Homemade Halloween Party

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I love fall. Not only is it my favorite season, birther of my favorite flavor (yes it’s pumpkin, yes I’m a simple beech), and bringer of ALL the cute fall clothes, it’s also the season of my favorite holiday! HALLWEEN

I’ve loved Halloween for as long as I can remember: the costumes, the mystical and magical night, the lore, the trick-or-treating, and the spookiness of it all just hit home for me. So when Covid-19 changed our usual plans with the kids for 2020, I figured it was the perfect time to stitch it up and try out some recipes and crafts I’d been wanting to give a go.

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Growing up I used to have Halloween parties every so often, but it had been a REALLY long time sine my last one. Like I was in junior high…..and I graduated high school in 2010 . Needless to say, I was overdue for some stylish Halloween themed fun!

Below are the links to the recipes I used and a pic of how it all turned out! (The shrunken heads are in the pumpkin bowl). The kids really loved helping and my husband was impressed with my mad spooky skills. Even if it wasn’t enjoyed by all our loved ones, it was a really fun experience. 12/10 would totally do again!

Poisoned Candy Apples by Wanna Bite

Candy Corn Parfaits by Suburbia Unwrapped

Pumpkin Deviled Eggs by myrecipes

Mummy Hot Dogs by Homemade Interest

Shrunken Head Apples for Cider by Lasso The Moon

Bat Tortilla Chips by Sainsbury’s

Spider Web Bean Dip by cook2eatwell

Jack-o-lantern Puff Bags and Fruit Cups by Alpha Mom

I had a lot of fun experimenting and putting this together. Everything was fairly simple and easy to accomplish. Can’t wait until next year to do some more!

DIY Themed Kids Bedroom: Woodland Series-Mountain Wall Painting

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

I love themed rooms, especially when it comes to rooms where kids roam. Bedrooms, playrooms, bathrooms, doctor rooms, dentist rooms, all of it! In fact one of my favorite themed rooms as a child was my dentists’ waiting room. They had raised, touchable creatures on the walls along with elaborate paintings of all imaginable sea creatures and the sky above. It was mesmerizing. So I always knew I wanted to explore themed rooms when I had a home of my own.

Little did I know that I wouldn’t get to explore this idea until my first child was nearly in grade school. Nor did I think my first project would be painting a mountain scenery. But it’s SOOOO much easier than it looks. You’d be surprised what a few coordinating paint colors and a pencil can do. But that wasn’t the only overhaul I wanted to do in the room. Check out all of the projects I created in this mountain themed room here! (Link will be added soon)

This is a progress shot. I still added one more mountain range and the sky color after this was taken.

Supplies

  • pencil
  • coordinating paint colors, 3 or more
  • paint brush for lines
  • paint brush for filling in large spaces (or roller)
  • painters tape
  • plastic or paper floor covering
  • latter or step stool

Tips

Depending on how many colors you use and the size of your wall, you likely won’t need a gallon of each color. I was able to get away with paint sample bottles from Home Depot. I had 6 colors including the hue I chose for the sky. I suggest using at least 3 mountain colors and 1 sky color. I also got 2 bottles each of the sky color and the lowest/closest mountain color since they had more area to cover.

Pick colors from dark to light. You want that fading feeling so it looks more authentic, like you’re really looking at some true mountains.

Draw out all your scenery first, all your levels of mountains. And don’t get too hung up on perfection, especially if you have textured walls. It actually makes for a rocky short of appearance, more authentic in my opinion!

Pull your tape off when wall is totally dry, preferably overnight. My started to peel the paint since it was a little gummy still. Oops

Primer is your friend, it prevents chipping especially in kids rooms. And get some paint that is washable and prevents chipping.

Directions

  • First prep your area to be painted. Line the floor with plastic or paper and tape in place. Use painters tape for the borders and edges and remove wall outlet covers or tape and cover them, whichever you prefer.
  • Next start priming your wall and planning how you want your mountains to look. Pinterest the heck out of it! I didn’t like the unrealistic look of straight triangle mountains so I decided on more bumpy gradual mountains. Plus, that worked easier with my walls texture!
  • After your primer has completely dried and is set, draw your mountains on the wall in pencil. You may need a ruler depending on what style you are doing. You can erase and reapply as much as you need! Focus on doing multi level ranges that hide behind one another and disappear in some parts.
  • Start with your line brush and the darkest color you chose. Follow your lowest pencil lines keeping the paint below them. Trace your lines all the way across being careful not to mix up your next set of mountain ranges.
  • Once the line is done, start filling in the space below with the same color. Do your edging and borders at the corners and baseboards.
  • When done rinse your brushes or use a separate set.
  • Then move onto the next, slightly lighter, color. You’ll do the top lines first, then come back and do the bottom line where the 2 colors meet. After that you’ll fill in the space. Watch out for dripping!
This is the completed scene! I don’t think this picture does it justice, it looks way cooler in person.

