Pumpkin Carving Ideas

Carving pumpkins is one of my favourite Halloween traditions. It's a wonderful way for a family to spend time together exploring their creativity. It's always fun to come up with new designs, and today, I'm sharing the pumpkins that my boys and I created this year.

Of course, my hockey loving boys wanted a hockey player pumpkin, so we painted this tribute to our favourite team. Go Leafs Go!

We also used a "scraping" technique to make a Maple Leaf pumpkin.

And, of course, we had to carve a traditional scary pumpkin face. Pretty fun, right?

I love how our pumpkins turned out this year. We used three different techniques, had lots of fun, and devoured a feast of roasted pumpkin seeds.

Did you carve pumpkins this year? What techniques and designs did you use? I'm already looking for inspiration for next year. Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Halloween DIY... using dollar store push lights

A few years ago, I created a mummy door using white streams and eyes made from card stock. Since then, I've been recreating my festive Halloween door annually... but this year, I decided to "take it up a notch". This year, I used streams of cheese cloth and glowing eyes!

For the eyes, I used "push lights" that I got at the dollar store. They are inexpensive and battery operated.

Then, I used Sharpies to transform the "push lights" into eyeballs, and I attached strong magnets to the back with hot glue.

I used tape to attach strips of cheesecloth to my front door, and then I attached the eyes. (My door is metal, so they attach easily with the magnets. If your door isn't metal, I would suggest try Command strips.)

The eyes look adorable during the day, but are even more impressive at night!

This is a seriously simple Halloween DIY. It's a small project that has a big impact... and your children and guests will be frightfully impressed!

Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - You can find more easy and inexpensive Halloween ideas here.

5 Minute Ghost Garland

Sometimes the simplest little crafts are the best, and the craft I am sharing today could not be easier... or more adorable! You are going to be amazed at how quickly you can make a super-cute ghost garland. It's the perfect Halloween craft, and it takes less than 5 minutes.

To make the 5 minute ghost garland, you'll need: yarn, googly eyes, hot glue, and a scrap of cardboard.

1) Cut a piece of cardboard about 6 inches wide.
2) Wrap the yarn around the box. I did mine about 40 times.... but it will depend on how thick your yarn is and how fluffy you want your ghosts.
3) Tie a piece of yarn around one end of the wrapped yarn.
4) Cut the other end with sharp scissors.
5) Fluff the yarn to make a ghost shape.
6) Use hot glue to attach googly eyes.
The ghosts can then be hung from a piece of yarn or twine. I just place them over the yarn, and they hung nicely.

Isn't this ghost garland a darling project for Halloween? It's a fun piece of Halloween decor, and anyone can make it! Minimal craftiness required. :-)

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS - You can find some more easy and inexpensive Halloween ideas here.

EYEball Halloween Treats... with free printable tags

No child should feel left out during the holidays, so I think it is important to have allergy-friendly treat options available at Halloween. Each year, I strive to come up with unique, easy and inexpensive treats for my boys to share with thei classmates. This year, my 8 year old is bringing these adorable eyeball glasses with super-cute packaging.

I found "eyeball" bags to package the "eyeball" glasses, and I designed "EYE hope you have a FANGtastic Halloween!" tags. For my son, I used Picmonkey.com to transform his photo into a picture of a vampire, but I also designed some generic tags that you can download for free (below).

Here is what the treat looks like using the generic tags. Cute, right?

To download the tags I designed: right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I love how cute these treats are, and it makes me happy that ALL the kids in the class will be able to enjoy them.

Will your little ones be sharing Halloween treats with their classmates this year? Will you have allergy-friendly treats ready to hand out to trick-or-treaters? I hope you enjoy the free printable tags I am sharing today. I really think they up the cuteness factor, don't you?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Halloween Class Treats: FANGS (with free printable tags)

My boys love taking Halloween treats to school, but nutrition and allergies are always concerns. So, each year I challenge myself to come up with a sugar-free and allergy-safe option that is easy, inexpensive and fun. This year, I found fang whistles at Walmart and I packaged them up with cute little tags. I'm sharing the details and a few "free" tag options below!
The first tags I designed using Picmonkey.com. (You can use any photo editing software, but I love Picmonkey because it's free and easy to use.) I turned my son's picture into a picture of a vampire, and I added a "Have a FANGtastic Halloween!" note. Cute, right?

