I’m happy to be sharing this sponsored post with you today about making a fun Halloween candle scape!


The people at Scented Candle Shop sent me some fun candles to mess around with to make a Halloween display. My favorite is probably the candy corn-scented votives, but we’ll get to that in a moment!

With just some simple candles, you can make your own spooky candle arrangement without relying on what the industrial Halloween complex thinks is festive. I got some tapers in black, white and red, a few white pillars, some floating red candles, and some scented votives. The votives were Halloween-themed, in “Candy Corn” and “Witches’ Brew” flavors.

I started by putting some black burlap/gauze stuff across the mantel. I found this stuff at Party City.


I attached it with some Quake Hold-type putty. I wanted mine to look uneven and raggedy.

Next, I put up some spider webs, also from Party City, but during Halloween season you can practically find these anywhere.

Halloweencandles2Nice! Now we’ve got the canvas on which to put the candle display. I gathered a few things in addition to the candles:

  • a galvanized bucket, which I painted with brown paint and then wiped off to give it a dirty look, and then dripped red candle wax on for a bloody effect.
  • 3 small glass cups with water and food coloring inside. Two of them had red food coloring for a blood effect, and one had black food coloring. Spooky.
  • a small black saucer
  • some plastic spiders
  • a small vase with an opening large enough for a candle
  • sand
  • a small, flat, black tray

In the galvanized bucket I added sand so that I could stand the tapers up in awkward angles. I put several tapers in, letting them lean like they had fallen and were in disrepair.


You can see my bloody, dirty galvanized bucket there, too. Now, since the candles are leaning, there’s one candle that could conceivably drip wax onto the mantle. To solve that problem, I added a small black saucer underneath the wick. In the saucer I placed several plastic spiders, spilling out onto the mantle.

Halloweencandles8So you get this effect, and safety, too:

Halloweencandles6The centerpiece was the black tray with several candles on it. First, I lined the tray with more spider webbing. Then, I took two white pillars and dripped melted red wax onto them, so they seem to be bleeding (search “bloody candles” and you will find tons of tutorials online). One caveat: make sure you use solid red candles for the best pigmentation. In between these two tapers I put several small votives, the ones with Halloween smells like Candy Corn and Witches’ Brew. Another note, here: Candy Corn smells nice and sweet. Witches’ Brew is very spicy, so if you have anyone who is sensitive to smells in your household, I’d skip that one and go with something unscented.

Halloweencandles5In order to make sure that your tapers don’t fall over, secure them with more Quake Hold putty. You might also want to add, as I did, a small piece of wax paper underneath these candles, so the hot wax drips onto the paper and not onto the spider webs.

Halloweencandles3In the cups with colored water I placed the red floating candles. And to finish it all off, I added a black taper in a bud vase.


The whole display looked like this:

Halloweencandles9And when it was lit?




Halloweencandles13Hope you enjoyed! Happy Halloween to all!



Ombre Paper Jewelry


Have you seen all the cool paper jewelry there is out there? My favorites are the ones from Jessica Jones at How About Orange. They are perfect and geometric and super cool.

I decided to do my own take on these pendants, but adding one extra element. And what is the one thing I will always add if I can? OMBRÉ!

It occurred to me that since you are stacking up piles of paper, you could use different shades and get a kind of fun gradient effect. Check it:

ombrepaper15I love how the ombre is subtle but gives your pendant some depth. And it makes it reversible, too, so that you get a light color on one side and a dark color on the other, so you can switch it up whenever you want.

If you want to make some, the easiest way to make a complex paper cutting is to use a cutting machine, like the Silhouette. If you don’t have a machine, though, you can make slightly simpler ones with paper punches. I’m going to show you how to make them using a punch, since that’s the easiest tool to acquire, but the process is the same if you use a cutting machine to make your shapes as well.

