Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Magic Christmas Elves: We're BACK!!

O.K. It's the beginning of the Magic Elf season. Yes, yes, I know it seems early for most of you. But when gifted (I like that word gifted) with an A-Type personality coupled with OCD brain cells, Christmas preparations in October seem the norm.

Dimples TumbleFluff, Giggles TwinkleWink and Freckles MinceMeat are due to arrive on Saturday, December 8, 2012. This year they will land in personalized pillowcases. Inside each pillow case is a Christmas outfit for each grand child. None of my grand kids find clothes an exciting Christmas gift. Hoping they find it a bit more exciting if deliverd by their elves. We shall see!

I ordered personalized iron-on transfers from These will be applied to white pillow cases which I purchased online from at a discount.  I know many of you follow my elf posts on Pinterest, so this is just a jump start.

I purchased hard red/white peppermint and butterscotch candies to make the Magic Seeds that will grow my "Giant Candy Cane". Place the hard candy inside a sandwich bag and whack it a few times with a blunt object. Don't get too carried away, otherwise you will end up with mere candy crumbs.

What are seed without dirt? If you are going to grow a candy cane, you need Magic North Pole dirt (aka as fake snow). My fake jar of snow crystals is still somewhere in transit on a UPS truck. However, I've used this many times and it works like a charm. Once it arrives, I will mix up a batch and fill clear quart size paint canisters (like those shown above).

Here are the essentials needed to bring this Magic Elf project to life:

1) A container for the fake snow (North Pole Magic Dirt). I used clear quart size paint cans because they happened to be on hand. The fake snow was purchased at When water is added to the snow crystals they magically plump up like snowflakes.

2) Print a label for the North Pole Magic Dirt. I placed my printed label on the lid container.

3) Print labels on card stock for the Magic Seeds and Elf  Dust. Pair label sizes with the bags you will use for packaging the magic. I used 2 1/4 x 4" resealable bags for the candy seeds and 3" x 5.5" clear poly bags for the candy seed (available at

4) Decorate the edges of the printed labels with stamp punches. It's not necessary, but does add a special touch.

5) I used a combo of red and green cookie sprinkles for the Magic Elf Dust. You want the elf dust to be edible. Using glitter (in my mind) was not an option. I didn't want the glitter to stick to the candy cane.

6) I purchased extra large candy canes online from They are awesome and all arrived unbroken.

 7) The back label of the Magic Seeds gives directions on how to use. I decided not to state that the seeds would grow a candy cane. I want the grand kids to be surprised about what is going to grow.

I want everything to fit in the clear paint can, so I won't mix up the fake snow in advance. I'll put some in a package with directions and let the kids make the snow.

Have the kids plant their magic seeds at bedtime. In the morning, they will be amazed at the giant candy cane that grew overnight. Just be sure to take the plastic wrapper off the candy canes before planting in the snow container.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Enter to Win a FREE Soap Making Miter Box

I am giving away a coupon for one soap miter box on October 26, 2012. This item is in new condition but has a few markings indicating our production run. Retails for $24.

Soap making miter box loaf cutter

For a chance to win, send an email with your NAME, ADDRESS and a subject line that reads MITER BOX GIVEAWAY.

Random drawing is October 26. Winner will receive a coupon code via email to be used with their next online order. The free miter box will be included in that order. [Winner must place an order to redeem the free gift]. No additional shipping cost for the inclusion of the miter box in the carton.

Here is more information about this giveaway item:

Melt & Pour Soap Making: Cupcake Brain Soaps

While my honey-man was at the Detroit Tigers game seated behind home plate, I was busy making cupcake brain soaps. First and foremost.... GO TIGERS!!! awesome game. Looking forward to the world's series.

These cupcakes were made with Mold Market's cupcake mold (only the bottom portion). The brain topping was made with our Decorator Pro piping tool and soap frosting recipe.

