thanksgiving placecard ideas

 

Here are a number of fun and very creative ideas for your Thanksgiving table:

Thanksgiving placecards

1. Cookie – the only problem with these would be that they might not make it to dinner!

2. Nature – we found this one on www.thanksgivingcard.blogspot.com. With a few leaves, acorns and a little glue, anyone can pull this one off.

3. Turkey – this placecard from a 2003 issue of Martha Stewart is so very fun and really easy to make.  For the head and beak, bend a 3-inch piece of brown pipe cleaner, and affix it to the top of a pinecone with craft glue. Glue 3 feathers (available at crafts-supply stores) near the base. Station one turkey at each setting with a place card.

4. Pumpkin – these were featured on www.tipjunkie.com and are just too adorable from www.mochamemories.com. Read more on her site for instructions. You’ll need a few crafting tools, but they look worth it.

Happy crafting!

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sugar, sugar and more sugar

Halloween sugar cookiesOkay, I know we’re supposed to be doing tables this week, but I couldn’t resist. Today is going to be absolute sugar overload anyway, so why not add a little more with sugar cookies. I developed a love for decorating cookies about four years ago. Candidly I would prefer to save the calories for chocolate so I rarely eat them, but I love to make them and my boys love to help. These are a few of our Halloween cookies that we’ll share with our neighbors tonight. (For tips on how to flood sugar cookies, read this previous post.)

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ghostly

Ghostly

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were having a block Halloween party. To show our spirit for the evening we made a lot of things… including this ghost. All you need is:

  • 3 yards white bridal tulle
  • 6 inch diameter Styrofoam ball
  • Sheet of black construction paper
  • 48″ dowel
  • Hot glue
  • Scissors
  1. Scrunch your tulle into several bunches so that it is very wrinkled (this will help it stand up and appear more spooky)
  2. Cut two 2 inch circles out of the black construction paper for the eyes and a large oval for the mouth
  3. Apply the paper to the Styrofoam ball with hot glue
  4. Insert your dowel in the bottom of the ball (use your scissors or a pencil to start the hole)
  5. Snip a 12 inch strip of the tulle and then drape the remaining tulle over the ball
  6. Define the neck by tying the tulle in place at the neck with the 12″ strip

Have fun!

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peanut butter witch brooms

Peaunut butter witch broomsLooking for a fun treat for the upcoming Halloween bash you’ve been invited to? Well there is no easier cookie than this one. All you need is:

  • Refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
  • Pretzel rods
  • Orange chocolate wafers (or you can tint white chocolate)
  • Sprinkles

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, form 1 to 1 ½ inch cookie dough balls and insert the pretzel rod. Once you’ve laid it on the cookie sheet, press it out in the shape of the broom bristles. Next, using a fork, press lines in the cookie. Bake the cookies for 7-8 minutes (remove from the oven before they brown). Once the cookies have cooled completely, melt your chocolate in a resealable bag, snip a small hole in one corner and pipe on the chocolate. Before the chocolate hardens, dash on your sprinkles. This entire process can be wrapped up in 35 to 40 minutes. Enjoy!

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owl cupcakes

Owl cupcakesThese owls were so much fun to make and easy enough for little helpers. Here’s what you need:

  • Brownie mix (we used puree apricots in the place of egg and filled the cups ¾ full)
  • Oreo cookies
  • M&Ms (replace with Skittles for egg and dairy free)
  • Cashews
  • Chocolate sprinkles
  • Cream cheese icing

While your brownie cupcakes are cooling, tint your cream cheese icing orange and divide your Oreo cookies (we removed the white filling, but you could leave it). Next, ice each cupcake, apply your cookies face up, sprinkle the top of the cupcake with chocolate sprinkles to resemble feathers and add the cashew as the hooked nose. Finally, using a toothpick, place a small amount of icing on the back of the M&Ms and apply as the owls eyes.

(Tip: Oreos tend to get soggy when not kept in airtight containers. Plan to ice and decorate within an hour or two of serving.)

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picking pumpkins

Picking pumpkinsThere is nothing quite like a pumpkin farm in the fall. The trees are beautiful and the kids are in heaven, always looking for the largest one in the bunch to see if they can move it. For those of you lucky enough to visit a farm this year, here are a few things to look for when you want to be creative:

  • Gnarly stems – a good crooked stem is great when placed on its side to portray a witch
  • Tall and thin – these are great for large stencils and ghost faces
  • Small and squat – these are perfect for the typical jack-o-lantern

No matter what you choose, and whether from a patch or a grocery store, enjoy the moments with your families.

