Spunky Real Deals

DIY Halloween Paper Wheel


DIY Halloween Paper Wheel
These paper wheels are outta this world and very appropriate for Hallow's Eve! The idea came to me as I was painting some tree branches black. I was using a large paper lawn bag to protect my table and as I looked at the black-glittery mess a disturbing light bulb went off: PAPER WHEEL!!!! Of course, I have never made a paper wheel in my life...but that hardly matters. These paper wheels turned out very thick and textured...they look incredible! This is an Eco-friendly and thrifty way to liven up your home for Halloween. Best of all? Not a lick of skill is required(my favorite part). After you are done, simply recycle or stow away your paper wheels for next season! Let's do it...step by easy step.

Items you will need(ONE lawn bag makes FOUR medium paper wheels): 
-Paint Brushes
-Paper Lawn Bag
-Hot Glue Sticks & Gun

1.) Hap-haphazardly paint and glitter a large paper lawn bag. There is no right or wrong way to do this, but try to leave some dark and light space for a beautiful contrast. Meaning...do not paint the whole bag one solid color.

 2.) Let the bag dry, then cut the entire painted and glittered side off the large lawn bag. Make sure you have a single sheet. Do not fold up the enter bag!

3.) Fold the sheet accordion-style the whole way to the end.

4.) Fold the accordion strip in half.

5.) Take your scissors and poke a hole through the middle(carefully, so you don't hurt yo-self).

6.) Take a large piece of string or yarn and knot it in the middle. This is how you will hang your paper wheel when you are done.

7.) Take your two accordion ends, fan them out, and hot glue the ends together. Glue any lingering paper pieces that need glued to make your paper wheel look like a "paper wheel".

That is that. Directly above is the YouTube video so that you can see the steps in LIVE YouTube action! These Halloween paper wheels are really quite simple and the result is shockingly eerie and stunningly beautiful! The month of Halloween has just begun my friends. Expect many more creative Halloween ideas all month long. Stay spooky my friends.

Survival Guide: How to throw a Kindergarten B-day Party.


Survival Guide: How to throw a Kindergarten B-day Party.
Okay, so I am being a tad dramatic. On the other hand, if you are throwing a birthday party with 20 to 30 small children fleeting about this title could be painfully accurate. Lucky for you, I am going to take you through some easy, thrifty, and sure-fire ideas on not only how to survive the onslaught of that many little children, but to actually enjoy the birthday party yourself...and possibly looking forward to throwing another one next year(possibly).

My eldest is turning 6 this year and I can see a glimpse of what he may look like as a grown man. He is so handsome and he has a smile that lights up the room...oh and those dimples! Initially we invited local family and friends, but it is the beginning of the school year and I wanted to invited both my son's kindergarten class as well as my other son's preschool friends. Needless to say, we got to 30 people quite quickly. Not only that, it was supposed to rain....I was not even remotely prepared for that!

Survival Tip #1. Try to have the party outdoors. Luckily, it did not rain and the children ran around, climbed trees, and hit each other with foam swords for quite some time before becoming bored.

Survival Guide: How to throw a Kindergarten B-day Party.
Survival Tip #2. Introduce toys or other activities upon noted boredom. I had bounce balls, little containers of play dough, and stickers you could foil at the ready. All of these activities are activities the children can entertain each other with. That is the key to happy children and happy adults during a large birthday party. They can play and you can eat...genius.

Survival Tip #3. Include holidays when applicable. My son was 4 hours away from being a Halloween baby. I was already in labor 12 hrs+ when he arrived, but part of me wanted to hold out for the last 4 hours so that he could be an October baby...yes, I love Halloween that much. Because the party was "Star Wars themed" we got Star Wars masks at Target that included stickers to decorate them! This is also a perfect party favor for the kiddos. These masks were sold in a pack of 10 for $7.00. Relatively cheap and they were already assembled!

Survival Tip #4. Balloons. Out of all the little toys I purchased, the balloons reigned supreme. They chased the balloons, kicked the balloons, dragged the balloons, squeezed the balloons, popped the balloons, and everyone left with a balloon. I am obsessed with Knot & Bow. If you live in VA, know that Creme de la Creme is one of their carriers. I bought the cutest vintage-swirled balloons from them!

Survival Tip #5. Keep your party short and on a Saturday. This tip seems like common sense, but I am going to throw it out there anyway. As parents of multiple children, we are chronically overworked and very tired individuals. A short Saturday party ensures both a good turn-out plus the keeping of the party throwers sanity. This tip is win-win for everyone involved. Sunday is a fabulous recovery day!

In short, I hope these tips prove helpful and lead to a Happy Birthday celebration for all!

How to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint your Stairs


Alas, the time has come that a fire has been lit under my buttocks to finish painting our chippy back steps. Our home is an 1870 Victorian and these steps have seen lots of wear with many coats of paint. My mother-in-law generously stripped the stairs when we first moved in during October of 2011. Since then, I have been in a creative funk regarding these steps. I have tried many different colors and have re-done my work 10 times over. I think, however, I finally have it! I have settled on Old White and Chateau Grey accompanied with dark wax to bring out the details and to help cover the high traffic dirt. The biggest painting obstacle in painting these steps is the elderly and narrow nature of the staircase. In a very small space, you must choose your colors wisely or your finished product will look more like a cave then a beautiful "livable" and "walk-able" space. I know this, because I initially started painting the stairs using Coco(a beautiful light cocoa color) and the stairs looked dark and ugly. The door below is the beautiful Annie Sloan color Coco.

How to Chalk Paint your Steps with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
How to Chalk Paint your Steps with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
So, you really want to chalk paint your stairs? Warning: This is an advanced level undertaking. It will take up to a month to complete this project and because people "walk on stairs" this is a very hard project to complete in a timely fashion. Step 1.) Clean your stairs. Wash them once and then wash them again. Once you have no dirt, hair, or particulate on your stairs proceed to the next step. Step 2.) Start painting. Again, choose your colors wisely. Dark colors will permanently close off your space. Try a light color palette...avoiding white if you do not want to wash your floors everyday. I used Annie Sloan's Old White for the top portion of the steps using 2 to 3 coats. Chateau Grey is an olive greenish color that I used on the front of the stairs and on the side wall. I used 2 to 3 coats of Chateau Grey. I also used about 1 can of each color for the stairs. 

Step 3.) Wax your steps with Annie Sloan clear wax. Please take safety precautions. Use gloves, a mask, and good air ventilation when working with Annie Sloan wax. I used 1 can of clear wax with 2 to 3 light coats for my high traffic staircase. Let the wax dry overnight. Step 4.) Use the Annie Sloan dark wax to bring out the nooks and crannies. A little goes a very long way. If you use too much dark wax simply take the excess off with your clear wax. I used 1 light coat of dark wax. I use old rags to apply the wax and promptly throw them away as soon as I am done working. Step 5.) Buff it out. Take a dry, clean rag to buff the wax to a shine.When you can no longer buff your stairs to a shine, apply more clear wax. I would re-wax your stairs every Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter to keep the stairs looking fresh and beautiful!

-------> Check out the LIVE action before and after YouTube video! Questions? Please leave them below and I would be happy to answer them. Happy Chalk Painting!

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