The Devil is in the details… | This WONDERfilled Life


The Devil is in the Details
When we decided to host a full fledged movie screening event for Hocus Pocus 2 (out now on Disney+) the gears in my head started turning.  I had several ideas, including a Photo Booth, with the iconic hair and lip profiles from our favorite sisters, floating candles and a low mist floating throughout the back yard…but as the ideas took over and time started to fly by I changed course and adapted to a different idea.  If budget were not an issue there are so many things I could do, but I really like the challenge of a small budget.  I thrive on trying to repurpose items as much as possible and using what I have on hand…and if I don’t have it on hand I definitely never mind hitting up the dollar store.  It’s usually really great for smaller items that you can adapt fairly easily to whatever you need.  Case in point these super cute, reusable and extremely affordable ($1ea !!!) skeleton straw cups we got for our Coco party several years ago. 



In fact Dollar Tree STILL sells these and I allllmmmoooosssst grabbed 10 for the party, but I didn’t know how many kids would be coming and I wanted the kids to be able to “see” their drinks…more on that in a coming blog post….all that said…I love Dollar Tree and so Super and I headed out to peruse (what ended up being SEVERAL locations) what they had on hand to help dress up our HP2 party. I love grabbing things that I can use in the future, and if there had been CLEAR versions of the tableware I would have grabbed those, but of the colors available at the stores we hit up,  we decided on purple.  It was a nice accent color for our witch’s brew of a party and given myself and P, it’s highly likely we will find a use for these at a party in the future! 

We also grabbed some of these really fun goblets.  I knew I would want to use one or two as decoration but grabbed four so each of us might use one Halloween night just for fun. They’re one of my favorite purchases for the party!  


Then I turned and saw the eyeballs and I was like YESSSS! I had an idea for a “potions” bar, compete with carafes with Koolaid and eyeballs…but I couldn’t find what I needed on-line and for the amount I was thinking I wanted it just wasn’t cost effective, but these packages were $1.25 for 12 and I just couldn’t pass it up! At the locations I went to I only saw the RED option…in fact I didn’t even see the other color options until I pulled up the link to share here on the blog. 




Regardless, I bought three packages of red eyeballs and then sat and stewed on some things. Ideally I’d clean these and then drop them into my beverage containers so it would look all spooky and fun for the kids…but then I started thinking…these are probably made in China and no amount of “washing” would ease my mind that I just put them in the drinks for my kids and guests. Then I worried that I would just wash off the printed eyes and then I realized…none of this mattered as these are ping pong balls and would likely just float at the top of my beverage containers…and that’s not the “look” I was going for…back to stewing…until I took them out of their packaging and threw them in the goblets…now I was getting somewhere…this might be perfect in one of the “scenes” I was going to set up for the evening. 


But I still wasn’t sold and I didn’t know why until I realized…how “unreal” these eyeballs looked…I mean who is going to have a goblet full of RED eyeballs…surely a witch would have need of different kinds and colors…duh! So five minutes before I had to leave to pick both kiddos up for school I ran to the craft studio and grabbed some sharpies…I thought, perfect, sweet and easy…I’ll color the red blue and green and this will totally work and not look like I got them at the dollar store, LOL! Only sharpie didn’t cover any of the red…and now I only had three minutes to get ready to leave for school pick up but I was in the middle of a very heated idea so I ran back down to the craft studio and grabbed my acrylic paints, a small brush and quickly tested the paint…BINGO!! Ah I could rest easy…well at least leave and get the kids without being totally distracted…I would paint the eyes blue and green, *long happy sigh*.

I often yell at P for diving into a project at in-opportune times…
this moment taught me exactly where she gets it from!!

When the kids got home P immediately noticed the refreshed eyeballs and said they looked so much better…but she seemed a little remiss that I didn’t have a brown eyeball tester, brown like her and brother.  I told her I didn’t have brown paint…and I wasn’t sure it would turn out…She seem a little sad but said she understood.  The next afternoon I got down to business refreshing all the red eyeballs.  


I had split the eyes into two piles, blue and green, but a few eye balls in I started to feel bad about not having my own kiddos eye color represented…after all I’ve heard the story about how Super felt bad about his brown eyes when his blue eyed sister came onto the scene and they were all the talk when family came to visit. So I looked up how to make brown paint…seemed easy enough…but it did take me two tries to get it right. I ended up mixing red, yellow and blue paint, and when I say mix, I mean, MIX…it took forever to get those colors blended. Once they were blended (you couldn’t seen any of the original three colors) I let it sit for a few minutes and I suddenly had brown!! Hooray! I was so happy for my kiddos!!


I really couldn’t get over how much having a VARIETY of eye colors helps to disguise that they were printed, plastic ping pong balls from Dollar Tree!


Once all the eyes were painted (I actually didn’t keep any of them red) I noticed that the paint, upon closer inspection, looked a little sloppy…so I grabbed a black sharpie and went around each eye ball and tidied up the edges…would our HP2 guests be looking that closely? Probably not, or at least not everyone, but the ones that would get that close…well…the devil is in the details…and I like to make sure my details are on point…besides, EYE (lol) would know…and it would drive me crazy…

Before touching up the black on the left and after on the right.



Done! All three, basic color of eyes finished and ready for use in any potion.


The night of the party, two goblets of mixed eye balls ready and waiting to be added to our bubbling potion.


And used in our basement photo shoot set up the next day!

So, yah, I spent time painting and coloring three dollars worth of plastic eyeballs and I don’t regret it one bit! How cool did these turn out? Especially from a distance or a quick glance?? I am so happy I spent the time to do this, and now I have a bag of eyes! HAHAHA! Who knows when I’ll find another use for them!

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