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When Life Gets Messy :: Vol. 2 :: Where is my Joy?

Finding my joy amidst pain and discomfort.

On my journey as a cake & cookie artist, I felt happy. I was creating desserts that where delicious to the pallet and devoured by the eye. I enjoyed hand making edibles for my clients. I was using my God given talent to cultivate relationships with people and sustaining my income.

R and flower sugar cookies by Karen Piehl

After the debilitating pain came, I no longer had the happiness that I once carried. The pain consumed me. I focused on how miserable I felt. I had no desire to serve anyone else. The medicine to help with the pain made me unsteady, sleepy, and foggy. I dread waking up every morning and feeling pain.

If you’ve read my post “Facing the Pain” I referenced the diagnosis and feeling I had lost my joy. I began searching for joy. Why I lost it? Why wasn’t I happy any longer? I needed to find a way to make this pain go away, so I could be happy.

I tried secular counseling to learn coping skills to train my retrain my brain to focus in a different manor. I began using sensory tricks to make my brain think what it feels is supposed to be that way in turn giving it a rest from the pain.

Let me give you an example. I tried altered focus. I focused on a part of my body that didn’t hurt and meditated on the normal sensation.

I tried sensory diversion. Since the left side of my tongue, mouth, and throat all tingled, I would eat strong mints that made my whole mouth feel that way. In turn, my brain recognizes that mints were enjoyable, they cause the entire mouth to feel like this. My brain would think this is normal when eating mints. It was supposed to break the thought cycle of constant pain.

I tried mindfulness. I would try to immerse myself in a book that would take my mind away into another place.

I thought maybe I just need change to be joyful. I began getting restless from not being my creative self and working on cookies. I wasn’t used to such a slower lifestyle that allowed my mind to constantly be aware of the pain in my head and face. Thinking that I needed a physical change of space to be at peace and find joy in my every day life, I tore apart my office.

My office before makeover
Crafting area after makeover
Office after makeover

I spend a lot of time working in that room on a daily basis. To feel lighter and clean, I purged everything that I didn’t use in the past year or things that didn’t bring me happiness. I took out 10 bags of trash. Repainting walls, choosing a refreshing color scheme, refurbishing furniture, changing the arrangement, It felt good to be in a clean organized space. I was still not joyful.

No medicine or mind tricks made an internal difference in my soul. Nothing I tried outwardly fixed my emotional state. I was happy for a moment. Then, my mind would be back to thinking about the pain. Through prayer and focusing on hearing God, he used other people to minister to my heart. I learned through this process there is a difference between joy and happiness.

Joy and happiness can be felt at the same time, yet are two different things. Joy is eternal; while happiness is temporary. Joy is not based on outside circumstances like happiness. I was looking outwardly for joy, a feeling of internal satisfaction, no matter the pain I was in. After whatever I tried was over, I was back to feeling miserable.

I began to search for God’s wisdom through His Word. When pain is all I feel on a daily basis, how can I focus on heaven? It’s always so ever present. The Bible asks of me things I can not do on my own strength. I am human and a fallen being. I am not perfect and can not do this on my own. I am still learning these things today.

Philippians 3:1

I have been a Christian my whole life, but started doubting if I even knew the Lord because I didn’t feel joy present.

There is no light switch that God just flips on or off when we accept salvation. I found I must give Him my will and consent. He is ever present, but I have to do my due diligence in seeking him. When I dove deeper into reading the Bible and meditating on scripture, I started seeing it’s wisdom to be applied to my circumstances. It opened the eyes of my heart allowing me to see the things he was doing in my life. In turn, I inwardly was giving up control.

I don’t really love roller coasters, but I ride them. I am scared of heights. All the pent up anxiety waiting in line, my legs feel like gelatin when I sit down a strap in. Once on the ride being jerked, slowly rising to the top, and at the peak of the first drop, I see how beautiful everything looks from way up there. Then, knowing I can’t get out, have nowhere to go, can’t give in, I give up control. I let the ride take over. The feeling of freedom consumes me. I begin to feel the wind rushing through my hair. I hear laughter and excited yells. I smell deliciously greasy amusement park food. I experience rushing landscape of beautiful colors going by at high speeds—something I can’t do on my own. Before I know it, the ride is over and I really enjoyed it.

