Photography: Aaron Dyer1 of 8
Break the Mold
You can visually anchor your bed with a faux-headboard that’s easy -- and inexpensive -- to put together. The trick: window- or door-casing molding, available at any home center or hardware store. The length of each strip will depend on the width and size of the bed. Here, we created a 48-by-70-inch frame for a queen-size bed, using three 5-inch-wide strips (the vertical strips should reach the baseboards). Cut the strips to size with a miter box and saw. Tack them in place every six inches with a trim nail, then spackle the holes. Finally, paint the strips the same shade as the wall, but in a different finish for a subtle pop.
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To keep the floor of the cabinet under your kitchen sink tidy, line it with sticky-backed vinyl tiles from a home-improvement store. Leaks and spills can be wiped clean in seconds.
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Turn your garden rake into a two-in-one tool for planting and evenly spacing bulbs. All you need is a black marker and a ruler to delineate inches along the handle.
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Much faster than carving out teeth -- and scarier (or goofier, depending on your jack-o’-lantern’s personality) -- widely available acrylic nails give gourds a brilliant dental transformation. If you’re using Fun-Kins (faux pumpkins), simply poke the bases of the nails into the mouth. For natural pumpkins, hot-glue a toothpick to the back of each nail for easier insertion. Don’t forget to experiment with new expressions. (Get our templates to help with the carving.) And try painting your gourds (as we did, in black) and playing with a mix of tips and nail colors, too.
These cookies are inspired by the festive sugar skulls crafted in Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead, a holiday that honors deceased loved ones on November 1 and 2. Rather than piping on intricate details here, we used an array of small candies, like sprinkles and cinnamon hearts. Our cookie recipe yields 15 skulls, each just dying for a colorfully customized face.
1. With your fingers, make a dent at the narrow end of a 5- to 6-inch-long oval cookie cutter to create a chin shape. Roll out dough; cut out shapes.
2. Arrange cutouts 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets; bake until set, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely on sheets on a wire rack.
3. Stir together 4 cups confectioners’ sugar and 6 tablespoons milk until smooth. Transfer to a squeeze bottle or a resealable plastic bag with a corner snipped off.
4. Outline cookie edges with icing, leaving a 1/4-inch border; fill in with more icing.
5. Use larger candies, like cinnamon hearts and licorice diamonds, for eyes and nose, and smaller sweets, like sprinkles and candy-coated sunflower seeds, for mouth.
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Take a leaf out of our book and dress up your pumpkins with elegant etched designs. Click below for the simple step-by-step tutorial.
Try our four-step magic mirror trick. Adorn standard-issue round mirrors with colorful cord, and they’ll not only embellish a room, they’ll give the illusion of more space, too.
What great luck to cross paths with one of these black kitties! The adorable toothpick toppers are purr-fect as mini-cupcake decorations and point to the sweet side of Halloween. Our flower punches and clip art add up to a foolproof design. As for materials, you just need toothpicks, black card stock, and a glue stick.
2. Cut out each side and use a glue stick to secure the two faces together over a toothpick.
3. Use a craft punch to cut out a collar from black card stock, then poke toothpick through center. (Embossed Pop-Up Flower and Arabesque Flower large craft punches, by Martha Stewart Crafts, from $20 each, joann.com.)