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Creepy Halloween Candy Tray Tutorial

DIY Creepy Crawly Hallween Tray TutorialI do realize that some of you may be a bit over-Halloweened at this point.

I also realize that I talked about those candle holders for something like three posts and I apologize.

But, may I beg your indulgence for juuuuust one more Halloween thing? I promise I will then return to our regular programming (OK, there will be more Halloween things but I will spread them out a bit better).

On a whim I bought (using a coupon) one of those coffin shaped trays that they have at Michaels this year.

I wasn’t totally sure what I was going to do with it but then I saw a bag of plastic cockroaches and a plan was born!! (insider secret – that’s how all my plans start – bags of plastic bugs. It’s a quirky creative process but it’s worked so far).

You see, I have very fond childhood memories of making Creepy CrawlersMATTEL_THINGMAKER_TOY_FEATURING_CREEPY_CRAWLERS_SET_4477_BOX_LID

Now, given my, um, less than coordinated proclivities and the fact that a hot plate was involved it’s somewhat surprising I survived the experience and that my memories aren’t of searing pain.LRCreepyCrawlersMIBB_lgBut I digress.

My sisters did not enjoy Creepy Crawlies.

My sisters did not enjoy finding Creepy Crawlies hidden in their sheets.

I very much enjoyed my sisters finding Creepy Crawlies in their sheets!

So, not having actually matured very much since then I thought, “wouldn’t it be fun if when people reached for their candy they uncovered bugs!!!!????!!!!”DIY Halloween Tray TutorialAnd thus my latest Mod Podge Rocks project was born!

It’s pretty dang easy! There is just a bit of patience required as the dry times at various stages can be kinda long.

Also, did you know they still make Creepy Crawlers?! I was amazed. That was one of those toys I thought would be deemed to be far too dangerous these days.

And now I realize I have a trip back home to Ohio to visit my sisters coming up……..oh the possibilities………

Spooky Halloween Candle Tutorial

I would be a lousy scientist.

I don’t like to experiment – I like to execute ideas perfectly the first time.

This, of course, has never happened but I just know I would like it more.

My spooky tealight holders took a lot of experimenting.

I tried small jars (too small!).

I tried red paint dripping down from the top (too silly looking)

As we know, I took a brief ill-advised, foray into glitter (too…ponies and unicorns!)spooky, glowing eye Halloween candle holders by Cheltenham roadI tried mason jars (too – “hey that’s a mason jar”).

I tried using velum for the images (too – um, the toner slides off when you try to mod podge it).

It all made me too – cranky!

But I kept at it and refined it a bit and I think I’m ready to present my final take on making spooky glowing eyed candle holders.

Halloween Decoration Tutorial

They are actually very easy to make but, for some reason, kind of wordy to explain so hang in there.

PLEASE NOTE: these are designed to be used only with electric tealights

Here is the round up of supplies I used:Make creepy candle holders for halloween

  • Glass Candle Holders or jars (can you see them?  sorry.  glass! hard to photograph). Mine are from Dollar Tree. I used only straight sided holders and looked for a variety of heights and shapes.
  • Matte Mod Podge (not pictured)
  • Spray Paint. I used black, grey and some window frosting paint I had lying around. Any color that appealed would do – the cheap stuff is perfect.
  • Rag: the more texture on it the better. It probably won’t survive the process so don’t get too attached.
  • Print outs of dour or un-photogenic Victorians (laser/toner based prints)
  • Foam brush
  • Sand Paper
  • Sharp craft knife

Finding Photos

Flickr is a great source for old photos and I stuck mostly to Daguerreotypes as they tend to be very clear (you can find great collections here and here.)

I looked for distinct faces and prominent eyes. The larger the eyes are to begin with the easier this process is and the better the results. Also, while a whole crowd of glowing eyed spooks sounds awesome – it gets less a lot less awesome as you sit there cutting out tons of little tiny holes. I learned to stick with pics that featured one or two people.

After downloading my faves I resized them to suit my candle holder dimensions and printed them out on plain paper.

Paint the Candle Holders

This part has to be done pretty fast before the spray paint dries.

Working with one candle holder at a time spray the top and bottom pretty thoroughly but just let the over-spray take care of covering the middle (it makes life easier and less messy down the road).Halloween DecorationThe moment your done spraying wrap the candle holder in the rag pressing it into the paint with your hands.Easy DIY Halloween Centerpiece Tutorial Cheltenham RoadGive it just a second or two and then remove the rag.Easy Mod Podge Halloween CraftYou’ll have a nice, decrepit texture.

