monster favor bags

Monster Favor Bags

To go along with the monster donuts we all loved so much, these monster favor bags are a fun way to hand out candy (or a more healthy trail mix;) this year. They are just creepy enough to still be cute, and definitely school party approved.

Let’s get in the monster party spirit and hand out the sweet little bags to our guests and ghouls and finish off our spooky celebration with that perfect dose of whimsy that is sure to make every one smile.

Spunky Monster Favor Bags

Monster Favor Bags

The monster favor bags are made out of rolled tissue paper, buttons, thread, and a collection of fun ribbons for accent.

To make a stash of monster bags; roll a couple sheets of colorful tissue paper together and stuff with goodies. Close both ends by tying with ribbon or twine. Next, wrap fun ribbon around the monsters, creating your own whimsical characters and finish off by threading a needle and stitching (or you could glue) the monster’s button eyes into place.

That’s all that is needed to create these funky, spunky, and sure to be a favorite favors for your Halloween festivities.

Monster Bags

Monster Favor Bags

Whimsical Monster Bag

To finish the monster bags off right I used strands of kitchen twine and vintage ribbon. Ribbon is an item I always check for whenever visiting a thrift store – I love the amazing styles I dig up, perfect for more eclectic projects like this one. Happy treat giving!

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted October 08, 2014 Comments Off
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bright cat garland

Bright Cat Garland

Nothing says Halloween like a strand of spooky cats. Since I much prefer bright and fun to spooky and creepy, this cat garland is a whole new take on the spooky black feral idea. It adds a festive vibe to any fall party or mantel display.

Bright is the new black… Colorful is the new cat!

Bright cat garland

Festive Feral Garland

Bright Cat Garland

The cat garland can be whipped up quickly and is a stellar backdrop for a Halloween shindig. I have a strand hanging in the house and it brightens up the entire fall look of the place. Plus, the kids just adore it! Include the them in the fun, designing the cat faces and bringing these festive felines to life.

Bright Cat Garland

Bright Cat Garland

To make the cat garland you’ll need our cat face template (download the cat garland template right here). Trace it on a piece of bright card stock, cut the shape out and crease along the middle line.

Take a small piece of the leftover paper and roll it into a circle and glue to hold in place. Next, glue the paper circle to the inside of the cat face and run a string through the center to combine the garland. This gives the cat heads a festive 3D appearance while making the stringing of the garland a cinch.

Bright Cat Garland

Now it’s time to decorate the faces! We used a black marker to fill in the eyes and nose. Cut small strips of the bright paper for the whiskers. A little glue is all you need to create this bright, fun party look.

Bright Cat Garland

To hang the cat garland, I used some of the new Command Brand hanging party products. They came out with a line of party decorating products specifically for us festive party throwers and it is so awesome. From balloon bunchers, to pom-pom ceiling hangers, to these killer banner hangers – the entire line is one I will be using often.

The hanging products can be used on walls for easy party decor and come off simply with no-damage! Making my decorating job so much easier. I was super skeptical myself, but this garland went up, hung perfectly, and came down the next day with a simple pull, leaving not as much as a smudged mark on the wall. I’m hooked (hooked, get it:)!

Bright Cat Garland

Festive Feral Heads

For more festive and bright Halloween projects, see our full Halloween DIY gallery.

Command Party products can be found in the party aisle at your local Walmart.

This post is done in promotional partnership with Command Brand. The product review and opinions are mine. Thanks so much for supporting the site sponsors that keep me crafting daily.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted October 07, 2014 3 Comments
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swan costume headband + swan cake toppers

Swan Headband Costume

With Halloween coming in just a couple weeks, the need for cute dress-up ideas is high. We will have a couple more traditional costumes coming soon, but today I am happy to share this swan headband!

It is a great option for busy moms who are told they should dress up to help in class, but still need to keep up with five year olds. For those who want to have some fun in the office while still looking professional. And for trick-or-treat night when you don’t want to be totally left out of the game. Bring along this swan topped cake and everyone will immediately adore your dress-up selection.

Swan headdress

Swan birthday party essentials

The swans are a fabulous starting point for a birthday party, or less spooky Halloween costume party. Adorn your cake, make headbands for your guests, and enjoy the colors of the season without all the gore and spook.

Swan cupcake toppers

Swan cake

To make the swan cake toppers you will need; ping pong balls, black wooden skewers, black and orange felt, scissor, glue, and a length of faux feathers. For the headband you will also need a white headband.  

Posted October 06, 2014 3 Comments
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why don’t we – carve a pineapple?

Pineapple Jack-o-lantern

We are headed out to the pumpkin patch for round one of pumpkin picking this weekend. We do an early pumpkin carving and another one just a couple days before Halloween. This year I am incredibly intrigued by all the awesome carving I see going around on things other than pumpkins. I mean, if you think about it – why should pumpkins have all the fun!?! Let’s carve a pineapple instead… or a pepper, or an apple, and possibly my favorite – an orange. You can carve any fruit imaginable, just hallow it out and get slicing.

