Goodwill Partners with College H.U.N.K.S

Lincoln, NE – Lincoln Goodwill and College H.U.N.K.S. Hauling Junk and Moving are partnering to offer the Lincoln community a more convenient donation experience.

Goodwill’s no cost home pick up program offers an easy, accessible resource for residents in the Lincoln/Waverly city limits to donate their large furniture or groups of items that cannot fit into their passenger vehicle.  The program continues to expand each year, however, employees are unable to go inside homes for liability reasons and cannot offer same day or weekend pick ups. In the past, Goodwill had to turn down pick-ups because residents were unable to move the items or needed an immediate pick up. To combat this problem and increase donation options, donors can now use College HUNKS.

College HUNKS is a locally owned moving service that offers a wide range of moving and clean out services. Their commitment to donating and recycling customer items keeps waste out of the local landfill. These H.U.N.K.S. (Honest, Uniformed, Nice, Knowledgeable, Service) oriented employees will make the donation or moving experience a positive one.

College HUNKS can enter residents’ homes, offer same day and weekend pickups, and pick up items Goodwill does not accept. This is a paid service, however, when customers mention Goodwill at checkout, they will receive 10% off their pick up. Additionally, when Goodwill is the referral, all items will be donated to Goodwill retail store. Whether downsizing, moving, cleaning out, or decluttering, Lincoln and Waverly residents can call College HUNKS to pick up and donate to Goodwill.

Visit www.lincolngoodwill.org to learn more about scheduling a pick up with College HUNKS.

Get Back to School with Goodwill

Get Back to School with Goodwill

LINCOLN – Over the next few weeks, students of all ages will be returning to school. Whether you are enrolled in grad school or your little one is heading off to kindergarten, thrift shopping for your back-to-school needs is the best way to stick to a budget and prepare yourself for the year ahead. Check out these five tips for shopping smart.

Five Back to School Shopping Tips

Know Before You Go

Before doing any back to school shopping, take inventory of what you already have. Grab any storage bins where you keep clothes for the next season or the next size up.  Do a sweep of your house for all of the supplies you already have – pens, pencils, staples, paper or whatever is on the list.

Once you have an inventory, decide what your kids actually need. It might sound simple, but this will keep you from buying the wrong things and forgetting the things that are needed.

Know Where To Go

Before buying brand new, save money and be sustainable by shopping at Goodwill. Take advantage of sales and discounts to get the most out of your money. Goodwill has jeans, shirts, socks, shoes, backpacks, school supplies and more for students of all ages. Find your nearest location here: https://lincolngoodwill.org/shop/find-a-location/

Search For “Double Season” Pieces

Find clothing that will outlast the changing seasons. Look for items that will be great on their own or layered on top or under other pieces. For example, find a skirt that will keep cool in the August heat, but can also be paired with a sweater and tights in the winter. Search for items that have great “bones” (good lining, great durable fabric) and think of ways to use it for more than one season.

Shop the Racks in Various Sizes and Departments

You might be surprised at what you can find in the sections you don’t normally shop. For example, instead of only focusing on the children’s section, opt for the extra small sizes in the adult section.

College students should peek at the selection in both the men’s department and the women’s department. Many items (sweaters, hoodies, t-shirts, turtlenecks, blazers, etc.) are not gender specific and you may score a nice, unexpected find. Don’t be afraid to shop outside of your normal size range either. Items in larger sizes may have shrunk so much that they would fit a smaller sized person perfectly. Likewise, some items just run big — so peeking through the smaller sizes, you just might find something that fits.

Take Your Time

Patience is a virtue when it comes to thrift store shopping. If you really want the best deals and hidden treasures, then spend your time hunting through all of the items on the racks rather than skimming through them. Make it fun by putting on your headphones and listen to a podcast or your favorite music.

Meaningful Employment: The Difference Between Night and Day

Meaningful Employment: The Difference Between Night and Day. The Story Behind the Vine Street Goodwill Mural.

