried, I made sure to remove any strings of glue or large glue clumps.

Our friend Ashley's trophy (and her  photo)
for Most Original Costume!

To make a group trophy I positioned 2 skeletons on one base.
For funniest, I glued the skeleton in a funny position.
I took all the completed skeletons outside to give them a good coat of gold spray paint.  After the first coat dried, I checked for any spots I missed and repainted.

Cute little sashes made from scrapbooking paper and word doc

Once the paint dried I use Microsoft Word Doc to create the sash lettering and then printed.
I cut a piece of scrapbooking paper to drape around the skeleton and hot glued in place.  I used paper that had little skeletons on it so it looked really cute.
I then cut out the word doc wording and glued them onto the sashes.
Add a little sticker to the base if you want.


Here are a few of the winners:

Voted Best Group or Family Costume, so adorable!

Voted Best Boy Costume!

Voted Most Original Costume

I hope you're enjoying the festive season as much as we are!


Other Posts:

Fall Decorated Christmas Tree

Thanksgiving Placecards

Sausage Corn Chowder

How to Make a Quilt Label


Halloween Costume Ideas #4

At the Circleville Pumpkin Show
Well, here we go again!
It's everything fall and pumpkin at our house this time of year and getting decorations set up for our annual Halloween Party.  We encourage everyone to come in costume (but not mandatory) and surprisingly, many people create costume themselves, which I love.

I've homemade my kids costumes for years and years and now that they're grown, they're carrying on the tradition.
If you've read any my previous posts on costumes, you know I have nothing against store purchased costumes, except that they are usually expensive but cheaply made, repetitive and many are just trampy.

So here are a few costume ideas and recent ones that have stood out.

Men in Black:
My son's friend Charlie created this costume and what a great idea!  A black suit and tie, dark sunglasses, and a laser gun is all that's needed to create this one.  But the best prop for this costume was the memory eraser!

Edgar Allan Poe
One of my all-time favorite costumes, because yes, I'm a Poe fan. We even took a book club trip to Baltimore, Maryland last year to tour Poe sites. 
This was my nephew Adam's idea and it's another way to use the black suit, but you also need a string neck tie, black mustache, and a crow.

Bank Robbers:
If you are offended by guns scroll past this costume.
This is my husband and me as bank robbers.  The costumes consist of black pants, striped shirts and face masks. I used strips of black material for the mask, with holes cut for eyes.  Use old pillowcases with a dollar sign painted on them for the money bags. I found cloth bags at the craft store and painted them myself.  I also bought fake money as a prop.

And since we're already on the wrong side of the law......

Orange is the new Black:
This is my granddaughter Kelsey and never have we received such negative feedback as with this costume.  We go to the Circleville Pumpkin Show every year and in costume and most people believed her to be a real prisoner, haha. No one wanted to go near her and mother's even pulled their children away from her! It was great

Kelsey used a cream uniform for the prison outfit and I made the prison name tag for her, just printed it from a photo online.  We added the neck tattoo and red coloring around Kelsey's eyes to give her the drug addict look.  She scared people!

A Bird and Egg and a Bird Catcher:
My son's girlfriend Jennica did not have the fun of celebrating Halloween and dressing up in costumes when she was growing up but she is becoming quite creative!  She came up with these really cute costumes for her and my son Daniel.

To create these costumes, Jennica sewed feathers onto a shirt, added a large stick wreath around her waist and purchased a bird mask. My granddaughter in her belly created the egg!
 For Daniel's costume, she searched thrift stores for the shirt, pants, and hat. She was even able to find a bird watcher book and the net.

Scottish Highlander
This is a more difficult one to create but is absolutely wonderful.  This is a friend of my daughter Alexis's and he's a re-enactor.

John purchased many of the items for his costume. But besides the Kilt, you can create a cheaper version by making the pieces homemade or else find them in second-hand stores.
You will need a black vest, white shirt and red cape and the kilt of course.
John handmade his shield and a sword is highly recommended.

Witch Doctor
My daughter Alexis put this costume together with leopard skin material, furs, brown gloves with black nails glued on and a bag full of bones.  She also found and decorated a large crooked stick and purchased the mask

Football Player
This is a quick and easy go-to costume if you are short on time.  Any team jersey will work but since we are OSU (Ohio) fans these are all Buckeyes.  You will need a team jersey and pants.  Softball pants will work if they match.  Also, a helmet or toboggan hat the same team colors as the jersey.
Add shoulder pads under the shirt and a little black makeup under the eyes and the costume is complete.

My son Daniel in the early 1990's

Enjoy the season and have fun!!


Other Posts:

Halloween Costumes #1

Halloween Costumes #2

Halloween Costumes #3

Fall / Halloween Tree


Child's Batman Quilt

My most recent finished quilt was a request for a one-year-old boy's Batman quilt.

I'm not really into Batman (or any super hero) fandom so after finding a batman print fabric, I used Google to come up with coordinating colors.
The original request was just no blue colors.

There are actually a few Batman costumes, with the newest one clad in all black. I'm old school and I grew up with the vintage batman.  A plain black batman quilt or a gray-black one was just not very interesting in my opinion, so this quilt is inspired by the vintage batman costume.


