Meet our writers

 







Reflections October 2013

Moving On

A Bargain Halloween Wreath

By Patsy Pipkin

I dropped the light bulb! But being quick caught it bare-handed, before it hit the floor! It quickly stuck to my hand. Just as quickly I started peeling the glue off with my other hand. Then I realized it wasn't glue, but skin, I was peeling off.

I saw some really neat stuff at a craft fair recently. Stuff anybody with half-sense and a little bit of imagination could make and save themselves a bit of money.

A crafty woman was displaying Halloween wreaths. The reason I say she was "displaying," instead of selling, is because I think most of her admirers were examining her wreaths with the intention of copying her ideas. Why, even I could make a wreath like that!

Since I have always planned to be crafty someday, this seemed to be the perfect time. After all, the lady wanted $15 for her wreath. I figured it could be made for around $7.

It was just a straw wreath from the dollar store, a couple of used light bulbs, two empty drink cans, four pipe cleaners and a big black paper bow. The light bulbs became spiders and the drink cans became ghosts, it would be the perfect wreath for my grandchildren's front door come Halloween.

Turning the drink cans into ghosts was easy. I just bent them in the middle and spray paint them white. With a little imagination, the hole made when you pull the tab off looks exactly like a ghost's mouth. A couple of drops of black paint, strategically placed, and you have the eyes of a haunt!

Even if you don't have any burned-out light bulbs, new ones don't cost much. I sprayed a couple of bulbs with black paint. When dry, on the smaller end, I applied dabs of white paint which became facial features of a big scary spider.

The pipe cleaners, also black, I would attach to the underside of the light bulb. They became big hairy legs. You can get big long fuzzy black pipe cleaners at almost any craft store. Since we don't have a local craft store, I got mine at the florist.

Assembly? Well, now that's something else! You must have, and use, one of those hot glue guns. Since I had one in the closet that the kids gave me last Christmas, this seemed the perfect time to try it out.

My goal was to glue the spider legs to the bottom of the light bulbs. That's when I found out just how hot a hot glue gun can get!

I dropped the light bulb! But being quick caught it bare-handed, before it hit the floor! It quickly stuck to my hand. Just as quickly I started peeling the glue off with my other hand. Then I realized it wasn't glue, but skin, I was peeling off.

I ran cold water over it immediately and covered it with baking soda, as my mother had always said to do for a burn, then rummaged through the cabinet trying to find something for a burn. The only relief was a bowl of ice water.

Call my husband, who made a mad dash to the drug store for burn medicine and delivered it pronto. But my hand continued to hurt unbearably. In desperation I called the doctor's office.

"Come on in." were the words this crafty woman sourly sought.

But no, the first doctor said, "I can see you at 2:30."

Second doctor said the magic words, and I was off and running. Diagnosis: second degree burn. The doctor had medicine, a bandage, a prescription for miracle salve, a tetanus shot, and a fair amount of sympathy.

Yes. I finished the wreath. And yes, grandchildren were impressed.

Total cost of my crafty Halloween wreath, $64! And that's not counting a new box of adhesive bandages, and gauze pads, but I know that crafty folks, like me, ought to have stuff like that on hand at all times!

 

Patsy Pipkin writes from her home in Searcy, Arkansas.

Meet Patsy