Dancing Rain

My Life Inspired by My Loves

Jack-o-lantern Puffs for Kids’ Halloween Party Favors

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Looking for a simple, last-minute kid-friendly treat for a party or classroom treat? This is a great option to consider! I saw this adorable idea on Pinterest and decided to try it. All it took was 20 sandwich bags, a roll or two of Halloween ribbon, a black permanent marker and your choice of orange-colored snack treats.

I drew the Jack-o-lantern faces on the bags and then filled some with Cheezits and some with mini cheese puff balls. I liked the puffs best because of the round shape to make a nice little pumpkin. You could also use goldfish crackers, Cheetos or anything else orange! I filled each bag with enough treats so that they were approximately 100 calories each. I then tied with the ribbon and taped back the bottom corners to help shape the pumpkin.

These were great snacks for the kids at our Halloween party and made good favors as well for those who wanted to take them home for later. Either way, they will decorate the table nicely and are a simple, DIY festive treat!

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Halloween Twist on 7 Layer Dip

Looking for a festive appetizer for an upcoming Halloween party or work potluck? Try putting a Halloween twist on an old favorite: 7 layer dip.

Seven layer dip is a classic party dip in my family; in fact, my mom is a pro at it! I’ve found that it’s pretty easy — and actually not very expensive — to make, despite all the ingredients and steps involved. I got the spider web design inspiration from Pinterest (of course) and put my own spin on it. In all, I spent about $15 and 20 minutes to make a delicious dip for my Halloween party guests to enjoy! Check it out.

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What You Need:
Items are listed in order used, from bottom up
Oval or round serving dish (mine is plastic with spider decorations on it, $1 at Dollar Tree)
2- Roma tomatoes, sliced ($1)
1- 15oz can Refried beans ($1.25)
1- Roma tomato, diced ($.50)
1- 8oz pkg shredded cheese ($2.50)
2- Hass avocados, mashed ($2.50)
1- small can large pitted olives, diced ($1)
1- 16oz tub of reduced fat sour cream ($1.50)
1- plastic bag (sandwich or zip ok)
Plastic spiders (pack of bugs, $1 at Dollar Tree)
1- large bag of your choice tortilla chips ($3.50)

How To Make It:
1. Prep your ingredients as specified above.
2. Start layering, starting with the tomato slices for your bottom layer border.
3. Spread the beans, then diced tomatoes, cheese and mashed avocado.
4. Sprinkle olives on top.
5. To add the sour cream layer in the spider web design, I used a plastic bag as a piping tool. Scoop about 3/4 of the sour cream into the bag and twist the top closed, letting out all air. Snip one of the bottom corners of the bag and begin piping your spider web, just like you would with frosting.
6. Place one or more creepy plastic spiders decoratively on the plate.
7. Serve with chips and enjoy!

Tips:
1. I suggest pre-mixing the avocado with 1 or 2 tsp of chicken bouillon for better flavoring. Try it!
2. You could add a layer of sour cream after the beans if you want more of it.
3. Substituting bean dip for the refried beans also works well, if you can find a good bean dip. Be careful, as some bean dips are spicy.
4. For a thinner web design, snip a smaller corner from your plastic bag. The bigger the opening, the thicker your web lines will be.
5. Keep the dip refrigerated if you won’t be serving it right away.

If you try it, please share your pics and let me know how it turned out!

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Halloween Treats for Being So Sweet: Simple Teacher Gift

Looking for a cheap and simple Halloween treat for the teachers in your life? Decorated Halloween cookies are a festive gift idea and a great alternative to my other teacher gift idea.

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All you need are some Halloween-decorated cookies (I went with some purchased from a local bakery, about $2-$4/ea), clear cello treat bags ($2/20pk at Michaels) and some Halloween ribbon (found at the dollar store or Michaels for a couple bucks).

I put two cookies back to back in a cello bag and then tied a bow around the bag. I trimmed the excess cello at the top, about an inch, and was done. Simple DIY gift and I even have bags and ribbon left for future projects.

If you are more adventurous than me, you could make the cookies at home and have the kids decorate them!

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Hugs & Kisses for My Favorite Teacher: A Sweet Gift for Halloween or Anytime

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Looking for a simple gift for your kids’ teachers, tutors, coaches, babysitter or any other special person? I suggest a personalized container filled with tasty treats! By putting some festive colored goodies in a special cup or jar, you can create a great gift without breaking the bank. This would work for any holiday or occasion.