Using the same rag repeat that process with as many candle holders as you want in as many colors as you want.

EYES!!!

While the candle holders finish drying take a craft knife and cut out everybody’s eyes! (upsetting sentence #1).

I learned to go a bit wider than the subjects actual eyes – removing the whole eye socket is best (upsetting sentence #2).Creepy, Glowing Eye Halloween Decor

I focused on using pics of children this time around because my brother-in-law sent me an email after the last blog post saying that I needed more little kids because “glowing eyed evil children are better” (upsetting sentence #3) (also, what is going on with my family?!  They are kinda creeping me out)

Applying the Photos

In my first attempt at these I painted the whole candle holder solid black and then just scraped away where they eyes went.  Result? Glowing eyes but, when the lights were dimmed that was all you could really see – the faces disappeared.  So, in order to get the whole face to glow a bit along with the eyes I found that if I painted the middle lightly and then, using sandpaper, scraped away some more paint it worked out great. Creepy Glowing Eyes Halloween Decor Tutorial Cheltenham Road I didn’t sand away every trace – just most of what was there.  The streaks that remain add some nice dark spots when the candle is turned on.

A quick dry-check to make sure I sanded the right spotSpooky Halloween Decoration Tutorial and it’s time for Mod Podging the pic in place.  Halloween Luminary TutorialI applied one image at a time working my way around the candle holder, smoothing out the image and wiping away any excess Mod Podge.

Once everything dried I added a sealing coat of Mod Podge.

I then went back in with my craft knife and scraped away around the eyes one last time for extra glowiness.

I think they make their case in regular light.  They’d look good as a center-piece or on a mantle.Haunted Halloween Candle Holders by Cheltenham RoadBut dim the lights a bit and let the spooky really kick inGlowing Eyes Candle Holder for HalloweenYou can see how the textured paint allows some of the light through both behind and under the pictures.Dollar Store Halloween CraftsI discovered it was best to get the light up to eye level so for taller candle holders so I used a chunk of wood, a dowel or even a plastic cup to elevate the electric tealight.

Someone at Scare LA suggested that, rather than old pics, you could use pics of ex boyfriends, or your mother-in-law.  Mean! but funny!Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadI hope this is helpful.  If I’ve left anything too vague let me know and I’ll address it.

 

Getting the Halloween Party Started

OK, as we know, I’m in Halloween mode and several of you, according to your much appreciated comments, are down with Halloween in August too so -let the games begin!

My tutorial for the Halloween luminaries is coming along.Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

Actually, it worked out perfectly. They had pretty much sold out at Scare LA and while I’d snapped a few pics as I made them I didn’t have full-fledged-tutorial-worthy versions.

But after my last post my sister Sally immediately requested a set!Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham Road

I hadn’t realized Sal was a “glowing eyes of the damned” kind of decorator but, apparently, she has depths of which I was not aware.

Perfect reason to do another round, refine the process and take some better photos (and vandalize some more poor, innocent-but-creepy-looking, Victorians). Win-Win!

Also your feedback lit the fire under me to get my new Halloween Coaster Sets up and rolling on Etsy (clicking on the pics below will take you to the listings in my Etsy shop)

My comical takes on classic literature coasters  and the tea light holders have been good sellers right alongHalloween Decor Coasters by Cheltenham Road

Halloween Tealight Holders by Cheltenham RoadBut it was time to get some new stuff out there.

The Ouija boards were a hit at Scare LA (as many of you suggested I went with full Ouija Boards on each coaster)vintage Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Had to do some Photoshop re-jiggering to make the boards square but it worked out just fine.Classic Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham Road

Valerie made me very happy (and she’s good at that cause she, literally, wrote the book on Happiness!) when she came up with an idea that address both full and partial boards.  She suggested  doing a whole board spread across four coasters. Which is all sorts of genius and is totally on my to-do list.

Keeping with the theme I worked up some poison labels.Vintage Poison Labels Halloween Coaster Set

I’ve dug the graphics on these for a long timeHalloween Poison Label Coaster Set

Don’t know why it took me so long to connect with the idea of making them into coasters.

So Halloween in August is truly underway!

Now I have a very, very macabre idea for a centerpiece but I need very inexpensive doll heads (add that to the list of “phrases I never thought I’d utter”). Medium size. Anyone have a clue where to hunt?

Boo! Halloween in August

Cheltenham Road Scare LA BoothWhew!

