Quick Halloween Decor with a Not-so-Scary Disney-Twist

My family and I have always decorated for Halloween, it was one of my dad’s favorite things! He made tombstones that resembled those in the Haunted Mansion graveyard and placed them in the yard. A few eerily hung cheesecloth drapes and some dry ice fog really set the tone and kids would come from all over to see our lawn. I live on a busy street now and I don’t like to put out Halloween decorations that might be taken, so decorating inside is ideal. Here are some fun Halloween decorations that are easy and budget-friendly too.

Disney Family has some creative ideas (some with help from HP Printers) to craft entire party arrangements for Halloween. There are over a dozen ideas to make at home to set a The Nightmare Before Christmas themed gathering!

Image from Disney Family.com


What other quick and easy Halloween decor ideas are out there for you to make? With the help of Etsy, Disney Store, Amazon and a few of my favorite online sites, I’ve conjured up some fun ideas for you to make at home (some of these are affiliate links).

Carve a Disney-themed pumpkin

Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage (from Let’s Go Fly a Kite) or Carved Mickey (from Disney Family)


Or paint your pumpkin instead…

Painted Mickey from Sugar Bean Bakers, Elsa’s Frozen pumpkin from A Pumpkin & a Princess and Monster Mike pumpkin from Brent Moore on Flikr


Quick table decor

Using a store-bought black fabric table runner and silver fabric paint, these hand-carved Halloween stamps from Kindred Stamps set the stage for your party. Jack SkellingtonGhost Mickey or Haunted Mansion Wallpaper Design (images from Kindred Stamps)


Frame this Haunted Mansion poster from Vivid Editions and set it at the table. I have this one myself (the hitchhiking ghosts make me smile).

Image from Vivid Editions.com

Dinner served on Haunted Mansion plates will give everyone hot and cold running chills while soup sipped from this Jack Skellington mug will warm you up (both from the Disney Store).

Any flickering candlelight will do, but the eerie glow from a gargoyle candelabra will add just the right amount of Halloween to your table setting (this one is from Master Gracey Inc on Amazon). Top them with these Eerie Halloween Drip Candles also from Amazon for the perfect effect.


Treats and Tricks for Kids

Conjure Oogie Boogie with this glow-in-the-dark slime (from a Pumpkin & a Princess). Kids love playing with this stuff (and it might get their mind off the plethora of candy in their treat bag!)

Who wouldn’t love to bite down on a gold doubloon, ala Pirates of the Caribbean! Use gold food safe spray to decorate OREOs. Stack them up at a pirate-themed table setting.

Get out your crayons and have kiddos (and adults!) decorate these coloring pages from I Am a Mommy Nerd. Hang them up around the house for cute and creative Halloween decor.

 Hope you have a Happy Halloween!






SoCal Guide – Hands-on Fun at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Ever visited the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park? There are tons of hands-on science-minded activities for kids and adults alike. The IMAX movies are fantastic in the dome theater. We especially like visiting if it’s a rare rainy San Diego day because there is enough here to fill up the entire day.

Stop over at the Traveling Mom’s website and read my newest article, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego -100 Ways for Kids to Learn and Play.

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego

Halloween Costume on a Budget – Sorcerer Mickey Mouse

Halloween Costume on a Budget - Sorcerer Mickey Mouse

Isn’t this Sorcerer Mickey Mouse costume Fantasmic!, err…fantastic?! And it’s budget-friendly and fairly easy to make as well. It’s all about the sorcerer hat, naturally. The rest of the costume is extremely easy to pull together last minute.

My son was Mickey Mouse last year (see the quick and easy DIY Mickey costume tutorial). He’s been telling us all for months that he wanted to be Mickey again this year too. I showed him the animated short, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and he was excited to switch things up a bit costume-wise and be Sorcerer Mickey this year.

Halloween Costume on a Budget - Sorcerer Mickey Mouse


Working from top to bottom, Yen Sid’s sorcerer hat is the winning part of this costume. I will give you several different options for creating this piece and you can choose, depending upon your skill level and craftiness.

