Spooky Surprises


Halloween is the perfect time to surprise a friend with a tiny treat. I’ve crafted up some spooky candy bags with matching gift card envelopes. I plan to leave them lurking on a few desks next week.

Supplies I used:

  • Small craft paper bags or other small bags
  • Craft paper gift card envelopes
  • Origami paper in a variety of designs
  • Circle cutters, scissors, and punches to cut a variety of shapes
  • Nori paste
  • Plastic skeletons
  • Watercolor paper
  • Yasutomo Permawriter II pen, black
  • Yasutomo Chinese Watercolor paints
  • Small paintbrush


I bought small craft paper bags and gift card envelopes at my local hobby store, but inexpensive brown lunch bags would work well too (and they would hold more candy!)


Cut origami papers into strips, trims, ruffles, and circles to decorate paper bags and envelopes. I used my circle cutters to create several different polka dot sizes. You might choose to use other scrapbooking scissors and punches to create a variety of trim designs.  Use Nori paste to glue down your design.

Inexpensive plastic skeletons are easy to find in the Halloween decoration aisle at the $1 shop, craft store, or drug store. Use Nori paste to glue down a crown, bow, or other hat.


Your friends might love a coffee gift card, but you can also craft a personal watercolor card. I cut these cards and rounded the edges to fit into the envelopes. Using a black Permawriter pen, I drew fun Halloween-themed greetings. I added color with my Yasutomo Chinese watercolors.




The final step… fill the bags with candy (without sampling!)


Purrfectly Paper Doll

cat paperdoll

October brings out the kid in me. I love the falling leaves, the cooler weather, and all things Halloween. I can’t wait to decorate with tacky Halloween decorations, buy mounds of candy for the neighborhood children, and help my own children create their costumes. In my excitement for the season, I decided to create a black cat paper doll set including some festive Halloween costumes.

Supplies I Used:

Step 1: With the pencil, draw a paper doll body on the cardstock. I chose to make a cat. Just for fun, I created a calico cat who is wearing a black cat suit. Go over the pencil drawing with the permanent black marker.

cat drawing

Step 2: Paint any large black areas with the ultra black ink.

cat painted with ink

Step 3: Paint color details with the watercolor paints and use the metallic pens for any accents. I used the silver pen to make the zipper on the black cat suit.

cat with painted face

Step 4: Place the deli paper over the paper doll and use a pencil to create clothing items that will fit the paper doll body. Move the deli paper off the cat drawing and use the black permanent marker to trace over the pencil lines. Use Nori paste to adhere the deli paper to cardstock. Once dry, cut the pattern pieces.

cat costume pattern pieces

Step 5: Trace the patterns onto decorative origami papers and cut.

Step 6: Use Nori paste to adhere the origami papers to cardstock. Outline each piece with the black permanent marker. Remember to add tabs to the pieces so that you can attach them to the paper doll. Cut the pieces. Add accents with metallic gel pens.

go-go suit

Step 7: To create fairy wings, paint deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add sparkle with metallic gel pens. Cut two wing shapes. Glue or machine stitch the wing shapes to the wing piece. To create straps, cut small strips and glue them to the top and bottom of the wing piece.

Step 8: To create a fairy tu-tu, paint two rectangular pieces of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Add dots with the metallic gel pen. Match the long edges of the rectangles and baste a single stitch across the top. Carefully pull the threads to gather the paper. Use Nori paste to glue the tu-tu to the body suit.

metallic painted pieces

fairy suit

Step 9: For a fancy mermaid tail, paint a sheet of deli paper with metallic watercolors. Cut a small strip of the deli paper (about 6″ x 1/2″). Accordion-fold the strip and cut a fish scale shape. When you unfold the strip, you will have a row of fish scales. Continue making these fish scale rows, as you’ll need quite a few to fill up the tail! Layer the scales onto the tail using Nori paste.

gold deli paper


Step 10: Carefully cut the paper doll.

cat in cat suit

Step 11: Enjoy your new paper doll set!


cat a go go

Cat Fairy:


And my favorite… Mercat!

cat mermaid

You can use paper dolls in so many unique ways. Create fun displays in frames, arrange them on your mantel, or use them in a garland by hanging the pieces onto twine using tiny clothespins. Once you get started, you’ll discover your own way to play!