Give it a go, show me your skills and talents! Stay tuned for the other crafts in this mountain themed room!

Parenting a Person With ADHD: Chapter 3-The Calm Down Corner *Plus Bonus Craft!*

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and our terms and conditions here. I am not a mental health professional, all the opinions in this post are my own and reflect what has worked for me. None is of this is given as medical or professional advice. Please seek professional advice in the matters of mental/physical health should you or a loved one need it.

This is chapter 3 of the series Parenting a Person With ADHD. If you haven’t already, please read the prologue, chapter 1, and chapter 2 so you are up to speed on the information.

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Creating a calm down corner was one of my favorite things about the changes we made. We specifically made the calm down toys ourselves so it became a craft, rather than a chore or forced activity. It put a positive spin on a calming place and set the tone for how we wanted the area to function. It was also a good bonding activity for myself and my son to do together.

Calm Down Corner Craft

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We did 2 different themed bottles: one with water and oil and glitter; the other with water, water absorbing polymer beads, and glitter. For both, the water was colored with food dye. My son picked the colors of glitter and water because it’s important to include your child throughout the process of making changes in the household. That way they feel like their voice is still being heard and they are able to exert some control. Allowing him choices in a controlled setting shows him he does have power over his choices, which is a skill in and of itself!

Directions: add your water to the bottles then color it, shake with lid on to mix. Fill the bottles with water about half way for the oil one and 3/4 for the other. Add your glitter to each bottle. We did about 2 Tbsp in each, but add as much or as little as you like. Then add your oil to the one bottle and your polymer beads to the other. For the oil bottle leave a little bit of space for air. For the polymer beads add 5 at a time and allow to fully absorb the water. We ultimately added like 20 beads and topped off the water once we were done. Then use the super glue on the inside screw threads of each lid, tighten the lids on and allow to dry per manufacturer instructions before you play with them.

We keep these bottles in the calm down corner and they are only allowed to be played with if you are there. It helps to keep them feeling “special” while you’re in the calm down corner.

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We also hung up some pages from his therapist, like a thermometer of how high your emotion was that landed you in the calm down corner and of the S.T.O.P. skill (I’ll do a post about that soon). Here’s a different emotion chart that helps kids learn what emotion they are feeling.

The other big factor about the calm down corner is that it’s chosen by the child. We offer our son the option to go to the calm down corner when we see him beginning to get upset. He chooses to go of his own free will or not. If he doesn’t go, he usually gets more upset and makes choices that land him in time-out….which is by our appointing, not his.

This little action of letting kids pick their own consequence goes a long way. Plus it teaches children how to start self regulating their own emotions (which is a challenge for most kids, let alone one’s with behavioral struggles). When they are in the calm down corner, they decide when they are ready to come back to the activity at hand.

Occasionally (and when starting out) you’ll have to send them back because they weren’t actually ready to return to the activity at hand; they’re still too wound up but that’s just part of the process-it becomes sort of a natural consequence.

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Also, time-outs are used as a last resort and a no tolerance tool. Meaning that if my child does something that is absolutely unacceptable-like hitting, spitting, back-talking, breaking or throwing things, ect-he gets put directly to time-out and I decide for how long. We keep the rule of 1 minute per year of age starting at 2 years and that seems to work fine for us.

For most kids, you can explain briefly why they are there and that you will get them when their time is done. For my child I have to say nothing, any talking with him becomes a form of engagement in his eyes. I don’t want to reinforce that he gets my attention while in time-out so he gets the silent treatment or the one phrase treatment. “Go to time-out”, I say it once. If he squawks, I go put him to the garage which is right next to our time-out area.

This works like a sort of reset button for him, similar to the calm down corner. He decides when he’s ready to come back in and finish his time-out but if he keeps making poor choices he’ll keep being sent to the garage. It then gets put on him to manage his emotions to get out of time-out. Same thing for when he used to try to leave time-out; I physically and silently go get him and put him back. For as many times as it takes…..I’m glad he doesn’t do that anymore. The garage upgrade seemed to fix that.