Made it through Scare LA and had a great weekend (except for, um…. breaking my toe. Because I think we can all agree I needed a new extremity to smack into things. Bashing one’s head is sooooo 2014).

And now, NOW I’m totally psyched for Halloween!…

In August…..

Which seems a bit early frankly.

I have several project I want to share but….

Would you look at them and think, “interesting but I’m not ready to think Halloween yet David?”

I wouldn’t blame you.

I wasn’t ready either. The show forced me.

I very much appreciated all your insights about the Glowing Eyes Candle holders (I get it! No glitter! What can I say? I was going through an experimental phase!”) – thank you very much!

And after some more toying around (paper, paint technique and color) they really worked out well.

They look suitably Victorian and grim in regular lightHaunted Halloween Candle Holders by Cheltenham Roadand suitably creepy in dim light!Glowing Eyes Candle Holder for HalloweenI can so see these in rows along a mantle or clustered on a table at some really cool Halloween party.Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadOne of my customers said she was going to leave it in her bathroom to freak out her guests. Glowing Eyes Candle Holders for Halloween by Cheltenham RoadAnd, best of all, they sold out at the show!

Happily, I took pics along the way for a tutorial but…..too early?

I also worked up some new displays.

The tea light holders got a new little cubbyhole display.Halloween Candle Blocks by Cheltenham Road

OK there are a few finishing touches for it that I ran out of time to complete such as, you know, a back……but I’ll get it done!

And this… whatever it is….mail sorter? from MichaelsGalvanized Metal and Wood Mail sorter

was easy to change over into a display for my magnets and labels with a little paint and some hinges.Magnet and Label Display Rack by Cheltenham Road

So it’s all “on deck” so- to- speak. And my brain is stuck in Halloween mode and new ideas are coming.

But it’s August!

DIY Photo Display and Global Economics

Easy DIY Photo Display Project Cheltenham RoadSo, one of the symptoms of my DIY-illness is that I seldom see something in a store and think “I should buy that!” Instead I almost always think “I want to make that.”

I also want to drop everything and make it RIGHT NOW!

That’s fine but the downside is that I often find myself really, really chomping at the bit to make my version of something that is already being mass-manufactured overseas – which can feel a bit silly. I’m not keen on falling into the category ofwhy make itBUT! (you knew this was coming)

When you DIY it you can customize to make it your own.

That’s my justification and I’m sticking to it.

Such was the case when my friend Aimee pulled me into Michaels, pointed at one of those Maker Market photo display and asked if I could make one for her but in different colors.

“HAH! Perfect justification!” thought I – and got to work. The project also doubled as my latest Mod Podge Rocks Tutorial – so you can see all the steps if you are so inclined.  Spoiler Alert: There aren’t many.

It proved to be fun and sooooo easy and versatile that I actually made several. Some using scrap book paper,Easy DIY Photo Display Tutorial

some using prints of old postcardsPhoto Display Tutorial by Cheltenham Road

and some just painted and distressed.

Shape, size, color – they sky is the limit on these!  So why buy them?!

Cheltenham Road: Undermining the Chinese Economy One Project At A Time

Knick of Time Inspiration Party

New Products, Puttering Around and PIE!

Thanks very much to all who entered the Big Book of Mod Podge raffle!

I had added the question about “where did you hear about Cheltenham Road?” out of pure curiosity and had anticipated that most people would say “I’m your sister’s friend.”

I did not anticipate that many of you would simply say really, really nice things (I didn’t expect you to say mean things either I just didn’t expect the compliments). It wasn’t my intention to go fishing but boy the fishing was fine and VERY much appreciated.

The lucky winner (randomly chosen by Rafflecopter) was Suzanne who did admit that her husband is an actual factual magician so there may have been some Harry Potterness going on there but I’m not going to question it.

July is usually a pretty slow for me but this year has been a good balance of steady sales (keeping my one-man-factory chugging along) and time to toy with new ideas.

The latter is truly the most fun – just puttering away and playing the “what if I…..” game.

Would you like to play along?

I’m getting ready for the big Scare LA show in a couple of weeks so my thoughts have turned to Halloween.

I love the graphics on Ouija boards and thought they’d make fun coasters. But I can’t decide if I like the ones I made that show the full boardvintage Ouija Board Coaster Set by Cheltenham RoadOr if I prefer the style that just captures a section of the board.fun Halloween Coasters by Cheltenham Road

Thoughts?

All I know for sure is that the packaging should say something like, “useful for summoning dessert.”

Well, actually it should be “useful for summoning spirits” (meaning alcohol but I can’t figure out how to make the joke work).