Written by Hannah Casey

The month of March felt more like 100 days than 31 with new COVID-19 guidelines first taking effect. Goodwill stores voluntarily closed to follow state and local government recommendations for social distancing.

The extra time allowed employees to deep clean each store. It also presented the opportunity for reflection.

While at the Vine Street location, the discussion arose of the beautiful mural on the East wall. Wendy Jane Bantam, a local mural artist, created the mural at the store’s grand opening in 1998.

The mural project began when the current Retail Director approached Bantam to create an art piece for the grand opening of the Vine Street location. Bantam was given the prompt, “Believe in the Power of Work”.

Bantam had a personal connection to believe in the power of work. Her mother, a single parent with two kids, taught her the value of work ethic from a young age.

Bantam explained, “She always taught, ‘You need to go to college, but I won’t be able to help you go to college so you need to start working now.’ I got a paper route which I had from the time I was 10 ‘til I was 17. She introduced me to a stock broker when I was 10 to invest my money. I was ten years old so I invested in Hersheys and Smuckers. Then, when I was 14 and 15, I was able to get other jobs around town so I started working all of the time.”

Bantam presented the Retail Director with three different paintings to choose from based on the prompt and what inspired her as an artist. Bantam was in her early 20’s and this would be the biggest project she had completed to date.

She said, “I was painting houses at the time and I always loved nature. I always liked the idea of little roads going off into the distance..they suggest happy possibilities. You never know what’s around the corner. The imagery from the mural came from open ideas like that.”

After the Retail Director chose her favorite piece from the three sketches, Bantam set out to transfer the mural from paper onto the wall. Goodwill set up scaffolding to allow Bantam to safely paint from a height. Bantam utilized a projector to ensure the letters were even and created the rest of the piece free hand.

The art piece that has now colored the East wall at the Vine Street Goodwill for over 20 years is painted with houses and roads, with half the scene lit and half dark.

Representing morning and evening. Bantam titled the piece, “Meaningful Employment: The Difference Between Night and Day.”

Since that time, her art work has become prominent throughout Lincoln from the “Two Elephants and the Kingfisher Near the Lotus Blossom Sea” mural on 27th and T to the mural she created for Lincoln Public Schools. You can visit her work at Kiechel Gallery where she recently had a solo painting exhibition appropriately titled,”Birds and Superheroes”.

With COVID-19 shifting the day to day routines of many people’s lives, Bantam hopes to create unity with a mural about community and friendship. She has partnered with Girls Inc. of Lincoln to hear stories from students. This mural is based on the stories told. 

She stated, “This year, teaching artists had many wonderful projects planned with youth in Lincoln and surrounding communities. However, in the pandemic, all programs abruptly ended. There was no longer funding, and we couldn’t seem to go forward. Regardless, it seemed more important than ever to continue forward, by any means possible, to create positive experiences for youth. I would not be able to do it alone. The best projects have been large scale public projects where everyone has a part.”

Bantam feels strongly that the community needs art now more than ever.

She said, “People are getting down; and that’s just such a small word for the hopelessness people are feeling right now. When they can come together and they can work on a project together it’s actually connecting people and giving them a sense of ownership of their communities. The actual process of working together has a healing effect, as does the art itself. People get to see they are a part of a bigger picture and it’s empowering.”

To support the Community Mural Project, visit Wendy’s GoFundMe here: https://gf.me/u/ycznj5

To stay up to date with her projects, visit her facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/WendyJaneBantam/ and her website here https://wendybantam.com/

Out of Work Due to COVID-19? These Solutions Will Help If You’re Feeling a Financial Pinch

Out of Work Due to COVID-19? These Solutions Will Help If You’re Feeling a Financial Pinch

By Craig Brown

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing, it’s fair to say that all of our lives have been turned upside down. And while the health risk of COVID-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, there’s also the economic fallout. The number of jobs lost in the U.S. due to the coronavirus has already topped 33 million, and even more people are worried about job security. If you fall in this group, the good news is that there are options out there to help you get by while you look for employment.