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mummy treat cups

Mummy treat cupAs I continue to search for fun crafts for our block Halloween party, I came across these mummy treat cups and thought I would share. (If you’re looking for something a bit more spooky, the orange bow and bow tie can be replaced with a thin mouth out of black craft paper.)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plastic or paper cups, bathroom sized
  • White cotton fabric, an old white t-shirt could work great
  • Medium wiggle eyes
  • Black sheet of construction paper (or orange felt)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • White craft glue

Here’s how:

  1. Cut a small section from the t-shirt, depending on how many treat cups you will be making. Start with a section about 6″ x 6″. Cut that section into strips ½ inch strips.
  2. Use the glue stick to line one side of a t-shirt strip, then starting at the bottom of the cup, wrap around and press in place. Repeat until entire cup is covered.
  3. Use white craft glue to attach wiggle eyes.
  4. Cut bows out of felt or cut a thin line from the black construction paper. Apply with craft glue.
  5. Fill your cups with fun treats: gummy worms, chocolate candies or candy corn!

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Bundt cake a la pumpkin

Pumpkin Bunt CakeKeeping with our theme from last week, there are lots of fun baking ideas for the fall season. This is a wonderful idea and really very easy. This cake is simply two cakes cooked in the traditional bunt cake pan. Bake according to the box directions and allow both cakes to cook completely. Once cool, turn one cake upside down on your cake plate and ice the bottom of the cake with caramel icing (almost one container for the full effect). Next, place the second cake on top. The icing will bulge out a little. If necessary scrape off any excess. Now melt (microwave for 15 to 20 seconds) the remaining icing (three to four tbsp) and pour it over the top of the cake allowing it to drip down the edges. For the finishing touches, insert a ice cream cone, upside down, in the top of your cake for the pumpkins stem and dress the outside of the cake plate with faux fall leaves. The cake is very tasty and a great centerpiece for any fall gathering. Enjoy!

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acorn cake

acorn-cake

This season isn’t all about Halloween; there are beautiful fall colors and shapes we can celebrate too. I came across this acorn cake from Bright Ideas and just had to share it. It’s actually pretty easy. The recipe makes two cakes and each serves about eight people. Here’s what you need:

  • Snickers and Twix fun size candy bars (1 bag KID’S FAVORITE MIX FUN SIZE® 48 count Variety Bag)
  • 1 can (16 oz.) chocolate frosting
  • 2 (18.5 oz.) boxes Devil’s Food Cake mix
  • 1 (16 oz.) can vanilla or cream cheese frosting
  • brown food coloring (or green and red to make brown)
  • 1 1/2 quart oven safe glass bowl
  • 1 (9″x13″) cake pan
  • wax paper

steps:

  1. Prepare both cake mixes according to the box directions and divide the batter between a buttered oven safe glass bowl and a buttered and waxed paper lined oblong cake pan.
  2. Bake both cakes in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately 40 to 50 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans for 10 minutes, then remove them and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before decorating.
  3. Cut both cakes in half using a serrated knife and using the photo as guide, cut the flat cake into the bottom portion of the acorn. Use the half moon shaped cake as acorn top. Push the half moon shape cake against the straight edge of flat cake to form the acorn.
  4. Tint the frosting beige with several drops of brown food coloring and apply a thin crumb coat to the bottom of the acorn. Let it dry for a 5-10 minutes and then apply a generous coat with a cake spatula (or butter knife) pulling the icing to you in straight lines.
  5. Cover the acorn tops with chocolate frosting, arrange Snickers Bars around the acorn using a Twix Bar for the stem and place M&Ms as seen in the photo.

Enjoy fall!

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pumpkin crispy treats

Pumpkin Crispy Treats

You’ll likely notice that I use a lot of crispy cereal to make goodies (e.g., Pirate Pops). Since my youngest son has severe food allergies, they have proven to be a fun way to include him in all the fun party treats and the guests don’t even realize (or care) that the treats are egg and dairy free. I’ve outlined the easy steps on how to make these fun goodies for your Halloween bash.

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