I also created a generic tag that you can download for free.

To download and use the tag I designed (for free): right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I love the way these treats turned out, and the fact that they are allergy-friendly means that no one in the class will feel left out.

Are you planning to send Halloween treats to school this year? What are you planning to send? I have a bunch of different options on my blog, but this "FANG"tastic treat idea is one of my favourites!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

FREE Halloween Printable (Eat, Drink, and Be Scary)

Who doesn't love simple (and FREE) DIY home decor... especially for the holidays? Recently, I designed a fun purple and orange Halloween print, and today I am sharing it with you. You can download the 8X10 print for FREE, and pop it in an inexpensive dollar store. Cute, right?

There is nothing frightening about this "Eat, Drink, and Be Scary" print. It is pure cuteness!

To download the print: right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 8X10 print. (I printed mine at a local copy store for 39 cents!)

I hope you take a minute to download and print this cute Halloween Print. It will definitely be a unique and inexpensive addition to your home decor on October 31st.

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Eat, Drink and Be Scary (allergy safe Halloween treats for kids)

Halloween should be safe, inclusive and fun... so it's important to be aware that many children have life threatening food allergies. If you see a child with a teal pumpkin this Halloween, make sure you have a non-food treat ready to give them. Sending allergy safe treats to class parties is important too. Today, I am sharing a simple allergy safe Halloween treat and FREE printable tags.

The dollar store sells many cute Halloween straws. I packaged mine with a peanut-free chocolate bar, and I attached a note that says, "Eat, Drink, and Be Scary!" Cute, right?

To download the free printable tags I designed: right-click on the photo below, safe it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

I love the idea of handing out non-candy Halloween options, don't you? It is such a perfect solution when nutrition policies and allergies are concerns. Everyone should have the opportunity to have a Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

10 Netflix Shows You Will LEARN Something From Watching

Let's face it, children and adults turn to screens because they want to be entertained... but they can also learn a lot from the shows they watch. Today I am sharing TEN Netflix* shows that are BOTH entertaining AND educational!

5 Educational Shows for Kids:

Justin Time - A delightful show about a boy and his friends going on historical adventures. (Great for younger kids.)

Storybots - A wonderful show about curious creatures who live in the world beneath our screens and and go on fun adventures to answer kids' questions. (Great for younger kids.)

Magic School Bus Rides Again - A fun reboot of the 1994 series that educates young viewers about science via exciting new field-trips, locations, creatures, time periods and more. (Great for younger kids.)

Brain Games - An interesting show about how the brain processes information. (Great for older kids.)

Planet Earth - One of the many fantastic documentaries on Netflix that will allow kids to learn more about the world they live in. (Great for children of all ages.)

5 Educational Shows for Adults:

The Crown - Drama that will entertain you and teach you more about the Royal Family.

Narcos - Drama that will be interesting for viewers who want to learn about infamous cartels.

Bill Nye Saves the World - A talk show (hosted by Bill Nye) that explores scientific topics that touch our lives.

Founder - Drama about the founding of McDonalds and the way it revolutionized the way we eat.

Making a Murderer - One of the many wonderful documentaries on Netflix. This one documents one convict's dealings with the criminal justice system.

So what are you waiting for? Now that I have given you a few show ideas, it's time to turn on your favourite device, and Stream Yourself Smarter. Happy viewing!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

*Disclosure: I receive special gifts and perks as part of my affiliation with Netflix.... however (as always) the opinions on this blog are 100% my own.

Halloween Wine... with free printable labels

Halloween is fun for kids, but it can also be a time for adults to celebrate. I love the idea of Halloween wine as a gift for a neighbour or a beverage at a Halloween party. Today, I am sharing free printable wine labels that are cute, clever, and fun for grown ups to enjoy on October 31st!

I'm loving this wine for "mummy". Use masking tape and googly eyes to transform an ordinary bottle of wine into festive spirits. Then, add a label with tape.

You can also use the label on its own.

To download the labels I designed (for free): right-click on the picture below, save it to your computer, and print it like a regular 4X6 photo.