Alternative Job Opportunities

The obvious solution for making ends meet is to find a way to keep working, even if that means working part-time, short-term, or from home.

Remote Work

One of the most popular solutions for remote workers is to consider freelance solutions through sites like Upwork. All you have to do is create a profile, and then you can search for freelance jobs doing whatever fits your skill set, whether your talents are in web design, marketing, customer service, or any number of other professions.

Similar to freelance work, another option that’s ideal for this time is to look for remote jobs within your profession, such as telemedicine or remote legal work. Those with experience teaching could work as an online tutor, or someone with administrative skills could work as a virtual assistant or transcriptionist. Whatever type of remote work you do, just make sure you verify that you’ve found a legitimate opportunity and not a scam.

Short-Term Jobs

If your field doesn’t have as many remote options, consider branching out and trying something entirely new. Many short-term job opportunities are still in demand, especially in the type of roles that tend to be rewarding. For example, if you’re an animal lover, becoming a pet sitter is a perfect way to earn an income while enjoying the company of animals. You’ll need to get your home ready to become a pet sitter by taking safety precautions, such as locking cabinets, securing trash can lids, and getting rid of anything unsafe like items that are choking hazards or poisonous house plants.

Jobs in High Demand

While the coronavirus outbreak has put some jobs on hold, the pandemic has actually increased demand for other types of work. For example, many grocery stores are hiring as they try to keep shelves stocked. Delivery drivers are also in high demand since more people are ordering goods online to avoid making a trip to the store. And along with these jobs that meet immediate needs, some job sectors like IT are actually growing, so you may even want to consider making a move in this direction.

Other Jobs to Consider

Remote work or pet-sitting aren’t going to cut it for everyone, in which case you’ll have to think outside the box. This could mean finding a job at your local grocery store or big-box store, joining a cleaning service or finding warehouse work. You can also turn to community organizations like Goodwill where you’ll have an opportunity to give back and earn a paycheck at the same time.

Use Community Resources

Additionally, Goodwill has a Job Connection program that connects community members to resources and opportunities in their search for meaningful employment. Their remote services number is 402-477-0436.

The bottom line is that individuals and companies still have needs, which means there are job opportunities that meet those needs. It may take some creativity and a willingness to try something new. But for those who are up for the challenge, these ideas can help get you over the hump until the right long-term employment option comes along.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Father’s Day Finds That Won’t Fail

Father’s Day Finds That Won’t Fail

What do ties, golf clubs, and a six-pack all have in common? While they’re each nice (and surely appreciated) Father’s Day gifts, they’re also the type of present that you can really only give once. Giving the same type of gift every year will seem uninspired and won’t accurately reflect the way you feel about dear ol’ Dad. So, if you’re feeling stuck in a run-of-the-mill Father’s Day gift rut and are ready for some fresh ideas, we’ve got a whole slew of possibilities for you in this blog post—and at your closest Goodwill store! Goodwill understands that self-sufficiency is best achieved through family financial stability practices that allow households to better manage their money and save for the future. And when you shop for Father’s Day gifts at Goodwill stores then you’re saving money and supporting that mission, too.

Video via the Goodwill Gal on YouTube

Every dad would appreciate the gift of time. And while we can’t tell you how to add extra hours to the day, Goodwill Industries – Knoxville, Inc. does have some incredible ideas for making the most of those afternoon hours with a http://www.gwiktn.org/blog/2017/backyard-bbq-bash-on-a-budget. Since many dads pride themselves on their grilling skills, this would be the perfect excuse to spend some time doing what he wants next weekend. With tips on how to save money while you shop for meal ingredients and a recipe for easy homemade barbeque sauce, this list is a must read. Also check out these DIY solar mason jar lights which would extend the amount of time your family can stay outside after grilling. Hey, maybe we can add hours to the day after all!

