Accessorize your dungeon


October 14, 2001|By Julie Klavens | Julie Klavens,Sun Staff

More than one adult we know has confessed to having a secret weakness for Halloween -- when else do we have permission to don fantastical get-ups, festoon the house with ersatz cobwebs and plastic spiders, and head for sugar shock (everyone knows that eating three Fun Size Snickers is significantly more satisfying than eating one standard-size bar, its caloric equivalent) -- hence the boom in Halloween-themed housewares. Case in point: this endearingly goofy haunted-house fire screen, withits stylized cat, bats and rickety fence. Made from wrought iron, the black screen (30 inches wide by 33 inches high by 7 inches deep) sells for $79 at

The scoop on pumpkins

The right tool makes any job immeasurably easier, and in this era of specialization, we have the Monster Scoop, designed expressly for gutting pumpkins (motto on the package: "Pumpkins, be afraid, be very afraid!"). Its bowl-shaped head with serrated teeth facilitates easy entry, cutting though and removing the fibrous, seed-filled interior, and its nonslip grip helps reduce the likelihood of anything other than the pumpkin's innards winding up in shreds. (An ultra-domestic postscript: Save the flesh for pumpkin pie, soup or bread, and toast the seeds for a healthy, homemade snack.)

The Monster Scoop is available at Simonds Nursery, 1141 Berryman's Lane in Reisterstown, 410-833-5077; Southern States, 10015 York Road in Cockeysville, 410-666-0720; and for $9.99.

Clever cutups

When throwing any theme party, success lies in the details. This Halloween, start with a sugar cookie or gingersnap recipe; use cookie cutters shaped like cats, witches, spider webs, skulls or tombstones; and decorate with Halloween sprinkles or, for the culinarily bold, FooDoodlers -- markers that contain food coloring. Cookie cutters ($8.95 to $11.95), sprinkles shaped like bats, ghosts, pumpkins or cats ($2.65 for 2.5 ounces) and FooDoodlers (red, blue, yellow, green, black, pink, lavender, orange and brown, $1.95 each or $12.25 for the set of nine) are available on-line at

Spooky sights

From JoAnn Fabrics, an illuminating way to heighten festivities. Strings of Halloween-themed lights start at $6.99 at area JoAnn Fabrics & Crafts stores.

Mental torture

Which came first, the skeleton or the egg? A twist on transformers, Puzzled Eggs open easily, then present a challenge when one tries to compress them. Scatter them along the table for decoration, or distribute them as party favors. They're $2.99 each at

Home Front welcomes interesting home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Mary Corey, Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278, or fax to 410-783-2519. Information must be received at least four weeks in advance to be considered.

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