Here’s all you’ll need for the pendant:


  1. 3 or 4 shades of one color of scrapbook paper (this should be cardstock, not regular printer paper)
  2. A punch of your choice
  3. Mod Podge Hard Coat (optional, really)
  4. Spray adhesive

Start by cutting out your shapes. You ultimately want to have about 12 layers, so if you have 4 colors you can cut 3 of each color.

ombrepaper2Pile your shapes by color.

ombrepaper1Now it’s time to start gluing. Begin with the darkest color. Spray one of the pieces with spray adhesive and attach it to a second piece, making sure you line them up exactly. (Keep in mind that if your shape is not symmetrical, you’ll need to be gluing backs to fronts to make sure things line up perfectly.)

ombrepaper3Continue gluing by spraying a single piece and attaching it to your already-glued pile of shapes. Once you’ve glued all of the darkest color, start on the next-darkest shade. Continue gluing until you’ve used up all your shapes. It will look like the photo below when you finish. And you will have spray adhesive all over your fingers like I do here, too. (Try using Goo Gone or vegetable oil to remove it.)


You’ll have a nice pendant that is the darkest color on one side and the lightest on the other, with a pretty ombré side.

ombrepaper6If your shape doesn’t have a hole that you can use to thread a chain through, punch a hole at this point. You may need to punch from both sides to get all the way through your pendant.

ombrepaper7To dry, place your pendant in some wax paper and stick it between two heavy books to keep it flat.

After the glue is dry, coat your shape with two coats of Mod Podge Hard Coat. This step is optional; you could be good to go from here, but if you want to give your pendant a little more durability and a nice, satin sheen, the Mod Podge will do it for you.

ombrepaper8 Let it dry completely. Now you’re ready to attach a jump ring and a chain.


A cute little pendant that you can wear with the dark or the light side facing upwards. It’s almost like you have two!


This necklace I made with a Silhouette cutting machine. The shape is so complex, but it takes no time to cut them out with a machine and stack them together.





ombrepapercollage2Hope you enjoy!


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Winnah, winnah, chicken dinnah!

I’m here to announce the winner of the $50 American Express gift card, which was chosen by random number generator.

Screen Shot 2013-10-11 at 2.01.00 PMAnd the winner is… Lisa Brown! Congrats, Lisa. I’ll be contacting you with more info.

I’ve been planning Halloween costumes for a few weeks now, and we’ve finally nailed down what the kids want to be. Let’s play a fun game, yeah? I’ll show you a little of what I bought today for their costumes, and you try to guess what they want to be. Keep in mind they are 10- and 7-year-old boys.

For the 7 year old:

halloweenplansThat contact cement required that I show an ID to the cashier. What the?

For the 10 year old:

halloweenplans2These are not all the supplies, mind you. Just a few that I bought today.

Any guesses? C’mon, it’s fun!



I’m back again, working with Pennington Vertical Gardens for this sponsored post! (Of course, all info and opinions here are my own.) Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the $50 American Express gift card from Pennington here! The winner will be announced on Friday, October 11.

So, friends, I built my vertical garden that Pennington graciously sent me:

pennington vertical garden

Nice, huh? I built it ENTIRELY by myself, so you know you can do it, too.

I decided to install it on my front porch. And now I’m going to walk you through how I installed it. My instructions are for installing outside, into masonry like brick or stucco. (If you are putting it inside into drywall, you will use some slightly different hardware and tools.) If you follow the instructions from Pennington combined with mine, it should be pretty easy to install.

This is what was included in my kit:


And here’s what you’ll need, in addition to your supplies from Pennington:

pennington supplies

  1. two masonry drill bits, one that’s 3/16″ and one that’s 5/32″
  2. masonry screws and anchors, in 1/4″ x 3″ and 3/16″ x 2″; I bought screws that don’t require anchors, made by Tapcon. That eliminated a step for me.
  3. a tape measure and marking pen
  4. a level
  5. a power drill
  6. (not pictured) you will also need a 3/32″ drill bit for wood

To start, figure out where the top of your garden frame will fall. Pennington provides some guidelines based on the size of the frame; I hung my 4′ frame at about 68″ from the ground. Disassemble the top rail by sliding the cover off of the mounting piece.