Sausage Corn Chowder

I make this soup 3 to 4 times a year during cool fall days and cold winter months and it's usually requested for our Annual Fall Party.

The original recipe came from a 1992 cookbook called Campbell's Simply Delicious Recipes I found at a second-hand store. I changed the recipe a little, making it a little more natural by leaving out the Campbell's soup and substituting my Homemade Chicken Broth and a little cornstarch for thickener, which also happens to make the soup Gluten Free.  

The directions are for making the original recipe and also how to substitute ingredients to make the soup Gluten Free; the soup is excellent either way.

Canning Kidney Beans

Having precooked jars of beans on the shelf is a great convenience and canning dried beans yourself is really easy. Also, knowing what's in the food I'm eating, or NOT in the food is really important to me. Plus there's the money saving side to canning, and the great fresh taste and the sense of accomplishment knowing I did it myself.

Then there's forgetting to soak the beans the night before to use the next day. And freezing them poses the same problem. It happens. So having beans already cooked and ready to go means I can whip up something at the last minute if needed.

I like to can beans at the end of summer, right after finishing up canning my garden harvest. Canning the beans in late summer means they are ready to go for autumn and winter cooking of soups, stews, and casseroles.

These directions can also be used to can navy, pinto, peas and other dried beans. 


My Newest Project: A Farm Quilt

So here is what I have been working on for a few weeks.
Recently I discovered a blog called Bee in my Bonnet.  I found the blog and blogger, Lori Holt while pinning away quilt ideas (and recipes, and DIY's, and fall decor, and.....and.... the list is endless) on My Pinterest and happened to see Lori's Hen Quilt Block.  I just looove it!

And then, early this spring my husband and I stopped at a quilting shop in Indiana on our way home from Wisconsin.
And there in the shop, hanging on the wall was a completed Hen Quilt! It's a poor quality photo taken with my cell phone, but isn't it so amazing  and cute?  And even more exciting, they had the book with the hen pattern in it.

An Old Favorite: Parmesan Chicken

I have about a kazillion chicken recipes, but this recipe for Parmesan Chicken seems to get requested again and again. 
I love collecting and trying old retro recipes, like Chicken A La King, WWII Chocolate Mayo Cake, and Johnny Marzetti but this Parmesan Chicken is one of the best. 
It's quick and easy to make, the coating is light and very flavorful and the ingredients are items I usually already have on hand.
We like to pair this with roasted rosemary red skin potatoes and a fresh garden salad.
The recipe comes from an old cookbook I found at a local thrift store.

Cooking the chicken in the butter along with olive oil really adds lots of extra flavor so don't be afraid to use the butter!
For breadcrumbs, I like the 4C brand best and I use the Japanese Style Panko seasoned  bread crumbs. But use whatever is your favorite.  
This is not Chicken Parmesan with the red sauce and topped with cheese, although you could turn it into that dish.  This recipe is flavorful enough to stand on its own. 


How to Make a Quilt Label

I recently picked up the art or craft of quilt making and I love it. I've been sewing and crafting for years and years but just never attempted a quilt.
In the last few months I've made quite a few quilts, like a Patchwork Quilt for our camper, a Large Block Quilt with sashing as a graduation gift for my granddaughter, quilts for two other grandchildren, a Hexagon Quilt (the hardest so far) for my daughter Alexis the beekeeper, and an ocean themed quilt for my son Daniel.  All those in between working on a Reproduction Civil War Ohio Star Quilt and a Farm Girl Vintage Quilt for myself.

After completing the second or third quilt, I read somewhere that a quilt should have a label. A label that will tell generations to come why and when the quilt was made and who made it.


Vintage Display Shelves

My daughter Alexis at our farm market booth
My daughter Alexis and I decided to try our hand at running a booth a the local farm market. We wanted to sell eggs, produce, and vintage kitchen gadgets, while also advertising our farm and showcase Alexis's beautiful Champagne D Argent rabbits she breeds.

We decided right off to go with a “farm vintage” look and had plenty of time to come up with ideas for displays and gather together needed items like chalkboard signs, vintage tablecloths, a journal, baskets, etc. 

And I made really inexpensive homemade price tags from brown paper grocery bags and twine. We also each wore a flowery skirt/dress and vintage apron.


Apple Pie Moonshine

Recently I read a popular book called "The Wettest County in the World," a 2008 historical novel by Matt Bondurant, an American writer who features his grandfather and two great-uncles as the main characters. (The movie is titled “Lawless”). The book tells of the trio during the Depression and Prohibition in rural Virginia, who made a living bootlegging moonshine.
The book again renewed my interest in the “moonshine culture” and historical events and places surrounding moonshining and stills.

And a few months ago, on one of our adventures off-roading with our ATVs and Polaris Ranger we ran into a group out riding the same trails, (we usually do).
After small talk and introductions, they asked us if we'd like a taste of their homemade Apple Pie Moonshine. I'm a light weight when it comes to booze and usually never venture far away from a glass of wine or a cold beer. And I usually never taste someone else's home brew, I'm just too leery of their process and standards, but that day I took a little sip. It was extremely smooth and yes, tasted just like apple pie!