To make these “poison” style candy jars I printed out a sheet of vintage labels from here (make sure you go under ALL SIZES and print from the largest file) I bought the spice jars at Goodwill, and they had screw on lids and really bad labels on each jar. I used a little goo-be-gone to get rid of the labels and then sent the spice jars on a trip through the dishwasher.

I picked up a bag of corks at the Craft shop, and then used spray glue to attach the new labels to the front of each jar. I plan to have a bunch on our Halloween food table, but I think they would make pretty awesome favors for guests too!

Just don’t forget if you have younger children to explain that they should never eat or drink anything marked poison. :)

I have a bunch more Halloween things to share with you soon! There might be more then one blog post a day for the next few days just to be able to share everything.

Making a pinata cake..

So tonight is the big birthday party to celebrate my oldest son turning 14. He really loves the game Viva Pinata and said this year he wanted a pinata cake. So I thought about it, and was thinking fruit roll ups/or those candy fruit strips cut up to resemble the crepe paper on pinatas. Then I wasn’t sure how it was going to be 3D and stand so I decided to do a search on Flickr to see how other people had made pinata cakes. It was there that I stumbled upon this recipe for a very different kind of pinata cake.

I was telling K (the 14 year old) about the cake I saw and immediately he said “okay yeah I want that cake!” I really like the challenge of it, and that it isn’t just the usual cake. I did a bit of research before making mine to see what kinds of things work best. I think for a smooth finish its good to oil a metal bowl and freeze it before you melt your chocolate. I saw some cakes that used tin foil in plastic bowls, but that seems to have sticking trouble and creates wrinkles in the chocolate.

So here is the deal..you cook a cake making sure the circumference of your cake pan in small enough to fit inside of a metal bowl. The cake pan I used was 7 inch I believe. Instead of making layers I made one taller 7 inch cake. Then I frosted it, and decorated the top with toys and candy. Then you oil a metal bowl, and melt down chocolate wafers (the kind you might use to mold your own chocolate) Then you swirl them around inside the bowl until its coated and pretty even. I had to keep putting mine in the freezer, swirl it with a spoon, and then add more chocolate up the side of the bowl since my bowl was pretty tall.

Once your chocolate coated bowl is hardened you turn it over on top of your cake and use a towel dipped in hot water to rub the whole outside of the bowl. This was by far the scariest part. Mine took a good 15 minutes of rubbing until I could lift the bowl off the chocolate dome. Then I keep thinking it could collaspe, but it didn’t :) I put mine back in the freezer for 30 mins just to be sure.

Then I went in a piped some chocolate frosting along the bottom to even out any areas that the dome didn’t quite come down as far as others. Then back in the freezer….then I melted some more chocolate, covered the whole thing with candy, then back in the freezer (no surprise huh?) Now the cake in the the fridge till its time to crack it open.

After you sing/do candles…give the birthday person a toy hammer and have them “crack” the cake open to reveal the real cake topped with toys and candy! I also made cupcakes in the case that the real cake isn’t enough, and I topped the cupcakes with little toys and candy too.

party people

We have two big parties going on in our house this month. The first will be this Friday to celebrate our oldest son turning 14. His actual birthday is today, so we have some smaller plans tonight. You might remember from last year’s party that he loves color. Last year I was able to find some awesome rainbow streamers, but this year no luck so I decided to make my own.

They are simple and much faster to make then they appear.
#1 Cut strips of streamers. I didn’t measure mine at all, I just cut about 12-15 inch lengths and set aside in large pile.
#2 Sit at your sewing machine with the pile nearby so you can easily grab as you sew. Take the first two strips of varying colored streamers and lay them on top of each other. Don’t worry if one is longer then another. Begin to sew them down the middle slightly pushing the streamers as they are sewn. This will create the ruffle look and takes very little effort to do. You just lightly push along. As you come to the end of the streams grab two more and overlap them with the previous streamers.
#3 Keep sewing until you have a n ice long chain. Snip all threads and wind up until your ready to hang.

Another reason I like these is streamers in general are thought of as disposable. They are thin, cheap, and rip easily. But when sewn like this the streamers become something you can use over and over again. The sewing/stacking/ruffling makes them feel real sturdy and thick. This would go even fast if you want to make a chain of two colors. Then you wont need to cut strips, just lay the streamers on on top of the other and sew, letting the ends unroll as your sewing.