From Off My List: Trick or Treats



“Trick or treat, be so sweet, give me something good to eat!”

Halloween is at the top of my list of seasonal celebrations.  Now don’t start firing glass Christmas ornaments at me; I love Christmas as much as the next guy.  But December 24/25 do have one major drawback that Halloween does not- major food planning, preparation, serving and clean-up for a (usually) large number of in-house guests.  Over a period of a few days.  I’m trying not to complain, but after several years of managing all the components that make a great Christmas for my family, getting ready for Halloween is a breeze.  And a nice, warm fall breeze at that.

Lucy the Eyeball

I don’t have a “little” running around anymore, needing the parents to come up with a fantastic costume; she’s grown now thank God.   We alternated our Halloween costume strategy each year when she was small:  a store bought costume one year, a handmade one the next.  The handmade ones turned out to be so time consuming and elaborate that we could not commit to cranking one out every year.  One such handmade example is the year that Lucy wanted to be an eyeball.  As one could imagine, the store bought options looked super cheesy and did not have the capacity to scare an infant.  Our handmade version however, complete with a pink optical nerve attached at Lucy’s head, was predictably a show stopping hit of the neighborhood.

Back to Halloween trick or treating.  This year, on one of my many trips to the local Target, I stumbled across a hollow lightweight decorative skull that could fit in the palm of my hand.  I was visually attracted to it and once I picked it up and turned it over, I realized I could fill the skull with Halloween candy treats for a unique trick or treat gift.  Thrilled to see that the skull came in both black and white, I filled my cart with some in each color.


My idea was to use candies that were pre-wrapped, but not emblazoned with the logos of all the big candy providers.  A little classier presentation without all the candy IDs, I think.  For this particular treat idea, I bought:

-black and white plastic hollow skulls at Target, $3.99 each

-Halloween ribbon rolls at Joann, starting at $1.99 each

-clear plastic treat bags at Joann, $3.99 each

-black tulle netting at Joann, $5.99 per roll

-Mini Glue Dots roll from Amazon, one for $4.10

-white card stock paper for the gift tags at Joann, $3.99 per pack

-vintage Halloween pumpkin and witch paper cut outs at Tinsel Trading, a fabulous new store in Berkeley on San Pablo Ave (more on this gem later), $6.99 each

-See’s milk chocolate pumpkin balls at See’s Candy, 7.60 a bag

-bags of Rolo candies, Lindt pumpkin candies, Hershey’s kisses at Target, starting at $2.39      each

-bags of Necco Mary Jane Peanut Butter kisses at Cost Plus World Market, $2.99 each


This treat favor could not be easier to make, and you can bag it two different ways.  If using black tulle netting, cut a square piece generous enough to cover the skull and provide a nice tuft of fabric at the top.  If using a clear cellphone bag, grab one and have it at the ready for when after your skull is filled with candy.  Turn the skull over and drop in individual candies, careful to spread the different types out evenly throughout the space.


Once your upside down skull is full, either wrap the tulle around it, grasping the extra fabric at the top of the head, or place your skull in it so that the open end is in the bottom of the bag and the skull sits evenly inside.  Tie some of the Halloween ribbon around the top of the skull, closing off the black netting or closing up the cellophane bag.  You can bow the ribbon or just knot it, depending on the look you are aiming for.


Next get out your cardstock, a hole puncher, more ribbon or bakers twine, your vintage paper pumpkin and witch cut outs and a Sharpie.  Create your gift tag using the hole puncher, twine or ribbon, glue dots and vintage cut outs.  Tie the gift tag to the existing ribbon or bow at the top of your skull favor.


Once tagged, you are done.  A fun and unique Halloween candy favor awaits your favorite goblins and ghouls.  I must say that the favor covered in black tulle netting is much more dramatic and appears larger than the cellophane covered one, even though they are exactly the same in every other way except color.  Either choice will definitely please anyone on your list.  Whatever you do, have a very Happy Halloween!

©2017 Lisa Ihnken, All Rights Reserved

5 thoughts on “From Off My List: Trick or Treats

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