I have learned I want to be in control. I want to know what is coming up. I want to prepare. If I white knuckled the whole ride with my eyes squeezed tight, fighting against the inevitable, I would miss the other delightful sensory experiences. When I learned to give up control on the roller coaster, I felt freedom.

Life is a roller coaster

Life is like a roller coaster track with peaks and valleys, twists and turns. Sometimes you’re on a loop, upside down; Sometimes you’re scared to death. God is the coaster car. If I allow him to take control and trust him, he gives me the freedom to enjoy and experience new things I can’t do on my own.

James 1:2

Even though my pain is tough and I am not happy about it, Joy is finding peace in God’s sovereignty and resting in his plan for me. Joy is knowing that even though I have pain on this earth a better life awaits me in heaven.

I have found that God is my joy. Complete rest in his sovereignty, strapping in tight to the security of his promises. No matter what life brings my way, he will keep me on track.

James writes to count it as joy when we are in trials. Why? He goes on to say that it is because testing of faith brings perseverance and that produces maturity.

Why do I have joy when I am constantly in pain? It means that I am personally growing. Through this, I am learning how to train my brain to react positively and live a more Godly life. I am resting in the security of his grace. He will sustain me and comfort me in my time of need.

Romans 5:3-4

Suffering allows me to draw a closer perspective on Jesus’s suffering and death for my sins on the cross. It also is teaching me to die to myself. God is more concerned with my character than being comfortable. My outer circumstances are teaching me about my inward character.

Philippians 3:8

When I had my son, I decided I wasn’t going to be one of those parents that gives him everything he wants when he wants. That cultivates a spoiled, entitled character. When he faces harder trials in life, he wouldn’t have cultivated the maturity to handle it properly.

Especially now as he’s getting older, I want him to understand the hardship it takes to work for something he desires. If he wants a new video game, he has to work for it. He does chores and even works for neighbors doing small jobs to gain income. He learns that it takes sacrificing something he wants (giving up his free time) to gain something he (thinks) he needs (the video game).

I compare this with how God teaches me. He is my Heavenly Father. He allows hardships of many kinds in my life to teach me. When a harder lesson in life comes, I will have a solid foundation through experience with how I am to handle it.

Psalms 119:67-68

My heart was broken. I have a disorder that no human remedy can fix. Sure medication makes it bearable, but the pain is always there. God has allowed my spirit to be broken and humbled. Through humility, I allow him to fill me back up. He pours into me a point of view and wisdom I may never have found otherwise. My obedience in hardship helps me see things from God’s holy perspective.

Since my pain occurred, I have taken a step back from being super busy and realized sin in my life that enslaved me. I didn’t even realize it had a foot hold in my soul. I was too busy, making money, and people pleasing that I didn’t have time for God or myself. I let outward circumstances control me when I should have humility and freedom.

Hebrew 6:12

My life’s experiences have molded me into who I am and how I deal with situations. Since being vulnerable about my disorder, it has opened doors for many people to talk to me about their struggles with happiness and joy amidst pain. My perspective with people around me has changed. Wether it be a diagnosis of a physical pain or a new season of life, I have learned I am not alone. The human condition is all the same.

We are searching for lasting joy in our everyday life. My experience has taught me to share and help. I have a unique story and no one can tell it in my voice. My journey allows me to walk along side others and encourage them to run their race well. Sometimes I am called to give advice and other times, listen with a broken heart and attentive ear.

My diagnosis has cultivated my faith and brought me into a stronger relationship knowing my creator. I am still working on many, many struggles; however, this journey is teaching me amazing lessons about who I am in God.

I am learning the strength I have to persevere and grow. I have found deep rooted joy in my life being able to impart knowledge on the things I love and the things I learn. I will continue to rely on God to keep changing me for the better.

Keep preserving and feed yourself!

Much Love,

Karen signature

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Scrap Wood Fall Sign

Easy DIY Fall Project From Scrap Wood

Our arbor on the back deck needed to be replaced. When my husband cut ends off of the beams, inspiration hit. I saw the scraps lying around and took them for a project.

