Cardboard tube bats!

Hello you lovely people! Today we have a spooky halloween DIY. Say hello to my cardboard tube bats!

Copy of DIY

Ok, so they’re not that spooky…they’re actually pretty cute in fact, I love their little faces! I’ve named them Bert and Eric; I feel that suits them.

Now would you believe me if I told you that Bert and Eric started life as toilet roll tubes? Well, you probably would judging off the title of this post, but still, they look pretty good for some recycled cardboard tubes!

Fancy making your own bats?

You will need:

  • Cardboard toilet roll tubes (as many for however many bats you wish to make!)
  • Black or dark grey acrylic paint
  • White acrylic paint
  • A black marker pen
  • Black card
  • Wire
  • A glue gun (though regular PVA or a glue stick would work too!)

Method:

  1. Paint your toilet roll tubes using your black or grey paint- I used a dark grey colour. Leave to dry.
  2. Once your toilet roll tubes have dried, fold the top of your tube in on itself to create the bat ear shape as shown. Do the same with the bottom of your tube.
  3. Paint two white circles on your tube for your bats eyes, and two small triangles for fangs. Once your white paint has dried, draw pupils and a line for the mouth of your bat using the marker pen.
  4. Cut out your wings. Fold a piece of card in half and cut out a wing shape, when you open your card out you will have a perfectly symmetrical set of wings! Do this for however many bats you are making.P1230515.jpg
  5. Glue your wings to the back of your bat. I used  glue gun for this, but PVA glue should work fine too.
  6. Glue two pieces of thin wire to the bottom of your bat for its legs! Curl the bottom of the wire over to allow your bats to hang upside down from things around your house! (Eric and Bert have been living quite happily on a lamp shade for the past month! 😉 ).

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I absolutely love how these little guys turned out, and they really were so simple to make, a perfect DIY for the kids to help with!

I think these look especially great hanging from the fancy light we have in our snug at home; super creepy right?

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That’s all from me today guys, and also my last Halloween DIY for the year! I hope you’ve enjoyed all of my posts leading up to Halloween, and if you’re looking for some inspiration over the weekend why not check them out?

Related posts:

DIY Witches Cauldron, DIY Halloween Party TreatsDIY Halloween Candles.

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

DIY Halloween cauldron sweet holder!

Get spooky with this Halloween DIY cauldron! A project for the kids to get involved with!

Hey guys! It’s finally Friday, and my word am I ready for it! This week has been my first week back at university, and I. Am. Exhausted. It’s been hard work, and involved a fair bit more stress than I would’ve liked; but now it’s Friday evening, my lectures have finished and I’m looking forward to a bit of a lie in tomorrow!

And seeing as it’s Friday the 13th today, what better than a spooky DIY for you all, in preparation of Halloween! I have been absolutely loving creating my Halloween blog posts for you guys this month, it’s been super fun! Plus, I have a very exciting Halloween post coming up on the 22nd for you all…

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But now to what this post is actually about… my DIY Halloween sweet cauldron! I had so much fun creating this DIY for you… perhaps more fun than a 20 year old should have when using paper mache… but still, it was so fun! Creating this cauldron really took me back to when I was little; there’s something so inherently childlike about using paper mache! Plus I love the finished result, its perfect for keeping by the door and storing all of your trick or treat sweets in. It also just makes a great table decoration for Halloween!

So let’s get started!

You will need:

  • A balloon
  • Paper mache paste and scrap newspaper or paper. Find my DIY paper mache paste here!
  • A glue gun (this is optional, but I really like the effect it gives).
  • Acrylic paints

Method:

  1. Begin by blowing up your balloon. Place your balloon upside down, so the tied end is facing into your work surface. You can stand your balloon on a toilet roll tube or something similar to help with this.
  2. Begin to paper mache the balloon. Once you have covered enough of your balloon so that you have got a large enough cauldron, add another few layers of paper mache on top of this base layer. I did three total layers for my cauldron.
  3. Roll up some bits of newspaper to create the lip at the top of the cauldron. Glue these around the top of the cauldron using your paper mache paste. Once you have added a lip all the way around the cauldron, cover it with one layer of newspaper to help make it smooth and easier to paint later on.P1230528
  4. Leave your cauldron the dry over night. Once the paper mache is totally dry, pop your balloon using a pin or similar. You now have your basic cauldron shape!
  5. Now for the optional glue gun bit. If you have a glue gun, write some spooky wording on your cauldron, and add a few drips around the top! I chose to write ‘Witch’s Brew’ on mine, I love how it turned out!P1230558
  6. Now you are ready to start painting your cauldron. I used a very dark purple for my cauldron, using bits of black to add depth. I painted the top a bright green colour, to give the illusion of my witch’s brew oozing over the top of the cauldron! I then added some white to my writing, to help make it more prominent.
  7. Paint the inside of your cauldron whatever colour you like, or do what I did and add some green tissue paper to make your Witch’s Brew look extra spooky!

I’m really happy with how this DIY turned out, I think this’ll look great holding lots of sweet treats this Halloween season!

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What did you think of this DIY? Have you been trying any Halloween related crafts recently? Let me know!

A very spooky best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

 

DIY Halloween candles!

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Hi guys! Now that it’s October it feels only right that I should post my first Halloween related blog post! Today’s post is a great spooky DIY for all you Halloween fanatics out there.

Say hello to my Halloween candles. My initial intent when making these candles was just to make pumpkins, but the striped Candycorn-esque candle was actually a great way of using up the excess wax that I had melted.