Or perhaps just “not for use at graveyard dinner parties or in homes where the host has recently been murdered.”

I also wanted to try a slightly different version of the Glowing Eyes Luminaries I created for Mod Podge Rocks last year Last Minute Mod Podge Halloween Decoration Tutorial Cheltenham Road

but use smaller candle holders.spooky, glowing eye Halloween candle holders by Cheltenham road

I played around with adding glitter to one but I’m not sure I’m ever actually in favor of glitter. I was hoping it would make them kind of ethereal but it strikes me as more of a “yay! Unicorns and ponies!” effect than a “creep me out” effect at the moment.

I do kinda like the “blood” dripping down the side though – always pleasant.

I’m a bit stuck as to size. Small tea light size or bigger so they have more impact?

Of course, not everything was Halloween based as I was getting my next Mod Podge Rocks project goingDIY Photo Display Tutorial Cheltenham Road for Mod Podge RocksAnd finally, though this is not a food blog I did make these beauties for a Sharknado 3! viewing party.peanut butter pretzel chocolate pies

It’s a long standing gathering – a group of us have hooted through all previous versions and I’m often in charge of dessert.

Chocolate, peanut butter pretzel pie.chocolate peanut butter pretzel pie in a jar

I put them in jars to make life easier.

The recipe was courtesy of Becky Sue at Baking the Goods  and it was very easy to make.

OK, back to puttering – and perhaps the gym since I ate about four of those pies (good cooks test their food!)….I should probably clean the house too.

Or I could putter some more!!!!

Tiny Bathroom Makeover: DONE!

So.

A long time ago in a makeover far, far away I started work on the teeny tiny bathroom just off my office.

I got the ball rolling, got it pretty much all the way done and then, as I often do, got distracted by something sparkly.

And there it sat. The most expensive makeover of the smallest room imaginable was sorta stuck in between.

Some of you, very thoughtfully, asked about it a few times.

I ignored you (and I apologize.  I was kind of embarrassed).

But, I’m happy to report that it is now:

DONE!

Almost DONE!…..

Done enough to show you!

To back up, this is the tiny, Keebler Elf outhouse situated between my office and the laundry room. It is 3′ 6″ wide 9′ long, possesses two doors and no storage.  In other words: Perfection!Worlds Dumbest BathroomIt was awkward, poorly thought out and. as you can see, in pretty sad shape.

The initial goal was just to spruce it up. But, as often happens, that goal morphed and “sprucing it up” became “almost gut it and try again!”

Trouble started early when we discovered that the wall was full of giant pipes that did nothing but had be removed – along with the usual old-house-randomly-placed-studs –  to make room for the space-saving wall cabinet.stupid pipes

(warning, the “after” pics herein are a bit goofy. The space is so small that there is no way to back up enough to capture it. In some of these pics I’m, basically, lying on the floor in the next room. In a couple of them I’m actually standing outside on a ladder shooting in through the window and thereby giving my neighbors yet another reason to describe me as “pleasant but odd”)

It was a hassle (and sorta expensive) but the final result came out better than I’d imagined.Between the Studs wall cabinet

between the studs wall cabinetUp next was the sink. Worlds Dumbest BathroomI found a small one at Ikea but, to make the space seem bigger, wanted it to mount to the wall rather than the cabinet they provided. But, I still wanted storage space. A clever cabinet maker came up with this solution. wall mounted sink for a tiny bathroomThe sink sits on a shelf, with a drawer beneath that fits around the plumbing.

The rather iffy shower Stunning Tile Job - Worlds Dumbest Bathroomgot a nice subway tile makeover (the floor got new tile too)Subway Tile Shower

and more wall niches mean bottles and such are available but out of the way in the now stylish, coffin-like compact space.Shower Niches save space

And for a finishing touch, my sister Paula had given me these awesome vintage camera prints (she’s clearly been paying attention) vintage camera print gallery wal Cheltenham Roadland with some black frames they go perfectly with the black/white look of the room.

Tiny Bathroom Makeover

So, makeover done! Now I just need some very tiny people to come over and visit.  Anyone out there connected with the Barnum and Baily operation or a traveling production of The Wizard of Oz?  If so, please give them my number.

REMINDER!

Don’t forget!  Today is the last day to enter my giveway for a copy of  The Big Book of Mod Podge.  Please head on over to the raffle site to enter!

The contest goes until midnight tonight (Monday) and is open to folks in the US and Canada.  No purchase is necessary.

Your Turn To Shine Link Party

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