While I search for anything else I can carve, here are a few other awesome pumpkin ideas you might want to try:

We are definitely trying squash carving this year

The best way to slice your pumpkin

Carve and paint with metalics for this awesome doorstop look

Star studded carved luminarias are super pretty

Use a cookie cutter for easy carving form – genius!

Push pin pumpkins

Pumpkin planters

25 creative ways to carve a pumpkin

And this tip for using bleach to preserve pumpkins is super smart

Have a great weekend! xoxo

(Photography © Amy Covington/Stocksy United)

Posted October 03, 2014 26 Comments
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apple chip bourbon cider

Apple Chip Bourbon Cider

Apple cider is one of my favorite drinks. I’m so excited the chill has finally set in enough to enjoy it. To add a fancy grown-up twist to the homemade gallon we recently purchased, we added a shot of bourbon and a stack of crispy apple chips to each glass. Mmmmmm. It was yummy, and warming, and my new favorite bourbon cocktail. Fall has completely arrived!

Bourbon soaked apple chips

To make the apple chip bourbon cider we started by making bourbon soaked apple chips. To do this wash your apples and cut them straight across into circles, no need to core the apples first. Dip each apple into a small bowl of bourbon (you can let them soak for up to an hour). Lay out the apple pieces on a parchment paper covered baking dish. Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake at 250 for about 45 minutes, or until browned and crispy.

Bourbon soaked apple chips

Bourbon apple chip cider

Stack the apple chips up in a martini glass and fill with apple cider 3/4 of the way up. Add a shot of bourbon and your experience of apple cider will forever be changed – for the way, way better!

Apple chip bourbon cider

Bourbon apple crisp cider

Cheers! For more warmth inducing fall cocktail recipes has an awesome selection.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry)

This post done as a promotional partnership with the bar, all content my own.

Posted October 02, 2014 4 Comments
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glitter ice cubes

Glitter ice cubes

After yesterday’s glitter crafting party, I have one more sparkly thing to share – glitter ice cubes!

They might be my favorite new party element for always and forever!

We served sparkling champagne and sparkling water during the glitter party in glasses filled these glitter ice cubes. The frozen cubes of awesome gave our drinks a festive and sparkly vibe. They’ll be amazing to use for birthday parties and any one of the quickly upcoming holidays.

Glitter ice cubes for sparkling cocktails.

glitter ice cubes

edible glitter ice cubes

To make the glitter ice cubes, first made a batch of ice cubes. Once they are completely frozen tap various colors and textures of edible food glitter onto the ice cubes. Do not add more water. Then re-freeze the ice cubes for a couple hours to ensure the two substances adhere tightly.

I figured this method out after a failed try in adding the glitter to the unfrozen water. It just ends up dissolving and coloring the water (not adding sparkle). However, if the cubes are frozen before, the glitter will stick right to the bottom and you’ll be left with a gorgeously hued surprise for serving drinks at your next shindig.

Glitter ice cubes and cocktails

Once the drinks are poured the ice cubes will melt and the glitter will become a part of your cocktail, adding a little taste of sweet sugar and a massive dose of colorful, sparkly fun! Happy glitter filled drinking.

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry)

Posted October 01, 2014 12 Comments
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glitter crafting party

Glitter lined cake

There’s always time for a glitter party! In the midst of our crazy fall, Delta Faucet asked me to participate in their #HappiMess campaign and throw a party. When I combine the words happy and mess, the only thing I can think of is glitter.

So I planned an after school glitter party – we made our own DIY glitter bobby pins, ate an edible glitter cake, the moms enjoyed sparkling drinks, there were taffy filled glitter favor bags, and we has a blast making the most beautiful and happy mess.

DIY glitter bobby pins

Glitter party!

Glitter party

Glitter lined cake

Glitter lined cake

Edible Glitter Striped Cake

The glitter cake was a huge hit! It’s an easy way to make a festive, bright statement at a party. I purchased a plain white frosted cake; if you call your local bakery they should be able to make one without any frills like this for you.

To make the glitter stripes, buy a selection of edible glitter from the craft store baking section. I was pleasantly surprised at the great colors that have evolved with this fun product. If you’ve never used edible glitter before, it is easy to use and tastes like sugar (we also love creating our own).

Cut strips of wax paper and lay them straight down on the cake, I pushed the paper gently with my finger against the frosting to hold it in place. Then sprinkle the edible glitter making a pretty cake filled with sparkling stripes. Repeat the laying of the wax paper and sprinkling of glitter across the top of the cake. We let our stripes dissolve on the side for an artistic look, but you could easily wrap the paper around the sides to continue to straight-ish lines down the sides of the cake. The lines won’t be perfect (it is glitter after all!) but the look is stellar and crazy simple to create.

Glitter Stripe Cake

Glitter favor bags

Glitter party

diy glitter barrettes

DIY glitter bobby pins


For our craft (because all good play dates need some sort of crafting involved) we had everyone make glitter bobby pins. With my kids in uniforms this year, we are always searching for ways to add sparkle and punch to their outfits. These bobby pins, inspired by are an awesome way to bring the sparkle and you can make a huge lot of them really affordably.

