Halloween may be over, but PUMPKIN season is just beginning!
By now you’ve had a chance to check out Kbatz’s multitude of Krafty pumpkins! Releasing later this month, we’ll have a Pumpkin Special Podcast that you can listen to while you prep that perfect pumpkin dessert or look ahead to family gatherings you may or may not be excited about attending. Until then, here are some awesome new pumpkin ideas for you to try:
I just love using dollar store pumpkins to make cooler pumpkins. This look is created by modge podgeing book pages (in this case pages from an old dictionary) onto pumpkins and then using a black marker or paint to put the letters you would like on them. This boo-tiful craft takes only a few supplies: stryo pumpkin from a dollar store, old book/dictionary pages, glossy modge podge, a foam paintbrush (or you can use your fingers), and a thick black sharpie.
These looks are pretty easy because you aren’t even covering the entire pumpkin.
Buttoned Pumpkin supplies: tons of mini buttons of varying colors, but all about the same size, crafting wire that can be cut and poked into the foam through two holes (like a staple).
Ribboned Pumpkin supplies: thin black ribbon or curling ribbon, a thicker specialty ribbon, pins.
Check out Dan’s Pumpkin Patch Party Recipes in Horror Addicts Guide to Life. 26 pages of pumpkin reciepes from pepita brittle to maple pumpkin ice cream!
Have you ever hung a table picture frame and been so annoyed by the little stand in the back interfering against the wall that you’ve ripped it off? No? That’s just me?
I looked at these little picture backs with my cheap and spooky mind and thought, “Gee, they look like coffins!” But what could I do with them to show off their unusual shape? Some kind of cemetery diorama like the ones we used to make in school would be decorative but not necessarily useful. Would it be more efficient if this little cemetery was displayed openly on a serving tray? Kooky yet functional! Rather than cheap plastic or a Halloween themed platter that would be flimsy or too cutesy, I found a great old fashioned tray at Goodwill for $2. This chipped and worn cream with gold scroll work was going to become brown for that earthen look – the paint known as ‘nutmeg’ strikes again!
Obviously I could not repaint the entire intricate scroll design but went over some of the vine motifs on the corners in lime green paint for a creepy brier look. Of course, this lucked upon step was time consuming and took a few coats of both the green paint as well as the surrounding brown. I am not an artist, but I am a perfectionist, and some of the brush strokes are apparent if you take a closer look. After three or four coats, I could convince myself real creepy vines and cemetery dirt would have imperfections, however there are probably better stencils, brushes, and skills if you are intentionally going for an elaborate Halloween design. Although this paint doesn’t specifically say it glows in the dark, the lime is bright enough to do so – another fun bonus!
Despite already being dark, I painted the frame stands turned coffins black, hiding lingering sticker marks on the back while the brush strokes became fitting faux wood grain. I wanted a simple ‘R.I.P.’ in white to emphasis them as coffins, but the white paint picked up the marker tracings, leaving the phrase, well, peach. Maybe one could excuse it as a touch of Halloween orange, but I didn’t like it. When I started to go over the letter again with the brush I used for the black paint, I ended up with another ‘happy accident’ just like Bob Ross says. The darker dry brush picked up some of the surface texture – aging my peachy R.I.P. Like vintage erosion. Whew!
At last, my little coffin family was ready to go on the tray, staying upright with some basic glue and tape. After touching up the bottoms of the coffins with more black and covering the rest of the tape lines with my trusty nutmeg, I glued some green moss around the bases. This covered my imperfections and base support with a final spooky mound, and if you look closely, I used green glitter glue sticks in case any of the glue shows. Naturally, one should not put food directly on this kind of painted tray nor use it for a lot of grabby trick or treater hands. True artists would probably also use some sort of glossy sealant to protect their designs, but for me, a shiny top coat didn’t go with the graveyard mood.
Of course, one doesn’t have to make a three dimensional cemetery tray. Kids can spend a fun October weekend painting much simpler platters and gluing on an array of bugs, spiders, fake fingers, toy eyeballs, or anything that fits your Halloween theme. This idea works perfectly as a fun centerpiece whatever your inspiration and style, obnoxious picture backs or not.
I told myself, “Kbatz, no more cardboard tombstones!” and had actually been recycling several of the boxes that came my way. However, when one long, slender, perfectly coffin sized box happened upon my doorstep, I could not ignore it!
Granted, this was only the oblong base for a Cardboard Coffin that suddenly landed in my lap, and I needed to make the graduated, angular top to complete the silhouette. Cutting another box open to adjust around the top of my long box took some trial and error – centering as best possible, taping the flaps down to close the front, then reinforcing all the seams with more masking tape. After the front was loosely in place, I laid down my delicate shape and traced the top onto another piece of cardboard to be used as the backing piece. One could leave portions of the coffin open, but that can seem like parts were missing and this needed the structural support as well.