Image via sadieseasongoods.com

Throwing out the word “sachet” probably won’t immediately make you think of your dad. But why should the fellas miss out on all the fun of these (literally) shirt pocket sachets: https://www.sadieseasongoods.com/shirt-pocket-sachets/. Blogger Sadie Seasongoods noticed that flannel shirts at Goodwill are always plentiful and low-priced especially in the warm-weather months. With Father’s Day right around the corner she decided now was the time to turn a few of them into simple scented sachets! They’re cute while they play peek-a-boo in a drawer, but could also make a pretty nifty car or office air freshener. And since the scent of cedar wards off moths, these would be a safer and more pleasant smelling alternative to moth balls in the closet. The part Dad might appreciate the most, though, is that you spent your time and energy on a thoughtful handmade gift for him. You must be his favorite, huh?

Video via Goodwill of Central Arizona on YouTube

If those ideas still don’t seem right for the Dad(s) you’re celebrating this year, take a peek at this video shared by Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, Inc. for a fantastic list of the dos and don’ts of Father’s Day gift buying. Number one in their survey results of the worst Father’s Day gifts was novelty clothing. Those are the things that Dad might wear once for a laugh then never touch again. They also mention certain tech gadgets that become obsolete almost as soon as they’re brought home. Unless he’s a techie who likes to collect, you could steer clear of those pieces, too. Check out the video above for the other items you’ll want to avoid while you shop and some fantastic suggestions that are sure to please.

To all the fathers and father figures out there who might be reading this, you are awesome. Your hard work and reliable presence is helping to (or has helped) form a new generation and that is really something special. Happy Father’s Day!

DIY T-Shirt Wall Art

In early March, the Garden of Giving opened at Gateway Mall, exhibiting repurposed clothing from Lincoln Goodwill to form a peaceful garden. At the opening event, guests were given the opportunity to make DIY t-shirt wall art.

If you didn’t get the chance to stop by, don’t worry! We are sharing a fun, simple tutorial that you can do in the comfort of your own home. This DIY is perfect for the t-shirt you rarely wear, but holds a special place in your heart. It could be from your first concert or your favorite high school memory. We chose a silly shirt to hang next to where the office cats sleep all day.

Here are the five easy steps to make a t-shirt canvas of your own.

What You’ll Need

-T-shirt

-Scissors

-Stapler

-Canvas

Instructions

1..Line the t-shirt up on the canvas.

Before cutting the t-shirt, put it over the canvas and be sure the design you want to display fits and looks the way you want. If not, try a new shirt or a different sized canvas.

Pro tip: Iron your shirt before placing it on the canvas to ensure it’s wrinkle free and lays smoothly. Cut the back out of the t-shirt out near the seam.

2. Leave enough space to stretch the shirt over the canvas while removing the back of the shirt and excess material. This is to get the t-shirt to a size that is easier to work with. Remember, you can always cut smaller, but it’s not easily made big again!

3. Stretch the t-shirt over the canvas.

Align the t-shirt with the front of the canvas how you the t-shirt to lay.

4. Staple the shirt to the canvas.

Start by stapling the sides of the canvas. The more staples, the better the hold. We suggest a minimum of 5 staples per side. Next, staple the top and bottom. While doing this, be sure to continually check that the t-shirt is still aligned with how you want it displayed.

5. Cut excess and DONE!

Cut the excess t-shirt from the canvas and add additional staples as needed. Then the t-shirt wall art is ready to be displayed!

Here are some other examples of inspiration for your t-shirt creation as well as photos from the exhibit.  Send your completed t-shirt art and any other DIY projects you complete to our social media accounts, we’d love to see what you create! 

Lincoln Goodwill Hosts 8th Annual Neighborhood Challenge

LINCOLN – Holding a garage sale requires gathering an assortment of unused items, pricing them, placing them, and bargaining with avid garage sale attendees all weekend. After the initial glee of a successful sale, a terrifying thought can occur, “After all this hard work, what am I going to do with what’s leftover?” The idea of re-cluttering the home after decluttering is unthinkable, but so is putting the items in the landfill. That’s where Goodwill can help. Donate leftover garage sale items to a centralized location in your neighborhood and have the chance to win a cash prize to strengthen your neighborhood.