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Retraining kids on what is expected and tolerated is tough work. But the right tools and planning can make it a lot smoother. Giving them the opportunity to try again with a calming environment they can go to helps them to seek out space when they need it and redirect their our emotions in a positive way.

Next time on Parenting a Person With ADHD: Deep Breathing and Other Tools

DIY Upcycled Key Catch Tutorial!

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

I’m gonna step out on a (real thin) limb here and say I hate purses. I hate having to stuff all my stuff into a petite bag and huck it around on my shoulder every which where I go for the day, screwing up my posture all the while. But I also don’t like spreading all my things across the table or countertops; where I misplace them or my kid will grab and take off with them.

I need somewhere to hold my few items that I actually NEED; something that’s not going to become a Mary Poppins bag of wonders in a week! So I decided to turn an old bread pan into a catch all! It’s the perfect size for all my junk: sunglasses, wallet, keys. It even holds my sunscreen in case I forgot to apply some earlier! Check out how I made it below!

Also here’s the list of supplies to make your own!

My husband drilled two holes in one of the long sides of the bread pan about halfway between the top edge and bottom; large enough for a screw to fit through and hold snuggly to the wall.
You can admire his fine craftsman ship from the drill and my *ehem* very fine paint job
This was after a few coats to give a good solid base. Ugh I’m so sloppy when I paint, but I wasn’t worried about perfection since I knew I was adding more layers with texture.
This thing was pretty beat up before but that’s what makes it the perfect upcycle project!
Here I used a sponge brush to add some darker hued blue and texture, blending it near the center to soften the lines.
I took some metallic bronze paint and thin brush to create that sort of marble cracked look. *Bonus-kitty photo bomb!
Another angle so you can see the shine (and my cluttered craft desk, yikes!)
Pictured here but done before the flowers, I splattered some metallic paint around to give a speckled appearance. These are the 2 types of brushes I used to paint the white flowers you now see on the pan. I pressed gently and overlapped a lot to create the petals, blending a bit here and there. Notice how I hid that little metal spot *proud grins*
Here’s the full front after all the flowers were painted on. I only did flowers on the front since that was the main part exposed and well…I’m lazy
Ta-da! Finished product! I experimented with a few pink colors on a paper plate until I got the hue I was after then blended it delicately at the center of the flowers with the thin brush I used to do the metallic lines.
After the pink dried, I used the same brush to do the dark yellow centers, lines, and dots. Then accented with small lines of black near or on the yellow stem lines.
Finally once everything was dry and set, I did 2 layers of mod podge to seal and protect it. You can see it’s not perfect in some spots but I’m not selling or gifting it so I could really care less. It’s pretty and does a great job catching all my stuff right at the door!

And there you go! Super easy to do, and you have total creative freedom for what you paint! Share yours in the comments!

DIY Themed Kids Room: Ocean Edition

This post may contain affiliate links. Please view our affiliate policy and terms and conditions here. Please use common sense and follow all safety and manufacture instructions when using any crafting equipment in your own home. Use these at your own risk, Method-To-Madness does not assume any liability for injuries or damages caused by attempting the DIY crafts listed on our site nor are we responsible for any medical costs associated with injuries.

So after tackling my older son’s bedroom(this will eventually be linked to that post), I decided to go with the ocean theme for our little’s nursery. It was sentimental to both my husband and I and I had a lot of creative juices flowing over from my previous exposé. I went with a lot more simple ideas because well…I was growing a human inside my body and had no business being on a ladder. So instead, we purchased some cute but realistic wall stickers that my son helped me place. And we framed some pretty prints that we bought, I can no longer find the exact prints but here’s some really cute ones and here’s some frames similar to the ones we used. We also got some 3-D wall art, a sail boat for the shelf, and a beach themed wall hanger to add some texture to the room. My personal favorite was this mermaid and merbaby picture. It hangs over his changing table. It’ll be a keepsake when I’m old and gray.

My mom also found at a thrift store, two really cute framed prints that sort of had a “Rainbow Fish” vibe to them. But the room still felt incomplete. I had seen some DIY light up jelly fish lamps that could hang over the crib but I worried that as he grew he would likely climb up to reach them and could get hurt (I was right he was a climber!). Plus I wasn’t sure about having the lights on all the time in his room (an issue I faced with battery operated lights in my older son’s cloud lamp). So instead I opted to make a jellyfish of my own design, one that had no light source but sticks on the wall completely, with the tentacles secured up and out of the way. I happened to also have some seashell fabric that I was DYING to use and this was a perfect project for the texture it created.