Although, one flap on my top box was indeed missing. I thought about cutting another piece of cardboard to wedge it closed, but the Bob Ross happy accidents continued once I decided to leave it open for some creepy hands to pop out. I have some Dollar Store skeleton hands intended for making coffins out of old pallets in yet another get to it someday project, but when looking for the skeleton hands I found monster fingers I had picked up at Goodwill for $1. Because these are singles rather than a jointed boney hand, I could spread them further apart to cover the opening as well as let them really stick away from the coffin for total scary effect!
Before I could break the monster out, however, I had to paint my cardboard coffin. Using the same technique as my DIY Tombstones, I graduated and varied different brown and black acrylic paints in marbled streaks with darker old sections and lighter, seemingly worn corners. After a few coats of blending for full coverage, my cardboard was really starting to look like a coffin! Should I paint on a big R.I.P.? Add claw streaks from my monster nails? I chose to leave the coffin plain otherwise, but a real artist could add monster eyes or pre-made ripped open monster decals. They do make ’em!
Now it was time to hot glue in my green monster fingers, spacing them out with Dollar Store moss to fill in any remaining gaps. It didn’t take long at all and the creepy long fingers set off the entire piece. Who has time to notice it’s really just a holey, tape together piece of cardboard? Since this wasn’t a coffin for the dead with a skeleton hand and more a buried monster break out, I picked up some Dollar Store chains to go around the box, adding visual balance while hiding some trouble spots. You can buy foldable fabric and cardboard cutout coffins in the Halloween store, but for their borrowed time breakable, store bought faux seems over priced at $25 or more. Then again, seriously sophisticated Halloween folks can get elaborate here with sound effects, motion sensors, or lighting – spending for a prop that will certainly scare as well as last if you have the right materials and know how. Naturally any cutting is best left to mom and dad and kids would need help in holding everything together as it is assembled, but this can be a family friendly project customizing what scary zombie arms or fun tails and toes to expose.
Because I had to open the top box and tape the angles back together, this coffin was slightly flimsy and top heavy. Maybe the cardboard should actually look more like damaged wood with jagged edges, and there are probably more sturdy materials to make your own DIY Coffin. I also dislike the noticeable seams upon closer inspection and even for a coffin getting bent out of shape by the monster inside, the proportions are still a little askew. For an on the whim project, however, this came together quickly in a few days with only paint drying delays. Using found materials and basic supplies that cost under $12, I now have a fun, spontaneous Halloween showstopper.
(It’s amazing what you can do in a day without internet service, and apologies to the workmen outside my house that afternoon who may have looked in my front window to see an upright coffin in the center of the room, you know, just chillin’.)
Like The Rolling Stones said, sometimes when you want a little morose, all you need is a hefty coat of black paint. A $4 grab bag of bowl filler from our trusty Mr. Goodwill helped me prove this theory as traditional balls and gourds became rustic orbs and goth glam. Shiny brass or holiday gold candlesticks and sconces likewise become sophisticated, useful pieces year-round, and Dollar Store frames turned into expensive-looking conversation pieces.
As discussed in my Re-purposed Black Topiaries project, painting floral items black is more involved, but worth the spooky look. When I picked up another holiday vase filled with pine and poinsettia greenery for $3, out came the flowers and everything else was spray painted black – tacky gold base, leaves, stems, and all. Touch-ups were needed for some of the smaller needles, but now I have a black floral base that can change with the season. After some cream and blush color flowers on the empty picks for the summer, it’s all black flowers for Halloween, red for the holidays, purple for winter, and white for spring. Customizing fake flora displays at the craft store can get pricey, but for $5 including spray paint, I have not just one one of kind centerpiece, but five.
Perhaps everything all black all the time would be too much for some, but one or two black accent pieces can be classic or rustic to suit your décor without being expensive. After last year’s Spooky Bottles and Tea Stained Labels, black paint came to rescue when I wanted to add more creepy jars to my shelf. Saving a few unique bottles from the recycling, painting them black, and wrapping rustic twine around the tops adds a touch of mystery to any apothecary. Have anything broken and useless lingering in your garage? I took apart the base of a damaged silver lamp, removed the wiring and painted the pieces black for a few more goth candle holders.
When my mom gave me this little lantern house – bought for pennies at the thrift store – I was tempted to keep the tin look. However, it felt a bit too country amid the rest of my décor. So I painted it all black for a fun light not just for Halloween, but something that can be used year-round. For those fearful of bigger crafts and projects or those hesitant to go bold and expensive with dark, sophisticated colors, painting smaller items black is a can’t go wrong, affordable touch for any room or season.