Neighborhood associations across Lincoln compete in the Neighborhood Challenge by holding a neighborhood pick up after their garage sales. Participation is simple. Coordinate a date, time, and location with Goodwill and they will be there with a truck ready to load items. The top three neighborhoods that collect more than 2,000 pounds receive a cash prize to strengthen their neighborhood.

For eight years the Neighborhood Challenge has allowed neighborhood associations to complete community projects ranging from landscape improvement to neighborhood events. Thus far, Goodwill has worked with 20 neighborhood organizations across Lincoln, awarded $8,000 towards community improvement projects, and diverted 136,590 pounds of materials from the local landfill through this event.

Reserve a spot for your neighborhood by calling (402) 742-8456 or sending an email to donate@lincolngoodwill.org with the date you want to hold your pick up. Be sure to register early as only two pick ups can be held per day and summer spots fill quickly!

If you are holding a garage sale, but aren’t participating in the Neighborhood Challenge, schedule a free home pick up at https://lincolngoodwill.org/donate/schedule-donation-pickup/, or call (402) 438-2022.

Nickum wins $100 Goodwill gift card, donates clothing to Culler Clothing Closet

CULLER MIDDLE SCHOOL — Years of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Halloween costume creations set the foundation for Jessica Nickum to tackle her biggest challenge yet: Culler Middle School’s Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest. The 6th-8th grade teacher was incentivized to compete by the grand prize of fancy coffee and bragging rights against her fellow coworkers.

“I had been dressed up as an elf on the shelf previously and everyone kept saying that there was no way that I would top that outfit,” Nickum said.

Nickum racked her brain to think of something creative, homemade and affordable. While looking at her kitchen Christmas tree made of tomato cage and garland, the idea came to make herself into a walking Christmas tree. Nickum bought the base of her costume, a green dress, online and small, unbreakable decorations at her local Dollar Tree.

“If I was going to wear it around students and perform my job, I would need to be fairly flexible while wearing it,” Nickum said.

Once all the materials were gathered, Nickum and her mother worked to glue the decorations on the dress while Nickum wore it.

She added, “This was the best way to know where to put things and see how it would actually look when we were done.”

The DIY masterpiece came to life, completed with red and gold garland, ornaments, bows and a candy cane headband to top it all off.

She wore the costume to school and impressed students and faculty with her creativity for the second year in a row and won Culler’s 2019 Ugliest Holiday Sweater Contest. Soon after, Nickum caught word of Goodwill’s 3rd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest with the prize of a $100 gift card.

Some people might have thought to take the opportunity to pamper themselves with a day of shopping, but Nickum wanted to do something more with the gift card.

Nickum explained, “At Culler, we have a clothing closet that is open to all students for several different needs. Sometimes students can’t afford clothes, sometimes they have the unfortunate case of the split pants or shirt. This closet ensures that students’ basic needs for clothing are being met.”

The Junior League is the main support of the clothing closet, but staff often pitch in whenever they can. Unfortunately, at this time of year, the closet begins to go bare.

In order to win Goodwill’s contest, contestants needed to receive the most likes on their submission photo on Facebook. Voters appreciated both Nickum’s DIY skills and her generous spirit. She won the contest with a whopping 178 likes.

Nickum said, “I love what my students bring to me every day, and I sleep better knowing when their needs are being met. Giving the gift card to the clothing closet is a way to help support our kids in an economically feasible way.”

Nickum plans to buy clothing during Goodwill’s $0.99 Clothing Sale in order to get the best use out of the gift card.

She added, “We are hoping that it replenishes what we are in need of and that the closet once again looks full.”

The Start of the New Decade Is a Great Time to Get Organized and Help Others Do the Same

Perhaps you’ve heard someone quip in recent days that 2020 is the Year of the Optometrist. Get it? As in 20/20 vision, a measure of normal visual acuity. But 2020 represents more than good vision, it’s the start of a new decade! For you, that might mean a fresh set of New Year’s goals, as well as a round of resolutions for what you wish to accomplish for the next ten years. It’s certainly a great opportunity to think about the old, the now and the new.

