Quick Halloween Centerpiece using Artificial Blackbird Crows

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Photo Credit: BHG

Here is a great centerpiece idea or a quick last minute outdoor decoration to greet your trick-or-treaters! This simple pumpkin idea uses one of our customers favorite birds… the artificial black crow!

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Spider Pumpkin Tealight Candle Holder Using Pipe Cleaners

Here is a quick and simple way to make your own Halloween decorations! Create your own creepy crawly spider pumpkin tealight candle holders with pipe cleaners.
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Materials Needed:
Mini Pumpkin
Knife
Spoon
Tealight Candle (we recommend battery operated flameless tealight candles)
Weldbond Universal Glue
4 – Black Pipe Cleaners

Check out Good Housekeeping for the how-to!

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Design Pumpkins Using Metal Cookie Cutters

cookie_cutter_pumpkinsYou can use metal cookie cutters to add a new spin on an old tradition when it comes to “carving” pumpkins! To create this unique look is pretty simple, you will need to find pumpkins of unusual mix and match colors which should be available at any of your local nurseries or pumpkin farms. You may also want to buy a few extra pumpkins that you will just use for extra shapes of a certain color.
Before you begin using the metal cookie cutters, carefully cut a circle around the pumpkin stem, lift off the lid and remove the seeds from the lid and inside the pumpkin. Now it’s time for the fun part, using the metal cookie cutters! Take the metal cookie cutter of your choice and press the metal cookie cutter into the pumpkin. You can use a small piece of plywood to provide even pressure on the metal cookie cutter and press the cookie cutter straight through the inside of the pumpkin if it is thin. If this doesn’t work because your pumpkin is a bit thicker you can try using a rubber mallet, tap the metal cookie cutter firmly until at least half of the cookie cutter has pierced the pumpkin. You can then remove the metal cookie cutter with a pair of long nose pliers. Once the metal cookie cutter has been removed, you can then take a small serrated knife and follow the pattern made from the cookie cutter to cut out the shape. With one hand inside the pumpkin, push out cookie cutter shape from the pumpkin. Repeat this process with the your pumpkins of different colors. Finally, you can take the different color shapes made from the cookie cutter and place them in a different color pumpkin. cookie_cutter_pumpkins3cookie_cutter_pumpkins2

Photo credits: Better Homes and Gardens

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How to Make Frightening Furry Styrofoam Ball Spiders

furry_spidersFrighten your guests with these creepy crawly furry styrofoam ball spiders scattered on tabletops and amongst other Halloween decorations! These furry styrofoam ball spiders are easy to make with just a few simple craft materials.

Materials Needed to Make Two Styrofoam Ball Spiders:
2 – 1-1/2″ Styrofoam Balls
2 – 3″ Styrofoam Balls
8 – Black Pipe Cleaners
1 – Black Feather Boa
4 – Round Pearl Head Corsage Pins
2 – Toothpicks
General Use Scissors
Hot Melt Glue Gun
Glue Sticks
Black Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Hobby Knife
Paintbrush and Accessories
Serrated Knife

Instructions:
1. First, take your serrated knife and cut the 1-1/2″ styrofoam balls in half. Set the flat edge of the styrofoam ball on a flat surface. Take your hobby knife and begin to cut out a curved section, so that the styrofoam ball head fits nicely with the round curve of the 3″ styrofoam ball body.
2. Take your toothpicks and insert them halfway into each styrofoam ball head. Make sure that is it centered into the styrofoam ball head. Push the remaining toothpick into the styrofoam body, aligning the flat edges. Add glue to secure the heads to the bodies and let dry.
3. Take your paint brush and paint your styrofoam ball spiders with the Black Apple Barrel acrylic paint and then let dry.
4. With your general use scissors, cut the black pipe cleaners in half. Stick each pipe cleaner into the styrofoam body, add a little glue to each section. After the glue has dried, bend the pipe cleaners to create knees and feet for the spiders.
5. Cut the black feather boa into two 9″ sections for each spider. Spiral one 9″ section of the black feather boa on the backside of the styrofoam ball spider and glue on. Do the same for the belly of the styrofoam spider. You now have two hairy creepy crawly styrofoam ball spiders ready for any Halloween setting!

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DIY Dracula Halloween Favor Boxes with Paper Mache

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Blood donors needed. See the Count! Here are easy step-by-step instructions to create and personalize your own Dracula favors boxes suited for any Halloween party or any other Halloween event!

Materials Needed:
Square Paper Mache Box
Unfinished Wood Furniture Buttons
Wild Iris Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Lavender Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Black Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
White Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Weldbond Universal Glue
Paint Brushes and Accessories

Instructions:
1. Begin by painting the bottom half of the paper mache box with the Wild Iris Apple Barrel acrylic paint then set aside and let dry.
2. Take the lid of your paper mache box and paint a heart shaped face using the Lavender Apple Barrel acrylic paint. Then paint the remainder of the paper mache box lid with the Black Apple Barrel acrylic paint for the hair. Set the paper mache box lid aside and let dry.
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3. Take the Wild Iris Apple Barrel acrylic paint and mix in a bit of the white Apple Barrel acrylic paint until you get a slightly darker shade of lavender than the Dracula’s face. Next, you can begin painting the Dracula’s nose. You can do this by painting one the unfinished wood furniture buttons with the newly mixed shade of purple.
5. You can use the black, and white Apple Barrel acrylic to paint on the face of Dracula. Take your remaining mix of purple and add small accents such as rosy cheeks onto your Dracula. Then let dry. Finally, take the Weldbond Universal glue and glue his painted wood furniture button nose on.
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Happy Halloween your Dracula paper mache box project is done…. have a fang-tastic night!