For a sweet Halloween treat for my daughter’s daycare teachers in the “Seahorse” class, I wanted to give them a special gift that doubled as a thank you and Halloween gift. My daughter was going to be moving up to the next class at daycare so my goal was something personal that they could reuse. What better item than a reusable cup with a seahorse design and their initials on it!

The personalized cups are the double-insulated plastic type, purchased custom from a great shop I found on Etsy: Fox and Clover Boutique. If you decide to order a personalized or custom item for your gift, make sure you check the shipping time and allow enough time. I also suggest tracking to make sure it arrives on schedule. Fox and Clover Boutique was great to work with for these cups.

While I waited for the cups to arrive, I bought the candy, gift bag and made the cards. I went with Hershey kisses and hugs in purple, orange, gold and silver wrappers. I then cut some orange pattern and solid paper to make a simple homemade card, which I decorated with Halloween stickers for some added flair.

Hugs and Kisses to my favorite teacher!

I put the candy in the cups and put the finished gifts into Halloween treat bags found at the dollar store. The result: an easy, low-cost personalized gift with a big impact to show our appreciation!

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How-to: Easy Bat-themed Halloween Party Invitation

Halloween is quickly approaching and party planning is under way! Save money this year by creating a cute and simple bat-themed Halloween party invitation to announce your party and get guests in the festive mood from the moment they open it.

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For our Halloween party this year, my sister and I decided on a traditional Halloween theme, featuring all the usual favorites: pumpkins, bats, spiders, ghosts and mummies. I wanted to create a fun party invitation to highlight this theme. I had seen a bat cutout paired with a candy bar used as a Halloween gift, and thought I could adapt that for the invitation. My solution was to replace the candy bar with the party details. It worked perfectly, and I got numerous compliments on how cute it was!

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How to Make the Invitation:

Items needed: Black cardstock, white printer paper, computer with printer, black marker, pencil/pen, double-sided tape or glue stick, scissors, hole punch, paper cutter (optional).

1. Download and print this free printable bat template, created by Skip to My Lou.

2. Cut out the pattern and trace it onto black cardstock. I used 65# paper, purchased in a pack of 50 sheets from Michaels for a few dollars.

3. Put a couple of black papers together and cut out the traced bat. I usually try to save time by cutting a few at a time, as many as your scissors and hands can handle.

4. Type your party details and print on white paper. I recommend making two columns on your document, approximately 2 inches wide, so that you can easily fit your party details in the middle of the bat’s body when printed.

5. Cut out the party details, preferably using a paper cutter if you have a hard time making straight cuts with scissors like me. Tape or glue to the bat’s body, lining it up in between the wings.

6. Hole punch your white paper scraps to make eyes. Tape or glue eyes to the bat, placing just above the party details. Use a black marker to color in the pupils of the eyes.

7. Fold in the bat’s wings and deliver your cute invitation to your guests.

8. Take it a step further and cut out more bats to use as decorations or pair with candy bars to use as party favors.

Happy haunting!

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Halloween-themed Table Place Cards

It’s October, my favorite month! That means my Halloween prep is already in full swing! First up, table tents. These are super easy to make and can add character to any party setup. These are great to make for decoration around the house, as well as for food labels or name placecards at a party.

I made some Halloween-themed table tents using everyday supplies. You will need a computer with printer, patterned and solid color paper (cut in 5″
squares), scissors and double-sided tape or glue (spray would work best to avoid clumps). I also used some fancy edge scissors for added flair.

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One fun part of this project is it utilizes those unique fonts you have that you probably rarely get to use. Browse through the fonts on your word processing program to find ones that fit your theme. If needed, I recommend downloading free fonts. I found a collection of fun Halloween fonts here. It’s easy to download and install fonts (see these simple instructions) and next thing you know, they are ready to use in your document.

Next, type out some clever sayings, guest names or whatever it is you are printing. Be sure to leave enough space – about 2 inches – between each line to allow room to cut. Then cut around the text and place on the solid color paper. Cut the solid color paper, leaving a border around the text, and then place on to your patterned paper. Fold the patterned paper and trim the ends to the desired width.

You could also change up the paper colors and do something similar for any other holiday or party theme. The possibilities are endless. I plan to use these to label party favors at my upcoming Halloween party. More on that later…

Happy crafting!

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