Hey, Martha…

by mssinglemama on October 7, 2008

Yeah. You. Martha Stewart.

How in the hell can I make this?

When some nights I barely manage to take one of these…

I picked up the October issue of Martha Stewart Living with high hopes of finding something, anything, that I could actually make Benjamin for Halloween. And right now the magazine is making for a beautiful coffee table decoration.

Maybe I’m a crafting moron. But right now I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. I love Halloween, it’s my favorite holiday (next to Easter)… but it’s just a few weeks away and I don’t have an action plan. I tried to go shopping for spooky stuff on my lunch break but came back with a wooden witch and a few scary, glass potion bottles.

Any tips on how to entertain a feisty 2-year-old on Halloween, or at the very least – safely – scare the shit out of him? I’ve been freaking him out with his first scary movies, like Scary Boo Elmo and the Secrets of Nimh. But that plan is back firing already – at this moment he’s asleep in my bed, this after telling me a dragon was up in his room. A dragon! I, of course, caved. Poor kid.

Any advice from you real-life mamas would be greatly appreciated. And if you’ve found anything from Martha Stewart that’s doable leave the link.


Here’s Benjamin’s costume, a Monkey from Old Navy – it’s super comfortable, easy and it’s only $12.99.

[Photo: Martha Stewart Halloween Cauldron]

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Lani October 7, 2008 at 8:32 am

I try to keep my kids away from the scary stuff because I think they are too young to handle it (2 and 5).

As far as halloween is concerned, I just get them excited about it buy talking about their costumes and then taking them out trick or treating. You don’t have to be crafty to have a good time. Sometimes I’m super crafty and other times I’m too busy. When the mood strikes, I go to Martha, but not when there is too much on my plate.


SingleParentDad October 7, 2008 at 9:16 am

It isn’t one of the biggest holidays/exploitations of parents here in the UK.

We just seem to get dangerously young unaccompanied half-decorated children demanding money or sweets on our doorsteps.

Perhaps, living in a village it will be better. Either we shall get none, or they will be accompanied by dress-up adults we can laugh at.

My sister once made a quality pumpkin costume, it consisted of some hoola-hoops, lots of orange material and a green beret. Do you want me to UPS it? Hold on, if you want to scare him, I’ll just send my sister.


QTMama October 7, 2008 at 9:39 am

Em’s favorite thing to make during Halloween are Pumpkin Rice Crispie treats. So make them as per the directions, and use some yellow and red food coloring in the melting marshmellows to make the nice orange color of pumpkins. Mix marshmellows as normal with the rice krispie treats but then shape into balls instead of flattening out in a pan. You can get creative and have Benjamin help with the eyes and nose – you can use red hots, candy corn, etc. Now, I don’t usually do the stems but you of course, can doing the same thing but using some green food coloring. It’s fun, safe and what kid doesn’t like food coloring? 🙂


Terasa October 7, 2008 at 10:03 am

No suggestions on the entertaining part. My little one started to get monsters in his closet and under his bed. I filled a clear, tiny spray bottle with water and glitter. The “monster potion” might work on dragons too.


LTP October 7, 2008 at 10:16 am

Henry (my nearly 7yo) and I LOVE Halloween….it is our favorite! We start early in September going to the stores just to “check out” the Halloween stuff. I have found this is the best way to get them both over being scared when they can see it up close, touch it, laugh at it, and overall just confirm that it’s stuff–not real. We usually do it a few times–Target, Michael’s (a craft store), Party City, Halloween Express, etc. Of course, along the way, we pick up decorating items.

Believe it or not, one thing that both of mine love are the Gel Clings….they’re kind of mushy and can be put on any glass surface without damaging it. It’s fun way for them to decorate with me and also, let them touch the squishy clings, LOL, which must be a boy thing. The clings are usually with the Halloween stuff (then later Christmas, etc). They can tear easily when taking them off the page but I usually just help out with that part.

As for Martha, god love her, but most women, let alone single moms, can manage her crafts. Don’t forget that Martha has a giant staff of people doing all that stuff for her! I enjoy her cookbooks but the craft ideas are beyond what I have time for.

Happy Halloween!


Laura October 7, 2008 at 10:40 am

We dont do Halloween here so I am of no help but Martha does set unattainable high standards!!!!


Angie October 7, 2008 at 10:57 am

I just adore the costume!! My Daniel was Mickey Mouse right around that age, with a similar stuffed animal look. My Erin was a Care Bear with the same type of costume at that age….no big surprise that I now want to crawl under the table and cry because they have both grown out of huggable luvable costumes!!!!!

For crafts – this is what we did this year: bought some little pumpkins (the palm sized ones) and I let the kids paint faces (don’t worry, a big dot DOES count, so Benjamin is old enough!!). I then took some feather boas that were falling apart and cut enough to glue it to the top for “hair”. tee-hee – looks silly and is fun.

We are doing the carving this weekend.

As for other crafts…I find all my ideas on Family Fun, screw Martha Stewart and projects that take 10 weekends!!!



pisceshanna October 7, 2008 at 11:40 am

Me attempting anything out of Martha Stewart Living = major, pissed-off disaster.

LB is going to be a fairy, with 3 layers of long underwear beneath her gossamer wings.

We are watching Nightmare Before Christmas alot, which scares LB. but it has enough singing in it to get her over the frightening stuff.


angie October 7, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Don’t Miss Threadbanger’s Halloweeny episodes…I’m making the fairy wings (in white) for Erin’s Tinkerbell Costume!



Jim Everson (Depot Dad) October 7, 2008 at 3:09 pm

Ms. SIngle Mama, you inspired my post today.


mssinglemama October 7, 2008 at 5:47 pm

Totally making those Rice Krispee treats, the pumpkin people, and printing out Jim’s maze game thing.