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How to Make Large Creepy Crawly Styrofoam Ball Spiders

styrofoam_ball_spidersWelcome your guests with these styrofoam ball spiders! Create these creepy crawly spiders with simple styrofoam balls and chenille stems! Check out BHG’s project to create these creepy crawlers!

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Create your own Halloween Critters – Wooden Clothespins Bats

bat_clothespinsCaution! Low flying bats. Welcome your guests with these clothespins bats hanging from the highest reaches of your house. You can clip these little critters onto branches, bushes, lights and more! Go to Martha Stewart project page on to make these fun creepy critters!

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Caution! Monster Crossing – Make your own Frankenstein Favor Boxes

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Halloween is a real treat. Here are easy step-by-step instructions to create and personalize your own witch favors boxes suited for any Halloween party or any other Halloween event!

Materials Needed:
Square Paper Mache Box
Unfinished Wood Furniture Buttons
Wedgewood Green Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Wild Iris Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Black Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Burnt Umber Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
White Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint
Weldbond Universal Glue

Instructions:
1. Start by painting the bottom of the paper mache box with the Wild Iris Apple Barrel acrylic paint, then set aside and let dry.
2. Next, paint on the face of the your Frankenstein using the Wedgewood Green Apple Barrel acrylic paint on the bottom half of the paper mache box lid. Paint the top half of the paper mache box lid with the Burnt Umber Apple Barrel acrylic paint for your Frankenstein’s hair. Set aside to dry
3. Paint three of the unfinished wood furniture buttons with the Wedgewood Green Apple Barrel acrylic paint. These will be Frankenstein’s nose and bolts for the side of his neck!
4. Take your Weldbond Universal glue and glue his painted wood furniture buttons nose on the face and glue the two unfinished wood furniture button “bolts” on the side of the paper mache box lid.
5. Finally, take your black and white Apple Barrel acrylic paint and paint on Frankenstein’s face and accents. Be sure to paint some “stitching!”
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Happy Halloween your Frankenstein paper mache box project is done… Eat, drink and be scary!

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Knock-Knock…Who’s There – Craft Foam Ghost Door Hanger

ghost_door_hangerKnock-knock. Who’s there? The Ghost. The Ghost who? The Ghost is clear; you can come out!

Create a ghostly scene and decorate your house with this simple door hanger with the help of BHG’s tutorial!

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Tips and Tricks of the Trade: How to Display Your Products at Festivals and Fairs

pork_festivalHow do you go from bare concrete to setting up a great display for your festival, craft fair or even your local flea market? FactoryDirectCraft.com has done many craft fairs and festivals. As the company has grown we have quit doing them all except for one. Every second week in September, for almost 20 years, we have done the Preble County Pork Festival. We started out setting up in a tent and have progressed to what we think is the best spot at the Pork Festival! You can find us in the “Chicken Barn” every September. When people walk into our booth they often ask, “How do you set up your booth? How do you get it to look like this? We think part of the success of our sales at the festival is based on one basic thing…preparation! The main thing we have found is that we keep a note book of changes we can make, and any other notes we may find helpful at next years show. Here are a few basic display tips:

1. Start planning ahead…way way ahead!
You should start planning for the next festival on the last afternoon of your event while you are tearing down from the current show. While it is still fresh in your mind you should be able to make note of what items sold best, what displays provided the most sales, did you like how certain displays were set up, and what comments did customers make on your displays and how you can improve.
2. It’s all about looks!
We find that part of the success of any festival is how the products are displayed. You know… you have been in the booth where every item is lined up in a row. How boring! Make your displays interesting. Since many of our items are primitives, country and vintage looking we like to used old found items for props in our displays.
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  • Old worn wooden boxes and crates are our favorite. We found these boxes years ago. pork_festival3These antique folding boxes fold flat and make for easy for storing from year to year. We found some of this type box at a local flea markets and also on Ebay. Boxes can become storage containers for certain items or be turned on their side and ends to become part of the display. Smaller wood boxes can be used to sit products in or on. You can group items together, placing them at different heights by using boxes to elevate.
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  • Step ladders make interesting displays too. The steps become small shelves for a variety of items. You can also use the ladder to hang longer products. Old rung ladders are also work well for displaying longer items, simply drape over each step or hang down the length of the ladder.
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  • Another one of our favorite display items is an old chippy paint door and old wood shutters we found. We have nails at different heights on the door. This allows us to display a variety of products. Doors not only give a great place to hang things from but also provides a break from any neighboring displays. The shutters also make wonderful display dividers and places to hang things from.
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  • The plain boring folding banquet tables are easily transformed by covering the tables with basic painters drop cloths. The drop cloths provides a lot of natural muslin material at an inexpensive price. For splashes of color you can add scrap pieces of material, that you can find at any thrift store or flea market, on top of the painter’s drop cloth.
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    3. Always be on the lookout!
    Be on the lookout for old items that normal people would easily discard. We have found great display items on Ebay, flea markets or even in the neighbors trash! People throw out the most interesting items… parts of old fences, worn and weathered doors, disregarded windows, and more. Most of all have fun with your display and as always learn from year to year how you can improve it for your next show.

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