It’s no coincidence that January is Get Organized Month, also known as GO Month. At Goodwill®, getting organized is a big deal. We know how important organization is when someone is looking for a new job, whether they are entering the job market for the first time, looking to advance their career, or perhaps reentering the job market after a period of absence.

Goodwill believes in the power of work to transform lives, families and communities. We work every day to help others get organized with the job skills, career direction and supportive services they need to get ahead. But even if you already have a good job, 2020 is still a great chance for you to get organized and help others in the process. By taking inventory of the things around your house, figuring out what you use and want to keep, and then donating those used items you no longer need, you’re assisting others as they seek to reach their full potential.

This month, why not rethink your own home organization with a long-term perspective? Here’s how:

1) Look back: Do you have a digital camera you haven’t touched in 10 years? A set of china that’s been gathering dust since early in the millennium? What about long-outgrown baby clothes? By letting go of what you no longer use, you can gain a clear outlook in your home and your life.

2) Look forward: Many people resolve to start a new hobby in a new year. Perhaps you’ve picked one that requires a bit of space now, and even more down the line. Make room for crafting, woodworking, pickling, home brewing — or whatever your new hobby might be — by reclaiming your underutilized basement or garage. Envision how you’ll use your hobby space in the years to come, so you can get organized for the future.

3) Stay present: As we move through the new year, take a clear-eyed look each day at those things around your house or apartment that you really use. When you allow yourself some time for reflection on what you need — or don’t need — right now, you’ll land on a clear vision for what you can let go of.

After you give your home a look with “2020 vision,” you’ll be in a perfect position to donate unwanted and unneeded clothing and household items to Goodwill. Those items can then be sold to help fund Goodwill’s skills, job and career services. Not only will your efforts help you be better organized, they’ll help someone else in your community do the same.

Here’s to a great year, a productive decade, and a new vision for being better organized.

THRIFTY HALLOWEEN DOOR DECOR

THRIFTY HALLOWEEN DOOR DECOR

To set the mood for Halloween in your home, one of the easiest things you can do is to update your front door decor with a spooky little facelift. Since it’s the first thing you see when you arrive home, a display on your doorstep instantly creates whatever tone you want for the season. And, it’s easy to have a lot of fun with doorway decoration because, in such a small space, a little bit can go a long way. Today I want to share the spooky secrets that added spirit to my stoop with a DIY customized door mat and a bat frenzy Halloween “wreath.”

Does it seem like all of the best looking doormats are super expensive? I cringe whenever I have to spend more than $15 on something that I will literally be wiping my feet on. So, I always keep my eye out for small rugs and mats when I’m thrifting. My local Goodwill often has inexpensive, basic mats and with a little time and paint I can turn them into something that is just my taste. For this Halloween project, I channeled my old friend Billy Shakespeare with a quote from Macbeth. But I’m going to show you how to do this yourself so you can customize your mat exactly the way you want. First, let’s gather up our supplies…

Materials for the customized mat

  • Welcome mat
  • Poster board and painter’s tape or contact paper
  • Small, coarse paintbrush
  • Porch paint (or any latex paint) – You don’t need much so ask if you can have a sample!
  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Paint mixing stick
  • Access to a computer and printer
  • Scrap cardboard

Step 1: On the computer, open up typing or image editing software. Write your chosen phrase in whatever fonts you like best. Visualize the layout of the phrase on your mat. Place plain paper out on your mat so you know how many pieces will fit (standard mats will probably fit a rectangle of four full sheets of paper, 2×2 landscape orientation, with a little extra space on every side). This will give you an idea of the size font you’ll need. For example, I knew I wanted the word “wicked” to take up about half the width of my mat (centered) so I kept increasing the size until it took up 1 ½ sheets of paper since my mat could almost fit three sheets. From there, I could estimate the other font sizes in comparison to this one. Print your text whenever it looks about right. If it looks bad when you’ve got it laid out on the mat, just adjust the size and reprint!
Note: Don’t worry if your text gets cut off slightly (like the bottom of my W in “wicked.” The printed text is just to make a template so, as long as it’s not a lot, you should be able to fix this when you’re cutting.