I love how these candles turned out! I hadn’t tried candle making in a good few years, it’s probably five years since I last tried my hand at the craft, but I loved the process of making these beauties! It was fun and really easy, and produced great results! Let’s be honest, making your own candles sounds a lot more sophisticated than it actually is… and that makes it a winner in my book! Anything that will impress my family and friends while requiring little effort on my part gets a big thumbs up from me.

If you’ve never tried candle making before, you don’t really require too much fancy equipment to get started; although I would definitely recommend purchasing a candle making kit to help get you up and running. This is usually a cheaper option than purchasing the equipment individually, and all kits come with detailed instructions and safety precautions. My first candle making kit was this Creative Candle Making kit from House of Crafts, which provided me with the moulds used in this project. I found it to be really good value for money, as you are given enough supplies to make up to 20 different fragranced and coloured candles! Plus it makes a great Christmas present for craft lovers.

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So let’s get started! 

You will need: 

  • Paraffin wax pellets, approx 500g. You can purchase 1kg of paraffin wax pellets here
  • Wick. I found a really cool article explaining how to make your own candle wick here! Great if you want to save some money.
  • A wick rod. A pencil or lolly pop stick would also work.
  • Red and yellow coloured candle dyes. I used these
  • A fragrance of your choice.
  • A mould sealer. This is just blutac or plasticine.
  • A round candle mould and a pillar mould. This is one of the main reasons I so strongly recommend purchasing a candle making kit, as you will be provided with several moulds to get you started. If however you do wish to purchase your own, I use these moulds for my candles.
  • One large and one smaller saucepan that fits comfortably inside the larger.

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Instructions:

The first thing to do when candle making is to ensure you’re working within close proximity to your cooker. Cover your work top in newspaper in order to protect it from any hot wax that may drip onto it. 

Safety tips:

  • Ensure your water level in your large saucepan is always at least as high as the wax pellets in the small saucepan. Add more water as you melt your wax if you need to.
  • Should you wax catch fire, smother with a damp tea towel. Do not add water.
  1. Prepare your moulds. You need to use a spherical mould for the pumpkin candle and a pillar mould for the Candycorn candle. Pass your wick through the small hole in the top of your mould and out the bottom, leaving around 4cm of wick poking out the top of your candle mould and 12cm of wick at the bottom of the mould to tie around your wick rod. Your wick rod is just something that you can tie your wick to.
  2. With your candle mould upside down (so you will have a large opening facing upwards where you can pour your wax in), balance your wick rod so that it is lying across the candle mould, there will usually be two little grooves on your mould here to help you do this. Tie the end of your wick around the wick rod. Pull your wick tight by the 4cm piece of wick sticking out the top of your candle and seal this end of the wick with a piece of blutac or plasticine, this is just to prevent hot wax dripping out of the mould.
  3. Your mould is now ready for your wax.
  4. Fill your large saucepan about three quarters of the way full with water. Place your small saucepan inside your large saucepan, so that it sits in the water. Begin by making the wax for one of your pumpkin candles. If you want your final pillar candle to look more Candycorn-like than mine, make your yellowy pumpkin first. Place your wax pellets in the small saucepan, you will require around 200g of wax for the mould I used, but don’t worry about melting too much. You will be pouring the excess into your pillar candle anyway.
  5. Heat your wax on a medium heat, stirring occasionally as it melts. Add your dye. You will only require a tiny amount of dye to colour this amount of wax, your dye packaging should give you some sort of guidelines for how much you need.
  6. Once your wax has melted, take it off the heat immediately and add your fragrance. A few drops of this will be sufficient, I’d say 3-5.
  7. Pour your wax into the mould and leave to cool. When you have filled your spherical mould, pour the excess wax into your pillar mould. Place your spherical mould in the fridge overnight to aid you with removing your candle rom the mould.
  8. After leaving your candle overnight in the fridge, you may remove it from the mould. To remove your spherical candle, untie your wick rod and run a blunt knife around the centre join of your mould. You should be able to ease the bottom off, followed by the top.
  9. Now make your orangey/red pumpkin using the same process. Pour your excess wax into the pillar candle on top of your yellow layer.
  10. Now make a white batch of wax by adding no dye this time. You will only need about 50g of wax. Pour this on top of the red layer of the pillar candle before placing this candle in the fridge overnight too.
  11. To remove the pillar candle, remove the wick rod and mould sealer before rapping the mould on a hard work surface firmly. Repeat this until the candle falls out.P1230793.jpg
  12. If you wish to make your candles look extra smooth and shiny like mine, you can carry out a process called glazing. Holding the wick of you candle before you cut it down to size, dip your candle in hot water from the kettle. Once the candle has cooled, polish the candle with an old pair of tights to make it extra shiny!
  13. Once you have done this, add your pumpkin’s face! I used a black permanent marker pen for this, though black acrylic paint would also work.

Ta da! There you have it, your homemade pumpkin candles. I know this post seems incredibly lengthy, but the candle making process really is simple, and great fun. Once you have mastered your basic candle making skills you can try all sorts of new colour and fragrance combinations, and maybe even try adding things like glitter into your hot wax to give your candle some extra sparkle.

That’s all from me today, I hope you’re all enjoying October and getting in the Autumnal mood! If you have any trouble with making your candles or would like to know anything more about the process, please let me know in the comments!

What have you been making for Halloween? Tell me all about it!

Best wishes to you all,

Maddie x

Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn small commission if you choose to purchase certain items that I have linked. All items that have been linked in this post have been tried and tested by me and are my favourites, though not all have been bought from the same suppliers! 🙂