No cutting or sanding for me. Nope, I repurposed the scraps that would end up in the trash, into an inviting piece of home decor.

Take a peek at the project process

I saw the wood ends lying around, so I took them inside and arranged them in an eye please layout. I sent my son out on a scavenger hunt for twigs that had fallen in the yard. Then, I grabbed the drill and got to work.

Supplies and power tools

I matched up the drill bits to the size of twigs I had obtained.

Matching drill bits with the size of twigs

Time to use power tools!!!!! I notched the wood with a screw driver to mark the spot I wanted the twig. This also helps the drill bit not to skip out of place while boaring into the wood.

Drilling holes into wood blocks

After the holes were added, I made sure the twigs were a snug fit and broke them in an appropriate length to stick into the holes. I now had blocks with stems.

Twigs is wood blocks for pumpkin stems

After, it was time for paint. I painted pumpkin orange and added yellow highlights and brown shadows.

Painting base  wood blocks to look like pumpkins

Base paint dried, I hand painted brown letters on each block spelling out “Fall” when assembled.

Painting lettering on wood blocks

Next step was to assemble. I used standard wood glue and clamped tight for good contact.

Gluing wood blocks together

When totally dry, it was time for adding a touch of embellishments with hot glue —just a couple silk leaves for a simple effect.

Gluing silk leaves on sign

Here is the final project all complete. A cute, festive fall sign for my home that cost me $0.00

Finished wood sign

I hope you enjoy this simple project and use this idea to branch off to make something of your own!

Did you like this project? Did it give you an idea of your own?

Like and comment to let me know!

Feed yourself,

Kitchen Crafting :: Trash Pumpkin Planter

Creating a welcoming fall planter out of trash and household items.

From learning to play an instrument to how to how to code a website, The internet is full of information on almost anything one could want to know.

I often search the web for ideas when I want to create something. This autumn, I wanted to make my front porch festively welcoming. Researching trending color schemes and designs ideas, I used Pinterest and found a pumpkin planter using 3 faux pumpkins in a stack on an urn planter. I fell in love.

Picture from Luvly Decora “48 Fabulous Orange And White Pumpkin Fall Front Porch Ideas To Inspire”
Picture from Luvly Decora “48 Fabulous Orange And White Pumpkin Fall Front Porch Ideas To Inspire”

Deciding it was something I would like to make to return to my porch every year, using faux pumpkins versus real ones seemed like the optimal choice. I began hunting for foam look a like craft pumpkins and my local craft store was having a sale! SCORE! However, when I nailed down the sizes I wanted they were still so expensive. Eeek! Was there a less expensive way to make my own custom pumpkins?

I have worked with paper maché before using the traditional method of newspaper strips dipped in a batter made of flour, glue, and water. I wasn’t positive that even if I seal it, it would hold up in the outdoor elements. I ‘Pinterest-ed’ other methods of creating sculptures, and found that paper maché clay was “a thing”. An artist uses her recipe to make wonderful art pieces from animals to masks. Impressed by her finished products and suggested application of spreading it on with a knife, I paralleled it to making frosting and icing a cake. (Now we’re talking my language!) Plus, maché clay didn’t have to be sanded. I set my sights on working with this medium to make pumpkins.

Picture  of Joni from Ultimate Paper Mache
Artist, Joni from Ultimate Paper Mache

Using a form of plastic shopping sacks and the paper maché clay, I created 3 pumpkins for my fall planter. After they were dry, I painted, assembled, added additional fall embellishments. VOLIA! I made my own pumpkin planter welcoming guests to my front porch this Autumn.

Before & After Pictures of Trash Pumpkins

If you are a DIY-er, you can make your very own pumpkin planter. Here are my steps for turning a pile of trash plastic sacks into a treasure.

I rooted through my utility room and asked neighbors for plastic shopping bags. I gathered a heaping pile of all types, some were flimsy while others were made of thicker plastic.

For the large pumpkin, I stuffed a giant plastic bag full of smaller plastic bags and tied it closed.

