Movie Foodie: Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is one of my favorite Halloween movies! Even though it celebrated it’s 20th year, it still feels just as relevant today as it did when I was 9 (though I understand a few more of the jokes now). This one was a little tougher to create a menu for, but "Life Potion" plays a big role in this movie, and that can count as a foodie item, right?

I had to stretch the concept on this one a little bit, but ended up with five food/beverage items. 
Life Potion: Sierra Mist + Lime Sherbet. Makes a lovely, bright green color. Add dry ice to make it nice and bubbly. 
The Children of Salem: pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. I really wanted to do pumpkin bars, so I used a gingerbread cookie cutter to cut them out, and called them “children”. 
Apples: a healthy option, and a small reference from the movie. If you want to turn it into a game, you could bob for apples – but do people still do that, and is it even sanitary? 
Dead Man’s Toe; with Oil of Boil, a dash of Pox and Newt Saliva: breadsticks, and olive oil, paprika, balsamic vinaigrette for dipping. This is pulled from the spell ingredients for Life Potion. The Dead Man’s Toes recipe was an alteration from this Witch’s Fingers recipe
Halloween candy: pick your favorite! I think Reese’s are the best:) 
Apple Cider: Not many people drank this since Life Potion was the main beverage, but it’s nice to have an alternative option.

For decorations I tried to recreate Billy Butcherson’s gravestone out of cardboard. My illustration skills are lacking, so this was really frustrating for me. They didn’t turn out like I had hoped (the skulls “wings” look more like alien tentacles) but it made a good backdrop for the table set up. Black tapered candles (a connection to “the black flame candle”) add to the décor and create mood lighting. The rest of the items were things I had around the house: old books, crusty bottles, an old crate and a few serving dishes.

DIY Cardboard Hexagon Containers

We somehow ended up with loads of cardboard in our house. It probably helps that I won’t let Jesse throw ANY boxes away! We had several pieces in really good condition, so I decided to play around with turning some of it into little hexagon containers. I was able to use up some of the cardboard stash, and also found another use for my beloved washi tape.

The great things about these is that when you get tired of them you can just toss them in the recycling bin, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. Even better, these only took about an hour to make. One hour = three very functional, and free, recycled hexagon containers – not bad!

Supplies: Cardboard, Washi Tape (I purchased some of mine from Happy Tape), pencil, x-acto, cutting mat, ruler and hex template.

Instructions & Tips:
1. Layout your template so that the top line is running parallel with the grain. This seems to make it a little more stable, and less likely to warp while wrapping the tape.
2. Don’t forget to mark your score lines! A clear quilting ruler works well for lining up your score marks and making a straight score line. Though, any ruler will do.
3. Score, cut out and fold. Use a “stabilizer” piece of tape in the inside to join the seam of your two end pieces. This will help hold the sides together while you wrap the container. 
4. Tape the sides to the bottom before you start wrapping the container. Wider tape works best for this part, as you’ll stick it to the side, and than fold it over to the bottom to attach the two.
5. Start wrapping! It helps to always start and stop on the same side, that way all your tape seams will all be one side.

I’ve included templates you can download for the three containers, and a bonus XLARGE version that is great as a gift box or for larger items.

They can even be found in nature – how cool is that?! Yep, I love hexagons.

Public Bikes Box: Marquee Arrow Sign

At the beginning of the year I decided to take the plunge and purchase a bike. That whole process requires another post, but 6 months later, I am still very much happy with my decision!

Public is based out of San Francisco, so I had to have the bike shipped to me. So, not only did I get a beautiful bike, but a giant box as well. I'm all about reusing material, and the box/website even promotes recycling the box for something new - so awesome!

There are several good tutorials out there (here and here) for creating marquee signs out of paper mache letters and other materials. I ended up just figuring it out as I went along since I had certain restrictions due to the original box.

I decided on a giant arrow. I had to work around the handle cut outs on the box, and a few areas that got beat up in the shipping process. After cutting out the arrow shape, I used buttons to lay out where the lightbulbs would be. I decided on two strands (25 bulbs per strand) which fit perfectly on the arrow. I traced around the buttons, and than used those marks to drill holes (you could probably make cuts with your x-acto, but I really wanted to use power tools!).

I used the sides of the box for the sides of the arrow, and used lots and lots of hot glue to attach them. It's overall pretty lightweight, so I think it should hold up ok.

The finished light! I might eventually spray paint it, but I like the fact that it's imperfect and I even like the cardboard feel. Once we figure out the perfect place for it we'll hang it onto the wall, but for now it adds a little personality to our movie room and the perfect addition for a Movie Foodie night!

Valentine's Post Box

The inspiration: an Italian post box!

Use or modify this template for your own post box.

My friend at work is hosting a Valentine's swap this year. The mission was to create a Valentine themed box for another person. And I had the perfect inspiration - an Italian post box!

I started with a granola cereal box, approximately 6.25" x 8.5" and a slightly larger cereal box, approximately 7.625" x 10.125". The smaller box became the basic structure, and I used the larger box to cut out the front and the raised design elements. I turned the boxes inside out (gently pulling them apart at the side seam).

I made a sketch (with tracing paper overlaying a photo of the research) and than used that as a template to cut out the shapes. Some red spray paint and a handful of hearts later, and shazam - you have a Valentine's box!

After drawing all the line work (with a permanent pen - other ink won't stick to the paint) I hot glued all the pieces together (I'm impatient and wanted an instant glue bond, plus the thickness of the hot glue helps the pieces stand higher).

Hopefully she'll be able to use the post box throughout the year, and it was a great way to recycle a cereal box.