Stir Up a Witch's Cauldron for Halloween

The witchy legs make this candy-holding cauldron a real conversation piece.

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Materials:

large plastic witch's cauldron
two 1-1/4 inch dowel rods 36 inches long
acrylic paint
foam paint brush
drill
wood and drywall screws
black shoes or boots suitable for a witch (think Wicked Witch of the West)
large buckles
plywood base approximately the same size as the cauldron
2 inch hole saw
1 yard of striped stretch fabric
1/2 yard black felt
Polyfill stuffing
foam craft sheets
utility knife
hot glue gun

Steps:

1. Start by painting the plywood base in a color that contrasts with the witch's shoes. I decided to paint my base green, one of the colors in the striped stockings.

2. Once the base is dry, set the shoes or boots in position. Mark the location of the heels on the base and set the shoes aside. Drill a couple of pilot holes part way through the plywood base centered on the shoe heels. I also drilled holes in the bottom of the shoes so that the wooden dowels could pass through the heels.

3. To make the legs, cut your striped fabric lengthwise and fold each piece right sides together to create long skinny tubes. Pin them in place and stitch them together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance, then turn them right sides out.

4. Next, you need to shape the leg. Cut a piece of quilt batting approximately 36 inches long by 20 inches wide. (Your measurements may be different depending on the thickness of your batting.) Roll the dowel rod in the batting, adding some extra batting to create a calf muscle. Stuff the leg into the stocking, but don't forget to add a ball of fiberfill midway up the leg to create the knobby knees.

5. After filling the stocking up to the top of the dowel rod, slip the dowel through the shoes and attach it to the base in the pre-drilled holes. To keep the dowels secure, screw up into the bottom of the base and into the dowels. Arrange the stocking so that it looks like a foot in the shoe and glue it securely in place.

6. Using a 2-inch hole saw, cut two blocks of plywood to be added to the dowels. Attach the blocks to the top of dowels with wood glue and screws. To attach the cauldron to the legs, place the cauldron on the round disc. Using drywall screws, from the inside of the caldron, screw through the cauldron into the disc.

7. You're almost finished. Encircle the cauldron with black material to create a "dress" for the witch. Finally, add your own favorite Halloween phrase. My favorite is "Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet!" I used foam craft sheets to create the letters. I cut them out using a utility knife and glued them in place with my hot glue gun.

8. The witch's cauldron was a lot of fun to put together, and the witch's legs make it a real conversation piece. Set up your witch's cauldron in a spot where it can be admired, maybe the entryway. Fill the cauldron with all the trick or treat candy. Now comes the really hard part: Trying to save some of the candy for the trick-or-treaters! I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge. I think I'll use my cauldron as a plant stand until Halloween evening. If I wait until 5 p.m. to fill it up, there may be some candy left for the kids.

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