It’s November 1 and your pumpkin is still going strong? Trim off its top and hollow out the seeds. Arrange fresh flowers in a water-filled jar and place inside, or use dried leaves and twigs.
1 of 18Erica McCartney; Styling: Linden Elstran
Aluminum Foil as Party Garland
Twist foil into links to make a sparkly garland for an almost-instant party decoration (or a rainy-day distraction for the kids).
2 of 18Photo: Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino
Sticker Dots as Party Cups
Turn plain white cups into custom-designed party wear with simple dot stickers, available at any office supply store.
3 of 18 John Lawton
Gift Box as Cupcake Carrier
If the forecast calls for iced roadways, stabilize your sweet cargo by cutting X’s into the tops of gift boxes and inserting the cupcakes. (A shirt box will hold about eight.)
4 of 18Photo: Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino
Pumpkin as Place Card
Spell out guests’ names with adhesive letters (or write them with a permanent marker); send the mini gourds home as party favors.
5 of 18Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino
Clothespin as Napkin Holder
Use a clothespin to keep napkins neatly stacked at a cocktail party—or from blowing away at a picnic.
6 of 18Levi Brown
Cupcake Liners as Candleholders
Nothing holds a candle to dining al fresco, unless it’s so dark you can’t see the food in front of you. Place tealights in foil cupcake liners for a little glow at your next outdoor party. They’re cheap enough to use by the dozen, and cleanup is a piece of (cup)cake.
7 of 18Photo: Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino
Party Hat as Candy Dish
Use extra paper party hats to corral candy on a display table—or fill them with popcorn to hand out to kids.
8 of 18James Wojick
Plastic Cups as Party Lanterns
Create festive party lanterns for any season. Count the bulbs on a strand of holiday lights and cut X's into the bottoms of the same numer of small cups. Then push a bulb through each cup's center and hang the string from a doorway or window.
9 of 18Levi Brown
Turkey Baster as Pancake Shaper
Use a baster full of batter to squeeze custom pancakes onto the griddle. Start with easy letters and shapes, then work up to more complicated designs, like these leaves. (The trick is to draw the outlines and veins first, let them brown, then fill in the gaps with more batter.)
10 of 18Photo: John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran
Beans as Candle Anchor
Pretty and functional. Fill a hurricane vase with beans before adding a pillar candle to help keep the candle steady and minimize mess (the beans will catch the wax).
11 of 18Photo: Nicole Hill Gerulat; Styling: Kristine Trevino
Paper Sack as Halloween Treat Bag
Don’t pay a premium for Halloween-themed treat bags. Turn any paper sack into a jack-o-lantern with a few precise snips.
12 of 18Yunhee Kim
Martini Shaker as Glitter Dispenser
Add a twist to craft time by using a shaker to dispense glitter.
13 of 18James Wojick
Lint Roller as Glitter Pick-Up
Clean up glitter (and tiny pieces of construction paper) after craft time.
14 of 18James Wojcik
Candy Wrapper as DIY Gift Wrap
Sworn off candy? Use the leftover wrappers to sugarcoat small-scale presents: Cut a wrapper into a flat sheet, then fold and tape as usual.
15 of 18Photo: John Lawton; Styling: Linden Elstran
Cupcake Liner as Halloween Decoration
Show what a creative Halloween party “ghost-ess” you are. Turn white liners upside down, attach spooky googly eyes, and display them by a boo-fet of seasonally inspired treats.
16 of 18David Prince
Pumpkin as Centerpiece
For a festive seasonal table-topper, cut off the top and hollow out the seeds. Then arrange fresh flowers, such as daisies or mums, in a water-filled jar and place inside, or use dried leaves and twigs.
17 of 18Kate Sears
Candy Corn as Cookie Mix-In
Chop leftover chocolate candy or candy corn and use in place of chocolate chips for cookie recipes.
18 of 18Lucas Allen
Cupcake Liner as Snack Bowl
Fill sturdy foil cupcake holders with mixed nuts, mints, hard candy, or candy corn and scatter them around a party. Or, to make kids swoon at a birthday, place an individual cupcake holder at each setting.