These are the things you’ll need for the sorcerer’s hat-

1. Cut two pieces of blue cotton from the cone hat pattern. Cut one piece of buckram from the same pattern. Sandwich the buckram in between the two blue cotton pieces and baste around the edge to hold all three pieces together.

2. There are several ways to make the mouse ears. I cut mine out of stiff black felt (just simple circles with a tab on one side to attach to the hat). Curve the hat around your child’s head to see where the placement should be for the ears and mark it with disappearing ink. I sewed the tab on to the hat (facing the back of the hat) but you could hot glue as well.

Halloween Costume on a Budget - Sorcerer Mickey Mouse

3. To create the stars and moons on the hat there are two options:

Option A – Free hand draw these designs onto Heat n’ Bond. Iron the shapes onto white cotton fabric. Cut out on the lines and iron directly onto one of the blue cotton pieces of the hat. Take care not to place the pieces too close to the edge where the hat will be seamed together.

Option B – Draw the designs onto a piece of pattern to create a pattern. Using the patterns, cut out the shapes with felt and then hot glue onto the blue cotton. Take care not to place the pieces too close to the edge where the hat will be seamed together.

4. Curve the cone into a conical hat shape. At this point you have several options for seaming together.

Option A- I turned my hat inside out and machine sewed down the seam, then carefully turned right side out.

Option B- You could also overlap the hat seam and use heavy-duty staples to  seam it shut. You could then cover the seam with a hot-glued strip of blue ribbon.

5. For the padded hat band, measure the child’s head circumference where the hat will be worn. Add about 10 inches to this measurement as the band will tighten once the stuffing is added. It’s also easier to cut the band down in size than to add another piece of fabric.

6. Cut a piece of blue cotton 6″ high X the head circumference, plus 10″. Fold the cotton in half (so it’s now 3″ high), right sides together and sew the long end of the fabric, creating a tube. Do NOT turn the piece right side out, you will be stuffing this tube while it’s inside out.

7. Place a safety pin about an inch in from one side, closing off the tube. Stuff the tube with Poly-fill through the opposite end, using a dowel or chopstick to lightly push the stuffing down. You want the tube lightly padded but not bursting at the seams.

8. When the tube is padded, compare this hat band to the bottom of the cone hat. You may need to remove some of the fill and trim some of the tube fabric if the tube is too long. Once you have the tube an appropriate size to fit the hat, sew the tube ends together making a circle.

9. Placing right sides together, pin the hem of the tube to the outside of the cone hat and baste. Then using a sewing machine zipper foot, sew the hat band tube closely inside the basting line to secure the band to the hat. Trim excess and roll band down. Ta-da!! Your sorcerer’s hat is complete!


For the rest of the costume. I’d had all intentions of making an authentic red Mickey tunic that matched the costume he wears but when it came down to cutting it out, I found I didn’t have enough red cotton. I dug through my drawer and found this red tee shirt which fits my son nicely and doesn’t drag on the ground or cover his hands (I had to turn the tee inside out because it had a logo on it). I paired the tee with black leggings and brown sandals, though any brown shoes would work.

Halloween Costume on a Budget - Sorcerer Mickey Mouse

For the belt, you could choose to purchase a bit of brown rope to knot at the waist. I had brown cotton that I sewed in a strip long enough to wrap around and knot.

And that’s it, a fairly quickly put together Halloween costume. I was able to create the hat in a few hours time and the rest of the outfit was thrown together very fast. And all pieces are very budget-friendly. The hat fabrics didn’t cost me more than a few dollars!






Jamberry Giveaway – Glowing Ghouls Halloween Nail Wraps

Jamberry Nail Wraps Glowing Ghouls for Halloween!

I’m have a blast this fall season so far, decorating my fingertips with Autumn-inspired and Halloween-themed Jamberry nail wraps! This is what I have on my hands right now, Jamberry Coral Reef lacquer and a clear Jamberry wrap on top, Fall Fever.

Jamberry Coral Reef lacquer with Fall Fever clear Jamberry wrap

This was last week’s Jamicure…from left to right, Black and White Chevron, Itsy Bitsy and TruShine Gel in Flamingo.

Jamberry Black and White Chevron, Itsy Bitsy and TruShine Gel in Flamingo.