For the medium pumpkin, I used an average size plastic bag from the grocery and stuffed it absolutely full of additional bags. Then, I tied it closed.

The small pumpkin was an average size bag, stuffed, but not full. Then, I tied the handles together so it was tight around the inner bags forming a small ball.

After all three sacks were stuffed and tied, in a criss cross pattern, I used masking tape to wrap TIGHTLY around the sacks making them “poof” out like pumpkins naturally do.

Plastic shopping sacks stuffed and taped in pumpkin form
Plastic sacks full and taped

For the stem on the small top pumpkin, I rolled up on plastic sack and doubled it over. Then, I wound masking tape around it tightly.

I set my “stem” on the top pumpkin and taped the two forms together.

For this project, I used Joni’s Paper Maché Clay recipe and followed her instructions.

Ingredients and Supplies
Ingredients & Supplies

This project used:

Lots of paper sacks, but filling with newspaper would be a good option too.

Masking Tape

Dowel Rod

Faux Fall Florals – leaves, branches, acorns, pine cones, bows, flowers

Outdoor Urn or Planting Pot (I wanted something tall and slightly smaller in circumference then the largest pumpkin.)

6 rolls of toilet paper (Cheap 2 ply)

3 C Proform Lite premixed dry joint compound (Do not use DAP brand)

2 1/4 C Elmer’s Glue

1 C White flour

Pumpkin Orange, Apricot, Harvest Orange, & Brown Oxide Apple Barrel Brand acrylic craft paint (matte finish)

Electric Stand Mixer with whisk & paddle attachment


Small off-set spatula

Curved rubber spatula

Craft paint brushes

Measuring cups

I made the paper maché clay by following The Ultimate Paper Maché recipe here.

Making paper mache clay in my kitchen

After the clay was mixed, I used a small offset icing spatula to spread on my pumpkin forms.

Icing my pumpkin forms in paper mache clay
“Icing” the trash pumpkin in paper maché clay

I covered the tops of the forms and let dry for 36 hours. Once they felt dry to the touch, I flipped them over and covered the bottoms.

Three pumpkin forms with the tops covered & dried in paper mache clay
3 little pumpkin forms with the tops covered in clay

After totally dry, I repeated this step again, but using a curved rubber spatula the second time, so I would have well coated and a durable final project.

Second coat of paper mache clay using a rubber spatula to spread

When all three pumpkins were dry, it was time for paint. My son helped me with this part.

Painting pumpkin orange apple barrel paint on a dried clay pumpkin

We used 3 different shades of orange paint for a natural pumpkin color and used a touch of brown in the crevices, so they would stand out.

Painting crevice details with brown oxide apple barrel paint
Just a tap of brown & blend into the crevices.
After paint and the brown is blended into the crevasses
Here is the brown after blended into the orange.
Painting the bottoms of the clay pumpkin forms
Just like covering with the clay, paint tops, & let dry. Then paint bottoms of each pumpkin.
finished paint on small and medium pumpkin forms

Once I was done painting, I used a screw driver to punch a hole through the hard outer shell.

Using a screw driver to puncture holes in the clay pumpkins

I used a dowel rod to secure all pumpkins together. Getting the dowel rod through the inner sacks was a bit tricky and requires patience. I sharped one end of a dowel with a box knife to puncture each pumpkin.

Sharpening a dowel rod to poke through the clay pumpkin forms

When I had gotten the dowel through each one individually, I stacked them all together and secured with hot glue.

Putting all pumpkin forms on the dowel rod
Put all pumpkins on one dowel rod.
Hot glue pumpkins together on a dowel rod.
Add hot glue between each pumpkin.

I sat the kabob of pumpkins on a large planter I bought on clearance for $10.00. I had fall florals laying around in my craft supplies, so I used leaves, branches, pine cones, acorns, bows, and flowers; hot gluing them in between the layers and filling in the space around the pot and bottom pumpkin.

Decorating with fall embellishments gave this planter character.

Here is the final product!

Pumpkin Planter project complete and on the front porch

I am super excited about my trash pumpkins and hope you enjoyed my project!

Learn and create something new today.

