DIY Vintage Paper Mache Candy Buckets

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

The years before I turned 8 years old (and felt to be cool I had to collect my Halloween candy loot in a pillow case), I carried a homemade candy bucket just like these. Mine was a creepy pumpkin, the color faded from bright orange to a certain shade of peach and the edges tattered.

I love the imperfection and homemade chic quality of these vintage candy buckets…makes me wish I had never switched to a pillow case. 

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Ingredients:
1 Medium Plastic Pumpkin Bucket
1 Local News Paper Cut Into 1″ x 8″ Strips
1 Large Piece of Card Stock
1 Pair Scissors
16 oz White Glue
16 oz Water
1 Roll of Painters Tape
1 Paint Brush
4-5 Acrylic Paints (based on what type of bucket design you are working on)

What to do: 

Step 01:
Cut nose, horns, and cheek bone shapes out of card stock. Use painters tape and attach to the pumpkin form. Using a pumpkin form will help determine where features go.

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Step 02:
Mix together 16oz White glue and 16oz Water.

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Step 03:
Dip a strip of newspaper into glue and water mixture. Apply one at a time over the card stock shapes and onto the remainder of the pumpkin shape. Let dry overnight, you may need to add an additional layer of newspaper when dry.

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Step 04:
When fully dry, mix together some black and white paint to make a light gray base. Paint entire form and ensure no newspaper is showing through or visible.

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Step 05:
When dry, get creative and design your own spooky or cute and fun candy buckets. Finish with fabric bow around the handle for more effect!

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Candy Corn Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

The first step to making popcorn balls is this recipe. The marshmallow “glue” is your baby step into making those with hot sugar! I added the candy corn because I love it and it seemed fitting for Halloween. Pretzels and peanuts are fun additions too. Basically, just have a blast and have the kids help!
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Candy Corn Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
makes about a dozen softball sized balls

What you need:
1 cup uncooked popcorn kernels (I love Orville Redenbacher)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
Cooking spray
2 cups candy corn
2 (10 ounce) bags mini marshmallows
10 tablespoons unsalted butter

What to do:
1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, add the oil and 2 popcorn kernels. Cook over high heat until the kernels pop, then add the remaining popcorn, cover and lower the heat to medium-high. Cook until the kernels stop popping, shaking the pan often. Discard any unpopped kernels.  Spray a large mixing bowl with non-stick spray and add popcorn and candy corn. Set aside.

3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the butter and marshmallows. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth (about 6 minutes).

4. Pour the melted marshmallow mixture over the popcorn mixture and gently toss to coat.

5. Coat your hands with cooking spray, then shape the into balls (have everyone help!). Place balls on the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm.

 

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Vintage Halloween Party Inspiration (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

When I was 13, I had my first innocent and lackluster make out sesh with a boy named Tom. We were both dressed in handmade costumes, (Tom’s more elaborate than mine) at a campy Halloween party and The Monster Mash was on repeat. This vintage-inspired Halloween Party is for you Tom…wherever you and your husband are now.

DIY: A Parade Ready Bicycle! (VIDEO)

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

Did someone say parade?

Raspberry Pavlova

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Cedric Smith for Thom Magazine
Shot on location at Alex Raskin Antiques in Savannah, GA

I was 26 when I served my first pavlova to a bunch of Ski Patrol hooligans in Vail, Colorado. It was a ballsy move to serve as the last course of a wild-game heavy dinner to a group of men of whom most would rather wrestle a bear than use a cloth napkin.

Appetizer course pheasant. Main course elk. Dessert course baked meringue?

I’d seen the recipe in a cookbook by Lee Bailey and thought it was the most beautiful dessert ever created. At the time, I didn’t know that the lack of humidity in Colorado would make it a slam dunk dessert for me, I just wanted to be as cool as that guy, Mr. Bailey, who’s slight body and inviting smile graced the cover of the book. So, macho guests be damned, I made pavlova.

I don’t remember everything about that night –just a few life changing points. I remember a few guests were left on my sofa and elk scraps were left for the dog, but not a crumb of pavlova was left on the dessert platter. I remember I went to bed that night with the cutest and smartest guy at the table –the same guy I make pavlova for today. 
Raspberry Lemon Pavlova Stack from Libbie Summers
Raspberry and Lemon Pavlova from Libbie Summers
Raspberry and Lemon Pavlova Stack
serves 8

Ingredients:
8 large egg whites
2 cups superfine sugar (pulse sugar in a food processor for superfine)
½ teaspoon lemon extract
½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup heavy cream whipped with 2 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form
1 cup raspberry puree (from fresh berries)
1 cup fresh raspberries
¼ cup chopped pistachios for garnish (optional)
mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 250º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium until they hold soft peaks. With the mixer running, begin adding the sugar a little at a time until it is all incorporated. Increase speed to high and beat until the meringue is very shiny and holds a stiff peak. Beat in the extracts. Remove bowl from mixer and gently fold in the vinegar and cornstarch with a spatula. Divide the meringue evenly between the the two baking sheets with the meringue in the middle of each sheet. Using a spatula, spread the meringue out to an 8-inch circle.

Bake until the outside is dry and is a very pale cream color (about 65-75 minutes). Turn the oven off, leave the door slightly ajar, and let the meringue cool completely in the oven (I let mine cool overnight). The outside will have cracks, but the inside will have a marshmallow consistency.

To Assemble: Place one meringue round on your cake stand. Top with half of the whipped cream and swirl in half of the raspberry puree. Top with the second meringue and repeat. Finish with fresh raspberries, chopped pistachios and a few fly away mint leaves. Serve immediately.
Raspberry and Lemon Pavlova Stack from Libbie Summers (Photography by Cedric Smith)
Raspberry and Lemon Pavlova Stack from Libbie Summers (Photography by Cedric Smith)