Step 2: Trim your poster board or contact paper as closely to the same size and shape of your mat as possible. My poster board was a couple of inches skinnier than my mat, so I just made sure the top and bottom lined up appropriately and was careful to center the design before I pulled out the paint.

Step 3: Trim the excess paper off of your text and lay it out on your poster board or contact paper in whatever way you choose. When you find the right layout, stick it in place on the poster board.

Step 4: With cardboard under your work area, cut your letters through both layers of paper with an Exacto knife. Remember that letters with holes in them (like As, Ds, etc.) will need to keep their centers so create a little bridge that attaches these to the template. You can correct it after the stencil has been removed. At this stage, you can also fix any text edges that got cut off by the printer (see the bottom of my W).
Note: If you do forget to leave a bridge for the center of a letter, just reattach it with a thin piece of tape. No big deal!

Step 5: After you’ve cut out all of your letters (or shapes!), remove the taped papers on top to reveal your mat’s template!

Step 6: Center the template over your mat, mix your paint, then dab generous globs of paint on the letters. Be careful to dab straight down, not to brush or allow the bristles of the paintbrush to slide under the template. This will ensure that the edges of each letter remain crisp. When you’re done painting, carefully lift off the template and allow plenty of time to dry before putting your mat to use.

Now that we’ve got the foundation of your door display all set, things are looking up… All the way up to the door itself! Here’s how to make a gothic-looking bat display:

Materials for the bat “wreath”
– Ornate thrifted picture frame
– Fake bats
o (I have one big, detailed plastic bat for the center and a bunch of smaller foam bats. My Goodwill had them front and center right when I walked in the door so I didn’t even have to hunt around! The big one is great for inside the frame while the light foam ones work perfectly outside the frame.)

  • Chicken wire
  • Needle nose pliers with a cutting edge
  • Black twist ties
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Thick black velvet ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Wreath hanger
  • Work gloves (optional)
  • Poster putty

Step 1: Remove the backing and picture from the frame.

Step 2: Using the cutting edge of the pliers, carefully trim a piece of chicken wire so it will stretch from one side of the back of your frame to the other. You could place it across the entire frame, but I didn’t want to see much of it so I only added enough to hold my biggest bat on. If you needed to have enough for the whole frame, you could also spray paint the wire to blend in with the color of your door so it’s less visible. Or, you could even stretch faux cobwebs over the wire to mask it if you’d like. I do recommend that you wear thick gloves while you’re working with the chicken wire as it can be super sharp!

Step 3: Use the staple gun to secure the wire in the back.

Step 4: Place your bat where you want it then use the twist ties to secure it in place. I added one around its neck and one around it’s ankle. To make them less visible from the front, twist it directly around the bat first then again around the wire itself. This way it hugs the bat tightly instead of reaching back for the wire in a conspicuous way.

Step 5: Cut your ribbon to the proper length. To determine this, I held my frame up against the door dangling (with support) from the wreath hanger and tested a few lengths to see what I liked the best.

Step 6: Tie or staple the ribbon to the back of the frame.

Step 7: Use the pliers to bend in any sharp points in the wire against the frame for safety.

Step 8: Hang up your frame on the door then use poster putty to adhere the smaller bats. To make it look like the bats are flying out of the frame, let their wings stick out over the frame itself. Stick bats beside and above the door as well for that wild, out-of-control look, just make sure the door can open and close without bumping into them.

Add a witch’s broom, pumpkins, or other festive features to round out the rest of the display and you’re ready for Halloween! This will surely attract trick-or-treaters on Halloween night by quickly making your home look a little haunted. And, little did you know, as well as giving out candy this All Hallows Eve, when you shop at Goodwill for your decor and costume supplies you’ll be giving to your neighbors in yet another way. After all, only Goodwill unites caring and enterprise to empower people and build communities that work. That’s why I start every seasonal shopping trip with a visit to my closest Goodwill!