Before that, I welcomed the season with this sweet pumpkin wrap called Maple Sugar and TruShine Latte with a glittery coat of TruShine Party Dress.

Jamberry Maple Sugar and TruShine Latte with a glittery coat of TruShine Party Dress

Do you have a favorite Fall Jamberry wrap? Maybe you’d like to try these new glow-in-the-dark Glowing Ghouls! I am giving away a full sheet so you’ll have them in time to dress up your nails for Halloween.

Jamberry Nail Wraps Glowing Ghouls for Halloween!

Please follow each step in the giveaway to enter. I do verify all entries. Please consider signing up on my home page for my newsletter so you’ll know when I post my next giveaway!

I do have some additional incentives: 

Order any size order and receive a sample sheet of 5 nail wraps from me.
Buy 3 Get One Free Jamberry wraps and receive an extra FREE half-sheet of wraps mailed from me!
Host a party online and receive a mini-heater when your party reaches $250 in sales (that’s in addition to your regular hostess credits)

Email me at Savingupfordisney@yahoo.com if you take advantage of any of these offers!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Do you love having custom boutique clothing for you and your kids when you visit the Disney Parks? Me too! I’ve been creating and selling appliqued tees for years in my Etsy shop, The Painted Butterfly Studio. However, I know not everyone has the time or inclination to perfect satin stitching or proper technique for seamless applique. I came up with a technique for applique that anyone with a sewing machine can accomplish! And if you are an accomplished seamstress, I have the tips for more complex applique as well. I hope you love this Mickey Pumpkin t-shirt DIY!

Please note that this post includes affiliate links. Clicking and purchasing helps in a small financial way, thank you!

Instructions for Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Supplies Needed:

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Instructions for a Mickey Pumpkin Tee

1. Take your coloring page or design and flip the page over. Outline the bold details with a Sharpie marker. This is the side that you will trace on.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

2. Place a piece of fusible bond (bumpy side down) onto your design and trace out each individual shape using a Sharpie marker (ball point pens or pencils will smudge or smear off onto your iron, so a Sharpie is best).

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

You’ll have a piece for the pumpkin, the stem, the leaf and the individual pieces of the jack-o’ lantern face.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

3. Cut around each piece of fusible bond but NOT on the Sharpie line (see image above on left). Iron them (bumpy side down) onto the appropriate color of fabric.

  • One orange pumpkin shape
  • One lime green leaf
  • One brown stem
  • One black jack-o’ lantern smile, one nose and two eyes.

4. Cut out each piece on the Sharpie line.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Adding Pieces to the Tee

5. Lay your shirt down and iron out any wrinkles in the design area. Starting with the orange pumpkin and brown pumpkin stem,  peel off the fusible bond backings and place down onto the tee. Tuck the brown stem slightly underneath the orange pumpkin. Make sure the design is centered and straight. Do not iron yet!!

Lay your coloring page down (the original side, not the one that you traced) on top of your design to make sure the pieces line up before pressing with the iron. I flip the page back and forth quickly so I can compare the design and make sure I have pieces in the correct position. Use a smooth pressure to apply the pieces to your tee shirt with the iron on a “cotton” setting.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

6. Moving on to the leaf, use the same technique, comparing the coloring page to the fabric design before ironing in place.

7. Repeat with jack-o’ lantern pieces, matching the correct position by comparing to the coloring page before ironing in place.

8. Once you have all your pieces securely ironed on, cut a piece of stabilizer slightly larger than the size of your design.

Carefully turn your shirt inside out and follow the package instructions to secure to the inside of the shirt (some stabilizers must be pinned on; I use one that can be ironed on and easily removed).