Pipe the brain with one of the tips included in the Decorator Pro kit. The soap frosting recipe can be found here. Take a peek at my post about using liquid latex for added effects. The "gory stuff in the brain is made from liquid latex.

This is such an easy project. Pour the cupcake base, then pipe out the soap frosting onto the top of the cupcake base. A thin layer of clear soap is used to seat the piped brain onto the top of the cupcake. Brush red lipstick colors into the brain crevices and then insert the liquid latex part.

The liquid latex can be removed before using the soap in the bath or shower. Kids will love applying the latex wounds to their body while in the tub.

WARNING: These should not be used with people who have a latex allergy and the soap labels should clearly indicate this warning.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

How to Make Realistic 3-D Wounds

Last night I assisted my grandson with a school project that involved decorating a skeleton. Of course, he wanted a scary look and with a little help from latex rubber, we did just that. Since the concept behind the project was to learn the bones of the human skeletal frame, we thought a few vital organs would be appropriate: heart, brain and tendon.

My zombie face post from last week prompted a number of how-to requests. There are a couple of different ways to make ugly scars or wounds. The method in my pictorial video uses PVA water soluble glue rather than liquid latex. I purchased both online.

The PVA glue is ideal if you want to build up the wounds directly onto to the skin. It's the method I used in the zombie face pictorial.

The second method is building up the wounds/scars with liquid latex and then using the PVA glue to adhere them to your skin.

The method below shows the liquid latex method.

Step One:
Using a disposable paint brush apply liquid latex to form the outline of the wound. A dabbing effect seems to work best. In this picture, I applied the latex to wax paper so that it would easily peel off once dried. Apply a second layer of latex to build up the base.

Step Two:
Roll up single ply strips of toilet paper to create the edges of the wound. Place the strips just inside the perimeter of the wound you created with latex.

Step Three:
Rip small sections of toilet paper and place inside the wound. Apply a thin layer of latex onto the wound an place the toilet paper into the wound. I used the end of a paint brush to saturate the toilet paper and squish it into place. Continue building up the wound with sections of toilet paper until you are satisfied with the look.

It doesn't look too realistic at this point, but trust me, in the end you will have a nice piece of fleshy skin.

Step Four:
After you have obtained the right look for your wound, apply one last layer of liquid latex. Allow to dry for at least two hours. It really needs to be thoroughly dry before you start apply the make-up.

Now... time to make it look realistic by applying make-up. It's likely you have most of this make-up in your cosmetic bag. If not, the Dollar Store is a great place to pick up colors or items needed.

Step Five:
Applying the color is the best part (at least in my opinion). I know this doesn't look like a heart, but it did to my 9 year old grandson. Of course, he had to add a few staples for effect.

We used 3 different shades red of lipstick. Using a make-up brush, we started with a darker shade of red along the perimeter and continued working the lighter red colors inward. A little brush here and there of black eye shadow also adds realism.

Liquid blood was brushed inside the wound and painted along the outside. I purchased my blood tube at a Spirit Halloween store. I'm sure you can also find it online. It's not necessary, but does lend itself to a more realistic look.

After Painting

Before Painting

We left a little more of the latex showing when making the tendon. The same red colors were used but with less intensity.

The picture to the left shows what the finished latex looked like prior to applying the make-up.

The design options are only limited by your imagination. Create bullet holes, peeling or aging skin, wounds, scars or cuts.

I'll be taking this to the next level with soaps. Can't wait to share. Stay in touch.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My New Zombie Look

Well there's something to be said for a NeeNee (grandma) that is willing to showcase this zombie face online. My grandson, Carson, is so excited that NeeNee has committed to wearing this face at his upcoming Halloween Fright Night camp out. The only thing missing is a wig which I will purchase this week. I think a long hair black/grey wig is the perfect look for a zombie.

