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07 Nov 2011
Halloween illuminations
Light up these paper cones for Halloween|sophie-world.com

I’m constantly impressed by the glut of new items and products that spring up on the market every day. It opens the door to so many creative projects (and uses that I’m sure they were never originally intended for!). I love walking down the aisles of my local hardware store, department store, or pharmacy -- there’s always sooo much to see!

Now, although this particular product isn’t new (it’s been out for about three years now, I think), my team and I have been working on new ways to incorporate it into our Halloween crafts and decor. It’s an electric tea light run by a tiny little battery. What’s pretty darn amazing about these little luminaries is that they actually throw off a decent bit of light for a good amount of time (usually about 8 to 20 hours, depending on the brand and the quality of the batteries they use). They also sport a little on/off switch so you can conserve power. Some brands even have a flicker effect which mimics a true flame. Trust me, they’re pretty darn cool!

Anyway, there are countless numbers of uses for these little fellas. Here are some of my ideas...

Mantle or window sill night shades

These simple lights brighten any room|sophie-world.com

The amazing thing is that the cone shape actually lends itself to so many critters and creatures, the longer you play with it, the more creative you can become. Simone made a steampunk kitty that was to die for!

A steampunk hanging candy cone|sophie-world.com

Luminary walkway
1. Similar to the nightlights, take small white paper bags and use your Sharpie pens draw ghostly little faces (all you really need are the eyes and mouth).
2. Fill the bags with a small amount of sand or a few rocks to keep them from blowing away.
3. Line the bags up along the sides of your pathway, then place one or more (depending on how bright you want your ghosties) lights into each bag.
4. Wait for sundown, and turn on your lights...
5. There you have it -- a ghostly entrance

paper Bag Luminariessophie-world.com

Water jug monster night light
I love this idea. Melissa, another one of our fabulous craft testers/creators, is going to school for Art Therapy, and we got to talking about demystifying the notion of monsters for children. She came up with what I think is an adorable idea: creating your own Monster Night Light. The notion is that if the monster is of your own creation, then he will help keep the other monsters and night terrors at bay.

The best thing is this is an easy craft for kids of all ages. Once the trap door is cut (which should be done by an adult, of course) the kids can pretty much do this one all by themselves (it may get a tiny bit messy, but it’s fun).

1. All you need is a water bottle, water jug, or milk carton (the plastic kind).
2. Cover the jug with colorful strips of tissue paper (you can use Modge Podge, or a glue-and-water mixture of 1 part water to 1 part glue, or even just use a glue stick to apply the glue to the bottle surface, then place the strip, and then go over again with the glue stick).
3. Let the tissue paper dry (about an hour or so, depending upon how much glue you’ve used).
4. Have an adult cut a small flap or trap door in the back of the bottle (it just needs to be big enough for your hand to place one of the little electric candles).
5. Decorate your monster any way you want! You can use cut-out noses, eyes, teeth, and so on from magazines. You can use googly eyes or other crafting materials you may have. Or you can raid the recycle bin and use bottle caps for eyes, tape dispensers for a nose, a broken-toothed comb for teeth.
6. Place your little light inside the trap door, flick the switch, and chase those nightly fears away.

A decorated night light made from a water jug|sophie-world.com

There’s so many ways to use these handy little lights. Make sure you pick up a pack next time you’re out shopping -- I guarantee you’ll find lots of uses for them!