Turn the shirt right side out. Do not skip this step of using stabilizer! Stabilizer holds the design straight while you sew to avoid warping, puckering or rippling.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Sewing Your Mickey Pumpkin

9. Thread your sewing machine bobbin with the same color of thread as your t-shirt. You will start by sewing the pieces on top, the black jack-o’lantern face. When appliqueing, always sew the smaller pieces on top first to avoid puckering. Thread the machine with black thread and set the machine for a tight straight stitch.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

10. Carefully sew each jack-o’ lantern piece close to the outside edge. Change thread colors and complete by sewing the green leaf and brown stem.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Adding Magical Details

11. Taking your disappearing ink pen and comparing to your original coloring page, draw any detail lines for the pumpkin directly onto your fabric design.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

12. Using orange thread, sew around the outside of the pumpkin first, then sew up and down the design to add the details. Make sure to back stitch before and at the end of each strand to secure stitches.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

13. When all sewing is complete, spritz the design lightly with water to remove the disappearing ink lines. You may have to repeat this process several times. Do not iron until the ink lines are gone to avoid setting them permanently.

14. Turn shirt inside out and remove all pieces of stabilizer. Turn shirt right side out.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

14. When disappearing ink lines are gone, press the design with iron to sink and tighten the stitches. Your shirt is ready to wear!

Straight Stitch Applique Advice

It is important to stick with cotton or knit fabrics only when straight stitch appliqueing. Because the edges of the applique pieces are not covered, there is a chance that the edges of your cotton fabric may fray or curl slightly after a wash and dry. As long as you’ve properly stitched the pieces securely, slight fraying or curling should be fine and create a fun look to your design.

Instructions for Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Pumpkin shirt with satin stitch applique

Taking Applique to the Next Level

Once your practiced straight stitch applique, try using a satin stitch (aka: a very close together zig-zag) around the edges of your applique pieces to secure them. This will create a more smooth and polished look. You’ll be able to add more detail and the look will last a long time. Cover the stitches inside (because they will be thicker and potentially more itchy to the wearer) with a soft fusible Poly-mesh backing.

Anyone with a sewing machine can create this Halloween DIY Disney Mickey pumpkin appliqued tee! Click through for the easy instructions #Halloween #Disney #Mickey #MickeyMouse #Pumpkin #JackOLantern #Applique #Tshirt #MNSSHP #DisneyBound

Looking for More Disney Craft Projects?

For more Halloween craft ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow  | Halloween Crafts Loop:



Save Money by Changing Your Car’s Oil At Home with Pennzoil #DIYOilChange #ad

I’m a member of the Collective Bias Social Fabric Community. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #DIYOilChange #CollectiveBias

Save Money by Changing Your Car's Oil At Home with Pennzoil #ad

My husband has been changing the oil in our vehicles for years. It doesn’t take him very long (just around 20 minutes) and we save money by doing it ourselves at home instead of taking the car to the shop. Why not save money (and time) doing something at home instead of paying for the service? Keep reading for my free printable on how to change your car’s oil at home.

A standard oil and filter change for my Nissan Sentra costs around $25 at the shop. A premium change for my husband’s Toyota Tacoma would be around $40. My husband needed to change the oil in his Tacoma so I bought the oil and filter to fit his vehicle.

I picked up Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic motor oil and a new oil filter for $33 total at Walmart. I wasn’t sure what weight and grade of oil to buy for my husband’s truck but the employees in the service department at Walmart were extremely knowledgeable and helpful towards guiding me to the correct product. Read your owner’s manual beforehand to know how much oil your vehicle will need. You could also call your local dealership and ask what is the recommended oil weight and grade for your type of vehicle.

Save Money by Changing Your Own Oil At Home with Pennzoil

Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic motor oil is a high-quality oil that has been specially designed to give your engine complete protection. As an electrician, my husband drives a lot for work and night school. He’s up bright and early and doesn’t return until dark most weeknights. I appreciate that he has a well-running vehicle to get him safely around throughout the day. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic motor oil also offers better fuel economy, always helpful when driving a large truck full of work tools.

Save Money by Changing Your Car's Oil At Home with Pennzoil #ad

Not only does changing our vehicle’s oil at home save money, but it always saves time. True, it still takes my husband about 20 minutes to change the oil in each vehicle but he doesn’t have to leave the house to wait for an hour or more at the auto shop while someone else does the job. This is a savings of about $7.00 per oil change for his truck. He changes the oil and filter about every 5000 miles. By changing the oil at home in both vehicles, over a year this means a savings for us of nearly $60.

