LulaBelle Handicrafts

the place for crafty inspiration

Halloween Dinner Traditions

When I think about family holidays, the food is usually the first thing that comes to mind. My mother’s family has food traditions for every holiday, even Halloween. My grandmother always made chili. One reason I think that she liked serving chili for Halloween is that it’s easy. When you’re busy trying to get eight kids dressed for trick-or-treating, you can’t be hassling with a dinner that needs constant attention. My grandmother could get the chili started while the kids were still at school so that she could focus on getting them, not dinner, ready once they got home. Chili was also a good choice for them because they lived in a part of the country that is generally chilly (pun intended!) on Halloween. Having a warm, hearty dinner before hitting the sidewalks is important if it’s a cold night. Because my grandmother always made it, you’ll find chili bubbling on the stovetop of most of my aunts’ and uncles’ houses on Halloween.

As much as I love family traditions, I also think that it’s important to create some of your own. I always serve Mummy Dogs for Halloween. If you’ve never heard of them, check out this recipe from Pillsbury.

 

Pillsbury Crescent Mummy Dogs

 

All you need are hot dogs, crescent rolls, mustard, and cheese (which I don’t always include) for this easy, cheap, and fun dinner. Think of them as Halloween-themed and dinner-sized Pigs in a Blanket. Sounds yummy, huh? I usually serve my Mummy Dogs with a cup of tomato soup, especially when it’s cool out.

Whether you’re making a dinner passed down from generation to generation or trying something new this year, don’t forget about Halloween dinner. Maybe the kids won’t eat so much candy if they start the night with a full belly. Who am I trying to kid? They’re still going to eat loads of candy, but at least you’ll know that they had some real food, too. Happy Halloween!

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DIY Composition Book Makeover

Where did summer break go? It seems like it gets shorter every year! The time has come to trade in beach bags for backpacks, flip flops for tennis shoes, and swimsuits for uniforms. When I was a kid, the one thing that I liked the most about going back to school was shopping for my school supplies. Yes, my love of office supplies started at a very young age. I’ve come up with a super easy and extremely affordable way for your kids to personalize one of those must-have items: the composition book.

Composition Book Makeover

NOTE: Make sure you reference your school supply list and/or talk with your child’s teacher to make sure it’s okay before you start this project. The last thing I want any of you to have to do this time of year is go buy more supplies!

Supplies:

  • Composition Book
  • Cardstock (2 sheets)
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brush
  • Exacto Knife

Supplies

Step One:

Using a foam brush, cover the front of the composition book with Mod Podge.

Step One A

Place 1 sheet of cardstock on top of it. I like to use the binding of the composition book as a guide for lining up my cardstock.

Step One B

Make sure that you press the cardstock down firmly on the composition book, and smooth out any bubbles. Don’t worry about the paper hanging over the edges. We’ll fix that later.

Step Two:

Flip the composition book over and repeat Step One.

Step Two

Step Three:

Allow the Mod Podge to dry completely. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Step Four:

Open the composition book, and trim away the excess cardstock using an Exacto knife. If you’re doing this project with the kids, you’ll probably want to do this step for them. Always remember to use your Exacto knife on top of a self-healing mat or surface that you don’t care about.

Step Four

When I make these, I also like to add a few, brightly-colored paperclips. You never know when you might need one.

Paperclips

Happy back to school craftiness!

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Colander Light Fixture

Chad has been itching to change out our kitchen’s overhead light fixture for the longest time. We had something that was nice enough, but plain. Looking on the internet for inspiration, Chad found a light fixture made out of a colander. The pattern the light made on the ceiling when the bulb was turned on was magical. Chad told me his favorite line when he showed it to me: “we can make that.”

For several months, we looked at every possible colander in the city of Memphis. We found beautiful, colorful ones at Williams Sonoma, but they were too small. We looked at some in Target, but theirs didn’t have a star pattern. Sensing that it might be tricky to find exactly what we wanted, the project got put on the back burner.

One day Chad was cruising the aisles of a local overstock store and finally found a colander that was a good size and had a star pattern. The only drawback was that it had feet instead of a base that would fit over our existing electrical whatnot. For $1.49, Chad decided to buy it and see what he could do.

First, he removed the feet from the colander. Chad then used a pair of snips to cut a hole in the bottom of the colander larger enough for a light bulb to fit through. He still had to figure out how to cover up the light socket on the ceiling. Thinking he would buy a medallion at the hardware store, Chad made a quick stop in our favorite thrift store first and spied a flat-bottomed colander with a star pattern. Problem solved! Almost. Chad still wound up at the hardware store because he had to buy a light socket extender. Like the other colander, Chad cut a portion out of the bottom of the second one large enough to accommodate a light bulb.

Here’s his finished product. Pretty kitschy, right?

Colander Light Fixture

We initially had one of those cool Edison bulbs in it, but the bulb was prettier than it was functional. It lit our kitchen about as well as I imagine a nightlight would. We’ve instead opted for a clear, standard bulb.

This light fixture is a good conversation piece during the day, but it really shines at night (I couldn’t resist the pun!). The pattern it creates on the ceiling is awesome. Pictures really don’t do it justice.

Colander Light Fixture at Night

With a little bit of money and some good luck, Chad created a super cool light fixture for our kitchen. This project has definitely gotten him thinking about other items that he can turn into lighting. I can’t wait to see what Chad comes up with next. Happy repurposed crafting!

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