Here's a short video on how I got the zombie look. I'm now thinking about doing a zombie soap. Yes, I know, I'm a nut case and somehow soap stuff is always a background noise for me. I can't help myself!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Mad Scientist: Costume #2 with Slime

Last week, I posted pictures of my grandson's Mad Scientist costume for his upcoming backyard camp out. At age nine, he's all about the Halloween gore. However, for school it's not acceptable so we needed a back-up costume. This is it.

I purchased a second lab coat and dusted it with neon green powdered colorant (Yep, the same color used in soap making). I again used the salt tubes sold at GoPlanet and filled them with various ghoulish looking items. I also made some slime (see recipe below) that I will pin to the lab coat in various places. I won't do that until the day of his class party because the homemade slime needs to stay in the fridge until used.

I didn't have a pocket protector so I used a soft eyeglass case and stuffed it with some ink pens. Every scientist needs pens to formulate their calculations, right? I found some electrical wire and a couple of electrical wing nuts in the garage. Let's see... latex gloves, test tube vials, plastic syringe, creepy plastic spiders, a bat and of course, what's a lab cost without some kind of skeleton part?

Slime Recipe:
  • 1/4 cup glue (I used Elmer's, but any off brand will do)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon borax powder (you'll find this in the laundry isle of your grocery store)
  • 1/4 additional water (put this is a separate cup)
  • Ziploc bag
  • Food coloring (I used green)
 Add borax to one cup water. Stir until dissolved. Mix the glue and 1/4 cup water together (50/50 solution).

Add equal parts of the glue solution and borax solution in the Ziploc bag. One half cup of each solution will yield one cup of slime. Add food coloring and seal the bag. Knead mixture until it becomes putty-like. Store in the fridge inside a sealed bag when not in use.

Here's the squishy, gooey slime that will be part of the costume. Best part, kids can play with it even after Halloween is over.

Every Mad Scientist must keep records. I recovered the front and back of an old book (it was one of those hard cardboard baby books) with printed artwork. I didn't want to recreate pages, so I placed a rubber band around the outside of the book...seemed like something a mad scientist might do.
The back cover is a printout of chemistry equations and clearly indicates that this scientific book is the property of Dr. N. Telligent.

The little wiry gizmo by the book is going to be glued to the top of the mad scientist wig I purchased. It's just a bunch of gadgets glued to the top of a plastic storage container.

If your finances are strapped, head on over to a thrift store and purchase a white dress shirt for the lab coat. Cut of the shirt tails and use them to create extra pockets for the lab coat. Press the bottom of the shirt and stitch the hem for a nice finished look.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Melt & Pour Soap Making: Halloween Silhouettes

A molded soap shape, hair spray, powdered colorant and a silhouette cut-out.... it's that simple. Each of the soaps shown were created with a paper silhouette that was positioned on the face of the soap with hair spray. The hair spray keeps the cut-out in place while dusting the silhouette edges with color.

A rat, graveyard scene, ghost, beheaded lady, pumpkin, owl and cats. So many options for creating these easy and fun Halloween soaps. Just be sure to blow off any excess powdered color before removing the cut-out silhouette (do this outdoors or over a garbage container).

Before you ask, YES, the powdered colorant will come off when using the soap. And no, it won't stain your body when used in the shower. This soap is for fun, and the silhouettes are only meant to capture the season.

The silhouettes were printed  and then cut out with a craft x-acto knife. If you print your stencils on card stock paper, they can be used several times. A thin coat of hairspray on the top of each finished soap (allow the hair spray to thoroughly dry) will keep the powdered color from smearing when wrapping the soaps.

GPE's Mad Scientist Halloween Costume

It's that time of year for scare and fright. My 9-year old grandson is all about gore this year. It was decided (with parental guidance) that a Mad Scientist costume would be appropriate. Since face masks or face paint is not allowed at their school Halloween party, we opted to make the lab coat the primary focal point of his costume.

I ordered a basic child's lab coat online. Cost was under $20 and also included a white mad scientist wig. The use of GoPlanetEarth products completed the look.