These labels are great for sharing a "not so spooky treat" this Halloween. I hope you enjoy using this idea and that you share it with friends. Happy Halloween!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Simple Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Holiday crafts are fun for kids, and today I am sharing some simple Thanksgiving crafts that your kids will love. While the children are busy making adorable turkey crafts, you will have the time you need to peel the vegetables for your turkey dinner. Clever, right?

1) Tissue paper turkey - Tissue paper squares in Fall colours can be used to create this adorable turkey craft. Kids will love this one! Find the full "how to" here.

2) Scrapbook paper turkey - Angular shapes and colourful paper come together to create this fun art deco turkey. Find the full "how to" here.

3) Handprint turkeys - No one can resist a handprint craft for a holiday. It's a craft and a keepsake in one adorable package! Find the full "how to" here.

4) Scrap Paper Turkey - It doesn't get much easier than this sweet scrap paper turkey. Cut different shapes from scrap paper, and glue them to a piece of construction paper. Then, glue on two brown circles, an orange beak, and googly eyes. 

Do you have a favourite turkey craft? I hope you enjoy making one of mine with your little one, and I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

50+ Easy, Inexpensive, and Frightfully Fun HALLOWEEN Ideas

Halloween is frightfully fun for kids, but October is a busy time for families. So, this time of year, I like to focus on Halloween ideas and activities that are easy, inexpensive, and fun. Today I am sharing a collection of over 50 of my favourites!

Click on the titles / links for more info:

Caldron cakes If you are looking for a fun activity, and a tasty Halloween treat, you are going to love this idea. With only two ingredients, and less than a minute, you can create wickedly good (and super-simple) caldron cakes. I've even designed some fun tags so that you can share the treats with your kids, friends, classmates and trick-or-treaters. 

Pumpkin Prize Punch - This prize punch is made from dollar store supplies. It's easy and inexpensive to make, and it's guaranteed to be a fantastic addition to any party or holiday celebration. Find the full step-by-step instructions here.

Halloween Movie Night - I love these movie suggestions, and this Halloween party snack tray is too cute! You can find everything you need for the perfect Halloween movie night here.

15 Halloween Class Party Treats - There is an idea here for everyone. There are treats to eat and candy free options. There are also plenty of free printable treats and tags. Check it all out here

Hocus Pocus DIYs, Crafts and Treat Ideas - They are all easy, inexpensive and fun. Lots of fantastic ideas using dollar store supplies. Find all the info you need here.

FREE "Thriller" Print - I designed this simple print, and it looks adorable in a dollar store frame. You can download a copy (for free) here.

DIY Jack-o-lantern Lava Lamp - This fun Halloween activity is simple and fun... and you likely already have all the necessary supplies in your pantry. Check out the step-by-step instructions and "how to" video here.

Halloween Candy Alternatives - These are great options when allergies and nutrition are a concern. The kids won't even miss the sugar with the fantastic Halloween treat ideas you can find here.

DIY Mason Jar Cookie Decorating Kits - This cookie decorating kits are adorable. They are perfect Halloween treats, and they would make fantastic Halloween party favours too. Get the instructions and FREE printable tags here.

5 Non-Food Halloween Treats - If allergies and nutrition are concerns for you, check out 5 candy free options here.

Halloween "Booo"bles - These adorable (free) printable tags transform boring bubbles into a fun Halloween treat. Find the tags and details here.

Halloween Straws - How cute are these Halloween straws that can be packaged with these adorable "Eat, Drink and Be Scary" tags? Perfect when you want to be allergy friendly! You can download the free printable tags here.

"Fang"tastic Treats - These treats (and their cute packaging) are wonderful additions to a class Halloween party. They are perfect when you want to be sugar-free and allergy-friendly! You can download the free printable tags here.

Eyeball Treats - The super-cute packaging and tags make these the perfect treat to share with friends on Halloween. Everyone can enjoy them because they are allergy-friendly! You can find out all the details and download the tags for free here.

Funny glasses (sugar-free) Halloween Treat - It's always great to have a non-food Halloween treat option... and these silly glasses are fantastic. You can download the FREE printable gift tags here.

Playdough Treats - These party favours / Halloween treats are perfect for sharing because they are allergy safe and sugar free. You can download the "punny" tags for free here.

Teacher Treat Ideas - Don't forget a spook-tacular gift for a fang-tastic teacher. You can download FREE printable "punny" tags here.