Trees are changing color, leaves are falling on the ground – it’s the perfect time to break out my DIY Cardboard Tombstones for a little spin in the backyard. You know, just to keep the neighbors talking!
As I detailed in my How To DIY Cardboard Tombstones Video, this type of cardboard graveyard is really only meant for one night of wow during Trick or Treating times or Halloween itself rather than all October long. I had purchased a spray sealant expressly for paper crafts but didn’t like the way it looked on a few tests, and after being stored as a faux stone wall in my basement, three of the earliest stones had chipped paint and needed touch-ups. One thing, however that I didn’t anticipate was how heat may effect the boxes. Fortunately, only the Shakespeare (which was made from taped together corrugated cardboard which I said not to do in my video) needs structural repair after warping in the sun during my photoshoot. If you live in a place that is always hot and sunny on Halloween and intend to have cardboard tombstones outside for more than a few hours, you should probably research what tape or glue and supplies may be better. By keeping these from getting wet, storing them delicately, and expecting to have minor repairs, one can probably get a few seasons worth out of this cardboard graveyard or eventually retire damaged ones and paint more boxes into tombstones anew. That’s not bad for $50 in supplies making twenty big headstones, columns, a fountain, and a unique gateway compared to $20 or $30 for a generic store-bought kit of small, breakable foam headstones.
For a final touch, I hot glued moss on a variety of nooks, crannies, and corners on each of the headstones. I had used green paint on several already for an aged patina and didn’t want to overdo it and cover them all up, but a hint of realistic greenery also hid any imperfections. Remember, though, that some faults are okay – embrace the crooked box or the ripped corner for that two-hundred-year-old spooky look! Although I left my graveyard plain rather than go overboard on accessories like blood for Dracula or tentacles for Lovecraft, those with know-how can add color lights, sensors, sounds, motion effects, and go plum buck wild for an entire haunted house tour through the cemetery. I certainly intend to keep my gateway ready for more spooky photography scenes.
It took me off and on about five weekends to do these, and so long as you leave any cutting or hefty painting to mom and dad, a family doing a few at a time can probably make a good dozen in a few weekends, too. Recycle and get the whole family to embrace their inner Halloween Picassos!
*pumpkin craft: quilted pumpkin supplies – 1 styrofoam pumpkin, bunch o’ straight pins, at least 126 fabric squares 3×3 inch alternating colors- one of them being green and ironed into triangles, timble, stitch gauge, an iron
*cursed places: salem, pressed with stones, preston castle, jackson, ca, texas, abandoned victorian house, cold spots, spooky, hauntings, winchester, john muir house, dunsmuir house pool area, real camera pictures, winchester wedding
*logbook of terror: creepy castle, russell
*darkvein manor: by emerian rich with cleo de milo concept by e.m. markoff, rish outfield-ives, kadirah wade-hazel, pete lutz-jay and henry, emerian rich-clara and cleo, naching t. kassa- dr. francistein, james seo-heath, kirk warrington-fabio, theme music-valentine wolf
*ghastly games: daphne, adventure escape asylum
INTERVIEW: Jonathan Fortin, Next Great Horror Writer
writer challenge, publishing contract, clarion, lilitu, crystal lake publishing, succubus, awkward robots indigo volume, fairies, requiem in frost, norway, heavy metal ghost, helpful zombies, audiobook coming, halloween plans, edwardian ball, horror movie marathon, sleepy hollow, crimson peak, suspiria, evil dead 2, dracula, the thing
*odds and dead ends: kieran, checkmate, alexander alekhine, conspiracy, wwii, murder, wizards chess, star trek chess, 3 dimensional
*frightening flix: kbatz vid clip, gothic romance, crafting vids, tombstones, paint it black, DIY cardboard coffin, mini coffin tray, pumpkins
Kbatz Gothic Romance Vid
*live action reviews: crystal, luciferina, monestary, sex, drugs, rock and roll, occult
NEW MOVIE LINEUP end of 2019- 2020
terminator, dr. sleep, ewen mcgregor, brahms 2, maggie, walking dead, netflix, black christmas, anna and the apocalypse, the grudge (again), blumhouse untitled, uncanny annie, the turning, the turn of the screw, henry, james, the lodge, trailer on FB group, fantasy island, horror adaption, the invisible man, claude rains, tattoo, ricardo monteban, a quiet place 2, the new mutants, horror or superhero, saw (again), morbius, blade, spiderman, empty man, vampire hunters no thank you, vampire hunter d, buffy, oz, spike, angel, the woman in the window, candyman (again), escape room (again), spell, plane crash, twilight zone movie, last night in soho, halloween kills (again), micheal meyers, jamie less curtis, what is the franchise that has the most sequels, the witches, angelica huston
INTERVIEW: A.J. Rome, writer, director, producer, actor
a.j. Rome, the vampire diaries, re-kill, mirrored, end trip, uber, black mirror, safe tech, watch on, itunes, amazon, google play, vudu, youtube movies, tubi, (coming soon) roku, acting, film creation, duplass, creep, blumhouse, paranormal activity, blair witch, halloween plans, cookie monster briefs, universal studios, halloween horror nights
***jesse orr, my darling dead, finale, rat people, willard, ben
***garden party massacre, amazon prime, carnivorous plants from target, haunted mansion funko pop toys, bill rude
***dark divinations, sub before october 31st
***the witch path, terror films
***resonance, terror films, the forest
*halloween plans, guatemala, visit family, cemetery, marigolds, little mermaid ears, mermaid tail, octo hat, sea creature photo shoot, day of the dead, katrina, cooking, altar, honoring the dead, anniversary, lunch
Little Tokyo Unleashes a Full Month of Ghoulish Events for Haunted Little Tokyo
Dare to be part of the frightful festivities in Downtown Los Angeles beginning September 27 and culminating with a haunted block party, trick-or-treating and costume contest on October 26
Photo courtesy of Sunshine Pictures LLC/ Haunted Little Tokyo.
