Thursday, October 27, 2011

SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: FRIGHT ICE

Keep your Mad Lab beverages frosty cold with these creepy ice cube shapes. For the spooky hand, wash a latex-free rubber glove, fill with water, then tie up the end and freeze. When you're ready to use, just peel off the glove and place in a bowl of punch, sangria...whatever. For the floating brains, use a brain-shaped Jell-O mold to freeze water.





SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: BRAAIIIINNNN CAKES

What Mad Scientist doesn't love to dig into some sweet brains every now and then? Fortunately, these delicious brain treats don't require any special instruments to prepare. Simply cut a piece of store-bought pound cake or angel food cake to fit the bottom of a Ball Jar, top with canned cherry or raspberry pie filling, then pipe in pink frosting (if you don't have a pastry bag, simply use a plastic storage bag with a small hole cut out of the corner) to create the look of brains (or make butter cream frosting and add a few drops of red and black food coloring). And voila!.....sweet, juicy brain cakes for your lobe-loving guests to dig into.





Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: MAD SCIENTIST COSTUME

Yes, this is me and no, I didn't skip my facial this month : ) To create my Mad Lab look, I found an old lab coat in my Mom's basement, splattered it with red paint, then used my glue gun to cover it with creepy plastic spiders.  I used a bit of white and green Halloween makeup to first get my skin good and pasty, then created a line of jagged scars with bit of eyeliner and fake blood. A spray of green colored hairspray and some drops of blood added to my tussled hair and I am transformed from Summerologist to maniacal doctor in under an hour.








SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: SKULL SERVING DISH

As you know by now, I'm a big fan of shopping at Goodwill stores for my props and craft supplies--(you can decorate your entire house for Halloween with just a bit of creativity at a fraction of the cost you'd pay at the big Halloween warehouses). So you can imagine my delight when I scored this ginormous Styrofoam skeleton head a few weeks ago for.....$3.00! I decided instantly that I was going to turn it into a serving vessel, so I traced the shape of a plastic bowl, had The Old Man give him a lobotomy with a box cutter and small saw, then nestled the bowl snugly inside his noggin'.

I'm envisioning guests scooping 'brains' of guacamole or perhaps a nacho cheese dip from this creepy cranium on Halloween eve.

PS  You can still score your own big head here.





SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: CREEPY JELL-O SHOTS

Gummy Body Parts + lime Jell-O + some inexpensive petri dishes = One crazy Mad Lab experiment.
Candy body parts come in ear, finger, eyeball, brain, teeth + other creepy shapes (I added some gummy worms to the mix to make them extra creepy).  For adults, turn these into wild Jell-O shots!

PS.  If you want your Jell-O to glow in the dark under a black light, simply add tonic water!





SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: 'STITCHES' TABLE CLOTH

I turned this inexpensive Goodwill tablecloth into a scientist's sewing lesson gone mad.  First cut jagged lines throughout the tablecloth (or, use an old sheet), then add splotches of red paint along the cuts (allow paint to dry) and finally sew holes back up with black embroidery thread.  Good + gory!



SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB: CREEPY LABELS

Inexpensive Ball jars, wine bottles and beverage jars are transformed into Mad Laboratory experiments with these creepy labels. Just print out the PDF files I provided, rub a bit of dirt over them to make them look old and weathered, then apply to jars with spray mount, glue or tape.

PS The ball jars are great for cocktails; use a unique label on each jar and voila!...devilishly clever 'wine charms'.

PRINT LABELS











SECRETS FROM A MAD LAB: BLOODY CANDLES

To cast a gory glow, simply melt a red candle or red crayon down the sides of a white taper.   Bloody fabulous!


SECRETS FROM A MAD LAB: SETTING THE MOOD

No Mad Lab is complete without some creepy displays of psychotic science. Below are some last minute ideas for table settings that won't break the bank...


Plastic Frogs
No self-respecting Mad Lab can operate without a few frogs to dissect or embalm.  I found my plastic frogs at A.C. Moore (or try a local toy store).

























Science Experiments
The weirder the better is my motto when it comes to Mad Lab props.  I took an inexpensive foam skull and inserted a plastic eyeball into each socket to create a wacky Mad Lab experiment.

























Blood (and lots of it)
Use red sealing wax (or melt a red crayon) to drip blood down the sides of jars.  Red paint is your best friend when it comes to splattering old tablecloths + napkins.

























Eyeballs
Hide them in unexpected places.

























Spiders
There's lots of arachnids in a Mad Lab, so apply liberally.

























Test Tubes
Plastic test tubes for shooters, or fill with candy for kids goody bags

























Old (rusty) stuff
Saws, tools, rusty machine parts--it's all welcome in the Mad Lab.  I dug this antique scale out of storage which I love as a creepy prop.




















Body Parts

You can never have too many severed plastic body parts when you're throwing a Mad Lab party.  Hide them in unexpected places (inside guests coat pockets, behind seat cushions...) to surprise guests.


SECRETS FROM THE MAD LAB...SATURDAY, OCT. 29th

























Watch me as I share the secrets from my Mad Lab with the WTNH Good Morning Connecticut team, this Saturday, October 29th at 7:23.  I promise a bloody good time!

P.S. Thinking of hosting a Zombie party?  Pick up some tips from my 2010 Halloween show here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

No Sweat Holiday Gifts: Quick WIne Wrappers

Yes, that's the sleeve of a sweater! Cute beyond words.

No Sweat Holiday Gifts: Salvaged Wool Jewelry


With all the sweaters I've been cutting up lately, I wound up with a big old bag old scraps just waiting to be put to use. So, I decided to make some seasonally-appropriate jewelry with some of the leftovers. First I cut the pieces into long strips, then I tied them around inexpensive bangle bracelets from the craft store (better yet, use old ones you no longer wear) and Silkies cords, then I trimmed them down which created a fun and frilly effect that is perfect for the holiday season. And best of all, they're inexpensive and a snap to make.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Sweat Holiday Gifts: Sweater-Wrapped Vases




What to do:

Snip off the sleeves of a small sweater and fit around a tall glass vase. Trim to fit, glue the bottom edge with a glue gun, and adorn with buttons if you desire.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

No Sweat Holiday Gifts: Christmas Stockings



Why spend money on Christmas stockings when you can make your own quickly and inexpensively?

This sweater....



became this stocking...


in about a half hour this evening.

I simply cut out a stocking shape with a sharp scissor, sewed it up along the side edges, then added a cheery red hanging ribbon.

What a fabulous way to upcycle unloved old sweaters.