I ultimately did this project after I had given birth, I do NOT recommend doing it while pregnant because you will need a ladder to get it up high enough.

So I gathered my materials and set to work.

I included links to materials I thought would work well. However, all of my materials I found at the thrift store. If you’re interested, go in the linens section because you can find great fabric for cheap! Brand new fabric off the bolt is extremely overpriced in my opinion; plus what better way to find other uses for all those textiles that humans have been wearing and tossing for decades. Why not repurpose some things into decor you love!

I’d say ribbon would work best for the highly textured tentacles and seriously, drapes at a thrift store are like one of the best purchases you can make. I’ll post some more drape projects later . Go for the white or pale colored semi sheer as you want the sort of translucent effect jelly’s have naturally. The solid material will be under the sheer fabric on the body. You could even skip this step but I found the top fabric didn’t drape quite right unless it had some additional substance beneath it. Plus you can adjust your color scheme with the solid fabric. I did blue hues: the tentacles were white/light blue and cream, and the body was vibrant dark blue with cream overlay. I recommend you play around with the layering a lot to get a feel for how your end product will look.

Once you’ve decided on colors and layering, start cutting. You’ll need roughly a 18×8 rectangle of solid fabric and 20×20 square of sheer fabric for the body. Don’t worry about the measurements or the cut being perfect, you won’t see the edges when you’re done. Staple the solid fabric loosely in a sort of oblong rounded shape (think how a jellyfish body looks). Don’t pull the fabric tight, you want slack so you can play around with the draping. Next, take the top of your sheer square and fold it under about 1/4 inch so the edge is rounded. Staple the fabric to the wall so that it surrounds the solid fabric in an overlay sort of fashion. Keep rolling the edge of the sheer fabric under as you work your way around the jellyfish body. Remember: dome like shape with soft, rounded edges. NOTE: Either leave the bottom open or leave larger spaces to get your hands through for adjusting the fabrics and for placing the tentacles! Once you have your outline done, begin draping and stapling the center of the body fabric to your liking. You’re going for a flowy under water look, so focus on creating soft rounded texture.

Next, cut your tentacles from your 2 (or more) fabrics/ribbons. I did roughly 18-24 inches long and 2-3 inches wide. I had a total of 9 tentacles. You want them longer because you will be folding and stapling sections to add movement and texture, therefore shortening your fabric. Please note how high your lowest tentacle is! You do not want your child to be able to reach the lowest tentacle, keep it at least 4-6 inches away from their grasp. Should they get ahold of it, they could pull the fabric and the staples would come out potentially causing a hazard to your child. Be cautious and aware!

Once you have your pieces, take them one at a time and tuck one end under the bottom of your jellyfish body, stapling it in place. Remember to fold the fabric of the jellyfish body so it keeps the rounded edge. I did my bottom of the jelly sort of wavy too to help blend and create a more natural look. Then work your way down the tentacle draping, curving, and shaping as you please to create movement. I also did mine with a slight angle so it appears that the jelly is moving. Continue this method until all the tentacles are in place and you are pleased with your end result!

Show me your jelly pictures!

Next DIY will be…

OMBRE LETTER PAINTING!

This Is Me!

Hi! My name’s Mariah and I’d like to welcome you to my blog! There’s a little bit (or a lot a bit) of something here for everybody. While I started this blog as a way to reach out to other parents who have “difficult to parent kids”, I also really love being able to share some of my passions on here as well! So you’ll find some DIY, crafting, sewing, gardening, beauty/hair care, and travel on this site too.

I’ve included the links below for each category. You can also find these links on the home page. Go check ’em out!

Keep reading if you’d like to learn a little bit more about me.

So you may be surprised to hear I am actually a nurse by trade, not a blogger (is blogging even a trade??). I took a leave from my career during my last pregnancy just in time for the pandemic to hit when I was planning to go back to work…yay. With everything rather chaotic I found myself questioning the field I had chosen and the safety of being a healthcare worker. On top of that, childcare was not even an option at the time. So I became an official stay at home mom (I’d been in denial about this for awhile, not gonna lie). I started doing homeschool, which was really cool but just not what my kid needed. So when he started at a Waldorf charter I had a little more free time on my hands and wanted to start something new. Enter: this blog!

I have to say I’m surprised with how much of a creative outlet it is, not to mention it feels like I’m having an adult conversation even though it’s really just my inner monolog being poured out to the internet…eek! I’m really excited to see where this will go and what will change in a year from now!

Please feel free to reach out through comment or join the email list. I don’t spam and I probably won’t send emails more than a few times a month. Cheers!