A Spec-CRAFT-ular DIY Halloween How-To

I might have mentioned before that I am a late-night quirky crafter. Think Amy Sedaris without the fame and fortune.

The fall season, specifically Halloween, has become quite the merry ol’ time for us pro-craft-inators. There are many, many guides to support our habit when creativity stumps you and they are most amply available at good ol’ HPB for cheaps!

But, one of my favorite past times is to dig in the old craft-drawer and develop a something-from-nothing quirky project all by myself. I present to you, my Paper-Maché Wine Toppers…just in time for the spooky season:

Supplies needed:

  • Old newspapers
  • School glue (All-purpose, white glue-all)
  • Paint brushes
  • Assorted paint colors
  • A couple of latex party balloons left over from someone’s birthday or that last summer water balloon fight
  • Random plastic containers (I like cottage cheese containers best!)

  1. Water down the glue a little in the cottage cheese container (make sure you washed it out!)
  2. Douse your strips of newspaper
  3. Here’s the fun part: blow up the balloons to about 6 in or so in diameter, try to avoid the impulse to throw a party.
  4. Coat your balloons in the soggy/gluey newspaper, leave the bottom portion un-papered so you can get the balloon out and use them as a proper-topper (I’m a poet and didn’t know it)
  5. You can go to sleep now; the paper needs to dry
  6. When you wake up you will have two crusty-paper coated balloons waiting for you!
  7. Paint the balloons as much or as little as you want and let the paint dry
  8. Here is the next fun part! Pop the balloons and enjoy your new craft!
  9. TA DA!

Notice how these Zombie and Alien paper-maché wine toppers hide the fact I am serving my guests extremely cheap wine! They won’t know until they have a headache in the morning!

Dream up a quirky craft of your own this fall-season! Tell me about it below and I will try it out, the fewer instructions you give, the more fun I’ll have!

Enjoy fall, y’all! — Becky

Becky is Marketing Communications Manager at Half Price Books Corporate.
You can follow her on Twitter at @Bexican75.

Meet the Bibliomaniac: Dayna Ingram

Half Price Books has thousands of interesting employees working at our stores across the country – bibliomaniacs who have tons of great talents besides their knowledge of books, movies, music and more.  We thought it would be fun to showcase some of them here on the blog!  Our first feature is Dayna Ingram, who not only is a shift leader at our Dublin location, she’s also an author.  She’ll host a book reading and signing of her newly published zombie/horror novella Eat Your Heart Out tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Dublin

Name: Dayna Ingram

Job Title: Shift Leader

When did you join the HPB team? It was actually my final co-op for Antioch College back in Ohio in 2008. I had to “live as an author,” which meant getting a job and writing…for college credit…JOKE’S ON THEM I ALREADY DO THIS! It was pretty great.

What is your favorite part about working at HPB? There are too many favorite parts. I’m gonna say my co-workers, they make it easy to want to go to work.

What is your all-time favorite book? This changes all the time, but right now it’s Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.

What inspired you to write Eat Your Heart Out? I needed something fun to write during National Novel Writing Month (nanowrimo.org), and what’s more fun than zombies?

Do you have plans for any other books? I’m working on a dystopian novel called All Good Children, and I’m currently seeking an agent.

You’re donating a portion of the proceeds to ARF, Tony LaRussa’s Animal Rescue Foundation.   Tell us about your involvement with them and your love of animals. Friends of mine have adopted the best pets through their organization, and I just admire animal rescues so much. Our pet is a member of our family, and I wanted to acknowledge that in some way and give back.

To keep up with Dayna, visit her blog or follow her on twitter.

Thanks, Dayna! Good luck tomorrow!

— Emily

Staff Picks: Top Five Zombie Books (as requested)

Dude, it’s zombie season! I ask—“Is it ever not Zombie season?” Anyway, right now we’ve got zombies on the brain (in the brain?) 

I digress.

Just ask the HPB Bibliomaniacs at Store #08 in Richardson, TX and they’ll tell you, if they aren’t looking for books ABOUT zombies, they’re shelf-searching FOR zombie shoppers. One of our Facebook fans, Ruggy B., suggested we compile a list of top zombie reads. Ruggy, you got your wish! Here’s what the folks at HPB #08 put together.

Top Five Requested Zombie Books:

1- World War Z by Max Brooks

2- The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman & Tony Moore

3- Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

4- Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

 5- Zombies vs. Unicorns ed. by Holly Black & Justine Larbelestier

  . . . Not to be confused with the Top 5 books requested BY ZOMBIES:

1- Rich Dad, Dead Dad

2- Slow Walking for Dummies (pictured below)

3- Flesh Dependent No More

 4- How to Start Worrying People and Stop Living

5- Oh, the People You Will Eat!


Thanks to our undead-loving Richardson employees, especially Matt Rox, for this sweet illustration! Have you hugged a Zombie today? Just kidding—DO NOT HUG ZOMBIES.

If you visit HPB this spook-filled weekend, and you happen upon a zombie, don’t forget to snap a pic and tweet us! Or for a less scary game, check out the titles on the spines (pun intended) behind the zombie — brilliant, right? And HIL-arious. Just be sure to keep your neck protected while you crane your head to the side.

— Becky G.