Decorate Halloween Potion Bottles with Paint

I am a scaredy-cat.  I freely admit to hating scary movies, haunted houses, anything with blood, and all monsters scarier than Grover from Sesame Street.  So when I decorate for Halloween, I stick to fun.

DIY Halloween Potion Bottle tutorial from

These Halloween potion bottles fit the bill perfectly.  The matte black bottles contrast with the sparkly silver buckles (inspired by witch’s shoes)and look mystical instead of creepy. With just a wave of your magic spray can and a little embellishment Hocus Pocus, you can make potion bottles in under 15 minutes.

How to make Halloween Potion Bottles from Carla Schauer Designs

I started with a variety of glass and plastic bottles I have collected.  Many are old craft product packaging, one is from a candle I never burned, and one is an old vinegar bottle.  One of the bottles is glued to a glass candlestick for height. (Savings tip: keep clean, empty food jars and find great shaped bottles at dollar-type stores to fill in.)

Spray painted Halloween potion bottles from

Two coats of matte black spray paint gave the bottles exactly the look I wanted. (I used 2–1 Paint & Primer by Krylon.) It works well for both glass and plastic.

DIY Halloween potion bottle buckles tutorial from

While the paint was drying, I made my silver “buckles” using premade chipboard squares.  You could also cut or punch your own if you don’t have premade ones handy.  A Silver Leafing Pen (also from Krylon) gave the chipboard squares their metallic look.

Decorating potion bottle DIY tutorial from

I also wired together a little metal frog, some crystal-looking beads, and a black feather to make a “charm” with a loop, threaded it on some black fiber, and hung it from one of the bottles.  The No. 9 was written directly on the painted bottle with the leafing pen, and the buckles glued on.  A few extra pieces of twine and fiber wrapped around other bottles completed my Halloween potions.

Painted Magic Potion Bottles for Halloween

That’s it!  Non-scary, Magical Halloween Potions in minutes!  For more Halloween DIY, check out the rest of the Craft Lightning projects by clicking on the button below:

Thanks for stopping by!

Tied Ribbon Wreath for Fall

A tied ribbon wreath is a great way to include beautiful colors and textures in your home decor.  In this fall version, I used earth toned ribbons in a variety of materials, along with a metal leaf and wood buttons to add some natural flair.  Cut or torn fabric strips would make a pretty alternative for a more rustic wreath.

Fall Tied Wribbon Wreath from Carla Schauer Designs


For this wreath, I used a STYROFOAM Brand Foam wreath form approximately 8″ in diameter.  Tip: Painting the front of the wreath using a foam brush and acrylic paint will camouflage the form in case it happens to peek through the ribbons.


While the painted wreath form dries, cut several lengths of each ribbon type.  The amount of ribbon needed will vary, depending on the size of the wreath form and the width of the ribbon. My form required around 50 pieces, each 10″ long.  Widths ranged from 1/2 to 1″.


Beginning with the wider ribbons, tie the pieces around the form. Fill in the spaces with the narrower pieces, adjusting the position of the knots as necessary to cover any gaps.


Once all the ribbons are tied around the wreath form, the whole project might look a little scary.  Mine resembled a big autumn-colored ribbon Medusa.  No worries, though, we’ll fix that.

ribbon-wreath-ties-2_webOnce all the ribbon ends have been trimmed to approximately 1.5 inches long (use sharp fabric scissors for clean edges), scary Medusa will be transformed into a pretty tied ribbon wreath ready for embellishing.


Glue dark brown button “berries” tied with orange embroidery floss around the wreath, and a large aged metal leaf as an accent.  More buttons tied with cream floss can be glued on top of the leaf for additional coordinating color and texture.


With no time or labor-intensive techniques to deal with, this tied ribbon wreath can be assembled quickly and easily.   Plus, it makes a great stash-buster project, using pieces that may be left over from previous projects.  Dive into your ribbon stash and make one today!

ribbon-wreath-final_webThanks for stopping by!



Campfire Wishing Stones Craft

One of the best ways to keep kids entertained while camping is to have a great stash of camp crafts ready to make.These “wishing stones” are made with melted crayons, and no two are ever the same.


Find some smooth stones on your nature scavenger hunt, or bring some with you, along with a handful of crayons. This is a great way to use up all those broken pieces.


Have an adult place your stones in the fire coals to heat. We like to use kitchen tongs for adding and removing stones.  While the stones are heating, have the kids peel any wrappers off the crayons.


Remove stones from fire and place on paper towel or plate.  Press crayons against hot stones to melt wax. Make lines, dots, flowers, or whatever your imagination desires.

*Safety note:  kids should use paper towel or plate to turn stones, not fingers. Stones are hot!


Experiment with metallic, shimmery, and other types of crayons, they all melt with different effects.  Let stones cool and wax harden before touching.

20140719-165551-60951938.jpgFor bonus fun, before crayon wax hardens, sprinkle wishing stones with glow-in-the-dark glitter.  “Charge” glitter with a flashlight for glowing nighttime entertainment and extra-special wishes.

Thanks for stopping by!  For more fab camping crafts, check out the rest of the posts on this month’s Craft Lightning series.


Travel Bingo for Kids

When I was a kid, we vacationed in a series of Griswold-worthy road trips.  Each was complete with side trips to see local “largest ball of twine” style landmarks and random unscheduled detours, all in our wood paneled Buick station wagon with luggage on top.  Niagara Falls, Mackinac Island, Philadelphia, Hershey PA, Myrtle Beach, Disney, and every Midwestern destination between…we did them all.

Confession:  Some of those road trips I remember more than the vacation destination itself.

Free printable travel bingo game for kids from

Printable Travel Bingo for Kids


We played the license plate game, and searched for the letters of the alphabet, but our favorite was always Travel Bingo.  There would be a new list each trip, filled with some old favorites and more new items to find.  The only problem was that in the early road trip years, my sister couldn’t read yet.  So before we could start, I had to sketch little pictures of each one.   Pure torture for a kid waiting to play!

It also would have been great if Mom could draw.  But her genius in making staring out a car window into a fun game makes up for it.

Free Printable Travel Bingo for Kids

Make family memories with Travel Bingo.

In the spirit of the traditional family road trip, I made a Printable Travel Bingo game for kids in those younger age groups to play along with older siblings and parents.  I included pictures for pre-readers, and added labels for kids beginning to connect words together.  Just download and print as many as you need.  Find just one row or the whole sheet, depending on the length of your trip.

Free printable Travel Bingo for Kids from

For those with older kids, I have a separate Printable Travel Scavenger Hunt for tweens and teens.  A little sillier (and a wee bit icky), it’s a fun way to convince them to turn off the electronics for a while and join in the family fun. Note: in our version of the game, each person finds his/her own item on the list, and finds must be verified by another passenger.  It lets us all use the same sheet, and keeps everyone honest.  (More on the rules we use in the tween post.)

Use printable Travel Bingo to entertain younger children on road trips.  Free from

Play Travel Bingo on your next road trip.

I hope you enjoy our traditional travel bingo, and wish you a bunch of silly family road trip memories!

Thanks for stopping by!