Don’t forget to feed yourself!

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Frankenstein Candy Corn Sugar Cookies

Unconventional candy corn sugar cookies for a spooky Halloween party

I haven’t been decorating cookies much lately to take time to rest, but when I stumbled upon a Pinterest post I had to give it a try.

Watch the making of Franken-corn sugar cookies

In 2017, The Sprinkle Factory created some fun unconventionally decorated sugar cookies for Halloween. I fell in love with the simplistic design and color palette. I can’t take credit for the design; however, I got the creative urge to get out my mixer and give it a whirl.

Your favorite sugar cookie recipe

Stand mixer

Rolling Pin with thickness guides

Baking sheets

Cooling racks

Flat Spatula

Candy Corn Cookie Cutter

Favorite Royal Icing Recipe

Lemon yellow food coloring

Leaf green food coloring

Fuchsia food coloring

Coal Black food coloring

Rubber spatulas

5 Piping bags

Piping bag ties or twist bag ties

Cookie Scribe

2 Icing Coupler

2 #2 Icing Tips

Paper Towels

Make your favorite sugar cookie recipe.

Mixing sugar cookie dough

Roll out the dough 5/8” thick using rolling pin guides.

Rolling out sugar cookie dough

Cut out candy corn shapes

Cutting candy corn shapes

Place cut outs on baking sheet

Placing cookies on baking sheet

Bake according to the recipe directions.

Baking sugar cookies

Remove from baking sheet and allowing to cool throughly on cooling rack.

Placing cookies on cooling rack

While cookies are cooling, make 20 second royal icing (piping detail consistency)

Remove about 1/2 C of each into 2 bowls

Bowl #1 – Mix coal black and load into piping bag with coupler and #2 tip

Bowl #2 – Mix neon green with 1 drop lemon yellow and a very small tap of leaf green. (If your color isn’t as green as you would like, keep adding a tap of green until you reach the proper hue) Load into piping bag with coupler and #2 icing tip.

With the remaining royal icing in the mixer, Add more water (tsp. at a time) to make 10 sec icing (Flooding consistency)

Separate 3/4 C white icing into a piping bag. Remaining icing into 3 bowls – equal amounts

White royal icing

Mix bowl #1 neon green using 3 drops lemon yellow and 1 drop leaf green

Neon green royal icing

Load into piping bag and secure shut

Mix bowl #2 electric purple

Electric purple royal icing

Load into piping bag and secure shut

Mix bowl #3 coal black

Load into piping bag and secure shut

Cut off a very small amount at the end of each piping bag.

Load icing in piping bags

On cool cookies, flood all the bottoms in a color block of black or electric purple- use a cookie scribe to help move the icing around. Allow to crust over – about 10 mins

Flooding bottom color

Next, flood the middle block neon green – allow to crust over – about 10 mins

Flooding middle color
Close up of middle flooded

Last, flood the tops – black bottoms flood white tops – electric purple bottoms flood black tops

Flooding top color

Allow cookies to set up overnight or use a dehydrator for faster drying time.

Once the cookies have all been flooded and dry use the 20 second icing to pipe details.

Use neon green and black to one between the color blocks.

Use black to add stitches and “x”’s

Piping black details
Finished cookie after details added

Allow details to throughly dry another 8 hours before stacking or packaging

Franken-corn Halloween sugar cookie

Need a good no spread sugar cookies recipe? Try this one: Vanilla 2.0 by Lilaloa

Royal icing recipes? No problem! Try this: Royal Icing Recipe with Meringue Powder by Lilaloa

To get proper consistency icing for your project, use a knife to draw a line in your icing after it is mixed. Count how many seconds it takes for the line to disappear. My suggestion calls for a 20 sec (details) and a 10 sec (flood) consistency. If the icing is to stiff add water (tsp. at a time) to thin it to the proper flow.

See my video at the top for help.

Make some spooky treats for you Halloween party! Get creative and change the colors or even make standard color candy corn.

Have fun and don’t forget to feed yourself!

