October 17, 2019

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

I have always loved old vintage and folk-style candy buckets, and while these are by no means replicas of those antiques, I wanted to try my hand at making my own papier-mache treat buckets with my own spin on them. Turns out it was a fairly easy process with a little patience and a whole lot of messy hands. 

Items to gather...

  • Plastic pumpkin candy buckets
  • Celluclay
  • Elmers Glue
  • Masking Tape
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Ribbon
  • Drill with bit

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

I used these plastic buckets as my form to keep the pumpkin shape which you can pick up for a dollar at many craft or dollar stores. Before covering them with the paper mache, I did a layer of masking tape in order for the pulp to adhere better to the form (the plastic pumpkins).

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

Follow the directions to mix the celluclay, and then add a couple of tablespoons of elemers glue. I've found this help everything to stick and stay in place while working. The first layer of papier-mache was just a thin layer to cover everything...

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

Then I went back and did a second layer to add all the dimensional and definition aspects to it based off of a couple sketches I made:

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

Next, I painted them! 

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

The final step then was to drill holes on the side and thread in the ribbon to make them into candy buckets.

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

Viola! All done!

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets

DIY Papier-Mache Pumpkin Candy Buckets
Pin Me! -Pumpkin Candy Buckets 

October 15, 2019

Bats, Spiders, and Caves! Oh My!

Below is a collection of activities I integrated into the curriculum over the years to make the month of October a little bit more spooky with Halloween on the horizon, without doing many outright Halloween projects.

We used Stellaluna to do a variety of reading activities using the curriculum from Linda Kamp that is excellent in its' content for students. 

Stellaluna Anchor Chart

We read a couple of books on canes and watched some YouTube videos (click here for video clips) for each student to then make a tree chart showcasing what they learned

Cave Tree Chart

For both spiders and bats (after doing a little research reading) students had to draw and label a picture of said arachnid and mammal, followed by an informational paragraph. 

Scientific Bat Writing

We read did various STEM activities at the end of the day that were slightly Halloween themed. For instance, students had to designed a suspended spider web using only dental floss and a few pieces of masking tape. They tested their webs then by placing this spider to see if it would hold:

Spider STEM

For the month of October, I transformed the reading tent into a reading cave with paper, spider web, and twinkle lights. Inside was a bin with cave specific books and a flashlight. Students took turns spending reading workshop in the reading cave throughout the month.

From Tent to Cave

Cave Readers Workshop

Before students got to paint the mini pumpkins, they first had to practice their description skills:

Pumpkin Investigation

We did three different related art projects during the month of October, beginning with pumpkin critters. Each student received a mini pumpkin to create a woodland creature of their choice along with paint and construction paper. Here are a few:

Mini Pumpkin Painting


Then we made some spooky haunted scene pictures. I diluted black paint to make it super thin, then students used straws to blow the paint around to create the creepy trees. We let them dry, and then they took sharpies to complete their scenes:

Haunted Halloween Painting


Haunted Halloween Painting

Finally, some colorful spider webs! Students drew their web art on construction paper with crayons first and then they watercolored over the webbing: 

Watercolor Spider Webs

During social studies, we were looking at resources from Williamsburg during our American Revolutionary War unit when we came across this little clip about tinsmithing. We made up some quick lanterns and students wrote about their favorite fall memory on these caramel apples to help decorate a hallway wall.

Caramel Apple Writing Activity

Finally, for older students, I loved using this Literature Unit for The Widow's Broom from Michael Frieman-- the excellent quality and my 4th grader loved it!

October 9, 2019

You've Been Boozed!

The tradition of "Booing" our neighbors only happened a couple of Halloweens on the tail end of my childhood years. Neighborhood kids took turns putting together a bag or bucket of Halloween treats, running up to someone's porch, ring the doorbell, and then rung away. A game of tag to further our advancement towards more cavities and sugar rushes in an already candy-laden season.

This tradition for many has carried on into adulthood with a bit of boozy twist: Boo your neighbors with snacks--both salty and sweet--with some special brews or alcoholic beverages of choice to celebrate the holiday season with, then pass the fun along!

I wanted to give it a try myself and put my own touches on it too. Starting with some snacks, I picked out sour gummy bats, Reese's Pieces, Halloween Junior Mints, pistachios, and mini caramel dips with apples to go with pumpkin beer from a local brewery. 

Boozed Halloween

To make things even more festive, I added in some fun items as well: Paper straws to go with the drinks, caution tape for decorating, coasters I whipped up with some scrap fabric, glow bracelets, grow cats (because why not?), and confetti mix.

Boozed Halloween

Boozed Halloween

I created this cute printable to attach to the box, which you can download to use for yourself by clicking below:


Boozed Halloween

Boozed Halloween

I took a little time to decorate some of the six-pack packages, but you could totally leave them as is as I did with a couple of them you'll see below too.

Boozed Halloween

Boozed Halloween

Included in the printables is this tag specifically designed for your significant other to boo-ze them too.

Boozed Halloween

Boozed Halloween

Finally, if you'd rather do individualized boo-ze treats for a party, here's my take on it using a ephemera from Crate Paper:


Boozed Halloween

Happy boo-zing!

October 1, 2019

Scaring Away Germs At Halloween +A Free Halloween Printable

Halloween Hand Soap Gift

Autumn weather brings with itself so many exciting things: pumpkins, cooler weather, hot cider drinking. But it also brings some not so exciting things, like heightened germ weather--colds and the flu. If you're a teacher you enter the beginning stages of I'm-trying-to-not-get-sick-from-all-these-kids-weather. AKA: Don't touch me with those hands--I've seen where they've been. 

Instead of sending in a Halloween sugary treat to your child's teacher to celebrate the season, might I just put forth that you lend him or her your support in this battle of germ-killing? Send them a festive hand soap. You can easily pick these up at Target or Home Goods (amongst other places).

Halloween Hand Soap Gift

Attach a little tag with some ribbon or twine. Click the link below to download this one I made for you to use for free!


Halloween Hand Soap Gift

If you use these tags, do me a favor and leave a link below for me to see it in your diy projects! Happy germ scaring!

Halloween Hand Soap Gift

© Natalie Grimm. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.