In the world of handmade holiday crafts, the empty roll of toilet paper is replacing the piece of uncooked macaroni.
A glance through the website www.pinterest.com shows the cardboard tubes as creepy candle holders when painted black and glued in clusters and as eerie eyes when cut and filled with a glow stick.
Handmade doesn't have to mean cheap-looking.
Pinterest is an online cork board, where people add and share ideas, attracting a mix of amateurs and professionals.
A picture of shrunken heads mushed in hair gel in glass jars leads to a website called www.igottatrythat.com, hosted by two mom bloggers who write about crafts and recipes they've tried.
And, an idea for the pumpkin punctured with lollipops originated from craft matriarch Martha Stewart's website, www.marthastewart.com. The Better Homes and Gardens website, www.bhg.com, also is a frequent source of holiday ideas pinned to Pinterest.
Thanks to sites like Pinterest, brainstorming is a breeze for holiday-themed food, decorations and costumes.
Fill a stretched-out flexible straw with Jell-O and let it set to "grow" gummy worms. Stick mini marshmallows on both ends of mini pretzel sticks and coat in melted white chocolate for a bowl of bones. Freeze water in a surgical glove for a spooky ice cube to float in a Halloween punch bowl.
Halved, hollowed pumpkins filled with ice can keep beverages cold. Or, decorate a pumpkin with glow-in-the-dark puffy paint instead of a carving knife. Foam pumpkins can serve as the candy giver on the front porch Halloween night, by sticking lollipops into the flesh, like pins in a pin cushion.