To make the glitter pins, gather bobby pins from your local dollar store. Purchase a couple different pin shapes to make sure everyone has a couple pins they love. Use an adhesive medium – we used Mod Podge to layer on the bobby pins (leave them on the cardboard for this part). Next sprinkle craft glitter over the pins and allow to dry for about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the pins from the cardboard before they dry completely. Finish them off with a light spritz of spray adhesive to hold the glitter firmly in place. Allow the glitter pins to finish drying before gently tapping to remove excess glitter and placing into hair.

Delta Faucet

Between the glitter cake and the glitter pins we had ourselves quite the glitter mess! Thankfully my new Delta Faucet can turn on without even pulling the handle! It is amazing! All that’s needed is a touch of the faucet to turn it on – I can even do it with my elbow or tongue (because of course we tried it with our tongue:).

It is great for a hand filled with messy glitter frosting which happens more often than you’d imagine. The faucet head is large enough to clean out a sink filled with glitter and sticky (because they stepped right in the Mod Podge) feet. I’m honestly in love with this new faucet and the ease it is bringing to my daily party clean up scene.


Delta Glitter party

Delta_AP_Logo (1)

Why do people treat mess like it’s a bad thing? It’s actually the evidence of a life well lived. When you’re out there making, creating, doing and playing, embrace your #HappiMess and let Delta kitchen and bath innovations help clean up so you can do it all again tomorrow.

Compensation was provided by Delta. The opinions expressed and excitement are all mine. Thanks for supporting our site sponsors!

(Photography by Erin Holland for A Subtle Revelry).

Posted September 30, 2014 3 Comments
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octopus dinner party

Octopus dinner party recipe

Fall is the season for dinner parties! We love the daily revelry that comes from inviting friends in from the chill to enjoy dinner together. There is something about sharing a meal that always leaves me filled with joy. Since it is almost October, I’m planning on hosting a grown-up Halloween dinner party.

While looking for something that would be spooky, but in a more refined version – I stumbled on an old family recipe for cooking octopus. Octopus! It’s awesome, unique, and just original enough to give it that little spook I am aiming for. When served on a plate of greens, this simple prep dish (anyone could make it) becomes a gourmet treat that will tun your next dinner party into dinner-awesome!

How to cook an octopus

How to cook an octopus

To cook an octopus for your next dinner party you’ll need; a fresh, or frozen octopus, large pot for boiling water, one large onion coarsely chopped, 1 lemon cut in quarters, 3 bay leaves, 2 carrots, a bunch of parsley chopped, 1/2 a cut up leek, 1 cup white wine, salt and peppercorns.

Start by boiling the water with the aromatics, salt, and peppercorn. Bring to a heavy roiling boil, then simmer for 20 minutes to fully allow the broth to combine. Bring back to a heavy roiling boil.

Using a pair of tongs hold the octopus and submerge it fully in the water for 5 seconds before removing. Do this 4 times.

After searing, add the white wine and turn the heat to medium high. Drop the octopus in the water. Cook for 10 minutes per pound or until octopus is tender enough to pierce with a fork. Allow to dry and cool for 5 minutes before cutting the tentacles off and serving with sauteed arugula and other greens.

Octopus dinner party recipe

Along with serving a creative and fun dish, here are a few other ways I’m making our dinner parties easy on me and great for my guests this season:

  • Placing fresh herbs in large glasses around the room.
  • Always having a fresh baguette of bread and cheeses out when guests arrive – this tends to make everyone feel at home.
  • Using new quirky dish towels in place of fabric napkins to give every place seating its own fun touch.
  • Making sure I have an easy craft project on hand that the kids can do once excused from the table, so that the adults can linger and chat.


And the best tip I’ve learned recently for amazing dinner party prep is to clean as we go! It makes my kitchen feel less chaotic and helps the after dinner lingering to not be hampered by dishes screaming my name.

The Electrolux Stainless Steel Dishwasher with IQ-Touch™ Controls (EI24ID50QS) is a perfect dishwasher to have for this easy dinner party tip. It has a unique third top tier that is perfect for stashing away my octopus tongues and other utensils that usually get lost in a dishwasher and it professionally cleans and entire cycle in 30 minutes – meaning I can get a cycle in after appetizers and have my favorite small dishes clean for dessert.

No matter what we are cooking, a good prep and clean up plan is often the difference between an amazing dinner party and an awkward one.


AuthorLogo_Electrolux The new Electrolux dishwasher provides a professional level clean with its 30-minute wash and dry cycle. As the highest rated dishwasher on, it also features SatelliteSpray Arm technology which provides 400% more water coverage than a traditional dishwasher. Visit for more information on this and other stylish and functional options available from Electrolux.

Compensation was provided for this post by Electrolux. The opinions expressed are all mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Electrolux.

(Photography © Jen Grantham/Stocksy United)

Posted September 29, 2014 3 Comments
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