Happy (almost) Halloweeeeeen! 🎃 My sister’s birthday is in mid-October and she loves Halloween. She has been obsessed with scary movies since she was in middle school. In high school would drive to the movie rental store (am I dating myself?) and I’d get an armful of food documentaries while she would get half a dozen horror movies. She’s even watched international scary movies. South Korean horror movies are something else… And ya’ll may know that I personally am not a fan of Halloween, but I love my sister, so I wanted to make her something special. Hence, this adorable DIY Halloween gift box was born! I filled it with pumpkin-themed baked goodies. Read on to learn how to make this cute box and all the Halloween treats inside!
DIY Yarn Ghosts
What is cuter than a yarn and felt ghost!? All you need is white yarn, a bit of black felt, craft glue, scissors and some wooden skewers. If you’ve ever made yarn pom poms or tassles, you’ll be able to make these! Just wrap white yard about 30 times around a book. I wrapped the yarn around the short-end of a book, since I didn’t want the ghosts too large in proportion to the gift box.
Carefully pull the yarn off the book, without letting it unravel. Cut a six-inch piece of yarn and tie it in a double knot or a square knot about a quarter of the way down the wrapped yarn. Cut the folded pieces of yarn at the bottom so they are all loose ends. Then cut out large ovals or circles and glue them on for eyes. Stick a wooden skewer up the middle and through the ghost’s head – it should stick in place without any glue. Voila! A cutie pie yarn ghost!
You could also make several yarn ghosts and string them onto a garland! 👻
Watch the video tutorial to make DIY yarn ghosts here!
DIY Yarn Pumpkins
If you thought the yarn ghosts were adorable wait until you see these tiny yarn pumpkins!! These are even simpler to make than the ghosts in my opinion. All you need is some orange and green yarn and scissors. Wrap the orange yarn around four fingers (or something of a similar size) about 30 times. Remove the wrapped yarn from your fingers, taking care not to let it unravel. Cut a new six-inch piece of orange yarn and tie it around the center of the folded yarn, and secure it with a double knot or square knot. Fluff up the ball of folded orange yarn to make it round. Tie a short piece of green yarn to the top for the pumpkin stem. Trim off any excess yarn pieces with scissors. Voila! A baby yarn pumpkin in just a few minutes!
I taped these with a loop of scotch tape to the top of the gift box. You could also tie these together with a long piece of yarn to make a garland. 🎃
Watch the video tutorial to make DIY yarn pumpkins here!
How to Put Together a DIY Halloween Gift Box
Step 1: Figure out your gift box itself. I found a pack of five cardboard gift boxes at Home Goods for just a few dollars. The top of the box is black with gold dots, which seemed fitting for Halloween.
Step 2: Decide on your gift box decorations. I made four yarn ghosts and four yarn pumpkins as the decoration for my sister’s Halloween treat box. They all took under 30 minutes to make, so it was a simple, no-sew, minimal-glue project. And she kept the ghosts and pumpkins to put around her house as DIY Halloween decorations!
Step 3: Choose what to fill your gift box with! All my sister asked for her birthday this year was pumpkin-flavored things. So I baked three different pumpkin flavored goodies! The Halloween treats didn’t all fit into one box, so I put extra cookies, brownies and donuts into a second back-up goodie box. 😉
Halloween-Themed Baked Treats
I filled my sister’s birthday DIY Halloween gift box with three different pumpkin-flavored baked goods.
First, I made pumpkin cream cheese swirl brownies from the Food Network’s collection of recipes. This was the easiest of the three recipes, since it uses a boxed brownie mix. These were also my husband’s favorite of the three baked treats. They stay super moist for several days (if they don’t all get eaten by then!)
Second, I whipped up a batch of Broma Bakery’s soft pumpkin cookies with salted maple icing. These cookies are so unbelievably soft! I kept a couple for myself (because why not!) and the day after I baked them, they somehow got even softer!
Third, I made up a recipe for baked sourdough discard pumpkin donuts. These were my sister’s favorite treat of them all! They are soft, chewy, and full of pumpkin flavor! 🍩 The inspiration for this recipe is from these sourdough blueberry donuts.
Enjoy! Happy Fall! 🧡💛
Baked Sourdough Pumpkin Donuts
Sourdough Pumpkin Donuts
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup sourdough discard
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk (dairy or nondairy)
- ½ tsp vanilla
Bake the Sourdough Pumpkin Donuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a donut pan with butter, coconut oil or cooking spray. If you don't have a donut pan, you can use a greased muffin pan with balls of aluminum foil in the center of each muffin cavity.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, sourdough discard, vegetable oil, vanilla, pumpkin puree and brown sugar. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice.
- Add the dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and mix it with a wooden spoon or spatula just until you don't see any dry ingredients.
- Using a piping bag or a bowl with a spout, fill each cavity of the donut pan with the batter until it's about ¾ full.
- Bake the donuts for about 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the donuts comes out clean. Let them cool for a few minutes before gently removing them with a butter knife.
Make the Donut Glaze
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until it is smooth, without any lumps.
- Once the donuts have cooled, dip one side of the donut into the glaze. Set it either on a cooling wrack or a piece of parchment paper to allow the glaze to drip down the sides and center.Enjoy!!