Monthly Archives: October 2015

October Card of the Month: Halloween Cards

With just under a week left until Halloween you have just enough time to make these simple Halloween cards to send to your friends.  I came up with these cards because I wanted something our 3 year old could help make.  We had a great time making them together.

Start with an 8.5″ X 5.5″ piece of orange card stock folded in half.  Cut a 5″ X 3.5″ rectangle from a cute fall print paper and attach it to the card.  Put a 4″ X 3″ orange rectangle on top of that.  Then comes the fun part – use a variety of punches to punch out various shapes that could be used as jack-o-lantern faces.  I made my face pieces brown to go with the fall print paper I used, but black would work too.  Then make all kinds of faces with your shapes.  The cool thing is that each card will be a little different.  I had envisioned faces like this when I planned these cards:

Halloween Cards

Halloween Cards

But when our daughter got to work she used the pieces for legs, eyebrows, foreheads, and things I never even imagined.  Clearly, her cards are by far the best ones:

Kid Made Halloween Cards

Kid Made Halloween Cards

I added a green swirl for a stem.  (I had a swirl punch but it was so hard to punch the paper that I pitched it the second I was done punching these stems.  So now I’m in the market for a new swirl punch…  You could also just curl paper around a pencil – probably much easier!)  I finished off the inside of the card with “Happy Halloween” stamped on a pumpkin layered on more of the fall print paper.

Halloween Card - Inside

Halloween Card – Inside

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Marquees

This week I want to take a moment to tell you about my new favorite decorating obsession – marquees.  They are really trendy right now and probably just a fad, but I love them – especially because our family room has movie themed decorations.  (This is a throwback to the olden days when I actually had time to see movies and could make intelligent, informed, and often accurate predictions about who would win the Oscars.  In contrast to my present reality in which the Lego Movie was the last movie I saw in the theater – and it was fantastic by the way!  I hope to see another movie someday… until that time I will happily settle for making movie related crafts and decorations.)  Obviously, the current marquee craze is perfectly timed for my decorating needs.  Thank you to whomever decided marquees were cool in the first place!  Better yet, I found a great line of “DIY” marquee letters and shapes at Michael’s.  They are called “Marquee Love” by Heidi Swapp.  I have also seen them on Amazon and Jo-Ann’s.  You can decorate them yourself.  I made a B and a star for our movie family room.



So I was super excited to find a ghost marquee at Michaels a few weeks before October.

Ghost Marquee

Ghost Marquee

I was then even more thrilled when I saw a pumpkin shape on Amazon.

Pumpkin Marquee

Pumpkin Marquee

Better yet – the ghost was already white, and the pumpkin was already sparkly orange, so I didn’t even need to do anything to decorate them (although you could if you wanted).

I love getting to keep the marquee look in our movie family room while still being able to update things for Halloween.  Stay tuned for more marquees coming up for future holidays…

Mum Pumpkins

It’s mum season!

I found this idea for mums in pumpkins a couple years ago on Pinterest and couldn’t wait to try it at our new house.

We got 4 plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins at Target.  Then we went and got 4 mum plants at Lowes.  When we got home, we found that the flower pots were bigger than the openings in the pumpkins, so my husband used a utility knife to cut the pumpkins and widen the holes.  He said they were really easy to cut.  He also drilled drainage holes in the bottoms of the pumpkins.  Then we just put the mums (still in their pots) in the pumpkins and set them out on the porch.  We wanted them to look nice for fall, not just Halloween, so we turned the jack-o-lantern faces toward the house (and now they are there smiling at us every time we open the front door!).  They would look just as cute with the faces showing in the front though.

I’m loving these mum pumpkins this year.  I’m hoping we will be able to save the plastic pumpkins and use them again next year.  However, if they get too faded or dirty to reuse it’s no great loss.  They only cost about $4 total and took only about 15 minutes to cut and drill, so if we have to redo them next year, that’s just fine!

October Poem of the Month: Summer to Fall Diamante Poem

October’s poem of the month is a special kind of poem that illustrates the transition from one thing to another – in this case summer to fall, perfect for October as signs of fall become more and more obvious each day.  It is a “diamante” poem because it has a diamond shape to the lines.  It has a very specific format which is good for kids who might get overwhelmed trying to write a whole poem from scratch.  With this poem, little poets just have to think of one individual word at a time and build their poems from there – and they end up sounding like “real” poetry!  It’s also good for teaching and practicing different parts of speech.  I have seen a few variations on the instructions in various teacher activity books, but after trying a few different versions this what worked best for my students:

Line 1:  “Summer”

Line 2:  Two adjectives that describe summer

Line 3:  Three “ING” words (gerunds) that you would do in the summer

Line 4:  Here’s where the transition starts – Two summer nouns followed by two fall nouns

Line 5:  Three “ING” words (gerunds) that you would do in the fall

Line 6:  Two adjectives that describe fall

Line 7: “Fall”

This poem was written years ago by one of my third graders:

Summer to Fall Poem

Summer to Fall Poem

After the kids made their final copies, I had them cut them out, glue them onto orange, red, yellow, or brown backgrounds and decorate them with fall stickers.  I would display them as always on my “Poem of the Month” bulletin board.