Eyeball Cake - Every party and special occasion needs a cake, and this one is easy to make, and super cute for Halloween. Find the full how to here.

20 DIY "No-Sew" Halloween Costumes - The best part of Halloween is dressing up, and homemade costumes are cheaper (and way better) than store bought options. Check out 20 "no sew" DIY costume ideas here.

Costumes from Old T-Shirts - Making costumes is simple and easy when you have an old t-shirt, a little imagination, and the step-by-step instructions that you can find here

Halloween Scavenger Hunt - Kids love scavenger hunts, and this one is perfect for kids of all ages. You can download it for free here.

Treat for Mom - After making all the treats and costumes, mom is going to need a treat too. You can find one that is sure to please here.

And you can download FREE tags for Halloween "Booo"ze here.

Hocus Pocus DIY decor ideas - You can easily create an adorable "Hocus Pocus" themed tiered tray with the FIVE simple DIYs here.

Halloween Paper Crafts - Paper crafts are great because you can make them with things you already have in your craft cupboard. Check out some super cute (and easy) options here.

Ghost Mask Craft - Little ones can craft their own spooky ghost mask while working on their fine motor skills. You can find the instructions and free downloadable template here

Pool Noodle Witch Legs - Festive decor is simple to make with some dollar store supplies and the step-by-step instructions you can find here.

Pool Noodle Halloween Wreath (dollar store craft) - You don't have to be very crafty to make this pool noodle wreath. All you need is a glue gun, a few dollar store supplies, and the instructions you can find here.

DIY Halloween Decor Ideas - These ideas for Halloween decor are simple and fun. The dollar store gloves are my favourite. You can check out all the simple ideas here.

Spooky Forest Door - This is a CHEAP project that looks great. Find the full DIY details here.

Mummy Door - This is the best project if you are looking to make a big impact with a little effort. Find the full DIY details here.

Mummy Door with Glowing Eyes - Take a simple mummy door to the next level by using "push light" eyes. Find all the DIY details here.

5 Minute Ghost Garland - You don't have to be crafty (or have a lot of time) to make this darling piece of Halloween decor. You can find the step-by-step tutorial here.

Paper Chain Halloween Countdown - Counting down to October 31st is a lot of fun with this DIY paper chain countdown. Find the full instructions for this adorable handprint Halloween craft here.

Halloween Countdown Printable - How cute is this Halloween countdown I designed? You can download it for free here, stick it in dollar store frame, and update it with a dry erase marker.

Little Monsters Free Printable - If you have kids, you are going to love this free print that I designed. You can find versions for different numbers of children here.

"Eat, Drink and Be Scary" Free Printable - This simple piece of Halloween decor can be printed and easily popped into a dollar store frame. Download it for free here.

FREE Printable Sign... and Cute Halloween Treat Idea - This Halloween treat idea and FREE printable sign are perfect trick-or-treaters and fun for Halloween parties. Read and the details and download the sign for free here.

10 Halloween Traditions for Kids - Holidays and traditions go hand in hand. I share 10 of my favourite Halloween traditions here.

Free Printable Halloween Lunchbox Notes for Kids - School lunches get a festive flair with these Halloween lunchbox notes. You can download them for free here.

Elf on the Shelf Halloween Postcard - Elf on the Shelf isn't just for Christmas. Kids will love receiving a Halloween postcard from their holiday buddy. You can download the free postcard I designed here

DIY Spooky Pictures - Making spooky pictures in an inexpensive way to decorate for Halloween. Find out how simple it is to make spooky pictures and fun frames here.

Easy and Inexpensive Halloween Ideas - Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that are the easiest. Check out some of my favourites here.

BOOing (our favourite family tradition) - A fun family activity for Halloween, and a great way to spread joy through the neighbourhood. Find the details and FREE printable instructions here.

Pumpkin Carving Ideas - Getting family and friends together to carve pumpkins is one of the best parts of Halloween. You can find pumpkin carving inspiration here.

Magic Pumpkin Seeds - Every holiday is better with a little magic, and this is my favourite and most magical Halloween idea. Read all about magic pumpkin seeds here.

Ideas for Leftover Halloween Candy - When all the trick or treating is done, and only a mountain of candy remains, you are going to want to check out my clever ideas for leftover Halloween candy here.

Don't miss any of the fun....