1) Latex gloves dipped or soaked in red colorant. I used both DWP red and liquid gel tomato red or red oxide. LET THE COLOR DRY COMPLETELY before attaching gloves to the lab coat.

2) Every mad scientist needs tubes filled with disgusting, yucky stuff. I filled a couple of GPE's 1 x 8" plastic salt tubes with 4 x 4 gauze sponges soaked in red colorant, uncooked oatmeal, water, corn syrup... whatever you can find around the house to make the tube look gory. Place a label on the tube to identify its contents. I decided on Monster Goo, Werewolf Blood and Rat Brains.

Seal the tube caps with super-glue to ensure none of the gory contents spill onto the classroom floor.
3) GPE's natural plastic tubes are a great addition to the mad sceientist's lab coat pockets.

4) It never hurts to add a few plastic spiders to the test tubes. The soap injector makes a great accessory for this lab coat costume.

5) Now for the blood and gore. Take the lab coat, colorants and paint brush outdoors for a creative painting session. I started by dipping a large craft paint brush into DWP red colorant (with water added). Dip the paint brush and throw the mixture onto the lab coat. Paint streaks onto the coat as well.

The last coloring step was taking tomato red or red oxide liquid gel color (add a small amount of water) and splattering onto the lab coat (with a paint brush).  The darker red color is a nice contrast to the DWP red.

6) Attach a few vinyl bats to the lab coat with super glue. I dipped an old cotton rag into the red paint and pinned to the shoulder area of the lab coat. The latex gloves were pinned to the lab coat pockets.

The only thing missing is the wig and the surgical shoe covers. My friend is bringing me shoe covers from the hospital. I will spray them with red colorant and have my grandson put them over his shoes.

My grandson gives this costume an A++ rating!

Melt & Pour Soap Making: Dino-Myte Soaps for Kids

These vinyl dinosaurs were a hit with my grand kids (ages 4, 6 and 9). Mold Market's duck pond mold makes a perfect base for these little guys. Color soap and allow it to set up. Then shred the soap with a cheese grater. Secure the grated soap to the (duck pond) base with clear melted soap. Dip bottom of  dinosaur into the melted soap and seat on top.

These soaps fit our new cupcake cello bags BUT, you will want to first shrink wrap or stretch wrap the dino soaps before placing them in the bag. The soap tends to scuff the inside of the bag if the bag is moved around. The bottom of the duck pond fits nicely into the cupcake insert. Our cupcake boxes or flower top apple boxes might work as well though I haven't experimented with them.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Soap Packaging: Cupcake Soap Bags

This is one of the best values around for packaging cupcake soaps. It fits Mold Market's cupcake molds #276 and #211 (pictured above). A gusseted bag that measures 4 x 4 x 9" in height. Includes a cupcake insert.

Fold top of bag and punch two evenly spaced holes. Thread ribbon through the holes and tie a bow. Apply a label, and you have an inexpensive soapy holiday gift. I've included FREE PDF labels. Print, cut and apply to cupcake bag with double-sided tape.

Soap Packaging for Apple Soaps

This is one of GoPlanet's newest boxes. It's a perfect fit for Mold Market's apple soap. I suggest placing the soap into a 4 x 2 x 9 cello bag before boxing. This ensures the box interior stays nice and clean without any noticeable soap marks.

The drop in (folding) insert is a perfect fit for the apple. Gather the flower top portion of the box, add a ribbon and your soap is shelf ready for a retail gift shop.

We dipped the soap in a caramel colored soap base and sprinkled with spa quality sea salts colored to look like chopped nuts.

This picture presents a good feel for the actual size of the apple soap. What teacher wouldn't love to have a fresh smelling apple soap placed on their desk this Fall season?

Print an 1-inch wide x 8 1/2-inch label band (cut to size as needed) to fit around the outside of the box. Get creative with the label. I would love to see what you create and share.