Much Love,

Karen Signature

Kitchen Crafting :: Witch’s Cauldron Outdoor Halloween Decor

Getting witchy for Halloween and brewing up a magical outdoor decoration

My brother and I have a tradition decking out my house for trick or treaters every Halloween. Each year, we try to switch it up and make a different theme. We try to tell a story of some kind. It’s so much fun to act like a kid again, and enjoy the neighborhood kiddos say, “ooohhh!! Remember this house that year!” I think my neighbors enjoy watching us freak people out.

Watch the time lapse video of this creation!

This year, I really wanted to do a spider theme, but a little solar decoration in my kitchen window got me thinking.

Solar Halloween toy in my kitchen window

If I have giant spiders, they need to come from somewhere. In the deep dark woods there’s some witches cooking up a magic potion to produce all these 8 legged creatures. I had to have a boiling caldron brewing over hot coals.

A friend of mine has a house that backs up to woods. They had some large branches come down during the spring storms. They graciously offered their land for me to rummage through for what I needed. My son and I went on an adventure, hunting for the elusive tree branches. Once we found some decently straight with character, I opened the hand saw and let him get to work.

Cutting tree limbs

He really enjoyed cutting all the wood into approximately 7’ lengths. Once we loaded the 3 branches in my little SUV, stretching all the way to the dashboard, we headed home to assemble.

Loaded tree limbs in the car

I used nylon cord to wrap around the three branches to form a teepee. I never learned this in Girl Scouts, so I winged it. We also used a smaller branch, cut into 3 equal lengths, and assembled it into a triangle that would “wrap” around the 3 teepee legs. This provides a little extra stability, so the legs won’t slip and adds character. At the top of the teepee, I drilled a hole and screwed in an eye hook to hang the cauldron.

Making triangle out of limbs
Assembled teepee

Now, it’s time to begin working on the burning coals. I had some thin scrap board in the barn and a strand of orange LED lights left over from another project. I used the board as a base and covered with aluminum foil to reflect as much orange light as possible.

Supplies for covering board

After, I went to the garage to make the burning coals. Taking empty, clear drink bottles from our recycling, I cut off the ends and pulled the light strand through each of them.

Stringing water bottles on lights

Using clear packing tape I attached the bottles to the foil covered board in a spiral pattern leaving the plug end out, so I could plug it in.

Taping lights and bottles to reflective board

Next, I covered the bottles and lights with scrap clear plastic. (I have no idea where it came from – probably from some package shipment I received.) I taped the plastic around the edges of the board tucked under the lights. My hope that is if I have a lighting issue or need to replace the strand of lights, I can pull this off like a lid to repair.

Taping plastic to cover lights

I sprayed expanding foam over the whole plastic sheet. (Word to the wise this stuff is EVIL. Don’t touch it, and don’t get it on any clothing! It will not come off and takes days to wear off skin. It sticks to ev 👏🏻 ery 👏🏻 thing 👏🏻‼️)

Expaning foam over lights

It looked pretty good as is, but of course I want to display it leading up to Halloween in the daylight as well as night. It needed a little paint job.

Finished spray foam over lights

I waiting for 3 days because it was just too windy to spray paint. Armed with a can of red and black spray paint, I gave my foam monster a make over to look like burnt ash and hot coals.

Spray painting coals

While paint was drying, it was time to work on the cauldron. One of my best friends found a 16” cauldron for me that was dented at a Halloween store for $5.00!! SCORE! They are normally $15.00. I attached 40” faux chain from the Dollar Store to the cauldron using hanging planter chain. The night before, my husband and I experimented with the proper length of chain, and he helped me adjust the length by taking out links.

Adding chain to cauldron

I put a cardboard box in the cauldron to set some green LED lights closer to the cauldron rim. It’s important the green lights give off a vibrant ghoulish glow.

Setting up green lights inside cauldron

I cut a small square in the plastic cauldron with a box knife, and bought the light cord out of the side to hide as much of the electrical cords as possible.

Hiding electrical cord out the side of cauldron

So the cauldron looks like it’s giving of steam, I added pillow stuffing inside over the green lights.

Pillow stuffing over lights in cauldron

After the teepee, cauldron, and coals were created, I was getting super excited to see it completed. All I had left to do was set it up and plug everything in and wait for the sun to set.