Save Money by Changing Your Own Oil At Home with Pennzoil

Want to change your own oil at home but don’t know where to start? Here’s my helpful free printable with step-by-step instructions and tips on a safe and budget-friendly oil change at home with Pennzoil.


Please use standard safety procedures when changing your oil. You should always refer to your own car’s manual before changing your oil.

When budgeting or saving, every extra dollar counts! Have you considered how much you could save by changing the oil in your own car at home? 


HP Print & Pamper Retreat & Conference‬‪ #‎MyPrintlyMoms‬ ‪


As a busy mom of three and someone who’s always on a budget, I don’t get to travel nearly as often as I’d like. There are so many really cool conferences I’d love to attend but the cost of airfare alone, along with hotel, food and the conference fee is prohibitive. So when a fantastic conference and retreat invite was sent to me that takes place in my neck-of-the-woods (lovely San Diego county), I couldn’t resist signing up immediately!

Sponsored by HP, the HP Print & Pamper Retreat takes place at the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn. No airfare needed, it’s a quick half-hour drive from my own front door. Invitees will be pampered with special spa activities, have fun crafting time with expert DIY-ers, as well as network with other bloggers (many of whom I’ve connected with via social media but have never met in person!) I’m so looking forward to three days of “mommy” only time with my friends (and having the bed all to myself!)

We’ll also have a behind-the-scenes tour of the HP facilities, group sessions with HP and receive the latest HP printer. I love participating on the HP Panel and use my HP printer daily. I also enjoyed attending the MyPrintly event in Portland so I’m excited to learn more about what HP has to offer.

Oh, and on Saturday, we’ll just happen to be headed to my favorite place, Disneyland, for lots of magical fun during the Disneyland Diamond Celebration! I’ve yet to see the decor in person, nor the Paint the Night Parade or Disneyland Forever Fireworks show, but you can be sure I won’t miss them.

Please follow me on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter starting Thursday October 8th through Saturday October 10th with the hashtags #MyPrintlyMoms #Disneyland60 and #DisneyHalloween



Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

This shop has been compensated by Albertsons. All opinions are mine alone. #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #CollectiveBias

Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

My family eats almost all of our meals at home and dinners are always eaten together. Television is off and we gather around to share our day with each other. Everyone participates in setting the table, preparing the meal and cleaning up afterwards.

We dress the table each night with fabric place mats and cloth napkins that I’ve made (tutorial here). Sometimes we light a candle for ambiance. It feels good to eat at home and to share our day around the dinner table but sometimes we need a little “refresh”. I will admit that my kids do get bored with some of the same meals since we tend to serve the same stand-by dishes when time and money is tight.

Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

Now that I’m home more often I’ve been inspired by cookbooks at the library and have had the time to expand on our repertoire to the delight of the family…Ooh, butternut squash & spinach lasagna one night, homemade pizza the next!

However nothing brightened their day more than when I served dinner last week alongside a big pitcher of Lipton Iced Tea with dinner!

“There’s tea at the table!”, yelled one of the kids and I’m not kidding, they all came running!

Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

A lovely table setting and Lipton Iced Tea for dinner (shirts optional!)

Most of the time each child receives either a small glass of milk or water with their meal, so Lipton Iced Tea was a big-time treat. I was happy to be able to serve them something special after a long week and Lipton Iced Tea is also a healthier choice than soda. It was definitely a complement alongside our ground turkey and pasta and was an extremely refreshing beverage.

Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

I picked up Lipton Iced Tea in a 100 count box from Albertsons. So easy to make (the recipe is on their website) You can find the 100 count Lipton tea bags in the tea section and they can be served iced or hot. I served our Lipton Iced tea with a squeeze of lemon and agave sweetener but next time I think I’ll add some frozen berries for a flavor twist!

Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

Albertsons and Safeway stores are currently running their Stock Up Sale (from Sept 30th through Oct 13th) 9/30-10/13) and have Lipton Iced Tea 100 count as part of the promotion. This is a great deal and a great way to make every dinner feel special, without breaking the bank!


Refresh Dinnertime with Lipton Iced Tea #StockUpOnLipton #Albertsons #ad

How do you “refresh” your dinner when the family gets bored with the same old thing? Please share in the comments!