Using a level, mark where you will need to drill holes with your mounting piece. For a 4′ frame, you need at least 3 mounting screws.


Remove the mounting piece and drill holes where you marked with your 3/16″ masonry drill bit. You will need to drill in 3″ deep so that your screws will go all the way into the brick or stucco.

Once you’ve got your holes drilled, put the mounting piece back up, lining up the holes in your wall with the holes in the top rail. Screw them in, either by hand or with a power drill with a Phillips head attachment.


Continuity error! Did you notice I changed shirts? I picked up where I left off on the second day.

You’ve just completed pretty much the hardest step of the project. Now, slide the cover onto the mounting rail, which hides the screws and makes it look all pretty.


On each vertical rail, attach a bottom cap. Then, hang the vertical rails from each side of the top rail, making sure that the notches face inward. The tricky part here is that you will be tempted to push the rails towards the center so they are flush against the top rail cover. What you need to do is push them as far outward as possible, so that they are flush with the little stop-notch on the outside of the top rail. Like so:


As you can see in the photo on the right here, there will be a gap between the top rail cover and the vertical rail. That’s ok, it will get covered up later.

Make sure the rails are leveled horizontally and mark the holes on the bottom caps where you will add screws to secure the vertical rails to the wall. Remove the vertical rails and drill holes where you marked, this time with the 5/32″ masonry bit.

pennington8Re-attach the rails and line up the holes in the wall with the holes in the bottom caps. Screw in the 3/16″ masonry screws, one on each side of each bottom cap (for 4 total).

And that really is the hard stuff done. Frame complete! All you need to do to is slide the top caps onto the top corners to finish the look. There are some tiny screws that secure these caps to the top as well.

pennington6For the horizontal planks, take the wooden rails and unscrew the metal mounting brackets from each. Keep those screws handy, and install the mounting brackets where you want your horizontal planks to sit. Consider what you will be hanging from each as you place them.

pennington7Once you’re sure that you’ve got everything where you want it, put the wooden planks into the brackets.

pennington9Mark the planks through the holes in the top of the brackets so you know where to drill.


Remove the wood plank and drill with your 3/32″ regular drill bit so that you have a pilot hole for the screws. Replace the planks, line up the holes, and screw in the screws so your planks don’t wiggle.

pennington11Repeat for all planks, and then the fun part: deciding where you want to hang what!

I have a few tips:

  • Consider what will be hanging below. I wanted a container with my gardening tools to hang, but I didn’t want water dripping from plants above into the container. So I made sure that I didn’t hang any plants above that container.
  • Think outside the box. Just because a tin pot would normally hold a plant doesn’t mean you have to follow that plan. Consider using the pot to corral other outdoor items, like sidewalk chalk, dog toys, or containers of bubbles.
  • Keep in mind who will be using the garden. If you put kids’ chalk in a container, make sure to hang it low enough and far enough away from anything you don’t want bumped.
  • Plan for watering. You will have to water your garden by hand, unless you all have a great idea for irrigating, in which case please share! When hanging plants, remember that you will need to access them for watering, so don’t make it too hard on yourself!

Now it’s time to plant!

pennington12You can’t really tell here, but I actually managed to make an ombre planter box! I found 3 cyclamens in 3 shades of pink and made myself really happy with an ombre collection.

Once I’d planted everything and hung my accessories, here’s the final outcome:

pennington vertical gardenI hung the dog’s leash from a hook on the top, and a galvanized pail I picked up at a hardware store on the bottom. That’s where I’m keeping my garden tools. I can simply pop the bucket off and take my tools wherever I need them!

My ombre box!

My ombre box!

Top level

Top level

garden tools

garden tools

Beautiful and efficient! Hope you like it. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Disclosure Statement

Pennington Vertical Gardens partnered with bloggers such as me to help educate us all about their Pennington Vertical Gardening System products. As part of this program, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the use of the products. Pennington Vertical Gardens believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Pennington Vertical Garden’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations. A winner will be chosen by random and gift card fulfillment will be handled by a third party.