Dare to join Little Tokyo in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles as the neighborhood transforms into the 3rd Annual Haunted Little Tokyo unraveling on select nights throughout the month of October beginning with the opening night of the Haunted Little Tokyo Film Festival on Friday, September 27. Critters of all ages are welcome to experience the festivities including a family-friendly pumpkin patch, ghostly walking tours, free scary movie screenings, interactive ghoulish games and all culminating with Downtown Los Angeles’ largest annual haunted Halloween block party, trick-or-treating and costume contest on Saturday, October 26. Go Little Tokyo presented by the Little Tokyo Community Council invites all thrill seekers to explore the fun as the community brews up eerie activities, unforgettable family-friendly entertainment and spooky events throughout the Halloween season.
Haunted Little Tokyo Film Festival – Brew up some sweet treats and enjoy the Haunted Little Tokyo Film Festival with family-friendly films and classic Japanese hair-raising horror cinemas at various outdoor screening locations. All screenings are free, RSVP encouraged as space is available on a first-come first-serve basis.
Friday, October 4, 7 – 10 PM: Hausu at Union Center for the Arts (free)
Friday, October 11, 6 – 9 PM: Okko’s Inn at Japanese Village Plaza (free)
Thursday, October 17, 8 – 10 PM: Crimson Kimono (1959) at Japanese American National Museum (free)
Haunted Little Tokyo Pumpkin Patch– Halloween enthusiasts of all ages are invited to the Haunted Little Tokyo Pumpkin Patch, an outdoor marketplace grown by local Asian Pacific Islander farmers at the Japanese Village Plaza. Purchase and decorate one-of-a-kind jack-o’-lanterns with neighbors, friends, and volunteer artists using pumpkins provided by Tanaka Farms. Friday, October 18 – Sunday, October 20 from 12 – 6 PM
Haunted Ghosts of Little Tokyo Walking Tour – Hear the stories of the resident Little Tokyo ghosts told by those who have seen the undead walk the halls at night on the Haunted Ghosts of Little Tokyo Walking Tour led by the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS). Re-discover the neighborhood in an all-new way with this haunted tour around the neighborhood and through haunted historical buildings. Saturday, October 19, from 5 – 6:30 PM beginning at East West Players Theater Courtyard at Union Center for the Arts. $20 admission.
Trick-or-Treat in Little Tokyo – Trick-or-Treat in Little Tokyo is a return to traditional trick-or-treating for costumed critters of all ages to receive terrifying treats from local businesses in the Japanese Village Plaza. Treats generously donated by Meiji and Hi-Chew. Kid-friendly activities organized by KidZGen. Saturday, October 26, from 5 – 8 PM. Free.
Haunted Night in Little Tokyo: The Block Party – Indulge in bone-chilling drinks and devilish desserts as the month-long celebration wraps up with a frightfully-fun block party and costume contest during Haunted Night in Little Tokyo: The Block Party on 2nd Street between Central & San Pedro Street. Enjoy bone-chilling spooky sips in the beer garden, live music and entertainment, a costume contest with prizes, family-friendly game booths, local food and retail vendors, exclusive discounts, and more. Details coming soon about 21+ after party starting from midnight after the block party. The grown and mischievous can keep the party going until sunrise. Saturday, October 26, from 6 PM – 12 AM at 2nd Street in between Central Ave. and San Pedro St. Free admission. 21+ after party starting from 11 PM.
Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles
TICKETS AND REGISTRATION:
Free – $25 depending on the activity. For pricing and to register for activities, please visit www.hauntedlittletokyo.com.