Finished set up in the daylight
Close up of cauldron in the daylight

The set up looks great in the daytime, just like the a bubbling cauldron! But check it out at night with a purple flood light!

Finished cauldron at night
Close up of cauldron at night

I actually impressed myself with this project! I can’t wait to hang spider webs, set up creepy crawlies, and pass out candy to my victims….I mean trick or treaters! ::insert witch’s cackle here::

Happy Halloween!!

Have fun, be safe, and don’t forget to feed yourself!

Much Love,

Kitchen Crafting :: Thrifty Halloween Candy Bucket Home Decor

Repurposed Halloween decorations, creating candy from paper maché, and additions from the dollar store turned into a fun creative piece of home decor.

I finally succumbed and went to the attic to get my Halloween decorations out. While rummaging around I found things that I didn’t use anymore and got the bright idea to turn them into something new. Too old for the plastic pumpkin trick or treat bucket, my son now uses a pillow case. So instead of letting this item go to waste, I created a cute trick or treat themed basket that is adorable in my entry.

Oversized pieces of candy that would last for years would be awesome to stick in it. Hmmmm… How could I make them with what I have?

I had left over paper maché clay from another project, so I wondered if I could use it to make candy pieces. This was totally a trial to see what would happen. I used plastic wrap in kitchen bowls to serve as forms for a lollipop and wrapped candy. Using aluminum, I created a large triangle form for the candy corn.

Paper maché clay in a hand made aluminum foil form
Paper maché clay in a hand made aluminum foil form

Once I had my forms ready, I filled them with paper maché clay and put them in my dehydrator over night. In the morning, I took them out of the forms and set them back in the dehydrator for a few more hours.

Drying clay pieces in the dehydrator
Drying clay pieces in the dehydrator

After the pieces were dry, They are ready for to be turned into candy with paint.

Painting candy clay forms
In my happy place painting

After painting was complete and dry, I wrapped the smaller clay piece in a plastic bag and tied each end with bag ties. I had a wrapped piece of Halloween candy. Yay!

Wrapped candy finished
Finished wrapped candy

I used silver glitter hot glue to embellish the lollipop with a little sparkle.

Using glitter hot glue to add sparkle
Using glitter hot glue to add sparkle

Then, I hot glued sticks on the backs of each piece so they would stick in the basket.

Hot gluing sticks on the candy paper maché to stick in the bucket
Hot gluing sticks on the candy paper maché to stick in the bucket

Candy finished! Now it’s time to fill the basket with little goodies from the dollar store.

Dollar store bag of goodies
Yay for inexpensive stuff!

First, I cut and glued floral foam in the bottom of the pumpkin bucket.

Adding floral foam in the bottom of the bucket
Adding floral foam in the bottom of the bucket

Then, I added lights and taped them around the outer edge to get an eerie glow.

Taped LED lights to the inside of the bucket
Taped LED lights to the inside of the bucket

I covered the bottom of the bucket and lights with purple spider webs.

Faux spider webs fill the bucket and make the lights glow
Faux spider webs fill the bucket and make the lights glow

It was time to arrange and fill. From the dollar store, I bought a witch’s hat, little skeletons, green neon cord, large skeleton hand, a sparkly magenta floral twig, and green curly bows. I had left over spiders, rubber snakes, and a pair of plastic vampire’s teeth from the year before. Why did I save these things? The world may never know.

Arranging all items in the candy bucket
Arranging all items in the candy bucket

It was a lot of fun playing with all my pieces; moving them around until I was pleased with the arrangement. I used more hot glue to keep all the pieces in place.

Finished candy bucket in my entry way
Looks so cute in my entry

Halloween is coming soon and this piece screams trick or treat!

Close picture of finished candy bucket
Close up of lights and filled candy bucket
Glowing fun

Get thinking about what resources you have when you get out those decorations. What can you use to turn into something new?

Happy Haunting and Feed yourself,

Karen signature

If you enjoyed this project give me a like and comment below! Share this post with a crafty friend. Tell me if you got crafty this Halloween. I’d love to see what you made.

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