Pisces – so glad I’m not the only one.

Angie – going to check that out now! And the Thread Banger site.

Ian – you made me spit out my coffee with that one… seriously. Thanks for making me smile, as always.

Laura – you’re in South Africa right? Or is that way off? No Halloween? I would die.

His Monkey costume showed up today! SO cute. Now I’m excited.


Rebs October 7, 2008 at 6:11 pm

How’s this for dinner: http://www.instructables.com/id/Halloween-Pita-Pizzas!/

You can make this for fun: http://www.instructables.com/id/Glowing_Goo_using_cheap_easy_to_get_ingredients/

For pumpkin ideas: http://www.howaboutorange.blogspot.com/search?q=pumpkin&x=0&y=0

My kidlet gets a TON of mileage out of those glow light sticks from the dollar store. As for monsters…Mummy eats monsters for breakfast.


Ann October 7, 2008 at 6:24 pm

when my muffins were mini we did more more gross-out , creepy things instead of scary, spooky things. Try freezing gummy works in ice cubes, eyeball cupcakes (http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/EYEBALL-CUPCAKES-232942) and making friendly ghosts out of tissues, cotton balls and yarn. Martha’s crafts are pretty ambitious for little hands. How about poster painting mini pumpkins and funky gourds? It’s fun making your own “monsters” out of gourds!


Dom February 4, 2015 at 12:06 pm

John – Fantastic photos I love the coolrs reflecting off of the harbor in the last shot. You and Kenny were both so accommodating!Make sure you don’t post the picture of me laying out in the lobby like a centerfold model!


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Laura October 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Benjamin’s costume is adorable- I just love it!
For fun non scary Halloween activities I would check out your local library and zoo. Our library has a special evening story hour and the kids come in their pj’s or costumes and have treats and cider while they listen to Halloween tales and make a craft. Best of all it’s free. Our County Zoo also hosts an event called ZooBoo. The older kids go at night for a haunted house and hayride and they also have day time activities for the young kids with face painting and a costume parade. This one isn’t free but at $5 a person, you can’t really go wrong. I’d check around locally because I’ll bet there’s a lot you can do for not a lot of money.
I also second the window clings idea- they make great decorations, Also Benjamin can have fun repositioning them over and over again. Check the Sunday newspaper flyers, they’re often on sale for $1 !


Maryann October 7, 2008 at 11:30 pm

I’m 35 and have never missed dressing up for Halloween myself, therefore my daughter has been “intiated” since day one…she’s 14 now and pretty darn level headed so I must have done something right. (thank goodness!) 🙂 Also preggers with my second right now (I know a long time to wait, RIGHT?) and single by choice….here are some ideas:

Worms in dirt:
Take chocolate cookies (oreos work well) and crush, then put gummy worms throughout. Fun snack and they even make smaller other gummy things that would work.

Some some ‘tactile’ fun, the following are items you put into a bowl and blindfold the person to touch with one hand only:
bowl full of wet noodles (brains or guts)
peeled grapes (eye balls)
mini pretzels (spider legs)


O Solo Mama October 8, 2008 at 4:58 pm

Simone was a little red devil her first year and my daycare person had to loan me the costume! I was totally unprepared–I think you chose well. The devil and monkey costume are similar–all warm and fuzzy and just the face showing. How cute. I wouldn’t worry about the actual night. He’ll love the candy being handed out for free, and usually the little ones go first around 6 pm, when it gets dark. It’s so much fun to look at the stuff after too.

I recommend the Elephant Show Halloween episode–however it is so old and rare now, you’d have a hard time finding it. This is a low-budget Canadian production that remained one of my daughter’s favourites for years. Scary but perfect for a 2-year-old. Here’s the link: it’s Season 2, episode 16 (1986):
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0761864/ Those guys were so good. . .they made the perfect shows for toddlers. (OK, pretty soon I’m going to break into Skinnamarinkidinky-dink.) Have fun!

Maybe you can find it on YouTube!


littlemansmom October 8, 2008 at 6:27 pm

I had littleman enrolled in a mommie and me group at 2…we all threw a halloween party (with costumes) for the little sweethearts….mind you I think as mommies, we ate most of the chocolate! LOL


Laura October 8, 2008 at 9:12 pm

The Oriental Trading company has a lot of great stuff (craft, decorations, candy, goody bags etc) and they are also pretty cheap

here’s the link if you want to check them out
if you use this promtotional code: AHW903
you can get free shipping on any size order before Oct 24


GG October 9, 2008 at 12:11 pm

ROFL. Plan? Action? Hahahaha. I usually pull something out of my hat the weekend before. That said, there are some awesome ideas out there. FamilyFun.com always has some easy to make things. I tend to come up with decorations and things that my son can help make. Oh, I have made the worms-in-dirt cupcakes for a Halloween party. That was fun.


Siripan February 5, 2015 at 4:29 am

Corey Woo – Theresa, you and Kenny were both absolutely amnziag. Thank you so much for all the wonderful photos. Of course, my favorite, is the one with me in the background delivering my speech. Fantastic.


April October 11, 2008 at 9:18 am

So timely! (Yes, days later, it’s timely.) I just assembled a Martha Stewart dinner from DreamDinners! It’s the one and only Martha thing I will ever have made.


Jolene October 17, 2008 at 8:55 am

I have little ones that have been afraid of monsters for a couple months now and I agree with the spray bottle with glitter as the moster spray but at our house we have our own monster spray that works wonders…. I went to the local dollar store and bought a cheap can of air freshener as moster spray. It works the same as the water and glitter but the smell of grapes (family favorite) lingers in the air until they are asleep. It works wonders!!!


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