How To Tuesday – Hanging Bat Chandelier

tutorial This bat chandelier is inspired by one that Pottery Barn Kids had for sale a few years ago. Their version had felt bats (and you could do that too!) Their version also had pom-poms, which are not spooky enough for me, but feel free to add them if you love the way it looks!
Here’s what you’ll need:
black card stock or you can use stiff black felt, or pre-cut paper bats
black craft paint
white colored pencil if you use felt you may need a white seamstress marker instead
embroidery hoops in three sizes you can make your chandelier as big or small as you want by the size of your hoops
black tape washi tape or electrical tape
black quilting thread
1. Take apart your embroidery hoops and paint all three of the plain wooden hoops black. You will not need the outer hoops that have the tightening hardware, but you could save these for another project.
2. While the hoops are drying you can cut out your bats. I just folded a piece of paper in half and cut out a bat shape, but there are bat templates here and here that you could use instead. I was able to fit about 6 bats per page, and then doubled up my paper when cutting them out so I would get two cut at a time. Do not worry about the bats being super detailed. I used the white colored pencil to trace my bat design and then made sure to cut inside my lines.
3. Once the embroidery hoops are dry we are going to attach the thread and get them hung up. Take the largest hoop and 3 lengths of thread. Tie each thread securely around the hoop (trying to keep them equal distance apart) and then bring all three threads together in the center and tie them into a knot.
4. Now it will be easier to work with if you can hang your top tier on something. I hooked mine on the bottom of our dining room chandelier because it was an easy to work with height. Now you want to add the second and third tier. Like the big hoop tie three threads around the edge and instead of bringing them together at the center, you will tie the ends to the big hoop which is hanging. The amount of distance you leave between the hoops is up to you, just remember once it’s hanging you don’t want it to be too long if you plan on being able to walk underneath it.
5. once all your tiers are hung in place you can start to hang your bats. I used the tape to secure a length of string to each bat and a bit of tape to hang it to the hoop (you could also tie them onto the hoop instead) Start with the lowest tier and work your way upward. If you want to add pom-poms, just use a needle to string them onto your thread. Your bats can be put on very neatly, even spaced…or just added at random (which is what I did)
6. Now find a place to hang your bats and enjoy!

How To Tuesday – Halloween Crates

halloween decoration I know that technically it is still Summer (first day of Fall is Sat the 22nd) but I wanted to get a jump start on my Halloween projects so the house will be decorated the entire month of October and I thought you might feel the same. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I love decorating for holidays! My favorite kind of decorations are the ones you can make yourself, and the ones that are somewhat functional. These little mini crates are great for storage that is also festive. Keep them on a kitchen counter and hold your spices, put them on a a shelf and fill them with jars of Halloween candy, or put them in your bathroom to hold soap, and other bathroom essentials.
Here’s what you’ll need:
-mini wooden crates, I found these at AC Moore for $2.99 each (bring a coupon and they are even cheaper!)
-wood stain, I went with walnut
-multi-purpose spray adhesive
-labels page 1 here and page 2 here, I made 2 of each so you can put one label on each end
1. Stain all the crates and allow to dry (check your stain for dry times)
2. Have labels printed (I had my printed by Staples for a little over $1, and they print on a laser printer so you don’t have to worry about the inks smearing) cut them out.
3. Use the spray adhesive in a well ventilated area, spray the back of each label and press it onto the side of the crate. Voila…super easy, and actually pretty fast too!
Please remember these labels are for personal use only, not for re-sale.

Recipe – Jack O’Lantern Pot Pies Nothing is quite as cozy as a pot pie on a brisk fall evening. We like to celebrate Halloween throughout the months of September and October so I actually made these just the other night. It might not have been brisk out, and technically it is still the end of Summer, but they were perfect for getting us into the Halloween mood. I had found dark purple potatoes and paired them with some carrots for a very festive pot pie, but you can use whatever potatoes you have on hand, the jack o’lantern faces will festive them up!
Here’s what you’ll need:

Jack O’Lantern Pot Pies

-7 oz of frozen puff pastry
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-1 yellow onion chopped
-2/3 cup of carrots chopped
-1/2 cup of yellow squash chopped
-2 cups of potatoes chopped
-1/4 cup of all purpose flour
-2 cups of vegetable broth
-2 cups of fully cooked protein (I like quorn brand vegetarian chicken chunks)
-1 cup of milk (we use almond milk)
-(optional) 2-3 Tablespoons of plain potato flakes
-(optional) 1 egg slightly beaten for egg wash

Remove puff pastry from the freezer and allow to sit out covered with a towel on a cutting board. Preheat oven to 350F and lay out ramekins on a cookie sheet. I used 12 small ramekins for mine, you can also optionally use one large pie plate and create one jack o’lantern face for the top. Find a circle cup that is about the same size as your ramekins for cutting out the faces, or save one ramekin aside for cutting.

Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan. Add veggies and sauté until onions are translucent. Pour flour over veggies and stir until all the veggies are coated, allow to cook for about two minutes. Add veggie broth and allow to simmer until veggies are tender. Add milk and a fully cooked protein (I use quorn brand fake chicken chunks) and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly to thicken. If your mixture is still too thin or watery add a few tablespoons of plain potato flakes. Stir the flakes well and allow to absorb the broth before adding any more. Spoon the stew into each ramekin.

Uncover pastry and use your cup/or extra ramekin to cut out your circle faces. Then use a small sharp paring knife to cut out faces. Basic triangles work best and the dough is easier to cut if it’s not fully defrosted. Lay each face on top of a ramekin and press lightly around the edge to seal. If doing an egg wash beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush beaten egg onto each face.

Bake the cookie sheet of ramekins in preheated oven for about 20 mins until faces are lightly browned.